2017: A Year in Review

Well, folks, another year has come and gone. I know we all felt some type of way about 2017 - trust me, I get it. But, in looking back, 2017 brought a lot of changes to my life.

First and foremost, I finally felt settled back in Greenville, after a rough last few months of 2016. I met a new group of friends thanks to, of all things, Instagram! I moved into a really nice apartment that has an elevator, pool, fitness center, dog park, and most importantly, a dishwasher!! The NYC apartment struggle was real, y'all! I traveled to 3 new countries and made friends around the world along the way. I became a dog mom to, IMO, the CUTEST dog that has ever existed. I became an "aunt" again when two of my best friends welcomed new babies. I celebrated the first birthday of another best friend's ridiculously smart little girl. And I got to spend a couple months with my cousin when she moved to Greenville for a summer internship. Not too shabby if you ask me!

This last year wasn't without its rough points. We sold our family home, the one I grew up in that held many memories of our family of four. But my mom bought and moved into a new home that she's so excited about, so we celebrated in her new transition. We went through a 3rd year without my dad, but I found that as time goes by, the pain I feel eases somewhat. Life moves on though, and I'm excited to live 2018 to the fullest with new adventures.

But of course, let's not forget, I ate, A LOT of amazing things in 2017. So below, I've named my Top 17 Bites of 2017 - the first few chosen by you, my Instagram followers, based on your likes. So thank you for following, liking, and putting up with my ridiculous Insta-stories. But also, you're welcome!
 

1. Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

Y'all REALLY liked these chocolate chip cookies! 1,009 times to be exact! And while this isn't my best picture, by far, these cookies were special. You can find the recipe for them here. But these cookies were baked with love for a co-worker and her family who had just welcomed a new baby boy into their family. And of course, I can't talk about cookies without mentioning my FAVORITE cookie from the Chocolate Moose!

2. All the tots from ThoroughFare Truck

And y'all really like tater tots. But, like, who doesn't right? And the best ones you're gonna get in Greenville are from Thoroughfare Truck. Catch them (and most likely me) at Community Tap on Wednesdays! 

3. Bites from my Spain & Portugal Trip

These crab tartlets from my day trip to San Sebastian were a big hit on Instagram. Bar hopping for wine and pinchos? Best. Day. EVER. The food was so awesome in each city we visited, so I've added a couple of my favorites. That trip was such a wonderful adventure for me - and my first time out of the country since middle school. 

4. Caviar & Bananas' Fried Chicken Biscuit

No words y'all... go get this one, ASAP. Wear stretchy pants.

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5. Mac & Cheese from GB&D

This baby got reposted by quite a few Instagram accounts and got a TON of likes. And omg, it is definitely an Insta-worthy pic for sure. But let's be real here, everything on their menu is delicious, not to mention beautiful. A couple other favorites from this last year: rabbit bahn mi, orange chicken sando, steak sandwich, and chicken and waffles. DROOL.

6. Fall for Greenville - Pincho Chicken from Tirado's

Fall for Greenville was another great weekend full of great food, drinks, and music. I especially loved reminiscing about my Spain & Portugal trip with this pincho chicken from Tirado's. And if you haven't had their empanadas, you're missing out my friend.
 

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7. Lewis BBQ from Euphoria

My 2nd Euphoria weekend definitely did not disappoint! I upped my game this year by attending more events with more delicious food and drinks. New events, late nights, and hangovers - so worth it. One of the most memorable bites was at Sunday Brunch from the iconic Lewis BBQ in Charleston.

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8. Restuarant Week at Restaurant 17

This was one of the best meals of my life. Nick and his team pour their heart and soul into their food, and it shows. If you haven't taken a trek out to the TR restaurant, make a reservation and get up there ASAP !It's a feast for the eyes and belly. 

9. Chicken Karaage Taco from ASADA

I got the chance to meet ASADA's co-owners Gina and Roberto through my friend Jonathan (owner of Farm Fresh Fast and Seedlings, LLC). They are wonderful people and their food is delicious and inventive. I'm still working my way through the menu but the Karaage taco is not to be missed! And yes, that is a taco under there. Portion sizes on point!

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10. Smokehaus Sandwich from Farm Fresh Fast

Speaking of Jonathan and Farm Fresh Fast, I could NOT make a best-of list without including him and his farm-to-table restaurant. Jonathan is that rare human who really gives a shit, ya know?! He cares about where all of his ingredients come from and is dedicated to local farmers and providing patrons with the best, locally-sourced food that's not only healthy but tastes really good. While I enjoy everything on the menu, the Smokehaus Sandwich really stole my heart in 2017. 

11. Ricotta Toast from Jianna

There's not better way to start a meal at Jianna than with this creamy ricotta on crusty bread. Do yourselves a favor people, order it next time you're there. And actually, order two because you're going to want your own!

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12. All the things from LTO Burger Bar

LTO is changing the burger game in Greenville. With inventive drinks, funky yet delicious burgers, and ridiculously indulgent shakes, LTO is a spot that you can't miss. And it's not just the burgers and shakes. Some of my favorite items on their menu happen to be appetizers. They don't scrimp on anything over there. They put TLC into every item on their menu.

13. Rack of Lamb from Happy + Hale's Community Dinner

You, unfortunately, won't find this bad boy on the menu, but I couldn't make this list without including the wonderful meal from Happy + Hale's community dinner. It was a wonderful night filled with games, great food, and even better company. I was so happy to have this place pop up around the corner from my apartment. It's got this great vibe that reminds me of some of my favorite healthy spots in NYC. They've got some new winter menu items, so definitely go check out the Bida Bowl.

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14. Bites from my trip to London

If anyone ever tells you that the food in London sucks, just walk away and don't talk to them ever again. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life. I could go on and on about how amazing my first solo trip was, from reconnecting with old friends to walking the beautiful streets to the food, because OMG THE FOOD. But these pics speak louder than words.

15. Macarons from Jonathan Caleb Cake

I was lucky enough to find Jonathan on Instagram in 2017 and the rest is history. I don't miss a pop-up if I can help it and cannot get enough of his delicious confections. If you haven't heard of this guy, catch up! He's going to do big things in Greenville, and I can't wait to say 'I knew him when'.

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16. My Birthday Cookie Cake from Baking Sweet Scents

Christine of @BakingSweetScents is one of the kindest people I've ever met. If any of you have ever ordered sweets from her, you know this already. In 2017, she dived into Baking Sweet Scents full-time and didn't look back. I admire her hard work, and of course, her amazing treats. Thank you for making my birthday so sweet, Christine. And no, I did not share any of my cookie cake with Hazel!!

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17. Pork Belly Taco from White Duck Taco

Last but certainly not least: the pork belly taco from White Duck. I'm not even going to tell you how many times I had this taco in 2017 because it's a bit embarrassing. Let's just say, this is one of the best tacos I've ever had - and I've had more than my fair share of tacos. 

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Honorable Mentions:

Because I can't leave out some other favorites, and I've had more than 17 amazing bites in 2017.

Tap That Dog from Resident Dogs

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Pumpkin Spice Latte from The Village Grind

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Great Pumpkin Smoothie from Southern Pressed Juicery

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Apple Dumplings & Pork Buns from Mary Dumpling

Honey Cuban Sandwich from Tampa Sandwich Shop - bc National Champs '16

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Christen Clinkscales