Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Food News: Cochon555 and Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival

As the weather slowly creeps towards warmer temperatures, Brandy has just one thing on her mind: food festivals.  "I love nothing better than getting out to some exciting locale and stuffing my face with all sorts of bite sized delights!" as she had been saying to anyone who will listen.  Luckily, the first crop of festivals are beginning to poke their heads out of the defrosted ground with announcements of dates, chef line ups, and cooking demos galore.

On Sunday April 24th, the 8th iteration of the Cochon555 tour will make a stop in Chicago at the Loews Hotel, bringing with it a plethora of porky goodness. The return of the one-of-a-kind stand-up tasting reception will feature five chefs cooking five heritage breed pigs in a friendly competition for a cause. This year's chef line up will include such Chicago favorites as Alfredo Nogueira, Sarah Grueneberg, Sarah Rinkavage, Cory Morris, and Phillip Foss.

Upping its commitment to the good food movement and charitable cause, this year’s tour includes two guest chef dinners that will benefit Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary that will provide free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms.   Friday kicks off with a Late Night Asian Speakeasy, an all-inclusive guest chef’s dinner party paying homage to Chinese, Sichuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese restaurants. On Saturday, the Chef's Course Dinner Series is a multi-course feast featuring courses paired with premium wines and spirits. Tickets to the dinners are available online at $125 per person and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Piggy Bank. On Sunday, the epic feast features celebrity chefs cooking whole hogs in a stand-up reception of epic proportions. Guests are encouraged to buy tickets as the event is expected to sell out earlier this year. Cochon555 is also running a 21-day contest, “Can’t We Just Be Friends”, giving away two VIP Tickets worth $400. Friends of the good food movement can sign up for the latest news on the weekend and enter the contest here: Tickets for the weekend are already on sale at and for a behind the scenes look at the culinary competition, watch Cochon555’s video here

Photo courtesy of Pastoral 
Photo courtesy of Pastoral 
Following this epic weekend of pig will be the 6th Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival.  This free event, created by Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, showcases the talents of local, national and international producers of high quality artisan foods and beverages. APF attendees can sample small-batch food, beer, wine and spirits from nearly 100 culinary artisans.

As a special addition to this year’s event, the APF will feature a James Beard Nominated Chef stage program with culinary thought leaders who will be in town for the James Beard Awards Ceremony that weekend. Guests will hear notable chefs speak about their approach to sourcing product and their appreciation of artisan producers, including, Tory Miller (James Beard Best Chef Midwest), Paul Fehribach (Three-time James Beard Award Semifinalist), Erling Wu-Bower (2015 finalist for James Beard Best Chef, Great Lakes), and Dan Fox (2016 nominee for James Beard Best Chef Midwest).

Proceeds from this event will benefit Purple Asparagus and the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award, a scholarship fund for aspiring cheese professionals.

Friday, March 25, 2016

AMK or America the Brunch-i-ful

The Slow and Savory Review

It was a little over a year ago that Brandy met an aspiring film maker by the name of Boxty Ban who was determined to make a movie about her brunching adventures.  Sadly, The Rise and Fall of Sweet and Savory never did find the funding it needed to get off the ground, but that hasn't deterred Boxty's ambitions one bit.  "I think what we need is a good angle, one that will send people flocking to the box office.  We could incorporate a tragic love story, for instance, or maybe super hero or a vampire!"  It was obvious to Brandy that Boxty had been corrupted by the Hollywood system.  "A film about brunch doesn't need all that," Brandy chided her, "It's just like when a brunch menu tries be too whimsical or twisty.  Put the focus on the classics, the fundamentals, and go from there, that's what I always say."  "I'm not sure what you mean."  "Well, let's go get some brunch and I'll show you."

Brandy chose AMK Kitchen & Bar in Bucktown, thinking the hip sensibilities and American comfort food based menu would help to prove her point to Boxty.  The inside of AMK had that modern industrial kind of feel so common now a days, but here it was done nicely, with exposed brick walls decorated in custom graffiti art and twinkling strings of light throughout the cozy, but open space.

