#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 🍴

#FoodieFriday Feature| Dinner For Two Review @bukuwakeforest! Eat Global,Support Local and Celebrate Grand Opening 6/28 in Wake Forest, NC

Recently, SobeSavvy.com was invited to a hosted dinner at the new bu•ku Wake Forest, a restaurant that is recognized for its global street food menu thanks to its flagship establishment in downtown Raleigh,NC. Their website states they are inspired by the pushcarts of street vendors from all over the world. I was excited to taste what they offered and hoped it would remind me of my experiences abroad as well as introduce me to something I’ve never had before.

If you are asking yourself… what is global street food?..It is basically no frills food native to the area it originates from. It tastes exactly like they would make these dishes in their home for their families. My introduction to street food was sudden and unexpectedly delightful. The year was 2006 in Phuket Island, Thailand. My friend who lived there at the time was taking my husband and I around and showing us the sights. We were hungry and he said “Let’s go by noodle stand #5”. Not quite sure what that was so we went along with it. We pulled up to a side street where an elderly woman had set up a plastic table on the back of her bike with a steaming contraption alongside. To our western sensibilities this was strange. We had one of the best meals of our lives right there in the alley. That unique dining experience shaped my willingness to try different foods and made me ready to enjoy dinner for 2 at bu•ku.

RESTAURANT VIBES

Since this locally owned and operated restaurant is celebrating global street food in an elevated way, you will not find plastic tables here. The decor is modern and the ambiance is inviting yet intimate. You have the option to dine inside or outside on the patio but as soon as I walked thru the doors at bu•ku Wake Forest, I knew I would enjoy dining in the serene, beautifully designed dining space. I had an early dinner reservation at 6p but soon the restaurant was bustling with quite a few large dinner party celebrations as well as friends casually meeting for drinks after work at the bar. There were even families with children enjoying dinner and couples enjoying a dinner date night. No matter how busy it got, service was welcoming and attentive throughout the evening.

COCKTAILS ANYONE?

If you are one that enjoys a good drink before, during or after your meal, then you will be quite satisfied with the wine list, beer and cocktail menu at bu•ku Wake Forest. Whether you choose to enjoy on their patio, at the bar or with your dinner, I do suggest this restaurant for their interesting selection of wines, beers and craft cocktails. Here are two drinks that you must try on your next visit to bu•ku:

Sangria Roja at bu•ku is the perfect Summertime Sip!

My new favorite bubbly cocktail: The Secret Garden at bu•ku

DINNER MENU

Per bu•ku Wake Forest, their Global Street Food menu is ..”a new type of dining, designed for the type of mix & matched tasting and plate-sharing that sparks conversation.” If you’ve ever been to the Raleigh location owned by culinary visionaries Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins, you will notice some menu differences. The team partnered with longtime friend, Todd Ohle, owner of the second bu•ku Wake Forest, and each restaurant has its own Chef that develops their own creations while still supporting menus and programs for the entire restaurant group. Just like the Raleigh location ( which is moving to Cary in 2019), bu•ku offers gluten free, vegetarian and vegan dishes on the menu. Feast your eyes on the small plates, large plates and big bowls we enjoyed for dinner:

Small Plates | Chinese Steamed Buns at bu•ku | 2 per order- Braised Pork, hoison sauce, pickles and scallions. Served on a perfectly warm “steamed” bun. Perfection in it’s simplicity yet complex in it’s flavors. Yum!

Small Plates | Edamame + Ostras Asadas at bu•ku | Edamame has a bit of a kick thanks to the addition of peppercorn. The grilled local oysters are some of the best I have had in the Triangle because of the flavorful toppings!

Large Plates | NC Catch at bu•ku | Local Seafood meets Global Flavors on a plate! The flounder was perfectly cooked and served on a bed of cauliflower,rutabaga mash, pistachio and topped with fennel-shallot confit. My favorite part was pouring the parmesean beurre on top!

Big Bowls | Vietnamese Phô at bu•ku | The seared filet mignon was so tender and my favorite part about this dish. I wanted more flavor from the broth and plan to do some spice additions to my leftovers at home!

Dessert | Tres Helados at bu•ku | You get a trio of chefs selection of gluten free sorbet and ice creams, toasted coconut flakes, and fresh berries. It was my first time having avocado ice cream and I loved it!

SobeSavvy Tip: EVENT ALERT A celebration for the new bu•ku Wake Forest will take place Thursday, June 28th with a cocktail hour and ribbon cutting for media and city officials on Thursday, June 28th. Dinner service will begin at 5pm and feature live music from Joe O’Keefe’s “3 Second Rule” band (who owns neighboring Wine 101), as well as complimentary sangria for all guests. As founding members of A Place at the Table, Degnan and Hopkins will donate a portion of proceeds from this evening to this charitable cause!

