Hey #Raleigh, Celebrate #NationalBurgerMonth #NationalBurgerDay @BurgerFi 

May is burger month so SobeSavvy.com wanted to find the best burger joint in the Triangle. A friend had been telling us about Burger Fi for quite a while so decided to see what all the fuss was about. 

We had the pleasure of being hosted by their Wake Forest Rd location in Raleigh. We entered a bright and airy burger joint with an expansive terrace with flat screens showing the sports game. We opted to sit inside. After taking a few moments to look at their menu we finally got decisive with the following orders:


I went with the Breakfast All Day Burger:


Natural Angus Burger, American Cheese, Bacon, Maple Syrup, Fried
Egg, Hash Brown, Grilled Onions, Ketchup


This.Was.Incredible. The ingredients may look a little weird on paper but this went together so well. The hash browns and fried egg just melded
perfectly with my burger. The maple syrup was just enough sweetness to complete this burger of perfection.


Hubby chose the CEO:


Double Wagyu + Brisket Blend Burger, Homemade Candied Bacon-Tomato Jam, Truffle Aioli, Aged Swiss Cheese


He commented how he loved the deep flavor profile. The candied bacon tomato jam was so unique he asked the cashier whether they sold this on the side to take home !


My little one chose from their fun kids menu:


Single burger with a natural snack and a “freestyle” drink from their amazing soda machine, teas or Lemonades.


We went with a side order
of  “Cry + Fry” :                .


Double battered Onion Rings and hand cut Fries. We choose one of their fry premium toppings of Parm, Herb and Garlic Aioli. Awesome and a large portion more enough to share.


We had no room to try any of their custard Floats, shakes or Concretes this time. Next time somehow we will pace ourselves to have room !


National Burger Day {yup, that is a real thing} is coming up on Sunday May 28 . Get to Burger Fi and celebrate !!

Check out my delicious pics here:

BURGERFI ~Raleigh

3004 Wake Forest Rd •STE 100

Raleigh, NC 27609

(919) 999-3700

BURGERFI.COM      ■     #tryBurgerFi

Wine Tasting |Tips for Hosting & Celebrating #NationalWineDay w/ @MercerEstates @Orrmanscheese

This past Sunday, May 21, we celebrated National Chardonnay Day with friends. And since tomorrow is National Wine Day, I am dedicating today’s #WineWednesday post to sharing with you tips on How to Host a Wine Tasting at Home.

There was 5 of us ladies, with my husband serving as our private Sommelier. We had an amazing experience and learned so much about Mercer Estates Winery, who were kind to send four of their wines for editorial sampling.  I am happy to share some tips for hosting your own wine tasting at home along with my review of Mercer Estates wines. CHEERS! 🍷

How to Host a Wine Tasting

  • Keep Guest List small <6 people 

      For me, keeping the guest list small allows for a more intimate gathering where we could all have fun sharing each others wine notes. Plus, there was more wine to go around. Each guests got a pen/notepad for tasting notes, a goodie bag with a Chardonnay scented candle (both from Dollar Tree!) and a Guide to Wine which is available for free at our local Total Wine.

      • Decorations 

        I kept it simple and used wine corks (that we collect for fun) as a centerpiece, along with fun finds from the Dollar Tree and Ross. Everyone loved the chalkboard table runner I used which I purchased from World Market. It allowed me to easily label the wine /cheese.

        • Food ..well cheese mostly!

        We recently picked some strawberries at a local farm (check out this video I made of that family fun day), so I had those available along with other berries and grapes. I picked up an assortment of jams from Ross, crackers from World Market, and kept the menu light with hummus, bread, assorted nuts, and shrimp cocktail. 

        Because this was a wine and cheese party, I did not have to do much food prep. I opted to look to Orrman’s Cheese Shop, located in Lafayette Village here in Raleigh,NC and also in Charlotte,NC, where Rachel assisted in selecting some great cheeses to pair with the wines. I picked it up the day before the party and offered the following to guests:

        “Tome Chebris” ~It’s a firm cheese made from goat and sheep’s milk. It has a grassy, tangy, nutty flavor with a sweet finish and hints of olive, hazelnut and fig. This one was everyone’s fave!

        “Sofia”~This goat cheese won 1st Place, American Cheese Society 2014. I enjoyed it with the berries and crackers with preserves.

        “Florys Truckle”~ it’s a hard cheddar cheese with a dry texture and these flavor notes: buttery, caramel, fruity, grassy, nutty
        I loved the rich aroma.

