Coffee Abroad; I got a little Side Track’d!

   Stop: Opelika, Alabama
   Shop:
Side Track
   Drink: 
The Young Man

 

 Hey there, guys! Happy (yet another) Thursday! Real quick, you may not have noticed (I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t) that I recently went through and deleted a lot of duplicate posts that I didn’t notice until just now. They must have gotten duplicated during our move from WordPress.com. There were, and I’m not exaggerating, pages upon pages of duplicated posts, each one with a few views sometimes even hundreds! I’m a little loathe to kill so many posts, just due to the number of views on each one (can that hurt my numbers?). I did want to respect you all enough to both let you know the reason behind the sudden dive in post-numbers, as well as not pad my stats necessarily if that’s a thing. 

     That aside, I realized I hadn’t written about Side Track Coffee in Opelika. My previous partner in blogging, Miss Jeans, kept telling me about it but I never did find a chance to actually go. That is, until I worked literally 4 minutes from the place. Once I got my job in Opelika, despite it being terribly inconvenient to make that trip on the daily, I did look forward to hanging out with the kind people at Side Track Coffee. The rumors were true of them this shop being some kind of promised land for the coffee disadvantaged. There are no set prices, which when I was super broke and wanted coffee that was great for me. I was amazed at the number of locals to the town that hadn’t heard of the greatness that is them.

 

    I had to carpool to get people to walk in because they didn’t believe me. It reminded me of myself, and how I never made it over there. And, no one ever did, much to my dismay. For this post, I found my notes for my first trip there, so I’m going to share that first experience with you here! When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was how open, and airy it was. The aesthetic is light with white oak, and a naturalistic vibe. To the right of the register, there’s a tree which is driving their instagrameter way up. There’s a conspicuous lack of menu/pricing, which is usually above or behind the front counter, which we’ve already discussed. There’s just a clipboard with their current seasonal drinks, and they are all fantastic! 

    Adding to the welcoming, homey aesthetic is the light music that you can hear just over the chattering of other patrons. The music this particular day, was especially railroad appropriate. I remember they had that chugga-chugga rhythm, which is why I feel like they fit their location. So, definite thumbs up on atmosphere!

Young Man Coffee

  That’s not what this post is about, it’s about The Young Man. It’s a marriage of House Vanilla, Steamed Cream, Vanilla, Cinnamon and of course, Espresso, and is frankly, to die for. The scent is warm, despite being on ice. Which I’ve always loved about the scent of coffee, really. When I took the first sip, I was hit with the powerful flavor of espresso. The flavor wasn’t too aggressive, but just surprising to me at first. I found the flavor to be fairly smooth and reinvigorating. I was exhausted when I showed up, but I was much more alert when I left. The flavor wasn’t as saccharine sweet as I generally prefer, rather it was rich. Like a chocolate bar is rich- if that makes sense. 

   Their beans when I visited were Ethiopian, but they did tell me that they periodically change out their beans. These were much more subtle than the Jamaican Blue Mountain beans I have at home. Much less earthy and nutty. Smooth, with a nice acidity to the taste. 

   I’ve written you guys a veritable book, so let’s go ahead and move on to the rating! 

Taste;Side Track Rating

     I love this place! From their compassionate price model to the quality of the drink they serve. One thing I didn’t mention above is that if you hang out and nurse your drink there, they bring you a bottle of water to cleanse your pallet. Every time I go in there, I find someone to chat with and the locals, as well as the proprietors are the sweetest. I literally can’t recommend them enough! If you’re in the area go check out Side Track! Feel free to tell them I sent you, to be honest you won’t get anything for it, but it’ll make me feel cool!

Instagrameter;

I don’t feel like this would quite get a 5/5 on instagramability, it’s not bad by any means. I love it, I just think it doesn’t quite speak to me as instagramable to the highest degree. Although, I do love their aesthetic, but there’s only so much you can do with with it. 

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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#postincoming☕👖 for Nifflers in opelika! Very fairly priced and absolutely delicious black and bleu burger! . . #burger #food #nifflersopelika #lunchtime #yum #meal

A post shared by java and jeans (@java_and_jeans) on

      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!

 

Boutique Debut; Feeling Chic with Fabr’ik!

     Hey guys, welcome to yet another late post. I have figuratively fallen off whatever wagon I was on that made me prompt with my posts. Must be something in the water? Anyway… excuses aside, I was going to beguile you with the apex of my Valentine’s day festivities, but I imagine that might come across as me being immodest, so I’ll give my lovely future life partner props at the end of this post!

     For the curious, you can check on Twitter for the play-by-play where I live-tweeted the scavenger hunt. I also bragged on him a little on Instagram, but not quite as much. On twitter I’m also @java_and_jeans so if you’re curious, there you are!

     Moving on to the post at hand. On my fabled Weekend of Content when I took myself to Auburn to experience some of the missed opportunities there, I found Fabr’ik. A chic and comfortable little boutique that, at a glance, was a little above  my pay grade. But, I did find that I picked the right day to make the journey, because they were having the biggest sale of the year. Lucky me! 

