Category Archives: restaurant review

WIAW–Restaurants in Kansas City

Hey everyone! I’m still having a great time here in Colorado, but for today’s What I Ate Wednesday, we’re going to focus on Kansas City! I ate at a lot of great restaurants while I was home and I wanted to share that with you all. I didn’t remember to take any pictures… but that won’t stop me!

If you’re new to WIAW, be sure to head over to Peas and Crayons to see what it’s all about!

Peas and Crayons

When I first arrived in Kansas City, I had my “Girls Night Out” with my mom, her friends and their daughters. It’s a tradition of ours to get together every time I’m in town and I always look forward to it. This time we went to La Bodega, which is a Spanish tapas restaurant located on Southwest Boulevard.


Their menu includes both tapas and entrees, but we always order a bottle (or two…) of wine and then share a bunch of tapas. One thing that I love about their menu is that they mark which items are gluten free. Makes ordering much easier for me! We had a great time at La Bodega and I will always recommend it for a fun, social gathering.

On Wednesday, I headed to lunch with my little brother at The Mixx, which is one of my favorite lunch places in Kansas City.


They have salads, sandwiches, pasta and soup, although I always get a salad. They have several different salad options (about 10) or you can make your own salad. The amount of toppings offered, along with the quality of the food, is really outstanding. The Mixx is right off the Plaza on Main Street and a perfect place to meet someone for lunch.

For dinner that evening I picked up my friend, Helen (whom I’ve known since I was two!) and we headed to Spin. My favorite thing about Spin? They have GLUTEN FREE PIZZA! Always a win in my book.


Spin is a casual Italian restaurant where you order and pay up front and then sit down where you’re served your meal. They offer soup, salad, sandwiches and pizza. I always like to get the “Mini Mia!” which is where you get a personal sized pizza and your choice of a side salad. I ordered their Arugula Salad and the Pomodoro Pizza (on gluten free crust) and it was perfect! The tomato sauce on my pizza was so fresh and flavorful. Spin is great for any kind of group, from families to a date night or even business meeting, I definitely recommend checking it out if you get the chance.

Many of you may know that Kansas City is well known for it’s Barbeque. The key, however, to eating good BBQ in Kansas City is knowing where to go. Yes, there are big chains like KC Masterpiece or Gates, but if you want real barbeque, you have to go off the beaten path. My absolute favorite is Oklahoma Joe’s. You MUST go to Oklahoma Joe’s if you’re ever in Kansas City.

Another great barbeque place is Arthur Bryants, although, honestly, I had never been! Thursday night my friend Benny was kind enough to pick me up and we headed through… a “sketchy” part of town down to Arthur Bryants, right by 18th and Vine, which is a historic Jazz district. The restaurant was actually founded  in the early 1920’s and quickly became popular.


Although I was horribly out of place, I really had a fun time at Arthur Bryants. The menu is short and simple but the food is amazing, they really know what they’re doing! I had the pulled pork sandwich (ditched the bread) and a side of coleslaw and I had to force myself to stop or I would have ate myself sick! Delicious!

Finally, on Friday night I headed out to Saigon 39 with Benny and his family. They were kind enough to invite me along and I had a great time enjoying some Vietnamese food with them.


Saigon 39 is located in the Westport area (kind of “midtown”) of Kansas City, which tends to be a younger area of the city. The restaurant had many different dishes, from rice dishes, stir fries, curries and egg rolls. We all shared some spring rolls (delicious!) and then I ordered their beef pho. I didn’t want to worry about any sauces having soy in them and I LOVE pho so it was perfect. I really enjoyed the dish and the restaurant. If you are looking for some Vietnamese in KC this is the place to go!

So there you have it! All the places I ate out in my few days at home in Kansas City!


Do you have favorite restaurants to visit when you go visit your family?

Are you a fan of barbeque? Or Vietnamese food?

Colorful Colorado!

Hey everyone! Sorry I’m running a bit late this morning, I’m having serious internet connection issues here in Colorado. Currently sitting by the modem plugged in and I finally got it working!