The cocktail menu immediately attracted Brandy's attention.  She first went for the Thorn Cherry with vermouth, lime, champagne, sage, and cherry liqueur, which Brandy found had a nice deep fruity and floral flavor without being too heavy.  Boxty's choice was the Garden Girl, which had such a pleasant sweet and creamy strawberry flavor that it could easily turn dangerous.  Brandy also sampled the Rhub Me Off, which had a bright tropical flavor that Brandy thought went extremely well with breakfasty foods, while Boxty switched to the Uncle Sam's Espresso with bourbon, cinnamon, vanilla, and of course coffee.  "And I thought Irish coffee was bad enough!" the native Irish Boxty exclaimed, "But this is a whole new experience!"

The meal started off with a pair of dishes at opposite ends of the spectrum: Turduken Meatballs and a Grilled Watermelon and Beet Salad.  The salad tasted just as colorful as it looked, with a great mix of textures both crunchy and soft between the beets, the melon, some roasted pumpkin seeds, and the beautifully bruleed balls of goat cheese, and the bright citrus vinaigrette pulled everything together nicely.  The meatballs had a good even consistency and a well spiced flavor that shown through the tomato sauce that covered them.  Brandy especially enjoyed the cheesy garlic bread that came served on the side, which was slathered in butter.  "If there's anything more comforting in American cuisine than bread, butter, and cheese, I don't know what it would be," Brandy commented.

Boxty went with the Chilaquiles and Huevos as her entree.  The chips at the base had perfect crunch, even under the abundance of toppings, and a dose of chicken chorizo gave the dish a good kick of spice.  Boxty especially liked that the mix of pico de gallo and the avocado sour cream, which ensured that every mouthful was slightly different.  "Don't you think that's a nice twist on a traditional chilaquiles?" Brandy asked.  "Well, I can't say that I am familiar enough with what a traditional chilaquiles s we don't really have anything like this in Ireland, but it is rather tasty," Boxty replied.

Brandy picked the Chicken and Waffles for her main course.  The chicken had a good thick coating on it that gave a satisfying sort of crunch.  The waffles were also substantial with a good malty flavor that went well with the chicken, especially with the addition of a drizzle of maple syrup.  Brandy did find the choice of adding fresh berries to the dish a little strange, as while they did make everything look nice, they didn't necessarily go with the chicken.  "Though I'm usually the last one to complain about adding a little fruit to a plate for some color," she reasoned.

Not just the moderately priced and tasty food at AMK had put Brandy in a good mood, but also the exceptional service and the attention to detail in the way the dishes were plated, something that a lot of restaurants simply don't bother with when it comes to brunch.  Sitting back and enjoying their cocktails to the last drop, Brandy wondered if Boxty had seen the value in using a classic as a foundation for building new and exciting things upon.  "I think I do see what you mean now," Boxty admitted, "The classics are classics for a reason, and even they were once built on the foundations of even older classics."  "Exactly!" Brandy exclaimed.  "So, what I'm thinking now is that we do The Rise and Fall of Sweet and Savory as a gritty reboot of Breakfast at Tiffany's," said Boxty with a gleam in her eye.  "Oh goodness," Brandy stopped her, "Now we need to have a discussion about remakes."

The writers of this blog were invited to dine free of charge by the restaurant in exchange for an honest review.

The Short and Sweet Revew
AMK Kitchen Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bunny and Brandy's Brunch Guide: Easter 2016

The Happ Inn: 10:00-3:30, $37.95 per adult, includes appetizer and dessert buffet plus cooked entree
Prairie Grass Café: 10:00-2:00, buffet, $48 per person, every guest gets a serving of their signature Eggs Benedict 

Lucille @ the Drury Lane Theatre: 10:00-5:00 buffet, $45 per adult with drinks included 

The Estate: 11:00-2:00  $42 buffet including one complimentary mimosa, live jazz music

Punch Bowl Social: 9:00-3:00 buffet $29 per person

Chop: 9:00-3:00 prix fixe for $24, includes an appetizer, entrée, and side plus one drink, plastic eggs Easter eggs with surprise inside for every guest
Acadia: 11:00-3:00 a la carte, complimentary plate of pastries for every table, 

La Sirena Clandestina: 11:00-3:00 a la carte, live samba music
Sepia: 10:00-3:00, four course prix fixe for $54 per person
Porkchop: 11:00-3:00 prix fixe for $19 including two courses plus fresh fruit/bloody mary at all three locations
III Forks: 11:00-9:00 PM, 3 course prix fixe for $50
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel Ballroom: 10:30-4:00, buffet for $110, includes 1 glass of champagne
Filini: 9:00-3:00, buffet for $65 per person
Mercat a la Planxa: 7:00-3:00, prix fixe $35 per person included churros, dolce de leche espresso, and fresh fruit
The Florentine: 11:00-2:30, buffet $65 per person and $15 for unlimited bloody marys or mimosas
Seven Lions: 10:00-3:00 two course prix fixe including a basket of pastries, $34 a person, $10 bloody marys and $15 mimosa pitchers

