Five Reasons to Dine at Fogo de Chão for the Holidays @fogorestaurants

Disclaimer: Thanks to our friends at Fogo De Chão for hosting SobeSavvy.com. A gift card was provided to use towards facilitating this review and sharing my honest opinion with you!

Recently my family and I were visiting Atlanta,GA and we learned that one of our favorite restaurants, Fogo De Chão Brazilan Steakhouse  had a location in the area. We made a reservation on OpenTable.com and made plans to dine there for their amazing Brazilian Brunch, which I had the pleasure of trying for the first time at their DC location. That experience was so memorable that I knew dining with Fogo again would be a great choice especially for a special occasion such as Christmas and New Years. Here are my Five Reasons to Dine at Fogo De Chão for the Holidays:

1. Festive Decor and Atmosphere

First impressions are everything, even when dining out at a restaurant. Fogo offers a warm and festive atmosphere anytime but they really did a great job with their holiday decor. The restaurant was nicely decorated with wreaths at the door, a cozy fireplace and there was also a beautiful Christmas tree. We just had to take advantage of a holiday photo op!

2. Great Cocktails & Mocktails

What’s the holidays without having a drink to toast to the festivities?! In addition to a full bar which features an innovative and award winning wine list, Fogo De Chao has speciality Cocktails and Mocktails that the whole family can enjoy. Our daughter loves the Limeade, which is just one of the many drinks where they use fresh lime. No matter what you choose, their cocktails are expertly crafted with a smile!

3. Seasonal Market Table

The Market Table is much more than a salad bar. As described it features..”a colorful palate of fresh and flavorful ingredients inspired by Brazilan farmlands & recipes that are traditional & natural staples of Southern Brazilian cuisine.” That’s right you can have a taste of Brazil without even stamping your passport. How’s that for a holiday treat! My faves from the Market Table are the Butternut Kale Salad and the Autumn Lentil Soup, which is a great gluten free option. Everyone can find tasty, healthy and delicious options right at the Market Table which can be enjoyed as a meal itself or included with your full churrasco experience. For a look at the full Market Table menu, click here.

4. Conveniently Open on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day & New Years Eve/New Years Day

My fondest holiday moments are memories of having a good meal with family and friends. While I still plan to cook some of my family favorites to enjoy on Christmas Day, it is nice to have the option to dine out at Fogo De Chão. No need to carve the turkey, when you can sit back, relax and have fire roasted, well seasoned pork, lamb, chicken, steak carved for you right at the table. You flip your card red for stop and green for go. Everything was so good that I think we found a new holiday tradition..dining at Fogo for the holidays!

5. Shop for your favorite Foodie

If you are shopping for a Christmas gift or in need of a hostess gift to give to someone, a gift card from Fogo De Chao is a great idea! Maybe you want to surprise your neighbor or give a thank you gift to someone. Anyone would love to be treated to a gift card which can be sent by an egift card by email or easily mailed. Gift cards purchased can be redeemed at any of the locations in the United States or Puerto Rico.

SobeSavvy Tip: Need a gift idea for the foodie in your life? Purchase a Fogo De Chão gift card by Dec. 31 and receive a $25 Holiday Bonus Card for every $150 in gift card purchases! Buy at restaurant or at FOGO.com

Fogo De Chão also offers group and private dining. So no matter the size family, or if your gathering is big or small, this restaurant can surely accomodate all. We had another amazing dining experience with Fogo. I would definitely recommend anyone visiting Atlanta and looking for a place to dine to visit Fogo De Chão Brazilian Steakhouse for a unique and delicious weekend brunch,lunch or dinner!

Fogo De Chão Brazilian Steakhouse

3101 Piedmont Rd NE

Atlanta, GA 30305

#FoodieFriday | Family Dining at FIREBIRDS Wood Fired Grill #NorthHills @FirebirdsGrill #Raleigh

Happy Friday! Time for another drool-worthy Foodie Friday Feature. This time I am highlighting Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. Have you ever been? We have three locations here in the Triangle [Durham/Southpoint Mall, Morrisville and Raleigh/North Hills]. I had gone before to enjoy their Happy Hour but I did not know about their amazing Kids Menu! I learned more about the restaurant at the North Hills Block Party event and was interested in dining there with my family. We went there for lunch on Sunday prior to seeing The Nutcracker and The Four Realms and had an enjoyable experience. From the great service to the tastiness of the food and the welcoming atmosphere, I would definitely recommend dining at Firebirds!

Drinks/Appetizer

With a full bar featuring an extensive wine list and creative cocktails, there are so many beverage choices to choose from. Our waiter kindly suggested we try a few of their non-alcoholic craft beverages. I am so glad he did because the Strawberry Basil Cooler and Wild Berry Ginger Craft Soda were both refreshing.

Firebirds partners with an organization called “Alex’s Lemondade Stand“. They contribute a portion of every lemonade sale to this pediatric cancer foundation. So naturally we ordered a lemonade for our daughter!

We had the Lobster Spinach Queso as a shareable appetizer. Chunks of lobster and fresh spinach in delicious high quality queso cheese with bell peppers. Tri-colored tortilla chips came with it. Simply one of the best quesos I have ever had! Three words of advice: ORDER.THIS.APPETIZER.

