Our boy did it!

 

This just in! Our boy, Joshua Wayne Howard, has won. He is officially Baton Rouge’s Most Eligible Bachelor. Now, we are both BRoke bachelors.

Thanks to everyone who voted and thanks to 225 for the honor. We can’t wait to stalk him on his dinner date with some lucky lady.

Ladies, if you want to be the one who goes out with Josh, just friend request or message him. We hear he loves that type of thing.

<Obviously not written by Josh…>

Here’s the article: http://ht.ly/tjckG

Here is the awesome video that was created by Lori Lensing & Associate AKA John Snow.  Video: http://youtu.be/AiN1R0kxRAA

Best Beignets ever! Kingfish Grill

Restaurant Week. Take 3

What better way to start the year off for us than to chow down on some awesome local food for the third “Restaurant Week” here in BR?

Restaurant IPO

During the last two food celebrations, we have dined at Restaurant IPO, Stroubes, Hello Sushi, Thai Kitchen and a couple more eateries.

The week gives you the opportunity to get a three course meal (at most places) and try things you might not normally for a more affordable price. Prices range from $15 – $35.

You will feel completely satisfied that you’ve gotten your money’s worth after deliciously destroying some of the food at these restaurants.

For more info on Restaurant Week and great local food, check out our boy Jay Ducote with @BiteandBooze‘s blog post and www.eatbr.com. 

A brief look at our 2013

This year has been a very interesting one for us.

We’ve gotten a little facelift, took photos in shopping carts on Siegen Lane, eaten at a ton of places and spent our Valentine’s Day with some beautiful people.

One of the best things that we can definitely hang our hat on this year was going hungry for the GeauxforBRoke challenge. That event changed our lives for the better. We starved. While we may not have enjoyed every second of the hunger pains, we realized that it was well worth it.

In 2013, we got endorsements from LSU Women’s Basketball Head Coach Nikki Caldwell, featured on every broadcast station in the city and published in most of the area’s publications. Our experiences have not been without struggle, frustration or some intense prayer sessions to keep us sane. However, every bit of the journey has brought us to a nice beginning for 2014.

Thank you for following us on this road and don’t stop because 2014 will only be better, more fun and BRoker.

Another bachelor in the family?

OK, let’s get straight to it. We kind of like to win things around our office. We like to be winners.

In case you weren’t aware of this (and we are sure that you are), Ryan won Cosmopolitan Magazine’s “Bachelor of the Year” last year. It was a nation-wide competition that he destroyed. Need proof? Here ya go.

Cosmo Cosmo2 Cosmo3

Now, it’s Josh’s turn. He’s among 10 pretty qualified guys to win 225 Magazine‘s Most Eligible Bachelor. We need your vote: http://225batonrouge.com/section/most-eligible-bachelor.

Why? Because we need to keep this title in the family…plus, look at this guy.

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P.S. Megan DiBenedetto is a great option for the bachelorette :)

Now go vote!

WBRZ 3

The Second 12 BRoke Days of Christmas

We once again bring a piece about how to have an action-packed, fun and BRoke Christmas in the with our 12 BRoke Days of Christmas.

1. Cookie exchange – This is not your average “get together”. Invite all your friends to a party where everyone

bakes one dozen cookies to be sampled. These cookies can be a favorite family recipe or something you’ve pinterested. No one will be the wiser.

2. Ice skating at the River Center – A Baton Rouge tradition. Whether it’s with a special friend, a group or kids, everyone loves this cold treat.

3. Inexpensive gifts options – Redbox gift cards, grab a journal and write a personal note of inspiration on the first page, treat your friend out to a local road trip like Natchitoches, St. Francisville or New Orleans.

4. Throw an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” party- You know the drill. Invite all your fabulous friends over, spike the eggnog and wear the ugliest, tackiest, grandpa-iest Christmas sweater you can find for a night that will be nothing short of epic. So stop by your local thrift shop and get your sweater today.

5. Spend time at your local nursing home or homeless shelter – Christmas is about goodwill toward mankind and spreading Christmas cheer. There are many in need this holiday season. We suggest that you consider giving back by visiting a local nursing home for some bridge or caroling. Another option includes donating your time at a local shelter.

6. Christmas photos around town – Who needs a professional photographer when we all have smart phones with legitimate cameras and Instagram? Drive around town and find the most beautifully decorated Christmas spots to take your holiday selfie or group photos. Feel free to upload them and hashtag #BRokeChristmas. We’d love to see where you end up and how you set up your free group picture.

7. Classic movie nights at the Manship and USS Kidd – The Manship Theatre and USS Kidd will be showing classic movies like “The Bishop’s Wife” and more throughout the month for the family for a low price.

8. Attend a Christmas-centered church service – Whether it is attending a traditional Christmas Eve mass or hymns at your service, celebrate the season at a church service. It’s a wonderful way to get in the Christmas spirit; it’s free and kid friendly.

9. Kiwanis Christmas parade – View the 63rd Annual Cortana Kiwanis Downtown Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 14 at 5:30 p.m.

