#FoodieFriday Spotlight on #NasherCafe ~ Weekend Brunch in #Durham #NasherMuseum

Yesterday, I shared highlights from my recent visit to the Nasher Museum with my family. Well no visit is complete without dining at the Nasher Cafe.

Winner of Open Table Diners Choice 2015, it did not disappoint. It’s set in a open bright area adjacent to the museum lobby with patio dining available.

The restaurant is one of the many culinary dining experiences of the Giorgios Hospitality Group. A native of Greece, Giorgios Bakatsias has been the creative force behind more than 25 restaurants, food venues and gourmet markets in the Triangle.

KIDS MENU

My daughter ordered off the kids menu for fruit plate and her own little deconstructed sandwich.

Crayons and coloring options to spark your lil one’s creativity

Hot Chocolate Smiles..no whipped cream but the staff customized with steamed milk foam and chocolate drizzle. How fun!

The kids menu is for ages 12 and below. All kids meals are served with choice of fresh fruit or kettle chips. #outandaboutAva loved dipping her apple slices in the nutella. Finger foods are a hit with kids!

BRUNCH MENU

They have a special weekend brunch menu on Sat and Sundays. It was hard to choose when so many items looked appealing. We finally settled on the Steak and Eggs and the Fajita Omelette. Both were done to perfection.

BRUNCH COCKTAILS

We had one of their specialty blackberry cocktails and a classic mimosa. These always mean “BRUNCH TIME” !!

DESSERTS

Two cookies almost bigger than her face !

Molten Lava Cake was GOOOOD !!!!!

We all really enjoyed everything. Service was awesome and our waitress couldn’t have been better.

Perfect spot for culture and food in a stylish comfortable setting.

 

#TastyTuesday Spotlight on @BoneFishGrill delicious #SundayBrunch @VisitNorthHills 

Bonefish Grill https://www.bonefishgrill.com/ has been a mainstay of mine over the years. I used to live on the road almost 200 days a year. If I was working/living in a city then as long as they had a Bonefish Grill, I would be okay !!

The only thing Bonefish Grill was missing was my favorite meal of the week. Brunch. Spending the past 18 years living in Miami Beach, FL { the defacto king city of brunches} I became a expert at this meal. This past Sunday, my family and I headed to the always chic area of Raleigh called North Hills to do brunch the Bonefish Grill way. https://www.bonefishgrill.com/brunch-menu/brunch-favorites

Brunch without mimosas is just a sad breakfast! I am happy to report their mimosas/bellinis are just $5. What a great price for the crown jewel of brunch libations. They also have specialty drinks for a nominal price. I had the mimosa and hubby tried their blackberry sangria. It was out of this world. So we were well hydrated so food was up next.

 

Besides their inventive fresh seafood menu, Bonefish Grill also has stellar service. Our waitress was informative, cheery and efficient. Good service means I will return. Bad service means no matter how good the food is, I will be a one time guest.

They had a myriad of sweet and savory options on their menu. For some reason hubby and I both were in a eggy mood ! I ordered their crab omelette. It came with asparagus and a generous amount of REAL LUMP crab meat on top. Being from Maryland, I take my crabs serious so needless to say, my omelette vanished promptly !

Hubby ordered their twist on the crab benedict. They took traditional crab benedict and instead of ham/canadian bacon they used their uber popular Bang Bang Shrimp and put on an egg benedict ! Yes, it was as good as it sounds. Their hollandaise sauce had a little kick to it and it worked perfectly. I should thought of that !!

To sum it all up, Bonefish Grill is now in the Brunch game. The only question is are you coming to play ? You should.

#FoodieFriday spotlight on #Brunch in #Baltimore at @Bar_Clavel ! #CLAVEL #mezcaleria #taqueria

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As food days goes, some days during the week are for happy hour, others call for a long dinner but Sunday is THE day for brunch. When we got the brunch itch last Sunday in Baltimore we wanted to try something different, something new. We opted for a mexican brunch. Mexican brunch you say ? Si, Mexico has a very rich Desayuno {breakfast} tradition. Most Americans are not familiar with TRUE Mexican breakfast. I now know where to send them ..Go to Clavel mezcaleria and taqueria . They are located in the Remington neighborhood in Baltimore.

Every Sunday between 10am -2:30pm they offer their special brunch menu.

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This restaurant is set in a simple space with outdoor communal seating available for those wanting to eat al fresco.

The star here is the food and the people who create and serve it. Awesome vibe of friendliness and warmth permeated our entire experience there. We opted to sit outside on such a beautiful morning and tried a few dishes and drinks.

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Executive chef and Clavel partner Carlos Raba grew up in capital of Sinaloa, Culiacan. He is passionate about serving up these classic dishes. He told us these recipes have their foundation in recipes passed down by his great-grandmother and grandmother. Simple and fresh.

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We started with a Mimosa and a Sangre De Kahlo. The word “Clavel” means carnation in Spanish ,so naturally the Sangre De Kahlo is topped with one !!

