fave brunch spot in NYC (for now)

i’m one of those people who likes to play favorites. favorite pair of running capris, favorite brand of sneakers, favorite types of wine, favorite places to lay outside and read. i like to choose things and making them feel like mine. after all, isn’t this how we build a life?

and on the flip side, i do reallllly well with change. like, i can change my mind all the time and probably drive everyone else around me insane, and i’m just rolling with it.

so put those two together, and what i’m saying is, i like to have favorites. but sometimes favorites can change. like favorite boys, or favorite actors, or favorite flavors of Gatorade. ūüôā

but one thing is for certain: my favorite meal is definitely brunch. mine, and most of the rest of NYC’s. it’s a thing here, that’s for sure. and fortunately for me, my current fave brunch spot happens to be a block from my apartment — and that isn’t even its selling point. the place is just so adorable, so charming, and so good.

photo: Jean-Philippe Gerbi
44&X, located on the corner of 44th St and 10 Ave (hence the name), deems itself “a little bit of Heaven in Hell(‘s Kitchen).”

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…which i think is both an adorable boast and a pretty close approximation of the truth. we managed to snag the corner table on the front patio, which was prime real estate for a group of girls ready to cozy up for a couple of hours in the sunshine and gab.

i had juuuust come from a 10 mile run along the river, which was absolutely glorious and the best run i’ve had since the NY Half,

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and was more than ready for a mimosa to hit my lips immediately. and it was a good one. cheers!

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i don’t have any food pics, but they have a really extensive, varied, fun brunch menu. i definitely recommend checking this place out if you live in NYC. oh, and if you’re not sold yet, please let me show you the bathroom:

Photoyep, that’s the bathroom. or Barbie’s dream lounge, one or the other. not gonna lie — i kinda dig it. so shocking, every time.

oh, and we had fun waving to this guy, who rolled right up beside us during brunch and humored our attention, even though he didn’t oblige my request to be taken for a spin:

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i just love everything about a sunny Saturday in NYC. you never know what you’ll stumble across.
Questions:
Are you a big brunch fan? What’s your go-to brunch meal/drink?¬† i usually stick to some sort of salad and mimosas!

 

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What I Love Wednesday (on Thursday)

Welp, certainly am a bit behind on my days this week. I actually thought yesterday was Thursday for a bit, until a co-worker knocked me off that daydream. My WILW post will be making a late entrance this week.

1. 44 & X. Um…this restaurant is fabulous. I really can’t believe I’ve lived a stone’s throw away from this place for almost two years and only set foot inside for the first time last night. It was classy, in a white-washed, upholstered bar stools, shabby-chic sort of way, and the food was phenomenal. They affectionately call themselves “a little bit of Heaven in Hell’s Kitchen,” with the staff even wearing shirts that say “Heaven” on the front and “Hell” on back (of course I am on a mission to get myself one), and they’re totally accurate. This place does everything right.

Cucumber Vodka deliciousness

Cucumber Vodka deliciousness

Mediterranean Chopped Salad & Lobster Taco

Mediterranean Chopped Salad & Lobster Taco

There was a halibut involved too, which was heavenly, but sadly went unphotographed. I think the salad was my favorite, but all three dishes were pretty perfect. I can’t wait to return…and often.

2. My strength sessions. I was pretty bummed about straining my calf last weekend and went easy on the running this week, only completing a 6-miler¬†and a 4-miler so far (and hoping for a solid long run on Saturday at home = hills, here I come!). However, I found myself craving my strength & interval workouts even more this week, and had two really killer sessions with my trainer at the industrial, basic-but-efficient¬†Mid-City Gym. Kettlebells¬†and TRX really get my blood going, and I love feeling strong. It’s also a good mental shift for me, to keep me from getting too focused on thinking I have to be a crazy runner to be getting an amazing workout.

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gym dork.

post picking-things-up-and-putting-them-down.

3. Motivational fruit. I think ordinary things in life should always come with little notes. Well played, Chiquita. Well played. I also agree with this assertion — bananas are my post-workout fuel choice without fail.

banana

4. Skuttlebutt wine. So I’ve yet to try this line of wines, but I was instantly¬†captivated by its adorably quirky name — which¬†got even better after I read the¬†definition. I thought maybe it was a¬†silly nickname for someone (or maybe a¬†dance move?¬†jkjk).¬†The website tells you just why this word was chosen, and what¬†its origins mean:

“The word skuttlebutt¬†has its origin in the antiquated, nautical term for the source of drinking water on sea-going vessels. It has evolved into the colloquial term for gossip, rumour and idle chatter. This transformation can be explained by the very nature of social gatherings. Crowding around the skuttlebutt to obtain a drink of water was part of everyday life and the opportunity for idle chatter amongst the crew was the inevitable outcome and so the word became synonymous.”

Well, that’s pretty darn perfect for a wine. And yes, I will absolutely choose things in my life based on words, a hundo¬†p. I walked by a wine store last week and saw this bottle in the window, and I had to stop and snap a pic to remind myself to snag a bottle of this Shiraz-Merlot-Sangiovese ros√© blend asap:

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5. Quest bars. What a find. I just tried them for the first time this week, and I already ordered a 12-pack sampler¬†of the all-natural line from their site. I mean, these nutritional facts are tough to beat, and they’re rated as one of the healthiest protein and granola bars on the market.

quest

So far, I’ve tried the Cinnamon Roll (all-natural line), the Coconut Cashew (all-natural line), and the Chocolate Brownie (original line), and I liked them in that order. I’m a huge fan of anything “Autumn-flavored,” like cinnamon and nutmeg and appley¬†and pumpkiny…you get the picture. I pretty much knew I’d like the Cinnamon Roll the best before I tried them. They’re definitely dense and chewy and are somewhat like a more flavorful, less tough,¬†overall more enjoyable¬†PowerBar, with way better nutritional facts. They certainly keep me full for hours — I had one for breakfast and lunch today. Big fan. ūüôā

Questions: What was something great about your week? What’s your favorite granola/protein bar?