With 30 local breweries, Charlotte has a booming craft beer scene. One particular spot has decided to stand out by taking their brew skills to the next level. In addition to traditional ales and lager, Lenny Boy Brewing Co. has expanded their beverage menu to include sours, gluten-free wild ales, and organic kombucha. With a wild flavor list including Lost Rose, Lavenderade, and seasonal Sweet Potato Pie, Lenny Boy is actually the only certified organic kombucha in the entire Southeast. This wide variety of options mean that drinkers and non-drinkers alike are sure to find a new favorite brew.
Featuring a bright, spacious taproom adorned with greenery and views into the brew warehouse, Lenny Boy puts a strong emphasis on their slogan “Culture Matters.” How does a brewery build culture, one may ask. Aside from providing an opportunity for groups large and small to gather, Lenny Boy loves local. By partnering with local groups and organizations to host art shows, weekly fitness classes, non-profit events, trivia, and more, Lenny Boy connects people with culture. Real, local, culture that builds community.
Oh, and there’s always dogs.
What more could you want in a brewery?
Lenny Boy has it all.
Hi everyone! I'm really excited to introduce a new series that I think is going to be a lot of fun!
In the past, I have written about my love for reading and my new-found love for nonfiction books, particularly those that recount someone's personal travel stories and adventures. I may have even said once or twice that I actually love the escapism genre. While these stories are often over-indulgent, exaggerated, and often unrealistic and unattainable for your average person, it's nice to dream once in a while.
I'll be including a similar series on my corresponding blog, The Offbeat Traveler, but here I wanted to focus specifically on books that relate to food while traveling. I mean, isn't that a major reason why so many of us travel in the first place- to discover all sorts of amazing and intriguing cuisines that are unique to various regions.
I wanted to start off with a book that I read last summer and that I also have highlighted on my Travel Reading List page- An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude by Ann Vanderhoof.
This book is a classic example of escapism. Man and woman leave behind 9-5 office jobs in dreary city to chase the golden sunshine of a warmer, more peaceful paradise. But there's a slight twist- they are sailing their own boat- a 42 foot sailboat named Receta to be exact. Receta meaning "recipe" in Spanish, is a fitting name, as Vanderhoof gives elaborate mention to all the new and exotic foods and dishes she comes to know and love during their journey through 16 countries and 47 islands.
Luckily for us, Vanderhoof includes many of the mouth-watering recipes in the back of the book, so we can literally get a little taste of what life must have been like during the voyage she writes about. Anything from curried lobster to breadfruit salad, pineapple cream cheese and papaya-banana muffins, this book will leave you craving the flavors and spices of the Caribbean.
Intrigued yet? This light-hearted and enchanting journey is one you will not want to put down- but not to worry, you can catch back up with Vanderhoof in her follow-up book, The Spice Necklace. This is one I have on my list as well!
You can find the paperback copy here or a Kindle version here
Do you ever find yourself in a situation when you have a friend coming to visit and you know you want to spend some time catching up, but all of a sudden you feel like you just moved to the city you’re in and can’t think of a SINGLE decent place to go for drinks? Or coffee or breakfast or dessert? You spend weeks or months making mental notes of all the new places you want to try but when the opportunity arises to go somewhere, it’s as if everywhere you’ve ever heard of vanishes, leaving you panicked as your quickly do a Google search of “good restaurants in…” or “best place to eat near me.” Maybe it’s just me, but I have started keeping a written list of those such places so that I don’t keep finding myself in that situation.
The most recent example is when a friend was coming into town for a few hours, and while we both knew we wanted to grab some drinks, dessert was mentioned, and I quickly found myself falling down the rabbit hole of local instagram foodies, trying to find something visually appealing that caught my eye and met the criteria established.
This time, it manifested in the form of Barcelona Wine Bar. I’d heard of it. I’d seen pics of it. I knew they had alcohol. So far so good. A little more scrolling and voila, dessert was spotted. This was the place.
Upon entering said place, my initial feelings were validated. With shelves of books, antique knick knacks, and a few scattered plants, I immediately felt as though I was entering into a cozy cellar that featured warm lighting and delicious smells.
