Prepare yourself for what may be the world's longest blog post...
For my (31st) birthday this year Matt and I (and Peanut) decided to take a long weekend down to the Outer Banks. We both had a few exceptionally stressful weeks leading up to my birthday (including a reorg in my department) so the long weekend was well deserved if I do say so myself. My birthday weekend also happens to be the OBX Taste of the Beach weekend so we planned a number of food/drink events to enjoy while visiting.
We left the DMV Thursday night so we could wake up bright and early on Friday to attend the Coffee Cupping Workshop at Front Porch Cafe in Nags Head. Matt and I have always been fans of coffee but had never attending a coffee cupping event. Front Porch Cafe owner Paul Manning led our coffee cupping class in his Nags Head location and he totally opened my eyes to the intricacies of coffee tasting.
I am a fan of wine tasting and never thought, or had the opportunity, to taste coffees in the same respect, and I am glad I did. As a girl who always adds Splenda, and more recently Truvia, as well as fat free half-and-half to her coffee it was daunting at first to try the different coffees without added "flavor". But oh, am I so glad I did...
Green and roasted beans
Paul explaining the different origins of coffee beans
Coffee bean bags
Before the taste...
Tasting the brews without grinds
Matt tasting the Kenyan brew
All hopped up on caffeine
Also, my best tip for food at Front Porch, get the blueberry muffins, they are always warm and delicious! Right Megan?
After our coffee tasting we did a little shopping at the outlets and had lunch at Mama Kwans (please have the blackened fish tacos, you won't be sorry) before heading over to the Outer Banks Brewing Station for our beer tasting.
Eric Reece describing the how they built the brewery.
After a tour of the brewery we had a Beer Brewing 101 class.
As if we didn't enjoy enough beverages during the day, we went to a Wine, Cheese and Chocolate tasting at Native Vine.
The sun coming through the windows in the tasting room was perfect for pictures.
Kenny describing our next wine.
After the coffee cupping, beer tasting and wine pairing we were thirsty ;) so we took Kenny's recommendation to head over to Ocean Boulevard for live music and some champagne.
And of course, it being March Madness and all,
the VCU vs. Georgetown game was on in the background.
Blurry Droid photo of me at the Winks sign!
(Only family members will appreciate this.)
The next day was the 19th and therefore my official birthday! I say official because I like to celebrate my birthday the entire month of March. Since it was my (official) birthday I got to pick where we ate for breakfast. And anyone who knows me knows I will choose Stack em High in Kill Devil Hills every time. I always get the Chocolate Nutter Pancakes (pancakes with chocolate chips and peanut butter chips) and Matt gets the Chocolate Monkey Waffle, I had to take a picture.
For lunch we hit up the Brewing Station. Not only are their beers great, their food is delicious!
I enjoyed a Wright Witty with my pizza.
You can also purchase growlers to bring home their brews.
That evening we had a Beer, Chocolate and Cheese tasting back at Native Vine.
Silly PSU hat, of course I'll try it on!
I even convinced Matt to do the same! He must really love me.
For lunch, The Bad Bean Baja Grill in Kill Devil Hills.
They have a big chair out front, picture time!
Some of you may recognize this one...
Thanks for lunch Matt!
Speaking of Bad Bean... ;)
Matt's parents told us they ran into one of our wedding pictures when they were one weekend at Ocean Atlantic Rentals so we had to check it out.
After 3 solid days of eating and drinking, Matt is waving the white
We have spent many a memorable weekend down in the OBX but this has to rank as the best one yet (wedding events excluded of course). If you ever find yourself in the area I can't recommend enough the Taste of the Beach events. I think we're going to have to make it an annual trip.