The Friend Zone

My girlfriends and I have been talking a lot about being “friend zoned” lately. Maybe it’s listening to too many new Adele songs but it got me in the mood to mull over this topic. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the concept of falling for someone only to find they see you in a purely platonic way. It’s rather disappointing isn’t it? However, the writings may have been written on the wall all along and you were just too into your crush to see them. I think this brings up the salient topic of whether girls and guys can be strictly friends. This is a polarizing subject that I have only broached with a few people but the occurrence of “friend zoning” is directly linked to this topic. All the signs you mistook for affection may just have been gestures of an endearing friend. So, how do we distinguish the difference? Should we first assume attraction or friendship? I’d like to think men and women can be friends as one of my dearest friends is a guy. However, I have heard some differing views. One hypothesis I like is the “missed connections” theory in which both people in the relationship will ultimately like one another but this will occur at different times. The only intersection of romantic feelings between friends would thusly happen in movies and very few real life circumstances where the lines of liking cross. There is an instinctual reaction to say that girls and guys can’t be friends because we are driven to couple up but this argument seems rather ridiculousness in modern society because we are not driven to mate per say. I am intensely curious about thoughts on this subject, as there are sure to be more opinions out there.

But back to the friend zone, sometimes we mistake kindness for sweetness, affection for attraction etc. This is not to say these things can jive together as they often do but one should be wary of lumping all actions to one side or the other of the balance. There are very sweet people out there and very touchy people out there and weirdly enough that’s just who they are. It’s probably best to think rationally about actions and never forget context. Say someone asks you to get coffee and study. Jumping to the immediate conclusion of “this is a coffee date and he/she loves me” may not be the most thoughtful conclusion. Think outside the current situation i.e. do you have a test coming up? Does this person suck at calculus and you are really apt? This process might help to draw reasoned conclusions. It’s true that some situations are downright confusing and make no sense. Maybe think of them as irregular variables in an experiment or correlation versus causation in statistics. Okay, that’s a lot of mathematics talk but the point is in there somewhere.

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To be completely honest I’ve seen my friends and even myself burnt by misconceptions of the truth way too many times. Therefore, I am a bit more on the cautious skeptic side. Erring on the side of caution is not necessarily a bad thing because it allows you to be surprised when someone ends up expressing romantic feelings towards you. My ultimate argument would be that people should be explicitly clear about their feelings but I guess where’s the fun in that? Dropping hints and misreading signs are all part of the endless love game that we love to play.

 

Who gives a muck about an Oxford Comma?

Spontaneous adventures are almost always a good idea, especially if they are during a rainy reading week. Last Thursday’s trek consisted of a coach ride to lovely Oxford. There was something very refreshing about speeding away from London town and out into countryside. Getting to Oxford is so zippy and cheap via the (protip) Oxford Tube Bus. The bus runs every 15 minutes and costs 14 pounds roundtrip, that’s right folks throw those train timetables out the window and get yourself to Victoria Station for an adventure.

Half an hour into the ride it started to pour which made for a dreamy trip to the college town. I was glad I had by rain boots (see pun in post title) for lots and lots of walking. I am going to guess that my friend Peter and I lapped the little town about four times. It’s really easy to go to Oxford with no plans because a. there are maps with points of interest everywhere and b. every side winding street is interesting in and of itself.

Hopping off the train there was a flea and food market beckoning us forward. So after steamed pork bao, samosas literally folded together and fried in front of us, and bowl of mixed dumplings I could have gone back pleased, but culture I guess. As we wandered we walked around the grounds of the iconic Bodleian Library before heading to Christ Church where the leaves were enormous and, had it not been for rain, perfectly crunchy.

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Before heading into the church we got sidetracked by science and took a detour to The Museum of the History of Science. The name gives a good indication of the mishmash of items presented in no particular design with no particular sense of editing. However, the kitschy effect was actually enjoyable and it felt like walking through a good curio shop where you could admire everything with no salesman pressure. Back to Christ Church we paid our student (protip) entry fee and toured the cathedral and great hall. Seeing the inspiration for Hogwarts was definitely worth the charge.

More wanderings brought us to the Bridge of Sighs and the outside of the botanical gardens. Had it not been Fall and raining the gardens looked worthy of a visit. Our second church stop was University Church which boasted some vibrant stained glass and balcony views. Due to increasing rain we headed back to the bus depot with our final stop being a stroll/brisk walk around Trinity College which was incredibly green and had some extremely interesting architecture.

