The Weekend Birch: A Tale of a Girl Who Ate Too Much

This is a tale of a girl who stayed up past her bedtime, ate way too much, and is currently experiencing an introvert's hangover

Friday

I kicked off the weekend by running around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to make dinner for the family, feeding myself, and making myself presentable to the outside world. I had one hour and I accomplished two out of the three tasks. The roasted chicken did not cook in time for me to eat prior to leaving the house so I stuffed myself with a banana, a bowl of cold noodles, a piece of cheese, and a slice of bread. Poster child for healthy eating reporting for duty!

Joe Gransden & Ziad Jazz Quartet | Jazz at the Bechtler | Charlotte, NC

Joe Gransden & Ziad Jazz Quartet | Jazz at the Bechtler | Charlotte, NC

The first stop of the evening was the Bechtler Museum for an evening of jazz. This month's program featured Frank Sinatra's music, performed by Joe Gransden and the Ziad Jazz Quartet. It was absolutely fantastic! Jazz at the Bechtler is a great choice for romantic date night or an evening with friends and is proof that Charlotte has more to offer than sport teams and breweries. 

JAZZ HANDS!

JAZZ HANDS!

 

After the show we walked across the street to Bernardin's, a fantastic restaurant located on The Green. It's a total gem that is a perfect stop either before or after a show. Make sure you sit at the bar and have Susan whip up a custom beverage based on your favorite flavor notes or liquors. 

For my second dinner I ordered a filet with a side of french fries and lemon wine butter and washed it down with a 1/4 bottle of bubbly. 

filet-bernardins-charlotte-nc

 

Our third stop of the evening was Creative Loafing's Best Of event at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation. The theme of the party was Cosplay and it was really cool to see everyone dressed up! I had the pleasure of finally meeting Ryan Pitkin, the guy who brought us Homer's Night on the Town and most recently amazing coverage of the Charlotte Protests. 

McColl Center for Art + Innovation

McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Piece of the Berlin Wall on display at the McColl Center

Piece of the Berlin Wall on display at the McColl Center

quote-mccoll-center-charlotte-nc

We closed down the party and headed to Le Meridien for the after party.

Craft City Social Club | Le Meridien, Charlotte, NC

Craft City Social Club | Le Meridien, Charlotte, NC

We got lost looking for the City Lights Rooftop bar only to find out that it was closed due to weather. We eventually found everyone downstairs at the Craft City Social Club. After consulting a crying Queen of Hearts in the ladies bathroom and a drink, we were ready for dinner.

Midnight Diner was our final stop of the evening. For my third dinner of the evening I indulged in a Coca Cola, hash browns (all the way, add jalapeno), applewood bacon, and French toast.

french-toast-hashbrowns-bacon-midnight-diner-charlotte-nc

It's rare for me to stay out past my bedtime but when I do I'm still in bed before last call. 

 

Saturday

Saturday was pretty uneventful. The weather was miserable thanks to Hurricane Matthew so our only outing was to Target to pick up a few things and to Sam's Club to pick up diapers. 

baby-starbucks

If you're looking for a gender neutral wooden play kitchen, Sam's Club is carrying one for under $90. Run, don't walk, if this is on your holiday wish list for your child!

 

Sunday

The day after a hurricane comes through is always the most beautiful. The sky is the perfect shade of Carolina blue without a single cloud to be seen. Luckily, our part of town did not experience a ton of damage, the same cannot be said for others. Here are some ways you can help with the recovery efforts.

 

I took a quick selfie with the family and headed out the door.

Navy Hat Sunday

Navy Hat Sunday

My first stop of the day was Finders Keepers Market, a seasonal monthly pop-up market, at NoDa Brewing. I was flying solo which typically means that I was not leaving empty handed.

finders-keepers-market-sunday-noda-brewing-charlotte-nc

I bought a cute sleeveless top, a hooded poncho, and a wrap choker from Pearl & Mint. I fell in love with a floor length floral dress but had to pass due to the curse of the wide shoulders. 

For lunch I ate a pork belly taco with a side of pickled vegetables and cous cous from the Tin Kitchen's Somethin's Brewing food truck and washed it all down with Sticky Rice, a Japanese rice lager. 

pork-belly-taco-tin-kitchen-noda-brewing-charlotte-nc

The second event of the day was the screening of the latest episode of Order/Fire at Free Range Brewing. If you've never been it's 1) a beautifully and thoughtfully planned out brewery and space that supports local farmers and food purveyors, 2) it's kid friendly and 3) the screening of the Order/Fire brings out the amazing members of the food community. This is a must attend event if you're a foodie because you get to learn about the people behind the scenes (farmers, chefs, mixologists, restaurateurs, etc.) who make it all happen. And if you can't make it, you can watch all of the episodes online.

The farmer, the photographer/director, and the host. Also known as Jamie Swofford, Peter Taylor, and Chef Marc Jacksina.

The farmer, the photographer/director, and the host. Also known as Jamie Swofford, Peter Taylor, and Chef Marc Jacksina.

Free Range Brewing 

Free Range Brewing 

Kids Corner | Free Range Brewing

Kids Corner | Free Range Brewing

 

This month's episode is an interview with Jamie Swofford, The Chef's Farmer. This episode opened me up to the world of shrubs, a non-alcoholic beverage focusing on ingredients, health benefits, and flavor profiles. And it's delicious!

 

Free Range Brewing currently has the Rose Peach shrub on tap and I bought a bottle of the Pink Lady to take home with me. Can't wait to mix it with either soda water or bubbly!

 

Old North Shrub | Rose Peach | Free Range Brewing 

Old North Shrub | Rose Peach | Free Range Brewing 

Old North Shrub | The Pink Lady

Old North Shrub | The Pink Lady

For my second lunch I had tonkotsu ramen with pork belly and fried gyoza from the A Bao Time food truck, one of my favorites in the city! 

Tonkotsu Ramen | Pork bone broth with roasted pork belly topped with egg, bean sprouts, bok choy, scallions, cilantro, carrots, and shallots. | A Bao Time Food Truck

Tonkotsu Ramen | Pork bone broth with roasted pork belly topped with egg, bean sprouts, bok choy, scallions, cilantro, carrots, and shallots. | A Bao Time Food Truck

Fried Gyoza | A Bao Time Food Truck

Fried Gyoza | A Bao Time Food Truck

But my day did not end there!

The final event of the day was at The Gallery at South End, a meeting for creatives in Charlotte organized by Joey of Bliss Creative Services.  I got to see old blogger friends, meet blogger friends who I've known for a while but have never met in person and a group of creative and driven bloggers on their way to internet stardom. One of those creative and driven folks was Zack of CLTivate, a non-profit brand that helps people fight addiction. You can learn more about the non-profit and contribute here

There was a beautiful spread of croissant sandwiches, cheese, and meats but I could not bring myself to eat anymore. That is until cake was offered.

If you've never been to The Gallery, then you are missing out on Lady M's crepe cakes. They are absolutely delicious and impossible to pass up. 

Lady M Crepe Cake | The Gallery 

Lady M Crepe Cake | The Gallery 

I came home to a home cooked dinner, a bathed child, and a clean house. This weekend was a total win.