[Puerto Rico] Finding Your Oasis, W Hotel Vieques

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Hm. So where did Summer go again?

It’s been ages since my last post. No excuses here, just a lot going on. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that I was running around all summer for business and pleasure. Not sure if it’s too early for this kind of talk, but as 2016 comes to a close I definitely feel myself going into a bit of reflection mood. So, what really happened this year?

But let’s not get into that now!

Let’s talk about Vieques. This precious, little island is one of the most special places that Puerto Rico has to offer. In the midst of all the craze that was this summer, I was lucky enough to spend some days in this oasis.

Whether it’s drinking cheap wine and making new friends at a hostel or having (overpriced) mojitos and a relaxing stay at a wonderful hotel such as the W, there’s always so much to discover when you travel.  I’m all for adventures and activity, but every now and then we all need some well-deserved R&R. Just looking through my pictures makes me feel relaxed. I would be laying by the pool just looking at the palm trees and feel content. I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t listening to music, I wasn’t looking at my phone or talking to anyone… I was just being, and it felt both weird and amazing.

I will be sharing more about Vieques in coming posts, but for now I leave you with some of my favorite pictures of my stay at the W. Hope you can sense and appreciate the good vibes this wonderful spot has to share. 🙂

cristina nogueras w vieques puerto rico

w vieques puerto rico

vieques w hotel puerto rico

vieques puerto rico w hotel

vieques w hotel puerto rico

vieques puerto rico w hotel

vieques puerto rico w hotel

vieques puerto rico

w hotel vieques puerto rico

w hotel vieques puerto rico

Photography by Cristina Nogueras ©

[Lunch] Italian Patio Vibes in Greenwich Village

In the hustle and bustle that can be New York City, I am always delighted to find a little oasis that makes you feel like you’ve traveled elsewhere, even if it’s just for a moment or in this case, a meal. Romagna Ready 2 Go is an authentic Italian restaurant, you can taste their commitment to quality food from your first bite.

Instead of starting with an appetizer, me and my friend decided to split a piadina. It resembles a panini, but it’s not quite the same. The stracchino cheese used was excellent and left me wanting for more.

For the main event, we went with two of the classics: the traditional cannelloni with ricotta and spinach and the lasagna. Both were made with fresh pasta and the combination of ingredients was the perfect culmination to our meal.

Romagna Garden

Just like the food, the space is full of little authentic Italian treasures, like the owner’s grandfather’s racing bicycle straight from Italy. Even if you are not in the mood to stuff your face with fresh Italian food (which if you are not, I’m judging you) the vibe at their outdoor patio is always welcoming and perfect for anything from a business lunch to meeting friends for a drink after work.

 

* Thank you to Romagna Ready 2 Go for a great meal and lovely service. Opinions are my own.*

Governors Ball Recap: My favorite #EEEEEATS and where to get them

I’ll be honest, I have never really been a music festival kind of gal. Something about the amount of money you spend on tickets and the amount of people you have to deal with really kept me away for years. Don’t get me wrong, I love music but I guess I had been picky about where to enjoy it.

In a continuous effort to try new things around New York, I went ahead and got tickets to Governors Ball. I must admit, it was a picture of a ramen burger posted by @Infatuation that really did it for me (more on ramen burgers soon, promise).

I can now say, music festivals are an art and I am not opposed to continue practicing it. Especially when the festival not only offers good beats but also rocks it with the #eeeeeats. Don’t have to tell me twice. Sadly (or may I say, ironically) I knew the food line up better than the music line up. Oh well. Continue reading and you will find everything I ate during Governors Ball, together with info on how to get your hands on these awesome bits of happiness.


Ramen Burger from Ramen Burger

Is it a burger? Is it a mess of noodle fun? It’s both! I had  assumed that the sauce in this masterpiece was bbq but I was positively surprised to taste a special sauce that blew my mind (sesame based, maybe?). The noodles magically stayed in place and the rest is history. Go try it now at Smorgasburg!


