Mo Takes Marfa

 

This past week, per our apparently annual family roadtrip, Mo & Co traveled to Marfa, Texas. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, neither did the majority of Texans we encountered. How’d we decide on this place then? A mix of “We need a place not too far, but not too close. Not too warm, but not too cold. Something off the grid, but on the grid just enough.” Thanks to Parts Unknown, this recipe cooked up an Anthony Bourdain porridge that satisfied us for our four day stint.

Since Marfa spans a radius of about 3 blocks, it does not have an airport. Well, it hardly has cell service, but we won’t get into that. Instead, the fam and I flew into Austin for convenience and to knock off an age old bucket list item of mine: visit the Ellsworth Kelly Chapel at the Blanton Museum of Art.

Despite the dreary, grey, rainy day, the Chapel enchanted all of us with its magnetic color spectrum and all around cleansing energy. Built as a fairly secular space, as Kelly himself was not particularly religious, this stop was the perfect prelude for a rejuvenating trip to close out 2018.

Once I soaked up as many colors as I could, we loaded into the car for the 6+ hour stretch ahead of us - Opa’s Sausage sandwich in hand.

Marfa, Texas, as I mentioned, is very small. In fact, the concierge at one of the hotels described it as “teeny tiny.” What Marfa lacked in visitor hospitality, it more than made up for in quirks and crannies. Every corner of said 3 block town was jam packed with tchotchkes, galleries, nouveau restaurants, and the same 25 people we saw at every moment of the day.

The only way to escape cabin fever? Drive another 30 mins outside the town center to the Prada Pop-Up on the side of the highway. While it has many fooled into thinking it’s an actual store, Prada Marfa is in fact solely an art installation - meant to tantalize Instagram followers and eventually biodegrade back into the earth.

In terms of ~art~ Marfa is actually quite well known for its relationship with the artist Donald Judd. While people might say Judd put Marfa on the map, townsfolk vehemently standby that Marfa existed well before then (which it did, but how many people knew about it…?) The crowning jewel of Marfa x Judd is The Chinati Foundation - which we purposefully saved for the last day of our trip in order to have something to look forward to each day. Pro tip: make a reservation in advance. Don’t get turned away at the door like we did. Don’t take pictures through the window like we did, you’ll get chased.

The elusive Chinati Foundation

The elusive Chinati Foundation

In terms of food, Marfa has a surprising variety to offer. There’s everything from local ambiance (like the Lost Horse Saloon, complete with spittoon buckets) to Beyoncé approved food trucks like Food Shark. While the former may have been true Marfa, I drastically preferred the latter - despite being unwilling to eat in the dining car because of its unique smell…

Other culinary highlights in this “teeny tiny” town included the famed Marfa Burrito - well worth the hype. If you’re headed to Stellina, make sure to arrive at 5pm for dinner (that’s when it opens and it’ll be full by 5:05pm). And don’t be afraid to make friends with your seat mates. As I said, the town is small and you’ll be running in the same circles as everyone. In fact you might even run into them in the communal showers at El Cosmico!

Which brings me to a note on accommodations in Marfa. Given our spur of the moment decision to travel there in the first place, lodgings were slim pickings. Luckily, we found an adorable Airbnb in the heart of town (across the sole grocery store and gas station) and later found ourselves in a Yurt at El Cosmico. Yes, a Yurt. Which Mo affectionately referred to as the “Yurp.” See it for yurtself in a follow up story to come soon…

All in all, Marfa was everything we anticipated, and then some. If you’re in the mood for a remote recharge complete with good eats, pleasing sights, and a touch of unpredictability, Marfa’s the place! Given its small stature and the limited things to do once you realize you don’t have a reservation at The Chinati Foundation, I’d say you could comfortably see the sights in ~2days. That is, if you save a separate day (and blogpost) for Big Bend.

Moral of the story? Treat Yurtself and check out Marfa, Texas. You won’t regret it or forget it.

Xx, Maia

 

Get (online &) elated!

 

Elated™, the brilliant brainchild of my impressive sister, went live this Saturday, October 21st, and here's why you should be as elated as I am:

First off, my sister is a phenomenal chef. Not only has she successfully made me excited about consuming foods that aren't beige, but she has also made eating healthily and proactively more accessible.

