Tag Archives: Bloody Mary

Luxbar is Phat!!!

When I first started this blog way back when, Luxbar tweeted me their menu.  I took a mental note to try out this joint ASAP.  As I confessed in my last blog, life kinda got in my way and I lost track of time and space after finding out about the new addition to our family, so much so that I nearly forgot about Luxbar…until today.

The Lowdown:

Food: USDA Prime Skirt Steak and Eggs for the hubs and the Breakfast Croissant with sausage for moi.

Drink: I having been loving non-alcoholic beers lately, I know it seems so lame, but it feels more social than a boring ice tea to me, and it’s quite refreshing.  Lux had Buckler (NA); I always appreciate something other than O’Doul’s, and this hit the spot. The hubs had a fancy pants Bloody Mary which looked deelish! He especially liked the tomatillo as a garnish, that was a nice touch.

Conversation: Remember when people used the term “phat” a lot in the late 90’s.  You know, “she’s so phat” meaning hot or whatever.  Well, it came to my attention today that Phat is actually an acronym for “Pretty Hot And Tempting”…WHAT?!?!?! This is groundbreaking news to me.  I feel like all this time I have been left out on of this great secret.  What a great acronym it is too – it’s genius!  I just wish I would have known this in high school.  Oh well, better late then never.

The Breakdown:

Walking to the Viagra Triangle to try out this trendy hotspot, I immediately noticed the outdoor seating out front.  Although we opted to sit inside due to impending rain, the allure of people watching outside was Phat (hahaha, ok, enough…sorry), but it was quite appealing.

Our service was efficient and prompt. We never even had to wait for our water to be refilled, but at the same time I didn’t feel overburdened by the service either.  We received both our food and drinks rather quickly and everything was Top. Notch.

My sandwich was great.  It was everything I expected it to be, if you enjoy croissant sandwiches give it a try.  That being said – YOU MUST TRY THE SKIRT STEAK AND EGGS.  I was green with envy throughout our entire meal as I kept stealing bites of hubs’ meal.  It was, dare I say, perfect!  The hash browns were crispy without too much grease, the eggs were  – well they were eggs, but they were good.  And the steak was the perfect medium, which is hard to do with such a thin cut of meat.  Needless to say, it was the highlight of the meal. I almost forgot to mention that the jam that came with the toast (or in this case the english muffin) was home-made and chunky with fruit. Yum.

After breakfast I opted for a decaf latte, while the hubs stuck with coffee.  I find that often when ordering a hot drink other than coffee at a busy brunch spot, I am made to wait.  Not at Luxbar, both coffee drinks came out in a timely matter, hot and delicious.

I think the rating is clear here, Luxbar you deserve the coveted 4 eggs for such a great brunch!  I will most certainly be back!

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Breakfast Club & Grill (unrelated to the awesome movie!)

I have a theory I call the “There’s Something about Mary” Effect.  When “There’s Something about Mary” came out all that I heard from everyone was how it was the GREATEST MOVIE EVER!  “You will never laugh so hard!”, “No other movie can compare!”, etc.  All this hype sets in to a point that when seeing the actual movie, which was fairly decent, I ended up hating it because it didn’t live up the the unrealistic hype built up in my head.  Not necessarily the movie’s fault, but disappointing all the same.  This is the same feeling I got when going to the Breakfast Club in the West Loop.

My good friend lives down the street from this little brunch spot, and could not have better things to say about it.  I believe she used the term “best breakfast spot around”; I mean “best”… that is a very strong language. That means it’s better than all the others.  Well, it was not the best, and I would hesitate to say it  is better than all the others.

The Breakdown:

Food: My brunching companion and I both got the Breakfast Burrito. I got mine with sausage, and he got his with bacon.

Drink: Bloody Mary!

Conversation: The upcoming holidays, really what everyone is talking about this time of year.

The Lowdown:

We walked in to this small restaurant and I immediately noticed the decor.  It was half late 80’s diner, half early 90’s, kind of a mish mosh.  I wouldn’t describe it as cozy or as tacky, but definitely in between the two.

