Brunch with Lori – Ocho

Havana, oh na-na! 🎢 That is the song that was going through my head today when I visited Ocho.

Happy Sunday Brunch Lovers! Today I finally had the pleasure of visiting Ocho, a little restaurant in Hotel Havana located in downtown San Antonio and along the Riverwalk. If you’ve never heard of this restaurant, I’m pretty positive that you have seen pictures taken here. The blue hues and glass conservatory are iconic and make for such great photos and a Spanish ambiance. (Fun Fact: Did you know Kendra Scott took her catalog pictures here for her Summer ’18 collection here? Check it out here.)

Visiting Ocho and Hotel Havana as a whole truly make you forget that you are even in San Antonio, it feels like you have traveled outside of Texas and gone somewhere of Latin decent, which I feel is one of the things that truly makes this place unique.

Ocho serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night snacks. You can enjoy their brunch menu Saturday and Sunday from 10pm-2pm. Another really great thing they offer, is being able to book a reservation online through Open Table directly throughΒ this link. I definitely recommend making a reservation if there are going to be more than 2 people in your party, that way their staff is ready for you and has your table set. My best friend Tessa joined me for brunch and we were definitely not disappointed.

Menu:

Now for the yummy stuff, their menu! Ocho offers dishes of Cuban, Mexican, and Texan influence, they provide their own delicious twist on traditional brunch dishes.

Being that their were so many delicious options to chose from, I had a tough time deciding what to order. I was in between ordering the Fideo Loco and the Bolillo French Toast, both of these are some of my favorite dishes! I decided to order the Fideo Loco because I feel that Fideo is not a common brunch item on menus (I definitely plan on going back to try their French Toast). Tessa ordered the Cuban Hash and Eggs, which looked amazing! Both of our dishes were so tasty and filling.

The Fiedo included – 2 Poached Eggs, Sopa de Fideo, Pinto Beans, Chorizo, Bacon, ChicharrΓ³n Crumble, Pico de Gallo, Cilantro, Queso Fresco, Chile Toreado, Fresh Griddled Tortillas.
I was so happy with my decision to get the Fideo and loved that they included in there, I have a thing for poached eggs in my food. I truly feel like the eggs added a different but tasteful flavor to the typical Fideo Loco many are used to.

The Cuban Hash and Eggs included – 2 Fried Eggs, Cuban Style Pulled Pork, Roasted Potato, Sweet Pepper Sofrito, Diced Ham, Dijon Aioli, Swiss Cheese, Diced EscabΓ¨ch.

Β Ocho is located at a hotel, so there is a designated parking area for hotel guests – the parking lot is a little but narrow (don’t say I didn’t warn you, thank god for backup cameras) but if that parking lot fills up, you can also find parallel parking along the sidewalk behind the hotel. For those who don’t know or are visiting, Sundays are a great day to visit downtown San Antonio because parking along the street is free all day, so you will not have to pay the meters.

Although it was my first time at Hotel Havana and Ocho, it will definitely not be my last. I plan on going back to try more items from their brunch menu, but also plan on trying some of their dinner menu as well. I recommend this place 100% if you are looking to brunch with your friends/family and are wanting brunch but with a Latin twist. Ocho also offers a Happy Hour from 3pm-6pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday and all day on Thursday.

Outfit Details:

Today was a warm and sunny day here in San Antonio, so it was only right to show some leg and bring out this romper. Since I knew Ocho provided some Latin vibes, I was inspired by the red dress woman πŸ’ƒπŸ» emoji and decided to wear one of my favorite rompers from Forever 21. I love this romper because it is so complimenting with the ruffles along the shorts and the sleeves. I feel like everyone needs a great red piece in their wardrobe to feel like a “spicy mami, hot tamale”. I paired this romper with some of my favorite wedges from Sam Edelman and a simple but necessary Debra choker from Kendra Scott.

Disclaimer: I promise you, I steamed this romper before putting it on, but magically on the drive over to the restaurant I wrinkled it up by sitting downπŸ˜…

Thank you for reading this post and following along with me on my brunch journey! Remember to follow me on Instagram and I will see you next time for brunch!

