Republic Diner + Sojubang, Plus A Giveaway!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
This will be my last blog post for a little while because I'm getting married, oh, next week.

Republic Diner + Sojubang, a Korean restaurant in Houston, Texas

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

(Psst, Houston friends, scroll down for an awesome VIP giveaway!)

A few weeks ago I had dinner with my friend Heather at Republic Diner + Sojubang, a restaurant located in Houston's Heights neighborhood.

We figured we had to start off with some soju (a distilled vodka-esque beverage), so we each tried a soju cocktail containing pepper infused soju.

soju cocktail at Republic Diner + Sojubang, a Korean restaurant in Houston, Texas

We both went nuts over this drink! It was wonderfully spicy, refreshing, and soul-warming. Think prickly pear margaritas without the tartness of a margarita, and with the crispness of a G&T. Omg LOVE!

For our first round of food, we split the kimchi fries (marinated beef on the side) and pajeon.

kimchi fries at Republic Diner + Sojubang, a Korean restaurant in Houston, Texas

Don't those look incredible? And they were pretty darn good. Topped with kimchi aioli, sesame sauce, and scallions, the house cut fries were lively and delightful. I have a feeling the beef brought the fries to an even more elevated level, but the vegetarian version was very satisfying!

pajeon at Republic Diner + Sojubang, a Korean restaurant in Houston, Texas

The pajeon was easily my favorite bite of food that evening. The hearty pancake was stuffed with scallions and red peppers, and was served with a side of spicy soy dipping sauce. And it. was. HEAVEN. The pancake was super dense yet fluffy, and the various different flavors were so savory and insanely delicious. It was so so good, y'all!

For my entree, I ordered the kimchi fried rice without the bul gogi (marinated ribeye). While I enjoyed the fried rice, I could have used a bit of sweetness to counter the kimchi, which was very present. Our server offered to add tofu to my dish, which was certainly thoughtful of him, but were I to order it again, I'd go without it, as I didn't feel that it really added anything. Regardless, it was a satisfying and flavorful entree, and you can't go wrong with anything that's topped with a runny, fried egg!

Republic Diner + Sojubang is an incredibly inexpensive Korean restaurant in Houston that offers an array of unique, flavor-popping dishes (TRY THE PAJEON AND PEPPER SOJU FOR THE LOVE OF ALL). It's a great spot that I definitely recommend checking out!

Oh, and about that giveaway...

kimchi fried rice at Republic Diner + Sojubang, a Korean restaurant in Houston, Texas

The Houston Press Menu of Menus® Extravaganza, presented by Stella Artois, is one of Houston's largest food & wine events, featuring over 40 area restaurants alongside wine, beer, and spirit sampling.

Here's where the Giveaway comes in:

One lucky Adventures in a New(ish) City reader will receive two (2) VIP tickets to this year's Menu of Menus® Extravaganza, held at Silver Street Station in Houston on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, from 7:00 - 10:00 pm. And a VIP ticket (valued at $95) grants you admission to the event one hour early! To enter, go to the giveaway box below, and log in with your name and email address (this will not be posted publicly). Once logged in, click the "Enter Contest" dropdown, and then the "Enter!" button. One entry is allowed per person, and only Houston-area residents are eligible. The contest starts NOW - Wednesday, March 15, 2017, and it ends on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm CST.

**Bonus: If you like my Facebook page, follow me on Instagram, and/or follow me on Twitter, you get a bonus entry for each social media follow. Just click the dropdown on "Like Facebook Page", "Follow on Instagram," and/or "Follow on Twitter," then click "Enter!" for each one that you follow! This is applicable for existing followers, as well as new ones.

This is a super fun event (check out my post from last year as well as my post from 2015), so you don't want to miss out! The winner will be drawn at random and announced next week - Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: The I Do! Soiree hosted by Weddings in Houston!

Thursday, February 23, 2017
This post was done in partnership with Weddings in Houston. I was not monetarily compensated for writing this wedding post. All opinions are completely, 100% my own!

Engaged and confused?

The I Do! Wedding Soiree, Hosted by Weddings in Houston

Yeah me too.

Which is why I'll be attending the I Do! Soiree next week, and I'm inviting one of you and a guest to also attend! (Well, actually, I'm inviting ALL of you, and you can buy tickets for only $25 here, but try entering my contest first!).