      The wall of shoes in that slideshow broke my heart, due to the fact that I was fruitlessly infatuated with some white booties that ended up not being my style. All of the other shoes I fell in love with, were too small. That aside, my hunt was fruitful. 

     One of the first things I was drawn to was this fiery sequin dress, from the clearance rack. It may be a little short, but nothing that some opaque black leggings can’t remedy. I’m feeling like this would be perfect for the holiday party this year… After all, I did say I was going to wear sequins. I’m glad it fell into my lap, and was only 40 dollars!

     This was the other thing I was absolutely obsessed with, and admittedly I usually do the reverse of this. I generally save the selections for the end, but I guess I decided to put those first today. This particular outfit was just too perfect- I’m a sucker for halter-tops and the shorts were so comfortable. This will be perfect for an upcoming trip to the beach, or out of state somewhere a little warmer! I feel like some simple flip-flops and an anklet would make this.

    

     These two things, I thought were moderately similar. The pink patterned one, while cute, wasn’t quite my style as I had thought. That adorable rose patterned one was amazingly comfortable. Had nice soft fabric that feel cool to the touch… but didn’t quite fit right. I know it might look like it does, but that zipper would. not. cooperate. I think of the things that didn’t come home with me, that second romper is the one that got away. What if it did fit? 

      This last item was something that, at first, I was really feeling. Honestly, I loved the pattern of the jump suit, I liked the fabric, the top and the boots… but separately. I feel like, even though I kind of liked the boots, they too far deviated from a distinct me-ness that I’m trying to find. I don’t wear faux-snakeskin, I wear converse, suede or leather. Maybe if these were a slightly different material, I would feel otherwise. But, alas.

    The jump-suit itself, barely fit. Which legitimately upset me. I have such a hard time finding a jump-suit that actually fits. It’s either nice on my waist, and too short, or long enough but too tight. This one was the former… kind of. I think the fit is a little awkward, truth-be-told. While I loved the aesthetic of the white top with it, I couldn’t make myself love it.

      Let’s move on past that heart-break and get on to my feelings on Fabr’ik!

My general feel on Fabr’ik was a somewhat mid-to-high-end boutique in the perfect downtown location. It’s literally nestled in a 2 block radius with like 3 or 4 other boutiques. Perfect for them, not so much for my self-control.  The general aesthetic of the shop was welcoming and warm, with a strange Southern Chic vibe that I picked up from the couches with a cow skin rug.

     It felt much bigger than it looked, with the arrangement of the items. That’s a great accomplishment because it’s a fairly compact venue. I love what they did with it, andI loved the wonderful staff there, too. I will definitely be returning to see what sort of new stock they get in the next few months! 

       (¯`*•.¸,¤°´✿.。.:* 𝒱𝒶𝓁𝑒𝓃𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑒’𝓈 𝒟𝒶𝓎 *.:。.✿`°¤,¸.•*´¯)       

     I don’t want to bore you guys with too many of the details, since you can check out the scavenger hunt below! 

The aftermath of every thing ended up looking something like this!

 

     He had that sign custom made for our wedding this year! I’m so excited for the time to come where we can finally get married- I love this man more than anything and I’m literally so lucky that I can’t express it properly. I know this post comes a little (lottle) later than I would have likes- I’m prepping the post for Thursday and filming the Tarteist Pro Remix video, as well! 

    I’ll leave you guys with this lovely picture of us hanging out in front of the overlook at the Country Kitchen in Pine Mountain, Georgia!

(¯`*•.¸,¤°´✿.。.:* 𝒜𝒻𝓉𝑒𝓇𝓌𝒶𝓇𝒹 *.:。.✿`°¤,¸.•*´¯)

 

…wait, I lied. I do want to give props one more time. You guys may have seen a coffee sign in that Twitter story. That was inside of one of my absolute all-time favorite shops. The storefront sign probably ruins any sense of suspense here. But, I want to extend a thanks to the beautiful people over at UniquExpressions for being a part of another precious memory for us! I hope we create so many more memories with you guys! I’m currently planning another trip out there as soon as time and money permit to hit that little boutique and drink about 10 cups coffee!

    Finally, I want to close this post off with a big thank you to you, my readers. I don’t know what to say except I do see that these posts get into the double-digits, and I’m so incredibly grateful for that. I feel like maybe I’m reaching someone, and I’m just so legitimately happy that you’re here. Just a heads-up, I do plan another giveaway soon, so stay tuned for that! This next one may be physical goods that are shipped out- I’m just finalizing those plans!

 

 

Boutique Debut; Oh, So Charming (Oaks)

        Hey guys! It’s definitely been a long week, especially with all the running from the weekend robbing my poor little feet of sweet relaxation. Though they may ache and complain, I have no regrets! Especially with this first fashion related post from last weekend. This post is dedicated to my favorite outfit that I had to pass on, sadly, due to cost, and the breadth of the shopping I did this weekend. RIP at Charming Oaks toasty knit tank and navy skirt. I’ll never forget you.