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This is the Buenas Dias, which is a trifecta of fresh fruit, housemade Conchita Bread and a small carafe of juice. The bread disappeared in a few minutes courtesy of my daughter !! It had a semi sweetened crust on the outside but soft on the inside. Usually good bread bodes well for the rest of a meal and I am happy to report this was accurate in this case.

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Next, we enjoyed ‘Volcan De Cochinita’, which is served warm in a cast iron skillet. The picked onion was a great touch to a tasty dish !

Clavel prides itself on using local sources for their food when available. Their eggs are from Little Gunpowder Farms http://littlegunpowderfarm.civicworks.com/, which is a local farm that according to their website ,”providing high-quality vegetables at an affordable price, while prioritizing environmental stewardship of the land.

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The Huevos Rancheros were a delicious dish. Two eggs over Fresh Tostadas W/Salsa Ranchero Crèma and queso fresca. It was mouth watering good with subtle flavors.

This was a fantastic and different take on brunch that we won’t soon forget. We can’t wait to do it all over again next time !

#TastyThursday : #Breakfast +Beach=Bliss! #PrestonsMarket #LoewsMiami @Loews_Hotels

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Last Saturday, after my wonderful morning at Exhale spa, I decided to dine at Loews Hotels Miami Beach because of convenience of location (right next door, same property) and to check out their brand new terrace while eating real ‘good for you’ food for breakfast.
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What do I mean by real good for you? On the menu there are plenty of healthy options to choose from such as fresh cold pressed juices, gluten free dishes, and quality organic food . Our waitress assured us that “nothing is fake, everything is real, including her.” Ha!

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Although the dining area was beautiful, my guest and I were happy to sit on the covered terrace with a view of the pool, and ocean. After being offered morning beverages such as coffee and freshly squeezed Florida orange juice, we headed inside to feast our eyes on the breakfast buffet. Almost all of my favorite morning indulgences were featured on the spread. Even a special little buffet for children was available because “Loews Loves Kids“.
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While the buffet choices looked amazing and the made to order omelet station seemed to be calling my name, I did not indulge (but my guest did and she enjoyed the variety of options and the quality of food on the buffet). I opted to get an egg benedict dish because Saturday April 16 was National Eggs Benedict Day ! Preston’s Market offers a unique twist on a traditional Eggs Benedict called the Market Eggs Benedict. Its served on country bread toast, made with organic eggs, avocado, braised short ribs, and mustard hollandaise.
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We had great service, a terrific view, delicious food and quality time. I left with my stomach full and my heart happy! If you are planning a visit to South Beach or live in South Florida and planning a Staycation, Book Now thru 7/10/16 for the Rise & Dine Special! To take advantage of Loews Best Rate and daily complimentary breakfast buffet for two, enter promo code LBRDIR when booking.
Now that’s SobeSavvy!

#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 11: @YBSouthern @50EggsInc #SundayBrunch #MiamiBeach #SouthBeach #Miami

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The great jazz musician Charlie Parker’s nickname was ” Bird”. Shortened from “Yardbird”. He once said of his nickname; “I got the name Yardbird because I was crazy about eating chicken: fried, baked, boiled, stewed, anything. Down there in the South, all chickens are called yardbirds. Every house has some.”

Something so ubiquitous as chicken may seem to some to be a plain bland boring staple of a food choice. These naysayers have NEVER stepped foot in Yardbird Southern Bar and Grill restaurant in Miami {and now also in Las Vegas} http://runchickenrun.com/ They take their chicken so serious that their website states:

“Our chicken is 100% natural with no steroids or hormones and is American Humane Association Certified. Our labor of love begins with a 27-hour brining process, then we dredge it in our secret recipe of spices and flour, followed by the final step of frying to perfection.”

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They have turned chicken into, well.. REALLY good chicken ! My family and I decided to see how they did Sunday brunch this past week. I knew how popular they were so we arrived by 10am and were seated promptly. They have terrace tables on the side of the restaurant but September heat in Miami is still stifiling so we opted to sit indoors. Their interior is best described as a beautiful huge country kitchen/dining room. Just like Miami’s denizens, it is stylish and attractive.

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We had a window seat and I ordered a mimosa and the hubby ordered one of their signature cocktails. They has a bourbon selection like no other. It is REALLY extensive, but he wanted something with whiskey. So he got the Watermelon Sling.It was served in a old fashioned mason jar. White whiskey, fresh pressed watermelon juice and lemon . Served with a rosemary stalk. Nice touch and it was refreshing on such a warm Sunday morning.

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Carlos, the general manager came over to assist with breaking down their brunch menu. Certain items are available for brunch and lunch/dinner, but some specific items are brunch only. We were famished so we decided to have some fun and order a number of different dishes.

We started with something I was very familiar with…brisket. We had the :

Smoked Brisket
pickled onion & cucumber
smoky tomato jam, house-made

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Having spent time in Texas, I know brisket and I know the pretenders pretending to make brisket. This is no pretender ! Brisket so tender it just dissolves in your mouth. The tomato jam and pickled onion went great on it. This was addictive so you have been warned.