The I Do! Wedding Soiree, Hosted by Weddings in Houston

The I Do! Wedding Soiree is hosted by the awesome local wedding magazine, Weddings in Houston. The event will be held on Tuesday, February 28 from 6:00-9:00 pm at The Corinthian, a super iconic event venue in downtown Houston. Attendees will meet face-to-face with some phenomenal Houston wedding planners (uhhh side note to everyone newly engaged: If I could go back and do it all over again? I'D GET A WEDDING PLANNER.), event designers, and top Houston wedding vendors. You'll also get to enjoy ridiculously delicious food and drink (I mean, if that's the main reason you're going, I'm certainly not one to judge) including decadent wedding cakes and desserts by Houston’s best bakers. The season’s most popular, beautiful gowns will be on display in a Strolling Fashion Show, and you can also check out different reception table designs, floral displays, wedding photography and film, wedding invitations, and registry items, all while enjoying live music and entertainment!

The I Do! Wedding Soiree, Hosted by Weddings in Houston

I've also been informed that every engaged couple is treated as a VIP, with red carpet treatment, a gift bag filled with hand-selected beauty, home and luxury wedding products worth hundreds, and the chance to win some fantastic door prizes! I mean who doesn't love free stuff, especially free wedding stuff, because all that shiz adds up y'all. #truth

The I Do! Wedding Soiree, Hosted by Weddings in Houston

HOW TO ENTER: One (1) lucky Adventures in a New(ish) City reader will win two (2) tickets to the I Do! Soiree! Enter to win by following these two steps: 

2) Tell me in the comments section of this photo what aspect of your wedding you are most excited about (food, dancing, booze <~~me.) ! 

Easy Peasy! The winner will be picked randomly and announced on Instagram within 24 hours. Good luck!

Vacation Days: Charleston, South Carolina

Friday, February 17, 2017
"I thought Charlotte was in North Carolina...?"

Charleston, South Carolina

"It is, Mom. We are going to Charleston."

^ This conversation took place right before getting on the plane to Charleston for my bachelorette party!

(...in other news, my mother has officially disowned me.)

Oh yeah, and Happy New Year everyone, since I haven't posted since 2016! I'll be all married and stuff in, oh, A MONTH, and blog life will be back to business as usual after that.

(Well sort of, since Jon and I decided that now would also be a good time to build a house. You know, since life is so calm for us at the moment.)

Last month, some of my favorite people in the whole world got together for a super fun trip to Charleston to celebrate my final crazy (they're not crazy.) days as a single woman! I caught an early flight out of Houston with my mom, my friends Lindsey and Danielle, and Jon's mom, Rosemary.

Flight from Houston to Charleston, South Carolina
Snapchat: newishcityhou
Flight from Houston to Charleston, South Carolina

My amazing sister and woman of honor Emily booked us rooms at the Hyatt House, a hotel that's located in historic Charleston on the main strip, King Street. And fun fact, they save a buck by swapping out wall decals for actual furniture!

Hyatt Place in Charleston, South Carolina

Just kidding, that was only in the hallways. But that's my friend Heather proving that, despite what the world may tell you, you too can actually sit on large sticker benches!

When we walked into our room we were greeted with the world's MOST AMAZING CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, roses, and a bottle of bubbly from my brideswoman Alice Ann and my sweet friend Sherz!

Cookies and champagne in Charleston, South Carolina

(We missed having them there with us, but this certainly eased our sadness).

Those of us who had arrived (my flight crew, plus Em and Heather) walked to lunch at a teeny, adorable restaurant called Five Loaves Cafe. I enjoyed their mediterranean garden burger and a chardonnay.

Five Loaves - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina
veggie burger at Five Loaves - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

Then the rest of the gang arrived: my fabulous friend Christy, my brideswoman Courtney, and my bridesman L.J.! We set off walking down King Street (seriously, we were in such a central awesome location) and grabbed drinks at Charleston Beer Works.

drinks at Charleston Beer Works - a bar/restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

After drinks, it was time for dinner! My sister made us reservations at Indaco, a rustic Italian eatery located off of King Street.

burrata at drinks at Indaco - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina
ricotta toast at Indaco - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

We ordered the burrata and ricotta toast for appetizers, and they were to die for! For my main course of food, I ordered the black pepper tagliatelle without the pork tesa. Our server seemed concerned about my vegetarian modification, but I ordered it, and it wasn't bad!

pasta at Indaco - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina
Indaco - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

Then we decided to WIG OUT and hit up the bars!