Thanks for reading and I hope you are inspired to make dinner reservations for 2 at the new bu•ku!

bu•ku Wake Forest

1228 Heritage Links Dr suite 100, Wake Forest, NC 27587

Hey #Raleigh, If you seek Authentic Greek, head to @TavernaAgora during @TriRestweek and #TakeBackLunch

Leslie, Founder of SobeSavvy.com visits Taverna Agora to #TakeBackLunch during Triangle Restaurant Week

Greece is known for many things. The Acropolis and inventing the modern Olympic games just to name a few. Something else Greece is known for… healthy and delicious food! Whether it’s how they cook their lamb or use feta cheese in different dishes, Greek cuisine is adored worldwide. Although Greece is 5,000 miles away and eating there for lunch or dinner tomorrow is impossible for most, I have some great news. Greece is right here in the City of Oaks in the form of Taverna Agora Restaurant!

Taverna Agora is a bi-level restaurant serving authentic Greek cuisine in the heart of downtown Raleigh

Located in downtown Raleigh,NC, Taverna Agora offers old world flavors and rustic roots “reminiscent of gathering places found in Greece.” As soon as you walk in you get a feeling of traditional mixed with modern. The atmosphere is quite charming and I loved the decor both inside and on the covered rooftop patio.

At Taverna Agora, get ready to Eat, Drink,OPA!

SobeSavvy.com was invited there for lunch during the special Triangle Restaurant Week that runs from June 4 thru June 10. For a fixed price, you get to try dishes from the regular menu at a discount. Lunch at Taverna Agora during this special is $15 per person (plus tax/gratuity) for 3 COURSES! THAT is such a great deal don’t you think?!

Taverna Agora’s TRW Lunch Menu

Drinks are not included with TRW Lunch menu but I shared on my instastories two cocktails identified as “Village Favorites”. Both the Greek Mule and Greek Lemonade were refreshing!

We started with a couple of great cocktails and got down to the business of food. Our waiter welcomed me back (since I dined there before) and gave a warm welcome to my guest who was there for the first time. We ordered an appetizer, entrée and dessert from the special Triangle Restaurant Week menu as follows:

1ST COURSE

Greek Village Salad at Taverna Agora

Options were Lemon Chicken soup or a choice of two different salads. Both the Greek Village Salad and the Watermelon and Feta Salad were fresh and flavorful. I also was pleased to see that the portions were big enough to share with each other. Thanks to the quality of the balsamic vinegar combined with watermelon and feta, I have found a new fave summer salad!

Watermelon and Feta Salad at Taverna Agora

2ND COURSE & 3RD COURSE

It’s Lunchtime at Taverna Agora!

For entrees we went with the Chicken Penne and a Gyro Pita. Each of these were quite good and we were impressed again by the quality of the ingredients used. I have leftovers of the pasta that I can’t wait to enjoy! We both finished with their signature Greek dessert of Baklava.

Save room for Taverna Agora’s dessert…the 3rd course was amazing!

SobeSavvy Tip: Make some time and join Taverna Agora during your lunchtime to #TakeBackLunch. Studies show you’ll be happier and more productive when you back away from your desk, leave the screen and take time for lunch. You could even win a midday meal for 10! Enter >>>>here.

#TakeBackLunch on June 15th National Take Back The Lunch Break Day at Taverna Agora!

Triangle Restaurant Week ends Sunday but there’s still time to experience multiple dishes and flavors and immerse yourself in the tastes of Greece. You can still get those amazing dishes on their regular menu but don’t miss this chance to try the TRW Menu at this great price! Plus service was attentive and professional and I loved the setting. For all of those reasons combined with delicious food, hurry down to Taverna Agora!

TAVERNA AGORA

326 Hillsborough St.

Raleigh, NC 27603

Thanks Taverna Agora for hosting SobeSavvy.com! I really enjoyed my dining experience and looking forward to next time!

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#FoodieFriday Feature | What’s New at Red Monkey Tavern in #Raleigh @ShopCrabtree #dineCrabtree

On a recent visit to Crabtree Valley Mall, lunch and libations were on my agenda. I am excited to share my #dineCrabtree experience at Red Monkey Tavern, who recently switched over ownership and have so many awesome things going on! They have a NEW menu, NEW concept, NEW management and a NEW fan in me!