Xoxo, Lori Allison<3

Brunch with Lori – Nola Brunch & Beignets

Happy Sunday ladies & gents!

I am a huge lover of brunch and discovering new restaurants and eateries in my city and new cities I travel to. I wanted to share my love of food and brunch by introducing a new blog post to my blog – Brunch with Lori. In these posts I will be sharing a new & loved brunch places that I visit during my free time.

Today I visited the cutest little brunch spot off of N St. Mary’s Street and King’s Court Street in San Antonio called Nola Brunch & Beignets. I haven’t been to New Orleans yet, but I have heard that this place’s great food is inspired by New Orleans. They brunch Tuesday-Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm.

Nola’s ambiance is very friendly and inviting with it being located in a cozy remodeled house. Since it is located in a busy strip of San Antonio, it is difficult to find parking since it is in the middle of a neighborhood, however you should be able to find parking alongside the sidewalks in front of the houses/buildings. Right when you walk in, you are greeted by the hostess who will check you on their reservation list and register you by phone number. You can either sit out in front of the restaurant and socialize with your friends/family or enjoy the different bars along the St. Mary’s Strip while you wait.

The menu is filled with traditional brunch/breakfast dishes but with their own New Orleans twist. Some items that caught my eye were the Bread Pudding French Toast, the Banana Foster Buttermilk Pancakes, the Creole Fried Steak, and the Chicken & Beignets. I decided to order the Chicken & Beignets because I like a balance between sweet and savory and I must say I was not disappointed!

The plate came with 4 chicken tender pieces and two Beignets – since I had never tried beignets before the waiter gave me one regular beignet and one seasonal beignet, which was a beignet filled with churro syrup. Omg it was delicious! I loved both beignets because they weren’t too sweet and definitely balanced out my plate for sweet part of the sweet & savory I wanted.

My boyfriend decided to get the Cajun Boudin Chilaquiles – those were amazing as well! The usually just come as a small plate, but our waiter was able to upgrade it to a larger plate for him. These were not your traditional chilaquiles, as you can tell but they looked and tasted incredible!

Nolas colorful walls and open lighting made this restaurant so inviting.

I also love how they removed the glass from the windows to make the second room less secluded and love the plants hanging from the top of the window frames.

Top picture: Cajun Boudin Chilaquiles
Bottom picture: Chicken & Beignets

Nola, the restaurant was everything I imagined, it made me so excited/eager to go to the real New Orleans and eat their food!

The food was so unique and delicious, the location was in a great trendy area of San Antonio, and the staff was so great and friendly and offering their recommendations. I definitely want to come back here so I can try the other items on my list and next time, I will be sure to bring my own mimosas to enjoy with the amazing food.

I definitely recommend San Antonio visitors and locals to try this place for brunch – trust me, your tastebuds will not be disappointed!

Thank you for reading this post, I can’t wait for y’all to follow the rest of my brunch journey! Remember to follow me on Instagram and I will see you next time!

Xoxo, Lori Allison πŸ’“

The Art of Ice Cream Experience

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! ~ Okay that was super cheesy, but I’ll tell you what wasn’t – my experience at The Art of Ice Cream in Austin, Texas.

The Art of Ice Cream is an instagramable playground filled with rooms themed of all things – you guessed it – Ice Cream. Who doesn’t love that?

I had seen advertisements for this place on Instagram and knew I needed to make a trip there the next time I was in Austin, and I do not regret it!

There were backdrops for banana splits, popsicle paradise, a milkshake wall, and so much more.

I had been to a place similar to this here, in San Antonio but I must say the people who run The Art of Ice Cream really know what their visitors want. The workers were so interactive with us by being our photographers as well as suggesting different fun ways we could take our pictures/ boomerangs and different poses we could do – which is literally a MUST because you got to take good content for the gram!

The Art of Ice Cream consisted of three large rooms with different backdrops on pretty much every wall. Once you buy your tickets ($25/ each for adults) and select your reservation time you get the tickets downloaded onto your phone and then just show up! They do things in 15 minute intervals and they put you in with your reservation group to go through the experience together. Luckily mine was a small group of people probably because I went in the evening time on a Sunday – Talk about Sunday Funday!

