Close your eyes and let me take you back to 1997. We are having drinks in Chicago at a famous poetry lounge. The host takes the stage to present the next poet and you hear, “Darius Lovehall.” Darius steps to the mic and says, my poem is called, “A Blues for Nina.” The room lights up with snaps and cheers. This is how I felt at Busboys and Poets. I felt I had been teleported to that famous scene in my favorite movie, “Love Jones.”
While in DC, my friend Greta and I had a girl’s night. We only get to see each other once or twice a year, so we decided we will try this restaurant we found in the “Eat the City” group on Facebook. Greta hit me earlier in the week to tell me her friend was performing at a poetry slam too. Of course my artsy ass is in. I love poetry and I love poetry slams!
Meals and Miles Top five places to eat in Dayton, Ohio.
5. Dorothy Lane Market
Imagine a World Market mixed with Publix, Trader Joe’s, and Sam’s Club. My mouth hit the floor when I walked into this Market. There was a coffee shop in the front and a bakery on the right. A bakery with all kinds of goodies. From cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, scones, brownies, rice crispy, and more. Then there was candy galore. The deli was massive. You can even take your personal dishes from home and take them to the market and they prepare food in your dish and you take it home to cook.
A recap of my experience while vacationing in Toronto, Canada.
Shout-out to Drake, as I recently visited Toronto, Canada with some of my friends. We decided to plan our couples trip this year for Toronto because some of us had never been. Toronto has been on my bucket list for a while and my husband has always raved about how awesome Toronto is, so why not
We decided to stay in an Airbnb since we were staying for several days. Our Airbnb host was amazing! The condo was in the center of everything. Literally, Scotiabank Arena was right next door, Grand Central station right across the street, CN Tower two blocks away, Ripley’s Aquarium three blocks away. It was perfect. But, what really set this Airbnb apart from others I have stayed in, was it had a grocery store (like a mini Walmart), Starbucks, cleaners, money exchange place, a bar, and multiple restaurants in the same building. Like I said perfect.
First night, we tried a Jamaican Fusion restaurant called Chubby’s Jamaican Restaurant. I say Jamaican fusion because it definitely wasn’t authentic Jamaican. Imagine having a Haitian American friend who has his mouth set on authentic Jamaica to be served subpar Jamaican. Epic Fail.
After our Black History tour the next day, our tour guide took us to Ritz Caribbean where there was real, authentic Jamaican food. And you know it’s good when the line is out the door and you are ordering from the steam tables. Oxtails falling off the bone, jerk chicken, rice and peas, and beef patties bigger than your hand. Let’s just say we were satisfied when we left this time.
Later that night we decided to try some authentic Asian food at Asian Legend in Chinatown. I knew this would be an adventure because most authentic Asian restaurants serve you the biggest portion ever. We all ordered different dishes and before we knew it our table look like we were preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Everything from Kung Pao Chicken and beef fried rice, to chicken soup and noodles galore. Just a ridiculous amount of food.
The next day, my friend and I decided to have brunch at School. The concept of this restaurant is so cool. Everything from menus to glasses were decorated after school supplies. I had a pineapple chili drink served in a beaker. I had the apple crumble pancakes and my friend had the krispy krunch french toast. We decided to share a white chocolate raspberry scone, fried chicken, and pan fried hash with jalapeno sour cream. Basically coma inducing food. So freaking good!
First day we roamed the city. We really didn’t have any plans. The next day we took a black history tour that I found on Airbnb Experiences. By the way don’t sleep on Airbnb Experiences. They are affordable and pretty unique than most big brand tours. I wrote a blog about everything we learned during the black history tour.
There was an indoor mall we found in Downtown Toronto named CF Toronto Eaton Centre. It was beautiful. It felt like we were outdoors although we were inside. FYI: Its normally cheaper to buy items out of the country than it is in the USA.
Outside of the mall were some beautiful buildings. I like that Toronto is a mix of old and new architecture. They have preserved alot of the buildings which is something we rarely do in U.S.