Recommended: Lobster Spinach Queso

Kids Menu

I was very happy to see that the food offered to little ones are from a KidsLiveWell approved menu. Not many restaurants have this healthy recognition for most of the items on their kids menu, so I am pleased to see this and spread the word to other parents!

The Kids Live Well program verifies that certain kids dishes meets or exceed child nutritional standards. They have 5 entrees and 3 sides that meet this standard. Their kids menu has everything from shrimp tacos and wood grilled mahi to ribs. My daughter wanted the ribs. They came fall- off -the -bone tender with a honey barbeque sauce. She chose fresh fruit and brocolli for healthy sides. Fries came out in error so it was a bonus side for her.

Speaking of bonus, the Kids Menu itself is a mini activity book unlike anothet focusing on important values and interviews from Kid Heros. For more Kids Fun Visit FIREBIRDSKIDS.COM

Entreés

If I had to describe their entrees with one word it would be delicious. Firebirds offers so many yummy options on their menu and what we each ordered was tasty, flavorful, and satisfying!

My husband went with their Filet Mignon which was cooked to a perfect medium at his request. It came tender with a side of mashed potatoes and port mushrooms. Every steak they serve is aged a minimum of 21 days.Top quality and great taste.

Recommended: Filet Mignon is a staple on the menu. Their kitchen is a scratch kitchen and all of their steaks and seafood are hand-cut in house.

I went with the wood grilled salmon. It was basted with key lime butter and veggies. At my waiter’s suggestion, I got it chile rubbed style. In fact he advised that you can request anything on the menu to be chile rubbed. I added a skewer of shrimp and a side of Southwest Au Gratin Potatoes. We all enjoyed the gooey baked goodness of that side dish!

Dessert

Four Words.: SAVE.ROOM.FOR.DESSERT ! Firebirds offers an array of terrific desserts like Warm Chocolate Brownies, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Cake and a White Chocolate Mousse. But me and my sweet tooth are here to testify that their Creme Brulee Cheesecake will knock your socks off ! Such a fantasic sweet ending to a fantastic meal!

Recommended: Crème Brulee Cheesecake

SobeSavvy Tip: Firebirds offers dishes featuring ingredients for that season. The next seasonal feature is not until their Winter Features which will launch on November 28th. Be sure to mark your calenders and make reservations [on OpenTable] today! Plus, join the Firebirds Inner Circle for updates. Check out more from Firebirds on their website.

Also Firebirds is honoring our Veterans on Monday with this awesome deal⤵️

Firebirds is an excellent choice for a date night, meeting with friends, celebrating a special occassion or simply dining with family in a nice casual setting. Adults and kids can find alot to love about Firebirds. I know we enjoyed everything about our meal and look forward to dining here again!

Thank you to Firebirds for hosting SobeSavvy.com at your Raleigh North Hills location for Lunch. My opinions of the dining experience are 100% my own!

FIREBIRDS Wood Fired Grill

North Hills

4350 Lassiter At NORTH HILLS Ave. Ste 118, Raleigh,NC 27609

919.788.8778

Raleigh.FirebirdsRestaurants.com

#FoodieFriday Spotlight on @fogorestaurants | Fogo De Chão – Where to #Brunch in #DC 🍴

Thank you to Fogo De Chão for hosting SobeSavvy.com at your DC location for Brunch. My opinions of the dining experience are 100% my own!

If you saw my previous family travel post about Where To Stay in Alexandria, VA then you know my #HeighPartyof3 family spent this past Labor Day in and around Washington DC. On Sunday, we wanted to do brunch and saw that Fogo De Chão offered a new Brazilian Brunch every Saturday & Sunday. It was extraordinary, fun and most importantly delicious!

Fogo De Chão is a Brazilian Steakhouse known for it’s all you can eat churrasco dinners and exquisite wines like the ones recently added by VIK Winery, but did you know they offered a Brazilian Weekend Brunch? Neither did I! After trying their Brazilian Brunch for the first time, my daughter exclaimed that it was AAaahhhmmmmaaazzzing! Check her out in Instagram, giving her #outandaboutAva Lil Miss Foodie report:

View this post on Instagram

From the mouth of my 7 yr old #foodie, @outandaboutava #SundayBrunch at @fogo in #DC is MEAT-tastic and Aaahhhmazzzing! 🍴#lilmissfoodie ———– Mention 'FOGOFAMiLY' Valid Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3, 2018 for one complimentary children’s full churrasco lunch, dinner or Weekend Brunch with the purchase of an adult full-priced churrasco lunch, dinner or Weekend Brunch, or à la carte seafood entrée. Excludes Market Table only, Gaucho Lunch, Select Cut and Brazilian Cuts menu options. Beverages, dessert, tax and gratuity not included. Valid in the Main Dining Room only at any US or Puerto Rico Fogo de Chão location. Not valid with any other offer, promotion, or prior purchases. #AD #FogoDeChao ——————- The Full Churrasco Experience is always complimentary for children age six and under. —————— Stay tuned for more of my #familydining review on the blog,SobeSavvy com

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Here is why we parents think you should check out the Brunch at Fogo De Chão:

• This restaurant wants you to eat your fruits and veggies too! Before the main event you get to make a trip {unlimited trips actually} to their beautiful Market Salad Bar. This huge station has so many fresh items to get you started. Multiple lettuce, cheese and cold meats including prosciutto, smoked salmon and hams. In addition there were items like asparagus tips, fresh fruits and breads. There is also a Feijoada Bar, which has soups and bean choices. Next to that is a tender, flavorful, ready to carve pork shoulder should you wish to get the meat started immediately!