I was blown away because right when you enter the building you are greeted with a popsicle and then the fun begins! You’re allowed to spend 15 minutes in a room at a time, with your group. I was a little worried that our group members would get in the way of our shots and photobomb us but that was not the case at all, the rooms were big enough and there are multiple back drops that keep everyone busy that everyone just went around taking turns with the different backdrops at a time.

ALL the items in the rooms are interactive meaning you can touch the art, move it around, and use it as props. I took so many boomerangs that I wish I could include in this post!

The timings of the rooms are: 15 minutes, 15 minutes, and then 20 minute and the workers aren’t very pushy about when your time is up either. In the third room you have more time because that is the last room in the experience but also… DRUMROLL.. you get more ice cream! You can choose what flavor ice cream you want and they give you a small cup with whatever flavor you choose! You can interact and get to know your group members or just finish taking pictures, eat your ice cream, and leave.

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I was a little discouraged when I saw the price of each ticket to visit this exhibit but I honestly had so much fun here and honestly felt like a little kid again, I definitely recommend people go here! You 100% get your moneys worth out of this visit! – Not just because of the really fun/ cool pictures you get to it but also because it truly is, an experience! I can’t tell you how surprised I still am that they even thought of giving us ice cream to make the experience that much better and unique! I am so happy I found out about them and also so happy they decided to make our capital in Texas as a spot to visit! Be sure to reserve your visit before they leave Austin, the exhibit is only in Austin for a limited time!

Outfit Inspo:
I wanted to go with a very simple outfit because I knew, from looking at pictures that the experience was very colorful and I didn’t want to wear anything that clashed with the backdrops and walls.

Outfit details: Jumper – Charlotte Russe, Shoes – BP, Necklace & Earrings- Kendra Scott, Watch – JORD Watches.

Thanks for reading! Keep up with me by following my Instagram @ xoxoloriallison.

Xoxo, Lori Allison

H-E-B Back To School Collection Haul

Good evening loves!

A month ago I got contacted by my local grocery store H-E-B to do a collaboration with them.Β Β  They sent me a $2oo gift card to shop my College Must Haves.

School starts back up for me today! I’m starting my senior year of college, and I’m so excited (but I’m really freaking out about how close to being an adult I am)!Β  I went shopping with my sister this past week.Β  I’m soo excited to share with y’all what I bought!

For those of you who don’t live in Texas, I’m very sorry for you.. for one, because Texas is the greatest state to ever live in but also because we have the best/biggest grocery store ever – HEB! As if normal H-E-B’s aren’t amazing, we have H-E-B Plus’ that are pretty much like a Walmart but 1000x’s better and not the slightest bit creepy like Walmarts’ are (no offense to them LOL). When I was living in Florida, my closest grocery store was Walmart.Β  After living in Texas and shopping at H-E-B all my life, it just wasn’t the same.. I missed H-E-B so much and truly realized what I had once it was already gone haha.Β  When I moved back to Texas and they emailed me for this collaboration, it was like a message from God that I was back home where I was meant to be!

So, of course when I went shopping to spend my gift card finally — I went crazy! They have the CUTEST things in their back-to-school collection!

My College Must haves are as follows:

  1. A cute and colorful planner – to keep my busy life a little more organized
  2. Cute/color accessories and accents for my room – because I love my room and spend a lot of time in it so I want it to be colorful and comfortable
  3. Journals – to write all my lecture notes in
  4. Pens – to be able to write notes with
  5. Snacks – to get me through the long days of classes and work
  6. Makeup, such as mascara – because I need to look presentable in class and around campus
  7. Storage bins – to make my room more organized
  8. School spirited apparel – because you always have to show love for your school!

& I found all of these items at H-E-B, I will post pictures below and include the prices to show you how cute and affordable everything is

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I found a reversible comforter set that included 2 pillow shams, the reversible comforter, and a bed skirt. I’m absolutely in love with the colors of the comforter.Β  They’re so bright and make my room so much more colorful! It was only $29.97!

