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Food

Ah, Tulúm. The first time I visited, I was 22, and took a 60 peso “luxury” bus from my Airbnb in Puerto Morelos, and to be honest, I wasn’t even that interested in going. But once I got to the view from the cliffs at the ruins, I was hooked.

This was in 2012. Back then, the now-famed Hartwood had been open maybe 18 months (and I didn’t even go to that part of Tulum until my third trip). Only a few of the hard hitting hotels existed back then, and they weren’t even on my radar. That first time I went to Tulum, we walked from the ruins to Playa Paraíso, which was more than enough to make me fall in love with this seemingly undiscovered paradise. And for the record, even then, it was far from undiscovered.

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Something I love about my job is that I get to explore cities in the US — and when it comes to personal travel, I’m typically focused on getting out of the country. A couple of weeks ago, we opened our first (and then second) restaurants in Austin, TX… so I got to spend a few days exploring the city, working from coffee shops, and hanging out with coworkers and friends.

Luckily, one of my favorite travel buddies lives in Dallas — so Nickerson drove out to Austin to hang out and splurge on a bougie weekend with me. Nothing beats alternating coffee with rosé and constantly hunting for air conditioning on a hot, summer Texas day. Here are some of my favorite bites (and sips) from my week in Austin!

 

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Last summer, I got roped into the organizing crew for Dîner en Blanc, an amazing event that happens on different nights all over the world, where thousands of attendees meet at an undisclosed location for a flash mob, picnic dinner.

This year, the location was so perfect — the Carnegie Library, located right smack in the middle of DC. And, since my assigned meeting point was in Chinatown, the 350 people headed to the location with me didn’t even have to get on the metro. Talk about convenient!

Here are some shots from the night.

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Just over six months ago, I started working for Cava. Man, how that time flies. Man, how cool is it that I get to create stuff like this, all day, every day? And it feels like things are just getting started. California, we’re comin’ for ya.

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It had been a while since I had last been to H Street.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love H Street. Hell, I lived there for a couple of years, and then some. My time on H Street preceded what H Street looks like today. Remember Toyland? Before The Big Board? That and New Citi Pizza were our jam.

Needless to say, every time I head back there, it feels like there are a billion new hot spots, and always feels a little bit like home. I made a chalkboard wall in the kitchen of the house we lived in — it better damn still be there, because there’s some great typography with our house address on it. 823 4th Street, I’m looking at you.

Anyway, when I got the chance to hit up the A Creative DC irl meetup at Maketto, I jumped on it. I had been dying to see this space for so long, and it did not disappoint.

It had been an aggressive Friday — Cava hosted breakfast at Creative Mornings DC, and then we searched/explored the Toki exhibit in an abandoned building, and after Maketto, I had a photo shoot and several other projects planned. But we made it through.

And I ordered the braised beef sesame pancakes, which I expected to be a sort of sandwich, but in all actuality fit right in with the theme of my day: aggressive AF. Images below.

It was delicious. And, as you can see from the photos, the space is stunning. If Maketto existed back in 2013, I might not have ever moved.

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Sometimes, a ladies’ road trip to a BBQ joint and a thrift shop are the perfect way to kick off a 3-day holiday weekend. Shaeda and I discovered a few favorite places in a little town called Winchester, by way of Sydney Lianne. If you ever find yourself out that way, check out Bonnie Blue Bakery — your biggest dilemma, as Lauren put it, will be “deciding between the plate with two meats or three.”

Life is good when you’ve got your ladies, a day off of work, and a two-bottle-of-wine-pit-stop in Middleburg.

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Burgers have and always will be one of my favorite food items… and when I started doing more food photography for work, I found myself cooking less and out to eat more. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some pretty damn good burgers — and plenty of photos of them. Here are a few.

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(Okay, this isn’t a burger, but the pulled pork sliders we made at work were D A M N good.)

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I’m very fortunate to be working in the food industry in DC — since moving here almost six years ago, I feel like I’ve not only witnessed DC breaking out of its shell, but I also identify myself in this movement. I’ve learned so much as a blogger, a photographer, and an eater in this city… I’ve been able to grow with it.

These days, I don’t cook as much at home — I get so exhausted from massive recipe cooking photo shoots at work — but I do get to treat myself to some of my favorite restaurants when friends are visiting or when I’m covering stories for BYT. An absolute favorite of mine is Le Diplomate, a French casual spot a whopping two blocks from my apartment (and dangerously close to my office). When Fabrice, the pastry chef, revamped the dessert menu a bit, I got to tag along and taste, photograph, and chat through the whole shebang.

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We started off with a couple petit plateaus — perfect, as I had been starving myself most of this day in anticipation of four courses of dessert, all paired with dessert wines.

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The profiterole — choux pastry, caramelized banana, ice cream, chocolate, and chocolate sauce that melts the chocolate. Gif below.

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Big thanks to Brightest Young Things and Le Diplomate for bringing back my sweet tooth.

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Photos originally taken for & published by Brightest Young Things.

If you’re looking for a hip spot in New York City to take some tacos to the face, this garage joint was pretty fun, and great for a group. And the tacos brought me back to a little hole in the wall spot in Los Angeles. Go for it.

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My friends are the best. Just… FYI.

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