On the Road Review: South Bend, Indiana

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It’s been a long time since I posted and after dining in South Bend, I realized I needed to start sharing again!

I flew from DFW to Fort Wayne, rented a car and headed to South Bend. If I had had a little extra time I would have stopped at one of the many cute boutiques in FW so hopefully next time I can make that happen. The drive was pretty easy and in less than two hours I was checking into the Aloft South Bend.

Aloft South Bend
The Aloft is a newer hotel and located downtown. Parking was in the building and the staff was great during check in. There is a bar, a few social areas and a spot for breakfast. Plus you can walk to numerous restaurants in the area. My room overlooked downtown and I could see the Notre Dame campus. Fast forward to the next morning, I slept great, had a quick breakfast of lemon pancakes with fruit and granola in a breakfast bowl and started my day!

LaSalle Grill
I had looked up all the spots downtown and settled on LaSalle, a fine-dining restaurant and steakhouse. I normally would not choose a fine dining spot but they had a casual third floor lounge that got great reviews.  But, it was a Monday night so the third floor was closed and it was a super quiet night in the main restaurant. Since I was dining at 8pm I decided to order a light meal- the wedge salad with the herb dressing and the pan seared scallops over a roasted leek johnny cake with nueske’s bacon pomodoro. Both were fantastic! My server was great and she timed everything perfectly so I could finish my presentation due the next morning.

Cinco5 International
Full day meeting so we take our client to lunch and they choose Cinco5, a casual spot for Mexican and Thai food. Yes, Mexican and Thai. Since I had to pick one, I kept it simple and went with Pad Thai.  Half the table did thai, half did tacos.  The best part – private room for a group of 10!

Cinco5 Pad Thai-South Bend

Cinco5 Pad Thai-South Bend

Tortas Frontera
When flying through O’Hare and super hungry, this is your stop. Braised pork torta with pickled red onion, black beans and amazing bread. Cannot go wrong with Rick Bayless!

Have other favorites in Fort Wayne or South Bend?  Let me know!


On the Road Dining Review: Raleigh/Durham

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I love it here.  The poeple are nice.  The airport is easy.  AND I’m finding some great spots to grab a meal solo!

Mateo bar de tapas
I drove to Durham and found a seat at the bar.  And I was lucky to find a seat because at 6pm, the place was pretty full.  I started with a beer and ordered the pan con tomate, similar to bruchetta.  My favorite part of the meal!  Next the ensalada de mariscos, a seafood salad.  Also great.  Last I ordered the sweetbreads, normally something I really enjoy but no so much this time.  But regardless of that one dish, I would definitely go back here.  Plus next to this restaurant are quite a few others on my list of must try spots in Durham.  Good thing I have another trip planned in before the end of the year!
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My colleague told me if I wanted something relatively close to the hotel and office but not quite downtown, go hear.  I was glad I did.  Quiet crowd but tables were full.  Smaller menu but plenty of options.  Sake, Agadashi Tofu and a Scary Jerry Roll…I will be back!

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The Wandering Moose – Food Truck
One of the great things about our North Carolina office is that the food trucks come every Wednesday.  I can eat a great meal while still being productive or meeting with other managers or team members.  Wandering moose had this amazing sandwich – Black Angus Brisket Sandwich(i got it with no blue) that was SO messy but so worth it. Plus mac and cheese with bacon.  YES!
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I love French food, don’t mind the richness and wish I could have it more often.  And when I travel, I look for great French restaurants because I don’t get to treat myself at home too often.  Coquette has a convenient location and I enjoyed escargot and mussels.  I hear there are two other french spots I need to try…..
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Aladdin’s Eatery Raleigh
I needed something quick and something to fill me up for the day.  Hummus Shawarma Plate- perfect amount.  Located in the Briar Creek area, it is super convenient to eat or pick up.


Fresh. Local Ice Cream
Because on a business trip, you get to treat yourself with ice cream!

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On the Road Dining Review: Miami

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I had the chance to head to Miami for a client event recently and I only had time for one lunch and one dinner.  Off to the Wynwood area……

Wynwood Walls
It was 5 o’clock, everyone from our team had arrived and we were hungry.  We stayed at the Miami Marriott Key Biscayne and jumped on a street trolley with old-fashioned seating that gave complimentary rides over to Wynwood.  The famous Wynwood Walls – it was a great experience.  Thirty minutes to just disconnect, walk around outdoors and look at art.

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The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill
After our tour of Wynwood, we stopped by The Butcher Shop and found ourselves in the middle of happy hour.  Pork belly skewers, brisket sliders and a blonde ale with a strange name and I was happy.

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I had to get seafood before I left town.  Mignonette is a 5 minute walk from the hotel and by the time I made it there, it was quiet with only a few tables.  I ordered grouper, checked email and enjoyed one quiet meal before heading to the airport.





On the Road Dining Review: Raleigh/Durham

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I made it to Raleigh again .  And with no delays.  Time to grab a quick lunch – this is going to be a long day.

OpenTable does not usually steer me wrong.  An was close to the airport.  And when I saw it listed as one of the gold finalists in The News & Observer’s list of the Top Restaurants of 2015, I decided to try it.  Contemporary Asian.  I ordered the Sea Bass Satay with a salad to start.  Delicious.

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The Pit Durham
Tonight I try true North Carolina BBQ at the very famous Pit.  I decided to drive to Durham rather than Raleigh due to traffic.  Glad I did.  I got right in and had the most delicious meal.  The waiter recommended a few different things and I left full and happy!

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Angus Barn
I had no energy to go downtown for dinner on my second night.  I wanted something super close to the hotel and the office.  I had heard about Angus Barn and numerous people recommended I stop in to the bar for dinner.  What a scene!  The people watching was great, the music was great and yes, the food was great!

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