❤ Make a Heart Healthy Dinner at Home for your Valentine with Ungraded Produce @ungradedproduce

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary box of goodness from Ungraded Produce in exchange for my honest review.

Did you know that February is Heart Healthy Month? Time to focus on keeping our hearts healthy through exercise and healthy eating habits. You know the saying..Happy Wife,Happy Life. Well this month, we’ve remixed that saying to ..A Healthy Husband and Wife leads to a Happier & Healthier Life. So I’ve partnered with Ungraded Produce to share a healthy husband and wife meal idea just in time for Valentine’s Day! ❤

Ungraded ProduceWho Are They?

They are a produce delivery service that provides customers with an easy way to fight against food waste. Fact: 1.2 million tons of food go to waste in NC each year! Founded in June 2015 by Courtney Bell, Ungraded Produce saw an opportunity to connect consumers with a supply of delicious but imperfect looking produce at 30-50% cheaper than supermarket alternatives!

■ What Do They Do?

Fact: 20% of the produce grown in the US gets left in the field or tossed for being “ugly”.

Ungraded Produce is working to fight these statistics by rescuing produce, packing/delivering it to the customer’s door and making an edible impact against food waste!

■ How Does It Work?

Fact: 40+ million Americans lack access to a convenient and affordable source of fresh produce.

With Ungraded Produce you get farm to door service when you get a subscription. Boxes ranges from 5-15 pounds and you have the option of weekly or biweekly delivery options. At any time you can cancel,pause or change products at any time!

*SobeSavvy Tip: New Customers SAVE $5 on your first box with promo code (HEALTHYNC)

Register at www.ungradedproduce.com

With your subscription, you are joining in the fight against food waste! Note: They deliver to most towns that border Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill only.

■ Why Should You Subscribe?

Make your health your wealth and priority this year. Treat yourself and family to affordable, easy, sustainable fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also very convenient to receive this special delivery right to my door! In my Large Mixed Produce Box, I received 15 lbs of FRUIT|honeydew melon, apples, tangerine mandarin oranges, bosc pears + VEGETABLEs|vidalia onions, spaghetti squash, poblano peppers, carrots, brocolli, tomatillios

■ How do I plan to use my box?

So far, I have made fresh juice from carrots and oranges in the morning!

My husband has entertained us with his Ungraded Produce juggling pre-dinner show…

…and together we have made a romantic dinner at home using all the unbelievable goodness from Ungraded Produce. Want to make a heart healthy dinner for your Valentine? ❤ Check out what we made using Ungraded Produce.

SANGRIA | Red wine in moderation is healthy right?! I added pears,apples,honeydew melon and voila..you are ready to raise a glass and toast to your Valentine.

DINNER | With the help of my friend Google, I mashed up a couple of recipes and came up with a delicious and healthy entreé to serve for our romantic dinner at home. First the sauce…

ITALIAN GREEN TOMATO SAUCE..inspired by this recipe>>here. After roasting the tomatillos, I added them to a blender to make a sauce to use for my spaghetti squash pasta.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PRIMAVERA inspired by this recipe>>here. First let me say thank you to whomever came up with idea to put the directions on how to make spaghetti squash in the microwave right on the label! Such a time saver.

After washing, dicing, slicing, sauteing, seasoning the veggies, it was time to add the green tomato sauce, the parmesean cheese, the spaghetti squash and L-O-V-E ❤!

The table was set for a night and meal he’ll never forget. I took a cue from Johnny Gill and ..🎶 put on my red dress, slipped on some high heels, and some of that sweet perfume 🎶..and My, My, My our meal was so good tonight! We enjoyed our romantic dinner at home made with Ungraded Produce. I hope you are inspired to subscribe and make something healthy and special for your Valentine too! ❤

■ Do you plan to dine in or out for Valentine’s Day?

■ Have you used Ungraded Produce service before?

Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading! ❤

Check out @VidrioRaleigh #FirstFridayRaleigh Cocktail Series and Stay for Dinner! #VidrioRaleigh #SavorLife


Having a little one means sometimes foregoing a Friday night on the town. However, this past Friday Nana was in town and that meant one thing..DATE NIGHT! Lucky for us, a spot here in Raleigh that we had been wanting to try was hosting a special event. The place that has been on our radar is called VIDRIO.

