BLVD Bistro Pancakes

Pancake lovers gather around.

If you haven’t yet, head overs to BLVD Bistro in Harlem for brunch and especially for their pancakes. I was lucky enough to catch their extended brunch on a Sunday and even though the wait was long, it was worth it.

BLVD Bistro Mimosa

It had been a while since I’ve seen a chef greeting guests and thanking them for their patronage so it was very refreshing to meet Chef Carlos and get to know more about him and his business. He even poured us more champagne, and I knew I was going to love this place already.

The pancakes I ordered were topped with a blueberry compote and a sprinkle of heaven. I have yet to find pancakes that are softer, richer, and more full of flavor than the ones at BLVD. Believe me, they are as good as they look.

BLVD Bistro Pancakes

Every time I’m asked where to brunch in Harlem, I say go to BLVD Bistro.

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Luckys Burgers

Aside from drooling over Chef’s Lucky’s #YumCam, I had the pleasure of working with him for our appreciation bbq this past summer. Chef Lucky is actually an excellent photographer who just always been in the kitchen, since he was a kid. With mom’s encouragement and mouths to feed, I would say he had his own Le Cordon Bleu training program growing up.

Chef Lucky

Before I get into how perfect his burgers are, I want to highlight how meticulous Chef Lucky is. He insisted on having fresh flowers in his home weekly, only the best, fresh ingredients in his kitchen and is all about presentation. I was indeed starting to feel like the lucky one when he first invited me over for lunch.

Mimosa

Disclaimer: This is still one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted in my life.

Chef Lucky toasted mini Hawaiian sticky buns as he mixed peppers with ground beef into mini burgers to toss in the saucepan. He also seasoned turkey bacon (I won’t reveal his secret about this) and fried it to a crisp and laid it over the burger once cooked through. With panko crusted shrimp frying and hash browns cooking, I was grateful I skipped breakfast that morning. He then melted cheese over the burgers, layered the hash browns, added the shrimp and told me he was just getting started.

Luckys Burgers

He also made an avocado spread for the top bun, added tomatoes and fresh spinach to my now sliders. It was in this moment that I considered marriage. Chef Lucky also took his time plating the dish for me and adding potato chips on the side. He even packed me some to go and that’s why he’s a chef worth telling you about.

Luckys Burgers

I love meeting chefs like this who truly care about food, what they put in it and how they make people feel with it. Those sliders were some of the best to touch my tastebuds and Chef Lucky’s personal touch made them even better. Check out his newest venture with a few pals @LuckysKitchen where he may even share the full recipe.

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STATS Dirty bird Atlanta
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When I’m off the eaten path, I try to go to as many places as possible since I don’t know when I may be in that city again. On my last visit to Atlanta, I was staying near a sports bar named STATS and I was very reluctant to check it out despite the length of my stay and proximity to the location. Right before my flight, I finally gave in.

STATS is such a sports bar to its core but the menu is right out of a show on food network. It was still early so the place was close to empty but I snuggled into a booth to see what they could possibly be working with. I ordered a drink recommended by the down to earth waitress attending me, and the drink was everything I imagined it to be. There’s nothing worse than ordering a drink and it tastes off from what you expected.

STATS Dirty bird Atlanta

The menu was the kind that will leave you ordering 4 items because it all sounds good. My waitress didn’t steer me wrong on my drink, so I went with her judgment on the Dirty Bird despite my dislike for coleslaw. She mentioned what a good pairing it was with the crispy chicken and she was spot on. The sandwich was a little bigger than I was hungry for but every bite was perfection. It was perfectly crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside and came with the right size french fries needed. I tip my hat off to the chefs at STATS for making my food experience memorable and being more than just your average sports bar.

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Cascalote Guacamole

Cascalote Guacamole

Finding a great restaurant is far and a few between. It’s even more rare, to find one in my neighborhood of Spanish Harlem, but always a pleasure when I do. For the past few months, I’ve been keeping Cascalote Latin Bistro a secret but it’s time to share. However, if you rather stay uptown, you can always check out Solace.

Cascalote Punch

Cascalote is located on 109th street, off Second Avenue and you may just miss it if you’re walking by too fast. This quaint restaurant is a mom and pop shop with the parents in the kitchen and their lovely daughters as the wait staff. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here, and I’ve almost had it all. Sometimes they don’t have mimosas, but the punch here is delicious and will give you the same boozy buzz, if not a better one.

Cascalote French Toast

On my first visit, I tried the burger and since then I have had, the steak and eggs, chilaquiles, french toast, pork chop, guacamole, maduros and Brazilian cheese bread. The cheese bread is something I must order every time because it’s so fresh and warm. The cheese flavor is only subtle and it’s a great way to tease your palette.

GO EARLY. Their space is limited but never a long wait and the service staff will always try to accommodate you as much as possible. Again, everything on the menu is worth having so bring your appetite because the portions are healthy.

Cascalote Bread

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