We’re all just hanging in there for New York’s bitter winter. Before you catch the seasonal blues, I’ve got a boozy brunch that’ll warm those numb fingers and transport you to the Caribbean. Yea, I figured you’d like that idea. Miss Lily’s sits adjacent to its brother café Melvin’s Juice Box on West Houston and Sullivan Street in SoHo and offers a $15 brunch prefix of an entrée plus unlimited cocktails for an hour. It’s totally worth it.

Courtesy of Miss Lily's
Courtesy of Miss Lily’s

The dining room is set up like a neighborhood chill spot where all the locals go for a good time. The décor is welcoming and fitting for casual dining. Multi-colored streamers hang from the ceiling making Miss Lily’s look like it’s always ready for a party. Once the cocktails start flowing that’s exactly what it becomes. Some of the hottest reggae music fills the restaurant with warm vibes from Radio Lily. (Yes, they have their own radio station, how awesome?)

Courtesy of Miss Lily's
Courtesy of Miss Lily’s

I ordered the French toast: a tower of soft brioche bricks topped off with banana foster, strawberries, and blueberries. Orgasm in your mouth! (Excuse the rated R term.) You can taste the dark rum giving this dish the island feel that we crave this time of year. I didn’t even need any syrup and secretly had an urge to lick my plate. (Don’t judge me.) If you’re more of the savory brunch type then go for the traditional Jamaican breakfast: ackee and salt fish with callaloo and festival– it would be a sin not to have this on the menu. Then indulge in your bottomless Bellini for the next hour.

New Yorkers baited by booze crowd Miss Lily’s by 1pm (brunch rush hour). Brunch is served only on weekends until 5pm so it would be wise to plan ahead, you don’t want to find yourself wishing you had made that reservation. But, you can always try your luck— wait time averages about 30 minutes and the bar is available for full dining service as well. Cheers! Yah mon!

Courtesy of Miss Lily's
Courtesy of Miss Lily’s

 

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CocoRau Food Tasting

Absolutely amazing is the best way to describe CocoRau! It was love at first bite. The bold, authentic flavors, and great ingredients blew me away. These chocolate treats are organic, healthy, and local. It’s a complete win in my book.

Konstanze greeted me at the shop and I was offered a cup of tea. The shop was lively, warm, and full of laughter. I gulped down the tea and headed to the table of chocolates. There were four different flavors and each was named after a mantra. First, I grabbed the Samadhi Orange Bliss flavor because orange and chocolate sounds amazingly interesting. I was pleasantly surprised by the delicate hint of orange. Each flavor was unique and wonderful. Once I was done stuffing my face sampling the chocolate I decided that Turiya Espresso is my favorite flavor. It was so good that I had to take a power bite home. I definitely enjoyed the CocoRau Valentine’s Event and if my future lover is out there two bags of CocoRau Espresso Power Bites for Valentine’s Day will make me the happiest girl in the world.

Delicious treats, wholesome ingredients, and a great team had made me a lover of CocoRau!

 

CocoRau Display

 

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I’ve been to Charlies for dinner and brunch and though the vibe has been different for both, the food never failed me. I was blown away on my last visit here by their shrimp and grits served in a bread bowl. I was looking to order something I don’t normally indulge in and now I can’t even stop thinking about it. Everyone can’t make amazing grits, and the succulent shrimp were an added bonus for sure.

The grits were the right thickness and consistency and enough to dampen the bread bowl some. The best part was that they put bacon on top and they weren’t shy about it.

shrimp and grits

Sunday’s are their motown brunch days and they host a drag brunch on Saturday’s. The motown one is super cool because they have a live performance going on as your mimosas are getting filed. I can’t wait to check the drag one and get their honey butter biscuit which is also a must have.

Download our FREE NYC Pocket Guide

Do you often find yourself questioning where you should dine this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC pocket guide takes you to 10 Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat. It’s perfect if you’re visiting NYC and are tired of relying on yelp. Let your tastebuds have a party. .

 

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Uncle Julios Guacamole
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Uncle Julio's EntryIMG_7245

I’ve never been a fan of guacamole; maybe it’s because of the clumpy texture or that it’s $2 extra at Chipotle like what?  Or perhaps it’s the brown color it turns after oxidation. Regardless of the reason, I’ve always said “Hold the guac.” One visit to Uncle Julio’s changed my whole mind! My boyfriend was raving about tableside guacamole and since he was paying, I was all in. I was so intrigued when the waiter came to the table and made the guac in the front of our face with our input on all the ingredients. There’s something fascinating about restaurants that prepare your meals in front of you. I love when we’re included in the experience without having to do the labor and we can supervise everything prepared to the liking of our taste buds.

Tableside Guac

The rich, smooth, and creamy guacamole was complemented with bottomless chips! Luke, our server was very attentive; a fresh hot basket was delivered every time it became half empty. Of course, no Mexican meal is complete without drinks, so we ordered “Lucky Horseshoe” (Herradura Reposado Tequilla, Grand Marnier, lemon/lime sour) and “The Swirl” (a frozen collision of margarita and sangria). Don’t be fooled by “The Swirl”, it looks pretty but definitely gets the job done!

Horseshoe & The Swirl

Uncle Julio's Vibrant

While sipping my drink, enjoying my “not your average guac”, and waiting for my main course, I had the chance to admire the decor. The place was so vibrant; it forces you to be happy. The entrees were overwhelming but scrumptious. Uncle Julio’s is located in seven states but it’s totally worth the trip. The next time you are near Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Florida, or Pennsylvania make sure you visit Uncle Julio’s.

Uncle Julio's Juanitas Platter

Uncle Julio's Shrimp Fajita's

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