This mediterranean inspired restaurant and bar is located in the heart of the bustling Glenwood Avenue South district. VIDRIO, which means glass in Spanish,  has been a social media star due to their savory food, exciting sips and their stunning decor. They also offer experiences such as wine dinners, private events, and wine tastings. On February 1, 2019, VIDRIO kicked off their “First Friday Cocktail Roundtable | A Spirit Filled Room”! Check out this promo video I made to share about the event:

EVENT DETAILSWhen: Every first Friday of the month, 6pm-10pm
Where: VIDRIO‘s Bar Area
What: A monthly contest that puts 2 bartenders up against each other in a craft cocktail contest

Why: It’s a fun night out and a chance to experience the sights, smells, and flavors of the world’s best spirits and craft cocktails. You vote for your favorite to move to their finale, and get featured as Cocktail of the Year!
How Much: $8.00 Craft Cocktails
EVENT RECAP

This week the visiting bartender was Matthew Bettinger. He is a mixologist of the highest caliber. His raw knowledge of the spirits and the fresh ingredients he chose and paired was amazing. Alex Bridges, a member of VIDRIO‘s beverage team is equally passionate and skilled in the art of cocktail-mixing! The crowd was enthusiastic and curious about each cocktail. Each month a VIDRIO bartender comes up with a cocktail to compete with the visiting bartender’s cocktail. It starts with a “base” spirit and they build on that. This month the spirit was Lunazul Blanco tequila.

First up was the creation of VIDRIO Bartender Alex Bridges called, “It’s  Been Fun“. The ingredients that caught my eye was aloe vera and peach jam! Having an actual slice of blood orange in the glass made this a very attractive drink.
The visiting Bartender, Matthew Bettinger, created a drink called “A Friendly Visit“. He infused Rosehip & Hibiscus into a cordial and added it to his cocktail creation. It was refreshing and pleasing to my palate.
Both were very different from each other and both very well done. I voted for “A Friendly Visit“, while my husband went for the “It’s Been Fun“! Turns out the cocktail that won was…drum roll, I mean martini shake please….”It’s Been Fun“!

It was a great time! Grab your favorite  drinking friends, or plan a date night and mark your calenders to return for the next one in March. Click here for details of the next event!

DINNER FOR 2

After such a fun experience at the cocktail roundtable, we decided to stay and have a dining experience here. We moved to a table for 2 in their spacious dining room. It has a endless ceiling with blown colorful glass on an entire wall. It was a surreal setting to say the least.

Both of us wanted some wine and lucky for us VIDRIO has 48 wines..ON TAP! They have something no matter what your wine taste dictates. We were as little undecided and ultimately chose to do one of their curated wine flight offerings. We went with 3 reds. Each 3 oz pour was very different from each other. One was dry, one medium and one had a touch of sweetness. Each sat on a cute descriptive mat with the names and varietal tasting notes. It was actually quite a beautiful display.

Oysters On The Half Shell were on deck for an appetizer. Half a dozen bivalves with all the trimmings. Freshly shucked and delicious. The full menu is available at the bar and prior to our dinner, we enjoyed their tasty and tender Moroccan Beef Skewers. I am a sauce person and loved every bit of the harissa Greek yogurt to dip the skewers in. Since we were not that hungry, we decided to just split a dish. Their Short Rib Bolognese Pasta came highly recommended by our friendly and attentive waitress. She explained how the the pasta and even their ricotta with lemon zest was made in house. It was very flavorful and expertly done. The pasta was thin and light and the short rib was incredible. This was one of the best pasta dishes I have had since one night in Rome 8 years ago! Their dessert menu had some great choices but we were beyond satisfied and called it a night.

