Friday, September 23, 2016

Il Fornaio + the best view

Oh WOW! I think my excuse of work and being super busy can no longer be used, even though it is so true.  I promise I have been collecting all the pictures and taking notes at all the restaurants we have been going to, I just seem to never have time to post them. I am going to talk about one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego, Il Fornaio... there are two locations. One is in Del Mar and the other is on the bay in Coronado. I have been to both locations but nothing beats the view from Coronado overlooking the downtown skyline and water. HEART EYES FOR DAYS!

The first time I went here was before a dance in high school. One of those dances where you dress up, get a limo, and go to dinner with a bunch of your friends. I still remember getting the Margarita Pizza and it was soooo yummy, I just had to go back. Almost 7 years later, and I have my whole family hooked. PLUSSSS, they were so great with my allergy. Some might be thinking, it is Italian food, could they really use Peanuts or Peanut Butter for anything? My answer is "you never know!" I went to a Mexican restaurant thinking that and found out that they will sometimes use Peanut Butter to thicken the enchilada sauce. So from that day on I never assumed and ALWAYS ask. They were so helpful and so empathetic to my allergy at Il Fornaio. When they came out with my food they assured me once again that I was safe to eat and that the chef was aware of my allergy. I know I've said this in previous posts but having a restaurant go out of their way to make me feel like I am the most important customer there is really something special. I am thankful for people who take my allergy as serious as it actually is. Oh! They also have a gluten free menu!

Now on to the good stuff... the food! One of our favorite appetizers is their Bruschetta. It is seriously heaven... but if you don't want to go the appetizer route, don't worry because they bring my favorite thing to the table... BREAD.




I have tried many of their dishes but always seem to come back to the traditional Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese (pictured closest) They are also really great at taking special instructions. For the longest time I was not a fan of meat sauce... not sure why.. don't ask. So I was always asking for just plain sauce but to add chicken. They were always so kind about me doing this. The other two dishes here are Conchiglie Al Pollo (with the broccoli) and the special of the day –


Just go here. It is a little more expensive than some restaurants ...but it is so worth it. But, you can save some money by doing half orders which is available on all their dishes. The food, the view, and the customer service are all A+++

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Draft Republic


Happy Wednesday!! This week has been filled with so many fun activities all set up by job for all the new employees. Can I just say... I have the best job & team ever. It really doesn't feel like work half the time. I hope everyone can find a job like this one day. Annnnywhooo, one of the fun activities was dinner/happy hour at Draft Republic which is in University City (if you are from San Diego it is across the street from UTC) I have been there once before with my boyfriend and his parents and I remember it being pretty cool.

The vibe of this restaurant is just awesome. It has this garage/outdoorsy feel that includes a bar, game area with pool, ping pong, darts, etc. and lots of yummy food. Oh, and I can't forget about the mannequins sitting on a ledge above the bar which freaked me out multiple times... I seriously thought they were real about 1000000 times. Super cool location and decor. I give it an A+++, and unlike my last post, I give the service an A+++ as well. 

Like I keep saying, one of the first things I always do is inform the server that I have a peanut allergy. I knew I had been here before and was fine but I always like checking again if it has been over a year. You never really know what they have changed on the menu. I have had multiple restaurants go from safe to unsafe within a few short months... aka JAMBA JUICE (when they first opened when I was in middle school, I was good to go, now not so much) I asked my server and he was quick to say "you're good to go" but what made me feel really good was that he still wanted to go back to the kitchen and talk to them just to be 110% sure. Knowing that my server is committed to making my time at their restaurant enjoyable puts my mind at ease. I really have to trust what the server says and trust that they understand the severity of my allergy so when I get a server/restaurant that really cares I will always come back. 

The food was amazing! we had a blast at this restaurant, if you're wanting to hang out with co-workers after work, watch a game, or just have dinner with friends or family this place is seriously great for all of those and more. Plus!!! if you have an allergy they are more than happy to talk to you and let you know what you can and can't eat. 