Family Friendly + Kids age 6 and under eat FREE for lunch, brunch or dinner with paying adult. During the Labor Day weekend only, the special was kids 12 and under eat free! SobeSavvy Tip: Join their Fogo E Club >>HERE to be informed of special events, promotions and the latest Fogo News!

Priced cheaper than it’s normal dinner, their weekend brunch still gives you the full on experience at less the cost. Let’s high five to that!

All you can eat fire roasted meats being served by the authentically dressed “Gauchos” are available to you whenever you want it! Tables have little markers that each person dining uses when they are ready to be served by the roaming meat experts. Green for MORE MEAT PLEASE…Red for NO MORE RIGHT NOW.

• They come over and ask you how do you want it? From Rare to Well Done is carried on every 3 foot long skewer. They carve off a slice {you tell them thin, thick etc..} and you use the tongs to pull it off and put on your plate. That’s it. Filet Mignon, Strip, Chicken, Pork, Ribs, Lamb, Sirloin. THEY.HAVE.IT.ALL….and I love variety + great service!

• Cocktails are made with quality ingredients and they offer wine galore from the ceiling to floor! Yes, there is a wine wall. I recommend the Caipirihna, the Brazilian National cocktail perfectly made with Cachaca, lime juice and a little brown sugar or try a glass of wine from VIK winery in Chile.

• Yes they do have something other than meat on the menu. SEAFOOD! They have a wonderful platter with shrimp and lobster tails served chilled or grilled. A butter burner gets set up on the table to ensure you have that warm butter to dip. Beautiful presentation and delicious fresh seafood. If you want a Surf & Turf experience, add on the Seafood platter at an extra cost.

• Save room for dessert! While they offer quite a few choices, our server highly recommended we try their “Papaya Cream“. Fresh papaya (which our server advised helps to digest meat) is blended with vanilla ice cream and the server tops it in a large glass with black currant liquor. It was amazingly different and so good. Big enough for the adults to share that’s for sure! Our daughter got her fave creme brulee.

SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy more savings when you go at lunchtime and opt to order the Market Table and Feijoada only. You get all the salad bar trips you want for a light lunch or if you are pressed for time. It is a great option for a healthy alternative for a low price of only $15 !

Have you ever been to Fogo de Chão for brunch, lunch, or dinner? What did you have that was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

FOGO DE CHÃO

1101 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington,DC 20004

Food|Celebrate #NationalCheesePizzaDay @DemosPizzaDeli in #Raleigh #NC #SobeSavvyEats #Pizza

Give me a P- I- Z- Z -A, foodies let’s celebrate #NationalCheesePizzaDay! If you live in Raleigh, hands down, DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli is a great place to enjoy some amazing cheese pizza and more! Here’s why:

✔ Fresh, not Frozen crust

✔ Dough made in-house

✔ Homemade Sauce

✔ Quality Mozzarella Cheese

But that’s not all they do great.

Pizza, Hot & Cold Sandwiches, Award Winning Chicken Wings and Delicious Desserts are all on the menu for the whole family to enjoy!

THE MENU

DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli on Glenwood Avenue in Downtown Raleigh has some of the best wings and pizza to be found anywhere.

Founded by two Raleigh natives, DeMo’s serves up everything fresh not frozen. House made dough, sauces and even the vanilla cannoli cream fillings!

But before I jump to dessert, I went there with my family in search of the best cheese pizza to have on National Cheese Pizza Day. We noticed they had comfy booth seating and our favorite foodie show ‘Chopped’ was playing on one of their flat screen tvs, so we felt right at home. We started with hot and fresh garlic rolls that was served with their house made marinara. They were soooo goood! Order these and get ready to dip, baby, dip!

A fresh Ceasar Salad is a great way to ensure you eat your veggies with your pizza and their salad was crisp, tasty and big enough for my #HeighPartyof3 family to share.

I highly suggest ordering some wings to start. Not just any wings but DeMo’s offer Jumbo Wings that are seasoned, baked to perfection and fried to order perfection. They are then tossed in one their many amazing sauces or you can get the sauce on the side.

It comes served with double batch ranch sauce and blue cheese for dipping. In addition to their award winning Buffalo IPA beer sauce, DeMo’s has some other sauce choices also like Mild, Honey Chile, BBq and Teriyaki. These wings are definitely a crowd pleaser!

Our medium Cheese Pizza came piping hot out of their oven! It had the right amount of gooey, ooeey cheese that our daughter loves, the perfect amount of sauce for me and my husband, who I call a pizza crust snob (since his first job was making pizzas) gave it his pizza lover stamp of approval.