Make reservations now for your own great night at VIDRIO.
SobeSavvy Tip: Reserve your table today for Valentine’s Day at VIDRIO on Thursday, February, 14th for only $50 per person. ❤

VIDRIO
500 GLENWOOD AVE.
RALEIGH, NC. 27603
919-803-6033

First Look @ORORaleigh ‘s NEW Social Hour Menu Bar Bites + Drink Specials, All Items $5! #DowntownRaleigh

ORO Restaurant & Lounge | Social Hour Menu Review by SobeSavvy.com

Hey Raleigh! Looking for a new, hot spot to grab a glass of wine, cocktail or two and meet friends for a bite to eat after work? Well I have just the place for you. ORO Restaurant & Lounge, located in Downtown Raleigh, offers a fun, brand new Social Hour menu and SobeSavvy.com was invited to check it out. Here is what you need to know before you go and trust me, you will want to go ASAP!

ORO Restaurant & Lounge is chic, and sleek with white/wood modern decor and a mezzanine & a fireplace

SOCIAL HOUR

The new Social Hour menu was rolled out on Monday, January 28, 2019. It is offered in the Bar area only Monday- Thursday from 5pm-7pm. All items are just $5.00! Oh how I love a deal!

• EAT

There are five delicious food items on the menu to choose from. The variety offered allows everyone to find something to eat no matter the dietary restrictions or choices. The portions are enough for one person to enjoy but also shareable. Everything was so good that it is hard to pick a favorite. So my suggestion is order one of each and enjoy them all!

Beef Sliders | blue cheese | carmelized onions

Truffle Fries | parmesan | truffle oil

Lobster & Crab Bites | greens | citrus aioli

Teriyaki Chicken Skewers | green onion

Vegetable Spring Rolls | sweet chili sauce

• DRINK

Also on the Social Hour menu are two wine choices from Century Cellars. Order a glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy or if your are in the mood for a cocktail, get The Social Butterfly. It’s made with NC’s own Social House Vodka and your choice of mixer ( I asked for ginger beer and my friend got cranberry juice). It is served with a cute butterfly on the straw! It’s a refreshing and fun way to drink local!

ORO Social Hour Menu | DRINK | The Social Butterfly

SobeSavvy Tip: Elevate your drinking experience by ordering from the Specialty Cocktail menu. You’ll be impressed by the taste and presentation of these innovative cocktails! Watch this video and make plans to sip and see for yourself!

Specialty Cocktails | Weird Science | Smoke & Mirrors

ORO is a great place to have lunch [Read about my lunch experience at ORO >>here.], a romantic dinner, meet with co-workers after work, host a celebration event or hang with your girlfriends! Whatever the occasion, ORO will make it special. Cheers!

Lovely Leslie of @SobeSavvy and Meka Harrell of @hwthblog meet up for a fun Mom’s Night Out at ORO Restaurant & Lounge

CONNECT WITH ME Facebook |YouTube| Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

ORO Restaurant & Lounge

18 E. Martin Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

www.ororaleigh.com

#FoodieFriday | Family Dining at FIREBIRDS Wood Fired Grill #NorthHills @FirebirdsGrill #Raleigh

Happy Friday! Time for another drool-worthy Foodie Friday Feature. This time I am highlighting Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. Have you ever been? We have three locations here in the Triangle [Durham/Southpoint Mall, Morrisville and Raleigh/North Hills]. I had gone before to enjoy their Happy Hour but I did not know about their amazing Kids Menu! I learned more about the restaurant at the North Hills Block Party event and was interested in dining there with my family. We went there for lunch on Sunday prior to seeing The Nutcracker and The Four Realms and had an enjoyable experience. From the great service to the tastiness of the food and the welcoming atmosphere, I would definitely recommend dining at Firebirds!

Drinks/Appetizer

With a full bar featuring an extensive wine list and creative cocktails, there are so many beverage choices to choose from. Our waiter kindly suggested we try a few of their non-alcoholic craft beverages. I am so glad he did because the Strawberry Basil Cooler and Wild Berry Ginger Craft Soda were both refreshing.

Firebirds partners with an organization called “Alex’s Lemondade Stand“. They contribute a portion of every lemonade sale to this pediatric cancer foundation. So naturally we ordered a lemonade for our daughter!

We had the Lobster Spinach Queso as a shareable appetizer. Chunks of lobster and fresh spinach in delicious high quality queso cheese with bell peppers. Tri-colored tortilla chips came with it. Simply one of the best quesos I have ever had! Three words of advice: ORDER.THIS.APPETIZER.

