NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: 2 People. 4 days. $500 a Person!

My sister is one of my nearest and dearest friends. Last year she and I went on a trip to Milan… This year we decided to do a “frugal” trip and did 4 days in California! It was such much fun and it only cost around $500 per person ($518.93 to be exact) for the entire trip, that includes flights, rental car, hotels, food, and a food tour!

 

We flew round trip to San Jose. We flew in on a Saturday and took a red eye out on a Tuesday night.  Here’s how we managed to do 4 days in California and spent $1,037.86 for two people. I hope these tips are helpful to you as you plan your vacations!

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Sunday Brunch in NOLA: The Spotted Cat Food and Spirits

We were recently in New Orleans for our friend’s wedding and decided to check out one new spot before the wedding festivities began. After doing a little internet browsing we stumbled upon The Spotted Cat Food and Spirits.  If you live in New Orleans or plan on visiting soon, be sure to check this spot out.

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I’ll admit, I go to New Orleans at least once a year, but typically more than that. However, I’ve never really explored the breakfast/brunch scene.

Located at St. Claude and St. Roch this restaurant sits in a unique area of the city. I was amazed by how many people I saw ride by on a bike. I’ll be honest, in all my years of visiting and spending time in New Orleans I rarely see people just scooting around town on a bike.

The breakfast here is good… and when I say good, I mean GOOD (and unique).

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William ordered the Huevos Rancheros with Shrimp. I got a teeny little bit of this meal because he ate it so fast! Needless to say, it was delicious.

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The Huevos Rancheros consists of sunny side up eggs, black bean puree, ranchero sauce, pico de gallo, queso fresco, avocado puree, and tortilla chips. William also added a side of shrimp to his order!

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When I saw the Miso Bacon Pancakes on the menu I was a little scared. I just didn’t understand how miso could enhance a breakfast item… But, I decided to give this breakfast entree a try and I’m so glad I did. The miso, chives, bacon, and sweetness of the syrup was a perfect combination. It’s topped with a miso butter and it’s to die for!

 

Their Miso Bacon Pancake entree consists of bacon scallion pancakes, miso garlic butter, and maple syrup. I also added a side of sunny side eggs!

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Because the spotted cat is “food and spirits” they also have an extensive bar and breakfast drink menu!

 

Next time you’re in New Orleans be sure to try out The Spotted Cat Food and Spirits:

2372 ST CLAUDE AVE #130
NEW ORLEANS, LA

 

 

Winter Vacation Tips: Food Tour – Key West Food Tours

I can’t believe the holiday season is over. The crazy thing about the wonderful high of the holiday season, is the crash that comes just after the new year.

Many people, including myself, use this time of year to set goals, readjust priorities, and travel! I’m not a travel expert, but I do know that the U.S. winter season is a great time to travel near or south of the equator since it’s much warmer there.

We recently took a 4 day Royal Caribbean cruise that stopped in Key West and the Bahamas. We’d been to the Bahamas before but were excited to finally visit Key West. We’ve found that one of the best ways to learn about a new city and experience the best food is by taking a local food tour.

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We decided on KEY WEST FOOD TOURS and we were not disappointed! I wanted to give you a quick snapshot of our tour in hopes of encouraging you to try out a food tour on your next vacation. This might give you some ideas for the next time you’re in Key west or it might give you an idea for something new to try if you like traveling and if you like enjoying local food.

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The first place we visited was El Siboney a Cuban spot located at 900 Catherine St. This quaint restaurant was a great place to start our tour. We were served bread, beans, rice, and some of the best pork I’ve ever had. Our guide discussed the history of the restaurant and shared some of the stories behind this traditional cuisine.

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Our second stop was to Bad Boy Burrito located at 1128 Simonton St. Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri stopped here for an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and tried out their Cayo Hueso Fish Tacos. We had the opportunity to do the same and I’ll admit it was a very delicious taco! My only warning is that it’s very spicy, so be prepared with a tongue cooling beverage.

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Next, we walked over to the Speakeasy Inn Rum Bar and they served the tour participants a local rum runner cocktail. This was a tiny restaurant but if you’re into rum, this would be a good place to stop. There were some fun tidbits of history here and I was pleasantly surprised to learn how this stop shared so much Key West history!

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Our next stop was to Camille’s Restaurant. I loved this stop because it was my first time trying conch! We had Fried Conch fritters and I’m happy to say, I’m obsessed! I’ve heard horror stories about conch fritters but I think I can safely say this place does a great job making a fritter that’s not to doughy and that is bursting with flavor.

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Blue Heaven Restaurant and bar was such a neat stop. I felt like I was walking into a secret garden. The Key West island is a little bit of paradise, but this outdoor/backyard restaurant is its own piece of paradise. Here we were served Traditional Key lime pie and although I’m a huge fan of the Publix version, it’s got nothing on Blue Heaven’s version.

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Our last stop was to Key West Distilling. Here we were given a tour of the distillery and those who were interested, were allowed to taste their finished products!

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We truly enjoyed our Key West Food tour and recommend it to anyone who plans to travel to Key West soon. We opted for the Key West Food Tour over the one provided by our cruise line and it was definitely worth it! If you’re interested, visit www.keywestfoodtours.com for more information and to book!