Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes.
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Who does not like a mimosa? Who does not enjoy some sangria? Those delicious beverages combined with tasty bites made brunch at Bulla (pronounced boo-yah) simply delightful. I invited some really interesting Miami residents to join me for a Spanish influenced Mini Mimosaholic Sunday brunch at Bulla, 2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd in Coral Gables. Bulla has an expansive brunch tasting menu with yummy bites plated for family style sharing.

As a group, we decided to take advantage of the Miami Spice brunch menu that Bulla was offering. Miami Spice occurs annually in Miami during the months of August and September where over 200 restaurants offer pre-fixed menus for brunch, lunch, and/or dinner. Each menu typically features three courses – an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert. A delightful addition to Bulla’s brunch was the option to have unlimited mimosas or sangria. My Mimosaholic crew gladly opted to partake in the unlimited mimosas – with a twist of sangria’s.

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Photo by Simone Bradshaw

The service at Bulla was great. The manager introduced herself to our table and made herself available for whatever we needed. Fortunately, we did not want for much because our waiter was very attentive. The bussers came around and made sure that our table was clear of any glasses and plates that were not being used. All service was rendered with a smile, making our experience that much more pleasant.

Each person ordered about three items from Bulla’s Miami Spice menu, and we shared family style as intended. We had: Huevos ‘Bulla,’ Revuelto ‘Lucio’ (my personal favorite of the egg dishes), Coca, Melon Con Bellota, Montaditos De Salmon Ahumadon which was the smoked salmon dish that was kindly substituted for the salmon dish that I originally ordered because its popularity caused them to run out, Ensalada De Pulpa, Bulla Burger, Cochinillo Hash.

Melon Con Bellota. Photo by Simone Bradshaw.
Photo by Victoria Bartley.
Cochinillo Hash. Photo by Simone Bradshaw.
Photo by Simone Bradshaw.

We ended our meals on a sweet note with Blueberry and Ricotta Pancakes, and French Toast. If you could not tell…we feasted!

Blueberry & Ricotta Pancakes. Photo by Simone Bradshaw.
Photo by Simone Bradshaw.

French Toast. Photo by Victoria Bartley.

The plating was exquisite. The flavors were perfect. The mimosas were a perfect balance of champagne with a hint of orange juice. The sangria’s were a fruity blend of deliciousness. Bulla was a great introduction of Mini Mimosaholic to Miami and I cannot wait for the next one!

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The Italian Grinder Fred's Meat & Bread
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Food halls seem to be popping up all across the country and Atlanta is definitely embracing this growing food trend. So when it came time to decide on a location for the second installment of Sandwiches Before Love, I knew that one of Atlanta’s popular food halls, that features Fred’s Meat & Bread, must be on the list! One of the first food halls to pop up was Krog Street Market, which is home to a variety of food options – like dumplings, a bakery, Tex-Mex, BBQ, sushi and of course, sandwiches at Fred’s Meat & Bread.

The wall in front of the Fred's Meat & Bread stall at Krog Street Market

From the outside, the menu at Fred’s Meat & Bread looks pretty basic — classic sandwiches, hand-cut fries and old-school sodas. But the flavors are FAR from basic. With options like the ‘Shroom Shire Cheesesteak, the Korean Cheesecake, the Blackened Tuna, the Italian Grinder and the Crispy Smoked Catfish Po’Boy, it was super hard for me and the crew to decide what to eat! In the end, we all decided on cheesesteaks.

I went with the ‘Shroom Shire Cheesesteak with house blended cheese, grilled onion, garlic aioli and mushroom worcestershire. It was SO good! One bite and I was instantly transported to Philly! Gooey cheese, perfectly grilled onions and seasoned meat.

An order of the Garlic Fries, 'Shroom Shire Cheesesteak and a O-So Cherry soda

You can’t forget the fries! Fred’s menu features hand cut fries in a variety of flavors, including Old Bay Fries and BBQ Fries. I was there for the Garlic Fries served with a side of house made ranch.

The Italian Grinder from Fred's Meat & Bread

Let me tell you, the food at Fred’s was SO good that I went to visit their second location the very next day! Instead of another cheesesteak, I chose the Italian Grinder with salami, mortadella, pork, provolone, tomato, iceberg, cherry peppers, oil & vinegar. It might have been one of the best Italian sandwiches that I’ve ever had! You better believe I’ll be back to Fred’s…and soon!

Location #2 of Fred’s Meat and Bread (along with sister restaurants Yalla, TGM Bagel and Square Bar) can be found at The Canteen Atlanta, the micro food hall located at Tech Square! You can find cheesesteaks and the Italian Grinder at both locations, but some menu options differ.

Interested in some handheld deliciousness and exploring Atlanta’s food scene? Join the Sandwiches Before Love crew…we’d love to have you!

