Girls on Food

Sunday Funday

Take Me, I’m Yours Morgan Street Food Hall & Market in Raleigh, NC

Recently, food halls have been popping up all over the country. When I heard Raleigh was getting not one, but two, my immediate reaction was “great, a glorified mall food court” because really, when was the last time you felt cool eating at the food court, amiright? But there are a couple huge differences at play here, so put your worries aside!

First, food courts are so often chains and standard fare. Morgan Street Food Hall & Market is, for the most part, neither. Rolled ice cream anyone? Poke bowls, empanadas, and ramen were the first things to catch my eye. Cousins Maine Lobster (the only option I would consider a chain) is slightly more accessible here, and with a lot more seating options! The line is still out the door but with a beer in hand and a bustling crowd, a far cry from the hot food truck rodeo lines you’re usually waiting in! Last time I tried that, I was “red as a lobster” by the time I ordered my Connecticut lobster roll!

Raleigh Rolls rolled ice cream, which is a treat for all! (yeah, I shared with the baby!)

When you first walk into Morgan Street Food Hall, you’ll see a bustling crowd and tons of seating options, from picnic tables to couches and arm chairs, and finally, 4 top tables with chairs. There are indoor and outdoor seating options, with a couple bars to frequent as thirst arises. There are 18 dining options, ranging from southern to Mediterranean to Asian; comfort food and hangover food and on to desserts and bubble tea. For our family, this is the perfect place for all of our meals out: we have 2 picky preschoolers who think the margarita pizza at Bella’s Wood Fired Pizza and Tapas is out of this world (and less than $10, thank you!).

For me, I get the “adventurous” foods I can’t talk the whole family into – ramen and poke bowls, while hubby gets to fill up on empanadas, which he loves! We have an Italian au pair living with us this year, and she has enjoyed working her way through the options Morgan Street has at her disposal. Currently, her heart resides in Raleigh.

I’ve now eaten at Morgan Street 3 times. Hubs and I met a group of friends here one night before an Umphrey’s McGee concert downtown. There were a lot of empanadas and some curry plates, a kick ass looking pizza, a whole lot of beer, and my amazing delicious tuna poke bowl, with fresh tuna on their California bowl (from The Bowls), loaded with amazingness and topped with avocado! It was incredible, and I couldn’t wait to go back!

So the next weekend, a girlfriend and I met up there, and she got ramen and I went back to The Bowls for round 2 – this time trying their spicy tuna on the Malibu bowl, which has spicy seaweed salad in it. The biggest difference was that the tuna was chopped up instead of chunks, so I would probably go regular tuna in the future.

We also ventured over to the bar, and I tried the Deep River Brewing Company’s (out of Clayton, NC) pumpkin pie porter, which was oh, so good and also very seasonal! It was delicious after a long afternoon of shopping and enjoying the suddenly cooler temps here in NC! Finally (maybe the first finally), we waited in line at Cocoa Forte Desserts for chocolate dipped cheesecake, which we were saving for when we got home, and then I talked my friend into trying out Raleigh Rolls, the rolled ice cream place! It’s a little bit Coldstone Ceamery (you get to choose 3 flavors that go into your ice cream, and then 3 flavors for the toppings) meets a sushi roll (because in the end, they hand you a bowl with 6 rolls of ice cream). So good news – you can sub flavors – I subbed in coffee flavoring for the graham cracker in my s’mores ice cream, and it was the.best.thing.ever! Little man ate way too much but also thinks I’m the coolest mom ever for sharing my ice cream with him, ha! (Verdict on cheesecake – its on a stick, so go ahead and eat it immediately. I waited a few hours to eat mine, and it fell apart really fast. Pretty sure it was user error though).

