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Bold Bean Coffee Roasters


I’m not even going to beat around the bush here: Bold Bean Coffee Roasters absolutely, 100% lives up to the hype. I am so glad to have this place right around the corner from my home (& it’s on my way to work, score!).

Situated at the corner of College & Stockton, Bold Bean Coffee has created a fresh & modern space cool for early morning coffee, late afternoon lattes & evening beers. Yes, they serve beer (Bold City, to be exact). You’re welcome.
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I was a little overwhelmed looking at the menu:

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I mean, so many options… Where do I begin? I’d heard plenty of raving about the honey latte on Twitter, but I was skeptical. I mean, Starbucks tried this a few years ago (when I worked there actually) & I felt it was a massive failure. It just missed the mark completely.

But Bold Bean? Hit the nail on the head with this one. The espresso was fresh & strong, while the honey gave it the perfect complement of sweetness.

& of course, I had to try the Bacon & Cheddar scone:

I mean, I wouldn’t have my bacon-loving reputation if I didn’t try the bacon item almost every where I go. Typically, I’m a fan of sweet scones & not necessarily savory ones, but this was also fantastic. Like many scones end up, this wasn’t too hard. Not too bacon-y. Not too cheddar-y. Jussssst right.

Perfection. Can’t love it enough.

Bold Bean Coffee on Urbanspoon

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TacoLu

This is such a long overdue post, it’s not even funny. I’ve been talking about going to TacoLu for the purposes of a blog post for months now. I wanted to make sure I went during the day so I could get good natural light photos, but I just rarely make it out to the Beach during the day. I always go at night & forget my camera. & the iPhone pictures just do not do it justice. TacoLu’s food is vibrant & beautiful. It deserves photos that show those qualities & do the talking.

Then I finally made it happen. & I remembered to bring my camera. Double win.

I can’t go to TacoLu without ordering a Skinny Saint:

This skinny margarita would make Bethenny Frankel cry tears of bliss because it’s that good. It has an excellent balance of sweetness & tart without being too extreme on either side. Perfect.

Fat kid alert – I also can’t go without ordering queso:

Why is white queso better than yellow queso? I don’t know, but it always is… hands down, no questions.

Some of the best items at TacoLu aren’t on the menu, so always make sure to ask your server about the daily specials. They often feature various fish tacos, lobster tacos, the Carne Royale (carne asada with brie? yes please!), pork belly tacos… The list goes on.

But there’s still some gems on the menu… Like the Bangin’ Shrimp Taco:

The Carnitas:

& my personal favorite, the $10 Taco (but it’s only $4.99):

Filet mignon on a taco? Mmmm heaven.

I really cannot say enough good things about TacoLu. Yes, I know, the parking situation sucks, but it’s a lot better now that there is valet. Yes, the service used to be slow, but in my past few visits, it’s gotten remarkably better & I had fantastic service on this particular visit. Yes, it’s crowded. But it’s crowed for a reason – because it’s that good (& it’s affordable – did I mention that?). 

Keep it up, Lu!
TacoLu on Urbanspoon

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Happy New Years Eve

The world is on my side
I have no reason to run
So will someone come and carry me home tonight
The angels never arrived
But I can hear the choir
So will someone come and carry me home

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Cooking for One

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced now that I live alone is meal planning & cooking for one.

I haven’t had to cook for just myself since college & back then I wasn’t the healthiest eater. I worked in a restaurant & ate a lot of fried crap. I seldomly cooked. Things are a little bit different these days & it’s a totally new experience for me.

So far, here’s how I’ve been coping:

1) Making something I can eat pretty much all day every day

I have a love affair with tacos. Carnitas taco from TacoLu? Yum. Buffalo Chicken Tacos? Yum. Black bean & corn tacos pictured above? Extra yum. Tacos all day every day.

2) Making a casserole & freezing individual portions:

This Chicken & Curry Casserole is a favorite of mine (I sub the mayo for greek yogurt). I eat it a night or two, then freeze the rest for easy lunches & dinners.

3) Say “fuck it” & make mac & cheese:

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On A Personal Note…

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Yesterday, I ran 10 miles with Ashley, had Stacey & Stephanie over & watched an FSU victory over Duke.

Today, I mowed the lawn, went grocery shopping & ran another 3 miles.

Tomorrow, I will get up, go to work & probably come home & run some more.

There’s something noticeably missing from my days – my husband.

I hadn’t intended to really talk about this here, but for some reason I feel like I at least need to address it. I feel like it’s the elephant in the room at this point, but we’re filing for divorce this week.

When I said “I Do” two & a half years ago, I never imagined I’d be going through this now. I’m sad & mourning the loss of a relationship, but I’m relieved all at the same time. I am quite hopeful for the future & thankfully I’m surrounded by some pretty incredible people. Most of all, I’m ready to move on with my life.

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you

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Taps Bar & Grill

Happy Friday! It’s been a long, sleepless week & I’m needing a lot of coffee this morning. Lately, Fridays have been requiring more coffee than Mondays. Could it be because of Thirsty Thursdays? Who knows.

Last night Brandon & I went to a delicious locally owned restaurant near our house thanks to some entertainment book coupons from Ashlee. We discovered Taps Bar & Grill shortly after moving into our house last summer & it quickly became one of our favorite nearby places. The menu serves up what I like to call dressed up bar food – ahi tuna, paninis, wings, gorgonzola steak salads, buffalo chicken wraps, flatbreads, etc:
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& an impressive beer selection. I appreciate bars that serve microbrews & imports on tap:

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I also love how Taps always seems to have at least one local Jacksonville beer. Typically, it’s Intuition Ale Works’ I-10 IPA, but Bold City Brewery’s Dukes Brown Ale makes quite a few appearances on their board as well. Jacksonville has a great emerging local beer scene & it’s nice to see local restaurants & beers supporting the movement.

Brandon went for the Cheeseburger Wrap, no Cheese:

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Their french fries are amazing. I’m practically a french fry connoisseur & these were delightful. Love my fries with skin on them & not too salty & perfectly seasoned.

& I strayed from my usual Gorgonzola Steak Salad & instead ordered the Baja Chicken Salad:

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I wasn’t expecting fried chicken on top of my salad, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Crispy, with light breading & a hint of buttermilk. I’m a fan.

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