AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}


Of all the places I visited in the Outer Banks, Duck, NC was my favorite. The two-lane street that takes you from one area to another in the OBX meanders through the cute cluster of restaurants and shops of Duck. I liked that it seemed less commercialized than some of the other areas. When we passed through, there were pedestrians galore with dozens of people on the sides of the street (I don’t remember seeing sidewalks). It made me want to spend more time exploring the eateries and coffee shops there. We decided to visit AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts on the way to the beach house.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant is right on the sound, and their porch area is pet-friendly. You also get a great view of the water and the sunset if you go at the right time.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

To drink, I ordered the HOOKED ON QUACK – Malibu Mango, Malibu Coconut & Fresh Juices. It was perfect for lunch on the water.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

I had a salad with heirloom tomatoes to start.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

And for my main dish, I had the crab cake salad with house-cut fries. The sandwich was so delicious, and I loved that the fries had the perfect sprinkle of salt on top.

We had a great lunch at AQUA Restaurant, and the service was wonderful, too! I could see myself eating here multiple times if I were staying a little closer. I also want to take a trip to the spa one day!

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

Look how cute Duck, NC is! We took a stroll down the road to get a quick dessert.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

We visited Duck Donuts.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

At the Duck, NC location (there are a couple in the Outer Banks), you order on one side of the building and pick up on the other. If you’re looking for a large display of donuts, you won’t find one. They make all their donuts to order.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

The donuts were served nice and hot. Hubby got cinnamon sugar, and I got chocolate glazed with rainbow sprinkles. These were delicious and reminded me a bit of those mini doughnuts you can sometimes get at street fairs…but bigger and better!

We had a great time eating at AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts. I definitely recommend both if you’re ever in the Outer Banks.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}


For Father’s Day weekend, we visited one of my family’s favorite restaurants: Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

The restaurant is located very close to the Reedy River Falls in the downtown area. So, it’s great to swing by for eats and then wander around some of the shops or take in some fresh air walking through the park.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

One of our favorite things to enjoy at Pomegranate on Main is the plate of butter, mint, radish, and feta cheese that comes free with every meal. You put a little of each component on a warm piece of flatbread. The result is a refreshing starter with a crisp bite. Yum! We’re told this is a traditional Iranian breakfast.


Dad checked out the menu online before we headed over to ensure he could eat something and follow his new-ish vegan diet. He was thrilled to have found a few great options. One thing he really wanted to try was the appetizer sampler where you can pick four of the many interesting options. We tried the spinach, the tomato salad, the hummus, and one of the eggplant dishes. Dad could only eat the two in the middle because the other two had dairy in them. The whole family enjoyed the sampler. My personal favorite was the spinach. Hubby really enjoyed that one, too.


Sis and I had Persian tea. We love this stuff.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

A small plate of ground sumac graces every table. Our waitress encouraged us to sprinkle this over the rice of our entrée dishes. I like putting it over the kabobs, too.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

I must have been hungry because I forgot to take a photo with my DSLR camera. Luckily, I have this one from my iPhone. I usually get the chicken, but I wanted to try something new. I ordered the “Soltani Barg – a combination of one Koobideh kabob and one Barg kabob”. One of the kabobs was made with marinated tenderloin and the other was made with ground tenderloin and chuck. They were both delicious, but I liked the one made with the ground beef the most. My lunch kabobs were especially delicious with a nice sprinkle of sumac. I also enjoyed the charbroiled tomato and rice. Our waitress told us to cut the tomato into the rice and add some sumac on top. The combination of all three was very enjoyable. There was something to that warm, juicy tomato being mixed into the rice.

Dad raved about the food so much, he was still talking about how much he enjoyed his meal through the rest of the weekend. Looks like we picked a good spot for a Father’s Day celebration!

You can learn more about Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC} on their web site.

Lost Dog Cafe – Folly Beach, SC


Since our hotel for the WordCamp conference was only 15 minutes away from Folly Beach, hubby found a great, dog-friendly restaurant there for us to visit for Sunday lunch before we had to hit the road. We went to the very popular Lost Dog Cafe – Folly Beach, SC.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

The restaurant was abuzz with people and lots and lots of dogs all around. They were on a wait, so we decided to enjoy the fresh air and hang out with Bailey outside. There’s a cute mini-park next to the restaurant where many people took their dogs, and we moved that way as the tables started getting seated.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

The restaurant features two patio areas (that I saw) – one in the front and one on the side.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

I was glad we got to sit at the one on the side because we had a great view of the park, and the greenery all around was really relaxing.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

The menu featured a great selection of mason jar mimosas. Since hubby was driving, I got a refreshing bellini with sparkling wine and carbonated peach juice.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

You can order breakfast or lunch any time the restaurant is open. We struggled to choose which path we wanted to stick to (everything sounded so good!) and ended up ordering a few different things to share.