Our palate now fully online, we ordered their signature entrée :

Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles
honey hot sauce, chilled spiced watermelon
vermont sharp cheddar cheese waffle, bourbon maple syrup

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Ladies and gents this is chicken unlike ANY other. Beyond description. Uber juicy, bursting with herbs and spices. The cheese infused waffle is uniquely tailored to be the Bonnie to the chicken’s Clyde. The bourbon maple syrup is divine. Watermelon was the cool side to both of these.

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Our next entrée victim was off of their “Mama’s Biscuits” portion of the menu. We had the multi layered gargantuan

Egg & Sausage Biscuit
fried egg, house-made sausage
‘merican cheese, heirloom tomato

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I found it impossible to take a civilized bite out of this. I have a feeling it was designed to be a “improper” kind of dish. Too big to properly bite so you just dive in wherever you see an opening !! So I deconstructed this behemoth and indulged in good ole fashion slicing and dicing. Sausage is obviously not mass produced but hand made. This dish is like when all different players come together for perfection. It took me back to my Grandma’s kitchen in Maryland when she pieced together breakfast favorites to make a meal. Incredibly good.

Next up was one of my favorite dishes when I am visiting south of the Mason Dixon Line. We had :

Shrimp n’Grits
seared shrimp, roasted tomatoes, virginia ham, nora mill grits, pbr chicken jus

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Reminded me of being in low country around Savannah, Ga. Subtle flavors that just meshed together well. A really well thought out dish done with country flair.

As if all of that food was not enough , we finished our tour of the south with :

Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies
house-made vanilla bean ice cream

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I describe it as really small empanada like pastry puffs filled with apple delights ! Served still warm with their homemade vanilla ice cream. Delightful end of our culinary journey .

Usually very popular restaurants end up not living up to diners’ inflated expectations. Yardbird is the exception. They deserve all the praise and almost cult like following of their return guests. Not resting on their laurels seems to be their key to long term success..

I hope this YARDBIRD manages to fly for a long time to come.

#SobeSavvy Celebrates #Easter2015 #Brunch @AmericanSocial_Brickell #Miami #AmSo #Brickell

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The venerable institution on Las Olas called American Social Bar & Restaurant now has a Miami outpost in Brickell

http://americansocialbar.com/brickell/

Located on the ground floor of the Neo Vertika building, it is almost 3 times the size of their Las Olas location. It also has something their other location lacks. An expansive outdoor patio area with fire pits and beautiful views of yachts cruising down the Miami River. You can choose from comfy lounge areas or normal tables. Flat screens abound outside so you can catch a Heat or Dolphins game while dining and drinking al fresco. Expect the same stellar service and cuisine. They have an a la carte brunch menu on weekends. We started with a half dozen of Kusshi oysters from British Columbia. Uber fresh ! By the end of our meal we had tried everything from their Chicken & Waffles to the PEI mussels. The crab scramble disappeared quickly also from our table! The Chicken & Waffles had a reverse twist. The sweetness of marscapone was on the chicken and herbs were infused in the waffles. Uniquely delicious. Bottomless mimosas helped wash all the goodness down. Inside, patrons of the Las Olas location will instantly recognize the tables with the self serving beer spouts on the tables. Yup. Self serve beer. You can order a pre determined amount for your table or party and voila. You too can be bartender for your friends. Great food indoor or out. Good food and good service with a amazing river view. We loved it ! American Social is the kind of place where if you frequent enough, everybody will know your name.

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AMERICAN SOCIAL

Enjoy this photo slideshow

#SobeSavvy Celebrates #GrandOpening of @GreenEggsCafe #Miami #Aventura #SouthFlorida #GECMIA #greeneggscafe

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Today is the big day! Grand Opening of Green Eggs Aventura at 18729 Biscayne Blvd!
I usually askew any restaurant or establishment that puts too much emphasis on “the enviroment”. That is usually a red flag for boring and bland food.  Green Eggs Cafe has turned me around on my former opinion. 

They quickly became an institution in Philadelphia over the past 5 yrs. Their combo of good friendly service and great food is refreshing. Customers line up there most mornings to get their breakfast fix. Miami denziens no longer have to get on a plane to enjoy what people have called ” the worlds best french toast”. It has arrived in Aventura. Nutella Latte anyone ? How about home fries made from scratch ? Red Velvet Pancakes and Creme Brulee French Toast ? If you answered any of those in the affirmative than stop hitting the snooze button and get up there. Chicken and Waffles await you. 

Their website states ..Here at Green Eggs Café we value people and sustaining life on this planet. Green Eggs is unlike conventional restaurants because we have a commitment to doing our part for the environment. We are dedicated to serving high quality food at a low cost. We participate in buying fresh products locally which supports merchants in the area and in turn, so do you.  At Green Eggs we recycle all paper products, aluminum, glass and plastics. All food and organic waste is composted and also not put to waste. We prohibit the use of all Styrofoam products and plastic bottled beverages.

AND it is sinfully delicious. Get there.

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