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I had the opportunity this week to attend the Mesa Latin Kitchen Preview Dinner. This is a new restaurant in Durham, NC. Owner Fares Hanna revamped old restaurant space after recognizing the need for a modern, urban tapas-style Latin eatery in Durham.


Mesa Latin Kitchen is a modern, tapas-style restaurant offering a unique array of sensational Latin cuisine in a lively, dynamic environment. Each of Mesa’s mouthwatering dishes are full of explosive Latin flavor and infused with authentic Cuban zest, with each recipe masterfully created by renowned James Beard Award winner, Chef Douglas Rodriguez. Chef Douglas also appeared on Bravo’s popular TV show Top Chef. 


The dishes blew me away. So much flavor in each bite and the presentation was so beautiful. The restaurant is cozy, yet chic. The various colors round out a unique decor style that complements the complex, yet stunning food displays. If I could recommend a handful of items for your visit they would be:


  • The Colombian Empanadas
  • Smoked Bacon Wrapped Dates
  • Chared Sweet Corn
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Seared Carolina Trout


And for dessert…

You HAVE to try the guava cake that was wrapped in a pastry. I don’t know if I’ve ever tasted something so delicious!


For the locals – you can try Mesa Latin Kitchen for yourself during their Grand Opening Weekend July 17-19th!






in my shoes


A few years ago I had the opportunity to hear Tamara Mellon speak at Lucky FABB. I picked up her memoir with every intention of reading it right when I got home. But as what happens to several of my books, it gets put on my bookshelf and I forget about it. Plus I had read a few reviews and I wasn’t overly thrilled with the book’s reception.


Fast forward to today. I have set a goal to get through these “forgotten” books and I felt like this book would fit in nicely with some of the other business memoirs I’ve read lately. The reason I am highlighting it in this post is…I ENJOYED IT. I completely disagree with the reviews I read beforehand.


Tamara Mellon may have took some time finding herself…but once she did, she was a hard-working entrepreneur that took great pride in the company she co-founded. One of the biggest complaints I kept reading about this book was she was entitled and another story of a “poor little rich girl.” Did Tamara come from means? Yes. Did that possibly make some situations more easy for her? Well…I’d argue easy is the wrong word. Did she have funds available? Yes, but obtaining what she did was anything but easy.


Tamara’s story is sprinkled with hurdle after hurdle. Whether it was business parter gone crazy or personal family tragedies…Tamara found herself constantly fighting for the company she loved and having to pick up the pieces of her family and move on strongly for her daughter. I think Tamara’s memoir is inspiring to anyone who is or strives to be an entrepreneur who also is a great example of a woman wanting the best for her company and her daughter.


I wish Tamara nothing but the best with her new venture and line: Tamara Mellon.

A Woman on a Journey

Mia Maree Journey   There is a woman. Forever on a journey, she adventures through life, navigating its twists and turns with strength and grace. Not afraid to explore her past, she learns from every heartache, dreaming of the future and the chances it may hold. Searching for a retreat, in the loving warmth of family or a voyage to paradise, she is always open to the unexpected, while staying true to who she has become.”

- Porter Magazine, Winter 2014



Porter Magazine is such a lovely publication. I enjoy receiving it in my mail every few months. What I love even more are these little excerpts of beauty. This one was from last Winter, but it is something I go back to and remind myself of. Here is to the journey…