A Neighborhood Gem {Social Restaurant & Bar Review}

If you’ve been reading B2B for a while, then I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about Social Restaurant & Bar at least a few times by now. I hosted RM’s surprise birthday party there last year, I saddled up to the bar a little while ago for pizza and bubbly and then we also went there for New Years Eve– clearly I’m a big fan of the restaurant so when I connected with the owner about hosting a blogger dinner there was I was super excited.  I haven’t ever planned a blogger event like this and while it was a little stressful trying to coordinate between various people and schedules and things like that, it was a really fun experience. Plus, when you get to spend an evening chatting, eating and drinking with these lovely ladies, how could you not enjoy yourself?!

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Going around the table you’ve got Lauren, Becki, Cara, Jenna, Caroline, Stephanie and Athena

Let’s talk about the food, though, because it was incredible! I’ve eaten there enough to know that they serve delicious food, but last week was a whole other experience.

When we got there, we were able to mingle over cocktails and my favorite chicken “lollipops” (buffalo and BBQ) and spicy pork tacos. What I love about the lollipops is that there is way more meat on them than your standard wing. And the tacos? I mean, I loveeee tacos so it’s no surprise that I loved them, but even if I didn’t love tacos I would still think they were great. I loved the spicy kick and the pork was really flavorful.

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Once we had enough time to get to know everyone and catch up with those we did know, we headed to our table. I liked that it was a small enough group where we could sit and still be able to talk with everyone. They sent out some cocktails for us to taste and even though I’m not a big mixed drink person, I was a big fan of the ELDER STATESMAN (ketel one, st. germain liquer, lemon juice, splash of soda- $10). I didn’t get to try the RED MOJITO (bacardi silver, fresh limes, mint, drunken cherries-$10), but the others said it was delicious.

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For starters, they sent out the Fall Kale Salad (honey crisp apple, red radish, scallion, almond cider green goddess dressing ) and the Heirloom Beet Salad (golden & candy stripe beets, goat cheese, panna cotta, toasted hazelnuts half), both of which I went back for seconds on. Next, they sent out a super neat dish called Hot Rocks, which was thinly sliced brandt beef drizzled with white truffle oil which we were able to cook at the table! Our last starter was another favorite of the night: Yellowfin Tuna, which was rare seared and served with  sticky rice, spicy green beans, pickled daikon, avocado and sweet soy ginger sauce. It was absolutely incredible and would be something I’d easily order again.

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We thought we were done here, but boy were we wrong! We were pleasantly surprised when they brought over an entire roast chicken that was cooked to perfection. The flavor was on point- maybe even the best I’ve ever had? Which is a big statement since I have roast chicken frequently. Alongside that was a serving of their Maple Roasted Squash Farro, which perfectly complimented the chicken. I could’ve just eaten a bowl for that and have been happy! It was a flavor party in my mouth 🙂

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And finally, when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, they brought out their Chocolate Lava Cake and Nutella Bread Pudding (which we had on NYE!). Even though I was so full, I am a firm believer that dessert holds its own separate space in our stomachs so of course I ate my share of both 😉

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I can’t say it enough- if you haven’t checked out the Social Restaurant and Bar, I highly suggest getting yourself there! It’s literally right off of Exit 17 off the Pike and they validate parking on the weekends.

And lastly, a huge thank you to Bill over at the Social and for all of these amazing bloggers who took time out of their busy life to meet up and check out the Social!

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After such great conversations with everyone about life, work, blogging and working out, I left there feeling so blessed to be able to have connected with such strong, empowering women. Thank you, ladies!

 

Weekending: “Ladies Night”, Zeke’s 1st Birthday and Local Supplier Meet & Greet at Whole Foods

You guys! This past weekend was busy, busy, busy…. but with all fun things so I can’t complain! I got a massage on Friday, which was a great way to end my “vacation” week and to kick off the weekend! After my massage, my friend Jess picked me up and we headed north for dinner in New Hampshire at Tortilla Flat with some of our other St. Michael’s friends. It may seem weird that we traveled all the way up there for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, but there was a Tortilla Flat near St. Mike’s and both Kia and Lauren worked there, which meant we went there… a lot… so  we had to check it out!

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Skinny Marg and a Combo Plate- nothing about Mexican food photographs well…

I have to share the cutest story from our dinner. There were 6 of us and all of a sudden a waitress brings over this little (5 or 6 year old) boy. Here’s how the situation went down:

Boy: Are you out for a ladies night?

Us: Yes, we are.

Boy: Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Us: Oh yeah? Why’s that?

Boy: Because I’m the ladies man!

So cute! We died laughing.

Luckily, it was an early night, which was good because I knew Saturday was going to be a big day. I cannot believe little Zeke is already ONE!!! It’s so crazy. Sara put on the most wonderful celebration- from the decorations to the food to the drinks to the company- everything was perfect! We lucked out with the weather, too. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but it was such a great day celebrating a very loved little boy!

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I mean, can you get any cuter than little Zeke in his 1 year old shirt with a bow-tie?!?! Love! Also love my Shapleigh girls and getting to spend an afternoon with them 🙂

Danielle and I headed back to MA early on Sunday since I had a blogger event to attend at Whole Foods.

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I’m always excited for blogger events, but I was especially excited about this one because I’ve been big into buying locally and organic and wanting to know where my food comes from. It was a small event, but there were a number of vendors with samples ranging from fish to prepared salads to cheeses and butters to muesli, pickels, salsa, ice cream and iced coffee. It was so great to chat with all of them to see how their products are made, where they are located and what makes them different than other similar items sold in grocery stores.

