I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but I have not one…not two…but THREE restaurant reviews for you! Yes, I’ve been very busy eating out. I’m thinking I’m going to have to switch to salads pretty soon but for now I am enjoying every last bite.  So last week, the boy (oops, sorry, the MAN) took me out for a “surprise” dinner…aka I had no idea where we were going and couldn’t spend hours pouring over the online menu picking out the perfect dish. I know, so risky, right?! We ended up in a new-to-me neighborhood at Cha Cha Cha Cafe.  The decor was so kitschy and colorful, which you can sort of tell from the food photos. 

We started with glasses of their popular sangria…

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Hands down, the best part of sangria is always the wine soaked fruit at the end! After glancing through the menu we decided to share a few appetizers, since everything sounded so delicious! Luckily great minds think alike, and we easily picked out four plates:

Jerk Chicken Pizza – Jamaican jerk chicken, red onions, fresh parmesan and
mozzarella cheese

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This was SO good and definitely one of my favorites of the night! Spicy, crispy – I had to eat it with a knife & fork because it was so saucy.

Jerk Pork – Shredded pork tenderloin grilled with a spicy Jamaican jerk sauce

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Also yummy! I used bites of this to top some of the other dishes because the spicy jerk sauce went well with everything.

Sopes de Pollo – Small corn tostadas filled with black beans, chicken
and garden vegetables

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This dish was okay, but nothing amazing. The best part was definitely the sweet dipping sauce, which I also used on the fourth appetizer…

Black Bean Tamales – Sweet corn tamales with black beans, tomatillo salsa
and golden caviar

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First, we scrapped off that blob of sour cream. Ick. I thought it would at least be on the side so I forgot to order the tamales without. Even with our sour cream faux pas, this dish was definitely the best of the four. The corn was legitimately sweet and all the flavors went together really well.  I would go back for these tamales alone!

This dinner out was a very welcome distraction in my otherwise totally creeper week.  On Friday, Stephanie came and met me for lunch, which was a nice way to wind down. We took a quick walk over to Clementine. Not only is this spot super cute and charming, it has a seasonal menu, lots of fresh veggies and gourmet salads, outdoor tables – and I’ve never had a bad meal!

Just to give you an idea of the adorableness…

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I ordered an open-faced sandwich that included grilled eggplant, tomato confit, and goat cheese on toasted whole grain bread. Believe it or not, this sandwich was even better than it looks. I could probably try to recreate it but I know it contained more olive oil than I’ve ever used since it tasted amazing and kept me full for a good six hours, and through a workout.  Not too shabby, right?

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Review number three involves a discussion about pizza crust, which clearly deserves a post of it’s own. So for now, I’ll leave you with a little story about gratitude. Suffice to say, this week has been crazy. Actually, this month has been crazy. Then again, when aren’t we swamped and running around like wild women?

Recently, I fell in love with a jean jacket. I swear, I read every girly magazine imaginable for work and denim is definitely on the “Do” list again. When worn properly, of course. This one is from Gap and couldn’t be cuter.

For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about this jean jacket, which is a sure sign that I will actually wear/use it, unlike so many other things in my closet. Of course, I went to three different stores and not one had it in my size. I’m relaying this story to the boy, and he immediately offers to call the stores near his place to check on the coat status, and actually does so. Unfortunately, it was a no-go, but sweet nonetheless.

Then, I’m explaining to my mom how I can’t find this jacket and she calls all the Gap stores in her area, thinking maybe a store in Jersey will have them. No luck. So she calls the ones near her boyfriend’s house – remembering one Gap off the beaten track – and finds my jacket! Her boyfriend went the next day to buy it for me and ship it out. You better believe I will be wearing this coat like a second skin after all the effort!

But seriously, it’s little moments like this that make me feel so blessed, so lucky, to have people in my life willing to take the time to do something nice, without anyone asking, for no reason beyond being genuinely kind. I’m so grateful for all those warm fuzzies, and reminders that good deeds can be the simplest things.

Yep, looks like I’m signing off on another sappy note. Not sure what’s gotten into me lately, but I don’t really mind 🙂

Happy *almost* Hump Day!

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