Pulled Pork from Mighty Quinn’s BBQ

When pulled pork is messy, you know it’s good. My fiance Brian definitely hoarded this one! The toppings were a nice little addition that helped boost the already amazing taste of the pork.


Mac and Cheese from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

I can’t say no to a good mac and cheese. I should, but I usually can’t. You can tell the cheese they use at Beecher’s is a great quality blend that melts right into perfection, shouldn’t expect anything less from handmade cheese. It’s on my list to stop by their shop and go beyond the mac and cheese straight to the source of all the goodness, cheese.


Uma-ritto (Sushi Burrito) from Uma Temakeria

This is exactly what it sounds like. All the familiar flavors that can be associated with sushi, wrapped up in a handy burrito-like concept. To be honest, not the ideal music festival treat to carry around but man, it photographs so well, right?


Cheesesteak from Phil’s Steak 

Brian is from Philly, so we take cheesesteaks very seriously. We’ve ventured around New York and Hoboken trying to find that perfect, cheese-whiz infused bite and have not felt we’ve been successful just yet. Then Phil’s Steak came along and dare we say, this is the best cheesesteak in the area. Mind you, it is not my personal choice to add ketchup, I actually hate ketchup but Brian totally took over this round of food.


Grilled Corn Mexican Style from Café Habana

Nothing says love and commitment like eating some grilled corn under the rain. Yes, it was pouring at this point but that didn’t stop me from having one last bite. I am a big fan of Cafe Habana and use to get lunch there often when I worked in SoHo, definitely a fun place to go to.


BONUS: Shrimp Roll and Lobster Roll from Luke’s Lobster

Nothing says summer is real like a nice, flavorful lobster roll. Luke’s Lobster was also at Govball but I am cheating with this picture as it was taken the weekend before at Hoboken’s Pier 13. 🙂 Still, Luke’s is delicious. My favorite part (besides the actual seafood, of course) is their seasoning and the way they prepare their bread. It’s the perfect touch to accompany an already glorious seafood adventure.

Let’s be real, a girl can only eat so much in one day, even with the help of an equally hungry companion. Here are the other spots that I know and love that were also at Govball: By Chloe, Bluestone Lane, Souvlaki and Tacombi.

Can’t wait for next year’s Governors Ball, in the meantime, let’s keep on eating!

Where I Ate (Stuffed My Face) In Nashville

They say Nasvhille is the new Vegas when it comes to bachelorette parties. This post has nothing to do with that.

Recently, I was lucky enough to be in Nashville for business. Work all day meant dinner was my way to get to know this awesome city, and boy did I eat…

Below I share my main meals in Music City, there’s really something for everyone. Please follow along in chronological order of my trip and no, I am not including Panera meals during the event, sorry.

Biscuit Love

This was the main place in my list. Not only did it come highly recommended by several trusted food sources, but they honor biscuits which is one of the best things in this earth. I went straight to business and ordered the fried chicken biscuit with gravy.

We were told, however, we needed to order the signature plate…

Just by looking at that picture I swear I lose my focus. These little babies are made of fried biscuit dough, lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote. We got to meet the owner and it turns out this was a special recipe her husband use to make her all the time. Talk about true LOVE.

The Standard at The Smith

We stumbled upon this place our first night in Nashville. We were hungry, had no reservations and just wanted to have a nice meal before a busy day ahead. A little off the hustle and bustle from Broadway, The Smith is the only grand townhouse remaining in downtown Nashville. As you walk in you are immediately transported back to an era where sophistication and good quality reigned.

I am not usually a dirty martini fan, but my colleagues said The Standard’s iteration was the best. Blue cheese-stuffed olives? I can get on board with that. Oh, and also, red velvet cookie for dessert.

Martin’s BBQ

I may not be a bbq connoisseur, but my oh my, this may have been the best bbq I’ve ever had. Just thinking back to it makes me salivate again. Fortunately, my coworkers also take bbq seriously and we ordered the Big Daddy Sampler: half a rack of ribs, half a pound of pork, half a pound of brisket, half a chicken, six wings, cole slaw, mac and cheese, french fries and baked beans. Oh, and bread. Safe to say we did some serious damage.