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Monday morning I had a chiropractor appointment in KC (my mom wanted me to see her doctor) and then my mom and I headed straight out to Colorado Springs!

The drive is about 9 hours, but I felt like it went by pretty quickly! We only stopped twice, to switch drivers, use the restroom and for my mom to grab a sandwich (I brought all my own food, including a salad I got the day before from Whole Foods).

Once we got in, we had dinner at Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery, which is entirely gluten free and everything is made in house. I highly recommend it, whether or not you’re gluten free! The crepes are seriously amazing. 

I also managed to finish a book club book!!!! For anyone wanting to participate in our Chicago Blogger’s Book Club this month, the book is called The Life You’ve Imagined 

I’ll need any reviews or links to your blog posts about the books by Sunday, April 14th.

Finally, here are some photos from the drive:

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Don’t forget to enter my Ellie Giveaway! You have until Wednesday night!


When was the last time you took a road trip?


What are you reading right now?

Weekly Workouts & Meli Cafe

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all having a great weekend! Since today is Sunday, it’s time to take a look at last week’s workouts, and see what I have coming up for the next week. I’m excited for next Friday because it marks the beginning of my very last Spring Break!!! Haha I can’t believe I still get spring break at 25. Works for me. I also wanted to do a quick restaurant review/recap of my breakfast with Cate at Meli Café!

Here’s a look at how I did last week:

Sunday – Total Strength class (I might do yoga instead since I missed a rest day this past week, but I feel good so we’ll see!)

Monday2.5 mile run + JM Videos (I did Ripped in 30 level 1 and Six Week Six Pack level 1)

Tuesday – Zumba or Rest I ended up going to half a zumba class and leaving… I felt SO AWFUL but I had a lot of pent up energy that needed to get out and this class seemed to be some sort of “zumba light” catered toward the older crowd in the room, so I left and got in some great sprints for 2 miles!

Wednesday – 2.5 mile run + Jillian Michaels video it had just snowed 8 inches the night before, so I ran on the treadmill and then did upper body weights in the gym

Thursday – Zumba

FridayTotal Strength Class REST DAY

Saturday – PUNK THE MONK!!!! 3.25 miles (more on that in another post)


And here is what I have coming up for workouts this week:

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Sunday – Total Strength class

Monday – 2 mile run + JM Video

Tuesday – REST or JM Videos

Wednesday – 3 mile run + Jillian Michaels video

Thursday – Zumba

Friday – REST or Weights in Gym (depends on if I rest Tuesday, and how much time I have before traveling)

Saturday – 4 mile run (maybe 5? We’ll see how my knees feel)


On Thursday morning, I met the lovely Cate for an early breakfast before my Zumba class! I let her pick, and she decided on Meli Café in the River North area. They had quite an extensive breakfast menu, starting with juices and smoothies, then going to eggs about a million ways, pancakes, waffles, crepes and french toast. Cate even told me that Meli’s is one of only THREE restaurants in all of Chicago to use pure maple syrup. I was really surprised that only three restaurants did that!

They also had a Gluten Free & Vegan menu, however, I was disappointed to see that there was one GF item and the rest were vegan. Haha and the gluten free item confused both of us:


Are the pancakes made with polenta and rice flour, or are these separate things? Either way, I wasn’t sure I wanted to find out…

Since I was heading to Zumba after breakfast, I wanted to keep it light. I ordered their oven baked veggie omelet, but got it egg whites only and then asked if they’d add avocado. When it came out I was surprised how big and fluffy it was!

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I ate most of the omelet and some potatoes and it was pretty good. I’d definitely go back to Meli’s in the future since they had such a big menu and so many options. It was also great to have a real chance to catch up with Cate, we really need to do this more often!


What is your favorite breakfast dish to order?

Do you ever go out for breakfast on a week day?

Any fun races coming up for anyone?

Date Night with Chelsey

Wait, WHAT!?!?

A post on Saturday?!??

The insanity.

Last night I had a “date night” with my friend Chelsey. On Friday she mentioned me TWICE in her blog post to make me feel bad for not mentioning her in my Thursday Thoughts post. So now I’m making a WHOLE POST just about our evening to counter-act her double mention in Friday’s post. Makes sense, right?

