#FoodieFriday Feature| Dinner For Two Review @bukuwakeforest! Eat Global,Support Local and Celebrate Grand Opening 6/28 in Wake Forest, NC

Recently, SobeSavvy.com was invited to a hosted dinner at the new bu•ku Wake Forest, a restaurant that is recognized for its global street food menu thanks to its flagship establishment in downtown Raleigh,NC. Their website states they are inspired by the pushcarts of street vendors from all over the world. I was excited to taste what they offered and hoped it would remind me of my experiences abroad as well as introduce me to something I’ve never had before.

If you are asking yourself… what is global street food?..It is basically no frills food native to the area it originates from. It tastes exactly like they would make these dishes in their home for their families. My introduction to street food was sudden and unexpectedly delightful. The year was 2006 in Phuket Island, Thailand. My friend who lived there at the time was taking my husband and I around and showing up the sights. We were hungry and he said “Let’s go by noodle stand #5”. Not quite sure what that was so we went along with it. We pulled up to a side street where an elderly woman had set up a plastic table on the back of her bike with a steaming contraption alongside. To our western sensibilities this was strange. We had one of the best meals of our lives right there in the alley. That unique dining experience shaped my willingness to try different foods and made me ready to enjoy dinner for 2 at bu•ku.

RESTAURANT VIBES

Since this locally owned and operated restaurant is celebrating global street food in an elevated way, you will not find plastic tables here. The decor is modern and the ambiance is inviting yet intimate. You have the option to dine inside or outside on the patio but as soon as I walked thru the doors at bu•ku Wake Forest, I knew I would enjoy dining in the serene, beautifully designed dining space. I had an early dinner reservation at 6p but soon the restaurant was bustling with quite a few large dinner party celebrations as well as friends casually meeting for drinks after work at the bar. There were even families with children enjoying dinner and couples enjoying a dinner date night. No matter how busy it got, service was welcoming and attentive throughout the evening.

COCKTAILS ANYONE?

If you are one that enjoys a good drink before, during or after your meal, then you will be quite satisfied with the wine list, beer and cocktail menu at bu•ku Wake Forest. Whether you chose to enjoy on their patio, at the bar or with your dinner, I do suggest this restaurant for their interesting selection of wines, beers and craft cocktails. Here are two drinks that you must try your next visit to bu•ku:

Sangria Roja at bu•ku is the perfect Summertime Sip!

My new favorite bubbly cocktail: The Secret Garden at bu•ku

DINNER MENU

Per bu•ku Wake Forest, their Global Street Food menu is ..”a new type of dining, designed for the type of mix & matched tadting and plate-sharing that sparks conversation.” If you ever been to the Raleigh location owned by culinary visionaries Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins, you will notice some menu differences. The team partnered with longtime friend, Todd Ohle, owner of the second bu•ku Wake Forest, and each restaurant has its own Chef that develops their own creations while still supporting menus and programs for the entire restaurant group. Just like the Raleigh location ( which is moving to Cary in 2019), bu•ku offers gluten free, vegetarian and vegan dishes on the menu. Feast your eyes on the small plates, large plates and big bowls we enjoyed for dinner:

Small Plates | Chinese Steamed Buns at bu•ku | 2 per order- Braised Pork, hoison sauce, pickles and scallions. Served on a perfectly warm “steamed” bun. Perfection in it’s simplicity yet complex in it’s flavors. Yum!

Small Plates | Edamame + Ostras Asadas at bu•ku | Edamame has a bit of a kick thanks to the addition of peppercorn. The grilled local oysters are some of the best I have had in the Triangle because of the flavorful toppings!

Large Plates | NC Catch at bu•ku | Local Seafood meets Global Flavors on a plate! The flounder was perfectly cooked and served on a bed of cauliflower,rutabaga mash, pistachio and topped with fennel-shallot confit. My favorite part was pouring the parmesean beurre on top!

Big Bowls | Vietnamese Phô at bu•ku | The seared filet mignon was so tender and my favorite part about this dish. I wanted more flavor from the broth and plan to do some spice additions to my leftovers at home!

Dessert | Tres Helados at bu•ku | You get a trio of chefs selection of gluten free sorbet and ice creams, toasted coconut flakes, and fresh berries. It was my first time having avocado ice cream and I loved it!

SobeSavvy Tip: EVENT ALERT A celebration for the new bu•ku Wake Forest will take place Thursday, June 28th with a cocktail hour and ribbon cutting for media and city officials on Thursday, June 28th. Dinner service will begin at 5pm and feature live music from Joe O’Keefe’s “3 Second Rule” band (who owns neighboring Wine 101), as well as complimentary sangria for all guests. As founding members of A Place at the Table, Degnan and Hopkins will donate a portion of proceeds from this evening to this charitable cause!