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I’m a big fan of good swag bags 😉 Some of my favorite things I tried were:

  • Cheeses and Sea Salt & Maple Butter from Vermont Creamery– I put some of this on my dad’s homemade bread it and it was absolutely amazing!!
  • Muesli from TuTu Muesli I anticipate early working hours, which means I’ll need to bring breakfast on the road with me so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes with the sample that I received from TuTu. I bought some Muesli from Bob’s Red Mills and will likely do “over night oats” with that.
  • Salsa from Nola’s Salsa This stuff was absolutely delicious! There’s nothing better than fresh, homemade salsa and this totally fit the bill for that. The owner lived in Texas for a while and learned from the best. She only uses real ingredients and you can taste the difference. I can’t wait to open mine!
  • Ice cream from Tea-Rrific Wow. This tea-based ice cream was SO good. They actually brew the tea when making the ice cream so you could taste the specific tea flavors in each one. My favorite was the Masala Chai and the Chamomile- Perfect little sweet treat!
  • Cold Brew coffee from Grady’s Cold Brew– I gave up coffee about a year ago, but when I heard the vendor explain how it’s made without brewing coffee. Grady’s Cold Brew has less caffeine, it’s less acidic (much easier to drink!) and is easier on digestion than regular coffee. There’s no added sugar and the ingredient list is short: water, coffee, chicory and spices. All he added was a little almond milk for me and it was perfect!

Big thanks to Jess and Whole Foods Charles River Plaza for hosting such a great event… and providing us with some amazing swag bags with the products we were able to learn about and try.

Questions for you: How often do you get together with your girlfriends? What was the best part of your weekend? Do you like to shop locally or buy organic products? Have you ever heard of the ones I listed above?

Indoor Cycling at Flywheel

If you read my post on my experience at Recycle Studio, it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of indoor cycling. In fact, I don’t know if I can go back to regular spinning. I love the experience that indoor cycling classes bring: loud music, crazy good energy, great choreography AND the addition of weights for some upper body work and sometimes even core work. When I workout- unless I’m planning to just do lower or upper body or core workouts- I like to leave the gym or studio feeling like I had a total body workout. I feel like indoor cycling accomplishes that far more than just a regular spin class. It’s more bang for your buck (and that’s necessary when you’re dropping $$$ on boutique studio classes) and I’m all about that.

With that said, it was a no brainer that I wanted to go to a blogger event that was being hosted at Flywheel last weekend. I’m on a serious “boutique studio” kick, whether it be barre, yoga, indoor cycling, bootcamps (you get the idea), so having a chance to try out a “new” studio without having to pay the hefty class fee the boutique studios charge was pretty awesome.

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Anyway! I headed to the Prudential Center at 1pm last Saturday for the event. I love blogging events because it’s so fun to meet other bloggers and hear about what they blog about and to make that connection with each other. I was stoked to see Stacey and Sarah, as well as meet a bunch of new ones (Lucie was a total sweetheart and I want to have her do fitness photos of me!).

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I was surprised to see how big the room was! I feel like boutique studios are often on the smaller side and space seems to always be limited (I had to sign up a week in advance for a class at Recycle!), but I think Flywheel had over 40 bikes set up in a stadium seating manner and I can only imagine what the energy would feel like if the room was packed- I love that!

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I was a little nervous going into the event because I heard that they post your speeds up on monitors… ummm, while I am very competitive, I wasn’t stoked about this because spinning/cycling isn’t my thing and I didn’t want that type of competition to hinder my experience. The instructor did use the monitors, but I liked that she only displayed our speeds when she wanted us to push ourselves. It really does serve as great motivation and I’m happy to say I didn’t get caught up on the rankings! My legs were beat from having taught kickboxing earlier in the day, so I knew I wasn’t able to give the ride my all and I was ok with that.

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Flywheel was different from Recycle in that the rides were not as choreographed at Flywheel as they were at Recycle. The rides at Flywheel were more interval based, which was a nice change and they definitely pushed my boundaries and forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I loved that the bikes had little screens so you could see your level (torque), RPMs and power. I’m a big numbers person, so being able to know where I should be level and RPM-wise helps me pace myself and push myself.

We used weight sticks for upper body strength training for 1 song and I loved it. My arms didn’t burn as much as they did during Lindsay’s arm song in her Recycle class, but it was still a good burn. We didn’t incorporate any core or chest exercises at Flywheel like we did at Recycle, but I think that’s the difference between the two: Flywheel is more interval based and Recycle was more total body/choreographed… or at least that’s how it seemed to me based off of my experience at both.

What I love about Flywheel is the fact that they offer a “first class free” pass, which I think is SO important at these boutique studios. Classes are expensive and I think a lot of people don’t even try it out because they don’t want to drop $25-$30 on an hour long class (which I totally get, I’m just a sucker for new fitness classes and know (hope) that the classes will be worth the money… which they usually are!), so offering a first class free option is a great way to get people in the door!

All in all, I loved my experience at Flywheel and definitely look forward to going back, maybe with my sister since she’s been spinning lately and would love to take advantage of a free class pass!

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Also, big thanks to Jessica for setting up such a fun blogger event! And big thanks to City Sports and all the other vendors who provided the best goodie bag treats. I’m a sucker for free things AND treats, so goodie bags are like my favorite things 😉

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So, if you’re looking for a fun place to workout and get an incredible workout (seriously, my quads were BURNING and I was soaked by the end!), definitely head on over to Flywheel and you can snag your first class free!

Questions for you: Have you been to Flywheel? What’s your favorite type of spin class? Intervals/Endurance/Choreographed/Song Tempo? Are you a sucker for giveaways?