I Like It A Latte: Raleigh's Ever Expanding Coffee Scene

Thursday, September 7, 2017

If you are looking to get your java on, here are a few awesome spots in Raleigh to help you start your day with a little pick me up! I linked to each of their web pages if you would like to know where they are all located and what roasters they use for their products. Raleigh really does coffee very well. Find out for yourself. And if you live locally, is there a place I left off that you think I should try? Let me know!

Jubala I got hooked on Jubala while visiting their original location in Lafayette Village. This is where I learned to love a Cortado (with a lot of sugar, mind you;) They now have a location closer to downtown off of Hillsborough St. If I go, I can't get out of there without also indulging in one of their amazing ham biscuits. 

Brew This is the home to my favorite cappuccino in town. It is always made perfectly and I tend to not need as much sugar with their version. The simple things that keep me happy. 

Sir Walter Coffee
This is a newer coffee shop in downtown and I love their space. It is one of the best places to grab a pick me up and enjoy a lazy afternoon. Plus, their caramel macchiato is amazing. Or at least their iced version is, I have yet to try it hot but I have hope. 

Cup A Joe is home to my favorite Iced Mocha.  It is almost dessert like and well, I like dessert. 

Slingshot Coffee is cold brew at its best. Or at least according to my husband. It is a little too strong for me in its natural state so I love to add it to vanilla ice cream and make a sling shot affagotta.  They also make a cascara tea and I love it! It is tantalizing for your taste buds. You can find their products at Whole Foods and Trader Joes along with a few other local spots. 

42nd & Lawrence is where I learned to love draft latte. It took me a bit but I am now a pretty big fan. I think the creamy foam is what captured me. I also love their lattes. They concoct a ton of unique drinks here, definitely give them a try if you are downtown. 

Benelux is the best place to go for a hot beverage accompanied by a waffle. They have the most amazing waffle selections and I usually go for caramel with ice cream. I mean, why not? Plus, their staff is always so friendly when I pop in!

Morning Times was one of the first in downtown Raleigh and this is when I tell you I have never tried one of their coffee drinks. Nope. Sorry but their hot chocolate is so damn good that I have never ordered another thing off their menu. I love it so much.  Maybe I should try a mocha so I can have the best of both worlds!

Liquid State is a cool spot near NC State. I'll be honest, I have never indulged in one of their coffee based brews, I have only had their hot tea and wine. However, I know people that really like it. 

Sola Coffee Cafe This is my favorite spot for a coffee milkshake and, like everyone else, their mini donuts. Yum! Plus, the I Believe in Raleigh mural on their back patio is an amazing photo op. Be sure to go on a Saturday when they showcase local artists and their goods at a pop up shop. 

Larry's Coffee is one of my husband's faves. Here is a link to their site to tell you where you can purchase the beans and who locally uses it for their coffee/espresso.

KFC Done Right

Friday, July 21, 2017

If you are looking for some of the best friend chicken in The Triangle, look no further than Soo Cafe. I almost hesitate to post about Soo and how good it is because I love how it somehow flies under the radar. Even having been voted by Southern Living Magazine as the best "flavored" fried chicken in The South. 

The first time I was able to indulge in the goodness that is Korean Fried Chicken was about 8 years ago in a tiny hole in the wall dive bar near Wall Street in NYC. I had one bite and I was basically hooked. That trip alone we ate at the tiny spot 4 times. We frequent NYC and it is rare to eat at a place more than once but I just had to have it. It wasn't until about 4 years ago that I stumbled on a Facebook post about Soo Cafe and how amazing their KFC truly was. I decided to test it out for myself. It was love at first bite. 

Soo is totally unassuming. There is nothing flashy or chic about this establishment, The lighting is terrible and it is full of oversized fake plants and they play Korean dance videos non stop on the tv in the back. None of that matters when the food is this good. It is not upscale Korean food and while their bibimbap and bulgogi are decent, you can find better in Raleigh. I come here specifically for the chicken. 

You get your choice of sauce. One per order. The most popular is Soga. I love that but prefer Old Fashioned. It is thick and sticky and plays so well on my palate. It has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. I prefer the boneless tender. I love the crunch from the double frying. They also offer wing combos and, oh my gracious, they are ginormous! My husband and his friend got the hottest one a few weeks ago and I had one bite that turned into total regret but they loved it. You know your limits and now I know mine. 

Go to Soo, just keep it our little secret. 

Kate Alexander: Raleigh Stylist

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Today it took me about 20 minutes to do my hair. For some people that may seem like a lot or it may seem like a short time. For me personally, it is about half an hour shaved off of my normal styling time, at least on morning that I wash my hair and don't pull of the pony tail trick. This is in large part to this lady! Meet the amazing stylist Kate Alexander!

 Kate has been doing hair for the past 14 years, her favorite part about doing hair is watching the transformation come to life and seeing how a hair style/color change can make such an impact on her clients.

I have extremely thick hair, apparently it is fine but there is a lot of it! While my hair is somewhat straight, it can be unruly and gets tangled rather easily and makes doing my hair in anything other than up, somewhat overwhelming. Enter the Brazilian Blowout. I had heard great things about this process but due to not having curly hair, I just assumed I was not a candidate. Wrong! A Brazilian Blowout can help to lessen tangles, rid your hair of frizz and make it more manageable

The whole process took about a little less than two hours and I was thrilled with the results. It has been about 3 weeks since I had my hair done and I have loved styling my hair. It has been easier and it seems so shiny and straight with hardly any work. No questions asked the best part for me has been the tangles...I barely have any when I do my hair. Will be getting this done again just for that!

If you are interested in a new stylist who has years of experience, is fabulous with cut and color; you must check out Kate! She will work with you to bring you the best style for you! I cannot recommend her enough. here are a few examples of her work. The first four are of my hair and it has left my hair that shiny, even when doing it myself! If you get a Brazilian Blowout it should last for about 12 weeks. And great news, if you schedule an apt in April, she is offering $100 off a Brazilian Blowout! You can't do better than that!

Here are a few more pictures from Kate's portfolio, you can tell what kind of work and attention to detail she pays to her clients. She truly does not just do a hair cut and color, she gives you a style that is best suited to your face structure and skin tone.  You can find Kate at the Geoffrey James Salon on Durant Rd. You can follow her along on Instagram at colorbykatevg or on her facebook page. She is also offering 20% off to new clients!

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