Thanks for reading and I hope the are inspired to make dinner reservations for 2 at the new bu•ku!

bu•ku Wake Forest

1228 Heritage Links Dr suite 100, Wake Forest, NC 27587

@ALAMORaleigh Launches Summer of #FAMILYFUN + Get FREE #Incredibles2 Activity Sheets for your little ones!

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE LAUNCHES AN INCREDIBLE(S) SUMMER OF FAMILY FUN
Kids are in command this summer with the return of Disney/Pixar’s first family, classic family film screenings, and free milkshakes, tattoos, & pizza!

Hey Raleigh! Are you ready for a summer of film and family fun? How about some FREE Incredibles 2 activity sheets for your little ones? Keep reading and I will share how you can enjoy all the above this summer!

Alamo Drafthouse is celebrating Disney/Pixar’s long-awaited animated sequel INCREDIBLES 2, TODAY Saturday June 16 with a fun The Incredibles 2 Family Party! If you are not able to make this event, check out what other family fun activities you can enjoy this summer at Alamo Drafthouse:

Summer Family Fun Card

The cinema-eatery is debuting their Summer Family Fun Card. The program is free, and

available now at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh or online.

What a fun way to encourage kids to track the new and classic movies they see at Alamo Drafthouse,

including the just-announced lineup of affordably priced Kids Camp and PBS Kids screenings

, plus they earn prizes!

Every film a child 12 or under sees between June 1st and August 31st is eligible for a sticker and a cute (and temporary) tattoo. The more stickers kids collect, the more prizes they’ll win, like milkshakes, pizza, free movies, and more. Plus, if it’s a child’s very first time at a theater, parents can pick up a free keepsake “My First Movie” certificate.

Kids Camp and PBS Kids
Each summer Alamo Drafthouse programs daily Kids Camp screenings of classic films that parents grew up with like THE NEVERENDING STORY and recent favorites like the recent animated musical SING for a super-affordable price — just $1, $3, or $5 — your choice! Ticket proceeds go directly to benefit local nonprofits, with an expected goal of raising $100,000 nationwide.
June

TROLLS

•HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

THE NEVERENDING STORY

THE LEGO MOVIE
July
MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN

THE LAND BEFORE TIME
MONSTERS VS. ALIENS

SING
August

PADDINGTON 2

PRINCE OF EGYPT

KUNG FU PANDA

DESPICABLE ME
But that’s not all. Alamo Drafthouse’s continuing partnership with PBS KIDS gives families a unique opportunity to watch their favorite shows on the big screen, with proceeds going to benefit local PBS affiliates. This summer’s offerings include presentations of WILD KRATTS, NATURE CAT: SUMMER OF ADVENTURE, and a BACK TO SCHOOL compilation.
Kids Camp screenings take place every day (with occasional exceptions) in matinee time-slots, at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh from the beginning of June through August. PBS KIDS screening dates vary so be sure to check drafthouse.com/raleigh for a full schedule and to get tickets.

“We’ve seen generations of future cinephiles get their start at Alamo Drafthouse,” says Alamo Drafthouse Senior Director of Marketing Chaya Rosenthal. “And with our beloved Kids Camp and PBS Kids series and awesome new films on the way this summer like HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3, TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES, and INCREDIBLES 2, there are so many choices for parents and kids of all ages.”

INCREDIBLES 2 (#Incredibles2)

Speaking of INCREDIBLES 2, (now playing in theatres everywhere!!), families have long known that Alamo Drafthouse pulls out all the stops for Disney/Pixar titles, and the return of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, Jack-Jack and Frozone is no exception. In addition to both 2D and 3D screenings of the film, families can attend special INCREDIBLES 2 Family Parties, with photo booths, crafts, games and more. And exclusively at Alamo Drafthouse, Pixar devotees can add two limited edition Mondo designed collectibles to their order: an INCREDIBLES 2 juice glass and a one-of-a-kind sketchbook with a gorgeous cover designed by Mondo artist Dave Perillo. Both are available with INCREDIBLES 2 ticket purchases only at participating Alamo Drafthouse box offices, drafthouse.com, and the Alamo app for iOS and Android.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.

Watch Teaser Trailer https://youtu.be/i5qOzqD9Rms

SobeSavvy Tip: Print out these FREE activity sheets which include coloring pages, recipes,and a matching card game for more INCREDIBLES 2 fun!

Like INCREDIBLES 2 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarTheIncredibles/

Follow INCREDIBLES 2 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheIncredibles

Follow INCREDIBLES 2 on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theincredibles/

Visit the official INCREDIBLES 2 website here: http://disney.com/incredibles2

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INCREDIBLES 2 is now showing at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh and theatres everywhere! I plan to check it out this weekend with my incredible family. What makes my #HeighPartyof3 incredible is that we work hard, play hard and love hard! That’s our superpower.