Recommended: Lobster Spinach Queso

Kids Menu

I was very happy to see that the food offered to little ones are from a KidsLiveWell approved menu. Not many restaurants have this healthy recognition for most of the items on their kids menu, so I am pleased to see this and spread the word to other parents!

The Kids Live Well program verifies that certain kids dishes meets or exceed child nutritional standards. They have 5 entrees and 3 sides that meet this standard. Their kids menu has everything from shrimp tacos and wood grilled mahi to ribs. My daughter wanted the ribs. They came fall- off -the -bone tender with a honey barbeque sauce. She chose fresh fruit and brocolli for healthy sides. Fries came out in error so it was a bonus side for her.

Speaking of bonus, the Kids Menu itself is a mini activity book unlike anothet focusing on important values and interviews from Kid Heros. For more Kids Fun Visit FIREBIRDSKIDS.COM

Entreés

If I had to describe their entrees with one word it would be delicious. Firebirds offers so many yummy options on their menu and what we each ordered was tasty, flavorful, and satisfying!

My husband went with their Filet Mignon which was cooked to a perfect medium at his request. It came tender with a side of mashed potatoes and port mushrooms. Every steak they serve is aged a minimum of 21 days.Top quality and great taste.

Recommended: Filet Mignon is a staple on the menu. Their kitchen is a scratch kitchen and all of their steaks and seafood are hand-cut in house.

I went with the wood grilled salmon. It was basted with key lime butter and veggies. At my waiter’s suggestion, I got it chile rubbed style. In fact he advised that you can request anything on the menu to be chile rubbed. I added a skewer of shrimp and a side of Southwest Au Gratin Potatoes. We all enjoyed the gooey baked goodness of that side dish!

Dessert

Four Words.: SAVE.ROOM.FOR.DESSERT ! Firebirds offers an array of terrific desserts like Warm Chocolate Brownies, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Cake and a White Chocolate Mousse. But me and my sweet tooth are here to testify that their Creme Brulee Cheesecake will knock your socks off ! Such a fantasic sweet ending to a fantastic meal!

Recommended: Crème Brulee Cheesecake

SobeSavvy Tip: Firebirds offers dishes featuring ingredients for that season. The next seasonal feature is not until their Winter Features which will launch on November 28th. Be sure to mark your calenders and make reservations [on OpenTable] today! Plus, join the Firebirds Inner Circle for updates. Check out more from Firebirds on their website.

Also Firebirds is honoring our Veterans on Monday with this awesome deal⤵️

Firebirds is an excellent choice for a date night, meeting with friends, celebrating a special occassion or simply dining with family in a nice casual setting. Adults and kids can find alot to love about Firebirds. I know we enjoyed everything about our meal and look forward to dining here again!

Thank you to Firebirds for hosting SobeSavvy.com at your Raleigh North Hills location for Lunch. My opinions of the dining experience are 100% my own!

FIREBIRDS Wood Fired Grill

North Hills

4350 Lassiter At NORTH HILLS Ave. Ste 118, Raleigh,NC 27609

919.788.8778

Raleigh.FirebirdsRestaurants.com

#DateNight Ideas|Plan a Havana Nights Theme Night Out in #Durham @amendolacigars @CubanRevolution

It’s Friday night and my 7 year old has plans to go on her first sleepover, so I let my creative juices flow and planned a Date Night Out for my husband and I. The Theme: Havana Nights. The Place: Durham,NC …but first I had to get date night ready and shop for the perfect outfit. I hit up a thrift store for these Cuban inspired fashions.

DATE NIGHT OUTFIT

Red Dress + Heels by Jessica Simpson + Bracelet + Hair Flower Accessory and Printed Shirt for Him from Carolina Thrift

This Mama is date night ready!

Residents living in The Triangle are blessed to have a plethora of choices when it comes to date night. Durham was our area of choice this Friday night because its a vibrant city that has been in the midst of an urban renaissance over the past 10 years and it continues. There are a multitude of bars, lounges and hot spots all over Bull City. So we got in the car and headed to Downtown Durham. My husband made a customized Latin Jams playlist on Spotify for us to jam to along the way! My new fave is by Will Smith/Marc Antony/Bad Bunny! Have you heard it? Take a look and listen here ⤵️

Lounging at Amendola Family Cigar Co.