        “Roquefort Gabriel Coulet”~This Roquefort is a creamy, delicious blue cheese made from raw sheep’s milk and aged in special caves in the Roquefort region of France. We put this on some bread and it was great!

        • Wine

        Mercer Estates Winery from the Horse Heaven Hills of Washington state provided SobeSavvy.com with an assortment of wines for tasting. This family owned and operated winery are eco friendly and operate sustainable farming for their vineyards.

        The four types of wine being featured at our tasting were Mercer Estates white wines: Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc and Mercer Canyons red wines: Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon. We pointed out that the red wines are in newly designed bottles and have new, expressive labels but same great wine inside! We also shared that the 2 whites we were sampling are the first white wines to hail from the Horse Heaven Hills appellation and are great spring/summer wines.  

        We had our guests take their own tasting notes after sampling each wine so they could actually take home a sort of scorecard of their own for them to use when they buy their own Mercer Wine for their homes. Eager participants always make a wine tasting even more fun. Before long folks were yelling out their notes as if we were on a game show!

        After tasting each wine, my husband read them the official tasting notes of each to see how close they were with the REAL notes. We served from white to red in the following order:

        Mercer Estates Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – Horse Heaven Hills, $12.99 SRP, 12.5% alcohol, 100% Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is bursting with aromas of grapefruit, lychee, passion fruit and boxwood.  The voluminous aromatics carry through in the mouth with flavors of gooseberry and citrus.  Capturing the fruit at its peak ripeness has resulted in a wine with both bold fruit and racy, mouth-watering acidity.  Clean, crisp, light-bodied and refreshing.   

        Mercer Estates Chardonnay 2015 – Horse Heaven Hills, $12.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol, 100% Chardonnay.  This elegant Chardonnay opens with notes of fresh pineapples and lemon meringue pie with hints of lemon-lime zest.  Ripe orchard fruits surrounded by notes of sweet vanilla and honey flavors create a lush, juicy mouth feel.  The restrained ML fermentation has produced a wine that has bright acidity with clean fruit on the finish.  

        Mercer Canyons Red Blend 2014 – Horse Heaven Hills, $13.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol.  Blend:  59% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 7% Sangiovese, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Viognier. Individual vineyard lots of Merlot and Syrah were fermented separately and barrel aged in a combination of French and American oak.  The resulting wine is bursting with ripe black cherry and plum with notes of caramel, coffee and smoke.  A balance of plush fruit and powdery tannins in the mid-palate lead into a long lingering finish with notes of bing cherry and spice.
        Mercer Canyons Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – Horse Heaven Hills, $13.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol.  Blend:  77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Viognier.   This warm vintage gave us ripe Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of ripe black fruit with a hint of cassis.  The voluminous fruit carries through in the mouth.  Barrel aging the wine brings hints of warm baking spices and adds depth and complexity.  Powdery tannins give structure to the wine while maintaining an elegant, balanced mouth feel.  This wine shows great expression of the Horse Heaven Hills terroir.

        We all agreed that Mercer Wines were delightful and delicious as a cocktail and quite enjoyable with food. It is no wonder that Mercer Wines was awarded 2026 Washington Winery of the Year! 

        SobeSavvy Tip: Sign up for their “Carma Club” member program >> They offer case discounts and special access to twice a year releases!
        All 4 wines are available nationwide and if you would like more information, check out their website: http://www.MercerWine.com

        I hope you found some helpful hosting tips for your next wine tasting party at home as well as some new wines and cheeses to try!

        Until next time,  🍷Cheers🍷

        #FoodieFriday Spotlight on @LolosMiami ~’Where to Eat’ Mexican Food in #MiamiBeach #LolosMiami

        Ever wanted to go to the beach and wander over to an authentic Mexican
        Cantina afterwards ? In Miami ?
        Well guess what ? You never have to just want to again, you can.

        Thanks to Lolo’s Surf Cantina, you can have beach and authentic Mexican cuisine within a few feet from each other. Located on the north side of the Marriott Stanton South Beach in the south of Fifth area, Lola’s Surf Cantina is a welcoming warm spot to have a meal or drink.

        Walking into their doors reminded me so much of my favorite border cantina in Matamoros,Mexico across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Tx. The manager here advised me that their tortillas are made daily and  hand delivered every single morning in a big brown bag by their “tortilla guy”. How is that for freshness..a tortilla guy !!

        We could have chosen to sit on their patio or inside. We took a booth inside. Artwork adorns the walls and compliments the indoor space.

