Alright guys, if you’ve been following me on IG, you know by now that I spent the last week or so in Gainesville, FL for concerts with my buddy Stephen Fine – we were both faculty members at a summer music festival a while back. We hadn’t seen each other for the last 3 years so I was beyond stoked when he invited me to come perform! We had 3 performances lined up, featuring tough repertoire so we spent pretty much every minute of our time together rehearsing. We tackled Brahms’ f minor sonata for piano and viola, Britten’s Lachrymae, and a virtuosic number by Zimbalist called “Tango” from Sarasateana.
I’d never been to Gainesville prior to this trip so I didn’t really know what to expect, BUT I was pleasantly surprised. They actually had better asian food than Baltimore – I know that sounds cray, but I’m being 100% real with you all! Anywho, I didn’t get to take pictures of my noms, but I’m still gonna recap everything for you guys, just in case you visit in the future.
Yummy House: I was craving Chinese so Stephen and I came here twice, haha. I got to try their Braised Tofu (comes with perfectly cooked bok choy + mushrooms), Garlic Chicken, Salt n’ Pepper Tofu (no veggies here), pork buns (this was the most “eh” of the bunch), and pork + mushroom dumplings. Everything was good, but the Salt n’ Pepper Tofu stands out so DEF. try this if you come here – apparently, it’s a chain in FL so you could come across one in a different city? If you hit up the location in Gainesville, save room because there’s a Kung Fu Tea right next door, and boba’s always a do in my book. FYI, they charge for rice which pisses me off – IMO, no asian restaurant should charge for rice. It’s only a dollar per bowl, but I still wanted to mention it, ha.
Crane Ramen: A hip joint with delish housemade noodles! I ordered the Agedashi Tofu Steamed Buns (soy-marinated tofu, wrapped in nori and flash-fried with sweet potato sauce) and the Tonkotsu ramen ($12.95). The tofu was a little bland, but hot chili oil took care of that fast! The ramen was yum – came with pork belly, woodear mushrooms, house hot sauce, soy-marinated egg, black garlic oil and scallions – but the broth was a bit too salty for me personally! However, I enjoyed the noodles and the house hot sauce immensely.
The Hyppo: Soooo gourmet popsicles are a thing in FL! I haven’t had one in AGES, and I didn’t even know they could be “gourmet,” so I was skeptical when Stephen suggested it, but I’ve learned to trust his judgement. They had at least 30 different flavors, and they all looked AMAZING. It took me a good 5 minutes to decide, but I ultimately went with blueberry cheesecake (!!!!!) I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I loved that ice-pop. Their noms are all natural, featuring ingredients that are non-GMO and are made fresh daily so they get an A+++ from me.
Civilization: Hands down, one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to. Their menu’s super eclectic, and they source their produce from local growers, which is all kinds of awesomesauce. I ordered Shrimp ‘n Grits and a Ginger Beer and loved everything! If I had 3 more stomachs, I would’ve also tried the Sweet Potato Enchiladas, Gnocchi della Casa, and Falafel Burger. I guess that just means I need to go back… and eat? Ha.
Public & General: Julie, Stephen’s sister, generously took us out to eat after our first concert at University of Florida. Their name’s a reference to their bar in the back + their convenience store up front. They’re kind of like Cracker Barrel except way, WAY better, like there’s no comparison. I ordered the BBQ Mushroom Sandwich (topped with coleslaw, which upped the texture tenfold), dill fries with roasted tomato mayo, and a yummy cider! Service was kind of slow, but the food was worth the wait. Plus, I was in good company – I had fun chatting with Julie and her boyfriend Tyler – so I didn’t mind. She’s a lawyer and he’s a golf teacher by day, but they manage a super successful instagram account called Best of Gainesville at night! You can check them out here.
Gainesville was nothing like I imagined, and I mean that in the best way possible. A huge thanks to the Fine family for being such wonderful hosts – I hope to see you all again soon! Now, onto today’s featured OOTD! I recently purchased this goddess-like maxi dress online at Las Call for $75, and I seriously can’t get enough of it. It’s perfect for summer because it’s sexy yet elegant. I love showing bits of skin tastefully, and this number allows me to do so. I ordered it in size small, but it was too big so I had to return + re-purchase in xs. Click HERE to purchase!
It has an a-line silhouette so you can comfortably nurse a food baby while looking effortlessly stylish. I highly recommend this dress because it works for any and every occasion. Dress it up with a clutch and heels for date night or wear it with summery sandals and an everyday tote to run errands in style.
A huge thanks to blogger bestie La Belle Mel for shooting these pics.