10. Hit the great outdoors – Baton Rouge does not get too cold for you to head outdoors. Some outdoor options include a friend’s campsite, one of our awesome local state parks or your back yard. Get around a small fire, roast some marshmallows and make some memories.

11. Send someone a thank you note – Thanksgiving is over. However, this is still the season to give back and to give thanks. Drop a card, a post card or pick up the landline and thank someone for being an important part of your life.

12. Turn the tables – We all have that favorite place we like to go for coffee or to eat. We hope that our favorite barista or waiter will be present. How about this season you give them a treat? This can be a card, an extra tip or just some friendly words. Thank them.

WBRZ: http://www.wbrz.com/videoplayer/?video_id=17791&categories=141

Take a Stroll at White Light Night

Mid City Merchants
Grab your family or your friends and head to Mid City tonight for the neighborhood’s annual White Light Night.
This yearly event is heralded by the several of the area’s businesses and neighbors as an opportunity to celebrate the arts, food, music and shops.
Whether you choose to spend next to nothing or splurge on unique pieces, you can make the most of White Light Night.
There are more than 50 businesses and restaurants participating in the artistic evening to welcome you to their establishments.
Some of our favorite picks include Brew Ha Ha!, Bistro Byronz and Time Warp.
The event will begin at 6:00pm and end at 10:00pm. For more information, visit midcitymerchants.org.
Avett Bros

A modern festival in an old setting

Shout out to Wade Trapp!

The first Modern South Music Fest set up shop at Hemingbough in St. Francisville this past weekend. The country-folk event brought in locals for David St. Romain, Charlie Worsham, Wade Bowen and the incredible Avett Brothers.

Check out the festival through our photos.

Duck Popper at IPO

Walking for your food never tasted so good

Originally published in DIG Magazine

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Some of the best of Baton Rouge’s food can now be seen and tasted in less than three hours for one price. Thanks to the new delicious venture, Baton Rouge Food Tours, visitors and residents now have an opportunity to explore the area’s rich history and delicious food within a mile radius at one time for $45.

The walking tour is a living dream that came to its creator Kim Harper while she was on vacation earlier this year.

“I went on my first food tour in another city and truly got the essence of that city,” Harper said. “My next thought was that our food is much better than this and our history is much better than this.”

Along the two-and-half-hour walk, Harper stops at historical points such as the Old State Capitol, the Hilton Capitol Center and St. Joseph’s Cathedral, to fill tourists in on unique bits of information. Harper attributes her detailed knowledge of Baton Rouge to having a deep love for our city’s history and desire to know more than what is on the surface.

Additionally, she researched from books, the Internet, family members and local figures for several months leading up the launch in early November.

“I wanted to know everything about Baton Rouge and because of that, I fact check everything,” Harper said.

Because of her curiosity, Harper provides the tour participants with historical nuggets that most would not have immediately known about local monuments and restaurants.

There are more than 40 restaurants located in the downtown area that span over two miles. The tour narrows the list down to six restaurants along the tasting journey that are only within a few blocks of each other. When selecting the eateries, Harper carefully plotted out a walking pattern and a menu that best told the story of Baton Rouge in a culinary fashion.

Some of the food tastings include “Shrimp on a Hot Tin Roof” from Zolia Bistro Enoteca, a duck popper from Restaurant IPO and a twist on beignets from Kingfish Grill. Other stops along the tour are at Poor Boy Lloyd’s, Stroubes and The Lobby Cafe.

“I tasted everything and wanted to make sure that everyone got something unique and different,” Harper said. “There is a little bit of classic Southern dishes and new and exciting food dishes. Everyone should have something they enjoy.”

If tourists enjoy an item, they are encouraged to compliment the food by proclaiming the local phrase “C’est Si Bon” which translated means “It’s So Good”.

In addition to the generously-portioned items, tourists can expect to be treated like a VIP at reserved tables, receive inside information about the establishments and visit with some of the owners or chefs at participating restaurants.

Chef Raine Bayyan of the Kingfish Grill at the Hilton Capitol Center appreciates what the tour represents and what it provides for the community.

“It’s a beautiful thing to show your work to people who love food and who are willing to explore new food,” Bayyan said.

“I love meeting them [tourists] and explaining how we at the Hilton infuse the city’s history into our food.”

Tiffany Terrell, owner of the recently opened Lobby Cafe, feels the tour provides an opportunity for locals to explore the downtown area all over again.

“People in Baton Rouge tend to be either ‘downtown’ or they are not,” Terrell said. “The tour is especially great for locals because it brings them out of their comfort zone.”

Downtown Baton Rouge is known for its recurring events and unique nighttime venues. However, the tour provides participants with the option of exploring some unearthed gems in the area during the day.

“There is great food down here and that food is available during lunch as well, not just at night,” Terrell said.

Harper has plans to expand the tasting tour to more frequent times during the week and eventually spread it across different pockets of town.

“Baton Rouge has a lot of great food areas to explore,” Harper said.

The Baton Rouge Food Tours currently offers tours on Thursdays and Fridays at both 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. While walk-ups are accepted, reservations are strongly encouraged and can be taken for one person to the maximum of 12. For more information or to make reservations, visit BatonRougeFoodTours.com or call 1-800-838-3006.