Do you plan to see Incredibles 2?

•Share below something incredible about your family!

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Hey #Raleigh, If you seek Authentic Greek, head to @TavernaAgora during @TriRestweek and #TakeBackLunch

Leslie, Founder of SobeSavvy.com visits Taverna Agora to #TakeBackLunch during Triangle Restaurant Week

Greece is known for many things. The Acropolis and inventing the modern Olympic games just to name a few. Something else Greece is known for… healthy and delicious food! Whether it’s how they cook their lamb or use feta cheese in different dishes, Greek cuisine is adored worldwide. Although Greece is 5,000 miles away and eating there for lunch or dinner tomorrow is impossible for most, I have some great news. Greece is right here in the City of Oaks in the form of Taverna Agora Restaurant!

Taverna Agora is a bi-level restaurant serving authentic Greek cuisine in the heart of downtown Raleigh

Located in downtown Raleigh,NC, Taverna Agora offers old world flavors and rustic roots “reminiscent of gathering places found in Greece.” As soon as you walk in you get a feeling of traditional mixed with modern. The atmosphere is quite charming and I loved the decor both inside and on the covered rooftop patio.

At Taverna Agora, get ready to Eat, Drink,OPA!

SobeSavvy.com was invited there for lunch during the special Triangle Restaurant Week that runs from June 4 thru June 10. For a fixed price, you get to try dishes from the regular menu at a discount. Lunch at Taverna Agora during this special is $15 per person (plus tax/gratuity) for 3 COURSES! THAT is such a great deal don’t you think?!

Taverna Agora’s TRW Lunch Menu

Drinks are not included with TRW Lunch menu but I shared on my instastories two cocktails identified as “Village Favorites”. Both the Greek Mule and Greek Lemonade were refreshing!

We started with a couple of great cocktails and got down to the business of food. Our waiter welcomed me back (since I dined there before) and gave a warm welcome to my guest who was there for the first time. We ordered an appetizer, entrée and dessert from the special Triangle Restaurant Week menu as follows:

1ST COURSE

Greek Village Salad at Taverna Agora

Options were Lemon Chicken soup or a choice of two different salads. Both the Greek Village Salad and the Watermelon and Feta Salad were fresh and flavorful. I also was pleased to see that the portions were big enough to share with each other. Thanks to the quality of the balsamic vinegar combined with watermelon and feta, I have found a new fave summer salad!

Watermelon and Feta Salad at Taverna Agora

2ND COURSE & 3RD COURSE

It’s Lunchtime at Taverna Agora!

For entrees we went with the Chicken Penne and a Gyro Pita. Each of these were quite good and we were impressed again by the quality of the ingredients used. I have leftovers of the pasta that I can’t wait to enjoy! We both finished with their signature Greek dessert of Baklava.

Save room for Taverna Agora’s dessert…the 3rd course was amazing!

SobeSavvy Tip: Make some time and join Taverna Agora during your lunchtime to #TakeBackLunch. Studies show you’ll be happier and more productive when you back away from your desk, leave the screen and take time for lunch. You could even win a midday meal for 10! Enter >>>>here.

#TakeBackLunch on June 15th National Take Back The Lunch Break Day at Taverna Agora!

Triangle Restaurant Week ends Sunday but there’s still time to experience multiple dishes and flavors and immerse yourself in the tastes of Greece. You can still get those amazing dishes on their regular menu but don’t miss this chance to try the TRW Menu at this great price! Plus service was attentive and professional and I loved the setting. For all of those reasons combined with delicious food, hurry down to Taverna Agora!

TAVERNA AGORA

326 Hillsborough St.

Raleigh, NC 27603

Thanks Taverna Agora for hosting SobeSavvy.com! I really enjoyed my dining experience and looking forward to next time!

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Dine with a View and Taste What’s New at @OceanicDining + @BlueWater_ILM in #WrightsvilleBeach @WilmingtoNCoast

Today’s #FoodieFriday feature is dedicated to two restaurants my family and I dined at during our recent visit to Wilmington, NC to see What’s In Bloom. Bluewater Waterfront Grill and the Oceanic Restaurant, both located in Wrightsville Beach, are two places that I would recommend for enjoying delicious food/cocktails with gorgeous views!

OCEANIC RESTAURANT

703 S.LUMINA AVE. | Seafood
www.oceanicrestaurant.com/

For dinner on Saturday, we had a reservation at the Oceanic Restaurant, located on the beach and connected to the Crystal Pier. They recently launched a new menu at the Oceanic and SobeSavvy.com was invited to check it out! Having lived in Florida, I have found that usually beachside restaurants either have good food and a non existent view or an awesome view and subpar cuisine. Oceanic Restaurant on Wrightsville, Nc is the rare gem that manages to do both.

