#TacoTuesday at The Yard - Iron Horse Hotel

Today I was lucky enough to attend a sneak peek of Taco Tuesday at The Yard at the Iron Horse Hotel!

Executive Chef Joshua Rogers has created an artfully crafted menu of delicious tacos that you absolutely must try next Tuesday!  

It's going to be $20 for unlimited tacos, 2 drinks, chips, rice, and beans!
Amazing deal, I know.  What's even more amazing are the taco recipes.

Their carnitas tacos (with onion and salsa roja), tacos de pollo (with pico de gallo and queso fresco), and baja fish tacos (with spicy slaw) are all enough to tantalize your taste buds.  Trust me, they are seriously delicious.

If that wasn't enough, they gave us a personal tour of one of the absolutely GORGEOUS hotel rooms at the Iron Horse.  Did you know it used to be a mattress factory?  Built in 1907.

The hotel has 100 rooms, each a little bit different.  And oh yea, they're huge.  Like studio apartment size huge!  

And even the lobby is fabulous.  If I could think of one word to describe the aesthetic of the Iron Horse, it would be dignified.

I will definitely be back, and not just because I'm already craving those tacos!  I definitely want to try their restaurant Smyth, chill in the expertly decorated lobby/library, and last but not least, stay in one of their one-of-a-kind accommodations!

So will you be joining me next time at Taco Tuesday?!

Plan the Perfect "Wine Weekend" with Your Bffs in La Crosse, WI!

It was one of my bffs' birthdays a couple weekends ago, so we all made our way to La Crosse (where she lives) to celebrate.  It was a 3 hour drive from Milwaukee, but my trusty mom van made it the whole way.  It consequently broke down a week later, but that's another story for another time.

It basically ended up being a vineyard/winery themed weekend, and I have ZERO complaints about that. There's nothing better than drinking sweet red wine with your friends while looking at a view like this one!

To be clear, the only set in stone plans that we had were to visit our first stop.  We needed to reserve our spots, so we planned that outing pretty far in advance.  The rest of our stops were spur-of-the-moment and could easily be visited either on a whim or worked into an elaborately planned weekend!  These are all places located either in OR near La Crosse and are definitely close enough in distance to visit them all!  

But I won't spoil all my secrets in the intro.

Elmaro Vineyard

Ah, Elmaro Vineyard.  Your Napa Valley, close to home.

Not necessarily close to MY home, but close to La Crosse!  The vineyard is located in Trempealeau, which was about a 30 minute drive from La Crosse.  Definitely worth the trip. We opted for "Elmaro's Picnic Package" and got to sit under the 3 umbrellas facing the vineyard, while eating our artisinal sausages, cheeses, fruit, and nuts.  With each basket, you get to select a bottle of wine to share.  But not before you get to sample them!  All 10 of us sampled at least 3 wines at their wine bar before trotting down to the picnic spot.  Between us, we had all pre-reserved 4 baskets.  I would recommend planning this portion of your trip in advance so that they can be prepared for your visit.  And also to make sure you get the umbrella picnic spots!  You basically have the vineyard to yourself.

PS: I'm obsessed with this dress that is LESS than $20!  It has pockets.  Blog post to come.

Favorite Wine:  Elmaro Rosa (I even brought a bottle home!)

Lost Island Wine

Lost Island Wine is a small family-owned spot in Onalaska.  It was super close to where the bday girl lives, so we had to stop on our way to dinner.  It didn't take us much time, but we tried at least 3 delicious wines each and finally decided on a bottle to take home.  It's a cute little place with a longggg list of wines to sample!  

Favorite Wine:  Sand Dollar Sangria

4 Sisters Wine Bar & Tapas Restaurant

If you know me, you know I have a passion for tapas.  It's arguably my favorite type of meal (well, that and brunch).  4 Sisters Wine Bar & Tapas Restaurant blew it out of the park.  We were all SO hungry after our vineyard escapades, so this was a highly anticipated meal.  Everything was impeccable and I've tasted A LOT of great tapas in my days!  They apparently had the "Best Mojitos," so I obviously had to see if there was truth to that statement.  I got the cucumber mojito and it was pretty dang amazing.  Food pictured top to bottom: Ceviche, 4 Sisters Stromboli, Empanadas, and Grilled Cheese Dippers.  You must peruse that menu for yourself.  We didn't get wine here, but we did go to the 4 Sisters 4th Street Bar later on in the evening...

Favorite Drink:  Cucumber Mojito

The Charmant Lobby Bar & Lounge / The Parlour / Rooftop Bar

Ever since this luxurious boutique hotel opened, I have been dying to go check out the amenities.  The Charmant is a seriously gorgeous location.  We made two stops here during our weekend, but the first was just to sample their old fashioned.  We wanted to go straight to The Rooftop Terrace, but there was a short wait so we grabbed our drink at the bar.  We popped into The Parlour, which serves coffee drinks and bakery.  It's like each room is prettier than the next at The Charmant.  Finally, it was our turn to head to the rooftop.  It was a beautiful evening (until a giant black cloud glided right above us, covering the entire city), and the perfect place to chill on a summer night.

Favorite Drink:  Classic Old Fashioned

4 Sisters - 4th Street Bar

I told you we ended up at the 4 Sisters 4th Street Wine Bar!  It's not too far from their tapas restaurant, but a different location entirely.  Best part - self-serve wine.  It was my first time having one of those experiences and it was mind boggling.  They give you a card, you insert it for however many glasses you're going to pour, and then you pay at the end.  They had a live band playing the night we popped in which set a lovely vibe.

Favorite Wine:  New Age Red Blend

The Charmant - The Restaurant

In true foodie fashion, I had to try The Restaurant at The Charmant the next day for brunch (other favorite meal)!  At that point, I needed caffeine flowing through my veins, but bday girl got the Bloody Mary and said it was delish!  But The Charmant does serve wonderful Kickapoo Coffee.  For my meal, I chose the trout Benedict.  Perfection.  And the cuteness of the decorative plates was not lost on me.  I'm a sucker for tiny details.  

I feel like I need to actually stay a night at this hotel to take in all its fabulous charm.  
I had just a taste and I want more!

Favorite Drink:  Kickapoo Coffee

Grandad Bluff

No wine here, but I promise it's a stop you can't miss!  Grandad Bluff was definitely something I wanted to visit while in La Crosse.  Last time I was there, I was too preoccupied with Oktoberfest to visit.  Our last stop before heading home was to take in the beauty of the landscape!  I'm not all that outdoorsy, but I can appreciate a pretty sight when I see one.  

Disclaimer:  We drove up the hill.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my Girls' Weekend in La Crosse!  
Let me know if there's somewhere I should stop next time!