Life of Late ~ 7.15.16

This week felt like it lasted an eternity.  I think it’s due to the fact that I’m leaving today for a two week vacation – a vacation that includes LOTS of outdoor activities and very minimal screen time.  Part of me is bummed that I’m not venturing up to Canada with a majority of November Project peeps for the annual NP_Summit, but come on, Alaska is pretty tough to pass up on.

In other news, next week officially begins the start of the 16-week training plan for the 2016 New York City Marathon.  I have been going through the plan that my Virtual Trainer set up and then inputting notes into a custom excel document.  #typeAproblems.  I have a goal in mind but I also want to take it one step at a time and reevaluate as necessary.  To be honest, those long runs look quite daunting when written in excel, but I know that with a little help from the running community (so basically all of my NP friends that are also running), we can get this done.

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^^  New York has started up Monday workouts with last Monday featuring Indiana Jones sprints across the Manhattan Bridge.  I’m not sure how many I can attend if I really want to stick to my training schedule, but it was an excellent workout and clutch for that NYC hill training.

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^^ Of course I do socialize with friends in other ways than working out. It may not appear that way on the blog but hey, here we are dressed up (well with the exception of makeup because I was just lazy)

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^^ NYC East Village’s Veselka ~ Ukranian food, famous pierogis, and bucket list check!

Digiday ~ “Pokemania Rages and Nintendo Brand Soars” ~ With Pokemon turning 20 years old, the Nintendo Franchise is celebrating with a BOOM.  That boom is called Pokemon Go and this augmented reality game is taking over like a storm.  In one way, it’s great that people are exploring their communities with this game (you search for Pokemon in various locations) buuut it has also led some users to not so tactful locations such as Holocaust Museum and Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial.  Yeah, not so cool.

Huffington Post ~ “For the Record” ~ You go Jennifer Aniston

Sometimes Always Never ~ “Friendships at 29 vs. 24” ~ While I’m only 25, I feel as though these posts speak to me more than others.  I am constantly meeting new people, experiencing life in different ways than I would have predicted and as a result, some of my friendships inherently ebb and flow.  Some friends go in and out of connection, drifting away from what originally brought us together, and yet there are others that resurface later in life.  “I’ve learned that it’s important that we create space for one another to grow.” (source)

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PureWow ~ “Things a Foodie Would Never Do” ~ Good to note. The chef probably did things for a reason.

Buzzfeed ~ “The Most Popular Ice Cream Shops By State” ~ Yes this is subjective but hey, Sunday is National Ice Cream Day.  So sure, a road trip to every national park is cool, but what if it was supplemented with a tour of all the best ice cream shops??  Do I need to remind you what Sunday is?  Get pumped.

Great Big Story ~ “Mikey Likes It Ice Cream” ~ Solid East Village, NYC pop-cultures inspired selection and good story (<2 min video)

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^^ A little bit of speedwork at Tuesday’s Party With Purpose 5K.  It was a fun race run in Hoboken, stacked with November Project folks, and some very attractive people.  Some of my friends were going to try to PR and win the $250 gift card from Tracksmith and spoiler – they did!

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It was a otherwise typical race for me where I thought about running an easy race, but actually jetted out like a bat out of hell.  Garmin clocked me around 22:34, which wasn’t good enough for a PR but still a solid effort.

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I’m going to be MIA around the blog for a few weeks as my goal for vacation is to go as technology-free as possible.  But, I am addicted to Instagram so that will most likely updated on the daily.  What can I say, I’m a millennial.

Enjoy the weekend!

Meanwhile in Tuxedo

Another summer day and another outdoors adventure.  It’s safe to say that I spend more time reminiscing and dreaming about hiking now than I did when I lived in California.  I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I’m surrounded in concrete and yearning for that outdoors experience.  Although to be fair, I also spent a lot of time wishing I was spending more time outdoors in college and well, it was college.  I definitely could have done so back then.

