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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lyfe Kitchen - Plano

We went to the new Lyfe Kitchen in Plano earlier this month for a light lunch. We had just gotten back from our all-inclusive Cancun trip so we didn't want to eat too much. Need to get back in shape!

Lyfe Kitchen
1900 Preston Rd. #111
Plano, TX, 75093
(972) 867-5933
Price: $$

I had been here once before. I thought it was pretty good but slightly expensive. However, they have this awesome brussels sprouts side dish for just $4! And you get quite a bit! I had my eyes set on that one again.

It's a cute place, bright lighting and colors, and an herb garden/shelf thing as soon as you walk into the door. It helps to reiterate their concept of healthy and sustainable foods. They support local farms, promote sustainability, and is overall environmentally friendly. Nothing is fried, and they offer gluten free, vegan, etc. options. I totally love the concept. And I understand their need to price things a bit higher. You order at the counter and they bring the food out to you.

It was my fiance's first time here. I knew he liked flavored water and juices and stuff so I pointed those out to him. They have some interesting waters, juices, and smoothies.

Orange Ginger Chia (fresh-squeezed orange juice, filtered water, lime, raw ginger syrup, lemon verbena, mint and chia seeds) $2.49~ 
This was quite good! I was surprised I liked it since I'm not a huge ginger fan. It was very refreshing, not too sweet, and the chia added some texture. If you haven't been following the food health news, chia is a recent trend. Supposed to be super good for you.

Roasted Salmon, Tomato & Fennel (sustainably raised salmon served with pan-steamed fennel, red onion, broccoli, zesty tomato sauce) $14.99~ 
He wanted something with protein so opted for the salmon. The fish was cooked well, but the flavors were quite light. Almost seemed bland at first, but the more he ate, the spicier it got. He can't really handle spicy so it was borderline too much for him. I got the spiciness, but to me it was very slight. It was an ok dish. Definitely light and healthy though.

Quinoa Crunch Wrap (whole wheat tortilla stuffed with quinoa tabbouleh, fresh crunchy vegetables avocado, edamame hummus, fireman’s hot sauce on the side) $7.99~ 
This was mine. It was very pretty! I loved it. Lots of veggies inside with all sorts of flavors and texture. I liked the combo of the quinoa with the avocado. The edamame hummus was great too! I'd get this again.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash (with dried cranberries, dijon vinaigrette) $3.99~ 
This is what I came for. Two of my favorite veggies in one plate for only $4!! Delicious! I think I can just order 2 of these as my main meal next time. hahaha.

This time was better than the first. I enjoyed my food a lot more. Guess you just have to order the right thing here... If you are into healthy food and/or have a special diet, this is definitely worth checking out. I'm totally digging this new trend of more local foods, healthy, sustainability. I really hope it continues down this path. :)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Royal Suites Yucatan - Riviera Maya

To celebrate my graduation... I booked a trip for me and my fiance at the end of my final quarter. I actually booked the trip before I even registered for my last class. Hahaha. Hey, the way I looked at it... if I finish, yay we celebrate. If for some reason I failed, at least we're in Mexico. It's a win-win! :P

I found a pretty awesome deal at the Royal Suites Yucatan by Palladium in Riviera Maya/Akumal. It's about an hour and half car ride south from the Cancun airport. The main reason I chose this place? It's adults only! :) Well, our section of the resort is adults only. It's essentially 5 resorts in 1... pretty huge. You have to take carts/shuttles to go to some of the other resorts.

We arrived in late afternoon, the sun was already starting to set. The lobby of our section of the resort was really nice. And the people at the front desk were sooooo friendly and accommodating. It was off to a great start!

Since this is an all-inclusive resort (which btw... is THE best way to vacation. Food and drinks all included!!) it means LOTS of food pictures! I'm not going to write much more. This is purely a food porn entry... :) Just a quick tip though, never go to the "Asian" restaurant at these resorts. They are almost always pretty crappy. And it was our only really bad meal on this trip.

First night dinner: El Jardin, restaurant just next to our lobby.

It's a buffet AND a la carte restaurant. Ooooof... wayy too much food.

