How to Take a Self-Care Vacation on a Budget

Posted By : denise/ 54

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s post is from our guest contributor, Jesse Clark from Soulful-travel.com

Image credit: Pixabay

Are you part of a small or midsize group looking for a unique way to have fun and sample foods from different restaurants within a city of your choice? Then let Savor Our City cater to you with exciting 2-3 hour culinary adventures that include lots of local and historical information, team building activities, and networking paired with hand-picked regional delicacies and gourmet specialty foods along the way. Book your next adventure today! (954) 410-3177

One of the simplest ways to reduce stress and attend to your self-care needs is to take a vacation, notes Travtasy.com. You work hard and have earned these days off. Rather than let them accumulate, take a break and refresh your mind and body. The emotional reset that a vacation offers can improve your quality of life and make you more effective when you return.

Savor Our City understands the ways in which stress, anxiety and depression can influence how you experience life, and how simply getting away and having new experiences can help. Sometimes people turn to substances to reduce emotional discomfort when self-care and finding ways to disconnect is a better option. Vacation self-care may mean flying to a distant land or, if you are on a budget, staying put for a local adventure. Fort Lauderdale, for example, offers a range of attractions that you can access without spending excessive amounts of money or time.

The Staycation Option, Lauderdale-Style

Taking a vacation in your own city offers you an opportunity to check out areas that you may have never experienced. Opt for a rental in another part of the city and check out local attractions, such as the signature rows of palm tree- and mansion-lined Isles along 300 miles of inland waterways, as well as the many festivals and activities that make “Venice of America” so special. The possibilities are endless — sometimes self-care is closer and simpler than you would think.

For the ultimate staycation experience, consider a rental near Fort Lauderdale attractions you wish to visit. Clean, comfortable amenities let you enjoy the area while decreasing your stress levels. Choose a rental service that lets you filter search options and offers 24/7 support. Self-care is all about stress reduction, after all, and your vacation should reflect that from booking your rental to resting up after a day of sightseeing.

Budget-Friendly Vacation Self-Care

Even with limited funds, you can do self-care on vacation in many ways. Author and researcher Dr. Deborah Cracknell points out that a mindful walk on the beach or simply spending time letting your mind wander while you enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the area can go a long way toward promoting relaxation. If you want to heighten your senses, it may be fun to check out the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival for unique, local cuisine.

If you’re a foodie of any level, Savor Our City recommends going on a South Florida food tour, with available options like progressive or multi-course meals. For a change of pace, they also suggest booking “the History & Culture tour that combines stops at landmarks and museums with meals and snacks at local restaurants and gourmet food shops.”

Vacations With a Self-Care Focus

Making self-care the focus and the purpose of a getaway may require you to reconsider your needs, especially if your focus is usually on family or work. Are you the type that gets antsy when you finally have downtime and you’re not sure what to do? Sometimes getting away gives you the opportunity to re-learn things about yourself, such as discovering new interests and passions.

Perhaps you can reconnect with your love of nature while on vacation by checking out the Everglades, home not just to a wide range of wildlife and fauna, but to the Seminole Indians, who invite visitors to learn about their culture. For creative inspiration, check out the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, with more than 20 curated outdoor contemporary art murals by internationally recognized artists.

Regardless of the activities you choose or where you decide to take your vacation, keep in mind that self-care is a priority. Unplugging from work and home stressors can improve your quality of life. You may be surprised at how much better you feel, even when you stay put for vacation.

SeaSpray Restaurant Opens at the Waterstone Resort & Marina

Posted By : denise/ 55

Hello Foodie Friends,

Savor Our City’s Marketing Director Jennifer Ouvrard and Founder/Chief Foodie Officer Denise Righetti

Well it’s been a while since I have attended an organized media dine, understandably so since we have been in a pandemic. We are very fortunate here though in South Florida as our restaurants and businesses have been open and operating at full capacity much sooner than most other cities of comparable size. I for one am very excited to get back out and attend new restaurant openings and food & wine festivals and share my discoveries with you. This post is about my preview of the Waterstone Resort’s brand new SeaSpray restaurant (Boca’s ONLY waterfront dining) which is serving up local cuisine with casual coastal elegance. We were treated to a lovely selection of cocktails, appetizers, an entree of our choice and every dessert on their menu. Spoiler alert: this place impressed every one who attended this media dine. And it’s about time we finally had a waterfront dining option that actually served decent food and didn’t just rely on their location to draw people in. Read: great views + great food  + service = new fave go-to spot!!!