In my opinion there is nothing worse than an unbalanced cheese to sauce ratio! But DeMo’s does not disappoint and there was goodness in every bite. Their pizza is thin NY style pizza. In other words you can hold or fold. The choice is yours! My little one aka #outandandaboutAva commented it was the best pizza she has ever had!

As the pizza was disappearing we made sure to save room for dessert after learning from co-owner Anthony DeMarco that the cheesecake (my daughter’s favorite) is not only homemade but has a bit of a unique twist in its recipe that my young foodie tasted right away! Also on the dessert menu are cannolis made with their house made vanilla cream filing. Both desserts were so good and the perfect sweet ending to our meal.

SobeSavvy Tip: If you just want to order a slice of pizza from DeMo’s , check out this daily combo’s special ⤵️

We left Demo’s feeling like everyday should be National Cheese Pizza Day! Our daughter waved goodbye to ‘Fat Tony’ outside of Demo’s and I grabbed a menu because you can dine in or order take out. DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli also offers delivery which I will be using since this place is now our new favorite pizza spot in Raleigh!

DEMO’S Pizzeria & Deli
222 Glenwood Ave #121 Raleigh, NC 27603

#FoodieFriday Spotlight on @VivaceCharlotte – Where to Dine in #CharlotteNC #cltfood #SobeSavvyeats #italian

Many Thanks to Vivace Charlotte for hosting SobeSavvy.com for our #SobeSavvyEats Series and #FoodieFriday Feature

When I travel with my family, I know there is one type of cuisine where everyone can find something they love on the menu. Italian cuisine suits my daughter’s love for pizza, my husband’s passion for pasta and my craving for meat or seafood. During our recent trip to Charlotte, we worked up an appetite after our family fun day at Carowinds, and enjoyed a delicious dinner at Vivace Italian restaurant located in the Midtown area of Charlotte, NC.

ENJOY DINNER WITH A VIEW

Vivace[yes, it rhymes with Versace] is an upscale modern take on an Italian Trattoria which traditionally isless formal than a ristorante, but more formal than an osteria. Upon entering this multi-leveled space, we were impressed by the beautiful wood and lighting. The layout featured bars on each floor and also a dining area. Upstairs they also have lounge chairs and tables on their patio, which offers breathtaking views of the Charlotte skyline.

COCKTAIL TIME

This trendy restaurant had a nice after work crowd of folks who opted for some drinks at the bar to end their week and start their weekend. Other patrons were smartly dressed to match the décor and ambiance.

My husband and I started with a two cocktails from their drink menu which includes wine and an impressive number of NC craft beers. Both of us are Gin fans so he ordered “The Summer Affair” which uses Hendricks Gin, his favorite. I opted for the “Botanico“, which I really enjoyed how refreshing this drink was with the use of cucumber and rosemary. Crafty, creative, classic cocktails can be found here at Vivace.

FAMILY FRIENDLY DINING + MENU

Is this restaurant family friendly? Yes!
Since we had our little foodie,#outandaboutAva with us, we opted for an early dinner. While on the surface this is not a “kids” type place, they do have a Bambini Menu. Our just turned 7 year old daughter ordered a cheese pizza, which came with fresh strawberries and Nutella for dipping.

For starters, I suggest their steamed PEI mussels because its perfect for sharing. It was served with crusty bread, which is essential for soaking up all the flavors in the broth!

For my dinner entrée,I ordered the Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with mashed potatoes and a veal demi glace. I love lamb chops and thought the use of pistachios gave it a unique taste while the veal demi glace amped up the bold and savory flavor. The quality of the meat was superb and it was cooked to perfection.

My husband always says you judge an Italian restaurant by their gnocchi. So that’s what he went with. Vivace serves theirs with grilled chicken and asparagus tips. Luckily, I was able to procure a few of his disappearing gnocchi before they were gone. He
commented on how he could tell that unlike so many Italian restaurants that just have them sitting in warm water that these gnocchi were “dropped to order”.

After speaking with their chefs, they confirmed that indeed that was the case! In fact all their pasta is made in-house. And ingredients used to prepare their dishes focus on local/regional ingredients.

Our dining experience at Vivace was wonderful not only because our server was sweet and attentive but the food was great. I would recommend dining here because not only with you find traditional Italian eats but dishes that will also cater to some American likes.

The location and layout is beautiful and the restaurant’s atmosphere is unique. My husband mentioned that he was relieved that finally a spot’s style matched it’s substance.

Lil Miss Foodie aka #outandaboutAva and her Mom, Leslie/Founder of SobeSavvy.com bid arriverderci to Vivace, but look forward to coming back!

SobeSavvy Tip: Their private events manager, Blythe Bayrd informed me that they host numerous holiday parties with great package prices. The
schedule is filling up fast so book your companies or your own private event for the holiday season NOW.

