Someone actually sent me a reel of Limoncello and its been on my list ever since. I usually go to Baltimore with a purpose and rarely have time to check out new spots but this was the perfect opportunity. Baltimore is quickly becoming a foodie city. I don't think people fully appreciate all it has to offer.
Limoncello is a beautifully decorated Italian restaurant. The service, drinks and food were amazing. For drinks, we got the Limoncello Spritz because...why not? Its called Limoncello for a reason. I got the Misto Fritto as an appetizer and the Pappardelle for dinner. The seafood was fresh and seasoned well. I don't really eat a lot of pasta because it makes me feel full so the portion was enough that I had it for lunch and dinner the next day.
If you find yourself in Baltimore, I definitely recommend this one.
Location: 900 E. Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD
I was looking for something to do in Baltimore with my little sister before she moves to Dallas and stumbled upon Sagamore Spirit. It is a whiskey distillery that offers distillery tours and whiskey tastings. The tickets are $20 and can be booked in advance online. We had way more fun than I expected. It was cool to learn about the whiskey making process and what makes their brand unique. Our tour guide was also dope which made it so much more interesting. After the tour, they take you into their cute little tasting room so you can try the different whiskies. I really liked the Rum Cask Finish Rye Whiskey. They also have can cocktails. During the pandemic, they partnered with a local bartender group to create these cocktails. I purchased some of the Black Eyed Rye to take home. It gives me a mule vibe because of the lime and ginger beer. They also have craft your own cocktails, brunch and other cocktail events.
Location: 301 E Cromwell St, Baltimore, MD.
They are doing construction so your GPS might not take you there directly. Follow the signs to the distillery.
The Dessert Junkie
You have to check out this black owned bakery in Bowie. Its a super cute bakery that specializes in cupcakes, cakes, donuts, macaroons and milkshakes. When I saw the milkshake, I knew I had to get one. I got the unicorn insane milkshake that came stacked with a donut, macaroon and marshmallows. Disclaimer, I did not eat all of it. I can't wait to go back and try more desserts.
Location: 15480 Annapolis Road, Bowie, MD
Now that my best friend lives in Houston, be prepared for frequent Houston travels. Last weekend, I went to visit and I swear she tried to show me all of Houston in 72 hours. If you've never been to Houston, it is definitely a foodie city with a creole influence of oysters, gumbo and crawfish. We literally ate and drank the whole time. Here are a few places we went to:
Winnies, known for their sandwiches, cocktails and oysters. We got some raw oysters which were like 50 cents each for happy hour, chargrilled oysters and the old fashion treasure box. The treasure box comes with all of the ingredients you need to make a table side cocktail. Everything was really good.
Location: 3622 Main, HTX
The Pit Room apparently has the best crawfish in Houston. They were plump and had just the right amount of spice. We literally sat on the patio with a cider and crushed 3 pounds with no regrets.
Location: 1201 Richmond Ave, HTX
Savoir just opened a speakeasy called Patton's Steakhouse. You enter through Savoir and walk through their wine room into a dimly lit restaurant. The menu was somewhat limited which I was ok with since I wasn't really hungry. At this point I was full from all the other stuff we ate that day so I only had a cocktail and a wedge salad.
Location: 1344 Yale St, HTX
Hando, a cute little handroll sushi spot. The sushi was decent. I enjoyed the calamari. It was cooked perfectly. The drinks were good. I got the lychee martini. They also have a speakeasy on the other side which I thought was kind of dope.
Location: 518 W 11th St Suite 500, HTX
Bloom, a super cute bar/club. They have the trendy flower walls, cute decor and fun cocktails that makes it instagram worthy. On Friday nights, they have salsa lessons. We didn't participate but it was fun to watch.
Location: 2901 Fannin St, HTX
A'dor, bar/hookah lounge. This was actually pretty chill for a Saturday. We stopped by for drinks and hookah. They also have crawfish so you know we had to indulge.
Location: 403 W Gray St, HTX
Lucilles, a southern restaurant. We went for brunch and sat on the patio where they had a live band which was a cool little vibe. I got the chicken and waffles which were pretty good. The fried green tomatoes were to die for though. I just started eating tomatoes in like the past 2 years so if I say they were good, take my word for it.
Location: 5512 La Branch St, HTX
Diversion Cocktails, a craft cocktail bar. They are a farm to table bar where they grow all of their own products to make their syrups, tinctures and bitters or partner with farmers from local farmer markets. The immersive cocktails were a dope concept. The charcuterie board was really good and paired well with the drinks.
Location: 7202 Long Point Rd, HTX
As you can see, we definitely did the most. I can't wait to go back.
Be Live Punta Cana
Flights to Punta Cana were dirt cheap for March so I booked a trip and invited my friend Angie to come celebrate her birthday. I decided to stay at Be Live Adults Only. The photos and reviews were decent and it was affordable. It is an all-inclusive resort which is not my favorite. I love the resort grounds but I'm not a fan of cheap liquor and buffets. I also like to be engrossed in the culture of where ever I'm traveling to but since this was my first trip to DR, I decided to play it safe.
Be Live: The resort was decent for the price. A few days of frozen drinks on the beach/by the pool, I'm not complaining. The room and resort grounds were clean. The staff were super friendly. My only gripe was the dinner reservations process. They only opened half of their restaurants at a time so that means limited dinner reservations. You had to make them the morning before the day you wanted to dine. Since it was such a short trip, we missed the opportunity to make reservations so I didn't get to try any of the restaurants. The buffet was....a buffet. They did have a Michael Jackson show that was surprisingly good. The night club was empty but they played a decent mix of music.
