Monday, September 29, 2014

Restaurant Review - Cheapside Cafe

Last week for lunch, we headed over to Cheapside Cafe on a co-worker's recommendation that it seemed like something I would love. I love stuff I would off we went.

Cheapside Cafe is that little white restaurant over on 8th street that used to be a greek restaurant that I went to once but couldn't blog about because there was no name listed anywhere. Not inside, not outside, not online...but it was pretty good. So before we get started, RIP to the little white no-named greek restaurant that this place used to be.

But now it is cheapside cafe and it is fun and pretty and modern and has an interesting and different menu. And they serve breakfast all day...for any of you that are into that sort of thing.

Here is the menu:

Breakfast, sides, salads and sandwiches are the four categories....

They also had lots of choices of natural beverages including in house made sodas!

And locally made chips 

I didn't go for any chips this time.... but while some people have a weakness for cake and cookies, mine is definitely for really good crunchy, salty chips. So Lemongrass & Pink Peppercorn chips... I will be back for you.

They also had a little station to pick up your (real) silverware....yes! I wish more places would do this! ....and water or any sweeteners for your honey and raw sugar.

and speaking of drinks another thing I will be going back for is to try some of their extensive coffee offerings which included everything from drip coffee, to kegged cold coffee to an "espresso chinotto" which apparently includes house made tonic, espresso and soda...

I decided on the curried chicken salad sandwich which included avocado, green apple and roasted chickpeas on a baguette....

Now that is a sandwich! I ended up opening it up and eating it open face style. It was really delicious....and very filling.

Next time I've got my eye on the smoked salmon sandwich I think!.
If you haven't been here yet, check it out for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon pick me up!

I've been here like 2 more times since I wrote this original review and let me just highly, highly, highly recommend the smoked salmon sandwich. Holy crap was that thing good. Delicious generous amount of salmon on a salty rye with herbed cream cheese and cucumbers. Highly recommend. I got it with the buttermilk and chive chips. yumm.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

South Haven 2014 Vacation Recap

Warning this post is a cuteness overload photo dump! You have been warned.
Last year we went to South Haven with a 6 month old and it was an easy drive, a beautiful beach and a great we decided to go back again this year. This year we again went with friends so had two couples and two 18 month olds. We got a little smarter this year and used our new understanding of the area to our advantage and chose another townhouse complex with a pool....

But this year instead of the 4 block walk...we chose a house that was right across the street from the beach!

The first night we got in, we unloaded our cars and walked over to check out the beach. Gavin was not too sure about the sand between his toes so Hannah tried to make him feel better.

We bought these chairs that I saw everyone using when we were in the Outer Banks and were able to stuff in the pockets in the back everything we needed so we could stay hands free to carry babies up the sand and not have to make multiple trips. They are backpacks! They were awesome. 

We spent a lot of time playing at the beach:

and a LOT of time at the pool....which oddly enough I have no pictures of. We were able to rig our video monitors to allow us to sit at the pool baby free with cocktails while the babies slept. Yessss..
But 18 month olds can't spend the entire day just laying at the beach (or can they??)

And the weather in Michigan isn't necessarily pool weather from the second you wake up until you go to bed, so we did lots of other activities to fill our days.

We took long walks on the pier

We visited the Children's "Museum" in St. Joseph. (I use the term museum vey loosely here)..

and while we were in St. Joe's we had lunch, walked around town

and checked out the indoor carousel down on the beach....
We bought our token out of the little machine and Hannah was not feeling it.

I tried to put her on a horse but that wasn't just like that I became that person that I always wondered why they would bother riding a carousel if they were going to sit on the stationary bench....

One of my favorite things we did was to go blueberry picking! There were tons of places to go, but we chose Earl's Farm Market and highly recommend it. Hannah discovered very fast what to do and was in heaven. I don't even want to know how many blueberries she ate... haha

After dinner we usually walked half a block down the street to play at the park! These two are seriously so in love

Most nights we ate dinner at home and after the babies went to bed the adults sat outside and had frosty beverages and played silly games, but we each went out for one little date night too. Rob and I caught the end of the sunset

and had dinner at Taste, a little tapas restaurant downtown. It was really yummy!

One day we checked out "kids corner" which was a nice playground but I'm not sure what age group it's targeting. Check out these drop offs on the slides/steps... maybe the sand has just gotten washed away over the years?

One morning we decided to dress up and get some family pictures on the beach...which coincided with literally the only hour of the vacation that Hannah decided to be while we didn't get any great family pics....we were still able to get a few good pics. 

Ok, I think I've babbled on long enough for now... in conclusion we heart South Haven..and we will definitely be back :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fresh Thyme Market in Oakley

I meant to write this post like a week and a half ago, but man was life busy last week. So anyway, here I am instead  as pretty much the very last person to write about this awesome new grocery store that just opened in Oakley. When I heard about it I wasn't sure if it would be a total gimmick ....they were throwing the "healthy food" phrase around a lot...or if it really would be full of healthy food. Whole Foods is my gold standard for grocery stores so I wondered would they have bulk bins? spices by the ounce? brands I have heard of? so I was excited to get "tickets" to the sneak preview they had a couple of days before the grand opening to check it out.

First of all I kind of hate giant grocery stores...full of aisles I don't care about like cookies and picnic supplies...when I'm grocery shopping...I just wanna grocery shop. Small grocery stores that have a good selection of good food are what I love.

Fresh Thyme had a beautiful salad bar:

and a beaaautiful olive bar.

I like to try and mostly make my own salad dressing, but when I buy it, I buy the kind that comes in glass jars in the refrigerated section....and they had a ton of it to choose from:

Tons of beautifully displayed organic & conventional produce

and 77 cent avocados. wwhhhhhhaaaatttt?

They also had a couple of rows of my beloved bulk bins which saves money and the environment :)

AND they had spices by the ounce which was so exciting to me! (because sometimes you just don't need $30 worth of saffron).... Something they have that I probably wouldn't typically use but thought was different and cool was like a bulk sweetener type of stand. They had agave, honey, etc with bottles to fill as much as you want.

Things not pictured were their great frozen food section, tons of different eggs, milk, a beer and wine section, etc. They also feature Boar's Head Meat and made to order sushi...along with tables and chairs to enjoy your food there.

Hannah was getting a little ansy at this point so I didn't get a chance to really look at the meat to see what they offered, but I did snap this picture and it looked great!..also they did have pre-packaged brands like applegate, etc.

I'm looking very forward to exploring this store on my own during a full grocery trip...

Cheers to another organic grocery store in our neighborhood!!