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Decorative pillows are so in right now and such a great accessory for your bedroom. I was absolutely in love with these decorative pillows that I bought for only $8.97 each!

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Of course, you need new sheets to go with a new bed-set! I got these full size sheets in gray for $14.97.Β  I think they will be a good contrast with the floral colors of the comforter and they are super soft!

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I purchased an Eos hand lotion to keep in my backpack during school because you always need a good travel-size hand lotion to keep around for $1.98

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I needed a new makeup sponge for when I contour or use concealer. Β  I had never tried Real Techniques before, but I loved that it was angled.Β  I bought it for only $5.98

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Mascara is one of my favorite makeup inventions because just a small amount of it can make your eyes pop! I’ve been running low on a my mascara, and I previously tried this Revlon Ultimate All-In-One mascara and loved how great it was.Β  When I was on my way down the beauty aisle, I found a two-in-one pack for the Ultimate All-In-One and a Volume + Length Magnified mascara. One Revlon mascara is usually $8 on its own but this two-in-one pack was only $12.99, which I feel was a really good deal!

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Journals are always needed for school but I love colorful things, as you can tell from the things I’ve shared with you already. Β  Of course, I had to get some cute patterns! One of them is a one subject, 5 star notebook for my sorority meetings.Β  The other is a 5 subject notebook that I will be using for my classes since I am taking four this semester. The 5 subject was $4.99 and the one subject was for $5.79

FullSizeRender I loveee being organized so I usually buy colorful pens.Β  I pair my classes with a certain pen color to help me keep track of my assignments and tests. I bought this pen set for $3.49.

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Now, on to planners!Β  Every year I get a new planner and each year I make sure I get the cutest one because they make me excited to stay organized. I saw this planner from the company “Ban.do” at this store called Altar’d State, but it was a little pricey so I decided to see if I would find it anywhere else for cheaper price. When I went shopping at H-E-B, I went into their boutique called Mia’s Mirror and saw they had the planners starting at $20. I was so happy and excited once I saw the sale that I bought it right away πŸ™‚Β  The planner was $26.

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I also bought a 4-pocket binder so I didn’t need to buy multiple folders and keep track of where I placed all of them. For me, its easier just to have a folder all in one and be able to keep all my important papers in there. I got this folder for $7.97

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Storage bins make life soo much easier, and of course, it helps when they are as adorable as the one I got! I thought this storage bin was super cute.Β  I’ve been looking for one to put some of the clutter under my bed in.Β  I bought this for $5.97

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Post it notes! I love post it notes because they’re so bright, and I know they will get my attention to remind me of important things that I need to do or important events that I need to attend. I got this four pack for $2.54.

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Who doesn’t love glitter?Β  Am I right? I got this super cute glittery pen/pencil pouch to keep my pens in and make sure they don’t ruin the inside of my purses or backpacks for $2.50.

Of course, I ended up getting some snacks at H-E-B.Β  I bought some fruity pebbles and pop tarts for breakfast in the morning before going to class. I also ended up buying my sister a comforter set for her bed (shown below) and some sheets to go with it as well.

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What says school spirit more than collegiate school apparel?Β  I bought a pair of UTSA flip flops to wear around the house, campus, and to some football games during the year. I think they are awesome, and I love that they have the roadrunners on the straps!

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If you follow my Instagram, I’m sure you saw this picture that I posted last Friday wearing this outfit! My top says ‘All I need is coffee & mascara”. I love graphic tees and when I saw this one, I just knew I had to have it.Β  I obviously liked it so much that I ended up wearing it the next day.Β  This is how I paired it….

Andd, that is the end of my haul! I absolutely love everything I bought from H-E-B.Β  I thought that $200 was going to be tough to spend, but the money actually went A LOT faster than I thought it would. Thank you so much H-E-B for reaching out to me for this amazing opportunity and giving me this gift card to shop y’alls amazing back to school collection!

Thanks for reading.Β  Follow me on Instagram @ itsxoxoloriallison πŸ™‚

Xoxo,

Lori Allison