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Anyways, thank goodness for active friends who are willing to try something new.  Even if it means taking New Jersey Transit from NYC to Tuxedo, New York to go hiking.  Yeah, I’m not sure how we got that one, but we made it.

Our options for the 4th of July weekend hikes were between Bear Mountain, Breakneck Ridge, and Beacon.  Many of us had raced Bear Mountain for the North Face Endurance Challenge and weren’t exactly too keen to revisit that course, but found a different part of the mountain to explore.

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^^ All set with the very smooth and tasty (yet a bit high on the sugar scale) Noosa and Califia experiment.  I’m much more of a fan of almond milk lattes with the barista blend, but this on the go brew was solid enough.  Some of the other folks picked up bagels near Penn Station at Best Bagel & Coffee but I was saving up for dinner at Parm.  More salivating pictures and reviews on that to come.

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We weren’t entirely sure what type of hike or route we were going to take but thankfully one of the gals had brought a map along with her, so we weren’t too terribly lost.

IMG_8519IMG_8527 13584748_10154295469682813_4783836227838467758_oIMG_8193^^ Huge fan of NUUN, an electrolyte tablet that you can pop in your water to shake up hydration.  It’s pretty popular among runners and folks on-the-go and as you can see, perfect to pop in any bag when traveling or even keep at work!

Those looking for the nitty gritty, the electrolytes packed in these tablets (namely >> sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium) help reduce cramps and improve muscle function and recovery.

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IMG_8520 IMG_8514IMG_8535 IMG_8518 IMG_852813567132_10154201007110330_6071703245614202437_nIMG_8529IMG_8531IMG_852213521918_10154201007200330_1973019190873832069_n IMG_8533IMG_8536^^ We may not have found a true look out point but this side of the mountain provided quite a nice view.  We even had an encounter with a deer! Don’t worry, we didn’t actually touch the deer, but I got some decent action shots.

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We made it back around 3:30 to catch the early afternoon train into NYC.  From there it was off to PARM and oh what a tasty treat that was.  To be continued…

“Whenever the sun is shining, I feel obligated to play outside!”
― Charles M. Schulz

Life of Late ~ 7.8.16

Well it looks like I have jinxed myself believing that we could get through a summer without humidity.  Mother Nature is probably laughing and thinking “as if”.  I’m talking it is SO HUMID.  I have beads of sweat dripping down my forehead the minute I walk outside and those spur of the moment thunderstorms make for a lovely walk home. Nothing like an east coast summer, right?

My plans of late have been organized anywhere from 2 to 24 hours before hand, which is quite different than growing up where we had everything planned out to the hour.  Each method has its positives and negatives but I’ve had to rely on more  “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” schedules here in the city.  I figure there are so many people coming and going, so many people asking each other plans so they can figure out what best suits their interests and schedules, and hey, if no one else wants to go somewhere I can do it on my own.  #independence.

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^^ Hometown BBQ with some friends.  We arrived to the Brooklyn joint around 4pm, which was perfect since I needed all those hours following the meal to digest.  Surprisingly there were quite a few parties already eating so they must have had the three day weekend BBQ plan in mind as well.  Looking back, I definitely give the cornbread, brisket, and potato salad two thumbs up.  The mac and cheese was solid but nothing seems to beat the Whole Foods spread.

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^^ Fast forward to Saturday morning after consuming a whole lot of water and TUMS, I met up with some November Project friends to go hiking.  I plan on doing a photo dump later this week since it was a neat experience.  But the soup to nuts version is that we took a train up to Tuxedo, finagled our way to a lake somehow, logged over 8 miles, and were back in the city by 5:30.  To think that I usually sit at my desk for that long…

^^ Another foodie adventure to Lil Frankies where an empty stomach and wallet of cash is necessary.  It’s actually not too pricey  but it is cash only.  You MUST get the burrata and lemon pasta.

When I’m home in a few weeks, I am thinking that some ice cream will be in order (when is it not?)  I would love to check off one or two of the top places to get ice cream in Los Angeles and having already been to Milk, it’s looking like Salt & Straw or Paradis in Montrose.  I’m 99% sure this location is actually related to the Paradis in Copenhagen!

November Project ~ “You’re more than what you do, you’re how you treat people” >> Another transition in leadership in the SF tribe with a so-long post, definitely worth shedding tears over.   To those thinking that they need to find some meaning in their job, their day to day, or whatever it may be – read this.  It’s just yet another reminder that we are multi-faceted human beings and are defined by so much more than our jobs.

Great Big Story ~ How cool would it be to work for something that produces this content?  Anyways, there was a short about Bodie, “The Ghost Town that Time Forgot“.  My parents took us on a short visit one time because it’s located right near our favorite mountain spot – Mammoth Mountain, snug in the Sierra Nevadas.  It also happens to be the namesake of our dog Bodie!  Take a look – the clip is less than 2 minutes long.

Currently Watching >> Whatever I can find on television that catches my attention.  Once I worked my way through ‘Grace and Frankie‘, it was onto ‘Orange is the New Black‘ (OMG…this season), and then … crickets.  Similarly to reading, it takes me awhile to find a show or novel that catches hold.  Once I do find something that I love, I’m hooked and terribly disappointed when it is over.   Other shows and documentaries include:

  • ‘Fed Up’
  • ‘Forks over Knives’
  • CNN’s ‘The Sixties’
  • ‘Uncle Buck’
  • ‘Seinfeld’

I’ve tried to get into older series like ‘The Twilight Zone’, the original ‘Star Trek’, Hulu’s 11.22.63, and even ‘Scandal’ but those are still sitting in my queue.

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^^ Last Sunday’s bRUNch! After five or so miles in the heat, I was ready for some ice cream or rather three full lemonades and then ice cream.

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On the actual fourth of July, I took a slow jog over the Brooklyn Bridge to meet my friend Jackie for a strength class of epic proportion.  It kicked our a$$ that’s for sure.

After a brunch at Le Pain, I made my way to the west side to hang out with friends, play the game Codenames, and earn a nice little sports bra tan-line.  That will be oh so attractive in my bridesmaid dress later this summer.  Although who knows how bad it’ll be by the end of the summer, so I’ll probably have to find some good spray tanner.

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^^ That evening I got together with a couple of different friends and we had a summer salad soiree. Between Annelise’s adult fruit salad, Melissa’s divine deviled eggs and my Greek salad, we were set!  Of course there were a few other items to make for quite a potluck spread for the three of us.  Our thought was to snack until the fireworks went off around 9:30 but of course we had consumed everything by 7:45 and the rain started to pour down around 8:45.

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^^ This is the FDR, which is NEVER this clear.  Not even at 11pm when I’m in an uber back from the airport.  Nope.

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^^ Despite the semi-surprise rain shower (it was supposed to rain at 11pm, not 9pm), we hopped back into Annelise’s apartment and then back out in time to see the Macy’s spectacular.  Successful check off the bucket list!

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bRUNch ~ Smorgasburg Edition

Checking off that summer GOMO list with a run to one of Brooklyn’s famous weekly festivals called Smorgasburg.  The food extravaganza is held every week on Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Prospect Park (open from 11am-6pm) and is perfect for the city that loves to brunch.  It’s also perfect for testing out those hip new food trends you see all over the internet or most notably – Instagram.  For one, I’m talking about the raindrop cake, explained as a “blob-like cake” that really just tastes like flan-jello.  Yeah, I passed on that one.  But hey, it’s a unique experience.

Last Sunday my friends Annelise, Melissa, and I decided to run into Brooklyn for the Prospect Park Smorgasburg version.  It was a classic Kaitlin #runtoeat experience if I do say so myself and certainly a trend to continue as I get into marathon training.  Melissa lives in the upper east side and Annelise lives in midtown so it was a runpool of sorts, bopping from location to location until everyone was in tow.

It’s roughly 5 miles from my place to the park, which was perfect for a light jog.  I hadn’t originally planned to run last weekend but this new Kaitlin (sort of) knows how to go with the flow.  We also strategized our run to end right around 11am when the eats opened and despite the stop and go street light traffic, made it right on time!

IMG_8206^^ When you give Kaitlin a funky sign or statue, she must take a picture with it.  I had actually used this as my picture for daily twice-daily Instagram and Strava, only to then learn that THE Smorgasburg Instagram account had reposted it! They ended up with over 950 likes versus my 60 but same same.

IMG_8208 (1)Once our photoshoot and stretch fest was over, I bee-lined it to a stand with lemonade and Annelise scouted out some iced coffee.  I swear, when the temperatures rise, lemonade is all that I want after a hot trot outdoors.  This cranberry lemonade was small (or maybe I just drank it too fast…) so I followed up with an iced green tea.

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^^ As we made the rounds, scouting out which options we would order and split, Annelise spotted a butternut squash donut to tide us over.  I’m not usually a doughnut person – I just post the pictures for social media but man, this was a winner.  The dense and flavorful dough with a sweet sugary finish. Delightful.

*Do make note that most stands are CASH ONLY.  They have ATMs on premise but that wouldn’t really work for someone who rarely brings an ATM card with them. 

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^^ First up, an authentic Venetian sandwich made with tomato, mozzarella, and bread that is FLOWN FROM VENICE ($9.80).  We deducted that the bread was similar to Wonder Bread, Smucker’s Uncrustables, or potato bread but obviously much healthier since it was Italian.

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^^ Debating our dessert early on…vegan pastries?  Or Alchemy Ice Cream?  The later is one of the latest health desserts that is not only dairy-free and animal-friendly but gluten-fee, vegan, and kosher.  Oh and it actually tastes good. Shocker.  Sadly it doesn’t have its own store, but can be found in plenty of grocery stores (mostly Brooklyn), online, and of course Smorgasburg weekly.

IMG_8209^^ Another viable dessert option from Butter & Scotch’s Boozy Bakers.  These guys are known for their desserts but I also highly recommend their breakfast biscuit sandwiches.  We may have scheduled a long run entirely around Brooklyn, ending there to refuel.

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^^ Second meal of morning for our group >> multi-grain arepa with chicken, cheese, and garnish on top. This was definitely a crowd-pleaser among Melissa and Annelise, due to the extra flavor packed on top, but I thought the arepa base was a bit difficult to chew.

IMG_8219Shockingly I was reaching a point of beyond fullness as we reached our dessert but a few bites of this mint brownie sandwich hit the spot >> soft brownie cookie (gluten-free!) with dark chocolate shell (inside the sandwich), and mint ice cream.

It’s always more fun to eat out with others, especially when you run (literally and figuratively) in a pack that is down to share.  That way you are able to sample oh so much more with far less of the belly ache.

Smorgasburg
(Williamsburg Nov. ’13 + June ’14)
~ Website ~ Brooklyn Flea ~
Williamsburg – 1a-6p @ East River State Park
Prospect Park – 11a-6p @ Breeze Hill (Lakeside/Lincoln Road)

MDW ’16 in Review ~ New York Staycation

Ah Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s a relatively jam-packed with activities and of course holds a couple of meanings  The main purpose of the day, one that used to be known as Decoration Day, is to pay tribute to all the men and women who have died in military service for the United States.  To all of you, thank you.

This day and ultimately weekend also serves as the start to summer, the beginning of beach days, and historically in the fashion world – the “ok” to wear white.  Now that last point has sort of gone out the window and you can see women wearing it all points of the year, especially in Southern California where the seasons fluctuate between summer and mild summer with maybe some 50’s thrown in there.

Memorial Day Weekend is one holiday weekend that I never really have had solid plans for.  Growing up we would have a fun run on Monday or possibly go up to Mammoth Mountain.  I have been to the Jersey Shore for a few days and even a trip to go white-water rafting.

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I can look at this last weekend in one of two ways.  One – I didn’t get my act together to plan a trip or full weekend excursion or two – I worked on creating some open ended plans that would allow me to relax a bit and not go into some busy weeks at work completely exhausted.  Let’s go with the latter.

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^^ Remember when I mentioned that I loved Westville’s salad so much?  Yeah well when I was given the ok to leave work on Friday, I decided to go back down to 18th street, have a solo salad and then make my way back to Central Park to meet up with Lindsay and a few of her friends for a bit.  It was amazing to see how many people were out in Sheep’s Meadow.  While the heat did get a bit bothersome at times, if you stayed in the shade it was absolutely lovely.

From the park, Lindsay and I made our way to CitiField where we were able to watch our Los Angeles boys in blue take on the Mets!  It may not have been the best start for the Dodgers as they were down 5-1 by the 8th inning.  Lindsay and I thought they were out for the count and had started to make our way back to the city on the 7 train when I got a text from my mom saying the following “Dad hopes that you are still watching the game since it’s tied 5-5.”  Well if that’s not a guilt trip…Just kidding.

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There were a ton of people on the train and we were all kicking ourselves in the pants.  I just claimed that we were typical LA fans – arrive late and leave early.  The real excitement was Saturday when Chase Utley hit a grand slam for the Dodger win!

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Saturday I decided to give myself the day off from working out and instead Lindsay and I got up early to hit the beach.  We left the apartment around 8:30, picked up some snacks and caffeinated beverages at Starbucks and were on the sand by 11:30.  Now that it’s beach season, the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) has various beach deals including one to Long Beach – $23 round trip fare and access to the beach (normally $15).  I guess they charge at most beaches in order to maintain the classiness or cleanliness.  Either way, it does make for a better experience, especially if you make it a full day.

We may have been overeager on the sun and less than smart on the sunscreen.  I had thought it would be easy to spray myself periodically with the spray bottle but apparently that was not enough.  When I got home it looked like I wore some fancy schmancy suit that had cut-outs on the sides.  Let’s be clear that I did not wear that.  So from 7pm onward I sat and applied aloe, ate Bareburger and watched Disney Channel movies from the 100th episode celebration.  Adulting at its finest.

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^^ Sunday started with my last ClassPass class at KORE.  We worked for about 45 minutes with kettle bells, TRX ropes, and our own body weight.  The music was good, the bathrooms were fancy, and the lighting was a bit too much disco-esque.  I didn’t feel it too much right after the class but boy did I feel the burn the next morning.

Once finished, I hopped back on a Citi bike, prepped breakfast for the week and got ready for day #2 of the beach.  This time we were keeping it cheap and taking the A train out to Rockaways.  Turns out we went to the surfing spot, which doesn’t exactly allow for swimming.  Good to know.

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Once we got past the loud family and two parties playing loud music (really people, is that necessary?  How about listening to the ocean waves), everything was just fine.  I had brought my second book – The Lake House by Kate Morton – and alternated between reading and napping and glaring at our neighbors.  We actually didn’t even make it into the water because an odd fog started to roll in and we took our cue to depart.

To be 100% honest – the beaches are nothing like those in California.  I grew up going to Laguna Beach and there seriously is nothing better – the waves, the color of the ocean – the cleanliness (on most…).  That or Hawaii but we can’t all have Hawaii all the time.  It is sort of hard to trek all the way out with all your goods, but that’s part of growing up and exploring new areas.  Maybe I’ll stumble across a few other beaches this summer and make a list of pros/cons.

I’d like to say we went home and got dressed to go party but that would be a lie.  I sat right down and applied aloe and watched some excellent Disney films.  1) Johnny Tsunami, 2) ZENON and then 3) Teen Beach Movie, which seemed like a mash-up of modern day Johnny Tsunami (mostly for the poor kids who will never watch it) and Grease.  I was actually highly satisfied with all three and then got 8+ hours of sleep.  Now that’s an awesome weekend.