     Before we dive into the outfits that I was able to find, let’s take a look at the aesthetic and an honorable mention. Their aesthetic feels like hospitality. It’s got a very welcoming feel in all of the warm colors and even the layout is open and inviting. When you walk in, you see this huge layout of racks and clothes of all kinds of colors. They have this adorable aesthetic lighting in the back that has the shop name, Charming Oaks, which was the only picture I thought I was going to get with all the rain outside.

 

      In true JaJ fashion,  I did that thing where I went to a shop and picked at least one outfit to take home with me. I say at least one, because I did choose two items from one particular shop, which I’ll be showing you in an upcoming post! I’m seriously so upset that I could only pick one outfit from Charming Oaks, but I’ll definitely be back once I gather my resources back up! I’m coming for you, Charming Oaks. Be ready. I know I am. 🙂

     I’ll start at item number one that I tried on, just because it’s visible in my other pictures. I found this adorable red polka-dot summery dress on the clearance rack. In fact, all of my finds are from the clearance racks. I’m boujee on a budget, what can I say? This dress was way too cute for 5 dollars, and just my size. The fabric was breathable and light, perfect for the summer. I can’t wait for the warmer weather so I can pair this with some simple wedges and an anklet. Maybe a straw hat?

Charming Oaks Red Summer Dress
Pardon my mismatches socks- I think my house doesn’t want my socks to match because they KEEP disappearing.

      My second outfit was my favorite. I loved the little cardigan-thing, and the toasty knit tank that confuses me on what season it would be for. It would be far too hot for the summer, but would be great for the cooler weather if you wanted to just have it peek out of a plunging neck. I paired these items with a high-waisted navy skirt and felt so chic. I feel like would be great with some navy pumps, or shoot, even my tried-and-true hightops that I absolutely swear by. This would have been a great outfit for our trip coming up, too. Cold weather be damned. I do think I’ll return to Charming Oaks for this outfit, or one like it.

Charming oak knit tank and navy skirt

       I had few items that didn’t work out due to sizing issues, and these shorts were very nearly among their number. With an adorable bird patterned romper, and a sweater dress that I almost cried when I found it didn’t fit. This next outfit might be tied with the above, actually. As I look at it, I like it more and more. The loose-fitting olive green, drapey tank and black shorts combo is another one that begs for converse. Or, gold flats, would be a marvelous choice too! At first, I flat-out didn’t like this one. I generally stay away from really loose things, because they tend to make me look boxy. Boxy isn’t sexy, guys. I don’t like boxy. Like, give me a nice silhouette, c’mon.

Charming Oaks black shorts and olive tank

       You can literally see my doubt. I have a whole, “Do I like this?” thing going on. If I had been able to find a pair of black shorts that were just a little more my size,I would have absolutely bought this outfit. 

      My general concensus of Charming Oaks is that I’m thrilled with my experience there. My debit card had issues, but that was no fault at all of the lovely and understanding ladies that manned the counter. I was absolutely obsessed with that Valentines day shrug in the slideshow way up above. I certainly have plans to return for some serious retail therapy! 

     

First to Paris now to Little Italy… Pizza

City: Auburn
Stop: Little Italy Pizza
Cost: Moderate
Food Type: Pizza, Calzones, Stromboli

While on my adventure to Auburn, we stopped by Little Italy Pizza. It’s an affordable little pizza place nestled on a small, but bustling street. The inside was larger than expected from the outside and the moment we stepped inside I was ravenous. It smells fantastic and the various pizzas they were working on behind the counter did nothing to help my appetite.

20180428_1549515916445871474362010.jpgThey had high ceilings and relaxed lighting. The cashier was exceptionally personable and patient with me trying to make up my mind on what to try. I’m afraid my choice wasn’t too exciting because I’m rather boring in my pizza preference. I chose a bacon and pepperoni calzone.

The calzone itself wasn’t very… presentable, and nor was it what I expected. But that aside it tasted great. It was stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella and my choices of meat. I wasted no time digging in.20180428_155705893866602660799669.jpg

While the presentation is obviously lacking, it makes up for that in taste. It was fresh out of the oven and the crispness proved it, it had a very pleasant crunch. To my surprise, given what it was, it wasn’t overly greasy and they used plenty of cheese. The provided marinara sauce, which I didn’t even need. They didn’t drown me in pepperoni, I guess they know the most important part of the calzone is the cheese, so for that, I’m grateful. (get it?)

All in all, Little Italy Pizza in Auburn was a good experience. The food was tasty and affordable, and the workers were all incredibly friendly. I certainly recommend this place if you’re from out of the area and trying to eat on a budget!

Environment;  3 out of 5/5

Presentation; 1.5 out of 5/5

Taste; 3.5 out of 5/5

While the pizza was good, it wasn’t remarkable and was slightly above average. Not too greasy which is a plus!