Hyatt Place - a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina
Photo: Emily
Prohibition - a bar in Charleston, South Carolina

(and by bars I mean one bar, Prohibition, because I was out way past my bedtime.)

The wigs were a hit, and it was so much fun! In fact, I'm planning on walking down the aisle in mine........

The next morning my mom and I woke up hours before everyone else (are you sensing a theme here?), and we enjoyed the FREE OMELETTE BAR at our hotel, OMG.

omelette bar at Hyatt Place - a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina

Then we all hopped in Ubers and headed to GORGEOUS Sullivan's Island, where my friends appeased me and endured pretty darn cold beach yoga!

(Mad props to Lindsey for teaching the class)

(Also, we lasted about 10 minutes and were like "okay, that was nice, get me to alcohol").

yoga on Sullivan's Island in Charleston, South Carolina
Photo: Rosemary

We received a tip from one of our Uber drivers that Poe's Tavern is the place to go on Sullivan Island. Well, you don't have to tell us twice.

Poe's Tavern - a restaurant on Sullivan's Island in Charleston, South Carolina

This spontaneous, no-frills meal was easily one of my favorites of the weekend. The food was simple and delicious, and the Edgar Allan Poe decor was seriously cool.

chips and queso at Poe's Tavern - a restaurant on Sullivan's Island in Charleston, South Carolina
veggie burger at Poe's Tavern - a restaurant on Sullivan's Island in Charleston, South Carolina

We shared chips and queso to start, which was a delicious app, and I had my second yummy veggie burger of the weekend! (Fun fact, I actually had a third one the next day at home in Houston because I like to live on the wild side).

Then we went back to our hotel, freshened up (Read: NAPPED.), and took a walk down beautiful King Street! But not before stopping at the nearby Revelator for some awesome coffee. Seriously, this place revived my faith in and love for cappuccinos!

Revelator - a coffee shop in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina

After tooling around town, it was time for a bevvy at Wine & Company, a lovely wine bar that basically looks like my dream house inside.

Wine & Company - a wine bar in Charleston, South Carolina
Wine & Company - a wine bar in Charleston, South Carolina

After a few glasses of rosé, we headed back to the hotel for the actual bachelorette party! I won't go into the nitty gritty details, but know that it involved toilet paper, underwear, a Jon-themed trivia game, wine, and snacks!

(Also Heather decided to move on from sitting on fake furniture to drinking fake champagne, which I assure you is way more fun than it sounds).

Hyatt Place - a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina
Hyatt Place - a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina

After these girls and guy went wild, we went to The Grocery, where Courtney had made dinner reservations for us.

bread at The Grocery - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

Here was another meal in Charleston that I absolutely adored! The atmosphere was cozy and rustic, the service was fantastic, and the food was dynamite. We were given some complimentary, crusty fresh bread, and I ordered the roasted beet salad to start.

beet salad at The Grocery - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

This sweet, light lovely salad was wonderful! I then ordered the cabbage gratinee, which was unique and incredibly enjoyable, followed by an off-menu vegetarian platter that our server recommended.

cabbage gratinee at The Grocery - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina
vegetarian platter at The Grocery - a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

The platter contained a bunch of their vegetarian sides: roasted cauliflower, roasted carrots, brussels sprouts, the beet salad again (I wasn't mad about it), and something else that I don't remember because it's been too long, but it was all delicious!!

Then we were off to the bars (....bar), but not before hitting up Jeni's Ice Cream!

Jeni's - an ice cream shop in Charleston, South Carolina

I've heard many-a rave review about Jeni's, and their creamy, flavor-popping ice cream did not disappoint!

After the bars (...bar), we went back to the hotel to rest up before our flights back the next day!

Charleston is an AWESOME city, filled with fascinating history, beautiful scenery, a great bar scene, and killer food. It definitely gets my glowing endorsement as a fantastic bachelorette party destination!

Sullivan's Island in Charleston, South Carolina

I mean, just look at that! (and pretend it's 80 degrees and not 42...)