Being the only restaurant in Wrightsville Beach situated on the Atlantic Ocean carries a lot of responsibility and they carry it well.
Oceanic also played a huge part in restoring the Crystal Pier, which literally stretches into the atlantic ocean with a fishing pier and outdoor above ocean tables.

We were seated upstairs at a table with a beautiful view of the sand and the surf below. They presented a neat kids menu with crayons for my little one to enjoy.

I ordered a White Sangria unlike any other I have ever had. It came with a frozen stone fruit popsicle immersed in the glass. Loved it! Hubby ordered a nice glass of Greek white wine, which paired well with our appetizer order of Oyster Rockefellers. I am still dreaming about those plump fresh oysters, topped with creamed spinach, pernod and crumbled bacon. So amazingly good!

In lieu of dinner rolls, you can expect an order of hush puppies to arrive in a basket for all to enjoy! My little one ordered the kids pasta marinara and a side of steamed broccoli. Kids and pasta go together like fish and water, so she was happy.

We tried two new items from their dinner menu that caught our attention: Shrimp and Grits and Brick Roasted Chicken. The Shrimp and Grits were large shrimp sautéed with shallots, pancetta, mushrooms, cajun spices, finished with cream and served over a fried Asiago polenta cake. The shrimp were good BUT that polenta cake was the perfect sponge to soak up all that creamy goodness. The chicken was amazing! I don’t usually order chicken at a seafood restaurant, but after the GM described it, I am so glad I did! It was moist, flavorful and the skin was the perfect grade of crispy without being overcooked.

SobeSavvy Tip: This restaurant and its unique seaside setting makes Oceanic very popular amongst visitors and locals alike. It is a place you MUST visit when in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Come for the food, stay for the view and GET IN LINE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE with Yelp Mobile App.

BLUEWATER WATERFRONT GRILL

4 MARINA ST. | Seafood
www.bluewaterdining.com/

Bluewater Waterfront Grill, recently launched a brunch program at the restaurant and includes a Bloody Mary bar, champagne cocktails and a new cocktail program. SobeSavvy.com was invited to check out what’s new so this is where we decided to enjoy Sunday Brunch for Mother’s Day!

Brunch, without a doubt is one of the best ways to start of a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon. Brunch on the Intra-Coastal waters of the NC coast is even better. Enter the Blue Water WaterFront Grill in Wilmington Beach, NC. Set amongst beautiful boats and folks pulling up their pleasure crafts right to their dock, this restaurant is a mainstay in the area.

What’s New! They have a special build your own Bloody Mary and Champagne Cocktail Bar on Sundays that we enjoyed. Peach Bellini and Red Sangria set the tone for a wonderful meal experience. Bananas Foster French Toast was divine as was the Egg & Bacon Croissant.

Sitting dockside was a fun treat for our little one. She loved watching the comings and goings of the watercrafts as she enjoyed her kids menu item Fish & Chips. Such a relaxed atmosphere on a picture perfect warm spring morning. This was a brunch to remember!

Thank you to Oceanic Restaurant and Bluewater Waterfront Grill for hosting my #HeighPartyof3 during our visit to Wilmington,NC and Island Beaches. If you are looking for family friendly dining with great service, a delicious food/drink menu and amazing views, make reservations at these two places for a memorable dining experience.

#TRAVEL | Visit #WilmingtonNC & Island Beaches to Enjoy Nature and Discover What’s In Bloom🌹

TRAVEL | Visit Wilmington NC & Island Beaches to Enjoy Nature and Discover What’s In Bloom! Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

You all know the saying ..”April Showers Bring May Flowers“,well my #HeighPartyof3 decided to put the theory to the test and headed to Wilmington NC & Island Beaches to discover What’s In Bloom! In the past, we have visited during the summer as a fun, “Family Travel” destination and also spent a “Daycation” in Wilmington NC & Island Beaches because for us it’s just a 2 hour roadtrip from Raleigh, NC.

This was our first time traveling to Wilmington NC in the Spring and I thought instead of flowers as a gift for Mother’s Day, why not experience botanical gardens and more in this beautiful city! With just 24 hours to explore, there is so much to get outside and do here. Take a look at our weekend itinerary filled with nature-theme activities the whole family can enjoy!

DAY 1 Arrive Saturday

Wilmington + Wrightsville Beach

Before you explore, make your first stop at the main Visitor Information Center, located at 505 Nutt Street in Downtown Wilmington. It opens on Saturday at 9am and is open daily except for Thanksgiving/Christmas. You can get any questions answered by staff, pick up maps, guides and vacation coupons!

