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All Good Things Come To An End

Some things never change no matter where you are. You can take the girl out of Canada, but you can’t take her out of Starbucks.

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I blog probably 80% of my posts using the free wifi at Starbucks in between clients. Here I am with a few spare moments in San Francisco and I find myself blogging from a Starbucks on the legendary Powell Street. Go figure.

I have so many photos to sort through. I’ve eaten some of the best food of my life on this trip. I’ve seen some amazing sights. And yet, all I can think about now are the wonderful people I’ll be leaving tomorrow. Wah!

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A million thank yous to Suki for letting me crash at her place and being my personal tour guide in San Francisco.

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Holly and I reunited once again after a week spent hiking together during the summer.

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Janetha, long-time blog buddy, now real-life friend.

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Sophia, one of my first blog readers. I wish I got more time to spend with her, she’s hilarious!

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 Leah!!

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She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to show up on her doorstep one of these days. We’ve been online friends through The Daily Plate way before we started blogs.

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Lara, another long-time bloggie friend who I was so excited to meet!

Attending the Foodbuzz Festival was sort of a last minute decision on my part. Yes, seeing San Francisco has been amazing and the food was wonderful. But meeting so many food bloggers has definitely been the best part!IMG_3346 IMG_1886 IMG_3486

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Special shout-out to my roomies.

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I wouldn’t want to cuddle in a presidential suite with anyone else.

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Another special thanks to Danica, Janetha, Elise and Holly for letting me steal some of their pictures for this post. I apologize if your glutes are sore from bootcamp today.

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I hate goodbyes.

California Dreamin’

I arrived!

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I may have forgotten my credit card at home, had to remove my shoes at the airport (silly Americans) and have been awake now for nearing 24 hours. But all that really matters is that I made it to San Fran and am soaking up the California sunshine :)

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Thankfully, I landed at the same time as Diana so we travelled into the city together.

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The Bay area trains are much nicer than the Toronto subways.

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And the trolleys are a lot more quaint ;)

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I’m here in San Francisco until Monday for the Foodbuzz Festivala gathering of over 350 food bloggers. It’s being held at the Sir Francis Drake hotel on the legendary Powell street. Very cool!

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The themed hotel attendants are neat too ;)

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Once dropping our bags off, we suddenly became a small group of very hungry bloggers. The clear choice laid only a few blocks away, in Chinatown.

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We were on the hunt for dim sum and by chance a lady on the street started pointing to a place telling us we needed to go there. If the locals insist, it’s got to be good!

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It was take-out dim sum and nothing in English. So we just pointed to the dishes we wanted and hoped they were tasty! Luckily, I’ve been to dim sum before and had a vague idea of what to try.

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Started with a steamed pork bun. SO good.

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Some shrimp dumpling. Loved the chives in this. 

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Some pork thingy. For my meats ;)

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And sticky rice! 

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I haven’t had this before, but have heard lots about it. Diana said it was a must, so we split it. Nice surprise to open it up and find meat inside!

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Best of all, the whole meal cost two dollars. Cheapest filled belly I’ve ever had. And dare I say, better than in Toronto. 

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Dining partners – Allie, Diana, Heather. We ate on the steps in Chinatown. Classy joint. We realized sitting across the street that the place we went to was one of the highest rated on Yelp – Good Mang Kok Bakery. Go figure.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the mountains hills of San Francisco. People don’t exaggerate when they say it’s hilly!!

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Of course, I am here for a food blogging festival. So more eating and food photography soon followed.

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Millennium is a fancy vegetarian restaurant that hooked up 20 of us bloggers for dinner tonight. I heard nothing but rave reviews about this place.

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We had our own private room in the back!

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They even brought out appetizers on the house for us to try. All of which were equally delicious. My favourite being the breaded mushrooms.

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I ended up ordering an appetizer because of the price (mains were over $20). But also because I wasn’t that hungry after our Chinatown trip!

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After much back and forth, I ended up with the Black Bean Torte.

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It was good. Real good. And I’m not just saying that. The sweet starchy taste of the plantains went really well with the black beans. And the accompanying sauce and salsa were fantastic with it.

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Then, I was officially stuffed.

I think I may be leaving some of my heart in San Francisco

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Official Foodbuzz Festival activities commence tomorrow! This girl needs her beauty sleep! Hell, this girl needs any sleep. Night night!