There was also an art festival right by the famous Toronto to sign. Vendors were selling everything from oil paintings to sculptures. Toronto is a walkable city for the most part and I really like that. After the art festival we walked to the harbour just to relax by the water and people watch. I really enjoyed watching everyone come together and have fun. No one was segregated. It was nice seeing people hang out without an agenda. Just friends brought together by friendship not because they are the same race. Being from the south, you do not see this a lot.
The next day was our girl’s day. We started with brunch and then a mini spa day. Afterwards we walked over to one of the most famous parts of Toronto, Graffiti Alley. It’s were artist from all over have painted the alley ways of some of Toronto’s streets. I am always looking for art when I travel and this was perfect. We had a photoshoot in the alleys and then headed all the way across town to create our own cinnamon rolls at cinnaholic.
On our last night we decided to go to the Rec Room. It puts you in the mind of a Dave and Buster, but cooler. There was an area to do virtually reality games (VR games), arcade games, two restaurants, multiple bars, dance floor, live DJ, fire pits outside, and private party rooms. Things became competitive between us. Competing against each other in basketball, and Mario kart. Yes, we are grown, but still kids at heart.
Overall our trip to Toronto was nice. We didn’t party much during our time, but enjoyed exploring the city and connecting with our friends. Toronto is definitely a city I would move to. The people are so nice and helpful. The city is diverse and the opportunities seem limitless. If you have a chance to visit Toronto please do. You won’t regret it.
While searching for somewhere to eat with my friend to catch up, I came across Jefferson Street Café. The pictures on yelp look great, but my friends are picky so I decided that I would go there by myself one day. After church one Sunday, I decided to go and try them out. On my ride down, I started to think about how much Jefferson Street had changed due to gentrification. Most of the migrants do not know the history and value of preserving Jefferson Street. So not only will I review the café but give a little history on Jefferson Street.
If you are not from Nashville, Jefferson Street is the Holy Grail for black culture. It’s where three of the most famous HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and University) TSU (Tennessee State University), Meharry Medical College and Fisk University are located. Jefferson Street at one point in time housed so many black owned businesses. Jefferson Street was also known for its booming musical scene way before Nashville was deemed Country Music City. According to Jeffersonstreetsound.com, some of the greatest artist like Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, BB King, and James Brown all performed in clubs on Jefferson Street.
Not only was it famous for music, but it’s also an important part of the civil rights movement. Jefferson Street was the center of the Nashville Sit Ins in the 1960s. It was the place for planning the sit ins that we’re carried out in downtown Nashville.
In the midst of gentrification, a cute little café opened with culture oozing from it. The café pays tribute to the historical North Nashville. Historical Nashville newspaper articles printed as table tops, black art on the walls for sale, and soulful music playing in seating area. The menu is eclectic. The menu ranges from avocado toast, to hash brown waffles, to smoke salmon.
When I entered the restaurant, I was immediately greeted. The waitress was very knowledgeable and suggested some items to try. I decided on the Hash brown and Honey Waffle with bacon and a Chai Tea Latte. You have to order your food first and then seat yourself.
First impression of the hash brown waffle was “this is interesting.” It looked like a hash brown put in a waffle maker. The first bite was amazing! It tasted like a hash brown and waffle. It was crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I don’t know what’s exactly in the butter, but they need to sale it. It was like honey sugar butter and made the waffle even better. There was maple syrup but I really did not need it because of the creaminess of the waffle and the flavor of the butter.
My favorite item was the Chai Tea Latte. When I go to a coffee shop, I get one or two things, a Chai Tea Latte with a shot of caramel and toffee nut or a Dirty Chai with a shot of caramel and toffee nut. If it is a new coffee shop I am trying, I always get a regular Chai Tea Latte first. I want to see if I need to add anything and also if can I taste the spices. This Chai Tea Latte was perfect. I did not add anything to it and that’s rare. Thinking about it now makes me want to get out of bed and drive 25 minutes to Jefferson Street to get another one.
Overall, I really like this café. I love that they pay homage to the African American culture, but also to the history of Jefferson Street. If you are ever in the Nashville, Tennessee please stop at Jefferson Street Café.