VIEWS + VIBE

This was my first time dining at Red Monkey and I honestly did not know what to expect. In fact because of my love-hate relationship with monkeys, I just never thought to do anything except take out of town guests to the infamous monkey bench that sits outside the restaurant and let them take funny photos! Do you remember the time when Michael Jackson had a pet monkey named Bubbles? I think this bench lets people have their wish of getting up close and personal with a monkey. You will almost always see someone sitting beside it. LOL!

I am so glad I was invited to step inside and dine at this cozy, casual restaurant. The decor has a bit of a tropical feel to it and in my opinion one to many plush monkeys. However after receiving a warm welcome from the host followed by a friendly greeting from the waitress, I felt comfortable at the Red Monkey. Salsa music and Latin Jazz tunes were playing and I immediately liked the vibe. We were seated at a cozy booth across from the bar but they also have some intimate tables for two

as well as outside patio seating

and a lower level lounge area, which can be reserved for private events!

DRINKS

Before ordering food, I took a look at their “Monkey Drinks” menu, which consisted of beer, wine and craft cocktails. I ordered one of their “Monkey Mules” called a Redneck Mule, which is made with Jack Daniels Honey and ginger beer. I love moscow mules and was impressed with their unique, refreshing twist on a classic drink! My hubby ordered a top shelf L.I.T. Monkey, which stands for Long Island Iced Tea.

After meeting Marcella and learning that she was from Miami, she encouraged me to try a Mojito and I am so glad I did! After living in Miami myself for almost 19 years, I can say Red Monkey will be my go to place when I want a real Mojito without getting on a plane to South Florida. And guess what…on Mondays you can enjoy a Mojito for just $5.00! Yes, I’ll drink to that!

THE MENU

At first glance of the menu, you will see American faves and tavern food like wings, nachos and burgers. I also saw some dishes that reminded me of my favorite foods from traveling in the Caribbean like yellow rice, plantains, jerk chicken and ceviche. The cuisine is Latin Fusion and I learned from talking to the owners/management that many of the new dishes are inspired by family recipes. If you taste sofrito in a dish, you have Randy’s Abuela to thank for that!

Appetizers

When I asked our waitress what was her favorites on the menu, she advised everything is good but she loved the steak! So that’s where we started with an order of the steak nachos plus the Maryland style crab cakes. Considering my husband and I were both born in Maryland, we are a bit of crab cake snobs. ‘Not bad’ we thought but we also shared with the owner they may not want to call it Maryland style. Perhaps simply crab cakes. It did have a nice flavor and I enjoyed the cilantro cream that it is served with.

If you love nachos, definitely order the “Monkey Nachos”! They come in a huge bowl and are gluten free. It is served with chipotle queso, bacon, Pico de Gallo, roasted jalepenos cilantro crema and you can add on chicken or steak for extra yumminess!

Entreés

The menu offers a delicious variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and house favorites to chose from. Our eyes were drawn to two classic dishes we enjoyed while living in Miami around so many cultures. Check out the description of the Cuban Sandwich:

As described, I felt like I was on a mini vacation enjoying a sandwich I learned to love in Miami. The bread, the pork, ham, cheese,pickles… everything was just right! However,I could not finish my food due to the constant visits my fork took to my husband’s entreé. He ordered the Skirt Steak Churrassco and as soon as I saw it and smelled the aroma, I knew I wanted to taste his dish. The quality, tenderness and flavor of his steak along with the yellow rice & pigeon peas, black beans and sweet plantains made me secretly wish I had ordered his instead. The chimichurri sauce served with the steak was also very good!

Desserts

Red Monkey has a Happy Hour dessert special from 5-7pm offering $5 specials different days of the week. The food portions were so big I almost did not have room for dessert but trust me you will want to either save room, make room or get dessert to go! The Tres Leche de Coquito was amazing! It’s a moist sponge cake topped with coquito, which some people refer to as Puerto Rican egg nog. There is enough to share but it is so good, you may not want to. Like their Mojito, this dessert is authentic and delish!

SobeSavvy Tip: Save the date for these Upcoming Events!

This upcoming week Red Monkey has a Trivia Night coming up on April 24th along with their weekly Salsa Classes on Wednesdays: https://www.facebook.com/events/145767506137467/

Also on Mother’s Day they are offering an All You Can Eat Buffet Brunch!

The lesson in my dining experience here is to not judge a book by its cover. I let the name of a place and past reviews discourage me from ever stepping in to the restaurant. The staff, service, sips and steak were all satisfying and I know I will be going back! I encourage you to stop in and see what’s new at the Red Monkey Tavern. Follow on Instagram @RedMonkeyRaleigh & @ShopCrabtree.