Pick up an Official Visitors Guide and more at the main Visitor Information Center | SobeSavvy.com

Take a self-guided walking tour at Airlie Gardens , a 67 acre historical garden in Wilmington. We took advantage of the complimentary tram ride and learned so much about the lush gardens and its rich history. Go and see a 468 yr old Airlie Oak, Azaleas, and the Butterfly House. Learn about Minnie Evans, an African American woman who was a domestic who sold her artwork at Airlie. She once said ” God has some 600 shades of green, and He dressed the world with them.” She died in 1987 and local artists created the Bottle Chapel, a memorial sculpture garden, in 2004 in her honor. It was such an amazing sight to see!

Walk thru Airlie Gardens and learn about history while enjoying nature | SobeSavvy.com

All that walking will surely work up an appetite! Sweet & Savory Café is close by and offers a Saturday Brunch. This farm to fork restaurant in Wilmington is known for its variety of menu choices and fresh baked goods at their bakery.

Dine at Sweet and Savory for Saturday Brunch for a variety of Farm to Fork dishes | SobeSavvy.com

SobeSavvy Tip: Short on time or rather have a quick bite to go? Grab something at Port City Java. I enjoyed an iced coffee for a caffeine boost before our next activity!

Port City Java uses the Japanese Iced Coffee method for a more flavorful,bright,complex brew and its oh so good| SobeSavvy.com

We checked in at the Hampton Inn Wilmington/Downtown and got changed into our bathing suits for some fun in the sun at Wrightsville Beach, located just 15 mins away from Downtown Wilmington. It’s a spacious, clean beach with clear blue waters and is one of the most environmentally friendly beaches in the state. We collected shells to take home as a souvenir and our daughter played by the shore until it was time for dinner at Oceanic Restaurant attached to Crystal Pier. *Be sure to check back here for my #FoodieFriday review of our dining experience at this restaurant. Wrightsville Beach is a walkable beach town with the beauty of nature all around!

Play, Relax and Start a Seashell Collection at Wrightsville Beach | SobeSavvy.com

The Arboretum at New Hanover County closes at 8pm which made it a great last stop of our day. It happened to be prom night and many people were there to capture the perfect photo. Visit the 7 acres of nature trails and gardens, which include a Japanese tea house, gazebo, children’s cottage, ability garden and water garden for FREE!

See the beauty of blooms for free at The Arboretum at New Hanover County | SobeSavvy.com

DAY 2 Depart Sunday

Kure Beach+ Carolina Beach

Sunday,Mother’s Day..all I want to do is sleep in but when you have a six year old daughter who’s motto is ‘Carpe Diem’, you get up early and seize the day! We enjoyed brunch with a view in Wrightsville Beach at Bluewater Waterfront Grill (which you can see a few of my photos here + stay tuned for my #FoodieFriday feature) before our visit to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach. It’s worth the short drive from Wilmington to see more than 2500 animals and the 2 special exhibits: Dinosaurs! and Butterfly Bungalow. The cherry on top of our Sunday Funday at the Aquarium was when one of the butterflies landed right on my husband’s hand! My whole family had a fin-tastic time at this attraction learning just how much animals and nature are connected to each other.

Visit the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher to be inspired by nature and all its wonder | SobeSavvy.com

We did not plan to have another beach day but our daughter’s pleas and the call of the ocean breeze encouraged us to stop at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. It is right down the road from the Aquarium so it really was a convenient stop. This public beach is great for bird watchers because alot of nature is unspoiled here.

Kure Beach is a pure and natural playground for beach goers, bird watchers and nature lovers | SobeSavvy.com

Did you know that one of the only places in the world where you can see the Venus flytrap growing in its native environment is at Carolina Beach State Park? See the rare Venus Flytraps for FREE and learn about one of the world’s most unique carnivorous plants!

Head to the Carolina Beach State Park for a tour along the Flytrap Trail | SobeSavvy.com

SobeSavvy Tip: Ranger-Guided tours of the park’s Venus flytrap trail are available Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am. I recommend the guided tour, as the flytraps can be hard to find on your own. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes with socks for this guided tour. Insect repellent is highly recommended as are long pants. You can always change back into shorts and sandals in the park’s visitor center bathrooms. The hikes meet at the flytrap trail head and depart promptly at 10am so be sure to arrive in time to park and meet. If you gey hungry after hiking the nature trails, go a half a mile to dine at Michael’s Seafood and enjoy fresh seafood dishes like loaded oysters and snow crab legs!

Dine at Michael’s Seafood, conveniently close to Carolina Beach State Park | SobeSavvy.com

Thank you to Wilmington and Beaches CVB and the attractions who welcomed my family and I to experience nature-theme activities and feature them in my 24 hour itinerary. I hope you and your family will review this travel guide and take the opportunity to visit Wilmington NC & Island Beaches soon to see What’s In Bloom!