SeaSpray is bringing Boca Raton everything it never had but always secretly needed, an intracoastal escape made of equal parts glamour and laid-back charm.  Developed by Evolution Hospitality as part of an extensive half a million dollar renovation to Waterstone Resort & Marina, SeaSpray is led by VP of F&B/acclaimed Executive Chef Kelley Randall, who developed an innovative, sustainably-minded menu rooted in traditional staples highlighted by local seafood. “You can come by boat or by car, have a bunch of burgers, order fresh salads and quality seafood options or reserve an 8pm seating and dine more formally, for steak, grilled Mahi or other quality entrees. There’s both glitz and familiarity — but it’s a breezy vibe,” says Randall.

PEAR MARTINI   Absolut Pear, St. Germaine, Sour

PLANTER’S PUNCH Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, Orange and Pineapple Juices, Grenadine

PINEAPPLE JALAPEÑO  El Jimador Tequila, Giffard Liqueur, Lime

GRILLED OCTOPUS  chorizo, fingerling potato, olives, cilantro-scallion vinaigrette

PEAR TORTELLINI  truffle cream sauce, rosemary, parmesan. Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

STICKY CAULIFLOWER sesame soy glaze, toasted sesame seeds, scallions

HUMMUS   warm pita bread, smoked paprika, chili oil

SKIRT STEAK FRITES   chipotle marinade, chimichurri, rosemary parmesan fries

SIMPLY GRILLED SALMON. sweet potato mash, broccoli, Vermont maple glaze

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE  dark chocolate sauce, whipped cream

KEY LIME PIE   crumble, sorbet, raspberries, mango puree

APPLE COBBLER   salted caramel gelato, dulce de leche

CAMPFIRE S’MORES  marshmallows, chocolate bar, graham crackers Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

 

Executive Chef Kelley Randall   Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

Menu highlights include shareable plates such as Sticky Cauliflower with sesame soy glaze, toasted sesame seeds and scallions; Grilled Octopus with chorizo, fingerling potato, olives, cilantro-scallion vinaigrette; and Pear Tortellini with truffle cream sauce (to die for; probably my fave dish of the night), rosemary, parmesan; “Handhelds” like the Mahi Reuben with tangy cabbage slaw, 1000 island dressing, served on marbled rye bread and the Seaspray Burger with prime beef, aged cheddar, iceberg, red onion, tomato, signature sauce, served on a brioche bun; and Mains including Chicken Paillard with romaine, orange segments, fennel, red grapes, toasted almonds, mustard vinaigrette; Skirt Steak Frites with chipotle marinade, chimichurri, rosemary parmesan fries; and Frutti di Mare with lobster, gulf shrimp, clams, mussels, linguine, spicy San Marzano sauce, parmesan crostini. Executive Chef Kelley thoughtfully created a menu that took into consideration people with special diets such as Gluten-Free, Vegetarian and Vegan, which are all easily identifiable on the menu.

Guests can indulge in a mixologist-curated list of craft cocktails every bit as exciting as the menu. Think Signature Cocktails like Dark & Stormy with Goslings dark rum, ginger beer, lime and Pomegranate Martini with Tito’s, Palma liqueur, Grand Marnier; Frozen libations like Bailey’s Colada with Oak & Cane rum, pineapple, coconut, Baileys float (reminds me of my days of working on board cruise ships; the crew were privy to a secret concoction called the “BBC” which stood for Bailey’s Banana Colada) and Mudslide with New Amsterdam Vodka, Kahlúa, Baileys, ice cream, chocolate; Margaritas such as Pineapple Jalapeño with Dulce Vida Tequila, muddled jalapeno, pineapple juice, lime and Blue Lagoon with Casamigos tequila, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice.

As for design, the 2,000-square-foot-eatery’s unmistakable nod to both modern tropical and vintage chic makes for a uniquely casual-meets-luxurious experience with fully outdoor covered and patio dining an expansive outdoor bar and gorgeous private dining room accommodating up to 20. Think Beverly Hills intermingled with Tulum style. With both traditional elegance and fun, edgy and cool vibes present, the ambience embraces older and newer generations alike. Each piece of furniture at SeaSpray is unique, custom-designed by the team to dress the experience, while spot lights, neon signs and soft champagne lighting create a myriad of differing atmospheres all within one space, fashioning a sweetly intimate mood in a social setting.