So the next day, my hubs was still out of town (he went on Phish tour last weekend), and I needed to provide food for my little ones for the 4th day in a row. So…I started thinking about that pizza, and the fact that cow burger has hot dogs. Surely they could find something to eat…

Here’s the deal – I was nervous to bring a 5 year old and a 3 year old and a 5 month old into such a busy place. But…they loved it! My son is begging to go back, my daughter can’t stop talking about the ice cream, and the baby slept thru the thing. We also found an awesome place for our family photos in 2 weeks. So all in all, a great trip. I will send you all day every day to Bella’s pizza – it was incredible, and the kids ate every bite of that pizza. I loved the portion size of the burgers (I got the classic cheeseburger) and I’d heard great things about it, but I would definitely trust your gut on that place. First, the line took F O R E V E R which I’m not really into, and wouldn’t have waited in it but our au pair and I both wanted a burger so we stuck with it. Second, we waited F O R E V E R for our buzzer to ring. Like it took the entire time the pizza cooked to wait in the line and order. Then the kids ate the whole pizza. And I took them back over to Raleigh rolls and waited for someone to turn melted ice cream into frozen ice cream rolls, and then the buzzer sounded as I was paying for them. So the burgers were delicious, great bun to burger ratio, and overall very satisfying, but with so many faster options, I’m not sure I would wait for it again.

Also, pro tip – if you have a picky child who only eats vanilla ice cream (I know, I know, its super weird but what I’m dealing with right now), there is another small ice cream scoop place in the food hall. Don’t waste your $7 on plain vanilla with a tiny sprinkling of rainbow sprinkles. Spend that money on the whole experience and all the toppings, and get Sir Picky something from the cheaper place!

So final verdict – run, don’t walk, to the Morgan Street Food Hall if you’re in Raleigh. Bring an appetite. Check out the unusual places, especially the bowls, the broth, and curry in a hurry, and take the time to wait in line for Raleigh Rolls! I’m looking forward to heading down there again next weekend after the International Festival to try out some new places!

New Brunswick Restaurant Week 2018: Catherine Lombardi

Guess who’s back…back again…Fatboi’s back…tell a friend. It is I, Jess, the ghost of Christmas past, coming to you after a year-long WordPress hiatus. In the past year, I started grad school and have been grinding it out, while Christie’s been managing a sports facility and running 23812947 Spartan races (aroo!). But don’t worry, we’ve been just as committed to the #fatlyfe.

July 14th kicked off restaurant week in New Brunswick, NJ. ‘Til the 28th, the hottest spots are offering discounts on beverages, meals, desserts, and everything in between. From ramen to Ethiopian cuisine, to jam-packed strombolis at Stuff’s, there’s something for everyone. It’s a great excuse to have a fancy date night, dinner and drinks with the girls, or a family outing.

I decided to give Catherine Lombardi a try, after hearing great things about their Italian fare. I easily mapped out my prospects from their $39 three-course menu, prior to even setting foot into the building. I rolled out of bed, changed, and headed to Catherine Lombardi accompanied by my childhood friends (s/o to Marce and Cee, the OG’s). Scoping out the restaurant, I quickly regretted my outfit choice. I looked like a fat baby who got separated from her nanny, in my floral jumpsuit. Wine glasses and fancy linen napkins dotted every table, and everything was RED; the walls, the velvet curtains, the carpet, the upholstery. It was what I imagine entering Christian Grey’s red room of pain would feel like, but not as terrifying.

I dove right into the wine menu (overwhelmed by the number of categories I never knew existed) and zeroed in on my go-to, Pinot Grigio, and ran with it.

For starters, I ordered the Caprese salad with house-made mozzarella. Tomatoes are either a hit or miss for me, but I easily chowed them down, and the house-made mozzarella was divine. 

I’m obsessed with anything and everything truffle, so I had to go with the Garganelli with truffle cream, prosciutto, and asparagus as my entrée. The prosciutto was the perfect addition, balancing out the truffle flavor.

Marce opted for the linguine with shrimp scampi. Obviously, I stole a bite, and it was a delicious rendition of the Italian classic.