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

Recap of the #Easter Festivites at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta @MO_Atlanta #EventsbyMo #EasterBrunch #Atlanta

Yesterday my family and I attended the Easter Festivites event at the fab Mandarin Oriental in Atlanta. Last week I wrote about what to expect there on Easter Sunday and as always, they delivered on their promises. It was a warm and beautiful spring day in Atlanta for Easter. Picture perfect for my family to spend the afternoon with Floppy the Bunny, who was a special guest at the Mandarin Oriental.

This luxury haven had so many special Easter events wrapped in a few hours. But first we ate. Ate very well actually. We were seated in their bright dining room looking out at their English Garden courtyard. They had every imaginable food choices at station after station. Omelette station, Assorted Pastries,Salads,Charcuterie & Cheeses, a Carving station and chilled Seafood Station featuring an Easter Egg Ice Sculpture in the center of jumbo shrimp, raw oysters, crab legs and claws.

An enormous ice Easter Egg along with a roaming Easter Bunny are just some of the whimsical touches that could be found everywhere. My 6 year old stated she wanted to eat fast so she could start on their incredible dessert station! When is the last time you’ve seen a macaron Ferris Wheel?

We also loved the Champagne Cart making the rounds serving premium brunch cocktails tableside. The servers were on their “A” game. That is standard for the Mandarin Oriental but it allowed us to relax and simply be taken care of.

The English Garden was where the Easter Egg Hunt and Petting Zoo took place. All the kids seemed to have fun looking for the eggs as well as petting the adorabe sheep. It was a toss up deciding who had more fun, the kids or us parents watching!

There were so many awesome Easter memory made at this beautiful luxury hotel. Watch this video for more highlights of the Easter Festivities at Mandarin Hotel Atlanta and see why we are #MOFoodies + #FansofMo!

Thanks to our friends at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta for hosting my #HeighPartyof3 for Easter. It was truly an experience we will never forget!

MANDARIN ORIENTAL ATLANTA

3376 PEACHTREE RD. NE

ATLANTA, GA 30326

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

Hey #Raleigh, Start Your Morning Off Right @TheMorningTimes ! ☕ #Coffee + #Food + #Vibe in #DTR

Ever try finding a spot with good food and good coffee prior to going to work? As simple as this sounds it’s not always that easy! Well have I got some good news for you. There is a restaurant/café/coffee shop located in the heart of downtown Raleigh called The Morning Times.

The Morning Times Menus..yes, they are kid-friendly!

This coffee shop has been a Raleigh mainstay since 2006 and are a favorite amongst the downtown crowds. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch, this eclectic coffee eatery offers freshly made baked goods of all sorts and they also have some awesome vegan options. You order downstairs when you come in and you can have it upstairs in their loft like space with tables and comfy chairs or you can have take out if time does not allow. Since I sometimes co-work this is also a good spot for coffee and your laptop.

The Morning Times is a bi-level coffee shop. There are a few tables downstairs, but upstairs has more seating and a loft vibe.

I was there along with my family recently for NCMA’s pop-up for upcoming Art in Bloom festival. Customers received a free flower outside of The Morning Times, which gets great foot traffic in the morning.

FOOD

We decided to try their breakfast features of the day (a tomato and arugula omelette and $5.00 honey chicken biscuit) along with an order of their delicious French Toast from their regular menu. I really liked their unique way of making this breakfast classic with challah bread, mixed berries, whipped cream, maple syrup, topped with almonds. My daughter said it was hashtag #YUM!

COFFEE

A busy barista making a fresh cup of coffee at The Morning Times

The staff was friendly and quickly kept the line moving at The Morning Times. They have quite a selection of coffee from Counter Culture, which is a favorite in our household. We settled on a Vanilla Latte and also an authentic Macchiato {hint, it is not what most THINK it is} as a start to our day. If coffee is not your morning beverage of choice, “power up” with their freshly squeezed orange juice.

SobeSavvy Tip: Sign up for their “Eats Club”👉 HERE … and per their website: “Be among the first to know about special promotions such as beer dinners and cask nights at The Raleigh Times, Lebanese festivals at Sitti, blues & barbeque events at The Pit, Italian Feasts at Gravy and other good stuff in the works for our community of customers.”

Also, The Morning Times knows that it’s morning customers are limited on time so they have made it easy for you to order ahead⤵ Check it out!

Next time you find yourself in the Downtown Raleigh area, and looking for a place to grab your coffee & pastry to go or pull up a window seat to dine, head to The Morning Times!

THE MORNING TIMES

10 E Hargett St.

Raleigh, North Carolina 27601