Spanish Harlem (namely E. 116th Street, a.k.a. "Little Mexico"): Head East after you exit the 6-train at the 116th Street subway station, and you'll find yourself in Manhattan's own "Little Mexico." This bustling stretch is lined with deli after deli, bakery after bakery, taqueria after taqueria, grocery after grocery, makeshift food stand, food truck - you name it. It has quickly become my one-stop-shop for dried chiles, fresh poblano peppers, bulk corn tortillas, guavas, Mexican cheeses, & hard-to-find dulces. And best of all? The prices are beyond legit.
Snickers Peanut Butter Squared: Go ahead and laugh all you want, but this peanut-buttery version of the original is really good. Don't believe me? Go out and try one for yourself. Oh, and make sure to report back after you've done so.
Prada Patent Leather Ballet Flats: I know it. You know it. And so does your mom. The adorable-ness factor of these ballet flats speak for themselves! 'Nuff said.
"50 Classics for Your Closet" List, found on JGIWC: After giving more than half of my closet to Goodwill recently, I decided that, at 30 years of age for god's sake, it's time to start filling my shelves with more quality items. Let's face it, Forever 21 does not last forever. Low and behold, I came upon this fantastic checklist that, quite honestly, I cannot stop obsessing over. I printed it out - grabbed a bottle of White Out - and made it my own. I realized that, after having reviewed all of the items I do have, that most of the pieces I'm missing are articles of clothing - not jewelry, shoes, or accessories! Looks like I've got some serious shopping to do. The JGIWC, on the other hand, seems to be light years ahead of me (see below). How does your closet shape up?
My trusty immersion blender: This lightweight, super-charged, one-stick wonder is the brains behind my red enchilada sauce and brisket gravy.
The girls: I absolutely adore the women in my life. From my mother, grandmother, sister, cousin Shelley, & god-daughter Blair - my former coworkers and boss at OL (you know who you are) - my besties in/from Texas who've known me longer than anyone - to my newest circle up north who, having only been in my life for a handful of years, now know me better than anyone else - I am surrounded by an incredible group of ladies.
Live piano music at Bemelmans Bar, The Carlyle Hotel: Classy and ever-creative, Meghan planned girl's after-work Valentine's drinks at the Upper East Side's famous Bemelmans Bar. Having never been prior to Monday, I was completely taken by the well-healed watering hole's dimly lit, effortless sophistication and elegance. Once seated and awaiting the rest of my party to arrive - and my virgin cocktail - I became transfixed by the peppy, live piano music. I closed my eyes, took a sip of my tangy fruit beverage, and was instantly transported back to a special-occasion dinner with my beloved grandparents, circa the age of 9 or 10.
Thank you for the memories, Bemelmans.
Mozzarella di Bufala at Bar Veloce: Look, this isn't one of my favorite bars - or restaurants, if you can even call it that. Wine and tapas bar? Maybe that suits it better. Whatever. So what does Bar Veloce have in common with Babbo, Jean Georges, and Le Bernardin? All four restaurants happen to share the same mozzarella supplier. That's right, folks. Some teeny-tiny vendor in Italy ships their incredible product to New York twice/week. And while I'm sure that the other three restaurants up-charge the crap out of their ration, you've got to hand it to Bar Veloce for not completely raping their customer: $13 will buy you a sizeable portion of the cheese, nicely dressed with tomato and basil, and paired with crusty bread. And trust me when I say that this is the most delicious mozzarella that I have ever tasted. I'm telling you, it's life changing! Monumental. Earth shattering.
The Ex Outlet: A brilliant e-resource for all of your post-breakup needs.
Never quite made it down the aisle and need to sell your wedding dress or engagement ring? Do that here, too. Because let's face it - even if he was a total prick - Ebay just seems a bit too big and impersonal, doesn't it?
Read it & eat,
The Lunch Belle