The 2016/2017 Winter Menu at Seasons 52

Monday, December 19, 2016
This post was done in partnership with Seasons 52 in Houston, who provided me with my food and drinks, free of charge. I was not monetarily compensated for writing this restaurant post. All opinions are completely, 100% my own!

Brrrr, it's cold out!


Whaddaya say we crank up the Mariah Carey Christmas, bust out our best mock turtle necks, take a break from all the cookie-baking, and go out for some deee-licious food?!?!

A few weeks ago, Jon and I were invited to try the winter menu at Seasons 52. The restaurant has two Houston locations, one in City Center and one near the Gallaria/River Oaks (where we ate). We've been to the restaurant a couple of times (read about it here, and here), and we had such good experiences both times, that of course we were thrilled to go back!

As the name implies, Seasons 52 changes its food with the seasons, or "What's Good Now." Feeling inspired, I kicked things off with one of their seasonal cocktails, the organic sunshine martini.


Made with orange-infused prairie organic vodka and simple syrup, the basic drink was anything but! Sweet, bright, light, and smooth, it went down a little too easy - It really was sunshine in a drink! While I enjoyed it, I'm not a super sweet toothed person, so I opted for a glass of red wine as my second drink. Seasons 52 has an awesome wine list, and I always love investigating it!

We were presented with an amuse bouche of prosciutto, goat cheese, and peaches, which Jon happily enjoyed for the both of us!


Then we ordered a couple of appetizers, starting with the lobster & fresh mozzarella flatbread for Jon and the artichoke & Laura chenel goat cheese flatbread for me. 


Having previously had the lobster & fresh mozzarella flatbread, Jon knew he was going to love it again. I'd had a version of the artichoke flat bread before BUT it was back when I had my stint with veganism so IT HAD NO CHEESE. But this time? IT HAD CHEESE. And I'm telling you, the soft cheese cut very nicely through the tart balsamic coated veggies. The flatbread itself was super light and crispy, and a great way to kick things off!

We also ordered the artisan cheese fondue to split during this first round of food.


OH Y'ALL.

A creamy, luscious combination of cave-aged gruyere and cheddar made this dreamy cheese dip one of my favorite two food items of the evening. The tangy, lovely cheese was made even more delicious when paired with an assortment of breads that offered varying tastes and textures to elevate it. This was one hella awesome fondue!

Oh but this round of food was not over, folks, because we also ordered a side of their roasted brussels sprouts without bacon!


Cooked in a 15-year aged balsamic, what I found most notable about these brussels sprouts were their ever-so-slightly crisped outer layer. The texture was great!

I also ordered a side of truffle mac 'n cheese en brodo.


I LOVE truffle, but I recognize how easy it is to mess it up. Throw too much in, and forget about it being palatable. Luckily for me, the restaurant could not have gotten this truffle mac more right! It had the perrrrfect amount of truffle oil, along with a rich swirl of gruyere and cheddar, all topped with a delightfully crunchy panko crust. This mac and cheese was DIVINE.

For our main course of food, Jon ordered his favorite, the red snapper (what he always gets at the restaurant), and I went with the vegetarian tasting plate.


I also always order the vegetarian tasting plate, however this one had completely different components in it than it did on my previous two visits. The plate consisted of a wood-grilled kohlrabi steak, asparagus, a fennel-roasted onion, and vegan paella. The kohlrabi and asparagus were fresh, standard, and good, and the fennel-roasted onion, was unique and surprisingly delightful (I don't hate fennel, but I generally don't lose my mind over it). But the vegan paella? OH THE VEGAN PAELLA. Y'all, I seriously ate chorizo that night. I mean I didn't really eat chorizo, of course, but I ATE CHORIZO. The vegan paella was hearty, earthy, spicy, textured, and insanely delicious, with vegetables and bits of some sort of fake chorizo thrown in there. This was my other favorite thing I ate that night, it was so incredible!!

The restaurant then presented us with their beautiful display of teeny, adorable desserts. Jon opted for his usual, the pecan pie, and I went with the red velvet cake. Jon's was very good, but I adored my less sweet, richer, decadent red velvet much more. The cheesecake frosting was perfect, and there was a surprise little raspberry at the bottom!

I love Seasons 52, which is why I keep going back. The restaurant offers incredible, seasonally appropriate food, as well as awesome service to boot. Houston is lucky to have multiple locations, and I can't wait to go back again!


Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season!!
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