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.
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.
Here's a little prequel to my Dottie's visit: I was told by multiple people before arriving in San Francisco that I better not leave without eating at Dottie's True Blue Café (San Francisco, CA). I was prewarned about the wait, the one that takes place in a line of hungry people standing single file, out the door and down the sidewalk. Being that we were on vacation, the husband and I were willing to take the time to check this place out. Even on a late Monday morning, the infamous line existed (although my guess is it was about half of the size of what the weekend one gets to be). All in all, I would say we stood there for about 45 minutes and then it was dining time. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was that there were other people photographing their food- I knew we were in good company! Next, I took note of the surroundings- the actual place itself only sits about 30 people including a few seats at the counter. The interior is a cutesy diner set up with an open kitchen, displaying the line cooks hard at work. Swanky music plays in the background and it's almost as the servers are dancing as they move quickly to cater to each guest.
The menu is made up of a couple pages of tempting selections with a few extras posted up on the wall via a chalkboard. I zeroed in on two of those specials and that's what we ordered- an omelet and French toast. Sounds pretty basic, but neither of them were the usual breakfast fare. The omelet was stuffed with lamb Nerguez sausage, roasted garlic, tomato, spinach, and goat cheese. It was an unbelievable combination of flavors and I couldn't help but "ooh" and "aah" with each bite. The side of breakfast potatoes and homemade buttermilk toast completed the dish. For "dessert," we enjoyed the Cinnamon Pecan French toast. I am a sucker for just about anything cinnamon, and this dish was no exception. The bread itself was nice. thick slices cooked just how a French toast should be= well on the outside and just enough on the inside. The whole pecans and pure maple syrup were a perfect addition. After finishing every morsel of our meal, we left with our bellies full, our taste buds charmed, and our wallet barely effected- I'd say we hit a trifecta!
If you're now intrigued to try Dottie's but you just can't fathom an hour or so wait, how about take out? That's always an option and then, you can take your food and enjoy it elsewhere, like at one of San Francisco's pretty parks! No matter what your plan of action is, I highly suggest you give it a try- those friends who threatened my return would be consequential should I not have a Dottie's experience to discuss, knew what they were talking about.
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!