Garden Grille

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The Garden Grille is a vegetarian & vegan based restaurant on East Ave in Pawtucket. Now I am not a vegetarian, but I am really interested in incorporating a partially vegetarian diet into my life. Did you know that eating less meat can reduce your carbon footprint by 63%? I think that is pretty incredible. If we can help the earth just by incorporating more plants into our diet, then that’s something I can get behind.

Anyway, this is not a lecture on vegetarianism – this is a post on one of my favorite lunch spots right now. They serve lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, and have a small bar inside as well.

When I say that I dream about their roasted brussel sprout grilled cheese and tomato soup I am not kidding. I may have had it two days in a row.. On my last trip I had the avocado toast with pickled vegetables. The smoothness of the avocado paired with the tart pickled vegetables and the spice from the red chili flakes – it was everything you would want in an avocado toast. Paired with a blood orange hibiscus tea, I couldn’t be happier.

I have also been for brunch – their vegan biscuits and gravy were super filling, and their vegan pancakes were light and fluffy.

Whether you are a vegetarian/vegan or are just looking for some deliciously fresh veggie based foods, then this is the place for you.

 

xx Casey

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Travel Guide: Providence – Wayland Square

I am lucky to call the big little city of Providence Rhode Island my home. Through the years Providence has become a destination for incredible food, shopping, art, and entertainment. I could probably write about the incredible places and things to see in Providence solely on this blog and have enough to say for years to come. There is always something new and exciting to see! What can I say, I am #blessed to live here. So I am going to break this city down for you in multiple Providence themed Travel Guides. First up on the list is Wayland Square, located in the East Side of Providence. This is one of my go-to weekend spots, so here are a couple of my favorites:

Wayland Square Diner

First up is my favorite little breakfast place on the east side. It is quick, cheap, and delicious diner food that makes me feel like I am back home in New Jersey. This is the place that I go if I want a really good bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a grilled everything bagel. Oh, and a side of home fries.

The Salted Slate

This is another really awesome choice for breakfast. This is where I go when I am in the mood for an awesome brunch. I recently brought my family here when they were visiting and we had an incredible time. Now I never go for something on the sweet side for breakfast. I want my eggs, toast, bacon… but the lemon ricotta pancakes with bay leaf maple syrup and fresh berries are so light and fluffy that I cannot resist. Also, you cannot leave without ordering the bag of warm donuts. We got ours to go and they were the perfect mid afternoon treat.

West Elm

West Elm has been one of my favorite online window shopping sites for ages. I love getting inspiration for home décor from their site. Well to my delight a shop has just opened up in Wayland Square! Now, West Elm is definitely a little pricey however the store definitely has some more affordable items as well – and no shipping charges to deal with. The thing I love most is that they have a display dedicated to local Rhode Island businesses.

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Paper Nautilus

Paper Nautilus is cleverly described on their window as: a bookshop located on Five South Angell Street in Providence Rhode Island, specializing in rare and recent books, art, ephemera, and assorted oddiments since 1996. This little shop is a book lover’s wonderland. Scour the shelves for books on poetry, history, war, and love. Then go downstairs, and look through their antiques for sale and maybe find something really special.

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Mc Brides Irish Pub

After some shopping stop into this local Irish pub for a beer outside on their terrace should the weather agree. Or sit inside and catch that 1pm football game (J E T S!) and order up a plate of nachos. Mc Brides offers up some solid bar food and live entertainment weekly.

Where would you like me to travel to next? Stay tuned for my next Travel Guide!

xx Casey

 

Borealis Coffee Company

On Saturday morning I headed over to the grand opening of Borealis Coffee Company on Bullocks Point Ave in Riverside RI. To say I was excited would be an understatement. There was a small batch coffee shop opening right in my back yard, and I no longer had to drive over the bridge for a good cup of coffee.

Borealis means “from the north” in Latin and is an homage to the founder Brian’s Alaskan roots. They are a small batch roastery and cafe which means they roast all of their coffee beans on site. They pride themselves in roasting to order, which means you are getting the best quality of coffee each and every time.

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I had a simple cold brew iced coffee paired with a caramelized onion and ham turnover. It was nothing short of perfect.

For me, a great coffee shop is all about the experience and the feeling you get while you are there. Borealis had everything you could ever want in a coffee shop – beautiful minimal decor, incredible coffee, a great selection of food items, and the friendliest staff I have ever encountered. Everyone who worked there was so kind and gladly offered up their recommendations on the menu.

If the coffee isn’t enough to keep you coming back, the staff definitely will. I think Borealis is in for a long and exciting ride.