Devon Seafood Grille: 10:30-2:30, buffet for $35

Howells and Hood: 9:00-3:00 buffet $39 per person
Signature Room: 10:00-6:30, buffet $80 per person, includes one cocktail

The Langham: 11:00-3:00, buffet $135 per person, plus entertainment for kids
Osteria la Madia: 10:30-2:30 a la carte, complimentary Easter Egg shaped donuts from Firecakes

The Bristol: 10:00-2:00, $35 a person includes pastry board pâtés, terrines, and spreads for the table, plus entree of choice
AMK: 10:00-3:00, a la carte $20 bottomless mimosas and 4 types of bloody marys

Earls Kitchen and Bar: 11:30-3:00 plus extended hours through Monday, a la carte
Chez Moi: 10:30-3:00 a la carte menu featuring new brunch items for spring, including signature deviled eggs
White Oak Tavern: 10:00-2:00 family style plates for the table, $37 per person includes a glass of champagne
King’s Bowl: 11:00-1:00, $20 for a ticket, complimentary pizza and soda and a game of bowling, plus a la carte menu available, benefits the Anti-Cruelty Society, every guest gets a golden Easter egg with prizes inside,

Kit Kat Lounge: 11:00-4:00 four course prix fixe, $39.95 per person, includes unlimited drinks, live performances by Madam X

Osteria Lange: 11:00-3:00 3 course prix fixe $40 per person 

Nana: 9:00-2:30, al a carte special holiday menu

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hearth or Home is Where the Hearth Is

The Slow and Savory Review

A few weeks ago, Bunny, while in town, had a simply spectacular meal at a little spot called Hearth in Evanston, and she has not stopped raving about it since.  "It was just so well thought out, so surprising, and so so delicious!" she'd told Brandy on more than one occasion.  Brandy, somewhat annoyed that her friend had such an amazing meal without her, has simply taken note without much input, until recently when Bunny asked her why she had yet to go there for brunch.  "What do you mean?" Brandy had asked her.  "Well, they launched their brunch service shortly after I was there for dinner.  Did I not tell you about this?"  "That must have been what you were trying to say that night you called me.  The only words I could make out were, 'Evanston,' and 'Ravioli.'"  "Oh yes!  Well, I did have a few cocktails that evening!" Bunny giggled.

Not willing to wait any longer to visit this hidden gem now that she knew brunch was a possibility, Brandy gathered up her friend Bailey and headed North from the city one Sunday morning.  Hearth was easy to pass by, being in a rather unconventional space, but once inside, it felt warm and comfy.  Sunlight simply lit up the room, which centered around a large brick fireplace, giving everything the air of a cozy mountain lodge.  The ladies quickly ordered up a couple of Bellinis made with fresh peach nectar to sip while they reviewed the menu.

The morning's nosh began with a a trio of fresh baked pastries.  The muffin of the day was flavored with apple and lemon, giving it a nicely fruity touch.  It was served warm, which made it crumble enticingly in the fingers as it was eaten, the top of it having a nice light crunch and the inside being soft and moist.  The daily scone was next, having been spiked with chocolate, cranberries, and orange peel.  The texture of it was rather dense and the flavor was intensely orange with a lovely richness from the dark chocolate.  "I may need a cup of tea to finish this off," said Brandy, "Or maybe one of those Earl Grey cocktails Bunny mentioned."   Lastly was the coffee cake, which had been made with blueberries and cream cheese.  Brandy was absolutely swooning over this particular pastry for its fresh and decadent flavor and perfect velvety texture.  "Can I try a bit of it?" Bailey asked, but quickly withdrew her fork when she saw Brandy's expression.

For Bailey's main course, she chose her old standby, the Biscuits and Gravy.  This version had been made with chorizo in the gravy and topped with scallions, meaning the usually drab looking brunch staple was actually quite pretty and colorful to behold.  The chorizo absolutely permeated the plate with flavor, making for what Bailey declared was possibly the best gravy she'd ever tasted.  "This is going to sound silly, but you know what it reminds me of?  Chili!" she laughed, "You have to remember, I'm from Ohio, so I know what good chili tastes like, and even the best chili doesn't compare to how flavorful this is."  The biscuits at the center of the dish were nothing to sneeze at either, having a dense but silky texture and a good bite of green onion and cheddar goodness.