What I ate:
Buffalo Cauliflower - $10.95
Bavarian Pretzel Sticks - $8.95
Peppered Skirt Steak Flatbread- $15.95




oh and dessert :) follow me on ig to see more of my stories!
IG// darlingrachel


Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Local


I hope you all enjoyed my last post. I mean who doesn't love food, so there is really no reason why you wouldn't want to hear about the best places in San Diego and I guess the not so great :) As I mentioned in my last post, having a food allergy can be daunting, especially when it comes to going out to eat. I am pretty pro skilled at it these days, and so are most restaurants but I still come across a few places that I am not satisfied with. Most of the time, I don't think people truly understand the severity of my allergy. 

The Local Eatery and Drinking Hole , which is located in Downtown San Diego on Fourth Avenue, is a bar/restaurant that my boyfriend and I pass every time we are downtown. We kept talking about how we should try it because he is a total beer snob, and they looked to have a pretty great food/beer menu. I have really tried to step outside my comfort zone when it comes to trying new places so I was willing to give it a try. I am going to say it now, the food was good, I will give it a 6-7, but the service was a 4. Let me explain...

The first thing that I always do is to scan the menu, most people are looking for what they want to eat within the first few seconds, but for me I am looking for that red flag... PEANUTS. I noticed immediately that they had a thai styled salad, which of course concerned me because this usually includes peanuts. When our server FINALLY came over to our table, I told her about my allergy, and she just stared at me not saying a single thing. Most definitely awkward...I asked her about the salad and she just kept saying no no no no, so I asked her about the oil they used for their french fries (peanut oil can be weird, it is usually safe for me to eat, i'll explain this weirdness in another post), she again just looked at me and instead of answering, she walked over to another couple that walked in to seat them... strange. When she came back she asked if we were ready to order and I asked again about the oil and if I was safe to eat. She said no peanuts. Honestly, I am not 100% sure if English was her first language, so she may not have understood ... As I am sitting here typing this story out, I wonder why I thought it was ok to stay and eat, but I did and luckily it worked out... but I would NEVER go here again. Whether I had an allergy or not, the service was awful. I was not impressed. The food wasn't horrible but I may as well be eating at the YardHouse or BJ's. At least they have onion rings. 

When it comes to having an allergy I am pretty understanding, not every restaurant is going to be able to accommodate me, but peanut allergies and other food allergies are very common these days and these places need to understand that if they don't recognize food allergies or at least train their staff to know what to say when a customer comes in, then their business will suffer... because not only have I told all my friends & family about the lack of customer service at this restaurant but I have now told all of you.  



The plus side of our adventure downtown was that my boyfriend wanted to show me a condo he was looking at, so I had him take some photos of me in front of these super cute brick row houses. I have major heart eyes for anything brick and anything that looks like it should be on the east coast.
Of course, he was being silly and not wanting to carry my camera around because he felt like a tourist, but he snapped some pretty great photos, plus I got to give him a quick lesson on shooting in manual. 

ootd// skirt: Forever 21, Shirt: Boston University, Jacket: Forever 21, Shoes: Converse



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Food Allergies & Restaurants

Hi ya'll, long time no talk. I feel like I say this often, but it has been hectic over here. Work is flying by, but since I have been gone I have thought of a few things that would make my blog more me.

First things first, I am no longer a student, I think a lot of people have a hard time grasping this concept since I still get a lot of questions asking why I no longer post study photos. My simple answer is because I don't have any to post. I graduated back in January and have been trying/faking this adult thing ever since... so there will be a lot less study posts, but I am still posting some over on my youtube channel, because 19 years of school makes for a lot of tips & tricks!