The space embraces South Florida’s tropical nature. There are different spaces for different people and moods. Seating is arranged in such a way that everyone will have a gorgeous view, and each nook and cranny feels different. The idea is to feel like you’re in your own backyard, overlooking the intracoastal.

Onsite, an oversized mural by local artist Gabriela Benatar spanning seven walls total, celebrates South Florida in its entire splendor, highlighting the local flora and fauna and speaking to the constant evolution of both our surroundings and ourselves, celebrating nature while bringing a little bit of the outside in. The mural took two months to complete.

Happy Hour is M-F from 4-6pm (except holidays) with select wines, well cocktails and draft beers available for $7 as well as a number of yummy appetizers, including my favorite the pear tortellini, for just $7 as well. You will definitely want to visit (or revisit) this wonderful location next time you are in the area. Be sure to look out for me there and if you spot me, come say hi!

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila

Posted By : denise/ 179

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s post features one of my favorite fast casual foods: tacos!  I received an invitation to dine at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Ft. Lauderdale a few weeks ago and I’m happy to share my experience with you today.

Since opening its doors to their original location in South Beach, just steps away from the famed Lincoln Road Mall on 16th Street in 2015, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, founded by Menin Hospitality’s Keith Menin and Jared Galbut and led by Culinary Director Bernie Matz, has been offering traditional Mexican favorites as well as unconventional and innovative interpretations, Bodega specializes in tacos and tortas, homemade sodas and authentic beverages in a dynamic, eclectic “puebla” inspired setting.

“We’ve always loved Fort Lauderdale and have been waiting for the right moment and location to open a Bodega Taqueria y Tequila there since we opened our first flagship location in South Beach in 2015,” said Keith Menin, Co-Founder & Principal of Menin Hospitality. “When we saw that they were developing and re-envisioning the riverfront, the new towers, and the Wharf, we found an iconic historic corner that just felt like Bodega. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome guests to Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, Fort Lauderdale.” 

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila has been revered as one of the hottest Mexican restaurants in America. GQ Magazine has named Bodega “the most popular restaurant in the entire state of Florida for late-night eats”;  InStyle Magazine said it’s one of “4 hot spots worth visiting on your next trip to Miami”; HuffPost called it the “hottest Mexican restaurants in America”; and Elite Daily boasted it as one of “Miami’s hottest nightspots.” A favorite among celebrities, fans include Michael B. Jordan, Niall Horan, Brody Jenner, Diplo, Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Travis Scott, Nina Agdal, and Joe Jonas, to name a few.

The dining area inside the restaurant is quite small offering up just one high top communal table, however, there are plenty of picnic tables set up along the sidewalk just outside for guests to sit down and enjoy their meal. Head up to the window of a decked out converted Silver Stream trailer and place your order.
Cervesas and Fruity Flavored Frozen Margaritas are available for your drinking pleasure.
Me with that happy look on my face as I knew I was about to dig in to some tasty food any moment
We tried a sampling of four of their tacos: carnitas (pork), carne asada (steak), pescado (fish) and tequila camarones (shrimp). To my surprise, the tequila camarones were both our faves.
The roasted pork quesadillas with a side of fresh guacamole were terrific.
I’m a huge fan of Mexican Street Corn and this one did not disappoint!
These churros with nutella were highly addictive!
We had no idea what was in store for us when Tyler, the awesome GM, lead us through this door to what appeared to be a graffiti walled “bathroom”…

 

But turned out to be the entrance to this amazing Late-Night Speakeasy!!!! (See details below)

Inside the taqueria, a door leads guests to Bodega’s late-night speakeasy – the perfect spot for happy hour, daytime fun, and late-night debauchery – that features an extensive cocktail menu and live music by local bands and DJs. Signature cocktails include the Pico Picante (Herradura Silver, Ilegal Mezcal, Cucumber, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Lime, Orange Bitters)La Diablita (Don Julio Blanco, Apricot, Blackberries, Ginger, Fresh Lime); and Mezcal Old Fashioned (Casamigos Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, Old Fashioned Syrup). Additionally, every Monday, Bodega is activating ‘Margarita Monday’ specials, where guests can enjoy a curated $5 margarita menu from 6 PM-close. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday from 6 PM – 8 PM, and offers $2 Classic Tacos, $3 Chips & Salsa, $4 Chips & Guac, $4 Bottled Beers, $5 Frozen Margaritas, and $7 Bottled Cocktails.

