Last Week in Boone: The Food {WIAW}

Hey guys! It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to visit this little corner of the internet but I am happy to be back! This past week has been pure craziness: final exams, family visits, graduation, moving home, and on top of that today was the first day of my internship! Whew. No rest for the weary right? That’s okay, they’re all pretty wonderful things so I have no room to complain.

During my last week in Boone, I made it a point to get to all my favorite restaurants for one last meal before moving back to Raleigh. Boone has the BEST restaurants and Raleigh, despite having some decent restaurants, is mostly full of chains, blech. So I had some pretty spectacular meals this past week.

(Thanks Jenn!)

Tuesday

I made a roommate breakfast date at Melanie’s, an adorable little breakfast/lunch place in downtown Boone for Tuesday morning. We all had the morning off for exams and everyone knows a delicious, hearty breakfast is the best final-exam-taking fuel. I started with a very necessary cup of coffee. It’s a little blurry, but that’s what happens when I don’t have caffeine in me. It’s not a good time.

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To eat I ordered Melanie’s Big Breakfast

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Which came with two eggs (over easy), stewed apples (un-pictured on the side), a biscuit (which I gave away to my roommates) and homefries. I have a new found homefry obsession and have been ordering every where. Maybe not the healthiest obsession but dang delicious. This meal kept me full for 6 whole hours which is a pretty big feat for me.

Thursday

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Thursday afternoon I grabbed an iced coffee pre-exam and a farmer’s market apple. This is the first time I’ve put milk in my coffee in FOREVER. Iced coffee is a little rough on my stomach, probably because I drink it 10x faster than hot coffee, but a little bit of milk seems to help.

Friday

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Beer, coffee, and a kitty in my lap. Could life be better? I got one last visit in with the kittens before they left for Michigan, it’s amazing how much they’ve grown in 2 weeks!

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Dinner was good old Black Cat. I built my own burrito with black beans, rice, broccoli, mushrooms and tomatillo salsa, minus the tortilla. Oh Black Cat, I’m going to miss you so much.

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After dinner one of my roommates and I headed to Low Wine Bar. It’s located on top of Espresso News, the best coffee shop in Boone. This was my first time going and I’m not sure why I waited so long because it was awesome. Whoever decided to put a coffee shop and wine bar in the same building is a GENIUS.

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I had the Marc Roman Malbec, mostly because it was the cheapest red on the menu, but it also happened to be really tasty. Really easy to drink without being too sweet.

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Post-wine my roommate and I spilt a 7 Layer Bar from the coffee shop downstairs (genius, I’m telling you). It was not even close to gluten-free but so tasty it was completely worth it. 7 layer bars are the best.

Saturday

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Saturday afternoon my parents and boyfriends drove up to Boone for graduation festivities. They didn’t get into town until around 1:30 and I was starting to get borderline hangry. It happens. Luckily I had this amazing and filling meal from Coyote Kitchen to tame the hunger beast. I had the Sedona Boat: Coconut rice, black beans, blackened tempeh, roasted sweet potatoes, corn, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and spinach, topped with sweet red vegan mayo and scallions. I was full beyond belief after finishing this bad boy but it was soooo worth it.

Sunday

AKA Graduation day! My college’s graduation wasn’t until 3:30pm so my family had plenty of time to kill before then. We grabbed an early lunch with my uncle at Hob Knob Farm Cafe. Hob Knob is one of my favorite restaurants in Boone, but it’s a little out of my (very small) budget so I save it for when my parents are in town =) . Hob Knob is awesome because they have lots of gluten-free, vegetarian and organic options, they source most of their ingredients locally and they have really adorable decor:

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It took me way too long to decide what I was going to order, I’m not used to having so many options – it’s hard to decide! But I finally decided on the Tamale De Bayamo: House made tamale filled w/ spinach, squash, yams, garlic, corn & peppers. Served w/ tamale sauce, black beans, plantains, chipotle queso salsa, green olives, romas & spring mix.

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Dominated.

Post-graduation we hit up somewhere low-key for dinner. We didn’t want to deal with the post-graduation dinner rush, especially with 7 people. Black Cat again! Twice in one week? I’m not upset about it.

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I had the (blurry) Satay it to Me Softly (how cool are the burrito names?): rice, tofu, carrots, broccoli, caramelized onions, and a spicy peanut sauce. Delicious as always.

And my last full day in Boone wouldn’t be complete without…

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Fro yo! Chocolate and Reese’s peanut butter yogurt topped with more Reese’s, chocolate shavings and Oreo’s (they are my gluten nemesis!). This was the most perfect fro yo cup I could have asked for and I enjoyed every last bite!

Monday

I have no pictures from Monday (sowwy!) but I have to mention the delicious meal I had at Boone Bagelry. The meal itself was pretty basic but really delicious. I had two eggs (over medium, is it sad I didn’t even realize this was an option until this week?), homefriends (I’m telling you, I’m obsessed!) and a gluten-free whole grain bagel. Yup, a gluten-free bagel! I should have taken more advantage of it this year! I’m kicking myself now.

Then I loaded up on old school candy at the Mast General Store. The sugar was more than necessary for the 3+ hour ride home. Why have I not eaten more MalloCups in my life? They’re delicious!

Today

Today was my first day at my internship! Everything went really well and it looks like it is going to be a busy, but very fun time! I also found out there is a Whole Foods less than a block away from my internship. This is going to be very dangerous for my wallet.

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Salad with spinach, garlicky kale, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and roasted chickpeas, roasted zucchini and eggplant (which was served cold, I wasn’t a fan) and some kind of quinoa dish with sweet potatoes, black beans and pepitas. I also had an un-pictured Clif Builder Bar on the side.

After writing this I’m hungry all over again.

Does your town have an delicious/unique restaurants?

What did you eat this week?

What’s your favorite hat/salad bar meal?

Asheville and French Parties {WIAW}

Happy Hump Day! I hope your week is going great! I’m feeling much better than yesterday, I think getting things off my chest really helped. A special thanks to Jessie and Alex for the helpful tips and sweet comments. I love this blogging community 🙂

This What I Ate Wednesday is coming to you weekend style, because I had some really fun eats this weekend that I haven’t gotten the chance to share yet

(Thanks Jenn for hosting!)

Let’s start with Friday…

My roommate needed to take a trip to Asheville to pick up some clay for an art class, and since Asheville is a little bit of a drive, she invited the rest of the roommates and we made a day trip out of it. Asheville is one of my favorite cities, it’s funky, cool and full of hippies (I fit in quite well), so it didn’t take much convincing for me to tag along.

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Oh did a mention it snowed Thursday night? But not enough to cancel any of my classes. Thanks App. At least it was pretty the next day!

After picking up the clay (all 300 pounds of it, holy cow) we explored the downtown area, including a stop at Urban Outfitters, I love the store despite it being a trendy hipster magnet and how overpriced everything is. The sale rack is my friend. Anyway, a few sights downtown:

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How cool is that architecture, way prettier than Raleigh, that’s for sure.

Now for the food, and let me tell you it was some DANG GOOD food.

We ate dinner at Green Sage a cute little Cafe in the downtown area.

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This place was like my own little heaven. Almost everything could be made gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian. Whattttttt!!! I know you guys in big cities have probably have lots of restaurants like this but they are a rarity in North Carolina. It took me so long to decide what to order because I could actually eat 90% of the menu, instead of the 5% I usually get.

Can you tell I was a little excited? Because I was, if you weren’t sure.

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After taking way too long to decide I finally settled on the Coconut Curry Rice Bowl which included Stir Fry Napa Cabbage, Carrots, Peppers, Kale, Coconut Curry Sauce, Cashews, Raisins, Cilantro served with Tempeh over Black Beans and Rice. Yes, yes, yes and yes. I never wanted the bowl to end. So. Damn. Good.

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I also treated myself to a Red Planet juice which was made with beet, apple, carrot and ginger. So worth having pink teeth for.

Did I mention this place had GREEN SMOOTHIE on the menu? But it was $6 so I refrained. And can I also mention that they had a dessert case full of tasty looking vegan and gluten-free goodies. Seriously? My roommates were laughing at me because I couldn’t contain my excitement. I didn’t bring home any desserts though because I had lots of baking planned for a birthday party on Saturday (more on that in a second).

Oh and my whole meal was under $13, CAN I JUST MOVE IN?

After dinner we hit up one more fun place before leaving town.

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A double decker bus. That serves coffee.

I. Love. Asheville.

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Of course we had to take our drinks upstairs.

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How adorable is this set up? And you get a beautiful view of downtown Asheville while you sip your coffee.

I’m not sure whose idea it was to turn a double decker bus into a coffee shop but it was a genius one.

And onto Saturday…

My Saturday started with a 7.5 mile run, in 40 degree weather with snow on the ground. I’m proud of myself for trucking out in the snow and for a new PDR. Despite the cold I felt really good and the cold weather meant minimal sweating. That means I don’t have to shower afterwards right? Kidding.