#CheerstoMom Cocktail Recipe with @TOPOdistillery Organic Spiced Rum🍍Inspired by #DisneyDoleWhip

In celebration of warmer temps in NC and Mother’s Day weekend, I plan to host some Mom friends on my outdoor patio for a fun, ‘Cheers to Mom‘ celebration! I like to create speciality drinks when I entertain and to me, nothing says summer is near more that a good rum cocktail. I have been seeing all these Disney Dole Whip recipes and decided to try one of my own using NC’s own award winning organic spirits: TOPO Carolina Spiced Rum!

The Spirit

Admit it, the words “organic” and “liquor” do not usually exist in the same sentence. Not anymore. After being a fan and consumer of TOPO Organic Spirits [they offer a whiskey, vodka, gin and moonshine], I was excited when my friends at TOPO sent a sample of their new release, TOPO Organic Spiced Rum. After living in Miami for almost 20 years and attending several Rum festivals [like the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival], I became somewhat of a rum expert. dark rum, light rum, Haitian Rum, Jamaican rum, Puerto Rican rum. I have had them all at one time or the other. What I was not familiar with however was rum from North Carolina!

TOPO has the distinction as the only Green + Certified distillery in the country. Environmentally friendly and 100 % organic ingredients go into their lines of spirits. I didn’t quite know what to expect. But after the initial smell and sip, I was in love!

Per their website, the rum… “has flavors of the coastline: allspice, vanilla, orange peel, peppercorns, cinnamon and clove. It’s a marriage of the finest organic botanicals with an incredibly smooth rum. We make a tasty white rum and then use a mortar and pestle to grind spices to add more flavor. You can smell and taste the difference. “

The Cocktail

More than one of my Disney Social Media Mom friends [that I recently got to connect with at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference On The Road Celebration in Miami] has made me aware over the years of a special concoction they had enjoyed at one of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks called “Dole Whip”. It is sometimes in the form of a soft serve ice cream or as a non alcoholic beverage. However there are some places in the park that will serve this as a rum infused tropical cocktail, sort of like a grown up smoothie! I have not had one yet, but I am on a mission to get there soon to enjoy one or two for myself. Until then, I thought I would DIY my own Disney Dole Whip Rum drink and call it a ‘Cheers To Mom’ Cocktail.

The Recipe

🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍

Dole Frozen Pineapple Chunks
Vanilla Coconut Milk
Topo Organic Spiced Rum 2 TBLS of White Granulated Sugar
Ice Cubes

🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍

Blend the above in a blender at high speed for 30 seconds and sample. Adjust any ingredients to taste. I added a little more rum because well, more rum equals more fun! Top of with Whip Cream [optional] and enjoy!

SobeSavvy Tip: Give the gift of TOPO for Mother’s Day!

Known far and wide as one of the nations premier local breweries, plan a date and take Mom on a TOPO Distillery Tour at their Chapel Hill complex. When you are done, go upstairs to dine at their restaurant and patio bar, The Top Of The Hill, which offers great sunset views of Chapel Hill! You can also give your Mom a TOPO Gift Card or simply go to your local ABC, purchase her favorite TOPO Organic Spirits and box it up with love!

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED ANY OF THE TOPO ORGANIC SPIRITS? HOW ABOUT A DISNEY DOLE WHIP? If not, here is your chance to enjoy the two together on your very own with the above Cheers to Mom cocktail recipe!

Enjoy and Cheers to Moms everywhere! 🍍🍹🍍🍹🍍🍹🍍

EVENT RECAP | Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival 5/5/18 @GreatGrapesFest @drinkeatrelax @BoothAmp #CaryNC #UncorktheFun

This weekend there was a whole lot to celebrate: The Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo and …. Wine + Good Times at the GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL! This ‘drink.eat.relax‘ event is held at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in the Town of Cary and as a wine lover, I have enjoyed coming to this event each year! [*ICYMI, check out my 2015/2016/2017 past event recaps of this event, here.] I must say, just like fine wine this event keeps getting better with time. These are some of my favorite moments from this year’s GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL!

HUNDREDS of WINES

Yes, HUNDREDS of wines available from over 22 wineries to taste. Everyone gets a souvenir tasting glass to have and stroll from tent to tent and table to table, tasting and sampling the rich heritage of North Carolina vines. Did you know that all NC wine is not made from sweet muscadine? In fact there was some of everything to try from sweet to dry!

GOURMET BITES

If you bought the VIP Ticket option, you not only got early entrance into the event, but also a souvenir glass & bag and access to all the show tastings. Plus you got access to the VIP area which featured specialty higher-end wine selections not available elsewhere, free water and soft drinks, and featured food tastings (served Noon – 3pm).

People ready to UNCORK THE FUN

Wine Lovers from all around come out to the GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL, the largest and most fun casual NC wine festival in the Triangle. I loved seeing all the matching outfits, hats and groups celebrating birthdays. Some couples even turned this festival into a wonderful day date idea!

