Your fave lazy blogger is back. This was another fairly long hiatus (3 weeks) without a blog post. Totally unacceptable, but, don’t worry, I’ve completely justified it in my mind through a series of well-reasoned excuses.
Over Labor Day weekend I headed to Savannah for a ladies’ trip to celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday. We had an absolute blast. Check out my Instagram for some of my pics (and to be genuinely impressed about how my Mom does not look 60). You’ll also want to check out the ridiculous tiny feather hat we forced to wear. She loved it.
// Parkside //
This post is SO late, but a few weeks back, we checked out the NEW Parkside Raleigh.
Parkside took the place of the old Brewmasters on Dawson. Waiting to see what would fill this space seemed to take forever and the opening of Parkside was long-awaited. On a personal level, I live about a block from here, and was dying to see what would go in. Fortunately, Parkside did not disappoint.
First off, praise be to Parkside for keeping the neon light that drew us to Brewmasters. I was a little worried someone would try to modernize that space (which would be so dumb). One point for Parkside.
The new owners kept most of the same decor, but looks like they upgraded the booths (thank God) and bar (much needed).
/ Food & Drink /
We kicked off the meal with a local brew. I had Devil’s Tramping Ground from Aviator. The draft list was solid and stocked with local options. They weren’t offering any specials when I went, but it was in the first week and our waitress said they would be working out some specials in the coming weeks.
When I heard a “locally sourced gastropub” was moving into this space, I was a little concerned that I was in for high prices and small portions. I owe Parkside an apology, as I was gravely mistaken. The prices were comparable to Brewmasters, whose only stellar menu item was the cheese fries. Most importantly, the portions were just right!
We ordered a few appetizers to get started. I am obsessed with all things fig and goat cheese. Parkside next-leveled me and wrapped ’em in bacon. This appetizer was the shining star in my book. It was the perfect mix of sweet and salty.
We also tried the nachos. As you can see from the picture, you get a generous dose of creamy nacho cheese (obviously homemade) and guac.
Can I just say, there is absolutely nothing worse than ordering nachos and receiving a plate of gross chips with zero toppings. I’m sitting here right now thinking of all the indecencies committed by humanity in the past 100 years and truly believe this offense is by far the worst. Fortunately, Parkside was not an offender in this department, as I would have to publicly shame them if they were.
For the main course, I went with a mediterranean-style flatbread. It was really good, but if you don’t like your food a little charred, I would pass on this one. I love burned things (marshmallows, pizza, etc.) so it was just right for me. The base of the pizza was a hummus mix, so it made the flatbread a bit more substantial.
Zach ordered the fried chicken and waffle sandwich (as one does). He had nothing but good things to say. Side note: the tater tots were somehow amazing. Zach said I had to try them and I sarcastically (whaaaaaattttt?) responded, “How good can they be?” The answer: really freaking good. Super seasoned and insanely crispy.
All in all, definitely happy with the outcome of this place. It’s still a nice spot to just grab a beer like Brewmasters, but also brings the addition of a really stellar food menu. Check it out ASAP!
// Raleigh Room Escapes //
Last week, my co-workers and I headed to a room escape, the newest trend in team-building (and general enjoyment). If you haven’t heard, a room escape is basically exactly what it sounds like. You and 10 of your pals head into a locked room and solve puzzles, clues, and riddles to try to escape before time runs out. You only get an hour and man oh man does it move quickly.
There are a few room escape companies in Raleigh, but we went with the aptly named Raleigh Room Escapes. Our group had an awesome experience and I would highly recommend it. I can’t tell you anything about the rooms (you have to go and feel like a failure yourself), but I can say this particular company had cool themed rooms that set it apart from other places.
We had about 20 people and rented out the “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie” and “Devil’s Tramping Ground” rooms. The zombie room is exactly what it sounds like. There is a real person dressed up like a zombie (or an actually zombie…I suspect there’s something they’re not telling us) who tried to kill you throughout the process of discovering clues. I was in the Devil’s Tramping Ground room, and it was a blast.
Unfortunately, we did not escape. We were SO close, but, as they say, no cigar. I’m looking forward to heading back with my friends and trying another room. I also want to note that they’re opening two new rooms this year, so keep a lookout if you’re trying to find a new room!
// Freakin’ Weekend //
The main event in Raleigh this weekend is Hopscotch! If you don’t know, Hopscotch is an amazing music festival in downtown Raleigh hosted across 12 different venues. Not only is Hopscotch my favorite Raleigh event, but it also marks the one year anniversary of my blog! That’s right, my very first blog post was about Hopscotch 2015. Check it out here.
I’ll be posting about all things Hopscotch this weekend and the lineup looks amazing. Make sure to check out the schedule and get your day parties lined up as well. Day parties are a long heralded Hopscotch tradition. You don’t have to have a ticket to the festival to go to the day parties. Check out the schedule here.
Also, keep an eye out on WRAL Out and About for my top 10 Indie/Rock bands to check out at the festival.
Cheers and Happy Hopscotch!