October 25, 2016

blogger ›   Chicago ›   Food Blogger ›   healthy ›   Travel ›   Wanderlust ›  

Eat Like a Local: Best Brunch, Tacos, & Healthy Food in Chicago

One city that cannot be overlooked for its fabulous fare is Chicago. I chatted with food blogger Kristin, aka the @nom_stop, and she showed us that not only are the eats in the Windy City f'n delicious but they can also be nutritious.

Named in the 1980’s for its affluent inhabitants, the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago is filled with foodie finds fit for a king or queen. If, of course, your royal highness is up for a kickass cup of Joe, a grass-fed burger, or a full tray of tacos.

For the Brunch Queen: 3 Arts Club Café, located inside Restoration Hardware. Here, the overworked and under caffeinated (who isn’t these days?) gather for almond milk lattes and brunch fare. The posh dining room alone is a reason to visit; filled with RH’s beautiful furnishings, it is beyond Instagram-worthy.

Since they don’t take reservations, you are bound to encounter a bit of a wait, which comes as no problem when there are four floors of home décor waiting to be explored.

The Nom Stop - Best Brunch in Chicago at 3 Arts Club Cafe Illinois

The Nom Stop Over Worked Under Caffeinated T-shirt by Pyknic Best Latte in Chicago

By the second floor, I was mentally packing a suitcase and plotting my move into the place - amazing.

Best Brunch in Chicago Illinois at the Restoration Hardware 3 Arts Club Cafe

For the Taco King: Velvet Taco. This casual, counter-service taco joint is a must if you’re in the neighborhood. Everything is made from scratch, including the tortillas, which is a major deal breaker for a taco lover like myself.

Best Tacos in Chicago are made from scratch at Velvet Taco

Among my favorites was #8, a shredded pork taco with pineapple, avocado crema, and pickled onion on a purple corn tortilla, as well as #11, the grilled flank steak taco with mushroom and white queso. Game. Over.

Pyknic Hope they Serve Tacos in Hell Shirt pairs nicely with tacos

The Nom Stop outside her favorite taco joint, Velvet Taco, in Chicago, IL

For Your Healthy Highness: LYFE Kitchen. With a menu featuring baked fries, “unfried” chicken, and plenty of vegan options, LYFE has the whole “healthy but tastes good” vibe down pat. I opted for the grass-fed farmhouse burger on a gluten-free bun that did not disappoint.

Grass Fed Burger at Lyfe Kitchen Gold Coast IL Chicago

And while everything on the menu is delicious, the garlic parmesan sweet potato fries absolutely stole my heart. I now live by the motto contained in the name: Love Your Food Everyday. Let’s just say that the Gold Coast left my heart and my stomach full of nothing but love.

Nomaste Pyknic Nom Shirt paired up with a Lyfe Kitchen Burger

Follow along with me as I continue to eat my way through the city in search of the best noms! Too see more restaurant recs right now, head to:  http://www.thenomstop.com/lincoln-park-food-cng-part-1/

Get the Overworked Under Caffeinated Tee by Pyknic : HERE.

Get the Hope they Serve Tacos in Hell Tee by Pyknic : HERE.

Get the Nomaste Tee by Pyknic : HERE.

October 03, 2016

Farm ›   New York ›   Travel ›   Wanderlust ›  

Pyknic Getaways - The Outlier Inn: Woodridge, NY

the outlier inn outdoor kitchen - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

This past weekend we were fortunate enough to getaway to the Catskills of Upstate New York with our friends, Andrew & Andrea of The Marshalletti Project. They had found a very interesting Airbnb in Woodridge, NY called "The Outlier Inn" which was featured on Escape Brooklyn. It's a 12 acre property that has various Airbnb rentals which include a 1953 Spartenette Trailer, a cottage, a guest house, a bungalow, a geodesic dome, a couple tiny houses, and a main home in addition to a farm and recording studio.

the outlier inn outdoor kitchen - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn outdoor kitchen spices - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn outdoor kitchen - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

Given our affinity for food, one of our favorite aspects of the place was the outdoor kitchen / greenhouse which was a great communal space to both cook and eat al fresco.

the outlier inn outdoor rustic farm cooking - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn outdoor rustic farm cooking - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn outdoor rustic farm cooking - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn outdoor farm rustic reclaimed wood dining area - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

The Outlier Inn provided plenty of communal space to enjoy food and one another's company.

the outlier inn outdoor rustic farm organic kale and zuchini - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

Keshini Fiber Farm is located on the property and guests are welcome to purchase fresh greens which include kale and zucchini (pictured above) as well as eggs.

the outlier inn free range chickens farm - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn sheep farm - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn goats farm - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

It's also home to various farm animals which include merino sheep, angora goats, angora rabbits, oberhasli dairy goats, free range chickens, and a yellow lab.

the outlier inn duncan the pug dogs allowed - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn pug dogs welcome - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

We loved that we were welcome to bring along our own animals as well.

the outlier inn 1950s camping trailer rv - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn 1950s camping trailer rv - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

Our group had stayed in the heated 1950s trailer. We often fantasize about that time period: the design, the fashion, the culture, and the automobiles. This was a great opportunity to relive that history in a way through a one-of-a-kind experience.

