Two Girls, Three Courses: The Elephant.

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For restaurant week summer edition, the girlfriends dined at The Elephant, a new American restaurant in one of our favorite neighborhoods Mount Vernon. The Elephant was unexpected to say the least, even after rolling in late the staff was super accommodating (They even had a place to put my drenched umbrella)! The building was rich with history. The brass and wood detailing made us feel as if we were in the 1920’s. Of course, we ordered from the restaurant week prefix menu. The first course we tried was the heirloom tomato salad which was perfectly seasoned, a play on the panzella salad with the croutons was a great touch. We also tried the BL”T” slider that included bacon, lettuce, watermelon, and basil pesto. The watermelon was so refreshing a perfect complement to the saltiness of the bacon. For the second course, the chilled Asian noodles is a must have! The sesame dressing was everything. The short rib was super tender my only complaint is that there wasn’t more. The jerk chicken pizza was done just right, the jerk chicken was not overly spicy, and the mango sealed the authentic tropical taste. For dessert, we had the cinnamon roll and the chocolate peanut butter tart. After dinner we explored the upstairs lounge recommended by the owner Steven. We were immediately mesmerized by the white marble bar. We got lucky going on a Thursday night, picture this enjoying a live jazz band under a gold chandelier and a candle lit atmosphere (major speak easy vibes). It was an amazing night we will be back and not just because I forgot my umbrella!

 

Visit the Elephant for a tranquil dining experience and be sure to follow them @theelephantbaltimore on Instagram.

 

 

Keep it Classy!

The Girlfriends ❤

 

Breaking Bread with Girlfriends: Carleen, The Unconventional Traditionalist.

 

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For our first breaking bread interview we met with Carleen Goodridge the creator of Le Monade beverage boutique and plated by Le Monade catering company. We met at the beautiful Rec Pier Chop House restaurant inside of the Sagamore Pendry hotel. A great conversation over an exceptional meal. Carleen’s positive energy is infectious! A native New Yorker with roots in Liberia, she uses every experience to influence a beautiful brand. Le Monade beverage boutique is artisanal drinks, simple syrups, and wellness blends. Le Monade consists of local and natural ingredients meant to refresh, nourish, and inspire. Plated by Le Monade is a catering company where dinners consist of deconstructed west African food specifically Liberian cuisine which is a blend of southern American and Caribbean influences. The signature edible tablescapes, featuring citrus and tropical fruit are both appealing to the eye as well as a nourishing snack between courses.

Carleen dropped some serious gems about living your truth and being unapologetically you. A space that undoubtedly takes a journey to get to. “Every no and every wrong turn got me to where I am today.” She exclaimed as she opened about how rejection and failure ultimately lead to progress. The advice that she had for entrepreneurs is to not confuse success with money, find what you love, do not strive to keep up with the Jones’. The importance of rest and self-care were a huge topic. She spoke about how overworking leads to mental, physical, and relationship issues. Although she learned the hard way, she now secures time for rest and her well-being. Have you ever heard of a blue zone? (Yup we didn’t either). It is areas around the world where people are the happiest and live the longest. Carleen used to live in a blue zone in Ft. Worth, Texas. Where people ate healthier, maintained a healthy work balance, and understood the importance of healthy relationships, #Goals! If you did not know Carleen has four beautiful children and proper eating habits are something she values for her and her family. She shared her recipe for an avocado based chocolate pudding, while explaining how to find alternative options to replace guilty pleasures. “Spending more on quality ingredients is much better than spending money on hospital bills.” There is no price tag on joy was a phrase that stood out to us while discussing how money does not equal success or true wealth. Believe it or not Carleen is a city girl with a country heart who truly believes in being content with the simple things. Picture this, her vision is turning a bus into a mobile home or living on a farm raising livestock who rock her handmade flower crowns (seriously, how cute!) Carleen has a true love for décor she lit up on the topic of making your home appealing to you and making your kitchen your sexy place. We bonded over our love for bargain décor and Target clearance! We left super inspired after meeting with Carleen. We learned so much about health, growth, and embracing yourself. Carleen’s story is a pure depiction of taking life’s lemons and turning them into Le Monade. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and allowing us to use these gems to inspire others!

For more about Carleen’s businesses follow @le_monade_  & @plated.by.le_monade on Instagram.

Keep it Classy!

The Girlfriends ❤