A recipe for how to feel complete | Michelle edition, ft. little things:
- bring my best friend back home from his 2 week business trip
- schedule me for a short 4 hour shift at work, then send me off on my 1 week stay-cation
- time it all perfectly so I can pick up said bff up from the airport and we can still make it to brunch with my parents for Father's Day the next morning
- cool the weather down and pair it all with a few leisurely hours of food and conversation
- end it with a quiet afternoon of cocktails in a wide open, empty bar all to ourselves
Oh, and did I mention I still had a week off of work? :) We're not going anywhere, unfortunately, but I'm using my time to productively attend to "adult" things like calling cable companies, going to doctor appointments, buying some birthday gifts, and - that reminds me - my car desperately needs a car wash in addition to some air in its tires.
But that was basically a recap of our weekend. It's been quite a while since I've felt as though I've spent my time off in a truly meaningful way, but this weekend finally felt well spent. We saw 2 shibas just leaving our house Sunday morning, so, that's gotta be a good sign.
Brunch at Building K
AKA Karl Strauss.
This place holds a lot of meaning to us - it's not just where we've gone the past countless number of times for Dad's Day brunches, birthdays, and Mother's Day brunches, but 2 of our best friends even got married here!
This was the first place Jason and I ever walked down an aisle together... as their bridesmaid and groomsman haha.
At this location in particular, there's a beautiful Japanese-themed garden and koi pond, which we've been lucky enough to be seated by these past 2 times. The weather was still overcast during the breakfast hours so we were luckily hidden from the sun's glaring rays. The ambience is just stunning on the outdoor patio here (and it's huge!) so if you're ever looking for a casual but delicious AYCE brunch spot - this is your place! Not to mention, plenty of parking so all you folks that get parking-apprehension like your girl—don't you worry.
My parents are both big fans of this place, which is why we keep coming back. Included with brunch is your choice of either unlimited mimosas, 1 beer, or 2 beer-mosas (a 50-50 mix of mimosa and their hefe, which Jason reports is actually pretty refreshing, since he got it on our last visit). They've got a made-to-order omelette station, made-to-order pasta station, a carving station, all your typical breakfast fixings, as well as what you'd normally see on their lunch/appetizer menus and some fruit and desserts and breakfast pastries. The food is totally up my alley and because it's coming from a restaurant, you won't get mediocre buffet-level food here (you know what I mean). There's a generous 2 hour eating limit, but... what are you really gonna do, take a 30 minute nap in the midst of your meal or something? Be real.
All my Qualcommer's (even my dad!) know Karl Strauss as "Building K" - so much so that post-renovation, Karl Strauss decided to plaster their wall with the words "BLDG K" instead of their own name. It's a quirky and unique nod to the company's strong presence in the area since Qualcomm's buildings are labeled as a building followed by a letter. So if you're not familiar with the Qcomm culture and were wondering why it doesn't say Karl Strauss on the wall, well, that's why.
We spent the morning hours eating, drinking, and conversing. There was live music, our bellies were full, and we all left happy and content. Sometimes I wish my stomach could endure more food, and then sometimes I wonder what kind of "champagne" places use for their mimosa... But perhaps natural limits are set in place for a greater good better left unknown and never understood.
Quiet Afternoon Cocktails
Are cocktails ever loud? Maybe. At a festival, 1 AM, RedBull and vodka. I guess that's what a loud cocktail tastes like.
This definitely wasn't that. After meandering through the mall and nabbing Jason a few new fancy pairs of pants, we decided to randomly grab more drinks. We couldn't find any parking near Petco within walking distance of our desired first location, so off we went further into East Village to YOU & YOURS - always a solid choice, anyway.
It'd been a good 6 months or so since we'd been back; it was never crowded here, and on this particular day, we made up precisely 50% of the patrons here our entire visit! The other 50% only stayed maybe 1/3 of the time we were there too, so we had the entire place to ourselves! Couch-jumping we did. And, the bartender even played around and made us a special off-menu cocktail. She said their new summer menu should be up later this week, so if you want in on some new drinks, come on in this coming weekend!
After ordering our second round, we decided to try out the couch on the other side of the room just for kicks. With the place basically to ourselves and tons of time on our hands, we ended up taking a plethora of pictures. If these drinks look familiar, they're almost the same ones we featured in this blog post here.
I really wished Lil' Devil was here this time - empty tasting room and a dog would have been SO perfect. Oh well. To see more pics of that perfect lil black lab, see our last Y&Y blog post.
By now, it was well into the mid-afternoon (prime nap time) so we decided to head home. Luckily for us, our couch is large enough for both of us to lay down on, end to end. I knocked out pretty hard, though, so before I knew it, my week-long staycation had begun and Monday was upon us.
Something I noticed: I didn't have any caffeine all day and I totally felt my energy draining with every sip. The alcohol literally seeps it out of me. I can feel my energy bar draining like I'm playing the Sims or something. Compare this to how much longer I was able to endure on our last outing, and well, you could see how much coffee made a difference. My point is, long live coffee and I don't know what I would do without you. I don't really understand why AYCE brunches don't always include you in their cost, but whatever.