The General Motors fridge and the booth seat in the middle of the trailer was a blast from the past as well as a great way to keep the party going.

the outlier inn geodesic dome - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

the outlier inn geodesic dome - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

It was hard not to notice the large Geodesic Dome on the property that could house up to 25 people.

the outlier inn newport storm beer brewery pumpkin beer by the fire - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

All the Fall feels.

the outlier inn camp fire - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

Outlier Inn Woodridge, NY Catksills Camp Fire Geodesic Dome Escape Brooklyn

the outlier inn outdoor claw foot bath tub - glamping airbnb catskills upstate ny

Everything is better outside including bathing. There was a working bath tub, a hot tub, as well as outdoor showers that offered just enough privacy but were still completely liberating.

It was nice to switch things up and be in the company of some other creative minds, even if just for an extended weekend. We gained some valuable experience and fresh inspiration through a different way of living.

In It 4 the Long Run: Green Smoothie Popsicles

Finally, now you can have your green smoothie and eat it too!

Summer is winding down for sure, but the temps are totally still popsicle friendly. I whipped up some green smoothie pops for those days when you want a sweet treat but need your greens too.

These pops were inspired by one of Pyknic’s latest tee’s: “Avo-nly Got Eyes For You.” This tee immediately spoke to me, as an avid avocado eater/enthusiast/lover. Rather than stick to the basic (but always amazing) avocado toast recipe, I figured I’d embrace the season and get chilly on ya. This green avocado smoothie pops are a magical hybrid of dessert meets healthy green smoothie.

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Eat Like a Local: New York City

We've featured New York City eats a few times on our blog, and for good reason. You want tasty, unique, and comfort combined into one dish? This is the city to be in. I chatted with blogger and style guru Gabrielle to give you her picks for where to grab a bite in the city that never sleeps. 


Tacos, salad, enchiladas, and chips...what more does one need in life, TBH. The designer behind the attached sit-down Bowery Bar and Grill, Eric Goode, came up with the laid-back Taco Bar to compliment.

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Drink Like a Local: Coffee Shops in Sacramento, CA

Eating is cool and all, but knowing the best local places to grab a cup o' Joe is just as important when adventuring to new places. I chatted with Nate from @the80sduo to bring you some stellar coffee recommendations. Over Worked and Under Caffeinated? Not for long, Californians. 



This independent, family-owned coffee house and roasterie works alongside family farms to bring you the freshest coffee possible. Brewed in 6 to 12 pound batches, this modest cafe brews coffee to boast about.

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Eat Like a Local: Fort Worth, TX

Next stop: Texas, as we make our way through the country one bangin' eatery at a time. Molly, the blogger behind Molly on the Move, showed us her choice spots to chow down in Fort Worth. 


This authentic hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant serves up some of the best south of the border food in Texas. The trendy exterior welcomes you inside to their simplistic interior, allowing the food to be the focus of your experience.

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How to Channel 'Harry Potter' in Chester County

In honor of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' being released this past weekend, we were inspired to bring you some local HP recommendations if you feel like stepping in the Wizarding World for a day or two. Break out the Nimbus 2000 from the back of your closet and head to these spots if you're feeling particularly nostalgic. Or I guess driving works too.

For the Leaky Cauldron atmosphere...

The Whip is a enjoyable environment for the muggle in all of us, featuring traditional pub food sourced from right here in Chester County as well as Lancaster County. Menu items include Bangers and Mash, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Welsh Rarebit. Walking in is pretty much equivalent to teleporting to the English countryside. Dumbledore's Army would approve.

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Serial Killer vs. Cereal Killer: Book Recs from Folded Pages Distillery

For the people like me, who some times have a hard time separating reality and fiction after they put a book down— serial killer novels are the worst. Why? Because serial killers AREN'T fiction. They are one of the scariest and real threats out there (reading these can leave me paranoid for daaaays).

At the same time, researching the psychology and motives that drive serial killers is disturbingly fascinating. Also, reading or watching scary situations allows us to experience emotions and situations in a safe space.

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Recipe: How To Make Maple Almond Butter Donuts (Using Justin's)

If you attended our opening a couple weekends back, then you probably grabbed some Justin's almond butter packets on the way out. Our generous friends over at Justin's sent over a good amount of samples, so I decided to try out one of their own recipes and make some doughnuts. It gave me an excuse to finally buy a doughnut pan, after all.

Check out the recipe here for the full breakdown, but here's what you'll need to get started:

For the doughnuts:

  • Whole Wheat Flour 
  • Coconut sugar 
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder 
  • Cinnamon
  • Eggs 
  • Applesauce
  • Almond milk
  • Vanilla 

And, of course: 

Justin's Almond Butter.

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Eat Like a Local: Philadelphia

Ever been to a new city and you're dying for local eats, but haven't a clue where to find those hidden gems? Welcome to a new series, "Eat Like a Local", where we find influencers in cities throughout the country to share with you their picks for local finds. First up is our city next door: Philadelphia. But this isn't just any guide to the best 'City of Brotherly Love' restaurants, rather a look at some of the best food trucks, featuring the expertise of Mollie from @phillyfoodies.

Farm Truck 

For starters, Mollie headed to the all-natural Farm Truck, that serves up eclectic farm fresh foods and a truck to vibe with their mission of bringing farm-to-table to the Philly food truck scene. Featured in Thrillist and Roaming Hunger, the people behind the truck know a thing or two about creating mouth-watering dishes that come straight from the source. In this case, the source being local farms, bakeries, and coffee roasters.

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