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Some takeaways from Oxford are first, don’t forget to dress for the weather, second, always look at your bus options, and third, when you get the chance to take a break from the urban scene–run after it.

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A Little Something Something

My poor forgotten blog, I am revisiting you at last. First, let me say that the past month has been absolutely craziness but I am proud to say You are HERE has officially moved international! It’s safe to say I am settled in London by now so ya’ll can look forward to cheeky posts from England’s hustling and bustling capital.

My overall impressions of the city are as follows: traffic, drinking on the sidewalk (yes, it’s cooler to be outside the bar than in), queuing, so much queuing. and green space. The royal parks alone are out of this world. (Look for individual park breakdowns in the future). I’m going to get to coffee shops, ramen, museums, and fashion in a minute but first I have to acknowledge the amazing jewel in my own ‘hood-The Somerset House. 

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The Somerset House is a sprawling complex on The Strand that houses galleries, cafes, a massive courtyard, and so much more. I can’t really do the history of this grand manor justice so I’ll leave it to the comprehensive history page on Somerset’s site.

When you step into any part of the Somerset House it is as if you have stepped out of contemporary London and into Vienna in the early 1900s. The air is rich with bourgeoisie knowledge from the King’s College students criss crossing with arts enthusiasts. The “house” is enormous and the exhibitions are constantly changing so it is impossible to grow bored. There are five eateries and countless galleries to traverse along with terraces and special events.

So far I have found Fernandez and Wells to be an amazing spot to curl up and do work with a coffee and a delicious sandwich or bowl of soup. Full on review to come soon.

I have made my way through Out of Chaos Ben Uri: 100 Years in London an awesome exhibit celebrating London’s rich immigrant communities. The exhibit was nicely curated with works that were thoughtfully put together in each small room. This made for a very intimate look inside the lives of London’s multicultural landscape. The range of works spanning many different time periods is very dynamic and is supported by crisp graphics portraying the climbing number of immigrants in London.

I also walked through Courtauld Gallery which houses a permanent collection of medieval and impressionist works, as well as, revolving exhibits. On display currently is Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat.  In this show, Riley copied Seurat’s famous Bridge at Courbevoie and than created her own works. Riley’s new perspective on pointillism is quite vibrant and striking. It was refreshing to see an artist celebrate a classic painter rather than hide behind murky plaques that say “he/she was inspired by…” and hen produce a grim modern copy.

The permanent collection includes paintings, drawings, and sculptures residing in stately rooms that are artful in their own right. The collection has a surprising amount of classics but doesn’t overwhelm the visitor with volume. Each painting has room to breath on well-lit walls. Some of my favorites included Nevermore by Gauguin and Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder,

I have just scratched the surface of all there is to explore at the magnificent Somerset House but it is right down the road so I am sure to return a couple dozen times this year. However, this quick review of a cafe and two galleries should be enough to entice anyone to take a look. There’s something in Somer for everyone,

 

 

 

Impending Journey

As I prepare to embark on a life-altering journey overseas I can’t help but glance over my shoulder at the past. I feel as if I am peering back into a swirl of emotions and watching them fade into the distance. Embracing this feeling is akin to shedding an exoskeleton. A carcass of dead skin and bones that has been holding me down but there is still a sadness in saying goodbye to the past. The past is an anchor that holds us down but also acts as a safety net. Old bad habits and strong relationships are all part of the past simultaneously. We tend to carry our pasts with us; shadows clinging to our bodies and never letting go. Why? Good question. This safety net as I mentioned is when the past becomes a crutch, holding us back in several ways. We often use phrases like “I put myself out there once and look what happened,” or “I tried this once before and it became a bloody mess,” and even putting people or events on a pedestal so nothing in the future could possibly compare.

This journey away from home is a good way for me to cut the strings of my past safety net. Creature comforts of home and school will be gone, along with gloomy memories and awkward situations. Starting fresh abroad is certainly good for the soul but not everyone has the opportunity to put an ocean between themselves and the past.

However, new school years are still new opportunities to shed this dead weight. Feel lightness again that you felt before. Even if you are constantly running smack into the past, as a text on your phone, passing in the street, or smeared on career fair posters you can still let it go. Yes, it’s a little harder to rise above when you have reminders encircling you but it’s just a greater opportunity to be a stronger person.

I always say it’s good to be nervous about something because it means the thing is really important to you. There is a difference between nervous to succeed and show your best self and nervous to fail and break down. Missteps and collapses are bound to happen but there is no way to see them coming, no way to obsessively plan and build exit strategies for everything that could possibly go wrong. Instead, take the bundle of nerves and let is serve as kindling for recommitment to your passions, your drive, and your oomph to get this year going.