Cee chose the tortelloni with Parmagiano-Reggiano cream and bolognese sauce. We actually had to google if tortelloni and tortellini are the same and *spoiler alert*, they are. I may have an Italian last name, but I had no idea wtf was going on. You may be looking at this picture thinking, ‘What gives? There are only 6 tortellonis.’ I thought the same thing until I sampled some, and the tortellonis were stuffed with filling, making it a reasonable portion size.

To round out my trifecta, I opted for the mascarpone cheesecake. It was incredibly creamy and tasted flan-like.

Marce selected Mrs. Palmisano’s cookie plate. To our delight, the cookies were melt-in-your-mouth soft and delicious. This plate would make any Italian grandmother beam with pride. 

Cee went for the mango sorbet. It didn’t knock her socks off, but I was pleased with the refreshing zing. 

Not only was the presentation on point, but the food quality really knocked it out of the park. All of the ingredients were incredibly fresh, making for flavorful dishes. It was fun pretending to be bougie for a night, all under the guise of a discounted prix fixe menu.

J

Fatboi Tendencies 

Art + Tapas: Brunch at Palette 22 in Arlington, VA

Brunch is a staple here in the DMV. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, hundreds of residents stumble out into the streets looking for the best brunch cocktail, and a comfort dish to cure their lingering hangover! With so many options to choose from, restaurants work hard to stand out and provide menus and offerings that will leer the mimosa craving patron into their doors.

For the DMV, a good brunch isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience. I can make brunch dish at home, but I can’t make an Arepa Eggs Benedict with an art gallery as my backdrop now can I? That’s where Palette 22 steps in.

Palette 22
4053 Campbell ave, Arlington, VA 22206
http://www.palette22.com


Palette 22 gets the experience of brunch right. It’s a restaurant as well as an art gallery. On any given day, local artists can usually be seen working in the space and almost all of the art shown can be purchased. I loved walking in and checking out some of the pieces while we waited for our table. Though I didn’t buy any, there were a few I put in my mental wish list. 

Photo via opentable.com

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Hollandaise Diner: Brunch 7 Days a Week

Hollandaise Diner
2231 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C 1K4
https://www.facebook.com/HollandaiseDiner
https://www.instagram.com/hollandaisediner/

Who doesn’t love brunch? Better yet, who doesn’t love eggs?! Hollandaise Diner is a brunch spot along “The Danforth” in east Toronto that specializes in brunch seven days a week from 7 am to 3 pm. They are even open on CHRISTMAS DAY for your Christmas brunch needs! This east end diner owned and operated by a very proud “east ender” couple who show their love for this diner in all their dishes by preparing them fresh from scratch every morning. This diner may be small (well, it is a diner!) but, in my opinion, is worth the wait!

“Mushroom and Brie Frittata”: three large eggs, potato frittata with portobello mushroom, button mushroom, and brie served with asparagus and red pepper jelly

This diner serves a multitude of various breakfast dishes, ranging from buttermilk coconut pancakes to frittatas to a build-your-own eggs benedict. Their menu is endless! Oh, and their homefries are NOT deep fried! They may taste as crispy and yummy as if they were fried, but they are cooked on a flat top!

“The Original Eggs Benedict”: English muffin, peameal bacon, two poached eggs, original hollandaise sauce
“The Smoke Bloke”: English muffin, two pieces of smoked salmon, two poached eggs with their zesty hollandaise
“The Cajun”: sautéed Cajun spiced peppers and onions, two pieces of baked polenta with two poached eggs and their cajun spiced hollandaise sauce

Just as their diner is named, hollandaise sauce is their specialty. Their hollandaise sauce is made fresh from scratch daily, and they even offer five different hollandaise sauces (original, HP infused, zesty, coconut and Cajun) which give their diners a different experience each visit.