Pictured: Remember Me Salad & Crazy About Curry Soup.

With an undergraduate degree from Wellesley in Neuroscience + a masters from Columbia in Nutrition, she is well equipped to meld the two fields together in an accessible and consumer-friendly way. Simply put: 

Founded from the need to make mental-health maintenance part of a daily habit, elated™ brings brain-boosting, good-mood-making meals right to your door. Made using only all-natural ingredients, our food combines the power of nutrition and neuroscience to feed your brain while tantalizing your taste buds.

Secondly, she's delivering this science right to your door. Well, if you're in Miami at the moment. Operating as a "soft-launch" elated™ promises to supply freshly prepared meals right to you for lunch! How? Through the brand-spankin-new website of course! And, as Chief Technical Officer speaking, I must say the fluidity of the site makes eating well even easier!

Each dish incorporates ingredients identified to boost your mood in various ways like enhancing memory, improving motor function, and preventing Alzheimer's! While they're not claiming to have the capacity to cure you of any brain-based imbalance, elated™ does promise easy education about how to eat better in ways that target brain health. 

With everything from soups, salads, staples, & sweets, you can get a full and happy belly of all of these goodies!

Pictured: Salmon & Confetti Salad & Pretty in Pink Chia Pudding.

Right now, elated™ takes orders at 5pm the day before for noon-2pm delivery time the following day. Need more motivation to get these good-mood-making meals? Use special promo code MODxELATED for 10% off your first order!

And my Boston friends, don't fret. While you can't get these hot and ready meals just yet, you can order her seasonal truffles right to your dorm! I'm talking about her delicious Nuttyberry Truffles. Perfect for snacking, studying, and socializing! My first shipment is already en route. 

So check out the site, follow @get.elated on instagram, and put in your truffle orders today!

Xx, Maia 

 

 

Getting elated: a Preview

 

A few days ago, on a particularly toasty Miami day, my sister, Ariel, rolled up the sleeves of her white linen shirt, spent the day fusing neuroscience with nutrition through food, & faced the raw opinions of several hungry focus-group participants. Surrounded by the beauty of The Wynwood Yard, Ariel discussed the journey that led her to start her own business: elated

Founded from the need to make mental-health maintenance part of a daily habit, elated brings brain-boosting, good-mood-making meals right to your door. Made using only all-natural ingredients, our food combines the power of nutrition and neuroscience to feed your brain while tantalizing your taste buds

As her sister, cheerleader, and CTO (ask me which role is my favorite), I happily helped whip up some menus, business cards, and acted as her first taste tester. When I gave her the thumbs up, she knew she must be onto something, as she had successfully fed me food that wasn't beige, nor consisted of solely potatoes and cheese - and that's a feat. 

I actually found her food to be phenomenal, and not just because it was definitely made with love. Every flavor was identifiable, in such a way that it tasted both fresh and balanced. For her focus group, she decided to put forth six items from her launch menu:

Soup: Popeye's Dream

Salad: Remember Me

Staple: Confetti Salad with Salmon

Staple: Happy Belly Veggie Burger

Sweet(s): Pretty in Pink & Chococado Pudding

Suffice it to say, her participants truly enjoyed their flavorful experience, and were all supportive of this new venture in bringing science to healthy eating. One group-goer was even overheard saying, "people who 'hate' eating healthy will love this food!" So no one gets left out.

Stay tuned for the official, Miami launch (eventual delivery in Boston is definitely on the radar) but for now, get yourself on her mailing list, and follow her on instagram @get.elated to find out insider deets!

Ariel Suazo-Maler holds a master’s in human nutrition from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s in cognitive neuroscience from Wellesley College. She has conducted research in the genetic and neuroanatomical underpinnings of schizophrenia, the neurophysiology of taste perception, and the role of nutrition in depression and anxiety. With elated, Ariel has created a consumable way of bringing her years of research to the table. And she's a pretty, awesome sister to boot ;)

Xx, Maia 

 

 

a Day at DAVIDsTEA

 

It was the Fourth of July and I found myself at the new DAVIDsTEA location at the Prudential Center on an Boston Bites mission. Equipped with my Moleskine, my camera, and the thirst I worked up on that summer's day trek, I was ready to try some tea and learn more about the business - one I definitely owe my sanity to during finals last winter (thank you, Snowy Day tea!). 

Right off the bat the store drew me in with its vibrant color palette and meticulous displays. I had been set up to meet with the New England district manager, Jim, and arrived a few minutes early enough to hear him speaking with a mother and her daughter - first time tea shoppers. The genuine care and nurturing nature with which Jim spoke to these customers really captured me. I instantly knew I'd be in good hands. 

Within the first minute of meeting Jim, he offered me some tea (an expert tea salesman fully aware that the way to anyone's heart is through their stomach). I picked an iced Fruity Oasis tea with agave, per his suggestion, and happily sipped as he walked me through the brand. 

DAVIDsTEA began in Canada on Queens St. nine years ago (in November), founded on the premise of fostering empathy, education, and innovation in tea making. This mantra instantly resonated as I fondly recalled the times in which I received free teas at the Harvard Square location on days in which I figure the workers must have felt my stressed out vibe. Jim validated that this was in fact part of their mission: to treat customers with kindness, even if that means a free cup of tea every now and then. 

I then learned that the teas are broken up and displayed by mood: classics, feel good, sweet & indulgent, and fresh & fruity. The organizational portion of my brain let out a calming sigh of relief. But wait, there's more! The teas are also color coded to enhance the visual nature of understanding the different teas. Another functional implementation of making education accessible - like coloring caffeine free tea orange/yellow for immediate, visual reference. 

Jim also explained that in this particular store the set up was more "grab & go." If the customer is a frequent one, they can keep their headphones in and just select what they came in for, but if it's their first time, there are several people on staff eager to help. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted so warmly and genuinely, a testament to their family-like work ethic and positive environment. Jim even noted that they love doing "matcha shots" with customers in the store. 

Then came the goodies: Jim talked to me about the innovative side of tea making - namely the custom developed mugs, bottles, and pitchers. He showed me the Matcha Shaker, a creative, fun, and educational way to make matcha on the go. My personal favorite had to be the color changing iced tea bottle, though. Of course, no surprise there that the color loving gal loved the color changing cup. Jim even pointed out that the general color scheme of the store is white and bright as opposed to the traditional dark walls and cast iron materials of other tea stores. 

Mid drink demo, Jim whipped out a "perfect spoon" from his pocket. No, I'm not joking. "You've gotta have your perfect spoon on you. I mean c'mon, this pants pocket is just perfect for one." And he was right. Every tea lover needs their perfect spoon at their disposal (and yes, I went home with one of my very own - it's peach colored). Next up were the new Iced Tea Pitcher Presses, an absolute must for instant tea at all of your summer festivities.

"I didn't invent them, but I can sure sell the heck out of them." And if Jim hadn't already promised to send me home with some free goodies, I probably would have bought the pitcher right then and there. It sure helped that a customer interjected, "These are awesome, I have one!" as Jim showed me exactly how they worked. 

Before I left, Jim asked me what kind of tea I liked. I said Jasmine, and he proceeded to show me their wide array of options: from hand rolled tea to green teas left for five days with blooming jasmine in the room, I quickly felt both informed and excited to make my new tea at home!

With such an emphasis on a culture of empathy, it's no wonder that Jim, and people just like him, are the face of the company. Jim told me about his first experience with tea purchasing and how it quite literally left a "bad taste" in his mouth after he spent tons of money on a bunch of equipment no one told him how to use. Here at DAVIDsTEA, not only will you know exactly what you're doing, but you'll feel like you're now part of a family - one that'll give you a warm cup of Snowy Day tea, scooped from a perfect spoon, on a day you definitely need a pick me up. 

Xx, Maia 
 

Twentieth Revolution

 

On my twentieth revolution around the sun, I felt fortunate to be surrounded by loved ones in all capacities: friends, family, and four-legged siblings. I'm not a "birth month" or even "birth week" kind of gal, but my birthday is a very special day for me, and a borderline National Holiday? That's a stretch, but indulge me. 

This year, amidst midterms and burning out on the road to Spring Break, I threw together the most hodge podge, yet symbolic, celebration scheme. I'm not kidding when I say I took a midterm Monday night (hence the skippage of the Mod Monday this week), blinfoldedly bumbled around campus (too many details to go into now...), and sprinted over to the left ledge of Widener for a birthday party. Yes, I had a birthday party at the library. On the left ledge. Yup. People did, in fact show up, and I was both pleasantly surprised and over the moon. 

From 11:30pm-midnight, I forced friends to brave the cold (rewarding them with hot chocolate, cake, bubbly at midnight, and my hugs, of course), abandon their theses for a sec, and dance suspended off the ground at Widener Library. At one point, Securitas peaked out of the library, shot one glance our way, chuckled, and left us alone - #bless. At midnight, I felt the warmth from my friends (despite losing feeling in my toes) and welcomed in my twenties with a phone call from Sandy, which received audience laughter when I answered with a, "Hiiiii Mami!" 

Post Danza Kuduro with the friends left standing, sleep was in order before a bday breakfast with the gals. I'm not joking when I say I planned a bday breakfast (not lunch, when more people would've probably been awake) for the sole purpose of consuming the Cream Chipped Beef Biscuits from Henrietta's Table - better known as a buttery heart attack in a bowl. 

Fast forward to 3pm when class was over and I was headed to the airport in order to celebrate with my parents. And, though I received many a puzzled look and snide, "Wow... that's extra" from some friends about me up and leaving for Miami. I must say it made my birthday. Being able to spend every birthday with my parents has been a godsend, and I sure wasn't going to stop now.

Little did I know my parents had flown in my sister as a surprise! The four of us shared a delicious dinner in South Beach, celebrating the last minutes of my birthday and kicking off a fabulous new decade. 

In the morning, I re-enacted a silly, over-sized balloon pic tradition - up until the zero floated away and I went from 20 to 2 real quick.

Then Sandy and I celebrated with Val, reminiscing over past birthdays spent together, with the most visually pleasing breakfast. Ever. 

Suffice it to say, I felt so loved that day. Birthdays, to me, are such a celebration of life - a yearly reminder of the beautiful people that are on this journey with me, flowing in and out, and contributing to who I grow to become with each revolution around the sun. 

Xx, Maia 
 

NYFW: The Beans

Though we've known one another since January (and now live right next door...convenience optimized), this little escape to NYFW was our first chance to truly travel and adventure together! As was to be expected, we discovered even more similarities between us, including but not limited to: our fondness of a piping hot bowl of pasta after a long day, our love for funky book shops (shoutout to BookMarc in the West Village), and our respective obsessions for sweet treats (Kat drowning in ice cream and Maia bathing in banana pudding), among many other qualities. 

We imagine it's best to start off with the snapchats we accumulated during our delayed train ride into the city:

When we finally arrived in New York, you could surely find us noodling around the streets, attempting to stop traffic to cheese for the camera:

We also soaked in all of the authentic, NYC sights, including my, Kat's, stopping to commemorate this splayed rat on the sidewalk: 

(Would this be the right time to make a Kat and mouse joke? We'll let you think of the best one).

We frolicked museums in our spare time. Pictured below are snippets from our jaunt through the Whitney:

Some outrageous purchases were made, including me, Maia, succumbing to the $20 sticker price for this bag of chai tea powder: 

Really, any time food was involved, we pretty much freaked out:

(Below, we see Katherine near tears upon sampling the bounty of flavors from Ample Hills.)

Not sure whether having a spirit-wall is a thing, but this one is definitely mine:

And let us not forget the great shoe change of NYFW 2017 (photo recycled from street style post because it's honestly too good):

Outside some of our shows we were snapped and papped:

We even did some paparazzi of our own as we attempted to immortalize the cute, foreign model that may or may not have chatted us up outside the venue:

Sometimes it was hard to snag that nonchalant street style pic, dodging looks from strangers wondering why we were photographing them. To compensate -- well, actually just because it's fun -- we took pictures of actual street style as well. Street. Style. Get it? Here are some of the buildings that stunned us, clad in rugged red brick or a coat of crisp white paint. 

Oh! And not to mention the adorable, Mod & Bean team pictures we snagged while at the modeling agency of my, Katherine's, cousin:

So, while we may have come off, dare we say, glamorous and chic during our time at NYFW, those were the rarer moments. Cheers to galavanting around NYC and to our future team trips to come!

Xx, Katherine & Maia 

 

 

NYFW: The Noms

Let's be honest. When you go to NYC, you do it for the shopping, the sights, and the museums, but mostly you do it for the NOMS. We don't want to make too brash a claim, but we'd dare say the Big Apple is the foodie capital of the world (We mean, it's even in the name). However, finding a place to eat can present a daunting task: with so many choices and such a range of cuisines and prices, it's all too easy to find yourself overwhelmed and in a Ruby Tuesday on Time Square. Fear not. If you ever find yourself in the city, try giving any of these places a go. We promise you won't be disappointed!

Jack's Wife Freda

Locations: West Village, Nolita

Oh, Jack's Wife Freda. For me, Katherine, Jack's is a New York staple, and I was so excited to take Maia here after our first show. The meal couldn't be more quintessentially New York: two beans finishing up their runway debut at Fashion Week with a good ol' mediterranean brunch. The owner, whose quirky and stylish figure brings their instagram account, @jackswifefreda, to life, was even there, walking, feet clad in Miu Miu ballet slippers, amongst tables and chatting with regulars, a red and blue breton striped shirt swung carelessly across her shoulders.

What to order: This particular day I, Katherine, went with Maya's Grain Bowl, and I, Maia, went with the Madame Freda (a rendition of a classic croque monsieur, featuring duck prosciutto). Both were beyond delicious. Looking for other suggestions? The Green Shakshuka, Rosewater Waffle, and Mint Lemonade are all winners.

Photos below by Katherine:

Bô Cà Phé

Location: Nolita

Conveniently situated next to Jack's Wife Freda's Nolita location, we resisted the urge to return for dinner and instead checked out french-vietnamese restaurant, Bó Cá Phê. While the service left something to be desired, there's nothing quite like face planting into a bowl of noodles at the end of a long day.

What to order: We both went with the shrimp rice noodle bowl: sweet and savory shrimp over a bed of cold rice noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, garnish, peanut sauce, and a spring roll. I, Maia, also ordered the chicken bao.

By Chloe

We need to preface this section with the fact that it was quite a feat getting me, Maia, into a vegan restaurant. Ya girl loves meat, potatoes, and all things drowning in cheese. You've also probably seen By Chloe featured in my, Katherine's, instagrams and blog posts far too many times to count and are still wondering what all the fuss is about. While I admit, vegan noms aren't for everyone (though they definitely would be if everyone got to eat here), By Chloe is hands down one of my favorite NYC spots. I could spend hours here eating quite possibly everything on the menu.

What to order: I, Katherine, am a creature of habit and went with my go-to, the Quinoa Taco salad. I also ordered a piece of HEAVENLY chocolate chip banana bread because I lack any and all restraint. (I actually do deserve a pat on the back for resisting the urge to order a side of Mac & Cheese. Though I did end up eating a hefty portion of Maia's...) I, Maia, the devoted meat-lover I am, went for the dubious pesto meatball sub (is it even LEGAL to call this tofu concoction a meatball???) and the mac and cheese (which I'll admit was quite a masterpiece of cashew proportions, yet will sadly never replace a good 'ol cheesy heart-attack in a bowl). While the sub pleasantly surprised me, I'm still not entirely sure about this vegan mac and cheese thing. We both admired the mushroom "bacon" on top, Katherine for the taste, Maia for the effort.

Cha Cha Matcha

Finally a meal we can agree on: Cha Cha Matcha was completely worthy of all of the hype. We have been eyeing this spot, which specializes in Matcha lattes and soft serve, for quite some time and were itching to try one of their towering twists. As evidenced by the odd small-hand-picture below, we quickly demolished our creamy soft serve and resisted the urge to go back for more. 

What to order: Vanilla and Matcha twist, Iced Matcha Latte.

