This weekend we headed to the Gulf Coast of Florida to visit our brother and sister-in-law in Naples! With new territory comes new possibilities for exploration and Naples was full of them.
We started this adventure with lunch at Azn Azian Cuizine. Needless to say, we were skeptical about a restaurant that replaced its “s”s with “z”s. Besides, Asian isn’t a cuisine we usually dine out for, but the food was great! With so much variety in one dish, the consensus was that the Bento Boxes brought the biggest bang for your buck.
After eating our fill, our waiter asked if we’d like to see the dessert menu and we declined. BUT only because the dessert course had already been planned before we even sat down to eat lunch. We perused a few furniture and art galleries to give ourselves some time to digest and then it was off to Le Macaron French Pastries.
This was actually our first time eating not self-made macarons in South Florida! We tried two flavors: gingerbread and basil white chocolate. Perhaps we’ve tried too many different macarons now, but these, although tasty, weren’t particularly exciting. However, the chocolates we had were another story! Along with macs, this place also sold local, handmade artisan chocolates. We tried the Pumpkin Blood Orange Caramel by Viktoria Richard and the Cinnamon Habanero by David Ramirnez. Beautiful.
Macarons and chocolate would have been quite a conclusive dessert course, but not with Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes next door! This place was touted as having Cake Boss’ Buddy’s favorite cupcakes in Florida, so we gave their pistachio cupcakes a try. And they tasted as regal as they looked.
Feeling stuffed, we decided we’d be having a lighter dinner. Having never gone to a Trader Joe’s before, but knowing there was one in Philly where we go to college, we thought why not check them out? Walking into Trader Joe’s for the first time, it was smaller than we’d imagined, and although we were initially underwhelmed, the more we browsed, the more excited we got. Soon our cart was filled with pomegranate seeds, chicken cilantro wontons, Thai vegetable dumplings, gnocchi, coconut chips, mango mochi ice cream, and frozen macarons!
We’d seen macarons in the freezer section of grocery stores in Paris, but never before in the States. The verdict: good staple flavors (cassis, coffee, orange, pistachio, raspberry, caramel) at a fraction of the cost and they looked exactly like the picture!
After a good night’s rest and free breakfast from our hotel, we made our way downtown to the beach. The sights at the pier made the harsh sun and 100% relative humidity worth bearing. Not only did we get to ooh and aah at the thousands of fish zipping through the clear waters, we also watched two dolphins, a stingray, and diving birds in action. For once, man and nature seemed in peaceful harmony.
Since it was Sunday morning, most of the shops and restaurants weren’t open yet. However, Adelheidi’s Organic Sweets was. Their “open” sign instantly caught our attention and the Trip Advisor sticker got us in the door. Although we had to wait a little for them to finish setting up for the day, it was nice to escape the heat in air-conditioning! We ended up getting six scoops of frozen delicious-ness, three scoops of gelato in the flavors bee sting, lavender, and tiramisu and three scoops of sorbet in the flavors lime mint, green power, and pear champagne.
Naples surely proved itself as having a great deal of food places to explore, but this trip was really about spending time with family. After enjoying a better balanced meal at the family favorite Chipotle, we spent the last few hours talking back at our brother’s condo. With the curtains of summer slowly drawing to a close, this was a truly perfect way to spend one of our last few, pre-sophomore weekends in Florida.