“The Meatloaf”: two pieces of homemade meatloaf, ketchup glaze with sautéed mushrooms, two poached eggs, and their HP infused hollandaise sauce

I have had the opportunity to sample a multitude of their eggs Benedict creations, and it ‘s hard to pick a favourite. I would say that “The Meatloaf” eggs benny is one I would keep coming back for. This benny consists of two pieces of homemade meatloaf, ketchup glaze with sautéed mushrooms, two poached eggs and their HP infused hollandaise sauce. This creation is definitely over the top and is such a homey dish. Meatloaf, in general, can be a bit dry or even taste, well, like plain meat but at Hollandaise Diner their meatloaf is super moist and is seasoned perfectly.

“The Coconut”: grilled tomato on top of bitter greens, two poached eggs, their coconut hollandaise sauce and topped with toasted coconut

Another benny I would go back for if I wanted a lighter option would be “The Coconut.” This benny consisted of grilled tomato on top of bitter greens, two poached eggs, their coconut hollandaise sauce and topped with toasted coconut. This dish a vegetarian variation of an eggs benedict and I would grab it in a heartbeat. You may think that having coconut in a dish may make it sweet, but somehow they magically were able to create this sauce without being sweet yet have that coconut flavour you’d be looking for.

Coconut buttermilk pancakes with blueberry fruit sauce

The last thing I would probably go crazy for is their buttermilk pancakes. Man oh man, did I devour this stack you see. I was super stuffed when I tried these dishes, but somehow I got myself to stuff all of this in my face, and I do not regret any second of it! This stack is their coconut pancakes (YES, COCONUT!) with blueberry fruit sauce. These pancakes not only taste like coconut but they have coconut in them! So when those coconut cravings hit, I know where to go!

“The Croque Madame”: grilled cheese, two poached eggs, and their original hollandaise sauce

One last dish I cannot go without featuring is “The Croque Madame.” This benny consists of a grilled cheese, two poached eggs, and their original hollandaise sauce. If you love grilled cheese and you love eggs benedict, then you know which benny you should have! This benny plays to my childhood, and my favourite thing to request (and cook!) was grilled cheese. I wish I thought of this sooner; having the ooey gooey grilled cheese with the creamy hollandaise sauce and the perfect runny egg yolk, it really cannot get any better.

Clearly, I do recommend this place, and I would say that it is currently my go-to brunch spot. With all of their fresh and made from scratch dishes, I will be a return customer!

Bread & Porridge in Santa Monica

I’m terrible when it comes to eating a full breakfast, I’m usually a cup of black coffee kind of gal.  But nothing makes me happier than being able to sit down and have a full breakfast that’s tasty and keeps me full all day.

Since 1994, Bread and Porridge has been serving up some of the best breakfast on the Westside. I discovered this place when I moved to LA and thought I’d share with you a couple of my favorite breakfast items in town.

Bread & Porridge 
2315 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
http://breadandporridge.com

Instead of my usual black coffee, I decided to live a little and have a Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate. It was topped with an ample amount of whipped cream (just how I always had it as a kid) and totally hits that comforting spot.

The Ultimate Breakfast Burrito is my favorite item to get here. Not only is it jam-packed, but they wrap it tight enough so it all stays in the tortilla (major points for that!). This is a classic breakfast burrito with rice, beans, eggs, cheddar cheese and pico de gallo, and it comes with a side of house-made salsa, sour cream and guac.
Editor note – I order it with their Cilantro Verde Sausage, made with turkey and chicken in place of the usual sausage.

I really went all out with my sweet tooth here! I also got the Original Belgian Waffle topped with strawberries, Nutella and a fresh vanilla cream. I’m a Nutella fanatic, so this treat really hits the spot.

If you’re in Santa Monica, be sure to pop in!

BOOzy Brunch Bunch: Caramel Apple Sangria

sangria-4

dessertLike any good toddler mom, I head to Pinterest for basically everything party related! Every month or so, I host a “Boozy Brunch Bunch” because well, if you play with kids all day and never see your friends, there is a chance you will lose your sanity. With “Boozy” in the title, I like to have a couple of options available, so thanks to #itsfallyall and Pinterest, I can bring you today’s concoction!