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xx Casey

 

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour

I spent a quick 36 hours in New Hampshire this weekend, somewhere that is quickly turning into one of my favorite places to visit. After scoring some sweet tax free deals at the Merrimack Outlets I made my way to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery to see how a bottle of good ol’ American Bud Light is made.

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The Tour we went on cost $10 and included a tour of the facilities, a glass of hours old bud light poured straight from the ice cold barrel, a tour of the bottling facility, two samples, and a complimentary glass to take home. They also have complimentary tours and VIP Tours.

The facility was huge and we traveled through rooms with three degrees of temperatures.. 80 degrees where the mashing process takes place and “wort” is made, 56 degrees where the holding tanks are and the fermentation takes place, and 30 degrees where the beer is held before pasteurization and bottling.

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Did you know that Bud Light is the only beer to be made with rice? It gives the beer it’s light color and distinct flavor. Anheuser-Busch is also one of the only breweries to have it’s own hops farms, one in Germany and one in Idaho.

After the tour we made our way to the gift shop and biergarten. There they have $2 pints of beers and  German style food. Lastly, you can not end your trip without visiting the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale’s.

Check out budweisertours.com for tour times at all of their brewery locations. Cheers!

xx Casey

Tallulah’s Taqueria

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Tacos. My answer is almost always tacos.

Located on Ives Street in Providence lies a true hidden gem of the city: Tallulah’s Taqueria. Owned by Chef Jake Rojas, this little place is cooking up some incredible Mexican food. Everything from the carnitas tacos to the chicken tortas are fresh and packed with flavor. The agua fresca is different every day and is the perfect accompaniment to any order. The shining star for me is also the simplest – the freshly made pickled radishes that pair so perfectly with the spiciness of the salsa. Do not even get me started on the tostadas and tomatillo salsa.

As you walk up to Tallulah’s it draws you in like a force. The beautiful artwork and bright colors immediately transport you to another world. They have both indoor and outdoor seating perfect for groups of all sizes.

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Did I mention they have breakfast too? Now excuse me, I am suddenly craving a breakfast burrito..

xx Casey

 

Travel Guide: Charlestown, RI

Three years ago a friend gave me the best piece of advice that I have ever received. We were talking about traveling, and the importance of finding adventure wherever you go when he told me “you need to be a tourist in your own home town”.

I have taken this with me throughout the years, and have discovered some incredible places right here in my own backyard. This notion has inspired my Travel Guide series where I will share with you all of my favorite places in the different cities and towns I visit.

First up is Charlestown Rhode Island, located in Washington County. Charlestown is a small beach town in southern Rhode Island that is full of local shops, restauarants, and attractions.

1 The Fantastic Umbrella Factory

Opened in 1968, the Fantastic Umbrella Factory is an eclectic mix of little shops and greenhouses. Sculptures by local artists can be found all over the grounds as well as chickens that are more than eager to come up to you for some food. Walk past the goats and emu’s and you will find a bamboo forest that makes you feel like you have been transported somewhere else. Once you have worked up an appetite head over to the Small Axe Café opened from 10am – 4pm daily. Here you can find a range of dishes from Mexican to Asian Cuisine. And of course everything is organic and local. I had the black bean and artichoke quesadilla and could not be happier. Also, the café is BYOB so feel free to bring a couple of beers along with you. After lunch, grab a homemade ice cream before you make your way out of this hippie wonderland.

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2 Simple Pleasures & Holy Cow Ice Cream

If you are in the mood to do a little more New England Shopping head right down the street to Simple Pleasures. Only opened Sundays from 9am – 6pm, Simple Pleasures has a ton of New England based gifts, artwork, home accents, and jewelry. They also sell homemade fragrances, sprays, and cleaners from the Etsy Shop Gypsea Living. Seriously, could you think of a better name? When you are done shopping go next door to Holy Cow Ice Cream where they have a ton of gourmet ice cream flavors and many dairy free options! No one will judge you when you have two ice cream cones if one is dairy free right?

3 Ninigret National Wildlife Reserve & Pond

If you are planning on doing some adventuring in the great outdoors then head over to Ninigret where you can do some hiking, fishing, and swimming. You can also do a little bit of clamming and bring some dinner home with you as long as you have a permit.

4 Frosty Drew Observatory

To end your day under the stars, head over to the Frosty Drew Observatory. Open Fridays between 6pm and 2am, and equipped with a high-powered 16″ Meade LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope, this hidden gem provides you with incredible views of the sky above.

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photo credit: @astronomicalobservatories

xx Casey