We started with a bowl of the she crab soup, which came with bagel crisps. We pretty much try to order she crab soup at least once when we visit Charleston, and we really enjoyed the flavor of this one. The crisps were a nice touch, and I enjoyed breaking off pieces and dipping them into the soup.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

We also got a soft pretzel, which came out with honey mustard. I saw a lot of people ordering this while they were waiting for their table, but we’ll probably skip this one next time and get another one of the baked goodness pictured at the end of this post instead.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant


Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

For the main event, we ordered the special – mahi mahi. We really enjoyed this. First off, there was a great combination of things on the plate. There was the beautifully crusted fish, roasted potatoes, a vegetable medley (with all of hubby’s faves!), and more bagel crisps. I wish I could get this in Charlotte. I could eat this once a week!

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

And we just had to order the cinnamon roll, which was delicious. The layers of this were really light and flaky, and the roll practically melted in your mouth. Our only mistake was not ordering two. One to eat then and one for the road.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

We really enjoyed our experience at Lost Dog Cafe. I could see us eating here almost once a day if we were staying the beach.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

Whenever I visit somewhere, I like getting a shirt for my tourist-y take-home. I saw a big selection of shirts and other wares near the restroom and decided to take this pink unisex t-shirt home.

Till next time, Lost Dog Cafe!


By the way, I’ve started a Pinterest board with photos from the restaurants we’ve visited in Charleston, SC. Click here to check out my Charleston, SC Pinterest board!

Thanks for stopping by!

The Grocery {Charleston, SC}


One of the perks of attending a conference in Charleston, SC is having the opportunity to indulge in the local food scene. You don’t have to look far to find a high quality restaurant. And, I’m loving how the Charleston scene is trending towards sourcing locally. Yes!

We were already in the downtown area, right near King Street, for the after party, so we didn’t have to walk far to find a delicious option. The WordCamp organizer, Karl, gave us a couple suggestions for the area, including the one where we ended visiting. King Street is to top notch restaurant as any French street is to pâtisserie – there’s seemingly one on every block. The main kink was not having a reservation. I was a little worried about not being able to get into any restaurants, even though we were having a pretty late dinner. We passed a few restaurants, noting how busy each seemed, until we ended up at The Grocery. It was just off of the main street and had large, warm, welcoming windows. We decided to head on in to check out the menu and then decided to stay for dinner.

The Grocery {Charleston, SC}

The Grocery is a farm-to-table dinner featuring local eats, house-made charcuterie, and in-house canned foods.

The Grocery {Charleston, SC}

Since we had just left the WordCamp after-party, I decided to order a mocktail. I got the pineapple mint fizz, which was really refreshing.

The Grocery {Charleston, SC}

Hubby ordered the grouper, which was served over a light minestrone. I’ve seen fish served over soup a couple times now, and I really like it. One of the most memorable examples is when we had the fish over that amazing butter broth at Chez Panisse. This version was really lovely in a different way because the mixture of beans and vegetables added great flavor and texture. The vegetables especially were slightly crisp, so they added a nice bite.

The Grocery {Charleston, SC}

I ordered the scallops, which came with asparagus, peas, ramps, and a creamy purée. The scallops were seared perfectly, and I thought the presentation was really pretty. I enjoyed gathering a couple pieces of the crisp-tender vegetables, trying to get a little of each with a dip of the purée, on each bite. The flavor was enjoyably delicate.

The Grocery {Charleston, SC}

Of course, my favorite course is always dessert, and I was really excited about the churros. As most of you know, I’m a big churro fan, but I usually only get to try the kind that are simply rolled in cinnamon sugar. This version came with not one, not two, but three dipping sauces: chocolate, vanilla, and salted caramel. This was one of those desserts you eat very slowly so you can really savor each bite. We enjoyed it so much, we strongly considered ordering a second round. Instead, I made sure to enjoy the last bits of the sauce left on the plate.

The Grocery {Charleston, SC}

The food definitely spoke for itself, but we also enjoyed really great service. Our waiter was very friendly and took wonderful care of us. At the after party earlier that night, Jen told me about the show Portlandia. She mentioned the episode about local chicken at a restaurant and how the waitress even had a photo of the chicken and shared its name. When I saw chicken on the menu earlier in the night, I really wanted to ask our waiter what its name was, but I held back. But, our waiter seemed pretty cool, so at the end of the meal, I asked if he’d seen the show Portlandia, and he had! He actually used to live in Portland. In case you’re curious, I did ask about the chicken at The Grocery, and our waiter said its name was “Keegan.”

Thank you to The Grocery and team for a wonderful dinner experience. We’ll be back!

Blog Reader Faith

And it is a small world after all. I ran into blog reader Faith at The Grocery. Hello, Faith! It was so nice meeting you!

Desserts in Durham and The Honeycutters


We went to Durham this past weekend to visit my MIL for Mother’s Day. We had plans to eat in to celebrate. The boys were in charge of picking up food. Wanting to contribute something (other than a purse I picked out for my MIL at the Green Jeans Sale), I decided to do what I do best – find dessert.

Downtown Durham

My friend Ben suggested Scratch Bakery in downtown Durham. So, I headed to the downtown area, parked my car, and went on a bit of a dessert adventure.