We were quickly seated, which is a bonus considering the crowded brunches we’ve been to lately.  Upon ordering a Bloody Mary and our burritos we began debating what to buy our two nephews and niece for Christmas.  The nephews are age 5 and 4, which is an age where they really get into receiving gifts for Christmas. They are the only reason for getting up on Christmas morning, and I really don’t want to let them down.  It is my goal to be the ultimate coolest aunt ever, even if I am their only aunt.

Our burritos arrived quickly – fast service is always a bonus. Things went downhill when when we began eating.  The tortilla was store-bought and stale.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect every brunch spot to make their own tortillas, but these had those hard, folded edges as if they had been sitting out for a day, and there was absolutely no flavor.  Upon breaking into the shell we found a mound of scrambled eggs and sausage (or bacon, depending). There was no rice, no cheese (although there is cheese melted on top of the burrito), no guac, no sour cream, just scrambled eggs wrapped in a shell.  On top of this it was paired with undercooked home fries and a pile of lettuce. Not salad, just plain chopped iceberg lettuce.  I have no idea the intention behind the lettuce, so for me it sat on the side of the plate just taking up space. On the drink front, the bloody mary was nothing to write home about. It tasted like plain old vodka and bloody mary mix, and nothing else.  I do give the Breakfast Club credit for throwing a pickle in with the garnish, I love pickles in my bloodies! Overall our bill tipped close to the $40 mark, which for a mediocre brunch and one cocktail I find that to be a bit steep.

Overall, nothing was awful at the Breakfast Club, but nothing was that good either, far from “best ever”.  I give the Breakfast Club and Grill 2 eggs, go if you are close by and hungry.

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CLE b&b telling you to get your family in the rig and check out the Flying Fig

Perhaps your a little tired. Maybe a little weak and in need of some hair of the dog to make the world right again. If that’s how your feeling, then take your sorry self to the Flying Fig in Ohio City and dive into some delight.

Started by Karen Small in 1999, with the mission to provide a comfortable and friendly guest experience with delicious, locally sourced food, innovative cocktails, and ever-changing wine list. Check, check and check Karen.

The Breakdown:

Drink: The Grapefruit (Absolute ruby red, fresh pink grapefruit juice, splash of soda & Turbinado sugar rim), the French 77 (St. Germaine liquor, fresh lemon juice & sparkling Cava), the house Bloody Mary, the Bellini and many (too many) Great Lakes Christmas Ale’s (sans sugar rim).

Food: Our thirsty foursome all got a different one of the Fig’s finest brunch options which included: biscuits and gravy (with, as listed, rosemary homemade cheesy biscuits), the Migas (scrambled eggs, peppers, scallions, chili’s, cheddar, tomatillo, cilantro, breakfast potatoes and chorizo), the Ohio City Burger with fried egg & fries and lastly the Huevos Rancheros (everything delish including grass feed beef topped with two sunny side up eggs).

Conversation: Where to begin on this one… so many amusing, not to mention indecent, topics I am not sure where to start. Let’s say a seemingly normal brunch that started off with such topics as the holidays, Skype, babies and Facebook ended with a neighboring table being asked if a friendly “motor boat” would be acceptable. Clearly this did not take place, we are adults after all, but it did proceed to get racier. To wrap up, let’s just say that a certain population of the community finds intimate partner relations to be a twice daily occurrence while another finds once daily to be pretty darn impressive.

The Low Down:

This spot was chosen due to the fact that is offers a fantastic happy hour as well as solid dinner choices so why the heck not try it out for some brunchy goodness. Reservations were placed through Open Table however they were not really needed as when we arrived there was more than ample room for our party. This venue actually offers a better bar scene than dining room, so keep that in mind when planning your visit to the “Fig” as those of us in the “OC” so affectionately call it.

Let’s start with the beyond tasty selection of cocktails. Since all the juices used are freshly squeezed they earn the right to be referred to as cocktails and they did not disappoint. The Grapefruit was the table winner due to the fact that it was not too tart nor too sweet. The Bloody was the norm and the French 77 was good enough to make a second appearance.