And yes, this is a joke – we don’t actually make each other feel bad based on blog mentions.

Anyway, want to know the reason that I’m so excited to tell you about last night that I couldn’t wait another day?



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For those of you who aren’t huge frozen yogurt fans like myself, Yogurtland is a very popular self-serve frozen yogurt chain, but it is mostly found out west. It recently came to Chicago and I resisted for a WHOLE FOUR WEEKS so I could go for the first time with my fro-yo loving friend, Chelsey. It’s our thing.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We started out by getting an…. early dinner at RA Sushi. And by early, I mean we were there at 5pm. I was going to make reservations but realized it was horribly unnecessary, and embarrassing.

Sushi is also our thing.

I ordered a tuna roll, shrimp nigiri, and… quail eggs. Haha, they were only $2 and I thought I should try something new!

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Little did I know they came raw… I had to eat them like a shot! I had one, it wasn’t half bad but I’m pretty sure they put soy sauce in there (I’m soy intolerant), so I just had the one. (Chelsey has a picture of me eating the quail egg… we’ll see if I can obtain that. I might not want to…).

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Chelsey ordered their vegetarian roll, and was rather sad when it came out wrapped in lettuce rather than seaweed!

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Sad face…

Haha she learned her lesson I guess, at least if she ever goes to RA again!

After RA, we headed over the main event of the evening:


After sampling almost every single flavor (pretty sure I skipped over 3…), we finally got our yogurt and sat down for some more chatting.

Oh, and more picture taking. Because we love that.


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I got Dutch Chocolate, Madagascar Vanilla Bean, and a smidge of Red Velvet Cupcake. Toppings included strawberries, raspberries, mochi, reeses peanut butter cups and a few peanut M&Ms (my FAVORITE!).

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Oh, and a gummi heart! Forgot about that until I looked at the picture again. Very good, and clearly left over from Valentine’s Day. Perfect for our post Valentines date night!

I really enjoyed Yogurtland, but I have to be honest, I think Mochi is better! It’s a hard call, they’re both pretty amazing. Yogurtland does win points for being in downtown Chicago! It also wins major points because I felt just like Janae! Haha, she’s the person I learned so much about Yogurtland from!

I wish Chelsey and I lived a little closer, I’d love to see her all the time! I guess we’ll just need to plan more frozen yogurt meet-ups in the future. Woe is me… haha.


When was your last “date night” with a friend?

Where is your favorite frozen yogurt or ice cream place?

Are you a sushi fan?

Nutty Friends and Nutty Butter

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend, I certainly did! If you missed it, here is my weekly workout roundup, posted yesterday.

On Friday I got lunch with a few friends, and afterwards walked around and did a little shopping. Well, Kelsey did shopping and I just found every way possible to look ridiculous:


I would like to note that Kelsey purchased that tiny hat.

On Saturday, Kelsey, Lindsay and I went out for lunch with Emily for her birthday! We had lunch at Tweet, where I ordered a Caprese omelet, and the most amazing gluten free cinnamon raisin bread (unpictured) on the side.

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Since Tweet was in Uptown, we checked out Emily’s favorite Asian grocery store on our way back to the Red Line. We had a blast walking around and checking out all of the products (and live fish and crustaceans!).

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We all ended up walking out with at least one Kobucha squash, so in true blogger form we had to get our picture taken:


It was great spending so much time with my friends!

Another great part of my weekend? Making this Peanut Cashew Butter!

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I wanted to bring everyone a little gift from my Vitamix, so I found this recipe on the Vitamix website.

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2 cups roasted cashews (I used 50% salted from Trader Joe’s)

2 cups roasted peanuts (I used unsalted)

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BLEND! For the vitamix, start at variable 1 on low, slowly increase and then switch to high. If you don’t have a Vitamix, you can always make nut butters in a food processor. Just be sure to use a spatula to push the butter down the side until it’s all mixed in together.

Obviously I had to share with my friends!

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Have you ever been to an Asian grocery?

Have you ever made your own nut butter? What flavor would you make if you could?