Living in Miami for almost 20 years, my husband and I grew an appreciation for cigars. However it is a pastime that we just don’t get a chance to indulge in as parents. I knew surprising him with a visit to Amendola Family Cigar Co. would be a great place to kick off our date night!

This local down-to-earth cigar lounge is a converted house with a full size walk in humidor and also a fire pit on the front patio that welcomes cigar aficionados to sit fireside and relax with their favorite cigar. It is the brainchild of founder Jeff Amendola. Originally from Bronx, NY. he states…”My interest in cigars created a bigger monster, collecting cigar boxes! In 2010, I decided to put my fascination and love for cigars into action and started my own cigar manufacturing business! I want the cigar smokers in my community and beyond to experience a fresh hand rolled cigar without having to go to Cuba, The Dominican Republic, or cities like Miami to enjoy a fresh hand rolled cigar.” Jeff invited us to try out two of their cigars. A full bodied Maduro for my husband and the Sweet Carolina, a mild cigar with a sugar tip, for me.

We sat and chatted over a glass of bourbon and rum (the lounge is BYOB} for about an hour while Jeff walked us through their business and supply line from Honduras. Only premium Honduran leaf and some in his line have Cuban seed. They sell cigars from Chocolate to Bold and everything in between! The lounge also offers various memberships that allow patrons to have their own custom name plated locker where they can keep their stash of cigars and libation secure on the premises. The comfy atmosphere and choices make Amendola the go to spot on a date night or just when you want to sit solo and reflect in a relaxing space. It’s the perfect place to pregame, end the night or just unwind anytime. Be sure to check them out and follow on Instagram @amendolafamilycigars.

Dinner at Cuban Revolution Durham

Let’s face it, when you mention NC, the words “latin” is not the first thing to come to one’s mind. Lucky for us we were invited to try out a restaurant called Cuban Revolution located in Durham’s Warehouse District on Blackwell Street. A stone’s throw from the DPAC and Durham Bulls Stadium, this restaurant/bar had quite a vibe on a Friday night!

Their menu covers the very best of Cuban cuisine. You can choose to get a few tapas and cocktails or a full blown dinner. The iconic Cuban Sandwich is front and center. All their sandwiches are made on pressed authentic Cuban bread. They also had different pork entrees in the Cuban tradition.

We started off our Havana Nights culinary adventure with two cocktails and two tapas : Mango Mojito • Caipirihna • Fried Green Beans • Gambas Ajo. The tapas were a recommendation of our server named Demi. She was quite helpful and knowledgeable of the menu. We decided to share a Havana Pork Platter. The pork is slow roasted in Mojo and Adobo served with rice, beans and plantains. It was just enough for the both of us to have room for some of their Key Lime Cheescake and a Cafe Cubano.

SobeSavvy Tip: Every Friday and Saturday night a band starts at 9:30pm, so make plans to enjoy a live performance with your meal. For more info, follow on Instagran @cubanrevolution

👀Watch YouTube Video of Highlights from our Date Night In Durham -“Havana Nights”❤

➡️As parents, date nights are rare, so I wanna know, on your last date night, where did you go? Let me know in the comments below!⤵️


CONNECT WITH ME – Leslie at SobeSavvy.com Facebook |YouTube| Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

#FoodieFriday Spotlight on @fogorestaurants | Fogo De Chão – Where to #Brunch in #DC 🍴

Thank you to Fogo De Chão for hosting SobeSavvy.com at your DC location for Brunch. My opinions of the dining experience are 100% my own!

If you saw my previous family travel post about Where To Stay in Alexandria, VA then you know my #HeighPartyof3 family spent this past Labor Day in and around Washington DC. On Sunday, we wanted to do brunch and saw that Fogo De Chão offered a new Brazilian Brunch every Saturday & Sunday. It was extraordinary, fun and most importantly delicious!

