Ya’llllll. Long blog hiatus here. Now that vacation is over, it’s time for me to get back into the blogging groove. For real, I’m basically just now getting my life back in order. Bear with me as I try to remember how to put coherent thoughts on paper (in contrast to the two weeks vacation during which I formed zero intelligent thoughts).
I will say that two weeks away (plus the less than fun weeks leading up to and following a vacation) are a great reminder of how fast Raleigh is developing. When I got back, I felt like I had tons of new places to try. Not to mention new fall menus rolling out plus some new spots opening over the next few weeks (looking at you Crawford and Son).
// Bare Bones //
Last weekend we headed out to one of the newer spots in town, Bare Bones. This spot is brought to you by the same folks behind Basan in Durham, Mura in North Hills, and Haymaker in downtown Raleigh. They also owned Faire in Cameron Village, which closed a little bit ago, as well as The Oxford, which used to be in the Bare Bones space. I gave The Oxford and Faire a solid meh. Based on their record, this restaurant group seems to shine with sushi. I was interested to see how this spot would be…
I have excellent news fellow diners of Raleigh, Bare Bones is delishhhhh. I was incredibly impressed. Check it.
I was pleased to find a 15 minute wait (Note: waits are a good thing people. A wait = noms alert. Unless you’re at Applebees, in which case a wait = extra time to consider your life choices). We snagged a drink at the bar and I walked around creepily scoping out the joint.
First things first, the atmosphere is open and fun. There are tons of rustic details and tons of room for activities. I hate feeling cramped in a restaurant. It’s like, once I eat and my body feels cramped in my clothes, I’m double cramped. It’s a whole thing.
There’s a huge shuffleboard table and a few pool tables as well. If you’re noise averse, this may not be the spot for you. The games are fairly close to the tables, so you are at risk for overhearing some trash talking.
For dinner, I had the Bear Claw burger with brie. It was also topped with some kind of cherry spread, and bacon. I was a little skeptical at first, but it was fantastic. The brie melted perfectly and the cherry spread tossed in an unexpected sweetness.
Zach had the meatloaf and one of our friends had the sliced brisket. I personally sampled everything (for research) and it was ALL delicious.
I mean. Come on. Noms.
Let me also say the prices could not be beat. My burger ran me $8. A full pound of brisket was a modest $15. Also, the service was fantastic. I wanted to be friends with both of our waiters.
Raleigh blasphemy coming up: If I had to choose between Bare Bones and the Pit right this instant, I’d choose Bare Bones. I warned you. I said it. The last few times I’ve been to the Pit I just haven’t been as impressed. I’m pumped to have some healthy (not in the literal sense) competition here in DTR and in the BBQ department. Definitely worth checking out!
// Klen Shop //
A few weeks back I hooked up with the Klen Shop folks to score a few products to try out. Disclosure: I was compensated by Klen Shop with a payment, product, or something else of value in exchange for writing this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Now that that annoyance is out of the way, on to an awesome line of products!
Klen Shop is a local beauty brand that uses only all-natural products. The founders’ (Leigh Noonan & Allison Mays) story is very cool and you should read the full story on their site (here), but in a nutshell, the ladies started the line after seeing their kids rub lip glosses all over their faces. I don’t have kids, but judging by my Facebook feed, this appears to be normal behavior. Cue concern over chemicals straight to the face. After having success with the lip glosses and balms, they expanded their line.
Here are some of my faves. First off, the gloss, where Klen Shop got its start, is perfect. It’s not too sticky and it lasts for quite a while. I tried the pink grapefruit and it smells amazing.
I also love the lip balm and lip scrub. Lip scrub is perfect for this time of year. I’ve tried a few that are overly oily, but this one is just right. Top it with the balm and you’re good to go.
My absolute FAVE item is the lotion stick. The lotion is insanely creamy and soft, but not sticky. It absorbs right into the skin, but somehow you can still feel it hours later? Perfect.
You can absolutely tell the difference between products that are full of chemicals and products that are just plain natural. Of course, these products stand out even more, since they’re local! To make things even sweeter, use the code “Raleighwood” for 15% off!
It feels great to be back in the blogosphere ya’ll. Can’t wait to share some fun new posts in the next few weeks. Also, it’s November. Not sure how that happened, but here we are.