         EATS

        We started with Tostados De Atun {citrus marinated tuna} from the Raw Bar portion of the menu . Sorta like ceviche but with a twist ! Fresh and good. Unlike other proteins, seafood is either fresh or it ain’t and this was fresh. We also were encouraged to try the guacomole, uniquely made with pumpkin seeds with the option to add on protein such as rock shrimp or grasshoppers! 

        I can’t say I was a fan but I did try them and it wasn’t bad. Crunchy, crispy, well seasoned and definitely for the adventurous. 

        Tacos Pescado were up next. The fish tacos were excellent. Light batter and moist. If you are like me and always in search of the perfect fish taco than this is your spot. We were lucky enough to have our South Florida SobeSavvy marketing rep Erika with us. She frequents Mexican spots in Southern California and gave us the taco thumbs up ! 

        They also have shared platters for the
        table called Platos Fuertes.Diners can choose either the snapper, organic chicken or the Carne Asada. We went with the steak. Prime NY Strip with salsas , Avocado and tortillas. It was melt in the mouth good. We ordered medium and it came medium. It disappeared promptly !

        DRINKS

        We had a pitcher of Mango Margaritas to wash it all down, …

        …..along with Sangria. 

        Two good beverage choices that complimented the cuisine. They have dozens of known and not so well known tequillas at the bar. Pull up a stool and let the bartender make you something special!

        Along with the great food and excellent service, I loved their retro authentic Mexican decor. The place literally transforms you back to a Mexico from yesteryear !

        With no room for dessert, we had to bid our new favorite family friendly Cantina Adios. We will be back.

        Want to see more delicious pics? Check out my facebook album here >> https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=710851805754042&id=550186598487231

        Lolo’s Surf Cantina

        161 Ocean Drive

        Miami Beach, Fl 33139

        4 Places to Brunch on Mother’s Day in #Raleigh |@seasons52 @simplycrepes @bonefishgrill @ncartmuseum 

        Raise your hand if you think Mimosas and Moms go together like Sundays and Brunch! Eating brunch is one of my favorite activities no matter what the occasion, so I have compiled a list of some of my favorite brunch spots here in Raleigh, NC. No matter your tastes, there is sure to be something on here that Moms will like. 

        SEASONS 52 ~CrabTree Valley Mall                4325 Glenwood Ave- Raleigh, NC 27612

        Head to Seasons 52 and experience the wonderful flavors of the season from their a la carte Mother’s Day Brunch Menu. Check out my review here to see more of what they have to offer. Don’t forget to toast to Mom with any of their amazing Brunch Sips! Then take her shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall since the restaurant is conveniently located there.

        SIMPLY CREPES~Lafayette Village          8470 Honeycutt Road, Suite 110                    Raleigh, NC 27615

        Breakfast is being served all day at Simply Crepes and seating is first come, first served at Raleigh. If the sun is shining, grab a seat on the patio and watch the kids play on the courtyard lawn at Lafayette Village. This place is a family favorite, which I shared in my past restaurant feature. I highly recommend the chicken and waffles on a crepe entree. So good!

        IRIS RESTAURANT~ NC Museum of Art 2110 Blue Ridge Road                     Raleigh,NC 27607

        Sunday Brunch here is popular on any given weekend partly because people enjoy the food as well as the beautiful atmosphere. The cuisine is innovative and the setting is an expression of art and nature. Read here how I spent the whole day with my family at the North Carolina Museum of Art and what we ate at #NCMAIris. Reservations to dine at Iris Restaurant are a must. Call 919-664-6838

        BONEFISH GRILL~North Hills                4421 Six Forks Rd.                                 Raleigh, NC 27609  

        If your Mom is like me and loves seafood, along with Brunch cocktails and libations, then I suggest your Mother’s Day Celebration be held at Bonefish Grill. Take a look at my Sunday Brunch review here and hopefully you are inspired to go this Sunday. Afterwards, walk off that brunch and go shopping or catch a movie at North Hills! 

        Have you made Mother’s Day Plans? Where do you enjoy Sunday Brunch?

        Hope you enjoyed my list and now have some ideas where to take Mom to eat on Mother’s Day for Brunch in Raleigh, NC ! 




        Hey #Raleigh ~Order these delicious #CincodeMayo Cupcakes TODAY from @HCakesbyTanya 

        All images taken by Darius Davis

        On Tuesday, I shared ways to celebrate Cinco De Mayo at home, which included some drink recipes to serve your guests. However, I forgot one important thing that makes every party, event, gathering memorable ~ DESSERT. Not just any dessert, but cupcakes. This Cinco de Mayo, consider treating yourself and your guests to 2 delicious tequila infused treats made by a baker here in Raleigh, NC!