Fogo De Chão is a Brazilian Steakhouse known for it’s all you can eat churrasco dinners and exquisite wines like the ones recently added by VIK Winery, but did you know they offered a Brazilian Weekend Brunch? Neither did I! After trying their Brazilian Brunch for the first time, my daughter exclaimed that it was AAaahhhmmmmaaazzzing! Check her out in Instagram, giving her #outandaboutAva Lil Miss Foodie report:

View this post on Instagram

From the mouth of my 7 yr old #foodie, @outandaboutava #SundayBrunch at @fogo in #DC is MEAT-tastic and Aaahhhmazzzing! 🍴#lilmissfoodie ———– Mention 'FOGOFAMiLY' Valid Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3, 2018 for one complimentary children’s full churrasco lunch, dinner or Weekend Brunch with the purchase of an adult full-priced churrasco lunch, dinner or Weekend Brunch, or à la carte seafood entrée. Excludes Market Table only, Gaucho Lunch, Select Cut and Brazilian Cuts menu options. Beverages, dessert, tax and gratuity not included. Valid in the Main Dining Room only at any US or Puerto Rico Fogo de Chão location. Not valid with any other offer, promotion, or prior purchases. #AD #FogoDeChao ——————- The Full Churrasco Experience is always complimentary for children age six and under. —————— Stay tuned for more of my #familydining review on the blog,SobeSavvy com

A post shared by Lifestyle|Food|Travel|Fun BLOG (@sobesavvy) on

Here is why we parents think you should check out the Brunch at Fogo De Chão:

• This restaurant wants you to eat your fruits and veggies too! Before the main event you get to make a trip {unlimited trips actually} to their beautiful Market Salad Bar. This huge station has so many fresh items to get you started. Multiple lettuce, cheese and cold meats including prosciutto, smoked salmon and hams. In addition there were items like asparagus tips, fresh fruits and breads. There is also a Feijoada Bar, which has soups and bean choices. Next to that is a tender, flavorful, ready to carve pork shoulder should you wish to get the meat started immediately!

Family Friendly + Kids age 6 and under eat FREE for lunch, brunch or dinner with paying adult. During the Labor Day weekend only, the special was kids 12 and under eat free! SobeSavvy Tip: Join their Fogo E Club >>HERE to be informed of special events, promotions and the latest Fogo News!

Priced cheaper than it’s normal dinner, their weekend brunch still gives you the full on experience at less the cost. Let’s high five to that!

All you can eat fire roasted meats being served by the authentically dressed “Gauchos” are available to you whenever you want it! Tables have little markers that each person dining uses when they are ready to be served by the roaming meat experts. Green for MORE MEAT PLEASE…Red for NO MORE RIGHT NOW.

• They come over and ask you how do you want it? From Rare to Well Done is carried on every 3 foot long skewer. They carve off a slice {you tell them thin, thick etc..} and you use the tongs to pull it off and put on your plate. That’s it. Filet Mignon, Strip, Chicken, Pork, Ribs, Lamb, Sirloin. THEY.HAVE.IT.ALL….and I love variety + great service!

• Cocktails are made with quality ingredients and they offer wine galore from the ceiling to floor! Yes, there is a wine wall. I recommend the Caipirihna, the Brazilian National cocktail perfectly made with Cachaca, lime juice and a little brown sugar or try a glass of wine from VIK winery in Chile.

• Yes they do have something other than meat on the menu. SEAFOOD! They have a wonderful platter with shrimp and lobster tails served chilled or grilled. A butter burner gets set up on the table to ensure you have that warm butter to dip. Beautiful presentation and delicious fresh seafood. If you want a Surf & Turf experience, add on the Seafood platter at an extra cost.

• Save room for dessert! While they offer quite a few choices, our server highly recommended we try their “Papaya Cream“. Fresh papaya (which our server advised helps to digest meat) is blended with vanilla ice cream and the server tops it in a large glass with black currant liquor. It was amazingly different and so good. Big enough for the adults to share that’s for sure! Our daughter got her fave creme brulee.

SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy more savings when you go at lunchtime and opt to order the Market Table and Feijoada only. You get all the salad bar trips you want for a light lunch or if you are pressed for time. It is a great option for a healthy alternative for a low price of only $15 !