The food, however, was more impressive. Oh the smells, sights and sounds that followed the delivery of our meal was intoxicating… even if you weren’t on your third round of holiday cheer. The table winner was the Huevos Rancheros. Order it. Please do yourself that favor if nothing else this month. Go and get it and ask for the hot sauce. You will thank me and I will let you. I almost bit off a prong of my fork while shoveling it in. It’s a brunch changer. The burger, and the biscuits and gravy (with a lack of the before mentioned rosemary) were above average while the Migas deserves an honorable mention. The side of fruit consisted of pears, grapes and pomegranate which was found to be different, but acceptable. Bread was served before the main course with whipped butter and apple butter.

Overall this was one of the best brunches to date in Cleveland and a definite choice for an out of town guest. It’s an impressive location, with a great staff and many neighboring establishments in which to continue the brunching good time long after the bill is paid. Will I be back, without a doubt. Will I get the Huevos Rancheros, more than likely. Will I leave satisfied, you bet your buckeyes.

So get off your duff and walk those legs to the Fig because it has been officially awarded 4 eggs!

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CLE B&B Letting You Know That You Get a Ton at Latitude 41n!

Feeling hungry?  I mean so very emptied bellied that you are starting to go faint?  Then Latitude 41n is the Ohio City brunch that your stomach is asking for.  Located at 5712 Detroit Avenue smack in the middle of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood of Cleveland only minutes away from downtown.

The Breakdown:

Drink:  Pumpkin Spice coffee, Bloody Mary and Mimosas galore.  All very standard drinks, nothing fancy or over the top.  Just what you would expect from a place where you order at the counter.

Food:  HUGE, HUGE, HUGE portions of the Left Coast Omelet (bacon, avocado, cheddar cheese), the Chesapeake Omelet (lump crab meat, artichoke cream cheese mix, fresh mozzarella) and the Southwest Quesadilla (chorizo, avocado, black beans, cheddar, deliciousness, you get the point).  For no extra charge feel free to ask for egg whites.  Not to mention the jelly that comes with the toast is homemade consisting of strawberries, grapes and whatever berry happens to be in season.  Got a side of fruit too boot… consisted of a small ramekin of grapes… not nearly as impressive or HUGE as everything else offered.

Conversation: The meal started with a conversation about some of the menu items.  In particular, the Island of Lesbos pizza (pesto base topped with mozzarella, provolone, asiago & feta cheeses, oven-dried tomatoes, grilled artichoke hearts & spinach; sprinkled with italian seasonings) and My Ex-Girlfriend’s Favorite Pizza (loaded with tomato basil sauce, sausage, green peppers, black olives & red onion slivers topped with her favorite, regular old mozzarella cheese).  Also the not to be missed Menage A Trois special that is offered Monday through Saturday before 11am. (see website for more info).  It was discovered that the female owner is in fact of the alternative lifestyle and likes her portions big enough to satisfy.  Wink.

The Low Down:

I chose this corner spot as I have heard many positive reviews from my neighbors and Ohio City (“OC”) peeps.  I’m going to share this little secret with you so you don’t feel totally jack when you walk in the door… you order at the counter!!!  Yes sir.  Pick up the menu yourself, read it and then order right there at the counter.  Next, help your darn self to a cup of coffee and ice water, should you so choose, before you grab an open table or a booth.  Do not sit at a table and wait for someone to wait on you.  This will not happen, even though it looks like every other restaurant where that is the case.  I can say that upon ordering, our food was brought to our table within 5 minutes flat.  No joke.  That’s some quick service.  How they knew where to deliver it, especially when it’s packed, I am unsure as they asked for no name or gave no table tent.  It’s magic I think.

The omelets were very tasty and did I mention HUGE.  I mean so very large and in charge Toodles and I could only eat half.  Next time, we will be a splitting for certain… and since you don’t have a server to ask to split I really won’t even feel embarrassed about it.  :-)  The quesadillas consisted of four triangles that were each the size of my fist.  While I don’t have the fists of a petite ballerina nor man hands, my fists are pretty substantial and make for a nice size triangle of cheesy goodness.  Top it off with some sour cream and fresh salsa and all I have to say is “ole!”.

