#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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#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 9: @VintroKitchen @VintroHotels #SundayBrunch #Bottomless #Brunch #MiamiBeach #SouthBeach #Miami

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What do you get when you combine the words “vintage” and “retro” ? VINTRO ! That’s the name of a new restaurant and bar that is making waves here in South Beach. http://vintrohotels.com/kitchen/

Collins Park neighborhood is the art and cultural hub on the beach and Vintro Kitchen fits in perfectly. Art is everywhere in the hotel and restaurant. Paintings, photographs and unique pieces adorn the public and private spaces. Art is such an emphasis here that it’s website states… “Love that picture in your room? You can purchase it from Vintro’s Pop-Up gallery. Our exclusive limited editions are curated by Zoel. Serving as a hub for emerging and established local and international artists, the gallery displays over 50 amazing works to inspire our senses”. Since the restaurant is the namesake of a 50 room uber stylish and funky boutique hotel, I had hoped it would live up to my expectations. Having spent considerable time in Europe, Vintro immediately transported me back to similar spots on the Cote D’Azure. Lots of wood and leather backed chairs and booths. Vintro Kitchen also has a fabulous indoor and outdoor space. This is achieved by basically having an opened back wall that expands on a beautiful terrace/patio on the canal.

On this breezy and easy Sunday they had a acoustic guitarist complementing the mood. Out on the terrace they have master grill chefs making all sorts of goodness. Lamb chops, chicken and also a cauldron of paella at your disposal. Unique indeed. An air of relaxation permeated the restaurant. It feels more like brunch at a friends country home in Nice,France. We had bottomless mimosas, champagne and sangria. Our glasses were never empty. Vintro had an amazing buffet of all your favorites. Creamy scrambled country fresh eggs, French toast and sausage for brunch purists. They were shucking oyters. Kumomota oysters that is. Fresh pastries and fresh cut fruit adorned the center of the restaurant. Later in the afternoon they had a beautiful woman dropping off langostines at all of the tables. What a yummy touch at a yummy brunch. Art work was present everywhere. What else could one want on a Sunday afternoon.

Service was awesome and the crowd was a perfect balance of locals and hotel guests. This is a gem not to be missed. I ran into Gerry Kelly. Mr Kelly is a iconic marketing legend in Miami. Vintro Kitchen is one of his clients. His affable spirit was infectious. The friendly head chef Keith Suarino made his rounds to interact with the guests. He advised that since they are a new brunch spot that he is still playing with the brunch menu. Rustic Mediterranean is how he described the cuisine. I describe it as deliciously delightful. Foodies should put this on their bucket list when seeking a brunch with style and comfort. Vintro Kitchen is a force to be reckoned with. May the force be with you….At Vintro Kitchen.

Enjoy the pics and my IG Video Short

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#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 8: @Barceloneta #Brunch #BarcelonetaMiami #SouthBeach #Miami

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Can’t make it to Cantalonia for brunch next Sunday ? Do the next best thing and make your way to Barceloneta Restaurant in Miami Beach http://barcelonetarestaurant.com/south-beach/. To call this Spanish import a “tapas” restaurant would do it a disservice. It is much more. The decor is definitely Spanish. Smoky wood furnishings and long tables are present. So is excellent customer service and delicious food.

Their brunch offering are ecclectic in a very good way. We started with a glass of sangria and a mimosa to get our Spanish journey started. Croque Monsier was up first. They put a spanish spin on this iconic french sandwich with serrano ham. Next we tried the Caracoles a La Llauna, which is escargot with rabbit sausage. Both were uniquely good. I loved how you sink the light pastry puffs in the escargot to soak up all of it’s flavors. Next up was their Revuelto De Gambas, which is best described as eggs w/langostines and caramalized onions. Pure heaven. The flavors just burst on the palette. We finished our Spanish culinary trip with the Torrijas.That is Spanish French Toast with quince butter and apple and maple syrup. They soak the bread overnight in the batter so it permeates in every inch of the bread when they cook it in the morning. It was incredible.