Doughnut Muffins

Ben mentioned that Scratch had something special – doughnut muffins. I was surprised to see any left since I went 30 minutes before closing, around 2:30pm. I happily scooped up some to take back to the house. But, I wasn’t done there. I thought the doughnut muffins could be more of a snack. I also picked up some cake (see later photo). But, I wanted more. Scratch was sold out of many items, so I decided to get a variety of desserts from multiple places.

The Cupcake Bar Durham

I went on to get cupcakes from The Cupcake Bar. Many of the cupcakes were decorated with graduation flair since there were many college graduations that weekend. I was sad there were no Mother’s Day themed cupcakes but glad the shop stayed open pretty late. I ended up hitting up this spot after a pit stop at…

Cocoa Cinnamon Latte

Cocoa Cinnamon. It’s been over a year since I first visited this cool little coffee shop, so I was excited to make a return trip. This coffee shop was just outside of the downtown area, so it was an easy two minute car ride from where I was. I was a little nervous about finding somewhere to park and then somewhere to sit since the lot and building are on the small side. But, I lucked out and got a space since someone was leaving just as I pulled up. And though the inside of Cocoa Cinnamon is a bit small, they have quite a bit of outdoor seating. I was ready to share a table with a stranger, but I found an open table in the front.

I ordered the See-line Woman – a latte made with molasses. It was delicious! I love how Cocoa Cinnamon has several unique coffee offerings. I happily sipped on my latte whilst working on a blog post for an Easy Spiced Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe. I got to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air, though I wasn’t sure how long that would last. Most of the day, I toted around a Northface jacket (couldn’t find an umbrella!) since the sky (and weather report) threatened rain. Towards the end of my coffee break, I started hearing thunder. Though it didn’t start raining, it was enough to at least have me thinking it was time to head home.

Durham Dogs

The dogs had a pretty good time this weekend, too, and were playing when I got back. Bailey and Chessie played with a new tug-of-war toy, and that was funny to watch. Chessie is goofy and seems to just like the act of playing. Bailey, on the other hand, wants to WIN! He kept pulling the toy away from Chessie and keeping it from her. Silly boy!

The Honeycutters Concert

My BIL took us all to a small concert to see The Honeycutters on Saturday night. They are based in Asheville, NC, and they are an original country roots band. Country isn’t my favorite genre, but I really like some styles and select artists. I really liked The Honeycutters’ music and ended up getting a CD to take home. I guess some people may think I just like Pitbull and Britney since I’m a Zumba instructor, but I like a lot of different types of music. Sometimes, these smaller bands are harder to find, so you need a good reference with the inside scoop, like my BIL.

Here’s a video (see above) in case you’d like to hear one of the songs I really liked from the show – Mr. Cody.

Scratch Bakery Honey Almond Cake

And we may or may not have dug into that other Scratch Bakery treat – honey almond cake – after the show. Yum! I loved the slightly sticky almond topping. It had a bit of the savory-sweet thing going on with honey and salt, which added great balance.

We gave hubby’s mom her purse on Sunday, and she loved it. Woohoo! It was a navy blue Carolina Herrera bucket-style purse with a long strap and gold details. I hope she gets lots of great use out of it.

We had another great trip to Durham and a wonderful weekend!

Hope you’re all having a great week! Thanks for stopping by!

First Foam Art and Greenville Faves


Hope you’re all having a great Easter weekend!

On Saturday, Dad and Sis wanted to watch the new Captain America 2 movie. With the weather being rainy with a high of 58, it was a good day for that. Hubby and I had already seen it, but he was up for seeing it again. Since my mom isn’t a big movie fan, she and I decided to have a mother-daughter afternoon.

Due South Coffee

I took her to Due South Coffee (which I visited during their opening week) for her first latte foam art experience.

Mom at Due South Coffee

She was a fan. She was cute and asked, “Am I supposed to drink the foam art?” Yup, go for it!

Thank you, Due South Coffee, for providing a great experience!

Henry's Smokehouse BBQ

While we were out, we decided to hit up some of our other favorite spots like Henry’s Smokehouse. Hello, BBQ sandwich plate!

The Chocolate Shoppe

And since I was one day away from being able to enjoy sweets again, we picked up two dozen of my favorite chocolate chip cookies from The Chocolate Shoppe. If you’re ever in town, definitely stop by. You’ll be greeted with a free chocolate chip cookie sample! It was everything I could do to not scarf down that free cookie. Can’t wait to dig into those on Sunday!

We also hit up The Pita House for dinner, checking off another Greenville fave visit. I must have been more hungry than I thought because I had already dug into everything by the time I thought to take a photo. Trust me, our Pita House meal was beautiful and delicious.

My parents currently don’t have a TV – just wi-fi and a ton of books and magazines. We’ve enjoyed a pretty quiet weekend so far. I spent some time working on converting a couple more recipes here on TCL for you guys and making some other blog enhancements. And I finally had a good chunk of time to spend some QT with a good book, which was a great way to wind down for the day.

On a not-so-quiet note, I showed my family this video of this amazing 80-year-old salsa dancer, and they loved it! I sure hope I can move like that when I’m Paddy’s age.

Happy Easter to those celebrating!

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