HAVE YOU EVER DINED AT VIVACE BEFORE? WHAT IS YOUR GO TO CUISINE THAT SUITS YOUR FAMILY? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW 🍴

Shop, Eat, Play, Explore|Celebrate with a ‘Day in DC’ Family Date @American_Girl Store #charactercounts

Shop, Eat, Play, Explore | Celebrate with a ‘Day in DC’ Family Date at American Girl Store #charactercounts

Disclaimer: Thanks to American Girl for hosting my #HeighPartyof3, which consists of my husband, our daughter and me! All opinions expressed here are my own.

It’s been quite the school year for our daughter, #outandaboutAva. Besides doing so well in first grade and receiving an award for perfect attendance, she has had a busy year with after-school activities such as bowling league and gymnastics.

#outandaboutAva celebrates #GIRLPOWER with American Girl of the Year 2018, Luciana Vega

Now that the end of school year is here, there’s more time to enjoy quality time as a family. So I planned a ‘Day in DC’ family date at the American Girl store. It’s a great place to celebrate time together and I knew it would be a memorable experience for us all!

SHOP

More than just a girls’ day…Dad and Daughter get ready to shop, have fun and explore the American Girl Store

This was our first visit to the American Girl Store located in Tysons Corner Center. The first thing we noticed is that it has two floors! Compared to the Charlotte and Atlanta location, it was HUGE to us.

The American Girl Store Washington,DC has two levels!

The moment you step inside an American Girl store, you realize that everything inside has been designed with girls in mind. From dolls, accessories, outfits, and books, it’s worth it to stop by an American Girl store even if it’s just to have a look! You can plan to buy later and shop online at americangirl.com.

#outandaboutAva is an only child so she uses her imagination of having a sister American Girl Bitty Baby doll!

EAT

If you worked up an appetite after shopping in the store, I highly suggest making reservations at the American Girl Bistro. The food here is really good and I learned that while the bistros offer similar menus, they are not exactly alike.

American Girl Bistro- Washington,DC Lunch Menu

I am a fan of their ‘Design How You Dine’ format which allows you to choose a starter & a main course all for one price. This location offers cocktails and wine on their drink menu for the adults to enjoy as well as speciality drinks for the girls. Even Luciana Vega, American Girl of the Year 2018, gets a cup in case she wants a beverage!

Sip, Sip, Hooray..Parents, Girls and Dolls, too can enjoy hot or cool beverages at American Girl Bistro

More favorite moments from our dining experience at this American Girl Bistro….

Every table has a box of conversation starters on it. It’s a great way to learn more about each other!

Great customer service and dining suggestions from the staff at American Girl Bistro

Salmon for Him, Pasta for Her and for me, Asian Chicken Salad. It was all pretty tasty and filling especially after having scrumptuous starters. Can you believe we had no room for dessert!?

PLAY

Dad watches his daughter swaddle a Bitty Baby and is reminded of her own swaddling days! Time flies!

Children are so used to being told to not touch things in stores, don’t play with that, or put that toy down. But at American Girl store it’s different. They want to inspire your childs’ creativity thru play and let little girls be girls. Our daughter enjoyed learning how to swaddle a Bitty Baby doll, made silly faces like the Wellie Wishers and shared a fun secret with her Dad! Even at the Bistro there were activities to play while we waited for our meal. Check out americangirl.com/play to take play online too!

So many ways to encourage endless imagination and creativity thru play at the American Girl Store

EXPLORE

Luciana Vega, Girl Of The Year 2018, inspires girls to explore and shoot beyond the stars!

Our ‘Day in DC’ Family Date was inspired by American Girl 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega, whose dream is to be an astronaut and land on Mars. We encourage STEM learning and feed our daughter’s interest in science, specifically space travel. So I thought a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum would be cool, especially since its only about 20 mins from the American Girl store and entry is FREE!

After a visit to the American Girl store, check out the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum!

It was fun to see the real space suits worn by the astronauts and compare just how much attention to detail American Girl has added in Luciana’s Space Suit. In fact, have you noticed how all of Luciana’s accessories are quite realistic? Stay tuned, #outandaboutAva will share more about Luciana Vega and her fun accessories in an upcoming post!

SobeSavvy Tip: Explore more of the American Girl world with augmented reality, exclusive videos, and activities at American Girl Stores. Be sure to download the American Girl app before you go!

If you are planning a visit to DC, I recommend going to the American Girl store, dining at the Bistro and enjoy your time together. Life is busy and kids grow up so fast, so it is so important to spend quality time and make memories that last! Remember, “Time together is a gift. Make it count.” ~American Girl

Plan your visit at americangirl.com/stores

American Girl Washington, D.C.
8090 Tysons Corner Center
McLean, VA 22102

My #HeighPartyof3 enjoyed our time together at DC/Tysons Corner American Girl Store/Bistro

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Dine with a View and Taste What’s New at @OceanicDining + @BlueWater_ILM in #WrightsvilleBeach @WilmingtoNCoast

Today’s #FoodieFriday feature is dedicated to two restaurants my family and I dined at during our recent visit to Wilmington, NC to see What’s In Bloom. Bluewater Waterfront Grill and the Oceanic Restaurant, both located in Wrightsville Beach, are two places that I would recommend for enjoying delicious food/cocktails with gorgeous views!