I’m going to urge myself to stop thinking about what I can learn from the past and just get going already. What’s done is done, cliché as it is, it’s certainly the truth. Lets kick start the new year with some new goals; the possibilities are endless.

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Coffee Shop Review #20 Crema Coffee House

Back on the Denver coffee shop circuit, business is blossoming. Categories out of 5.

Location-4(On Larimer Street, the popular area used to be South of the baseball stadium with Edison Lightbulbs strung over restaurants and shops. However, ever since the creation of the new and hip RiNo, or River North Art District the North end of the street has been getting its fair share of attention. Crema Coffee House is still a little off the beaten path and you will probably find yourself parking near the homeless shelter but fear not because after you grab a coffee at Crema you can stroll South and see beautiful murals and graffiti that liven the slightly run down landscape).

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Barista Cuteness-4.5(If scruffy hipster baristas are what you like, you got ’em at Crema. The friendly staff gave lots of smiles and suggestions for food and drink. The man serving us had no problem explaining the differences between the two espressos they were serving as well).

Coffee Knowledge/Expertise-5(Crema takes their drinks seriously and does them right. Most drinks are served in one size and one size only which indicates that they will contain the proper ratios of espresso, milk, foam and crema of course. My mom and I ordered a pair of cappuccinos while my friend Seth sampled their Ethiopian single origin espresso. The cappuccinos lived up to my expectations perfectly cupping a third espresso, milk and foam. The latte art was also very impressive, illustrating the perfect steaming of the milk. The espresso was hearty enough to stand up against the rest of the cups’ contents and you could even taste the subtle chocolate notes).

Ambiance-5(Crema is deceptively large with a spacious front room, wraparound bar and quiet back room. The front room has bright blue folding chairs and bucket seats. Modern wood tables match the quirky art on the walls. The photography displayed across from the entrance is probably swapped out but is is currently beautiful photographs with ink detailing that makes them intricate and eye catching. The back room looked cozier, with larger furniture perfect for reading and doing work).

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Food/Pastry Selection-4.5(Crema is not only serious about their coffee but about their food as well. The food menu is small but has interesting twists on classic lunch foods. PB&J is now peanut almond butter, date-balsamic jam, and chèvre and a Reuban Sandwich is made “Korean” with duck pastrami, sambal aioli, fresh kimchi slaw, and chèvre. While I have not sampled any of the lunch fare yet I can safely give them points for creativity. We of course did not leave without grabbing a couple pastries to try. We sampled an interesting strawberry brioche roll and a slice of almond lemon sponge cake. The two baked goods were quite a vision and it was hard to cut into them. Once past that we dug into the amazing treats that were incredibly light and flavorful).

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Overall Rating: 4.6

Coffee Shop Review #19 La Colombe

La Colombe is a Philadelphia based coffee roaster that has expanded to New York City, Chicago, and D.C.

Location-4(La Colombe’s DC location is located in the Shaw neighborhood that we are constantly being told is up and coming, which it is. Don’t be fooled by the N Street address however, the cafe is located in Blagden Alley. I biked right past it the first time so some signage would have been nice. Upon finding the tucked away building, the secluded location was very enjoyable).

Barista Cuteness-4(The baristas at La Colombe are all smiles, although not the most helpful when it comes to coffee selection. I appreciated when a barista came by to take my finished dishes instead of watching them stack up. I was even startled out of my Pharrell work mode by an employee coming up to complement my ring).

Coffee Knowledge/Expertise-4.5(This was my first taste of La Colombe coffee so per usual I started with the cappuccino test. I was happy to be offered my choice of espresso and a recommendation of which would stack of best against milk. La Colombe’s coffee is robust and doesn’t try to be anything to fancy, which I can appreciate as a change of pace).

Ambiance-3.5(There are hits and misses for La Colombe when it comes to their cafe design and environment. The long narrow space is very interesting but the seating is a little stagnant. Simple wooden chairs are not too comfortable and they don’t match the exposed brick aesthetic. La Colombe also does not believe in posting menu boards which is an extreme form of pretension that is difficult and inconvenient. While you probably enter knowing what you are going to order you have no idea how much it is going to cost and for those who are not as coffee savvy it poses an even bigger problem. The best part of La Colombe’s DC location is the outdoor buildout. Wide wooden benches are covered by the entrance and provide a very nice shady place to enjoy your coffee year round).

