Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 brings new things...

I have successfully have started a new year in a new city. Settled in my new apartment, and applying for a new job. In March, as previously discussed on here, I will start a new school program to jump start my dream career as a food writer. I'm excited about studying culinary arts at Johnson and Wales University. March can't come soon enough! Yes, you could say this new year has brought several new things to me already, and I'm hoping for even better things to come. 

During my first week here in Charlotte, I have been fortunate enough to do a little exploring. Living in Uptown gives me not only many opportunities, but they are also convenient and within walking distance. My boyfriend, Grant, has lived in Charlotte since August, so he has a bit of an advantage on local info on me. It's been nice to get tips from him, though. He took me to my first Bobcats game, too. (for you non-sports fans, that's Charlotte's NBA basketball team). It was fun, but I still support Rondo and his Celtics! 

Lily, (my three-year-old Shiba Inu), also relocated with me. She sure enjoys the extra outdoors time with walking to do errands rather than driving with me. She even has a window in this apartment location to perch and look across her territory, just like she did in Tennessee.
Apart from the adjustment to the smaller apartment and the new noises, I think she's also settling in quite nicely. I've heard rumor of a dog park located close by, so I plan on going on a little adventure with her to check that out. She really misses her friends Jackson, Bear and Jabez, who still live in Tennessee. In an attempt to make opportunities for her to have new friends, a trip to the dog park may be in order. 

Now enough life updates, let's talk food. 

One of my new favorite restaurants is called the Dandelion Market. Located on 5th St., this American tapas bar has delicious food and a wide range of beers and wines, some are also of the local variety. My boyfriend and I have eaten there twice already! If you ever have  a few hours to spare in Uptown, I suggest checking it out if you're hungry. Sorry I don't have a teaser photo...the food smelled so good, I had to eat it immediately after they sat it in front of me!

Another restaurant I really love (and have also already visited twice!) is a brunch cafe called Toast. It's not walking distance for me, but a ten-minute drive away, nestled in the neighborhood of Dilworth. If you taste their hollandaise sauce, you'll understand how I feel they're definitely worth the drive. Here is a picture of a Sunday special, the lox benedict, with a side of hash browns.
For those who aren't up on their brunch dining options, lox benedict is commonly composed of smoked salmon on top of an English muffin, accompanied with none other than hollandaise sauce. I have also had Toast's four cheese quiche, which was also velvety and flavorful. There are many different options of baked items on the Toast menu, too. And if you're looking for just a good piece of toast, you have a variety of breads to choose from as well. 

Also, I did a little experiment in my own kitchen last night. Stay tuned for a post about those yummies!

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