Save $900 for a flight to Barcelona and just go to Barceloneta. You will leave happy.

‘Lovely’ Leslie Heigh ~ Freelance Photojournalist ~ Bon Vivant Blogger
Follow @IJust_LoveThis #SobeSavvy

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#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 6: @MayasTapas_Grill #MayaTapasandGrill #Brunch #LincolnRoad #SouthBeach #Miami

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In the heart of Lincoln Road sits a place that tourists and locals alike have been frequenting for over a decade. That place is Maya Tapas and Grill

http://mayatapasandgrill.com

You can have breakfast brunch/lunch or dinner. Their superb service and attention to detail is what sets them apart from the other tourist traps on Lincoln Road. This past Sunday the family and I decided to try their breakfast. We were seated promptly and given a choice of seats. Being late summer we chose a seat underneath one of their many giant fans they use to keep the heat at bay. We asked our waiter what are the most popular dishes on their breakfast menu. He advised their sausage omelette was great as was their eggs benedict made w/smoked salmon. Our little one opted for their fruit salad. Our refreshing mimosa and bellini kept us company while waiting for our meal. My daughter even took a quick visit to the art gallery on Lincoln Road opposite Maya’s. In prompt fashion our food came. Along with cranberry and peach juice. Peach juice is very hard to find in a restaurant and it was delicious. Everything was well prepared and quite good. The fruit salad was uber fresh and looked like a work of art , albeit a disappearing work of art !!

We all were all fueled up and raring to go attack the shops after our meal. Looking for a breakfast that has quality and a reasonable price with great service to boot ? Check out Maya. Tell em SobeSavvy.com sent ya

PS ..Show local ID and get 10% off your check

‘Lovely’ Leslie Heigh ~ Freelance Photojournalist/ Bon Vivant Blogger ~ Follow @IJust_LoveThis
#SobeSavvy

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#SobeSavvy Recaps #SundayBrunch @Batchmiami#Brunch!

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Gastropub-Gastropub or gastrolounge refers to a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food.

This catch phrase has been used many times in todays here now and gone tomorrow trendy restaurant scene. It usually means mediocre food that comes with a high price tag. Guess what? I have found a place that has basically has turned my past “gastropub” negative experiences on their head. Said place is called ..what else ..”Batch Gastropub”. http://www.batchmiami.com/

Sobesavvy.com was invited to try out their Sunday Brunch menu and we were blown away. They are located in the now defined Brickell Mary Village area of downtown. Decor? Think lots of brickwork and dark wood. Food ? Think mouth watering good Chicken and Waffles. Their Hanger steak and eggs defy description. No knife was really needed. Need some libations to wash all that good food down ? You are in luck. On Sunday they have bottomless mimosas and sangria for a flat $20 for a 2 hour period. Service was attentive without being intrusive. One really unique feature is that they have some tables with a built in Beer and Liquor tap right at the table. You could have a small or large dinner party and guests can help themselves to as much or as little as they please. A computer meter measures every drop {and charges you accordingly} and keeps a running tab on your volume. THAT’S an awesome talking point for a date or a business meeting. Batch is impressive. Get down there so they can impress you.. soon.

‘Lovely’ Leslie Heigh / Freelance Photojournalist
The ‘Bon Vivant ‘ Blogger
www.SobeSavvy.com
Follow Twitter/Instagram @IJust_LoveThis
Hashtag #SobeSavvy

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#SobeSavvy Recaps #SundayBrunch @American_Social All You Can Eat #Brunch! Just $22.95 #FortLauderdale #Miami

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AMERICAN SOCIAL located at 721 E. Las Olas Blvd, nestled in the heart of Ft.Lauderdale is characterized by its classic, American comfort food, craft cocktails and “pour-it-yourself” beers on tap. Many know this place as a happy hour spot where, from 4-7pm Mon-Fri, cocktails and appetizers are 50% percent off!

This past Sunday June 15th, AMERICAN SOCIAL HOSTED A FATHER’S DAY ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT BRUNCH FOR $22.95 and as a festive parting gift, All the Dads in attendance were treated to a hand-rolled cigar !!

From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. guests were invited to enjoy the restaurant’s endless chilled snow crabs; Belgian waffles; made-to-order omelets; ol’ fashioned chicken ‘n waffles; biscuits and gravy; hickory smoked bacon; apple wood sausage; slow roasted, salt and pepper prime rib; breakfast potatoes; house smoked Atlantic salmon; seasonal fruit; fresh baked pastries; artisanal breads and homemade desserts for $22.95.For $10 extra, patrons also indulged in unlimited mimosas and a full Bloody Mary bar.

After hearing rave reviews of their Mother’s Day Brunch we were determined to try the brunch on Fathers Day Sunday. It also coincided with the opening of the World Cup so the numerous flat screens around the bar kept me informed of my favorite teams progress.

I found the decor warm, patriotic and inviting. The service was stellar and our glasses were always replenished in a efficient manner. Their buffet offered all that one could possibly want for a Sunday Brunch. All the usual suspects were represented but I loved the “you build your own omelette station”. Most places has the chef put your omelette choices on your behalf , but American Social allows their guests to put as little or as much of their favorite omelette ingredients to give the chef. They also had a carving station and their chicken and waffles were very good. Waffle crisp and chicken juicy and tender.

We will be back. For all of you in the 305 there is good news. In the early fall they will be opening up a new location on Brickell. Stay tuned for the grand opening information and review.

For more information, visit http://americansocialbar.com/ or call 954-764-7005 to reserve a table

Enjoy the pics from mu visit.

“Lovely” Leslie Heigh / Freelance Photojournalist /The ‘Bon Vivant ‘ Blogger

www.SobeSavvy.com
Follow Twitter/Instagram @IJust_LoveThis Hashtag #SobeSavvy

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#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 4: @BalansLincolnRoad Weekday #Brunch

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Officially brunch takes place on Sat and Sunday mornings. Unofficially, according to Balans restaurant on Lincoln Road you can brunch any day of the week when they open at 8am. My family and I took them up on their offer and brunched there this past Thursday morning. One huge advantage of a weekday brunch is that you avoid the weekend crush of people who loyally flock to this Lincoln Road mainstay for their breakfast fix.

Balans is a UK chain that now has 5 outposts in Miami. Lincoln Road is the original. Sobe is an area where “here today, gone tomorrow ” restaurants are a fact that us locals bemoan. Balans has been here for over 16 years. That is one reason that Balans has been a staple in our culinary habits. The other is their honest pricing. No tourist trap here. Fair for Fare. Good food and portions for sensible prices. Brunch is no different. Situated on the far western end of Lincoln Road, Balans has a great relaxed atmosphere. You can choose from their stylish indoor space where they have a full bar at your disposal or opt for outside seating. There you will find casual tables or do like we did and lounge in one of their sofa tables where you can stretch out for a meal or a drink.

We were greeted by Francisco, their gracious and witty manager. He gave us an overview of their breakfast menu. The menu has everything from smoothies to various egg dishes and pancakes. We had their Jumbo Breakfast and Crab Eggs Benedict. Jumbo came with Eggs, sausage, bacon, Potatoes and pancakes ! Filling and delicious. Pancakes come with their unique pecan butter spread which was amazing. The Crab Benedict melted in our mouths. Huge chunks of real lump crabmeat under a traditional benedict of poached egg on a english muffin. Great twist on a classic dish. They also serve many varieties of bellinis and mimosas to quench your thirst. What a great meal on a warm and breezy Thursday morning.

If you seek a non tourist trap place for brunch on Lincoln Road then Balans is for you. Any day of the week.

http://www.balans.co.uk/site/index.php/miami/lincoln-road/

Lovely’ Leslie Heigh / Freelance Photojournalist
The ‘Bon Vivant ‘ Blogger
http://www.SobeSavvy.com
Follow Twitter/Instagram @IJust_LoveThis
Hashtag #SobeSavvy

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