Saturday night my friends had a triple birthday party planned. Two of my friends and one of my roommates had a birthday over Christmas break (including some 21st birthdays!) so we decided to celebrate all in one night, the more birthdays the merrier right?

Someone decided on a French theme, which basically translated into wearing stripes and decorating our friend’s apartment in broken French.

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I think I’m the only one who had actually ever taken a french class and that was back in high school so my french knowledge is long gone. Thank you Google Translate.

We also had french music playing:

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and dancing?

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And a Yule log DVD to help set the mood.

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And lots of (somewhat) french inspired food.

I made chocolate cupcakes

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(I used this recipe and topped it with TruWhip mixed with cinnamon, easiest gluten-free cupcakes ever)

I also made some peanut butter cookies because I’m a dessert over-achiever:

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(I’m holding out on a recipe for you guys because tomorrow is National Peanut Butter)

Neither of those desserts are even remotely french, but I made them anyway. Rebellious.

We also had some much more french-themed foods:

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Crackers and cheese, college style. Wheat Thins instead of fancy crackers and Cheddar, Colby Jack and Gouda cheese. Very french.

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French bread, croissants, home made whipped cream (fancy!) and strawberries.

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Grapes, you know to go with the cheese.

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My roommate’s fancy croissant

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And Champagne! And even more un-pictured wine. Isn’t that the point of a French party?

We also had a rousing game of Telestration (basically a fancy telephone pictionary):

My phrase was “Old Greg” (seriously if you haven’t watched it do it, you will laugh and be highly disturbed at the same time):

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And it ended as “angry man with a boner” nice. Not sure how that happened…

Have you ever played Telephone Pictionary? Any other favorite party games?

Do you like themed parties?

What’s the last restaurant you went to that you fell in love with?

Homecoming!

So I’m a little (actually a lot) behind and never got around to sharing my weekend with you guys, which is a shame because it was a fun one. Now that it’s almost a week later, it seemed like a good time to do it. Yeah, I’m a little bit of a slacker.

Friday I had class from 9 to 12:30, yep that’s a 3.5 hour class, on a Friday. Luckily it’s a pretty class so I don’t mind too much. And I got to print business cards on a super fancy and expensive printer. Fo free. The perks of taking a digital printing class.

Front:

 

 

 

Back:

I actually feel semi-legit now!

After class I headed to a 45-minute spin class, always awesome, and lifted a few weights afterwards. Gotta get those muscles!

Later on, a couple of friends and I took a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see all of the beautiful fall leaves before they decide to shrivel up a die, which is what they tend to do when I go home for fall break. Here’s a couple pictures from our trip:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really love being in the mountains sometimes. At least until it snows.

Our rumbling tummies lead us back into town for dinner. We wound up at a favorite, Black Cat Burrito. They seriously make some of the best burritos ever. If I wasn’t living on a college budget I would probably consider eating there every night. Not even kidding.

 

I got the “Thai Me Up” burrito with tofu, spinach, curry sauce, rice and sunflower seeds, minus the tortilla, plus some sriracha. Gotta love any place that can put curry sauce in a burrito and still make it work. Actually that’s a lie, I’m pretty sure curry sauce just makes everything taste better.

After dinner we checked out some of the First Friday activities going on in downtown Boone. It was fun to walk around and check out some of the shops, while enjoying free snacks:

 

Free chocolate covered peanut clusters! Yeayuh. Oh and free wine! Yes, free booze in a college town, three guesses why students love First Fridays. I got a glass of Charles Shaw at an art store, it was pretty tasty, but I don’t remember what it was, except that it was red.

And I caught a glimpse of some of the homecoming fireworks while walking back to my car.

Saturday morning, my roommate and I headed out to farmer’s market. I have no idea what I’m going to do with my Saturdays once the farmer’s market closes. It makes me sad to think about, fresh produce makes life better.

After the farmer’s market we got a bunch of friends together for a chili lunch before heading out to the homecoming game. I didn’t think to get any pictures of the chili, but it was delicious. Chili is the best cold weather meal in my opinion, I’m sure you’ll see me eating it all winter, especially now that I have a handy dandy crock-pot!

At the game:

 

The lawn is a million times better than sitting in the student section, I wish I had discovered this like freshman year. I only made it to half-time before calling it quits, I’m not so into football. But we ended up winning!

And the night ended with wine, apple pie, and What A Girl Wants. No Shame.

Three Buck Chuck and pink fuzzy socks. Such a good combo.

 

And an apple crumble for people whose tummies don’t like gluten. I made it up as I went along but it still came out really well (I can post the recipe if anyone wants it!) and the best part was I didn’t have to share 🙂

 

Do you like football? I think it’s kinda boring, but I’ll cheer on Appalachian!