Open daily from 11:30 AM – 12 AM, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, Fort Lauderdale mirrors the flagship South Beach location, doubling as a fast-casual taco joint and a late-night speakeasy-style lounge. The front half of the venue is a taqueria featuring an authentic Mexican street food menu created by culinary director and Chef Bernie Matz. Signature menu items consist of Loaded Carne Asada Nachos (Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Chili Queso, Cotija, Red Onion, Tomato, Cilantro, Chili Crema, Sliced Jalapeno); Late-Night Burrito (Guajillo Braised Short Rib, Roasted Pork, Roasted Chicken, Mexican Rice, Black Bean Refrito, Oaxaca Cheese, Potato Sticks, Salsa Rosada); and Steak Chimichurri Tacos  (Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Purple Cabbage, Tomato, Potato Sticks, Radish, Cilantro, Chimichurri Aioli). Guests order from a full-sized, retrofitted vintage airstream trailer turned into a taco truck and then dine in the garage chic seating of picnic tables, neon bar stools, and graffiti walls. In addition to the regular menu, a weekend brunch menu is available.

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Fort Lauderdale is located at 21 W. Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL and can also be experienced in South Beach and in American Airlines Arena.  For more information, please visit BodegaTaqueria.com and follow on Instagram @BodegaTaqueria.

*Hours of operation are in accordance with mandated COVID-19 regulations and are subject to change. 

 

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Staycation Alert: South Beach for $20/night…are you kidding?!?!

Posted By : denise/ 619

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s post is a two-for, featuring both a wonderful new hostel/boutique hotel and restaurant we were introduced to right in the heart of South Beach. Founded in 2011, Generator, a London-based brand known for their trendy design-forward European Hostels that feel more like boutique hotels, has just opened its first US location in Miami Beach this past August on famed Collins Ave, just one block from the beach. Generator, remodelled from a 1940’s condo building, offers 300 beds in 105 rooms. One of the unique things about this hostel is that in addition to the traditional shared rooms (which start at $20 per bed per night), is the addition of private rooms that start at just $95/night. Generator is not the hostel you might have stayed at while travelling around Europe (probably in your early twenties). They have pulled out all the stops to create a sense of community, incorporating such amenities as an inviting pool, 2 on-site restaurants, beautifully designed shared and private rooms and several really unique common spaces for guests to interact with one another or just take in the serene environment that’s been created for the solo traveler to enjoy on their own – not to mention the awesome location, right in the heart of South Beach. Several activities are being offered at Generator including yoga, mixology demonstrations, movies, a pool table, DJs and more planned.

 

I was invited by Desirey, the Event Sales Manager and my lovely host for the afternoon who arranged a tour of the hostel/hotel and a lovely lunch for us at Driftway, one of the two restaurants found on the property. As we made our way past the pool heading towards Driftway, I couldn’t help but notice this amazing mural painted on the side of the building. It had been painted by South African artist Chris Aurett. The food & beverage operations are being overseen by Gui Jaroschy, whose impressive resume includes opening the Broken Shaker in Miami Beach as well as several other locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York; managing the Anderson in Miami’s Upper Eastside; and consulting on cocktail menus for Ricochet Lounge, Drunken Dragon and British Airways.

Alex, our Driftway guy let me sample all four of their frozen drinks; the Suze and Coke, OMFG Margarita, Bird of Paradise and the Friesling. I enjoyed them all, but my favorite was the Bird of Paradise which was made with Beefeater Dry Gin, Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur, Martini Bitter and J Wray Rum, allspice and cubeb pepper.

I am a huge fan of Mexican style street corn and this one did not disappoint with the spicy mayo, Mexican cheese and cilantro
The West coast Kushi oysters were sweet!!!
Kale Salad: with lemon dressing, sherry trumpet mushrooms and spiced pecans. A beautiful medley of flavors and healthy to boot!
Organic Quinoa Bowl: Market veggies, salsa verde, micro herb salad. Another creative, tasty, healthy and satisfying dish that won’t wreck havoc on your waist.

 

The food and frozen drinks were amazing, as was the ambience and the company. I am looking forward to planning my next Staycation right there at my new favorite place on South Beach.

If you are planning a trip to Miami Beach and are looking for things to do in the area, you might want to consider booking a Savor Our City tour. Private tours are offered for a minimum of 2 guests and groups of up to 50 people. Choose from South Beach, Wynwood, Little Havana, Miami Springs, Doral and Brickell. For more info on tours, contact Savor Our City.

Generator Miami is located at 3120 Collins Ave. Miami Beach 786 496 5730

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise