The Crafty Pig Food Truck

The food truck craze continues to make it’s way to the Brazos Valley.  I found a Southern comfort dream at The Crafty Pig Food Truck this week at the Lake Walk Town Center in Bryan, Texas.  Local chefs, Brad Dees and Cody John recently opened The Crafty Pig Food Truck and they are busy tearing up the roads in the Brazos Valley bringing locals their delicious southern style food creations.

Brad Dees and Cody John (KBTX)

Photo Source: KBTX Media

Once I made my way to the window, it was tough to even choose because the menu was so awesome, everything just sounded delicious.  After changing my order at few times, I ended up trying the Southern Porkadilla filled with oak smoked pork, grilled onions, cheese and BBQ sauce.  I’m glad I had my friend Lauren with me because I would have consumed the whole thing!  The Southern Porkadilla just wasn’t complete until I added an order of shoe string sweet potato fries garnished with sea salt.  Honestly I didn’t even need the ketchup I grabbed at the window because the flavor of the fries stood alone.

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If you want to find The Crafty Pig Food Truck’s next stop you can follow the truck on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all of their local stops.  They do a great job of releasing the menu ahead of time and giving you a look at the southern food they will be cooking up that week.

If you want to learn more about Chef Brad and Chef Cody, check out KBTX Media’s interview with the duo.

A new take on hanging out with your Girlfriends

Finding new reasons to hangout with my best gal pals has never been an issue for me.  I’m constantly looking for new ideas on ways to strengthen my existing relationships and start new ones.  Last weekend my friend Cait and I went on a little adventure and came up with some fun activities to go do this Fall, besides the traditional dinner or happy hour.  (But just to be clear, this is in addition to wine drinking and our big Italian family style dinners – we wont be giving that up anytime in the near future.)

All of these ideas will spark your inner creative at heart and hopefully you’ll learn a few new skills with your besties by your side.  Among the ideas were Succulent Planting Party, Watercolor Party, and a Cake Decorating Party…. I’m starting to see a theme here – so let’s get this party started!  Here are the ideas:

1. Succulent Planting Party – this is really just a gateway to shopping in Downtown Bryan, but I’m good with that, and kudos to Market 1023 for their clever traffic drivers.  Stop by Market 1023 to pick your succulent, find a planter and then check out.  They will help you plant your succulent and give you directions on how to care for it.  I think you could easily make this into a stop during your First Friday adventures, tacking on a drink at the LaSalle Hotel or a classic movie at The Queen Theatre and your in “girls night out” business.

 

2.  Watercolor Party – With the trend of brush script and beautiful watercolor paintings continue to flood everyone’s Instagram feeds it only seems natural to jump on the band wagon and try your hand at the craft.  A wonderful friends of mine and local artist Beth Symons, owner of Bethany Joy Design, is now booking private parties.  You can contact her directly through her Facebook page to setup your next Watercolor Party!

 

3.  Cake Decorating Party – I’m generally more interested in the consumption of cake and cookies, but I’m willing to put my sweet tooth aside and learn a few new baking skills. The Chocolate Gallery in Downtown Bryan will offer a fresh take on their adult classes this fall and they’re also upgrading their classroom!  For more details about scheduling a class reach out to Christina Patterson via email: cpatterson@bcscocoapantry.com

Also as a side note, The Chocolate Gallery has licensed Texas A&M chocolates and gelato hand dipped into a waffle cone that will take you back to your childhood.  If you are an aspiring chef like myself, you will enjoy browsing through their very nice selection of kitchen gadgets from Le Creuset bakeware to high-end appliances that you would find at a retailer similar to Williams-Sonoma.

Now, go call all all of your gal pals and plan a creative party! Cheers!  xx-Jennifer

Southern Brunch

The Brazos Valley is quickly becoming the Southern Brunch capital of the World, y’all… I am seriously convinced of this!  With the continued growth of our community we have attracted a few new eateries that are making my gym membership quiver.

Sundays are for Jesus and brunch with my girls, (pause I’m making a T-shirt now with this quote).  This summer we have had a few new spots pop up that you need to add to your weekend brunch plans asap.  First on the list is Stella Southern Cafe.

A fun fact about the name of the restaurant, it was actually named after the owner Michael Lair’s 1995 Dodge Dakota club cab with a 5.2 liter V8 engine, Stella.  A part of every road trip adventure he took, Stella now lives on through the name of his southern cafe.

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Photo Credit: Clare Rowe

Walking into the restaurant you are immediately greeted by hosts who provide you with a menu while waiting in line to order your food.  Don’t worry it’s not a long wait, but you will be tempted by all of the great gift items and homemade jams as you make your way to the register.

I had a tough decision to make because everything on the menu just looked amazing.  I decided to go with a more traditional breakfast which included eggs, bacon, grits (with cheese of course) and I would be crazy not to try their homemade biscuits with mimosa jam.  I didn’t know that my favorite breakfast drink could be made into a jam, but they found a way!

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The overall dining experience was excellent.  The staff was warm and friends, much like the south.  My friends and I will definitely put the Stella Southern Cafe into our brunch rotation! xx-Jennifer

The Lake Walk Town Center: a hidden gem in Bryan

Joining our community in 2017, the Lake Walk Town Center in Bryan has created a wonderful retreat and gathering place for local residents and visitors.

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View from the 75 foot “Lookout” over the Lake Walk Town Center

Saturday mornings I enjoy my short walk to this newly created venue for sunrise yoga with SolYoga.  Feeling relaxed and fully renewed, I meet up with my girlfriends for a cup of Joe across the street at P.O.V. Coffee.  Sitting outside on the patio, I take in take in all the beauty the lake walk offers while catching up with friends.

International Day of Yoga 2018 - Lake Walk Town Center Photo Credit

Photo Credit:  Lake Walk Town Center, SolYoga.

Tucked away before you enter into the Traditions Club & Community, the Lake Walk Town Center creates a family friendly environment offering you 10 different visitor experiences, 4 of which are completely free!

The Lake Walk is complete with a event lawn, water feature, a 75 foot tower perfect for overlooking the city or gazing at the stars.  Beyond the lake, The Stella Hotel adds another element unlike anything in the Bryan-College Station community.  The boutique hotel is perfect for a staycation, romantic getaway, or even a fun girls night out.  One of my favorite features of the hotel is the speakeasy inspired cocktail lounge, Hershel’s.  When I started my blog this was actually the location of our first onsite photo shoot.  Some of the best shots Shelby took were in the bathroom – yes I’m serious.

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Photo Credit:  Shelby Tiska Photography

From cocktail hour to poolside, The Stella Hotel pool cabanas and day passes are available, if you’re looking for a retreat like atmosphere to cool off this summer.

The Campfire Grill also featured inside The Stella Hotel provides guests with gourmet “farm to fork” meals and another outdoor seating area perfect for cozy conversations next to a campfire inspired fire pits.   I have not yet had the opportunity to stay at the hotel, but it is definitely on my staycation list of places to stay!

The Lake Walk not only provides special events, a beautiful hotel, coffee for days, but they have recently added a shopping experience with a local boutique, The Coterie.  The friendly staff and owner are always there to greet you and help you find your best style.  Full disclosure my wallet cringes a little every time I walk through the door because it’s impossible to walk out empty handed.

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Photo Credit:  Shelby Tiska Photography

This summer, on Friday nights, you can find me at the Lake Walk enjoying their summer concert series and food trucks with friends.  And if you’re looking for something to do during the week stop by The Local on Tuesday’s to explore the popup market featuring local vendors, food trucks and live music.

Here are a complete list of everything the Lake Walk Town Center has to offer, including links of all of the wonderful things to do around the Lake Walk and Stella Hotel!  I have enjoyed the Lake Walk and I hope you can plan your next staycation or visit to Bryan-College Station!  xx-Jennifer

  1. Paddle Boarding on the Lake – visit the Stella Hotel for rentals
  2. The Lookout, 75 ft tower overlooking the city
  3. Poolside Cabanas @ The Stella Hotel
  4. P.O.V Coffee on the Patio
  5. Saturday FREE Yoga by the Lake, 8 AM
  6. Hershel’s Bar @ The Stella Hotel
  7. The Local – popup market featuring local vendors, food trucks and live music
  8. Coterie Boutique
  9. Eats & Beats Summer Concert Series
  10. Campfire Grill