Food and Pastry Selection-4.5(The best part about La Colombe is the beautiful pottery that food and drinks are served on. You’re immediately going to fall in love with anything you get because of it. The pastry selection mainly consists of classic french baked goods including olive oil cakes, canelles, and macaroons. The one issue is that they don’t get enough pastries so you have to make sure you get there in time to sample a good treat. I chose a Nutella morning bun with a fancier name. The crunchy glazed top was delicious and the delicately intertwined layers of buttery dough and Nutella were fantastic).

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Overall Rating; 4.1IMG_3750

Green Thumb

Sometimes when we live in cities we forget about the big green and blue world around us. Urban cityscapes create a dense thicket of concrete and stone that can simultaneously contain inspiring design and harsh lines. It is really important to remind yourself what the natural world looks, feels and smells like to stay buoyant in an urban jungle.

This summer i devoted a lot of time to searching for green space in and around DC. While a lot of people point to the National Mall as a sprawling green campus, it is not quite the same as actual unplanned wild nature. So for my last adventure in DC I ventured to the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens with my friend Seth.

The Kenilworth Gardens lie on the Anacostia River in Northeast DC and are accessible from the Orange Metro line (going green really is that easy). Kenilworth sits on a marsh and is full of lush water based plants. The lotus flowers and water lilies were vibrant and colorful. The tall lotus flowers were our favorites with green leaves and stalks sparked with huge white flowers and giant seed pods that were as interesting as the blossoms.

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The winding paths in the gardens guide you over marshes so you can look straight down into the swamp. Strolling in the garden is so calming and it is hard to imagine that you crossed over an expressway to get to the entrance. Kenilworth is a quiet retreat from the city but also a very interesting reminder of the the District. Seth pointed out that it is interesting to imagine that all of DC probably resembled something similar in the 1800’s.

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The Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens are almost hidden in plain sight, waiting to provide a kind break from the city.

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From Naples with Olive Oil

After romping around Brookland in my last blog post it was necessary to grab some nourishment before heading back downtown. After a 15 minute walk from The Basilica we found ourselves at Menomale Pizza Napoletana. The pizza joint boasts imported olive oil, tomatoes and cheese from Italy as well as a hand built 6000 pound oven that cooks the pizza at 900 degrees. While the restaurant sought an authentic experience it was not as “in your face” as other restaurants that try to press foreign flair and gusto on the customer. The ambiance was laid back and warm, which is probably how pizza is actually enjoyed in Naples. The covered outdoor seating provided a nice break from the sweltering July heat and the indoor seating was simple with bare wood floors and metal tables.

Before we can get to the pizza, we must first cover the drink list. Aside from their various iterations on fresh dough, Menomale also offers a first rate selection of beers that range from fresh new IPAs on tap to authentic German beers that are over a hundred years. The selection of imported beers was a great compliment to the story behind the pizza. To cool off I enjoyed a refreshing cider from Sonoma Cider. The Pitchfork is described perfectly on the Sonoma Website, which as a sidetone is an example of good web design. The really summed up why the hybrid pear and apple cider was crisp and delicious.

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To accompany my pizza I went with a traditional German beer. The beer from  Franziskaner was an enormous wheat beer that paired very well with the light pizza. the glass it was served in was as big as my entire torso, just look at it.

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Now, to the pizza. My friend and I decided to try the Brooklandissima. The veggie pizza had roasted zucchini, eggplant and peppers, as well as, artichokes, gorgonzola, fior di latte mozzarella, garlic, and basil. The crust had this beautiful buoyancy derived from the fluffy dough and the slight charcoal from the oven (see crust above). The pizza could have had more vegetables but the roasted produce paired great with the two cheeses. For our second dish we decided to try a panvozzo, a wood-fired sandwich made with pizza dough. I had never seen this item before and was intrigued by the calzone/snadwich hybrid. We opted for the Barchetta with smoked salmon, mozzarella , arugula, tomatoes, and  grated grana padano. The barchetta was definitely the star of the evening. The fluffy dough let the smoked salmon truly shine and the other ingredients were a fresh and vibrant compliment.

When you head to Brookland (because I know I have convinced you) definitely check out Menomale. It is so hard to find good pizza, specifically crust outside of New York but Menomale does a very fine job.