This is truly eatin’ good in the neighborhood.  The standout points were the speed of service from order to mouth, the sheer magnitude of the portions and the full service bar.  Be sure to check out lunch and dinner options as well as their pizza pies!

Come one and all, bring your ma and your pa and your lil sister when she begs, to Latitude 41n cause the

Bean is awarding it 3 eggs!

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Did Someone say Bone Marrow? Brunching at Publican…Oh my!

IT’S THE HOLIDAY SEASON!  Oh man, there is nothing I love more than the smell of pine, the energy all around, fresh green and red pedicures and meals shared with friends and family.  Since today is the day we get to put up our tree and really, seriously, start this f-ing AWESOME time of year, we decided to brunch at a special spot recommended to us by our dear friend, Chris Curren, co-owner and Executive Chef of Blue 13. So we headed out to Publican.

The Break-Down:

Drink: With fresh squeezed juices, french press coffee and Bloody Mary’s accompanied with a beer back, there was a lot to choose from.  The Hubs stuck with his usual, a Bloody Mary and paired it with the recommended ale to back it up.  I stuck with good ole OJ and coffee, it was a long week to say the least.

Food: We went ahead and split a side of bacon, I had the Frites topped with Fried Eggs, Hubs had the Soft Scrambled Eggs with Bone Marrow and we finished it off with a healthy slice of Lemon Pound Cake.

Conversation: We started the brunch amazed by the inventions coming out in the toddler snacking world.  The tyke sitting next to us had this fancy contraption which allowed her to dive her tiny fist into a cup of treats, but kept the treats inside the cup if she turned it upside down or tossed it around (old news I’m sure to all you parents out there, but we found it genius).  We also discussed how cool of a guy we think Michael Symon must be. You see, Chef Symon is from my home town and he shows nothing but Cleveland love all the time.  To top it off, he went to the same high school as both my father and brother (and the aforementioned Chef Curren), St. Edwards.  My father has noted that he shows up to several Ed’s events to show support.  Pretty cool if you ask me. Keeping it real, as the kids say.

The Low Down:

Ask me what my favorite food is, go ahead-ask.  It’s hands down french fries.  How childish is that?  I would love to say that my favorite food is a fresh beet salad topped with whipped goat cheese, and although delicious, that would be lying.  I love me some good old fashioned potatoes deep fried in oil, crispy and salty and piping hot.  While in Barcelona a couple years ago we found this dish that consisted of french fries topped with fried eggs. That’s it.  So simple, and SO GOOD!  I thought of this dish several times since we returned, and even tried to recreate it.  When I noticed the Frites with Fried Eggs on the menu I did a little mental cheer!  The hubs was far from disappointed as well.  He will probably tell you one of his favorite foods is bone marrow, how he scored a classy broad like me, we’ll never know:)

The Frites topped with Fried Eggs were everything I wanted!  The frites (aka fancy french fries) were perfectly cooked, both crunchy on the outside, and soft in the middle, perfectly salted.   Topped with two fried eggs, I was in brunch heaven!

The Soft Scrambled Eggs with Bone Marrow was almost a home run.   Hubs ate up the eggs and bone marrow ohhing and awwing the whole way through.  The only thing I took note of was the burnt toast accompanying the marrow.  Being in the service industry for over 10 years I have seen on more than one occasion in which toast was burnt on one side, but still served, burnt side down.  It appears this was the issue with Hub’s toast today.  He didn’t seem to mind, minor detail in the grand scheme.

And then there was the bacon.  The Publican really takes pig seriously, this was evident in these delicious pieces of bacon. It was more like pork belly.  Thick cut, tender and braised in maple syrup.  It was undeniably delicious.  If you don’t get it when you go there, well you’re stupid. Rounded it all off with a dense, lemony pound cake made, for a happy day!

I give the Publican a high 3.5 eggs- ok fine 4 EGGS, toast is forgiven, because everything else was really THAT GOOD!   The service was quick and efficient, the prices were very reasonable considering the quantity and quality of food and the decor was casual and comfy.  You should go – tomorrow, or next weekend, or whenever you get the chance.