IT’S FAMILY FRIENDLY!

My favorite thing about this festival is that it is kid friendly. That means we can enjoy the event as a family and not worry about finding a babysitter! Kids 12 and under are FREE and they even have a dedicated area for kids to play. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the festival picnic style. Our daughter loved meeting “The Sauce Boss”, relaxing on the lawn and listening to Live Music!

Beautiful GREEN SETTING of the Town of Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre

Although this festival happens rain or shine, thanks to Mother Nature we had a picture perfect day! I love going to events at Booth Amphitheatre because of the scenic setting. You are surroundes by nature, gorgeous trees and a lake that you may even see ducks in!

SobeSavvy Tip: The fun is happening here again on May 19, 2018 at the BEER & BACON FEST. Tickets to this festival is ON SALE NOW!

Also GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL maybe coming to a city near you. Here are some upcoming dates:

For more information go to www.uncorkthefun.com! Hope to see you there next year! CHEERS 🍷

Where To Find Fantastic #Gifts For #MothersDay & #Graduation @UPlaceNC University Place #UPlaceNC #ChapelHill

You heard the saying April showers bring May flowers, right? Well the month of May is here and two things it brings around every year are Graduation and Mother’s Day! It’s time to get shopping for these special occasions and I knew just where to go for fantastic gifts in Chapel Hill. University Place! Just down the road from UNC Chapel Hill, this shopping mall has a mix of national and locally owned stores. Here are some of the places to find great gifts for Mother’s Day and Graduation!

SILVERSPOT CINEMAS

Treat Moms & Grads to a Dinner and Movie Experience at SilverSpot Cinema! Moviegoers can order food and it will be delivered to your seat or you can opt to dine at Trilogy, their full service restaurant and bar adjacent to the cinemas. They have an upcoming event called “Brunch & A Movie” where they are offering a 3 course brunch with a mimosa or bloody Mary and a movie ticket for $30. Sounds like a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day and Graduation Day with family and friends. Gift Cards are also available for purchase and make a great gift.

GERRIE & CO.

I stopped in Gerrie & Co., a Fine Jewelry and Giftware store, after seeing their 50% off Mother’s Day sale table outside. I’m glad I did because they have quite a delightful selection of jewelry, glassware, accessories, scarves, items from Metropolitan Museum of Art and more. I also learned this is a mom and daughter operation so I loved supporting! Plus they will gift wrap your items for FREE.

Be Pure Beauty

Looking for an ethical beauty gift for Moms and Grads? Shop clean beauty products at Be Pure Beauty and also pick up a gift that gives back like jewelry from The Shine Project. You can also treat Mom to a beauty makeover or pick up a fragrance for your Grad. Still not sure what to buy? Check out Be Pure Beauty’s Mothers Day Gift Guide.

FRANK GALLERY

Support local artists and shop for Graduation and Mother’s Day gifts at Frank Gallery. They have affordable prints, handmade pottery and more items in their gift shop. If your Mom or Grad loves art, give a gift from the heart from Frank Art Gallery.

SOUTHERN SEASON

A visit to University Place is not complete without stopping in Southern Season for gourmet gifts and amazing treats! It’s a one stop shop for any celebration. From the food, to the champagne, you can buy gifts and the gift wrapping here! Graduation and Mother’s Day gifts galore can be found in this store! Moms, it’s ok to pick up a little something for yourself too.

For more unique gifts, stop in Peacock Alley Gifts, Night Gallery/Branching Out and Carolina Corner. Still not sure what to get? A gift card or two from Burlington Shoes and Bath & Body Works is always a great idea! Don’t forget to stop in The Frame and Print Shop to find the perfect greeting card to put those gift cards in!

For more Mother’s Day and Graduation gift ideas and to see more of my finds at University Place, I have made a twitter thread list for you to take a look here. From art galleries to one of a kind independent shops, University Place is a great place to shop, dine and be entertained all in one spot! Get there now before Mother’s Day and Graduation to pick up fantastic gifts today!

UNIVERSITY PLACE

201 S Estes Drive

Chapel Hill, NC 27514

#FilmFriday | My *No Spoiler* Review of @Avengers #InfinityWar + Movie Experience @AlamoRaleigh !

Disclosure: I received complimentary movie passes however opinions about my experience are my own.

Finally the wait is over! I am thrilled that Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is now playing in theatres everywhere! I got up this morning, put on my camo leggings, some tribal face paint and was ready to watch the battle on the big screen at the new Alamo Drafthouse in Raleigh. Last week, I went to the Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh Grand Opening VIP Event and could not wait to come back for opening weekend of Avengers: Infinity War!