Brandy went with the AM Burger, which came with a side of home fried potatoes.  The potatoes were nicely cooked, but a tad over salted, though Brandy did like the uneven crispiness of the exterior skins.  The burger, on the other hand, was a true breakfast burger, being served on an English muffin with bacon jam, melty cheese, and an over easy egg.  "I've had plenty of so called breakfast burgers in my time," said Brandy, "And usually they are simply a lunch burger with an egg on top.  This, however, really feels like a dish more meant for consuming before noon."  The beef had a lovely char to it that was balance nicely by the pockets of sweet bacon jam and topped off by the richness of the over easy egg.

"Well, I do see why Bunny so adored this place," Brandy commented as she and Bailey sipped some coffee at the end of their meal, "Though I do wish some of those special touches she mentioned about the dinner had been carried over to the brunch service."  Never the less, the service was just as friendly and knowledgeable as Bunny had described and the prices were more than reasonable.  "I suppose Bunny knows what she's talking about after all," said Brandy, "Even after she's had a few cocktails."

The writers of this blog were invited to dine by the restaurant free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

The Short and Sweet Review
Hearth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, March 11, 2016

Replay or Brunch Playlist

The Slow and Savory Review
It's extraordinary how restaurant trends evolve.  One day it's steak houses that are all the rage.  The next, it's bowls of ramen or crazy burgers.  But there is one trend Brandy rather likes the look of: the gaming gastro pub.  Having visited a few of these denizens of delight over the last year or so, Brandy has grown rather fond of the concept, which often mixes things like pinball, table top games, bowling, and retro video games ("Virtually all video games are new to me, so there's no point in calling them retro," Brandy often gripes) with creative new twists on typical bar food and cocktails.

It was while trying to explain these new kinds of restaurants to her friend and go-to gaming expert, Hawk, that Brandy came across one she'd not yet visited.  Replay in Andersonville not only boasted a wealth of free video games to play, they also featured an extensive menu and a huge selection of beers, bourbon, and cocktails.  "So you're telling me I can go there, play a game, order my drink, play another game, order food, play another game, eat the food, and then play another game?" Hawk asked in disbelief.  "I suppose so," Brandy replied.  "Amazing!  I didn't think I could do that anywhere other than my own bedroom!  Let's go!" he exclaimed.

Replay had a nice, comfortable neighborhood bar feeling to it while still featuring some little design touches, like a colorful hand painted mural that surrounded the gaming area of the room.  It's corner location meant that the space got plenty of light, and while a little cramped at the tables,  the isles between the games were easily maneuverable.

Brandy and Hawk started off with some pick me ups, sampling the an Irish Coffee and a Kentucky Coffee.  The Kentucky Coffee was good and strong with a decent hit of of bourbon flavor that Brandy really enjoyed, while Hawk found his Irish coffee to have the perfect ratio of booze to caffeine.  "I don't know that I've ever seen the point in alcoholic coffee drinks, practically speaking.  I mean, one end gets you going up while the other end brings you back down," said Hawk.  "Yes, well, I don't think many people drink alcoholic coffee beverages for practical purposes," Brandy replied.

First up, the pair split an order of the Fried Chicken and Waffles.  Brandy really loved the mix of savory and sweet on this dish, especially as it had been topped with a crunchy jicima salad, some spicy sriracha aioli, and a drizzle of decadent maple butter.  The chicken was nicely crisp on the outside and extremely juicy on the inside, while the waffle boasted a rather pleasant chewy texture.

Moving on to entrees, Hawk dove in with the Corned Beef Hash.  This was most certainly a dish for a practiced carnivore, with more hunks of meat than anything else.  The meat itself was very nicely spiced, but not greasy at all, which Hawk appreciated.  "A hearty breakfast like this is the perfect thing before a marathon gaming session," he commented, "Gives you plenty of protein for a sustained energy release.  That sort of thing comes in handy at about the seventh hour of game play."  "Seventh hour!?" Brandy exclaimed.  "Oh, that's nothing.  I once saw a guy play a week straight of Pac-Man, only napping for short bursts in between level screens."

