Engaging Eats; Nibbles with Niffers!

      Well, well, it’s been a while since I’ve done a food post, and I figured it’s about time! This last Friday, I found myself in Opelika before my shift started and I decided to kill some time by the tracks before I grabbed my favorite treat! I wandered up and down the little strip, perusing the posted menus and decided what I wanted for lunch. A burger. Not just any burger, Niffer’s own Black n’ bleu burger!

      I had a similar meal over at Vortex in the big ATL last year (or was it the year before?), and wasn’t impressed. Mainly because I didn’t make my standard modifications for taste, and partly because I failed to specify the temperature. I plan to go back and give them another try! This particular burger, required no modifications, and if I could change one thing, I would have specified the temperature. That does seem to be my downfall, doesn’t it?

      Despite the burger being more on the well-done side, it was delectable. At first, I was a little put off by the bitter bleu cheese, but it grew on me very quickly once I was cordially introduced to the cajun seasoning and mozzarella! The further I got into the burger the more delicious it was, it was to my great disappointment that I couldn’t eat the whole thing in one sitting since I filled myself up on cajun fries. 

    The fries were about what I expected, except better. Most of my experiences with steak-cut fries, have not been the best. These were crisp, not soggy in the middle and seasoned well with the same cajun seasoning on the burger. Together, these two make a winning pair! The only thing that could make it better would have been a milkshake, even though the asthetic of the establishment was very American, and not so much Sock Hop.

    Niffers Interior        You can see the interior from the bar shot up there, that it’s very kind of woodsy, the sort of place I can imagine coming to drink after a long day at work, or maybe a place for hunters to gather? The actual dining area was a little more bright and family catering, but out of respect for the staff and folks dining, I refrained from snapping a picture.

     I do highly recommend that if you’re in the area, and just find yourself among these little shops and exhausted from a day of shopping or exploration, come here. They have so many options for burgers, and they all sound amazing! In case you guys are wondering what this yummy piece of meat looks like,  wonder no longer!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#postincomingâ˜•đŸ‘– for Nifflers in opelika! Very fairly priced and absolutely delicious black and bleu burger! . . #burger #food #nifflersopelika #lunchtime #yum #meal

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      I know, I know, it doesn’t look like magic. But it is. I want to go back for a date night and gorge myself on some of the best steak fries I’ve had from a burger joint!

Now, I realize I haven’t made little scores for food, so let’s go to our text rating!

Eat or Retreat? 

 Oh for sure, Eat. Eat on the weekends, eat before work, eat for lunch. I’m so for this place, and it has very affordable pricing. For my entire meal, it was 9.25, if memory serves. Guys, this burger is fairly huge, it would take me about 2 days to eat it. Highly recommended!

 

6 Ghoulish Treats from PSNT

Hey guys! Happy Second Day of Halloween! Who would love to get cupcakes in your treat bag for Halloween? I’d like to point out how messy and impractical that would be before announcing that I kind of did just that! Sans the bag of course.  Petite Sweets n Treats came through!

     I talked to the lovely Francine over at Petite Sweets N Treats to make us some JNJ approved Halloween treats! I didn’t give her any specifications, other than “We need Halloween cupcakes- have fun!”. This post really is a surprise for me too, I had no idea what I was getting into by asking a baker to whip us up this batch of cakes!

    I’m not sure how much commentary these need, since they’re delicious and just the right amount of creepy. If you want to use these amazing cakes as a springboard for your own creepy cakes, be sure to share it with us and tag @java_and_jeans on instagram so we can drool too!     

     I threw these into a gallery to inspire you, and maybe tempt you to try your hand at cake decorating. Just looking at these when I picked these up made me want to see what I could do if I make my own treats. 

 

   Guys, in true Petite Sweets n Treats Fashion, these are delicious! Pardon the lack of cutting pictures of Pennywise. That’s a surprise for someone at work and I wanted to wait to dig in. I hope these are able to inspire you this Halloween to try something new and adventurous with your desserts.

      Who knows, maybe you can make them for the movie night coming up! Just a quick reminder, I’ll be hosting two movies on October 30th at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM EST. Showtime will end at about 11:00 PM EST. The link is here!

Branded; Petite Sweets n Sweets worked some magic!