 

Dudley's

Our final real food stop of the trip (We include the word "real" because following this, we proceeded to buy cookies, banana pudding, and ice cream. Obviously on that Fashion Week diet.), Dudley's, with its edgy corner charm, embodies the up and coming East Village. Following a brief wait, we found ourselves a table outside and relished in our last morning in the city.

What to order: Yogurt & Granola (Definitely order another item if you want to feel tided over), Pancakes, and Juice (I, Katherine, went with The Rocket, and I, Maia, went with a watermelon concoction). The Eggs Benny, Rice Salad, and Shrooms Benedict looked worth coming back for!

Levain

We are avid believers in the following rule: if you go to NYC and don't indulge in one of Levain's infamous cookies, you didn't really visit NYC. This place is worth the wait. Every. Single. Time. Just take a moment to admire that molten chocolate goodness. You know you want every cheat day to look like this. 

What to order: I, Katherine, always go with an oatmeal raisin and a chocolate peanut butter. I, Maia, being my first time here, went with the chocolate chip walnut, the chocolate peanut butter, and the single most chocolaty option for my roommate Leila, because if I visited NYC and didn't bring her back an instant cavity, what kind of roomie am I?

Ample Hills Creamery

Okay, I'll admit it. I will officially go on the record and say that I, Katherine Victoria Harrison, have a minor (read: major) obsession with ice cream. After stalking their instagram account for months, I had been DYING to try Ample Hills Creamery, a Brooklyn-based ice cream shop started by two ice cream lovers who felt that there could always be more cookie dough in cookie dough ice cream. Have you ever ordered a classic cone with say, Cookies n Cream, only to be disappointed by an overall lack of Oreo goodness? Not at Ample Hills. The owners actually say they want people to come back and complain about how jam-packed their flavors are. No complaints here. So good, I did come back, but only for more ice cream.

What to order: I think the question is what does one *not* order. Just google the flavors for yourself. Every single one is eclectic, eccentric, and delicious in their own rights. I, Katherine, went with their Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and Honeycomb flavors, and I, Maia, sampled one flavor (sweet cookie something and cream something) and ate it before I could picture it. So so so delish.

As you might be able to tell, we weren't exactly thinking of our runway bods when noming in the city, but who has time for that when there's ice cream and Levain cookies to be had? If you end up checking out any of these places, be sure to let us know what you think! Also, get excited for the final two installments in our NYFW series: the Street Style and the Beans.

Xx, Katherine & Maia

Mod Meals: Miami Eats

 

It's almost the middle of the summer, and somehow I've transitioned from my tranquil Miami life to a comically hectic Boston routine (save the countless bruises and scratches from bike snafus with curbs, poles, and any other collision that causes public embarrassment). Sitting in my apartment after work and nomming on the abundance of fruit I bought before it goes bad, has me reminiscing about all of the Miami meals that were just a drive away from the house. Miami has a knack for keeping things colorful, fresh, and fusion-y, and the food is no exception. Though I've grown up going to the same few restaurants (shoutout to Roaster's and Toaster's), I've also been in the city long enough to find new sweet spots that are hailing modern cuisine. So, in an attempt to cure my nostalgia and simultaneously make myself ravenously hungry for dinner, here are some of my favorite bites - and if you ever find yourself in Miami, do yourself a favor and check these out (on your way to or from the beach of course). 

Playa Paradise

I figure I'll start off with just a snacking tip that I've discovered over my years living by the pool and frequenting the beach. Yes, I love piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, but let's skip out on the rain and add some cheesy fries instead, for any and all of your aquatic adventures. I understand this might be a ridiculous combination, but if you know me at all, you are well aware of my love for potatoes, cheese, and frothy beverages. So, while this might not be your favorite meal of this post, it might actually be mine. Serving size: yours and the seagulls'. 