It’s Brookland not Brooklyn

Some local DCers and travelers alike may be aware of all the confusions that DC’s latest up and coming neighborhood is sparking. I’m talking about Brookland, DC. Although it is often confused for Brooklyn, NYC in pronunciation the new destination is just a quick 15 minute metro ride away from Dupont Circle on the Red Line. I really encourage locals and visitors alike to make sure they get out of the downtown bubble and check out places like NOMA and Brookland. These two destinations contain many cool spots, flying under the radar, i.e. those actually from Brooklyn would definitely approve.

I wrote about Monroe Street Market in a post that is already almost two years old! So much development has happened in the area since. After an afternoon trip this past weekend I have a couple new places for you to check out,

First, head from the metro to the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery on Quincy Street. This holy site reminds me of the missions along the California coastline, as well as, old world places in Spain and Italy. The monastery is awe-some in this way and has beautiful tranquil gardens. The church itself was far bigger than I anticipated and was beautiful and ornately detailed. I would definitely recommend going on one of the guided tours held every hour so you can explore the catacombs underneath the monastery. The monastery is self labeled an “oasis of peace” and I think this is a very fitting name for the structure and grounds that provide a modern pilgrimage site for not only Catholics but anyone looking to be inspired by faith and nature.

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After uncovering the hidden monastery my friend Seth took me to Saturday night mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The name is quite a mouthful but the basilica is  is another breathtaking site. next to Catholic University You don’t need to attend a religious service to walk around the basilica and I would make sure you give yourself an hour to get the full experience. The sheer size of the place is almost overwhelming but the collection of side chapels devoted to saints and different cultures creates an exceptionally intimate feeling. The basilica is another church where you mustn’t forget to head underground to the crypt below the church. The crypt is cool and calming with even more small shrines and alcoves devoted to the various manifestations of the Mother Mary around the world.

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Long Weekend Escapades #2: Sayulita, Mexico

Yes, I have been on a blogging hiatus since summer got busy with work and travel. I’m jumping right back into the swing of things with a couple new posts on my past trip to Mexico. Ironically, the last long weekend special was in Taos, New Mexico, so I am unintentionally keeping with a certain theme.

Let’s jump right in! Sayulita is a vibrant beach town outside of Puerto Vallarta on the peaceful Pacific Ocean. The town is about an hour drive from the Puerto Vallarta airport and four hours from Guadalajara, which was our starting destination (we’ll get to that soon). I’m starting with Sayulita because it is the perfect spot for a long weekend getaway. We were there for five nights but you could easily squeeze everything into a three of four day weekend.

In terms of accommodations it is popular to rent a house on the beach but there are some hotel options. It is highly recommended to rent a house with beach access so you are on the more secluded beach outside of the main playa. The town of Sayulita is centered around a square with arms of streets extending out of it. The cobbled streets lack signage but the size of the town makes it easy to navigate.

The thing about the town is that it’s saturated with food options which is good and bad. It’s hard to try everything in a short trip so my family and I attempted to pick and choose based on a few criteria. We tried to avoid the restaurants that hassled customers on the street, vyeing for business against the other larger, sit down places. We looked for spots that had a lot of locals and were more akin to street food vendors. It always pays off to do as the locals do and we had some excellent meals that even drew us back for seconds. I have broken down the places by the specific dishes they had that truly shined. It’s not a complete guide but it has most of a Mexican food lovers staples.

Burritos: Burrito Revolution is very well known to tourists and locals alike as we got recommendations from other visitors to check the place out. The burritos are pretty massive and they do cut them in half so it is good to mix and match with your friends for a full array. We ordered chicken, steak, and marlin burritos that came packed with rice, beans, and veggies. The best of the three was the marlin which actually had an Asian twist from some pickled cabbage and the marinated fish preparation. The burrito almost had a kimchi-like flavor that floated it above the rest.

Churro: The churro truck produces magical piping hot churros. There is really nothing more that needs to be said. The churros are extruded into their hot oil bath in the back of a pickup truck then dusted in cinnamon sugar and served wrapped in brown paper. What could be better?

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Empanadas: Empanadas are a must for me, as they are one of my favorite Spanish foods. We were able to sample not one but two empanada places that were across the street from each other. First up was Lo de Charo known for its empanadas and fresh made pasta. Basically the small abuelita that ran the place was the dough master. Her empanadas were very traditional with a paler, slightly thick crust that still had some critical flakey bits. We enjoyed mushroom, spinach, and beef empanadas incased in the magical pastry. Another highlight of Lo de Charo was the chimichurri sauce served with the meal. The sauce was perfection and I couldn’t help lather on the parsley, garlic and oil mixture.