So, this will be my first post where I incorporate something new to my blog... so let me explain. When I was 10 months old we discovered that I had a severe peanut allergy. In 1991, this was somewhat of an uncommon allergy and made it difficult to eat lunch at school, go to restaurants, and travel. Since then, these places have made great strides in creating a safe environment for those with allergies. As I have gotten older, I have visited many places, and have come across restaurants, airlines, hotels, etc. that are great places for those with allergies and some not so great places. I have decided that I want to share my experiences with you. Even if you don't have an allergy, you will still be able to hear about some great and not so great restaurants/hotels/etc.

Let's get started!

Today, my work had our team retreat where we go to an off site location to talk about our goals and what we want to improve on in the upcoming year. We went to Loews Coronado Bay Resort and sat looking over the bay. Being from San Diego, I was familiar with this location, since my family camped at Silver Strand State Beach for many years and we would ride our bikes around this hotel. Needless to say, it is gorgeous!! It looks over the bay, coronado bridge, and the downtown skyline.

We ended up eating at the Market Cafe, on the first floor. The first thing I always say to my server is "I have a peanut allergy" Sometimes I have to say more to initiate a conversation but most of the time the server is already telling me if I will be safe to eat there or not! The Market Cafe was awesome. She told me that she would tell the chef, and when she came back out a few minutes later after talking to him, she wanted to show me a paper that the restaurant has the server fill out for guests with allergies.  This is major points in my book. Knowing that my order has something specifically stating that this person has a life threatening allergy lets me relax and enjoy my meal. This server even went so far to go and call the bakery where the bread was made to make sure that it was made in a nut-free environment, since I have to be careful with cross contamination. After our breakfast was given to us, the manager came out to make sure everything was going well. It is the little things like this that make my life 10x easier.

We ended up staying at the hotel for a few hours and decided to go back to the same restaurant for lunch since we had such a great experience.

If you are ever in San Diego, make sure you visit Coronado, and look up Loews Coronado Bay Resort, the price was right and the service was amazing, and if you have an allergy they are willing and want to work with you to make sure your experience is pleasant  :) Overall, the food was delicious! I am always on the hunt for the best french toast, and I may have found it.... just go and eat here. You won't regret it!



*TIP: If you know where you will be eating, try and find a menu online. I always look it over, just to see if I notice any red flags. Some restaurants are awesome and will put allergy info on their menu!


Breakfast: Brioche French Toast w/ Mixed Berries & Syrup – $14

Appetizer: Artisinal Cheese – $16


Lunch: Kobe Burger & Fries – $15

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cropped Flannel






Jeans: Hollister , Shirt: Forever 21- Similar here, Sweater: Forever 21- Similar here, Purse: TJMaxx- Similar here, Boots: Steve Madden- Similar here

I can't believe graduation is on Sunday... I really don't know where the last few months went! I have been crazy busy which I love, but I wanted to make sure I made some time today to post this outfit that I wore today.

This outfit here, is definitely a favorite. The top can be worn with just about any color jean and it is perfect for high waisted pants. love love love it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Comfy in Stripes









Top: Kohls, Shoes: Converse, Jeans: Forever 21

I may or may not have taken this shirt from my moms closet... she has good taste. This adorable top was a steal from Kohl's, they have multiple colors and the detail on it just makes me get heart eyes! Like always, I decided to wear my white converse. You really can't go wrong with them, especially when you don't want to be too "fancy" looking when running errands.... plus they are so comfortable! 





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Classic V-Neck & Skinny Jeans











I know I have had this for a few weeks now, but I wanted to introduce my new baby :) For my graduation gift I received the LV Speedy Bandouliere 25.... I wanted a Speedy since I was about 16 and was so excited to see they had one with a strap!! I am all about crossbodies. So welcome to the family baby louis!! ;)

As for the outfit, I just love how this simple olive shirt from H&M looks with this purse. The colors are just perfect together, and the best part is that you can pair it with either skinny jeans or even a pair of shorts and brown sandals! 

Shirt- H&M Similar Here,and Here, Jeans- Forever 21, Combat Boots- Steve Madden, Purse- Louis Vuitton
Accessories are all a few years old, similar at Forever 21!