La Bonne Crepe has been serving up fine French cuisine in the heart of Fort Lauderdale since it first opened its doors in 1993. I can say that my initial meal there came just a couple years after that and I haven't stopped going since. Its location on Las Olas has watched many neighbors come and go, but La Bonne Crepe has held its ground and rightfully so. It offers a delicious menu from late morning until the evening hours, however my absolute favorite time to dine there is right at 1pm (don't let my family know I'm letting you in on our secret). The reason for this is because this is when the crepes become available, and if you're not able to enjoy a crepe at La Bonne Crepe, you are missing out.
This "brunch" post feels like I'm cheating a little because McAlister's is not what you would consider a place for your traditional type of brunch, but I cannot deny one of my most favorite places the chance to shine in the spotlight. Unfortunately for us here in South Florida, there is no McAlister's to be had (however I do encourage anyone with $500k+ who is looking for a smart investment to open one immediately down here), so when I get into a city that has one of these fine deli establishments, I make it a point to dine there at least once. This past weekend, while visiting my Alma Mater (Go Gators), I ate not once, but twice at the very location that I first fell in love with McAlister's (Gainesville, FL).
In honor of Sunday being known as “Brunch” day, I will feature a spot each weekend that I find to have an great menu for the in between breakfast and lunch dining time. I would love to start my weekly trend with “the best brunch I've ever had,” but I really cannot narrow it down to just one. There are numerous buffets and sit down brunches that have earned my respect and I cannot wait to share them with you all, in no particular order. Just remember, if I write about it, it's gotta be good!
The first brunch that comes to mind was one I had just a few weeks ago while in Atlanta, more specifically, in Buckhead. Horseradish Grill is a family run establishment whose walls have a history far beyond the 18 years the Alterman's have owned it. This country grocery store turned restaurant maintains a countryside look with a well groomed exterior and a homey feel inside.
There are three reasons that I will never move away from South Florida- my family, the weather, and Bageland. This long-standing deli located in my home town of Coral Springs, is the one restaurant that I have dined at the most in my life. From the time I was in single digits to now, I have always suggested (and sometimes begged) that we head to Bageland for breakfast/brunch. I'm sure there's some nostalgia there and a comfort zone thing going on, but honestly, the food is damn good. It's safe to say that I've had just about everything on the menu (I've had 20+ years to achieve this accomplishment) and never have I tried something that was "bad."
I couldn’t be more excited that our friends Jamie and Mark recently moved back to South Florida, but one thing that saddens me is that our trips to Dallas will be few and far between since we can now go down the street to visit them. While I love many things that the “Big D” has to offer, the restaurants are definitely on the top of my list.
J&M are fellow foodies and understand that food is first priority when planning our weekend agenda. That being said, Nick and Sam’s Grill was always penned into the “Sunday Brunch” slot for our Dallas visits. They have an incredible, fun, and affordable selection of plates to enjoy, which all seem to go perfect with the mimosas, served by the [inexpensive] carafe.
Since my NYC weekend trip, which included an itinerary full of good eats, was canceled due to the "mean Irene," I am resorting to reliving a great meal through a review of one of the city's greatest brunch spots, The Smith. I am giving The Smith such props not because I am an expert on restaurants in Manhattan, but rather due to its popularity and overall positive criticisms. Its location in the East Village is full of life, and during Sunday brunch, full of people! The crowd certainly creates an upbeat atmosphere within the walls of the industrially decorated dining area. The fun vibe is a perfect match for the brunch menu, which offers a bunch of unique dishes that won't leave your palette bored.
Buffet style dining isn't typically the way I choose to enjoy a meal, but every now and again there is a wonderland of food that I develop a crush on. This time it happened in Los Angeles, at Cafe Sierra. This restaurant is located inside of a major hotel, adjacent to a major amusement park, but it does not make you feel like you are in a tourist trap. There is a fine quality of food and the selection has the same if not more variety than the grandest ones in Vegas, the Buffet Mecca of the world!
Here is Part 1 of, "My Double Dosed Day of Max's” For no other reason than pure coincidence, I ate lunch, then dinner at locations owned by long-time South Florida restaurateur, Dennis Max. Check out the Part 2 of my double dose here, and read on to find out what Max's Grille in Boca Raton, FL is all about.
Trendy décor, upbeat music, and fusion fare is what the Downtown Delray eateries are known for- and is everything that Sundy House is not. Just a couple of blocks away from “the scene,” lies a completely different kind of scene- a large, Victorian style house surrounded by lush landscapes. The tropical gardens, the freshwater ponds, and the tranquil ambiance create a romantic setting that will make any heart melt. Quiet tables for two sprinkled along the outdoor pathway are perfect for wooing your first date or the one you are celebrating years of togetherness with. But don’t think it’s a place just for couples. For our last dining experience, we had the magic number, eight, scoring us the most magnificent outdoor table, underneath a private gazebo (which my friends thought I set up- so I may have taken a little credit for it). There is no limit to how many you can dine with at Sundy House. As a matter of fact, it is a popular place for people to host their special occasions, from milestone birthdays to full out weddings. The property is ideal no matter what time of year you are planning your event because the indoor dining areas are (almost) as nice as the outdoor grounds, including the Warhol room, which doubles as an art gallery.