Brandy chose the Lobster Benedict for her main course.  She particularly liked that this version of the brunch staple used a toasted pretzel bun in place of the more traditional English muffin, which can sometimes bog the dish down with toughness if not toasted properly.  The hollandaise, which had been infused with dill and tarragon, was extremely flavorful, but not overpowering, and the lobster was plentiful and tender.  "I feel a kinship with this particular Benedict," Brandy said, "At first it seems rather luxurious and extravagant, then it seems bold and unexpected, and finally soft and agreeable."  The potatoes on the side were also exemplary, with a lightly crisp outside and a buttery flavor.

Lastly, the two finished off the eating portion of their meal with a serving of Bread Pudding.  This particular confection had a lovely caramelized exterior and a soft, rich interior.  The flavor was predominantly of a warm cinnamon, but was also accented by dark, melty chocolate chips.  "The sugar in this will help keep our minds sharp when we head into the thick of battle," said Hawk.  "And by battle, you mean pressing buttons to shoot at little electronic images?" "YES!"

And so now properly prepared, the two friends went to war on the gaming floor.  A few hours later, Hawk's ego was feeling pretty bruised by Brandy's surprisingly agile and tactical moves.  "Good thing you did get a good meal in you before taking me on," Brandy said, smugly, "Now at least you'll have the energy to accept defeat!"  "But I don't understand," Hawk gawked, "I thought you didn't know the first thing about video games!"  "I don't," said Brandy, "But I never said I wasn't a good shot."

The writers of this blog were invited to dine free of charge by the restaurant in exchange for an honest review.

The Short and Sweet Review

Replay Beer & Bourbon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

From the Kitchens of Bunny and Brandy: Stuffed Bread Pudding with Truwhip

With warmth in the air a little sooner than usual, Brandy has been craving the sweet flavors of summer time.  "Cakes, fruits, and oodles of whipped cream have been dancing in my head as of late," Brandy mused one day while plodding around her kitchen, "Why oh why did I make that ridiculous New Year's resolution to eat healthier?"

Luckily, Brandy had recently discovered Truwhip, an all natural whipped topping that is free of trans fats, GMOs, gluten, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils.  Truwhip comes in two varieties, Original and Skinny, both of which have a smooth, fluffy texture and perfectly sweet taste that expertly mirrors its less than natural competitor products.  Brandy loved this stuff so much, in fact that her first tub some how mysteriously disappeared without even being used in a any recipe or dish.

Because Truwhip goes perfectly with fruits, Brandy began brain storming.  "Spring makes me think of berries, of course, but also soft, sweet apricots.  Oh, lovely apricot jam on a croissant with a touch of cream cheese... Well now, that does give me an idea."  So gathering up her ingredients while dreaming of sitting at a table outside a bistro in New Orleans, a dish began to come together that could work for either brunch or dessert and still be somewhat healthy ("Well, healthier than is would be if I was using straight whipped cream!" said Brandy in justification).  

Stuffed Bread Pudding
6 large croissants
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1 block of cream cheese, softened
2 cups of Truwhip
1/3 cup of apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9x9 pan with butter or cooking spray. Tear the croissants into small pieces and place in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt.  Pour the mixture over the croissants and leave until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

 In a medium bowl, whip together the cream cheese and the Truwhip until smooth.  Layer in half of the croissant mixture into the greased pan and press flat with a plate.  Spread half of the Truwhip mixture onto the croissants, then add one layer of the apricot preserves, spread on the remainder of the Truwhip mixture, and top with the other half of the croissants.  Press flat again so that the top is somewhat level.  Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the pudding has set.  If the top begins to brown too much, place a sheet of tin foil over the pan halfway through cooking.

Serve warm immediately or chill in the fridge overnight.  Makes 6-9 servings.

The writers of this blog were sent product by Truwhip free of charge in order to facilitate the writing of this post.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Beef and Barley or The Wind that Shakes the Brunch Menu

The Slow and Savory Review

Back before Christmas when Bunny was in town, Brandy got a bit jealous that her bosom companion was taking in some restaurants without her.  "None of them were brunch, I don't see what the kerfuffle is about!" Bunny exclaimed in exasperation.  "I'm not upset, all I'm saying is that an invitation would have been nice."  "They were spur of the moment stops, for goodness sake.  Also, you've been brunching up a storm since I've been gone from Chicago.  I thought it was only fair that I get a meal or two on my own."  "But I've got a reputation to keep up.  I'm supposed to be the one with all the dining knowledge.  What am I to do if someone asks me about one of the places you've visited?"  "Well, you could always go back to them and form your own opinions.  For instance, one of my new found favorites, Beef and Barley, just recently launched their brunch menu.  Perfect excuse to go back there, if you ask me."