The second stop for the Spanish hot pockets is La Empanaderia. The empanadas here are golden brown and way more flakey, almost like croissants. The treats are a little less traditional in this manner but still pretty darn good. La Empanaderia also offers up some great flavor combinations that enhance the delicacies. We came bright and early to get the freshest ones two days in a row so we were able to sample quite a few. Our favorites were the Mushroom+peppers+cheese, ham+cheese+pineapple, and plantain. The mushroom had a great saltiness with an added kick from the hot peppers while the typical ham and cheese was elevated with the hint of sweet pineapple. Finally, I tend to stay away from cooked fruit but the sweet plantain empanada was so good and had a thicker dough to support the platain juices which I actually preferred. The cute spot lent itself to a great video that shows the whole process that you get to witness as a customer, check it out here.

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Fajitas: Taqueria El Ta Corriendo is a fajita stand run by a joyful women who mans the huge griddle with extreme skill. The stand offers some offal cuts including cow tongue and brain. Since they were out of these delicacies we went with classic ground beef and steak fajitas. The fajitas were served with some serious dipping sauces as well. I recommend the green hot sauce as a nice light spicy option that adds some acidity. Make sure you add the beans too, they were extremely good. My father ended up eating a few plain spoonfuls of them.

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Fish Tacos: Estrella de Mar Mariscos was our first meal in Sayulita and it is off the main streets on your way up to the houses outside the downtown. Mariscos offers up fish tacos grilled and Baja (breaded and fried) style. We opted for grilled and were not disappointed. While I don’t have an entire Fish Taco Faceoff for you I will give a quick breakdown that I hope Morgan would be okay with. The grilling yielded optimal freshness and the fish was so juicy with great flavor stemming from the slight blackening. There was no skimping on slaw but it did not overpower the tacos. The veggie mixture consisted of just lettuce and onions slightly seasoned. The sauces were served on the side and it seemed best to go with the traditional crema which with its slight spice added a great flavor to the tacos.

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Ice Cream/Popsicles/Horchata: Wa Kika is the hopping spot in town for cold treats. Their homemade popsicles of almost every variety are delectable. Flavors like hibiscus, pistachio, and mango with chiles create a magnificently colored display. The ice cream is also a delight and is served in very generous portions. Everything costs around $1 (the current exchange rate is about 15 Pesos to the dollar), which is incredible as far as gourmet ice cream goes. Gelato can go for as high as $6 for a small and popular popsicles are around $3 each in D.C. The popsicles at Wa Kika are so packed with flavor and taste so fresh. Don’t forget to sample their horchata, because everyone needs horchata.

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Steak Tacos: El Itacate takes its steak very seriously and does it very well. We had carne assada and steak milanse. Milanase is breaded steak and was totally delicious. The breading kept the meat super juicy while offers a nice flavor from the bread crumb mixture, very similar to steak cutlets with added grilled onions and peppers. El Itcate also serves enormous drinks that make it a popular late night destination. Note, don’t be fooled by the counter of the open air kitchen, a sweet waitress will come to take your order and offer up a board fully loaded with sauces and grilled whole onions. The onions were charred and fragrant, very good additions to the tacos and you could honestly eat them plain like a sweet apple if you were so inclined.

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Tacos al Pastor: Tacos Il Ivan has the gleaming, rotating, spit of meat with a pineapple placed, calling the name of any Tacos al Pasor lover. The spinning meat is shaved off much like q greek gyro but has a very different flavor profile. The lean meat is red in color from an epic slathering of sauce and is sliced off fresh for the taco orders. The tacos are dressed simply with lettuce but there is an entire  condiment to suit any foodies’ needs. My favorite additions were a squeeze of lime, fresh cucumbers and hot sauce. The place is definitely a local  hangout is constantly packed with eager eaters.

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Tostadas: For another awesome fish option check out the marlin tostados at Medusa. Medusa is off the main area, on the same street as Estrella de Mar Mariscos. The tostado special proved to be a simple and tasty afternoon snack. Four tostadas and a hibiscus tea costs 50 pesos, that’s about $3 for a meal that comfortably fed three people. The marlin tostadas surprised us with their citrus flavor and bright appearance. The fish was prepared ceviche style so all of of the freshness was locked in. The fish was topped with shaved carrots and lettuce that with a squeeze of lime gave the fish an orange flavor that was bold and flavorful. The marlin tostadas are definitely a dish you won’t see everywhere and should not be missed.

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