 Guys, I have to admit, I’m more than a little hyped up and this amazing little bakery may or may not be to blame. I found the lovely ladies over at Petite Sweets n Treats by complete chance, and as luck would have it that fell in line with our big move! Cake is always welcome, but more so in times of stress!

     We haven’t had a shortage of treats since discovering them, and for good reason- it’s delicious. I’ve been trying to push her some new customers since tasting her delectable lemon cupcakes… and the vanilla unicorn cupcake… and the cookie one…

   I need to get to point- I’m starting to ignite my sweet tooth with all this talk of goodies. I’ll be giving a tour of the new digs soon, since I’ve mentioned it all over instagram and facebook. It’s kind of a huge point of pride at this point, and will mark the start of my forray into the marvelous world of beauty blogging. I just bought my first Coloupop Palette and I’m so excited to play with it, and my Naked Palette! (once they get here!) 

    Wow- all this caffeine is bad for my concentration. 

     The lovely ladies over at my new favorite treats place, are a family. The two entrepreneurs are Elyssa and Makena, who infected their talented Mom with the cooking bug. These three really work some magic together! They make some of the most unique flavors I’ve ever seen, and are always experimenting with new sorts of tastes. I feel privileged to be a proud Guinea pig, and I can’t wait for the next adventure in flavor.

    I commissioned her to make us a cake for the blog, and the upcoming [redacted] that I’m working on. I’m a little worried to say too much about that, honestly. Suffice to say it’s been a lot of work to plan for. The cake in question, comes in two attempts. This one, which I adore, was not quite up to their vision, and so she’ll be making a second attempt, which I’ll reveal a little later.

    This cake is pure magic, I kid you not. It’s two layers of chocolate cake with coffee replacing the water in the recipe. I was incredibly antsy to taste it. But, I was made to wait. She modeled the cake after a mug of coffee, and adorned with our logo.

     We held a Cake Party the say after we got this delicious creation home. We invited our new neighbor and a couple of our friends to enjoy it with us! The neighbor and I didn’t taste the coffee, possibly due to being acclimated to the taste. A few moments after finishing our cake, I started getting jittery. There was at least a cup of Cold Brew in it, and it finally hit me.

     Just take a look at this delicious thing. I have a new favorite cake!

 

 

Hidden Gem; How Sweet it is to Get Some Treats

Unassuming on the outside, delicious on the inside!

 

Let me ask you guys a question. What would you do if you loved baking? I’m talking really loved baking. To the point where it spills into the rest of your house and builds up such a demand that you’re called to action. Do you double down? Or do you retreat?

The awesome owner of How Sweet it Is here in Columbus answered that call by doubling down and starting a business. She specialized in cakes and Cuban treats. To my great pleasure, she deals in made-to-order cupcakes. She also brews Cuban coffee in-house, but sadly the day I was able to get there before closing she was out. 

I did get lucky and choose a day where she had some tempting treats available. I selected 4 of her cupcakes, since that was what I most curious about at the time (aside from coffee, of course). Vanilla, Chocolate, and her lone Liquor infused Panatela Borracha. My fourth one was a difficult choice, Red Velvet or Lemon Berry. I chose the Red Velvet, after resolving to get the Lemon Berry next time.

Since I’m trying to be responsible with my Sweets, I only allowed a sample of each. The first one I attacked was the Vanilla one- my favorite flavor of Cupcakes of all time. So believe me, putting this down was a challenge.

 One of my least favorite things about some cupcakes is that the frosting is way  over-sweet, the owner of this bakery has mastered the craft making that not the case. The cake portion is likewise subtley sweet and delicious. The only thing reminding me to put down down the cupcake was the sweetness and how impressively rich it is. They use real cream in their cupcakes, and the difference is evident and enjoyed.

Then I dug into the Red Velvet and Chocolate cupcakes next- due to these two being fairly similar in flavor, I’ll bundle these together. The frosting on both was very similar in flavor. Which is to say, delectable.

 

Chocolate Cupcake

              Topped with chocolate chips, the frosting mimics that of the vanilla cupcake. The cake bit is delectable, rich chocolate that reminds me of ice cream. It really shows that they use cream in their recipes, it’s amazing what kind of difference that makes in something like a cupcake!