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Fancy Pants at Gibsons

We took it up a notch with brunch this week and decided to check out Gibson’s Steakhouse.  If you don’t know already Gibson’s is known as “THE” Chicago Steakhouse, and the walls are covered in pictures for celebrities that have dined there.  We decided to go to Gibson’s because our good friends Puma and Schardt will be watching our adorable puppy for us, and we wanted to treat them real nice.

Gibson’s does not have an “official” brunch, but they do have a portion of the lunch menu for “Eggs” and on Sundays the egg dishes come with biscuits and gravy.  On top of all this the “brunch” is actually quite reasonable, I assumed going to such a fine establishment we would be washing dishes in the back to pay for the meal, but really the most expansive meal was $12.50 and that was for Filet and Eggs – as in, two delicious filet medallions and eggs any style – for $12.50, plus hash browns and biscuits and gravy, that’s a steal if you ask me!

The Breakdown:

Drink: Bloody Mary’s, mimosas and coffee.  The mimosas came with fresh squeezed OJ and your own little bottle of champers!  I love to have my own little bottle because I feel like I can portion the OJ to champers ratio more to my liking – more champers, please!

Food: I had the Crab Cake Benedict and the remainder of my party had the Filet and Eggs.

Conversation:  We discussed my OCD with my puppy, and how to take care of him (I might be a tad over-protective). We also talked about the first time Puma had to leave her dog with a shelter overnight while she went away, and the hysterics she found herself in standing by the poop bags and leashes at the local Petco – trust me, I can relate!

The Low Down:

The food, holy moly, the food was so good!  Gibson’s is the only steakhouse in the world with it’s own USDA Certification.  This is obvious in the steak, but let me tell you, the crab cake is clearly made with the same standard and was UNBELIEVABLE.  We are talking one huge crab cake filled with huge chunks of real crab.  There was  no english muffin because this was clearly not necessary. I wish I had a picture of it to show you, but I was so obsessed with it I entirely forgot to take any pictures of the food at all, I just dug right in.  So sorry!  The filets also looked very good.  I am not a big red meat eater, but I know that it can get expensive to have a nice cut. cooked well, and from the looks of it our table was quite pleased.

Being new to Chicago I am anxious to try out new spots and get to know the city.  Having the opportunity to try out a Chicago institution such as Gibson’s without breaking the bank was such a treat, and I think a real must for anyone visiting or living here.  The Sunday lunch crowd was casual and relaxed, we didn’t have to wait for a table (by the window, no less), and the service was charming and non-intrusive.  Even the bartender went above and beyond, we sat at the bar to wait for our buds and when the bartender noticed our whole party was there he went to the hostess himself to have her fix us up with a table by the window, no questions asked.

Gibson’s I give you 3.5 .5 egg rating.  You are located in the heart of Chicago’s “Viagra Triangle“, you have a great wait staff and my boyfriend Christian Bale has apparently eaten with you – I like to imagine I sat in the same seat as him:)

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In Cleveland – Tremont Taphouse!

Sorry for the delay of this blog, it feels like Sunday was SO long ago.  I was in Cleveland visiting the ‘rents and they are just not up to speed with technology.  Therefore I had to wait till my return to finish the review. While in Cleveland I decide to take B&B the city of Rock and Roll.  At first, I thought I would attend a Zombie themed brunch with a dog costume contest, although that still sounds like a blast to me, my buds and I switched the last minute to a much buzzed about spot in Tremont, the Tremont Tap House.

The Breakdown:

Drink: With more beers on tap then I can bear to remember, I had two JUMBO Mimosa’s and an IPA.  My dining guests also had mimosas, plus a Bloody Mary with a kick and a few beers from the extensive list.

Food: I had the Crab Benedict (sauce on the side), my friend Bean had the Chorizo and Smoked Cheddar Omlette and her wonderful hubs, the Don had the Chorizo Burrito.

Conversation: The conversation ranged from highly inappropriate “what would you do “scenarios, to lighter topics about favorite vacations spots.  We were also able to view Bean’s photos from her recent trip to New Mexico.

The Low Down:

To begin, I loved this place – I loved the charm, the decor, the food, the drink and especially the company.  Upon arrival I briefly wandered around to check if the rest of my party beat me there.  Once I realized they were not around I stood up front to “wait to be seated”.  Once my party arrived the space cadet hostess let us know that the wait for a table would be a little bit, since there was no clarification on what “a little bit” meant, we opted to sit at the bar.  This ended up being a rather good decision.  First off the bar is made out of the same material as a chalkboard and chalk is provided.  Give me some space to doodle and I am one happy camper, secondly there were at least 2 very friendly and accommodating bartenders on staff, we were in good hands.

That said, the food was great! One of my dining partners felt the omelette could have been much fuller, but the taste was still there.   I imagined my benedicts to be on actually crab cakes, how crab benedicts are typically done, and they were actually on a bed of real crab meat, it was delightful.  On top of that, I am not a big fan of hollandaise sauce (thus asking for it on the side), I was very pleasantly surprised! In fact, my friend repeatedly dipped her potatoes in the sauce because it was that good.

As I said the beers on tap were amazing, in fact, they had 21st Amendment on tap.  As I explained in my previous post, I just moved from San Francisco and 21st Amendment is a small San Francisco brewery and a Bay area favorite, to see it this far east is quite a treat!

Overall, I sincerely enjoyed the Tremont Tap House, the location was quick and easy to get to and the food was innovative and delicious.

In fact we enjoyed this Cleveland brunch so much we were thinking we might expand B&B to include both Chicago AND Cleveland.  Details to come.

Till next time!!

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Last Night’s Buzz is Creeping Up at the Paramount Room

I should start this post with a touch of background, I am a recent transplant from San Francisco.  I moved here to get back to my mid-west roots after years on the west coast.  That being said, I find one of the most important aspects of a big move is finding your local watering hole.  Not just any bar, but one which speaks to you and your nature as a person.  Everyone is different, some people prefer the sport’s bars with huge big screens and tons of square footage, others prefer their local pub.  After moving into our new apartment Paramount Room became our new spot pretty quickly.  It is just one of those spots where the service is casual, and super friendly, the music is just right and the drinks are ever evolving.  The beers on tap are always rotating and never disappoint. (Plus $3 shots of tequila?  yes, please!)

I was pretty sure that I would use Paramount Room’s brunch as my first review from the get go.  Not only is it a stone’s throw from where I live, but I simply love it.  I had never had their brunch, so it was a perfect choice.

The Breakdown:

Drink: My brunch companion (the hubs) had a Bloody Mary. I had a mimosa (you know, to support the “bubbly” aspect of my concept) and a Paloma.

Food: We split the Brunch BLT and Pulled Pork Hash

Conversation: Overpopulation (oh yeah, we went there) and drama between a couple that is not us, (it’s always nice to compare, it’s like watching Intervention and being able to say “at least I’m not that guy”)

The Low Down:

As far as drinks go I was super pleased.  Two of my favorite drink ingredients are tequila and grapefruit juice, thus Paloma is one of my favorite cocktails.  It’s basically tequila, soda and fresh grapefruit with a salted rim.  Think a not-too-sweet Margarita.  Whenever I see it on a drink menu I know I’m in a top-notch spot.  The hubs had a bloody Mary which came with a skewer fit for a king.  This thing had huge hunks of cheese, two types of meat, olives and a pickle.  A meal in itself (which I’m sure they hear all the time!)  My second drink was a simple mimosa, not to be too cliché.

The brunch BLT was outstanding.  It was so big we could have just ordered that and still left full.  It came on an extra long french bread, and consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, lettuce and (you guessed it) tomato.  Served on the side were two perfect pieces of love – Cheddar Potato Cakes.  The Pulled Pork Hash seemed too much like a pile of meat too me.  I like a hash with an even distribution of potato and meat, but this one seemed like 90% meat.  Of the two I would highly recommend the BLT.  If you are a big meat lover the hash may be your thing, but I needed to order a side of fries to make up for the lack of potatoes.  I will say that the eggs on top of the hash were perfectly poached.

Overall I loved the atmosphere: people were sitting at the bar shooting the shit, it wasn’t overcrowded, and Johnny Cash was playing overhead, always a nice touch.

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