This movie, which is an unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making that spans the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, arrives with great anticipation from Marvel film fans as well as those of us who enjoyed Black Panther. I personally could not wait to see T’Challa [My Favorite Hero] and the rest of my #WakandaForever peeps in Infinity War. Ever since the post-credits Black Panther scene showing Shuri and Bucky together, I have been looking forward to seeing everyone together in Infinity War. Although there are some scenes in Wakanda, this film is not a Black Panther II. WATCH this new featurette on the film that talks about the Avengers going to Wakanda:

https://youtu.be/nD2e8eu5568

What you will see in Avengers: Infinity War is The Avengers and their Super Hero allies sacrificing all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe! It is not only action packed but described as..”the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time.” The PG-13 rating is spot on. I personally do not think it is suitable for young children. Especially if they are not able to sit for the length of the film which is two hours and 40 mins. For me, that time flew by because the movie was good but the experience at Alamo Drafthouse made it great..here’s why:

Since I went to the 10:45am show, I ordered the avocado toast, which was tasty, and a Mimosa to celebrate Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opening! The seats were comfy and the service was great. I loved the convenience of ordering from my seat. Speaking of seating, you can even pre-select your seats before you go!

SobeSavvy Tip: Arrive early to Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh and order from Video Vortex Bar. Stay later and pick out 2 VHS, DVD, or Blu-Ray movie rentals for FREE! What a great way to watch any of your favorite Marvel Studio movies again.

Also, pick up some cool Avengers: Infinity War merchandise for sale at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh.

To learn more about Avengers: Infinity War:

Like AVENGERS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/avengers

Follow AVENGERS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/avengers

Follow AVENGERS on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avengers/

Visit the official AVENGERS website here: http://marvel.com/avengers

AND

To make plans to go see it at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh,

Like Alamo Raleigh on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alamoraleigh

Follow Alamo Raleigh on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alamoraleigh

Follow Alamo Raleigh on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alamoraleigh/

Visit the official Alamo Drafthouse website here: http://drafthouse.com/raleigh

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR arrives TODAY in theatres everywhere on April 27, 2018! If you live in Raleigh, plan to see it at ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE for a unique movie with dining experience.

Do you plan to go see Avengers Infinity War opening weekend? Ever been to Alamo Drafthouse? Share your thoughts below! Thanks for reading!#infinitywar

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

2116 New Bern Ave

Raleigh, NC 27610

Event Recap | EXCLUSIVE VIP GRAND OPENING of @AlamoRaleigh + @videovortexbar in #Raleigh #AlamoDrafthouse

Event Recap | Grand Opening Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh + Video Vortex | SobeSavvy.com

On Saturday, April 21, 2018 guests were invited to “GET WEIRD” and join Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh for a night of fun and games with a side of 80’s Flair at their EXCLUSIVE VIP OPENING EXTRAVAGANZA. I love a theme party so when I read the instructions on the invite to: “..dust off your leg warmers and that neon outfit you’ve been dying to wear again”, I was so there! My style paid homage to different 80’s looks. I wore a huge bow, Run DMC tee, denim vest, tutu, pearl chain belt, animal print leggings, fishnet gloves & stockings and a big smile because I was happy to have a Mom’s night out and ready to party!

‘Lovely’ Leslie , Founder of SobeSavvy.com in 80’s attire at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh Grand Opening Party

I first learned about Alamo Drafthouse in March when I attended ‘a Night With Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh’ event at VAE. This movie theatre offers “the best film, food and drink all in one seat”. You can also sit outside on the patio, enjoy a drink, play a board game and order appetizers from the Video Vortex Bar, which is also video store the offering FREE rentals!

The fun and friendly staff at Video Vortex Bar inside Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

I am definitely going back to get the full experience but this event was all about celebrating the Grand Opening! 80s attire was encouraged but by no means required. They had prizes for the best costumes of the night and guests had a chance to win more awesome prizes by participating in a series of scavenger hunt challenges. I was one of the winners of this board game after doing all the challenges!

Winning! Thanks Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh!

I am glad I brought my competitive side along with my appetite because we got to feast on their scratch-made delicious food and enjoyed a full open bar featuring a wide array of local beverages.

Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh provides food, drink, film and fun!

I had so much fun as a party of one until I ran into more NC blogger friends sporting their 80s style and ready to celebrate the Grand Opening of by Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh!

Check out tagged photos posted from the event @AlamoRaleigh

For more event fun, watch my video recap.. as seen on the scene..by SobeSavvy.com!

I can not wait to return for more fun, film, food and drinks all at Alamo Drafthouse in Raleigh. Be sure to visit Drafthouse.com/Raleigh , like on Facebook and follow on Twitter. More photos from Grand Opening can be seen here. Thanks Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh for a fun night! Congrats on your Grand Opening and I look forward to seeing you again.

*HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO SEE A MOVIE AT ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE? WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE LIKE?*

Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

2116-D New Bern Ave

Raleigh, NC 27610