        Heavenly Cakes By Tanya – has released these two Cinco de Mayo inspired cupcakes:

        • Cinco de Mayo-Rita (vanilla flavored infused with lime & tequila, brushed with tequila, topped with lime & tequila buttercream frosting)

          • Tequila Sunrise (orange juice, grenadine & tequila flavored cupcake topped with an orange, cherry and tequila buttercream frosting)

          My husband and I both enjoyed these moist and delicious cupcakes. They were indeed heavenly! I could not believe how the cupcakr tasted so close to a margarita and a tequila sunrise, 2 of my favorite cocktails! I enjoyed the fresh ingredients she used to make the cupcakes as well as the clever ways she chose to decorate them. I can bot wait to have my guests try these at my Cinco de Mato party. These cupcakes are available $2.50 for a single and $28 for a dozen. Custom Cakes and Deserts are also her speciality and will cater for your event. Don’t delay, get your orders in today and let them know SobeSavvy.com sent you!

          Heavenly Cakes by Tanya 3101 Bellenden Pl                        Raleigh, N.C. 27604

          Tanya P Davis|Owner 919-607-4406 HCakesbyTanya@gmail.com

          Be sure to follow Heavenly Cakes by Tanya at : http://www.HCakesByTanya.com

          Social Media

          Instagram: @HCakesByTanya

          Twitter: @HCakesByTanya

          Facebook: @HCakesByTanya

          Pinterest: @HCakesByTanya

          Please share with family and friends in the Triangle and Happy Cinco de Mayo! 

          SobeSavvy Tip: If you’re going to the Raleigh Food + Wine Festival on Sunday May 21st, Heavenly Cakes By Tanya will be sampling treats!

          #Raleigh, Plan your Mothers Day Brunch NOW @Seasons52 @shopcrabtree #Seasons52 #SundayBrunch 


          This past Sunday, although rainy outside, my family and I found sunshine and the flavors of Spring inside Seasons 52. Located at Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall, SobeSavvy.com was invited to review their Sunday Brunch menu. Disclaimer: My husband and daughter joined me for this complimentary dine, however the opinions are our own.

          Since we arrived after 12pm, we thought we’d start off trying their “Brunch Sips” Seasons 52 is well known to be a top notch spot for creative craft cocktails, so we were not surprised by how refresing their Sangria is..(yes it is as good as it looks)

          …and how unique their Bellinis are. He ordered the white peach and I tried the rasberry Bellini for the first time. It was really good. Cheers!

          Our daughter had her own kid’s brunch menu to review. Take a look at all these tasty choices for children under 12!

          I am glad she chose the Brick Oven Brioche French Toast because that meant we could taste as well. She opted to have the pecans on the side and even ordered extra as those brown sugar pecans were so good, so addictive!

          Before our brunch entrees came out, the Chef sent out an amuse bouche of their housemade orange marmalade, greek yogurt mousse with granola. It’s available also a mini starter and a great way to get your tastebuds ready for more amazing flavors.

          On the Sunday Brunch Menu, there’s an array of creative entrees suited for anyone. Whether you choose sweet or savory, breakfast fare or lunch, Seasons 52 has one of the best gourmet menus that is very health conscious. I like how they actually list the calorie content of their dishes. Its good to know that the dishes we had not only taste good, but were good for us too! Here’s what we ate at Seasons 52 during their Sunday Brunch.

          STARTERS

          Hi my name is Leslie and I love Shrimp & Grits. So when I saw this listed on the menu, I knew I had to order it. I was not disappointed. The combination of cheesy grits, chorizo sausage and large shrimp were amazing! Warning it is not a shareable if you really love shrimp and grits. You are gonna want it all to yourself!

          If you are looking for a shareable try the Meditteranean Hummus …Duck Lollipops (my least fave of the 3 only because it is a bit too gamey for me)

          …or one of their flatbreads.  Lox on bagel lovers should definitely order the Smoked Salmon Flatbread. Our server Amy advised that it was one of her favorites and I really enjoyed Seasons 52 remix of this classic dish.