Greenstreet Goodies

In a luscious sector of Miami, a few of my favorite restaurants have sprouted and blossomed. I'm talking about three places in particular, all located in Coconut Grove. First, let's talk Greenstreet Cafe. I've probably been eating here since before I could hold a fork, so I've definitely got my go to meal locked and loaded. It consists of their fluffy red velvet pancakes (yes, for breakfast not dessert) and some eggs bathed in cheddar and sprinkled with the most melt-in-your-mouth potatoes in the city. I kid you not, I have often ordered sides on sides of these potatoes, and even have a polaroid photo of them hanging in my dorm room. Serving size: share if you can, except with your one friend who is allergic to red food coloring of course - in that case, just save it all for yourself ;) 

Lokal but not low cal

This second Grove treasure, Lokal, is actually a recent addition for me. I have been hearing about a "heart attack" burger from several people, and have had it described as a burger bunned between two glazed donuts! Yes, please! (I hope you start realizing I'm not the Kale-iest of eaters). But, upon dragging a bunch of friends to dine with me and be witnesses should I actually require medical assistance from this heart exploding dish, I was even more impressed with the actual fare. This "Childhood Dream" burger also came with the crispiest, candied bacon. And, let me tell you, it definitely lived up to the hype. Serving size: a guilty pleasure for one, but not for the faint of heart. 

Sweet, Bianco Gelato

After that heart attack burger, what's better than washing it down with some creamy, organic gelato? Cue Bianco Gelato in the Grove. It's a quaint little gelato shop with the funkiest of feel-good flavors. My friend's friend actually used to own it (that whole five degrees of separation theory? Definitely a thing in Miami). This time I got a flavor that I could barely pronounce, so my recommendation would be to find the longest name on the menu and order two scoops. Serving size: you could be flirty for two or intelligently selfish for you and you alone. 

Zak the (Bae)ker

From Coconut Grove let's travel to Wynwood - one of the city's most "happening" places in art, tech, and grub. While it would take me an entire other post to taste all of Wynwood's offerings, I'm just going to talk about my "must-go-snack-here-whenever-i-visit-Miami" spots. Zak the Baker is a kosher bakery with the most rich, crumbly, and flavorful pastries/dishes. Their menu changes daily, if I recall correctly, so each visit is a surprise - each treat equally as tasty so don't worry! I always opt for a sweet snack (think cashew butter and cinnamon, freshly made jam, or strawberries and cream) on one of Zak's hand-made breads. Peep a quiche in one of these photos too - if my friend Leila hadn't completely devoured it, I would've loved to have tried it and give it my stamp of approval. They also sell these incredible chocolate cookies baked with sea salt, check 'em out! And don't forget to rinse your palette with some of their fresh juice! Serving size: you think you're going to share but it becomes evident you won't. 

The Salty, and super long line, Donut

The Salty Donut is one of those hip and trendy pop up food trucks. It has been recently gaining stead, so my rumbling stomach prompted the trip to try it for myself. I actually went on National Donut Day (only to sadly turn around after a 35 min drive because they sold out early) and again the next day (only to wait in a 45 min line in the scorching Miami heat). But, when I tell you they had a Bacon donut, "spiked" donut holes, and even a gluten-free chocolate option, you'd opt for the farmer's tan-inducing wait as well. Serving size: you'll order one of each and tell your mom you'll share, but she doesn't believe you, so she gets her own box. 

Jugofresh for some fresh jugo

Jugofresh, though not exclusively a Wynwood gem, is a Miamian's go to for a healthy but happy and refreshing snack. I used to order their smoothies, but once I hopped on the açai bowl train, try to pry me off. I am very much a creature of habit (hence often times ordering the same dish at the same restaurant for 19 years), so the only bowl I order is dubbed the Sunset Harbor Açai bowl. Insider tip: ask for extra brazil nut crumble. And, while I'm disheartened that they've closed almost all of their shops in order to become a sector of the Whole Foods chain (find them in the old juice section, RIP) I will travel to wherever they go in order to get my fresh fix. Serving size: the bowls are huge so unless you haven't eaten all day, you'll probably need to freeze it and nom on it later. 