 

This month, I decided to host a BOOzy Brunch Bunch, because of Halloween. Unfortunately, Raleigh got hit way harder than expected by Hurricane Matthew, and my freezer got wiped out, so I didn’t have most of my normal go-to’s, like all the mini muffins I’ve crafted over the years, or the tiny eggos the kids love so much. (I’m seriously not complaining about this; there are towns in North Carolina that people still can not get into their homes, so my freezer is the least of my worries right now). But since I couldn’t just defrost a handful of muffins and throw eggos in the oven, I started to think about my favorite breakfast foods and realized: toasts are so hot right now!

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My favorite restaurant up in Rhode Island is called Persephone’s Kitchen, and the owner, Persephone, has a delightful selection of toasts every morning that I decided to emulate. So for the guests at my home, there were avocado and cayenne pepper sprinkled with goat cheese toast, goat cheese and mini heirloom tomato toast, and the gold standard of Nutella and banana slices on toast! Of course, I provided mimosas and coffee, but I wanted to have a special beverage on hand as well. My sister-in-law and I had thrown a joint birthday party for our new one-year-olds at the beginning of October, and we tried this recipe for the first time then. I just knew it had to make another appearance this fall!

Caramel Apple Sangria

sangria-1This recipe is super easy and takes 5 minutes to put together! Deceptively sweet, so make sure kids don’t accidentally drink it (a valid concern) and make sure your adult friends know they just got sloshed before you let them hop into a car and drive home! It’s the perfect warm fall day beverage, as the sun is shining and you don’t want anything too heavy! Ideal for a southern fall day, for sure!

 

 

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The first step is to cut up 2-3 apples and add them to your pitcher! I started this in a juice jar, and realized I needed something bigger midway through and transferred! Next, add a bottle of your favorite chilled white wine (I used chardonnay), a container of apple cider (I prefer Trader Joe’s  version), and then the coup de grace, is one cup of Smirnoff’s Kissed Caramel Vodka.

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Everyone who has tried this loves it! I’m thrilled for the leftovers to share with my neighborhood tonight as the kids are out Trick – or – Treating!

sangria-5

Summer’s Broccoli Tots

YASSSSS!! Fall is officially here!  The weather is finally not giving me a heat stroke, I can stomp aimlessly through piles of leaves, I can pretty much get pumpkin anything and football season has started. That means a copious amount of Sunday Fundays is about to go down!

Now I love a good football snack spread just as much as the next person. However, most snacks are fried and smothered with cheese. Like my favorite, tater tots. Since I know I am going to be attending a ton of Sunday Fundays, I cannot be eating all the fried food. ( I want to, but I can’t keep buying new jeans). So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a healthy version of my fave, broccoli tots.

I used my cauliflower pizza crust recipe as inspiration, and I have to say what I came up with was freaking tasty AF. So if you want to get your snack on basically guilt free continue reading for my Broccoli Tot recipe.

*I give this disclaimer every time but just in case… I do not measure out anything. I just kind of eyeball it with these little bowls and they hold approximately one cup. 

ingredients

Broccoli Tots

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli diced or Trader Joe’s Riced Broccoli

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1 egg

2/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon parsley, dried flakes or fresh

1 tablespoon paprika

Heaping tablespoon of cayenne (I like things a little spicy, if you prefer more mild use less)

Salt and pepper to taste

Put all seasonings in a small bowl

 

Preheat the oven to 400.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Blanche the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse the broccoli with cold water and let it sit while I prepping everything else.

After you’ve chopped your onions and grated the cheese, place the broccoli between a couple of paper towels and gently pressed to remove any excess water. (I didn’t take a pic of this cause, well, it wasn’t pretty)

Once you are done pressing the water out throw everything together in a bowl and mix well.

mix-it-together

Now you are ready to form your tots. I am not gonna lie, this was the most time-consuming part and if you don’t like getting stuff all up in your fingernails wear some gloves. Grab a little amount of the mixture on a spoon and squeezed it together in your hand until it forms a tot-esque shape. Place them on parchment lined baking sheet.