Excursions: We went on the Taiguey Party Boat. We actually had fun. Its $50-60 pp (depending on where you book). Its unlimited alcohol and includes snorkeling and a stop at the sand bar. They do a show on board and really just encourage a good time. You can book directly here: https://www.puntacanatourstaiguey.com
We went off the resort one night to dinner at SBG which is a super cute restaurant near the mall. I read a few blogs and kept seeing this included in the top restaurants in Punta Cana so that's why I chose this restaurant. Other suggestions included: The Jellyfish, La Cava and La Yola. I think the cab driver over charged us to get there but he waited for us to eat and took us back to the resort so I'm not complaining.
All in all, I enjoyed this quick little get away. Next time, I would like to do a little more exploring of Punta Cana.
Pixelbloom at Artechouse
You already know Artechouse is a favorite. I've featured this location on the blog several times. I love immersive experiences and they change their installation every couple of months. Their newest installation is Pixelbloom which is a cherry blossom theme. You know how DC is this time of year...everything is about the cherry blossoms. I enjoyed this installation. The art and music definitely brings about a sense of serenity. I am also very happy that their bar is open again. Definitely recommend one of their interactive craft cocktails. If you download the Artechouse, the 3-D technology brings your drink to life. Tix are $25 and can be purchased at artechouse.com. Insider tip: They offer a $5 discount for DMV residents.
Location: 1238 Maryland Ave, SW
There is limited street parking, but the Oriental parking garage is available or public parking.
The Hirshhorn Museum
The Hirshhorn recently acquired 2 infinity rooms from the infamous artist Yayoi Kusama and they are finally ready to be on display. Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Hirshhorn is finally opening to the public on April 1st. Same day timed passes will be made available starting at 9:30am. I was able to preview the exhibit in December with my museum membership. If you visited the museum the last time the artist was featured, then you can expect the lines for passes to be long but if you are a fan of her work then it is worth it.
Playa del Carmen, MX
As many of you know, I took a sabbatical from my full time job as a healthcare professional. I really just wanted to take some time to focus on my restaurant and find a new purpose in life. To jump start my sabbatical and celebrate my birthday, I booked a week long trip to Playa del Carmen. It was supposed to be a solo trip, but 2 of my best friends decided to join me. Playa, as the locals call it, did not disappoint. Fly into Cancun and take a taxi or pre-book transportation to Playa del Carmen which is about an hour South of Cancun. Transportation is about $50 one way. We booked an Airb&b right off of 5th Avenida, which I would describe as the Mexican Vegas Strip. It is a few miles long strip of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. Everything we needed was literally right there. The beach was 2 blocks over from the strip so a short walk. Here are some of the dope spots we went to:
Kascabal Prime Seafood: They have an outdoor patio that's such a vibe. Order the stone crab claws. They came in this huge ice bucket and were dirt cheap. Drinks were also good.
Kool & Mamitas Beach Club: They are literally right next to each other. You can book a beach chair and enjoy food and drink service. They do have a minimum purchase requirement for the beach chair rental but after lunch and a few drinks, it is easy to meet.
Thompson Rooftop: The rooftop at the Thompson Hotel was unmatched. Such a dope vibe. I loved this place so much that I went twice. You can reserve a cabana or bed for free and pay for a pool day pass which was only like $12. The food and drinks were delicious and service was great. They surprised me for my Birthday with a sign, dessert and sparklers.
Sonora Prime: This steakhouse takes up the entire block. The decor is beautiful. I really loved all of the foliage. They offer table side cocktail service which was a nice touch. The food was good. I think they have multiple locations on 5th.
Chez Celine: The line for this French cafe is out the door so I knew it had to be good. We waited about 30 minutes to be seated. The omelette was just ok. The French toast was everything I imagined it to be and made it definitely worth the wait.
Aldea Corazon: A hidden restaurant off of 5th Avenue. I think at some point, it used to be a cent. We were supposed to stop in for drinks but really just walked through to take pics.
Mamba & Prana are across the street from each other. This street is where are the night life happens. Mamba and Prana both offer drinks and hookah, go-go dancers, sparklers and loud music. If this is your type of scene, this is where you want to be.
Alux Restaurant: A restaurant inside of a 10,000 year old cave. Definitely a must go to. The food was decent, but the experience was everything. This place really deserves its own post.
Chez Waffle: A cute little waffle spot. I got the churro waffle which was delicious. I would recommend going here for breakfast and then hitting one of the beach clubs because they are right across the street.
DC Temple Open House
You know that building off of 495 that everyone calls Disney World? Well yea, the DC Temple is hosting temple tours. Open to the public for the first time in 50 years, experience this once in a lifetime opportunity to tour the temple. The tour is free but you must have a ticket to park. Reserve your ticket here: dctemple.org
Anyone who really knows me knows that I love F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I actually posted about this exhibit when it was first in New York, but never made it to the exhibit so I was hype when I found out they were coming to DC. I immediately purchased my ticket and was super hype to go.
I loved everything about this exhibit. They have you play a game of trivia before you enter to show who the true fans are. They have different sets that actually looked authentic, costumes and props from the show. The staff were really into as well and offered to take pictures so that you could really feel like a part of the set. It wasn't super crowded so you had time to engage in the sets and take photos without feeling rushed.
The exhibit is located at 1025 F St NW, WDC (the old Forever 21). Tickets are $42 and can be purchased here: The Friends Experience DC
Chantel is a healthcare professional, restaurant owner and Independent Travel Agent. She enjoys taking advantage of all that life has to offer.
Hype: Extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion