Powamekka Cafe

imageWhat happens when Tupac envisions his own restaurant and leaves the blueprint for the concept?  Sweet Chick, nestled in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan, brings this idea to life 20 years later and becomes Powamekka Cafe for you to enjoy over a 3-day stint.  It was time for yet another much needed catch up and I’m so happy she suggested going to this.

The cafe was filled with pictures of Tupac from childhood to adulthood, portraits of what I took to be some of his musical influences and even newly designed restroom signs for the “playaz” and “divaz”.  Handwritten notes from Tupac about the restaurant concept, infamous quotes from the artist himself and never seen before poetry also lined the walls of this pop-up cafe.  Classic songs from Tupac flowed throughout and definitely made you feel his presence.  Although I knew this was not going to happen, it felt like at any given moment Tupac was going to appear surprisingly and thank the patrons for stopping by and supporting his vision. That’s just how much the ambiance made you feel his presence even in his absence.

The menu was made up of the artists’ favorite meals so for my entree I went with the meatloaf.  This wasn’t just ordinary meatloaf; it actually was made with duck and short rib.  The dish also came with mashed potatoes and a creamy mushroom sauce.  Delicious is an understatement for this one.  I cannot recall what was in my mixed drink but I definitely picked it solely based on the name “Queen of Cali”.  Overall I was very happy with my experience at this Tupac inspired restaurant and Sweet Chick did a phenomenal job of executing the concept that was laid out for Powamekka Cafe.  Enjoy the pics below.

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LES Kitchen

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The Lower Eastside of Manhattan is the home of some of my favorite food spots.  Let’s add LES Kitchen to that list.  Nestled on Essex St this neighborhood burger spot does not disappoint with their menu.  If I had to put their food in a category, comfort would be the most fitting.  I love a good burger but especially when it has a different touch of something special that the restaurant adds as their little signature.  The house sauce is that special something at LES Kitchen along with the burger and topping combos they offer.  I went with the Truffle Shuffle which had the grilled portobello, caramelized onions, provolone cheese and their house sauce.  Cooked medium and tasted amazing!  My husband went with the Mighty Bacon which kind of gives you the American classic cheeseburger feel since it has the applewood smoked bacon, cheese and their special sauce.  You can never go wrong with a true burger classic.  We also tried the Kitchen Sink fries.  Okay let’s just say the kitchen sink name may be an understatement.  These fries came with cheese, roast pork, ribeye, peppers, bacon, fried egg, and caramelized onions.  I think this was the best part of our meal!  I am so glad I could make it here. It’s a nice little counter serve restaurant that’s serving some of the best comfort food in town.  Please give them a try whenever you’re in the LES.  Tell them I sent you 😊

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Meet Tia: Whole New You

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When one of your favorite girlbosses comes in town, you must be where they are right?  Despite the rescheduling due to the snowstorm and the brittle cold, I made my way to see Mrs. Tia Mowry-Hardrict in support of her newest venture.  She released a cooking/lifestyle book titled ‘Whole New You’ and the book signing was held at Barnes & Noble in the Tribeca area.

This wasn’t just your typical book signing.  Like buy the book, hey guys I’m here, sign the book and then that’s pretty much it.  Tia had an intimate conversation with us and did a brief Q&A as well.  She discussed her new book of course, her battle with endometriosis which was a huge contributing factor for the book and gave helpful cooking tips.  I definitely wouldn’t consider myself an executive chef over here but it was nice to hear that these recipes weren’t that intimidating or hard to make.  I absolutely love Tia and everything she stands for.  A successful actress, very family oriented, shows there can be true work life balance, host of her own cooking show and overall a real go getter.  Tia is the epitome of a true girlboss and an inspiration to many many people, including myself. It was such a pleasure to finally meet her.  I always thought I would see her randomly while in LA but New York you made it happen!  Hopefully we will cross paths again soon as the journey of this citygal continues.

BEC

imageAfter my recent visit to LA, I raved about the place Egglsut for their take on a simple breakfast; their bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a brioche bun.  Well guys BEC is coming as a strong competitor here in New York.  Same concept but their bun has bacon bits and cheese baked on top.  Yes! You read that correctly 🙂

I stumbled across this little gem while venturing in Chelsea for new eyeglasses and immediately jotted it down in my notes to come and check it out later. Well the day had come and I made my way back over to BEC to have breakfast for lunch.  It’s cue and quaint inside with the long wooden shareable bench seating along the wall and other small tables for dining in.  I went with the BEC classic which only seemed like the right thing to do.  The classic has  two eggs, bacon and sharp cheddar cheese on a brioche bun.  Not forgetting the bacon and cheese on top of the bun.  To stay within my breakfast themed lunch, I ordered freshly squeezed orange juice as well.  This sandwich literally melts in your mouth.  They’ve mastered this classic breakfast sandwich and added their own little twist to it.  I love when I find a new restaurant and they exceed my expectations.  Guys please give this place a visit if you’re in the Chelsea area.  You won’t regret it!

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XIX Tour

imagePromptly at 8pm the lights dimmed in the Highline Ballroom and the first opening act appeared.  After a few songs, the artist revealed his name.  Major Myjah.  Major definitely wowed the crowd with his melodic tunes and kept the energy high with a few upbeat songs as well.  I absolutely loved his energy and the vibe from his song with the hook “California Living” was perfect for this crowd.  Shortly thereafter, the second act, Candace Boyd, also held down her own with very relatable tracks.  Some about being in love, others about the break up and indifference you feel afterwards with her track titled”What’s her name”.  The ability for both of these artists to capture the crowd and keep the energy flowing throughout was very admirable for two up and coming music artists.  Hats off to them!

Now it was time.  The fluorescent XIX sign was lit and Ro James appeared with a bright orange jumpsuit resembling that of a car mechanic, round gold rimmed frames, a striped hat with a patterned scarf underneath.  Oh so fitting for his Eldorado album.  The soulfulness and R&B was heard in every song that he sang with much passion and clarity so you could hear every word that he spoke.  I always immediately think of the perfect mix of Maxwell and Prince when I hear him sing.  James’ vocal abilities and variation in range shown on his tracks automatically captivate you.  I just sat and watched him lay it all out on the line while he sang “Everything” and knew it was very much heartfelt.  I appreciated the intimacy and personal stories that James shared as well.  From the naming of his album, as his first car was a 92′ Eldorado, the love he experienced with a Scorpio and his incomparable relationship with ‘Lisa’.  Or the relationship he shared that allowed him to make my favorite track ‘A.D.I.D.A.S.’ and the influence from his mother to write a song not just about love or relationships but other real life factors that we all face, hence the creation of ‘Holy Water’.  I’m sure I can pinpoint a couple favorites that are in fact your go to’s that you can relate to.  To hear Ro explain the meanings behind the songs and share the stories with fans put his music into a different perspective for me.

As the night progressed, James performed songs from his 3-part EP Coke, Jack and Cadillacs as well as Eldorado.  Some of the crowd favorites were ‘Already Knew That’, ‘Burn’ and A.D.I.D.A.S.  Toward the end of the show,  James did an acoustic opening of his hit ‘Permission’ and his band joined shortly after for the grand finale.  To say I enjoyed this concert is definitely an understatement.  I am definitely a fan of Ro James but left an even bigger one.  I  believe I recall James advising he had been doing music for about 10 years.  Well Ro, job well done.  Wishing him continued success.  More pictures below and check out the live video in the video section.

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Keep it 4Hunnid

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I was able to get my hands on this hoodie awhile back at YG’s pop up in NYC.  I love, love camo so getting this was a no-brainer for me.  I finally decided to pop the plastic and wear this.  Just an FYI,  this hoodie is greatly made and the material inside feels wonderful on my skin.  Now that that’s been covered back to the basics.  I simply paired this with black ripped denim from Old Navy.  Since its fairly cold, I wore fishnets underneath. I thought this gave a pretty cool look to have the nets show through the rips.  Also, fishnets keep you quite warm.  For the shoes, I immediately thought about a chill, Cali look.  You know what that means.  Bring out the classic vans!  These paired well with the camo and black.  Simple street style at its best. Check out more pics below.

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Dinner before Broadway

The dining experience at The Capital Grille is like no other. From the time my party was greeted at the door until the flutes filled with champagne were passed, I knew it was going to be a memorable experience.   Some of my family came to visit me in NYC and I decided to give this place a try for dinner before we ventured off to see ‘The Color Purple’.

Luckily it was three of us and we all wanted to have different entrees.  Well, lucky for me so I could do taste tests of the other options.  My aunt went with the lamb chops which was a great choice;  cooked to perfection and the restaurant gives a nice portion.  I went with the filet mignon of course, being a huge steak lover.  The filet practically melted in my mouth; the cut, seasoning and taste could not of been more perfect.  My cousin went with the restaurant’s special that they were offering at the time.  I cannot recall the type of fish but it was seared and topped with a homemade salsa consisting of peppers, fresh cilantro and avocado.  All three were absolutely amazing. As for the sides, sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes were our picks for the evening.  These both complimented everyone’s dish well.  I love restaurants with shareable sides.  This makes it easier for small groups and gives everyone a chance to try different things.

After having an appetizer, bread, salad and a full entree, dessert for me was out of the question.  To my surprise, our waiter had been paying very close attention and overheard I was soon to be married.  After our entrees were cleared from the table, he brought out champagne filled flutes and a cute little dessert.  Not only had the service been impeccable for our dinner reservation, but for the waiter to make it that much more memorable and special meant a lot to me.  We all left very pleased with an unforgettable NYC dining experience.  I cannot say enough about The Capital Grille in terms of the many things I was happy about.  Great choice for dinner with an amazing ambiance and superb staff.  I will definitely be back!

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Just a little Southern Hospitality

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You can always find a good barbecue place in NYC.  One that happens to be a pretty good choice in my opinion is Southern Hospitality.  Part owner, Justin Timberlake, brings his Southern roots to the heart of New York City with Memphis-style ribs, pulled pork, and the southern fried classics. I’ve visited for both brunch and diner and the food is always on point.  This particular visit I tried the brisket sandwich topped with fried onions and a sweet BBQ sauce.  All sandwiches are accompanied with a pickle and fries but the fries can be substituted of course. To balance it out, I normally try to add I side salad which was a great combination with this sandwich.  When someone tags along, I also try whatever they have and this time it was the infamous chicken and waffles. The cornbread waffles were cooked to perfection and the chicken was very flavorful as well.  Just the right amount of crisp with each bite.  Seeing that I am from the south myself, I love venturing off and finding places like these. Their take on Southern classics here are very good to say the least.  If you’re ever in the Times Square area and want to have some authentic Southern bbq with undeniable Southern hospitality, give them a try.

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Floral Obsession

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Summer is perfect to bring out floral print.  I’m absolutely obsessed!  The pants pictured here, I’ve owned for at least 4 or 5 years I believe.  I purchased them from Urban Outfitters and could never seem to find a top to compliment them.  While looking for something else one day in my closet, I ran across these and decided it’s time to wear them.  I went with a simple black cropped top purchased from H&M.  Since the pants have quite a few colors in them, the black pairs well.  For the shoes, I wore my favs for this summer;  my go to mules from Old Navy.  Purchasing these shoes may have been the best decision I’ve made all summer.  I literally wear them with everything and they are so comfy. The clutch is also from H&M and was another lucky steal I’ve gotten over the summer since it was only $7.  Check out the other full outfit pictures below.

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Greene St Vibes

imageLiving in New York, you come to learn that dressing comfortably is key.  I eyed this t-shirt dress from H&M for awhile and finally decided to just grab a small and see how it fitted later.  To my surprise, this dress fit perfectly!  A great investment for the summer and definitely worth the $14.99.  I paired it with a quilted rose gold patterned ‘Van-like’slip on shoe from Steve Madden.  These shoes are pretty comfy as well.  Pairing these with all black seemed to highlight the shoe more in my perspective and went well with this street comfy style.  I was Soho ready with this look.  Check out more pics below.

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