Country Table

Organic food at your doorstep

Originally published in DIG Magazine

From the farm to your fork is what the owners of the new food delivery service, Country Table, promise their customers. Owners Lauren Beth Slowik and Kallie Svendson recently opened their fresh produce warehouse-on-wheels after many years of searching for the right product.

The duo, who met during freshman year at Louisiana State University, always knew they wanted to start a business together, but did not know the particulars. It was not until they were both working in local establishments that the idea of opening a mobile produce business developed.
“We threw out a bunch of ideas, landed on this and said ‘that’s it’,” said Slowik. Svendson added that their joint interest in fresh produce made this idea the best one.
“Fresh local food is something that we are both interested in and Baton Rouge needs something like this,” said Svendson. “We have seen this done in several other cities and wanted to bring the idea here.”
Through Country Table, members can purchase bundles of 10-14 seasonal fruits and vegetables either weekly or every other week. Members can also add grains, organic cleaning products, sauces and meat from local farmers at an additional cost.
Country Table membership requires a one-time fee of $35 to cover the costs of the crate and ice packs. The weekly cost is $37, with the biweekly option costing $39. Members can also expect healthy tips and recipes included in their bundles.

Galen Iverstine, farmer and owner of Iverstine Family Farms, partnered with Country Table to provide fresh meats to the project.  “It’s a really cool concept that caters to [the needs of] Baton Rouge,” said Iverstine. “Buying local isn’t always the cheapest, but it’s worth it for the time and the natural methods.”

Iverstine currently offers pork for the weekly bundles and will be providing turkeys for the Christmas holidays.
The entrepreneurs work with farmers like Iverstine to bring the flair of the local market to members’ homes or offices. Part of their research included talking to the Big River Economic & Agricultural Development Alliances (BREADA), the facilitators of the Red Stick Farmer’s Market. “We love the farmer’s market and support them. However, many of our members live outside of the city, but work in Baton Rouge.” said Slowik. “We can now service those who can’t make it out to the market by delivering to their offices.”
From the beginning, Slowik and Svendson have had their hand in nearly every step of the process. They made visits to all 18 partnering farms to see firsthand where their produce originated. “It is important for us to know where our produce come from,” said Svendson. “We made appointments and went out there.”
The girls work organically together and play to each other’s strengths. Svendson primarily engineers the manufacturing of the bundles and communication with the farmers, while Slowik helms the marketing and creative front.
Additionally, the owners personally deliver every order in their servicing area. “People get so excited about receiving the produce, and that makes us happy,” said Slowik.
Slowik and Svendson realize that the costs might be intimidating. However, they guarantee that their produce is just as good, if not better and healthier, than big box organic giants such as Whole Foods and Fresh Market. Furthermore, the two emphasize the importance and appreciation of community in their produce. “We love fresh food and we love that it’s local,” said Svendson. The well-balanced pair hope to continue to offer the personalized touch as they expand across the state for years to come.
For more information, visit www.countrytabledelivery.com.

Saddle up and give us your “Boot Bucks”

The “Old West” was brought to the South last night at Youth Oasis’ Annual Celebrity Waiter Roundup fundraising event and we were thankfully there to experience it.

Youth Oasis, a local non-profit organization,  feeds, shelters and takes care of teenagers who are in desperate need of love and support in emergency situations.

The western-themed event asks guests to bid on items in both a live and silent auction, participate in games such as a wine toss and hay pull. Additionally, each of the celebrity waiters competes to earn enough tips (also called “Boot Bucks”) to become the top waiter.

This event was one of the coolest events that we have attended. There were hundreds of people who had a big desire to make an impact on our community. Our goal was to not only serve these guests, but more importantly win the title of “Top Waiter” in the process. We were tasked with beating the likes of Matt Williams of WAFB, Michael Shingleton of WBRZ, Hillar Moore, Coach Cador and more. This was no easy challenge. However, challenges are what we live for.

Ryan working the tables to earn "Boot Bucks"

Ryan working the tables to earn “Boot Bucks”

After being assigned our individual tables, we quickly realized that two is better than one, so we tackled our tables together. This tactic not only allowed us to meet some awesome new friends (and followers?), but we also landed in the top 3 of celebrity waiters. There was only one way a winner could be decided…a dance competition. With Ryan being a dance champion and Josh having moves better than Jagger, the clear bet would have been on us to dominate Matt Williams and Steve Webb.

The song: “The Wobble.” Our dance moves: Impeccable. Miley Cyrus would have been out of business (that might not be such a bad thing). Our finish: Third. Even though our dancing skills were intense and unique, we failed to bring home the prize. However, we were very pleased to be a part of this opportunity.

Michael Shingleton, Ryan and Josh

Michael Shingleton, Ryan and Josh

We are honored to have been involved in this annual activity, and hope to do more with Youth Oasis. Every child deserves to have their provisions met and we can all do something to make this a reality.

If you would like to join Youth Oasis in their mission, do not hesitate to volunteer for next year’s Roundup. You can donate today. This is another opportunity for you to #GeauxforBRoke.

This event and organization is definitely #BRokeApproved