Have you ever been to Fogo de Chão for brunch, lunch, or dinner? What did you have that was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

FOGO DE CHÃO

1101 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington,DC 20004

Food|Celebrate #NationalCheesePizzaDay @DemosPizzaDeli in #Raleigh #NC #SobeSavvyEats #Pizza

Give me a P- I- Z- Z -A, foodies let’s celebrate #NationalCheesePizzaDay! If you live in Raleigh, hands down, DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli is a great place to enjoy some amazing cheese pizza and more! Here’s why:

✔ Fresh, not Frozen crust

✔ Dough made in-house

✔ Homemade Sauce

✔ Quality Mozzarella Cheese

But that’s not all they do great.

Pizza, Hot & Cold Sandwiches, Award Winning Chicken Wings and Delicious Desserts are all on the menu for the whole family to enjoy!

THE MENU

DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli on Glenwood Avenue in Downtown Raleigh has some of the best wings and pizza to be found anywhere.

Founded by two Raleigh natives, DeMo’s serves up everything fresh not frozen. House made dough, sauces and even the vanilla cannoli cream fillings!

But before I jump to dessert, I went there with my family in search of the best cheese pizza to have on National Cheese Pizza Day. We noticed they had comfy booth seating and our favorite foodie show ‘Chopped’ was playing on one of their flat screen tvs, so we felt right at home. We started with hot and fresh garlic rolls that was served with their house made marinara. They were soooo goood! Order these and get ready to dip, baby, dip!

A fresh Ceasar Salad is a great way to ensure you eat your veggies with your pizza and their salad was crisp, tasty and big enough for my #HeighPartyof3 family to share.

I highly suggest ordering some wings to start. Not just any wings but DeMo’s offer Jumbo Wings that are seasoned, baked to perfection and fried to order perfection. They are then tossed in one their many amazing sauces or you can get the sauce on the side.

It comes served with double batch ranch sauce and blue cheese for dipping. In addition to their award winning Buffalo IPA beer sauce, DeMo’s has some other sauce choices also like Mild, Honey Chile, BBq and Teriyaki. These wings are definitely a crowd pleaser!

Our medium Cheese Pizza came piping hot out of their oven! It had the right amount of gooey, ooeey cheese that our daughter loves, the perfect amount of sauce for me and my husband, who I call a pizza crust snob (since his first job was making pizzas) gave it his pizza lover stamp of approval.

In my opinion there is nothing worse than an unbalanced cheese to sauce ratio! But DeMo’s does not disappoint and there was goodness in every bite. Their pizza is thin NY style pizza. In other words you can hold or fold. The choice is yours! My little one aka #outandandaboutAva commented it was the best pizza she has ever had!

As the pizza was disappearing we made sure to save room for dessert after learning from co-owner Anthony DeMarco that the cheesecake (my daughter’s favorite) is not only homemade but has a bit of a unique twist in its recipe that my young foodie tasted right away! Also on the dessert menu are cannolis made with their house made vanilla cream filing. Both desserts were so good and the perfect sweet ending to our meal.

SobeSavvy Tip: If you just want to order a slice of pizza from DeMo’s , check out this daily combo’s special ⤵️

We left Demo’s feeling like everyday should be National Cheese Pizza Day! Our daughter waved goodbye to ‘Fat Tony’ outside of Demo’s and I grabbed a menu because you can dine in or order take out. DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli also offers delivery which I will be using since this place is now our new favorite pizza spot in Raleigh!

DEMO’S Pizzeria & Deli
222 Glenwood Ave #121 Raleigh, NC 27603

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.

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

#FoodieFriday Feature | What’s New at Red Monkey Tavern in #Raleigh @ShopCrabtree #dineCrabtree

On a recent visit to Crabtree Valley Mall, lunch and libations were on my agenda. I am excited to share my #dineCrabtree experience at Red Monkey Tavern, who recently switched over ownership and have so many awesome things going on! They have a NEW menu, NEW concept, NEW management and a NEW fan in me!

VIEWS + VIBE

This was my first time dining at Red Monkey and I honestly did not know what to expect. In fact because of my love-hate relationship with monkeys, I just never thought to do anything except take out of town guests to the infamous monkey bench that sits outside the restaurant and let them take funny photos! Do you remember the time when Michael Jackson had a pet monkey named Bubbles? I think this bench lets people have their wish of getting up close and personal with a monkey. You will almost always see someone sitting beside it. LOL!