Red Velvet Cupcake

The frosting looks just a little different, but tastes just as good. I really enjoy the mild flavor of red velvet and this cupcake definitely is the best of both worlds. The rich decadence of red velvet cake, but with only a fraction of the guilt. Light, fluffy and indulgent you can’t o wrong with a Red Velvet Cupcake.

Panatela Borracha

     I saved the one I was most interested in for last, and let me tell you, it finished strong. This cupcake was delicious. The icing, which you can see has some adorable pink swirls, was lightly flavored with brandy. The cake portion was an almond creme cake, which was so soft and sweet that writing this makes me desperately want another one. 

     This is a fairly unique item, and the only option they have that is for those who want to have their booze and eat it too. They do have a host of other flavors available, for the curious, you can view her entire menu here.

    I loved this cupcake! From the whipped cream to the actual cake, it was wonderful. I don’t even generally like Almonds, or anything almond flavored, but I’m absolutely enamored with this treat.

    All of her whipped cream topping that embellished the cakes was so subtle and not like some whipped cream I’ve had that is so sweet it hurts. She really learned the balance and took that knowledge to heart. 

     I will say that it’s not really a prime hangout spot due to size. I do find the size and the color scheme charming and genuine, however. There’s something that feels so real about her bright pink ramp leading up to the door. It’s cute, feminine and a more than a little unassuming. I always associated the color with posh boutiques- not anymore!

Overall…

I honestly wholeheartedly recommend How Sweet it is if you have a craving for cupcakes, or any number of other treats she has available. I’m particularly interested in the Tres Leches, which I aim to try when I finally get to try some of her coffee.

 

 

 

Engaging Eats; This Chicken is Plucked Up

Are you ready to get Plucked Up?

I’ve found that I’ve recently fallen into a routine, and while some would find that comforting, I find it infuriating. This week, I decided to try something new, after eating CJs Wings and Things for 2 full weeks. I do feel a little bad for cheating on one of my new favorite places, but a change was required. In my search for change (and wi-fi) I found Plucked Up- Chicken and Biscuits.

A quick search revealed no other locations, which was enough for me to want to go in and try their namesake. When walking in, the first thing I noticed was a focus on a quaint, rustic aesthetic. They were really pushing for a homey, southern kitchen feel and it shows. It feels warm and inviting with the mellow color scheme meshing with the exposed bricks.

I’m an absolute sucker for exposed bricks, as you guys know from my raving about any interior design choices that even resemble an industrial aesthetic, like Midtown Coffee and Lizard Thicket to name a couple. They really leaned into a rustic look, and I honestly found it entirely too charming.

 

Let’s Get Plucked Up!

Chicken Up Close
Detail Shot of this DELICIOUS chicken

Before I even tried my Chicken, I was excited to get to it. It smelled amazing and I think like Italian dressing marinade? I could be wrong and it could be wishful thinking, but it was delicious either way. The chicken appears to be two white meat tenders rather than a large patty, and I do want to note that they do offer grilled chicken at this establishment if that’s more your speed.

I tried a grilled chicken biscuit with fresh spinach and goat cheese spread- it was absolutely fantastic. I was so pleasantly surprised, honestly. Goat cheese was something I never had an interest in trying past a novelty, but I found myself enjoying the tartness of the cheese in contrast with the wonderfully marinaded chicken.

This particular sandwich does come with a Tomato Jam, which I opted not to use because of personal taste. You can see the Jam pictured above, as a side in case I wanted to try it. 

The Marinade was subtle and worked well with the light spread of goat cheese that I took a chance with. All of the flavors, from the buttery biscuit to the spinach worked together wonderfully. The tang was balanced with the savory (and tender) chicken.  My poor White Cheddar Grits are so neglected in this particular post- and while I love grits, they are just grits at the end of the day. My experience so far tells me that I just love grits.

One thing I do want to note is that this biscuit is insanely fluffy and broke apart while I was eating it. I would recommend cutting it into more manageable pieces as opposed to just taking bites out of the entire thing. It definitely tried to give me issues while trying to devour it. The fight it was putting up didn’t stop me, however. It didn’t stand a chance.

 

Eat or Retreat:

  Most definitely “Eat”! The Savory mixing with the Tangy was just too good, and honestly I’ve never tried anything quite like it. I can wholeheartedly recommend Plucked Up Chicken and Biscuits if you’re in the mood for good southern comfort food. They give my recipe a run for its money with their biscuits, and this whole combination was just to die for.