Monday Monday Monday.  After waking up to a cool apartment at 8:15am, it was off to the gym for a spin class and barre class.  I was supposed to go biking to a brewery but with 100% chance of showers, that plan was busted.  Once I set off for the gym a funny thing happened.  IT DIDN’T RAIN ALL DAY.  Get that meteorologists.  Anyways, it was probably for the better because I was able to stock up on some cleaning supplies, work through the apartment and get prepped for the week.

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I did meet up with my two friends that I was supposed to bike with and we tested out a new brunch spot instead.  I had selected this place (Jane) based on the reviews of the burger and bloody mary.  I did not get the burger and was actually not a fan of the bloody mary but did love the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for what it’s worth.

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And that folks was a New York staycation.  A bit hap-hazard of a write-up as there was no real itinerary but we made do with our resources and it was one to remember.  Oh and for one little teaser of where I wish I could be – Curacao – with this view.  This is what a couple of my friends have seen for the past week.  Sunsets (NO FILTER) like this on the daily with plenty of sun and perfect surf to go around.

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“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things” – Robert Brault

Brunch Buds at Gotan, Manhattan

I tend to surround myself with people who like to work out and eat, which sounds absolutely wonderful don’t you agree?  Well, being in New York City is the cherry on top since we are basically surrounded by an amazing array of places to dine at.  So many options, so little time (money) it seems.  Most of my weekends do involve some sort of run to eat (or eat to run) and that’s where I’m heading today.

Jump back a few days to the Brooklyn Half where over 27,000 runners made their way from Prospect Park to the Coney Island Boardwalk.  Sure, Coney Island is home to the famous Nathan’s hot dog, but for some reason a frankfurter and beer wasn’t really going to cut it for me that day.  I was craving real food – something warm and something filling.  One of my friends Lauren, blogger at Peanut Butter is My Boyfriend, had finished the race and also happens to be a go-to resource for all things foodie.  Really though, she is one of the top foodies I know and has a stacked list of places to go to.

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We knew our options in Coney Island were slim and wanted to make it back to the main island (sorry Brooklyn).  This was definitely the best plan of action since I would have been one big crank without food.  Although, looking back, I had extreme FOMO of all the people dancing their soreness away at the beer garden.  See what I mean? FOMO issues.  I’ve got a good post coming down the pipeline about that.  But for now back to delicious food.

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A few of the November Project peeps rallied and together we broke away from the chaos and mozied back to the subway to then endure the 90 minute commute home.  Once back in the city, we made our way north to midtown and then to Gotan per Lauren’s recommendation.  She had eaten there twice previously (that week as it happens) and was raving about their options.  I’m going to do my best to review what we ate but I highly recommend reading her thoughts here.

IMG_7336^^ It was practically 12:30 by the time we had arrived so our options were evenly split between breakfast and lunch items.  We all went for savory options and decided to order a couple sweets for the table – one being the PB&J toast with sprinkled coconut.  Here’s a look at the pour-over brew and tuna + avocado salad.  Lauren goes into the making of the coffee and why it’s an emphasis at this restaurant.

IMG_7340^^ I could not pass up the option to order eggs and kale, a combination I am oh to familiar with at home but love so much.  The addition of chorizo, sweet potato and hummus was quite possibly divine.  The yolks were perfectly runny as every brunch egg dish should be.

IMG_7341 ^^ Here is more of an over-head look at our eats, soon to be demolished.  #halfmarathongoals.  And no, these plates were not all for one person (though that would be impressive or maybe slightly nauseating).  Lauren was able to eat with the owners and get the scoop of pretty much each and every dish.  While we couldn’t really order everything on the menu, we did try.  The peanut butter toast was a simply solution to satisfy everyone’s sweet cravings while we all enjoyed our own savory dish.

Dining out with a bunch of millennial foodies meant that we had to pause to take pictures before diving in to take a bite.  We really must look like a strange bunch with cameras and phones coming from all different directions, stretching for the perfect angle to share on Instagram (and the blog…). You’re welcome.

Since Gotan is still relatively new, there wasn’t much of a crowd but I’m sure when word gets out that will all change.  Until then, I’ll try to make it back and maybe, just maybe try something new.

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” — Julia Child