Union Common

Nashville Food Smoked Chilled smoked mussels. At first we were confused at the thought of something that is both chill and smoked. It turns out they smoke the mussels to give them that authentic bbq taste, then they are served chilled with a special hot sauce. The result is an explosion in your mouth that your brain can’t put together. Is it bbq? Is it sea food? It’s a total experience.

Chuy’s

Chuy's Taco Salad

Funky, chill and delicious. That’s how I would describe Chuy’s. This wouldn’t be my first stop in Nashville because it’s a chain, it’s the kind of food that I can find elsewhere and it’s not even from Nashville, HOWEVER, it did not disappoint. It was a nice break from all the smoke and bbq, the ambiance in itself makes it a great night.

The Southern

The Southern Nashville Food Oysters

We ended the trip with one of the places that was on my list to begin with. We definitely recommend reservations. My favorite part? They fly their oysters in fresh every single morning. I personally love that kind of commitment to sea food! They had a nice selection of cocktails, definitely try something a little bit out of your element, you might be surprised!

Due to lack of reservations and time, I was not able to hit all the places in my list. Etch, Husk, Acme Feed + Seed, Loveless Cafe, Pancake Pantry and Rolf & Daughters were also recommended and they will be top of my list next time I am in town!

Here’s to country music, nice people and cowboy boots!

Nashville

Sorry, I’m Not Sorry


Current mood: vacation. I’m enjoying some time in my beautiful island, Puerto Rico. Have some great stuff to share soon, stay tuned, it’s going to be a good summer. 🙂

[Puerto Rico] I Need Summer

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I chose to live in a city where summers are short and winters are brutal. I chose to live in a place where beaches are not as pretty as the ones you gawk at on Instagram… they are also far. I chose to live in a place where weather messes up your mood and the winds blow away your cheer.

Ugh fine, call me out, I am being dramatic. I also chose to live in a pretty amazing city that offers me endless variety in food, people and adventures. So yes, rough and candid, that is New York City. So I will close my eyes and think of warmer days that I can enjoy by the water while I eat oysters and drink rose.

In the meantime, enjoy these totally unrelated pictures from Puerto Rico. I blame them for my misery. Actually, I blame this stupid winter weather that decides to act up on April (Spring!!!).

Hey, it’s not my fault I really belong in paradise.

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[Atlanta] Parks, Cocktails & Tiny Doors

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When you travel, you get a sometimes annoying urge to compare everything you see with something back home. Whether it’s intentional or not, there seems to be a need to call out how certain things remind you of home or mention how you’ve never seen anything like this back home.

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That being said, I really enjoyed my walk through the Atlanta BeltLine. Basically their own special version of the High Line in New York City. 🙂

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I only got to walk a section of the trail, but it was a nice escape from the city. Even though you’re still technically in the city and it’s not that far at all. My sister told me about a series of tiny doors that you can find throughout Atlanta and just the idea of the hunt got me excited. There are currently 8 tiny doors. I was only lucky to find one along the BeltLine, but I was very excited that I did! Learn more about #TinyDoorsAtl here!

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Through the BeltLine we got to Ponce City Market and let me tell you, it’s probably my favorite spot in Atlanta at the moment. Warning to my fellow Puerto Ricans, they pronounce it “Ponz”, I know it’s weird. Still, it’s such a cool spot. It has a trendy, old warehouse vibe with a booming marketplace and food hall. To me, it felt like a better version of the Chelsea Market in New York (there I go again, sorry).

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We stopped at Mineros for drinks and had the best chips I’ve had in a whiiiile. They were the perfect state of crunchy and came with a set of salsas for dipping, all of them delicious. I wish I had had more time and stomach space to go through all the cool food spots in Ponce City Market but hey, I will be back!

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Here are some other pictures of my walk that day through Piedmont Park and stay tuned for more Atlanta posts sharing all the delicious food I ate during my trip!

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