Once you form all your tots, throw them in the oven and let them cook for 25 minutes.

formed-tots

Place them on a tray/plate/whatever and serve with your fave condiment. I promise these will be a hit. Even my boyfriend liked them, and I usually have to trick him into eating broccoli.

broccoli-tots-finished

Enjoy!

me-eating-tot

Saturday Funday: Brunch at Tap 42 in Boca Raton

20160903_153503Brunch is about the celebration of food, fun, and friends. I had not felt like I had much to celebrate recently but that has changed in the last two weeks. As a result, I was ready for a fun-filled brunch with all my friends. Since South Florida is home to many restaurants that offer yummy brunch menus, we had our work cut out for us in choosing the right place. After a little back and forth, my friends and I decided on Tap 42 in Boca Raton.

Tap 42 
5050 Town Center Cir #247, Boca Raton, FL 33486
http://tap42.com/boca-raton/

tap 42With the rise of the craft beer scene, Tap 42 was designed to offer South Florida beer enthusiasts a place to come and discover local beers and smaller craft productions. However, it’s not only for beer lovers. The cuisine at Tap 42 was designed to delight the senses. Along with traditional pub food for those looking for a more “bar-food” experience, the menu boasts gourmet options that include locally sourced, organic produce as well as vegan and vegetarian options. This place has something for everyone and since we had a party of eight, all of us were sure to find something on the menu that spoke to us directly. (You know, besides the mimosas!)

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And did we ever! There were quite a few items that made the cut. One of my friend’s decided on the Bacon and Sweet Corn Guacamole, which came in the vegetarian option.

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Like you, we were expecting the guacamole to come as a dip with a side of chips or flatbread. However, many of the menu options at Tap 42 came in the form of a sandwich, and I can say my friend loved the variation. This option was no different. The Bacon and Sweet Corn Guacamole came as a piece of whole wheat toast topped with creamy avocado spread and cotija cheese garnished with charred corn, pink onions and fried garlic. A sunny side up egg sprinkled with all the fixings: cotija cheese, fried garlic, pink onions and charred corn completed the dish.

We ordered what is perhaps the most well-known thing on Tap 42’s brunch menu: The Prohibition. It is a classic pub burger with a twist. This mouthwatering burger comes topped with applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and dijonnaise along with Tap 42’s very own secret sauce. Of course, this would not be proper brunch sandwich without a over easy egg to complete it.

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My friends and I would give Tap 42’s brunch menu two thumbs up. We loved it so much; we’re already planning our next trip back to taste some their 55 craft beer offerings. Yep. Despite the 42 in the name, this pub offers, even more, craft drafts that the name suggests. Can’t wait until our next time there!

Up and Away: QuickChek NJ Festival of Ballooning

For all the New Jersey and tri-state dwellers, the QuickChek NJ Festival of Ballooning is one event of the summer you can’t miss! With live music, spectacular views, great food, and activities for every age group, it’s the perfect day out for squad and fam alike. The kids will love it so much. The activities are so engaging in a similar fashion to the pretend play youtube channels. You can tour the inside of a hot air balloon, take a ride up if you have that kind of cash, and even witness a sparkly spectacle of a woman get shot out of a cannon. Why does she do this you may be wondering? It runs in the family of course. There are plenty of vendors on location to satisfy even the fiercest of munchies. Our first indulgences were fresh strawberry banana smoothies in fun twisty souvenir cups.

2 cases of brain freeze later, we upgraded to a Philly cheesesteak and a cheeseburger.IMG_1384IMG_1383

The vendors offered cheeseburgers, hot dogs, Italian sausages, gyros, falafel, crab cakes, funnel cakes, zeppoles, fried Oreos, and fresh squeezed lemonade. With happy bellies, we eagerly awaited the ascension of the balloons.

