Reasons to love SF: Aerial Garden - Root Division

So, I've been terrible about posting here since I always want to really take my time to organize the best photos from my travels and think of something meaningful to say, which is great, but also a roadblock to having any sort of consistent posting.

That said, what I find my friends often saying to me about the events I'm going to, or new restaurants I discover is, "How'd you find out about that??" So, here comes my mini series of posts on all my fun / delicious finds around the Bay Area [...and beyond].

This past weekend I checked out Saree Silverman's beautiful "Aerial Garden" installation at Root Division (1131 Mission St.) in SOMA. Colorful, assorted pressed flowers were suspended from the ceiling, creating a sort of delicate whirlwind of flower petals. I love all things floral, so I was absolutely smitten with this. Definitely worth checking out! 

 

The Petite Wayfarer goes to The Wayfarer - Santa Barbara, CA

The Petite Wayfarer goes to.....The Wayfarer. On a quick weekend trip to Santa Barbara in March to celebrate my best friend's engagement, we stayed at the hotel/hostel The Wayfarer. It was conveniently located in SB's Funk Zone and just blocks from the beach and pier. We really enjoyed our stay here as the hotel was modern, cute, and had a great pool area with inflatable couches that we had a blast playing with. The hotel was reasonably priced and we loved that we were able to get a room to share with 2 bunk beds so that we could all stay together in the same room. 

My favorite places that we ate were After Dark and The Santa Barbara Shellfish Company on the pier. After Dark, as you would guess by the name, is only open late night (10pm - 3am) and has a seriously awesome mac and cheese, tater tot, bacon, bbq chicken, tomato, jalapeño, bread crumb dish. Our biggest regret was falling asleep too early on the second night and not getting this a second time! The SB Shellfish Co. is at the very end of the pier, and is the perfect spot to enjoy some sunshine, views of the water, and some maine lobster, lobster bisque, oysters, crab claws, and beer. 

I really love how as you get older and revisit places, you experience and learn to love each place differently. I remember going to Santa Barbara in college and having a terrible experience, which left me with a bad taste in my mouth and without the slightest bit of temptation to ever come back. I'm glad I got to see a different side this time and would enjoy another weekend getaway wine tasting and enjoying some sunshine and seafood soon.

NYE in NOLA - French Quarter - Vieux Carré

As you can probably tell, NOLA was all about foodie adventures. My boyfriend and I took a quick trip to the Big Easy for four days to take part in the NYE celebrations and fulfill our creole food cravings. Almost every day was planned out based on which eateries I wanted to try the most. I think the huge plus about staying in the French Quarter is that everything is in walking distance of the hotel (we stayed at the W), and I think the main attraction really is walking around the many little streets in the quarter and eating and drinking away your day. The quarter was much larger than I expected it to be and you can find many streets that aren't full of other tourists; it was very charming (and fun of course) in my opinion. 

Skipping straight to the point here with a list of notable food spots on this trip:

Galatoire's: We loved this restaurant! Galatoire's was recommended to us by a friend of ours that is a local in the Big Easy. It's a French/Creole family fine dining restaurant right on Bourbon st. I think it's a beautiful contrast to the hustle and bustle of the party scene right outside the restaurant, while inside the ambiance is very classic and classy (must dress appropriately), YET to our pleasant surprise it's a riot inside. Everyone was openly having a blast inside on the first floor seating and we really got a sense of the NoLa spirit here that we were so looking forward to. As for the food itself, it was delicious and comforting and just so inviting. Our favorites were the eggplant au gratin, grilled fish topped with shrimp étoufée, and oysters Rockefeller. Neither of us have had the oysters prepared this way before, but it was awesome! It may look green/black and not appealing but it was so delicious and unique. I would highly recommend Galatoire's.

Cafe du MondeI think it goes without saying that no NoLa trip is complete without paying a visit to Cafe du Monde and ordering a heaping stack of fresh, hot, beignets and a cup of Cafe Au Lait. Don't let the long lines deter you, it moves fast and there is always a line at any hour, so just go. The beignets are really, really, good. 

Restaurant R'evolutionVery beautiful restaurant in the French Quarter with overall great food. If I were to do it again, I would skip the full dinner experience and just sit in the bar area and order the Triptych of Quail. The quail is perfectly prepared three ways: Southern-fried, Boudin-stuffed, and Absinthe-glazed. Each quail was delicious. I would definitely go here again just for that dish. 

HerbsaintThis restaurant is just a 10 minute walk outside of the French quarter and the food is a nice break from all the cajun/creole food you've probably eaten by this point in your trip. They have great cocktails and the French food here is amazing. My favorites of the night were the Rabbit Fricassee, Duck Confit with Dirty Rice, and their Herbsaint Champagne cocktail. 

Willie Mae's Scotch House:  The neighborhood is pretty sketch (I'd suggest cabbing it from the French Quarter even though it doesn't look far), and the lines are damn long (waited 1.5 hours), but as promised the fried chicken is awesome. The sides were good but nothing spectacular, but the chicken is good and I loveeee fried chicken.

Carousel Bar: The Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone is so charming and such a cool spot to grab a drink. It's a real, (slowly) moving carousel in the gorgeous Monteleone hotel. Must visit!

Happy eating y'all and as they say in NoLa,  "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"