Just as Bunny had been charmed by Beef and Barley's homey, neighborhood bar feel, Brandy too loved the dark woods and cozy layout.  The bar games in the back were a nice touch as well, really making Brandy feel like there was some fun to be had here.

The cocktail menu had lots of promising options.  There was a Make Your Own Mimosa bar with selections of fresh juices and fruit as well as a rather unique bacon infused house Bloody Mary that came with a never ending side of bacon ("Even though I don't like Bloody Mary's, the prospect of unlimited bacon is enough to make me want one," Brandy commented).  But the really unique thing about the cocktail menu was the selection of punch bowls that could be ordered for larger parties.  Brandy especially enjoyed the sweet and refreshing Devil's Doorknob with gin, orange, watermelon, and aromatic bitters.

To show Bunny what for, Brandy arranged a tasting of almost everything on the brunch menu so that she could be sure she was the real expert on this space.  The first section of the meal dealt with some of the more savory options.  The Lox plate was a colorful assortment of smoked salmon, rye bread, whole grain mustard, and assorted veggies that made a very classic breakfast more interactive and fun.  The Corned Beef Hash was another twisted classic with huge hunks of tender, well spiced beef, crispy potatoes, and a rather nice horseradish cream that rounded everything out quite nicely.  The Biscuits and Gravy added a little something extra with strips of fried chicken, making an indulgent dish even more so.  The biscuits were so tender that they fell apart in the rich gravy, while the good crunch of the chicken provided some much needed texture that biscuits and gravy often misses out on.  Last was the Baked Eggs, one of Brandy's favorites of the day.  The eggs rested on a bed of creamy spinach and came with toast points for scooping up all of the cheesy goodness.  "I'm always happy to see when the non-meat options on a menu are just as indulgent as the meaty options, so that even vegetarians aren't missing out on the fun."

The next selections of the menu came from the sandwich category.  The Steak and Egg sandwich came served on ciabatta with a creamy chimichurri sauce that Brandy really enjoyed, and the choice of flank steak meant she wasn't sawing through each bite.  The Mortadella Sandwich was another unforgiving combination of indulgent ingredients that would have a nutritionist throwing their hands in the air.  Though a little on the greasy side, this sandwich reminded Brandy of her first ever American style bologna sandwich, but more grown up, with a creamy and savory Worcestershire sauce and a melty cheddar spread on some thick Texas toast.  Lastly, there was the Paul Prudhomme, named after the king of indulgent food, which was an open faced sandwich with tomato jam, andouille gravy, and a big piece of cajun turkey shnitzel.  The turkey actually helped to lighten up this dish, but the savory gravy still provided plenty of fat for soaking up any alcohol in one's system.

Rounding out the day, Brandy sampled a couple of sweet dishes from the menu.  First up was the Dutch Baby, a different sort of pancake served in a cast iron skillet and topped with caramelized apples.  The texture of the pancake was very unique indeed, being dense and sort of spongy in a good way, making it feel more like a dessert or something to be enjoyed after a savory dish.  The absolute star of the day, however, was the PB&J French Toast.  This delicately layered confection consisted of brioche with strawberry jam, peanut butter, and toasted marshmallow and came served with orange marmalade and fresh whipped cream.  The combination of classic childhood flavors in this way, especially augmented by the delicate texture of the crunchy marshmallow in the middle and the soft fruit jam, was the ultimate in decadence in a menu full of decadent options.

"Well, I think I've proven my point and learned all I can about this place," said Brandy as she finished up her last bites.  The prices seemed extraordinarily low, considering the quality of the dishes, and the staff were not only knowledgeable about the menu, but passionate about it, which Brandy simply loves to see.  "My goodness, I don't know that I could manage another bite of food today, and that is not a feeling I'm used to," Brandy swooned, "This place knows full well that brunch is supposed to be fatty and creamy and greasy to fulfill it's original intention of soaking up the alcohol from a wild weekend night.  Say, I wonder if they frown upon people ordering a punch bowl for themselves, because at this point, I think I need more alcohol in my system for the food I've already eaten to suck up,"

The writers of this blog were invited to dine by the restaurant free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

The Short and Sweet Review