Pandas, sailor ducks, and smileys oh my.

Last but not least, this event offers plenty of cutesy photo-ops such as this. Thanks for checking out our post, we hope to see y’all at events in the future!

-C & J

Sunday Funday: Brunch at Leona in Venice

NyeshaI had the pleasure of meeting executive chef Nyesha Arrington (of Top Chef and Knife Fight) at a party/tasting celebrating the opening of her new spot Leona, in Venice. The tasting was fantastic and had me salivating for the opening. When I heard it was going to be located on Washington Blvd, I was a little apprehensive about that. I’ve lived Venice over 2 years now and I can honestly say, I never make it past Abbot Kinney Blvd. If you’re on Washington Blvd and move east toward Lincoln Blvd, there is a decent amount of ethnically diverse restaurants, as well as foodie favorites, but towards the beach, there’s more of a tourist trap vibe (The Whaler, Cabo Cantina, Islands). Leona sits a lot closer to the beach than the usual food blogger havens, so I had my guard up. Especially since the beachside of Washington Blvd. can be a little overwhelming with traffic on the weekends.

Leona
123 Washington Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
310-822-5379
http://leonavenice.com

LeonaLuckily for us, Leona is a breath of fresh air for the beachside Washington Blvd scene. I hope Leona’s presence makes a big enough splash to bring in better culinary delights for this part of the block. My girlfriends and I went to the soft open for their brunch over the past weekend and it definitely met the Girls on Food standards for a solid Sunday Funday. Mimosas, great food and a laid back atmosphere. Nyesha defines Leona as “California Progressive Cuisine”, and I think that’s a perfect description for the menu. The brunch items are appropriate to the current season with a melting pot feel of flavors, Italian, Dutch and Korean are represented. I was bummed out the infamous Chicken Brick that I have read so much about online wasn’t offered during brunch. It’s becoming a signature item (according to my online stalking), so I would’ve loved to have seen it incorporated in this menu. Maybe next time?

peach mimosaMimosas are mandatory for a girlie Funday. I had their peach mimosa and I love that it was delicately peach flavored; it didn’t have that overkill-syrupy taste a lot mimosas have. One of my friends had the passion fruit mimosa, which had a beautiful magenta color and also scored points with me for not being too sweet. These were great sweet spins on a classic drink.

Latkes

We started with Korean Latkes, a Jewish potato pancake with a kick. If you’re sensitive to spices, you should dip it in the dollop of creme fraiche provided before a bite. I loved the kick personally. I also gushed over the presentation. I love the offering of herbs, fresh pepper and sea salt to sprinkle on it.

pancakes

bacon

After our savory start, we shared Brown Butter Pancakes and California Benedict. The pancakes were to die for. They have that sweet and savory flavor combination that brings this foodie down her knees. The whipped coconut cream and sea-salt vanilla butter on top melt and get soaked up by the pancake, so there’s a buttery flavor to every bite. If you really love that sweet and savory flavor, order a side of their bacon and add that on top of your pancake. It’s smoky, very thick and has the right amount of fat.

 

benedict

The California Benedict is aesthetically impressive plate and caters to coastal tastebuds. The fried soft shell crab rests on top an English muffin, with avocado and topped with poached eggs, then covered in a tomato hollandaise. I haven’t had soft shell crab added to a benedict before, so this was a unique treat for me.

I recommend all Venice locals give the brunch here a taste and I’m looking forward to coming in for dinner. There’s a variety of seating here, ranging from indoor, outdoor, wine bar and countertop. These options cater to pretty much anyone. The atmosphere is very “California”, it’s nice, but there’s no pressure to dress up. Be prepared to either ride a bike or take an Uber here. Parking can cost up to $25 and there isn’t a valet system set up there yet. This spot is still technically in a soft open, so there’s time for them to find their legs.

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