          ENTREES

          Even though Sunday Brunch starts at 10 am and ends at 1pm, dishes from the regular menu are available to order. My foodie family loves variety and Seasons 52 definitely serves up an array of “whats good now” emphasizing on fresh, seasonal ingredients. We tried two of their recommended egg based dishes. First up was their S52 Eggs Benedict. They put a new twist on this classic dish by replacing the traditional ham/canadian bacon with..wait for it..poached lobster ! Yup, it tasted BETTER than it sounds!!

          Next we tried a beautiful dish served in a  ceramic dish called ShakShuka . This is a arabic middle eastern breakfast recipe of  of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, spiced with cumin. They added chorizo and feta cheese. It was so flavorful and just such a pretty dish to look at {prior to eating it !}

          Seafood lovers must try the seabass. Mine was cooked to perfection. It’s served on “Forbidden Rice”  which I had for the first time. I don’t forbid you in trying this sticky black rice at all. It went well with snap peas and other asian flavors used to prepare this entree. Absolutely loved it!

          Another fave dish that all of us enjoyed is the Lamb Chops. You get a nice sized rack of lamb that my daughter called the rack of love because she loved the lamb chops. We all agreed that it was tender, well seasoned and simply delicious. Just check out the pic below that I shared along w/others via InstaStories on my IG @SobeSavvy

          DESSERT

          We were full but still had room for dessert. They serve dessert in shot glass sized portions. Little glasses of heaven. Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie, Red Velvet Cake..got your attention yet. Pick your favorite. All made in house daily. Incredible ending to an incredible brunch experience.

          SobeSavvy Tip: At some of their locations, they have a secret cocktail that is not advertised, nor is it on any menu but can be made upon request. But here in Raleigh, it is listed and goes by the name “Botanical Buzz”. We tried it and I will say its for the bold and not the faint of heart. After enjoying it, join the fun by sharing your reaction on Twitter and Instagram using #BotanicalBuzz

          Still looking for a unique place to take mom on Mothers Day then look no more. Seasons 52 is the kind of place any mom would love to spend time at on her special day. Make reservations now to reserve your spot.

          Seasons 52
          4325 Glenwood Avenue
          Crabtree Valley Mall
          Raleigh, NC 27612

          Photo Recap @GreatGrapesFest 4/22 in #CaryNC @drinkeatrelax @BoothAmp by SobeSavvy.com #soNCsavvy

          On Saturday, April 22, 2017 Wine Lovers & Foodies came ready to “Uncork the Fun” at the 14th Annual Celebration of Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival in Cary, NC. Thanks to our friends at Drink Eat RelaxSobeSavvy.com attended the festival in order to give you an inside look of the sips, sights, the people, the pours and more! Here is my photo recap of some of what you missed…Cheers!

          SIPS

          Upon entering the event, we each got to take a souvenir tasting glass and stroll from tent to tent and table to table, tasting and sampling the rich heritage of North Carolina vines. Guests got to taste HUNDREDS of wines available from over 22 wineries…and even more were available for VIP ticketed guests.

          If you wanted more after a sip or two and really loved the wine tasting, wine bottles were available for purchase to enjoy at the festival or later at home. 

          SIGHTS

          With plenty to see and lots to do, how much fun to be had at this festival totally depends on you! There was a free kids area, great live music,

           fun festival eats,

          *shoutout to my hometown of Baltimore where we all are raised on Old Bay

          Arts and crafts….

          and gourmet items to buy. 

          Sights in the The VIP Area included the following:

           
          The VIP Ticket option offers you early entrance into the event, a souvenir glass & bag and access to all the show tastings.  Plus you have access to the VIP area which features specialty higher-end wine selections not available elsewhere, free water and soft drinks, and featured food tastings (served Noon – 3pm). 

           

          PEOPLE

          Who goes to the Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival? Everyone. Babies, Kids, Moms & Dads, Friends, Family, Guys Day Out, Ladies Meetup, anyone celebrating life. Even non drinkers are welcome to enjoy the festival and can purchase a ‘designated driver’ ticket. I even saw a bride to be enjoying her bachelorette outing with her bridesmaids. How fun!

          Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the lawn. Bring the family, bring your friends and take a day to UNCORK THE FUN!

          ITEMS ALLOWED
          Lawn chairs & blankets
          Sealed Bottles of water (1 per person) cameras
          all bags are subject to seach

          POURS

          Line up to your choice of winery and explore a new wine and learn more with each pour. I really enjoyed talking to the vendors and hearing the passion behind their product. 

          In case you missed it..check out my photos of last year’s festival HERE !

          It’s a fun event that is family friendly, so be sure not to miss in 2018! For more information please visit www.uncorkthefun.com