Where The Buffalo Roam

How is everyone’s weekends going?? Mine has been stellar, I spent it in the Empire State ;)

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Friday night I drove to Buffalo, NY with some friends. It’s only about an hour and a half from Toronto without heavy traffic, so it’s a short and fun trip to the States for us!

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Emphasis on the fun and a definite lack of healthy. Hey, I’m young and carefree. I know most bloggers skip over these parts, but excursions such as these have been an important part on my journey to find “balance.” I’ve been a good girl these past few weeks in preparation for this…

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When in Buffalo my friends. You leave all your rules and regulations at the border ;)

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We started off Friday night at a cool bar called Mulligans.

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I stuck to mostly whiskey & club soda with a lemon wedge. It’s my go-to drink, a little lower calorie and I lovelovelove the taste of whiskey!

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I have no idea what this bar is called, but it’s where we ended the night. Did you know the bars are open till 4am in Buffalo?? That’s crazy! They’re only open until 2am in Toronto and most other parts of Canada. As hard as we tried, we just couldn’t make it to last call and stumbled back early ;)

We woke up Saturday in need of two things: coffee & greasy grub. I asked the front desk where the best breakfast in town was and he directed us to the Towne Restaurant.

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It was a nice Greek restaurant with a home-style breakfast menu.

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There were a lot of Greek-inspired breakfast options as well, but I went for something more traditional.

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Corned Beef Hash & Eggs.

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I ate the eggs and hash on top of my toast and it was gooooood. Hit the spot ;)

We spent Saturday afternoon shopping at the outlet stores in Buffalo. So many good deals! I got a pair of Gap jeans for $16. Unreal. I’d normally pay 80 bucks for those! Also hit up the Under Armour outlet for some workout gear. Excited to try it out.

After the shopping, we needed to fuel up again. We lucked out this weekend because it also happened to be the Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival. Apparently people travel from all over to check this out!

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Now I’ll be honest here, I don’t like Buffalo wings. I’m not a fan of the excessive sauce, the crappy and minimal meat, and of course the mess! I decided to give wings one last try. I figured if I didn’t like them here, then it was just not meant to be.

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I got some mild and bbq wings from the Anchor Bar tent. Anchor Bar invented the chicken wing so I thought they’d be the best. My thoughts? Still don’t like ‘em. Give me a juicy chicken breast or plain turkey drumstick any day ;)

I counteracted the heat of the wings with a cool mixed berry fruit smoothie.

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As well as a corn on the cob to get those veggies in!

Hands down, the best thing I tried at the festival…

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There weren’t any chicken wings on it – just tortilla chips with spices and a cheese that tasted like con queso dip. Phenomenal.

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As we were leaving, we walked past the deep-fry tent. Omg. My stomach lurched.

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We continued to class it up Buffalo style Saturday night ;)

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I stuck to Blue Moon – my new favourite American beer.

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Also tried a Rolling Rock which was quite refreshing!

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And, erm, jager bombs…

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Believe it or not, I actually took it easy with the alcohol on Saturday. I didn’t feel the need to go all out two nights in a row.

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Back to Mulligan’s!

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I am a HUGE fan of how many of the bars in Buffalo have jukeboxes. I can be a control freak when it comes to music and looooove picking out songs to listen to!

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We ended up at another bar to play some pool, where I lost horribly every time.

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Anyone seen Inception? Upside down hotel scene??

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Silly boys…

Wait.

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Oh dear.

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I think I will need to do a little more training before I’m agile enough to run up walls :P

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I woke up feeling a lot more chipper Sunday morning. I had my heart set on going to IHOP for the first time, but the Buffalo location is closed! So we went to the Denny’s across the street instead.

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I tried to keep it healthier here. I’ve never been to a Denny’s before either and parts of the menu were frightening.

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Dry english muffin, egg whites and a chicken sausage.

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Avec ketchup et fruit!

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On our way back we stopped at a Target, which I’ve also never been to!

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Unfortunately by this point I was done spending money, but it was neat to poke around. For some reason it’s hard to find big stores like this in Toronto. I haven’t been to a Wal-Mart in forever.

 

So no, definitely not a healthy weekend to talk about on this healthy living blog. But in my opinion, letting loose and living life is sometimes the healthiest thing we can do ;) Now if you don’t mind, I have to go to bed. I have an appointment with the treadmill tomorrow!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite greasy spoon breakfast? I’m all about the soft poached eggs on dry wheat toast and a pile of fresh fruit! Okay, and I’ll take some fried potatoes in there too ;)

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