OCEANIC RESTAURANT

703 S.LUMINA AVE. | Seafood
www.oceanicrestaurant.com/

For dinner on Saturday, we had a reservation at the Oceanic Restaurant, located on the beach and connected to the Crystal Pier. They recently launched a new menu at the Oceanic and SobeSavvy.com was invited to check it out! Having lived in Florida, I have found that usually beachside restaurants either have good food and a non existent view or an awesome view and subpar cuisine. Oceanic Restaurant on Wrightsville, Nc is the rare gem that manages to do both.

Being the only restaurant in Wrightsville Beach situated on the Atlantic Ocean carries a lot of responsibility and they carry it well.
Oceanic also played a huge part in restoring the Crystal Pier, which literally stretches into the atlantic ocean with a fishing pier and outdoor above ocean tables.

We were seated upstairs at a table with a beautiful view of the sand and the surf below. They presented a neat kids menu with crayons for my little one to enjoy.

I ordered a White Sangria unlike any other I have ever had. It came with a frozen stone fruit popsicle immersed in the glass. Loved it! Hubby ordered a nice glass of Greek white wine, which paired well with our appetizer order of Oyster Rockefellers. I am still dreaming about those plump fresh oysters, topped with creamed spinach, pernod and crumbled bacon. So amazingly good!

In lieu of dinner rolls, you can expect an order of hush puppies to arrive in a basket for all to enjoy! My little one ordered the kids pasta marinara and a side of steamed broccoli. Kids and pasta go together like fish and water, so she was happy.

We tried two new items from their dinner menu that caught our attention: Shrimp and Grits and Brick Roasted Chicken. The Shrimp and Grits were large shrimp sautéed with shallots, pancetta, mushrooms, cajun spices, finished with cream and served over a fried Asiago polenta cake. The shrimp were good BUT that polenta cake was the perfect sponge to soak up all that creamy goodness. The chicken was amazing! I don’t usually order chicken at a seafood restaurant, but after the GM described it, I am so glad I did! It was moist, flavorful and the skin was the perfect grade of crispy without being overcooked.

SobeSavvy Tip: This restaurant and its unique seaside setting makes Oceanic very popular amongst visitors and locals alike. It is a place you MUST visit when in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Come for the food, stay for the view and GET IN LINE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE with Yelp Mobile App.

BLUEWATER WATERFRONT GRILL

4 MARINA ST. | Seafood
www.bluewaterdining.com/

Bluewater Waterfront Grill, recently launched a brunch program at the restaurant and includes a Bloody Mary bar, champagne cocktails and a new cocktail program. SobeSavvy.com was invited to check out what’s new so this is where we decided to enjoy Sunday Brunch for Mother’s Day!

Brunch, without a doubt is one of the best ways to start of a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon. Brunch on the Intra-Coastal waters of the NC coast is even better. Enter the Blue Water WaterFront Grill in Wilmington Beach, NC. Set amongst beautiful boats and folks pulling up their pleasure crafts right to their dock, this restaurant is a mainstay in the area.

What’s New! They have a special build your own Bloody Mary and Champagne Cocktail Bar on Sundays that we enjoyed. Peach Bellini and Red Sangria set the tone for a wonderful meal experience. Bananas Foster French Toast was divine as was the Egg & Bacon Croissant.

Sitting dockside was a fun treat for our little one. She loved watching the comings and goings of the watercrafts as she enjoyed her kids menu item Fish & Chips. Such a relaxed atmosphere on a picture perfect warm spring morning. This was a brunch to remember!

Thank you to Oceanic Restaurant and Bluewater Waterfront Grill for hosting my #HeighPartyof3 during our visit to Wilmington,NC and Island Beaches. If you are looking for family friendly dining with great service, a delicious food/drink menu and amazing views, make reservations at these two places for a memorable dining experience.

Plan a #MommyandMe Lunch Date at @American_Girl Bistro + Enjoy Interactive Shopping Fun with American Girl App! #charactercounts

I recently traveled to Atlanta to visit family and friends during my daughter’s Spring Break. It coincided with Easter as well, so there was a whole lot to celebrate! We enjoyed a fabulous Easter Brunch at the Mandarin Oriental, a fun dinner/show at Medieval Times, and a family-friendly dining experience at The Cowfish during our stay.

While all of these were amazing foodie fun experiences, I knew that planning a visit to the American Girl store would be just the place to make #outandaboutAva’s Spring Break extra special. I was happy to find out there was one in Alpharetta,GA that included a bistro and even happier that I could turn this into a double date with mom/blogger [Ashley of @MommyWeek], her daughter and of course the Girl of the Year doll, Luciana Vega!

Mommy and Me Lunch Date with Ashley of MommyWeek, Leslie of SobeSavvy, their daughters + American Girl dolls!

The Bistro

As soon as you walk into the bistro, you know you are in for a girly good time with all the pretty pink decor. From the pink table, pink menu, pink daisy centerpiece and pink napkin holder (which your child gets to take home as a pony tail holder keepsake), the American Girl Bistro is… “soooo cute” per my little girl. All are welcomed to have a seat at the table, including your doll! They will bring a pink dining chair (with a doll if you don’t have one) right to you for your little one to enjoy. Here is a fun pic from my Instagram instastories showing what the American Girl Dolls look like sitting at the table too!