What’s your favorite kind of pie? PUMPKIN.

 

Got To Be NC Festival.

Um, let’s ignore the fact that I’m almost a week late on this recap.

Anyway!

Last Saturday my mom and I headed to the Got To Be NC Festival at the fair grounds in Raleigh. The festival was a celebration of all things North Carolina. Also, an excuse to put on a mini-fair in the summer.

There were lots of antique tractors:

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North Carolinians love their tractors.

Typical sketchy looking fair rides (I took a pass on those) and a celebration of North Carolina Agriculture:

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Honey bees!

They also had a section with cattle, but they made me sad because the cows were going to end up as beef. Boo. I might have considered setting them free.

My mom and I were excited for one particular part of the festival, Fiber Fest! Basically a big yarn expo. Yep, we’re crochet nerds.

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So. Much. Yarn.

It was overwhelming. There was organic yarn, neon yarn, pastel yarn, thick yarn, thin yarn, yarn made from angora rabbits (which are just silly looking animals), and even yarn made from buffalo fur (that was a little weird). I left with two small balls of clearance yarn. My mom left with that x10. She was a little excited to be there.

I haven’t quite decided were I fall in the animal-based yarn department. It’s not nearly as cruel as leather but I still can’t help but think it could be an uncomfortable process. I’m on the fence with this one. Luckily, fur-based yarns are really expensive, so it makes that decision a little easier.

Fiber Fest shared a building with a couple of other exhibits. One of which was from a group that collected antique tools and appliances. I perused the tables with my camera while my mom was up to her eyeballs in yarn.

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Old school glass soda bottles just look so much cooler than cans.

I didn’t know what most of the tools/appliances were, but it was fun to guess. I even saw an antique frosting kit.

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I took way more pictures, but most of them came out a little fuzzy. I happened by this table post-wine sampling, so my hands weren’t so steady… oops.

Speaking of wine sampling, my favorite part of the festival was the NC Food and Wine Expo. $2 to sample all the local food and wine you want? Count me in.

No pictures here because I was too busy stuffing my face. Whoops. It was my lunch for the day.

The food was pretty good. Unfortunately, apparently North Carolina only makes wine, peanuts, sweet potatoes, jelly and barbecue sauce. It made for a very well-rounded and healthy lunch clearly. That’s not actually all North Carolina makes, but that was a majority of the vendors at the festival. Though to give them credit, North Carolina is a big agriculture state and all the farmers in the area selling anything decent and fresh would be at the farmer’s market on a Saturday.

The wine was pretty good. However, North Carolina makes mostly muscadine wines, which are really sweet and I prefer more dry stuff. It was a lot of fun to try though! There was a vendor selling all types of different fruit wines including apple, pomegranate and watermelon wine. I couldn’t bring myself to try the watermelon wine, but I tried the pomegranate wine. It tasted like pomegranate juice with a little kick. Not my thing, but still fun.

I did get a lot of condescending “are you even old enough?” remarks. The perks of looking like a 15 year old. Hello, you are holding a valid drivers license in your hand with my birth date on it, I’ll let you figure that one out for yourself, no need to be a jerk. I asked one wine vendor to sample a dry red wine, he told me I should start off with a semi-dry. Thanks for down grading my wine choice. Maybe I’m a little bitter about it, but it got old quickly. If I don’t still look really young for my age when I’m middle aged I’ll be pissed.

Some of the expo highlights were the sweet potatoes (though you can’t really mess those up!), maple butter (sooooo good, seriously it’s life changing stuff), sweet potato butter, Moravian cookies, chocolate covered toffees (as good as they sound!), peanut butter (of course) and hush puppies (my one guilty southern food pleasure).

And all I left with was a small jar of sweet potato butter. That stuff is amazing though. It’s been making a few appearances in my morning bowl of oatmeal. I was tempted by the maple butter (think maple syrup in thick, spreadable butter form – AKA heaven), but a jar was $8 and I’m not confident it would have lasted more than one day. No one needs that much sugar in their system.

The food expo was so much fun I took my boyfriend and his roommate on Sunday. Hey, $2 unlimited samples make great post-10K fuel. I skipped the wine that go round though.

Overall it was a fun and cheap way to spend a Saturday. I wished it was a little bigger (and had more food, but I always wish for that) but it was still a very cool event to go to! Unfortunately my stomach wasn’t too happy with me Sunday morning, thanks to all the gluten and more fried food than I’d eaten in a while, but it was still worth it.