Threefold, THE brunch & chat hub

I discovered Threefold Cafe at the end of last summer, so I could only dine there once - but I have continued to dream of its dishes. I went back to Threefold for another round of their delicate, vanilla waffles over winter break, and perfectly coupled this meal with a side of "eggies" and much needed gossip. This summer, I think I went to Threefold every week I was home, and surprisingly found a new favorite: they call it the "Not So French Toast." This name aptly describes the soft bread bathed in eggs and sandwiched over prosciutto and ricotta, with bacon crumbles dusted on top. Ask for some bourbon syrup and happily eat your way into a food coma. I also tried their tower of guava pancakes and was both overwhelmed by the size of the stack and by the flavor birthed at each bite. Serving size: depending on how much gossip you have to catch up on, your food will get cold if you're talking and don't share. 

Knaus your ordinary Berry

Knausberry Farms, while not even technically in Miami (because of the hefty drive down south), nor a spot I travelled to this summer, is home to fond memories for almost all Miami natives. I'm including it in this post as a place to look forward to when I come home in the winter, for it will finally be strawberry season! (Read with giddy excitement). During strawberry season, Knausberry opens up its fields for the pickings. So bust out your cutest overalls, drive top down with all of your friends, and reward yourself with their legendary cinnamon rolls and strawberry shakes. Serving size: for once, the more the merrier, and I mean it! 

Now that I've worked up quite the drool over all of these truly mod Miami meals, I should probably go make dinner and satisfy my hunger. If you found yourself salivating at these photos as much as I did, do us both a favor and go snack at some of these spots when you visit Miami. Or, better yet, just go to Miami for these foods. 

Xx, Maia 

 

 

Picnics > Papers

 

Now that we're in the throngs of reading period, amidst endless rainy days and a turn for chillier weather, we want to remind ourselves of the sunny days both behind and ahead of us. The high stress environment of Harvard can often be exacerbated as finals approach. Even though classes no longer strictly regiment our schedules, every day seems full — of work, of things to do. Our minds occupied with expos research papers, we’re saying farewell to impromptu naps and that wonderful sensation of waking up with nothing to do.

Peep Katherine actually reading her magazine and Maia using hers to shield the sun from interrupting her nap. 

Peep Katherine actually reading her magazine and Maia using hers to shield the sun from interrupting her nap. 

Even with all of these deadlines and exams looming over us, it’s important to cherish these last moments on campus and reflect on what the year has brought us. To be sappy, the year has brought us, the Mod & Bean team, together. More than ever, we find ourselves hanging out, simply for each other’s company: unplanned adventures turning into blog posts, free afternoons turning into picnics.

On one of our last days of school, we found ourselves sitting in a grassy patch of Old Yard, lounging on turkish blankets, listening to Jaymes Young, reading magazines, and snacking on gourmet treats from Cardullo’s (if you’re ever looking for the perfect aged salami or stuffed olive jar — this is your spot).

Here’s to the semester and commemorating our last good dose of Vitamin D for a little while longer (the rainy weather of this reading period isn’t making us feel guilty about missing out on too many outdoor excursions).

While library/coffee shop dates and late nights might replace whole day trips for some tasty gelato, here is what you can look forward to from the Mod & Bean team in the days to come: a Formal recap, a Mother’s Day treat, a peek inside the new Vogue Coloring Book, and a farewell to our first year in college (with bonus dorm tours!). Stay tuned and stop procrastinating by being on our blog . . . (Just kidding — we appreciate all the eyes <3)

Follow us on instagram at @modandbean!

Follow us on instagram at @modandbean!

Xx, Katherine & Maia

(Photos by Katherine)

 

#modMeals

 
 

There’s only one week (!!!) left until our Spring Break, and we decided to start our countdown with Ramen from Santouka Hokkaido in Harvard Square.  We originally planned on sushi, but nothing beats a warm bowl of noodles on a cold day.  Also, shoutout to the manager for the sweet mochi on the house!

Keep your eyes peeled for some travel posts and more delicious eats to come! 

xx Katherine and Maia

Introducing #modMeals

 
 

After a long week we decided to indulge in our first #modMeals in Boston's North End. Every Thursday night we treat ourselves and scheme up plans for our upcoming posts. This week we went to Bricco and split fluffy gnocchi, classic salmon, and a vanilla bean bread pudding that brought tears to our eyes. 

Get excited for our first feature on Monday and don't forget to follow us on instagram to keep up with our journey @modandbean! 

xx