The Menu

Memories are always on the menu at the American Girl Bistro. Expect to have a delicious dining experience that you can create all on your own! Lunch included an appetizer, entreé and choice of dessert. We ordered speciality Luciana Vega drinks and said a toast to new friends and new memories!

For starters, I had the mozzarella cheese sticks while both girls ordered the fruit fondue, which came with muffins, a fruit skewer and yogurt. We all thought the presentation of the yogurt served like a flower pot was so fun! Our main entreés came quickly and were cooked perfectly. I highly recommend the salmon dish if you are looking for a healthy seafood option. My daughter loved customizing her bowtie pasta by sprinkling as much parmesan cheese on it as her heart desires! Everyone became a member of the clean plate society since we finished every bite. It was that good.

Be sure to save room for the scrumptious sweets to enjoy at the end of your meal. The delicious desserts range from cookies, cupcakes, brownies, ice cream or if you really wanna go all in, get a brownie ice cream sundae!

SobeSavvy Tip: Wanna make your dining experience more fun? Play the the conversation starter game, which you can find at the center of the table. It’s a great way to learn about yourself and everyone else!

The Boutique

After our delicious lunch, we headed into the American Girl boutique store to explore what’s new. Did you know you can search for exciting augmented reality experiences throughout the store simply using your smartphone? That’s right, you can bring magic to life and unlock interactive experiences, stop-motion videos, behind-the-scenes content, and more!

SobeSavvy Tip: Download the American Girl app for FREE, scan the pages of the catalogue and look for special icons in the stores. Get ready to go beyond the stars with Luciana and discover all of the interactive ways to play at americangirl.com/luciana. Overall our Mommy and Me lunch date was more than just a girls day out, it was a day to remember and a trip we’ll never forget! Just watch this video and wait for the happy dance moves from my little one after all the fun:

Make plans to head to your nearest American Girl store and check out all the fun, new happy spring experiences to share. Check out MommyWeek’s blog post giving her perspective of this fun day! Be sure to stop in American Girl store soon and leave with your smiles in full bloom! Thanks again to our friends at American Girl for hosting us and giving all of us a Spring Break date we will cherish.

All smiles for #outandboutAva and her mom, Leslie, Founder of SobeSavvy.com during their visit to the American Girl Boutique and Bistro in Alpharetta,GA

American Girl Atlanta Bistro

1202 North Point Circle

Alpharetta, GA 30022

Looking for the Best Sips & Sushi in #Atlanta that the whole family can enjoy? Check out @TheCowfishATL Sushi*Burger*Bar #TheCowfish

Atlanta has become one of the great food cities of the world in the last 15 years. Name a cuisine and odds are you will find it there! Because my family and I are traveling foodies, one of our things to do is to seek out good food wherever we go. Sometimes it is best to revisit a place where you have dined before because the food, service and quality is consistent. That place for us is The Cowfish.

My daughter, fondly referred to as #outandaboutAva, is always ‘heads over heels’ to dine at The Cowfish. They currently have 5 locations, including this one at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta. She enjoys the fun yard games on the outside as much as we enjoy the Sushi, Burger, Bar on the inside!

DINING ROOM VIBE

Although there is outside patio seating, my family and I had dinner in their casual dining room. We sat at a booth that gave us a view of the beautiful aquarium behind the bar. There is also a smaller one by the hostess stand which has a sole yellow cowfish swimming in it! My little one was amazed at it’s peculiar shape and unique look. That is not the only unique thing about this restaurant. I think The Cowfish has some of the Best Sushi and Sips on their menu, which is why we came here for dinner. But first this Mom & Dad need…..

DRINKS

It was almost 84 degrees outside so we were ready for a few cocktails. I tried a Sake sampler, which offered both cold and warm sake pours. The Fuji Apple cold sake was my absolute favorite! I loved the presentation on a board with each name. Matter of fact I loved it so much I ordered a bottle of the Fuji Apple! Hubby is a bourbon/scotch man so he ordered one of the handcrafted cocktails which they called a “new fashioned”. SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy half off Martinis every Tuesday and discover your favorite Martini on the menu!

MENU

We started off with an appetizer of Blackened Tuna Nachos. Seared tuna slices on Wonton Chips over their crab Rangoon dip. It was delicious and enough to share with my #HeighPartyof3.

My soon to be 7 year old ordered the grilled chicken kids entrée. It came with fries and edamame and is served in a bento box. Also included is a fun cowfish tatoo and rice crispy treat with a swedish fish on top for dessert!

Hubby ordered from their “Burgushi” section. The Cowfish finds ways to merge a tasty burger with fresh sushi in different dishes. His Fusion Specialty Bento Box came with a mini burger, a sushi roll, fries and Thai cucumbers. I must admit I was picking off his plate, I mean bento box as I enjoyed the variety of his dish.

I ordered “The Prime Time” Filet and Lobster Roll which is a creative and tasty sushi roll version of the classic Surf & Turf. Guests can order strictly sushi or strictly burgers from other areas of the menu, but The Cowfish offers the best of both worlds!