I am so glad I was invited to step inside and dine at this cozy, casual restaurant. The decor has a bit of a tropical feel to it and in my opinion one to many plush monkeys. However after receiving a warm welcome from the host followed by a friendly greeting from the waitress, I felt comfortable at the Red Monkey. Salsa music and Latin Jazz tunes were playing and I immediately liked the vibe. We were seated at a cozy booth across from the bar but they also have some intimate tables for two

as well as outside patio seating

and a lower level lounge area, which can be reserved for private events!

DRINKS

Before ordering food, I took a look at their “Monkey Drinks” menu, which consisted of beer, wine and craft cocktails. I ordered one of their “Monkey Mules” called a Redneck Mule, which is made with Jack Daniels Honey and ginger beer. I love moscow mules and was impressed with their unique, refreshing twist on a classic drink! My hubby ordered a top shelf L.I.T. Monkey, which stands for Long Island Iced Tea.

After meeting Marcella and learning that she was from Miami, she encouraged me to try a Mojito and I am so glad I did! After living in Miami myself for almost 19 years, I can say Red Monkey will be my go to place when I want a real Mojito without getting on a plane to South Florida. And guess what…on Mondays you can enjoy a Mojito for just $5.00! Yes, I’ll drink to that!

THE MENU

At first glance of the menu, you will see American faves and tavern food like wings, nachos and burgers. I also saw some dishes that reminded me of my favorite foods from traveling in the Caribbean like yellow rice, plantains, jerk chicken and ceviche. The cuisine is Latin Fusion and I learned from talking to the owners/management that many of the new dishes are inspired by family recipes. If you taste sofrito in a dish, you have Randy’s Abuela to thank for that!

Appetizers

When I asked our waitress what was her favorites on the menu, she advised everything is good but she loved the steak! So that’s where we started with an order of the steak nachos plus the Maryland style crab cakes. Considering my husband and I were both born in Maryland, we are a bit of crab cake snobs. ‘Not bad’ we thought but we also shared with the owner they may not want to call it Maryland style. Perhaps simply crab cakes. It did have a nice flavor and I enjoyed the cilantro cream that it is served with.

If you love nachos, definitely order the “Monkey Nachos”! They come in a huge bowl and are gluten free. It is served with chipotle queso, bacon, Pico de Gallo, roasted jalepenos cilantro crema and you can add on chicken or steak for extra yumminess!

Entreés

The menu offers a delicious variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and house favorites to chose from. Our eyes were drawn to two classic dishes we enjoyed while living in Miami around so many cultures. Check out the description of the Cuban Sandwich:

As described, I felt like I was on a mini vacation enjoying a sandwich I learned to love in Miami. The bread, the pork, ham, cheese,pickles… everything was just right! However,I could not finish my food due to the constant visits my fork took to my husband’s entreé. He ordered the Skirt Steak Churrassco and as soon as I saw it and smelled the aroma, I knew I wanted to taste his dish. The quality, tenderness and flavor of his steak along with the yellow rice & pigeon peas, black beans and sweet plantains made me secretly wish I had ordered his instead. The chimichurri sauce served with the steak was also very good!

Desserts

Red Monkey has a Happy Hour dessert special from 5-7pm offering $5 specials different days of the week. The food portions were so big I almost did not have room for dessert but trust me you will want to either save room, make room or get dessert to go! The Tres Leche de Coquito was amazing! It’s a moist sponge cake topped with coquito, which some people refer to as Puerto Rican egg nog. There is enough to share but it is so good, you may not want to. Like their Mojito, this dessert is authentic and delish!

SobeSavvy Tip: Save the date for these Upcoming Events!

This upcoming week Red Monkey has a Trivia Night coming up on April 24th along with their weekly Salsa Classes on Wednesdays: https://www.facebook.com/events/145767506137467/

Also on Mother’s Day they are offering an All You Can Eat Buffet Brunch!

The lesson in my dining experience here is to not judge a book by its cover. I let the name of a place and past reviews discourage me from ever stepping in to the restaurant. The staff, service, sips and steak were all satisfying and I know I will be going back! I encourage you to stop in and see what’s new at the Red Monkey Tavern. Follow on Instagram @RedMonkeyRaleigh & @ShopCrabtree.