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.
I travel and then I write about it. I hope you enjoy my experiences, and can learn from my trial and errors!