After a round of sangria, we decided to throw some tapas into the mix before moving on to dessert. The abondigas, spiced meatballs in a tomato-based sauce paired great with the complimentary bread that we couldn’t get enough of. The pork belly with almond slivers was so extremely tender it almost melted in your mouth. And the garlic aioli topping the patatas bravas was worth licking the plate for. Of course we didn’t…
We allowed the savory goodness of meat and bread, sauces and spices, to almost dissuade us from ordering dessert. But alas, we came here for a reason and we could not leave without fulfilling our quest.
The crepas allowed us to complete our mission. Stuffed with the lightest, yet creamiest coffee filling, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and sprinkled with whole hazelnuts, the rich flavors were so smooth and airy with just the right amount of crunch.
The next time I need to find the perfect spot in a pinch, there will be no hesitation.
If you're like me, the thought of throwing away a recycleable item or not using the other side of a piece of paper before tossing it makes you cringe. Sometimes waste is unavoidable, and it seems as though these instances multiply when traveling. Below are a few of my favorite go-to travel accessories that are guaranteed to reduce waste, without taking up valuable cargo space in your suitcase! Oh, and by incorporating these products into your travel routine and cutting down on waste, you are also helping yourself to save money in the long run- what's not to love about that?
(This is not a sponsored post- I just really love the way these products make traveling a little bit easier!)
You gotta eat, right? That doesn't change when you're traveling. In fact, you may even want to eat more because there are so many new and exciting cuisines to try in such a short amount of time!
Whether it's in the airport, on the plane, or grabbing that oh-so-delicious authentic street food, you are bound to find yourself reaching for a plastic utensil to aid in consuming that deliciousness. From plastic spoons and forks to plastic straws, and the plastic wrapping that often holds it all together, the waste quickly adds up. By incorporating a reusable set of bamboo flatware into your routine, you are guaranteed to use less plastic, and you might even avoid some unwanted germs- plastic cutlery is often washed and reused to maximize use. This set includes everything you need for enjoying your meals on the go- from utensils to straws- even chopsticks! The best part is that it comes in its own handy-dandy roll-up carrying case, keeping your utensils protecting from any grime.
You can find the set pictured below here or check out this set made out of boao.
Just as with eating, water is something you can't do without. Drinking enough water while traveling is especially crucial for ensuring that you stay healthy and energized during those long days of exploring. Even in my day-to-day life, I carry a reusable water bottle around with me everywhere and fill it up along the way. When traveling, it is normal to feel skeptical about the water you're drinking, and it's common to buy a lot of plastic water bottles that will be consumed and tossed in the trash repeatedly. With a filtered water bottle, you eliminate both the need for plastic bottles, as well as the uncertainty about the quality of water you're drinking.
LifeStraw is a brand known for its powerful and effective portable filtration system. Used by campers, hikers, backpackers, and travelers around the world, LifeStraw has now put that same water filtering technology directly into a reusable water bottle, meaning you can fill up anywhere without worry, knowing that the filter will do its job to remove 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and protozoa, delivering clean, healthy water wherever you go. Now you're not only reducing plastic waste- you're saving yourself money by not buying multiple bottled waters a day.
One thing I love to do when I travel is visit the local grocery stores and farmer's markets. This is such a great way to get an inside glimpse at what the authentic local life is like. While these visits can easily be planned, sometimes you may stumble upon a little market on your way to another activity. I know I have had my fair share of carrying around random pieces of fruit or pastries in my backpack, only to later find them squished and bruised.
By utilizing a cooler backpack, you are not only more likely to keep your food purchases safe and fresh longer, but you are taking advantage of a product you are likely already going to have with you. I always travel with a backpack because it allows for handsfree movement and feels more secure than carrying a purse. By using an insulated lunch bag, you can keep your food safe without adding an extra bag or item to carry. Because it is water-resistant, it is perfect for carrying other travel essentials, such as a camera or important documents. Keep everything you need with you in one bag, safe and secure, while reducing the amount of waste from damaged food!
What are your go-to travel products?
How do you like to make eating while traveling better for you and the environment? Let us know in the comments!
I travel and then I write about it. I hope you enjoy my experiences, and can learn from my trial and errors!