It includes lobster. Yes. LOBSTER!

One of the most tender preparations of octopus I have ever had in my life! Amazing!

First breakfast: Room service! Which is 24/7 and again... ALL INCLUDED! :)
Orange Juice, Banana Shake
Assorted Pastries
Florentine Style Eggs (bechamel, spinach, eggs)
Mexican Style Eggs (scrambled eggs with jalapeno, tomato, cheese, onions; with sausage and chorizo)
Salmon Bagel

2nd Night Dinner: Sumptuori - Japanese/Hibachi/Fusion
Cocktail: Cassis & Orange Juice. Pretty!
Appetizer: Eggrolls and Tempura Shrimp
Assorted Sushi. Pretty blech. 
Soba Juma Fillet (beef fillet with Japanese peas, soya and rice)
Shake Shiitake (gilled marinated salmon with fried sweet potato, carrots, and shiitake vinaigrette)
Fried Banana 
Rice Pudding
We left without really touching the dessert... Other than the well cooked steak for the entree, everything else was pretty bad. We hit up the buffet for more dessert. haha.

3rd Night Dinner: Back to El Jardin (since it doesn't require reservations)
House Margarita Welcome drink.
Tricolor Salad (lettuce, beets, avocado, tomato, egg, onion, french dressing)
Duck Salad (lettuce, endive, mango, kiwi, raspberry vinaigrette and raspberry)
Tlalpeno Soup (chicken, carrot, chayote, potato, celery, leek, onion, garlic, and chipotle chili peppers)
Ribeye Steak. Soooo freaking delicious. They knew how to cook beef! And again.... ALL INCLUSIVE baby!
New York Strip. Also fantastic. 
Tres Leches
Chocolate Cake

4th Night Dinner: La Adelita. The Mexican restaurant. Best meal of the trip. Fantastic!
Complimentary Starter: Nachos
"Mexican Coffee" (coffee, kahlua, tequila, spices). We need to figure out how to make this because it was so good. Couldn't taste any of the alcohol, didn't need additional cream or sugar. Awesome. 
Soup of the Day: Creamed Corn
Beef Broth "La Adelita" (beef, chicken, pork, epazote, pumpkin, corn)
Beef Alambres Sinaloa Style (with beans, mushrooms, poblano, cheese, onion)
Chef's Special of the Day: Chicken Enchiladas in Mole. This was amazing! I love mole, and this was sooooo good!!!!
Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Tres Leches Cake

5th Night Dinner: El Jardin. We initially went to a beach bbq. They had an outdoor buffet all set up with stations that grilled different types of meat. But the food wasn't that great and I was getting attacked by mosquitoes. Plus there was a really annoying drunk guy in the table next to us. It just didn't feel like how we wanted our last night to be. So we went where we KNEW we'd get a good meal. :)
"Stephanie" Salad (lettuce, cucumber, prawns, coriander sauce and beet vinaigrette)
"Sunrise" Salad (spinach, lettuce, surimi, carrots, tomato, lemon vinaigrette)
Chinese Noodle Soup (chicken consomme, pork, noodles, cauliflower, carrots)
Ribeye Steak
Rigatoni with Alfredo Sauce (spanish ham, onion, garlic, and cream)
Chocolate Mousse and Mango Ice Cream
Apple Tart and Vanilla Ice Cream

Last Day Breakfast: Room Service. Since it was our last day here, we went all out! :P
Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice
Assorted Pastries
Toast with Butter
Florentine Style Eggs
Motulenos Style Eggs (corn tortilla, beans, cheese, tomato, chili, pork sausage)
Side of Bacon
Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Chocolate Sauce

Last drinks while waiting for our shuttle to the airport: Bananamama and Kahlua & Milk

As if that wasn't enough for us. I got some $8 ice cream cone from Haagen Dazs. haha.

It was a great vacation. Very relaxing. Other than eating and drinking... we pretty much did nothing. haha. I did get a lot of reading done! :P I'd recommend this resort, but only the adult only section "Royal Suites Yucatan". You'll be glad you did that. I wanna go back................