DESSERT

Thinking of dining here soon? I have just one piece of advice SAVE 👏ROOM👏 FOR 👏 DESSERT! We split a very BIG slice of their Chef Dave’s Not Factory Made Cheesecake. This creamy, almond coconut cheescake is beyond good and everyone enjoyed it!

See what else we enjoyed here on my Instagram post:

Here are some fun things coming up at The Cowfish in Atlanta:

• Offering half priced Skinny Gonzales Margaritas on Cinco de Mayo

• Offering complimentary chocolate dipped strawberries on Mother’s Day

Be sure to stay up to date

Visit The Cowfish at www.thecowfish.com

Follow on Twitter: @The_Cowfish

Instagram: thecowfishsbb

Facebook: @thecowfishatl

Thanks again to our friends at The Cowfish in Atlanta for hosting our dining experience. My daughter left with big smiles and lots of fun, foodie Spring Break memories.

#outandaboutAva visits The Cowfish in Atlanta for a fun, family-friendly dining experience | SobeSavvy.com

Top 4 Reasons Why @Kankirestaurant in #Durham #NC is the “Best Tasting Show In Town” #kankirestaurant #SobeSavvyEats

Hey guys! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Mine was filled with foodie fun because I had an exciting opportunity to try a restaurant and share about my experience with you! SobeSavvy.com recently was invited to a tasting experience at Kanki Sushi and Japanese Steakhouse Durham, which just happened to coincide with my mom’s visit to the Triangle to celebrate her 64th birthday. I decided to combine some work with pleasure and treat the whole family!

From the moment we stepped inside of Kanki Durham, I could tell by the crowd that this was a popular place. They do not take reservations or hold seats, so make sure your whole party is there if requesting to sit at a hibachi table for dinner. If you’re not familiar with hibachi,it’s where the chef prepares your meal right before your eyes. After dining at Kanki Durham on Saturday, I liked to share with you my Top 4 Reasons Why Kanki Durham is The “Best Tasting Show in Town”:

1. Cozy & Beautiful Decor

If you’ve ever been to Kanki at Crabtree and Kanki off of Wake Forest Road, then you are familiar with the delicious menu. This location offers same menu but has a different feel than the other locations. From the beautiful stain glass decor, the aquarium, the lovely bar area and their cozy dining room, this restaurant is the perfect spot for dinner and a show.

2. Entertaining & Fun

#outandaboutAva is amazed by the hibachi Chef at Kanki Durham, the “Best Tasting Show in Town” | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

Our hibachi chef, Ricky was entertaining and showed special attention to my 6 yr old. She loved the food “show”. Chef Ricky did a myriad of delightful tricks that kept a smile on her face. She loved the “egg roll” the best! Watch this video to see a bit more of the action. It was so fun and entertaining to everyone young and old!

3. Flavorful & Fresh

If you like Japanese cuisine that’s flavorful and fresh, Kanki Durham‘s menu offers a great variety. The delicious menu is full of fresh sushi options, yummy appetizers and of course their well-known hibachi. Hibachi is what we wanted and hibachi is what we got. We started with a few appetizers of Gyoza pork steamed dumplings and also their lamb chops, which I plan to get everytime I visit. The lamb chops were so good they disappeared quickly before I could get a food pic! However, check out the Gyoza appetizer which comes 6 to an order and is perfect for sharing!

SobeSavvy Tip: Dine at Kanki Durham and enjoy a FREE appetizer per party with the purchase of an entree! Use coupon code: SOBESAVVY .Offer expires May 14, 2018

In addition to hibachi, Kanki Durham also has superb sushi choices. I ordered the sashimi sampler. It was fresh and delicious. My family ordered a classic chicken and steak, Ribeye and scallop and a Emperor‘s delight. Most hibachi entrees come with soup, salad and grilled shrimp prior to the main meal. Also there are a choice of two sauces to enjoy with your dishes. You’ll want to put the WHITE SAUCE on everything by the time you leave Kanki Durham! They have a great kids menu as well.

4. Family Friendly

When planning a family dinner, there are very few places as memorable as Kanki Durham. If you are looking for place to handle a big party, Kanki’s hibachi tables seat 9 people. We were a party of 5 so it was a communal affair with our other friendly table guests who were also celebrating a birthday! Our waitress made sure to ask if anyone was celebrating a special occassion. At the end of the meal, a traditional Japanese drummer appeared. He banged out their version of happy birthday to my mom’s delight. They gave her a sherbet with a candle. A sweet ending to a memorable night!

Thank you Kanki Durham for the invite and gift card for dinner for 2 to use towards my meal. In my opinion, your motto of being the “Best Tasting Show in Town” fits this restaurant well! The next time you are in Durham, make sure you dine here. Per my mom, it was “the best meal she has had all year”!

HAVE YOU EVER DINED AT KANKI BEFORE OR ANY OTHER HIBACHI STYLE RESTAURANT? HOW DID YOU ENJOY YOUR EXPERIENCE? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW⤵

Kanki Durham
3504 Mt. Moriah Road

Facebook: @KankiOfficialPage

Instagram/Twitter: @kankirestaurant