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Steak & Eggs Whisk Chicago
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Anyone who finds themselves in Chicago and is a lover of all breakfast foods, is going to love Whisk. Even more so, if they’re a huge Ron Swanson fan because the place is basically a shrine to the guy. But we get it, because no one loves food more than Ron Swanson, except maybe you of course.

Kam at Whisk Chicago

Created by two brothers, Whisk is a breakfast delight by day, and the perfect burger spot at night. They’re open seven days a week and are BYOB friendly location. You can run to the local grocery store across the street in case you pop up on this place without your bubbly. I visited during the Taste of Chicago so with friends, we had more champagne than we could stand at our table. We did drink it all though, we had to. Especially since I ordered two dishes without an ounce of shame in my body. Not much of a drinker? Whisk has an extensive soda list for your tastebuds to have a party with.

Chilaquiles Whisk Chicago

Ilbert and Martine at Whisk Chicago

We experienced a short wait outside and our server was just the right amount of “is everything okay?”. The menu is easily Mexican inspired with crowd favorites like chilaquiles and huevos rancheros. However, their insane list of out of this world pancakes are what really steal the show and will leave you deciding on what to get. I bet you’ll order two dishes as well because of that.

Steak & Eggs Whisk Chicago

Every choice we made was a good one, starting with the steak and eggs and chilaquiles which were both hearty dishes. The right amount of spice, sauce, and flavors shines through each dish. Not leaving much room for their special pancakes of the day and the banana berry pancakes we happily indulge in.

Featured Pancakes Whisk Chicago

The pancakes are indeed sweet, smothered in the toppings of your choice and best of all, fluffy. That’s how a true pancake should be and Whisk honors that, which you’ll be happy about on your visit. Breakfast lovers, enjoy!

Banana Berry Pancakes Whisk Chicago

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Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird Atlanta
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Located in West Midtown and usually known for their breakfast and brunch menu, West Egg hosts a monthly dinner pop-up called Oddbird, a “restaurant within a restaurant,” Oddbird takes place on the second Wednesday of the month. Oddbird is known for their chicken sandwiches and chicken biscuits, so I knew that it would be the perfect location for the first installment of Sandwiches Before Love.

When you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by one of their friendly staff at the counter and the three featured pies for the month. Once you reach the counter, you place your order, grab your silverware and choose a seat at any table.

Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird Atlanta

Oddbird’s menu features 4 different fried chicken biscuits, 4 different fried chicken sandwiches, both regular and Nashville-style hot fried chicken & waffles and The Oddbird – a seasonal fried chicken & waffle option that changes monthly. The menus also offers a featured salad called Eat Like a Bird and a variety of hot and cold side items.

The Oddbird and Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird

Everyone in the Sandwiches Before Love crew decided to order something different. Initially, I had my taste buds set on the Chicken Biscuit #2 with spicy honey and bread & butter pickles….BUT I just couldn’t pass up July’s Oddbird chicken & waffle — fried chicken served with a macaroni and cheese waffle, local heirloom tomato & corn salad and buttermilk vinaigrette. So I did what any dedicated food lover would — ordered both!

PB&J Chicken Sandwich Odd Bird Atlanta

My taste buds were not disappointed. The Chicken Biscuit #2 was spicy and delicious. The biscuit was moist and buttery, and the added crunch of the bread & butter pickles bought the entire sandwich together. The Oddbird chicken & waffle was AMAZING! The chicken was fried perfectly, the tomato & corn salad was refreshing and the mac & cheese was hidden inside of the waffle, so every bite was a surprise of cheesy deliciousness!

One of my favorite items on the menu to suggest for first-timers is the PB&J Chicken Sandwich. A piece of fried chicken on local TGM Bread served with pimento cheese, bacon and house-made tomato jam. The tomato jam is so good, that I’ve been known to ask for an additional side of it to take home with me!

S'mores Blondie Pie Odd Bird Atlanta

Don’t forget when you visit Oddbird, you MUST save room for one of pastry chef Carrie Hudson’s pies! July’s selection included a Raspberry Lemonade pie, Berry Mascarpone pie and a S’mores Blondie pie.

Though it wasn’t my first visit to Oddbird, it was the first visit for everyone else in the Sandwiches Before Love crew…but thanks to the great food and service, it surely won’t be their last! The lovely people at Oddbird are taking the month of August off, but they’ll be back on the second Wednesday in September – September 13th!

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World Famous House of mac truck

To celebrate National Macaroni and Cheese Day, the Mac N Cheese Before Love crew headed over to Wynwood Yard, for the World Famous House of Mac Truck. Wynwood Yard is home to quite a few food trucks, which line the perimeter of the yard, with an open-air bar in the middle. There are picnic tables and smaller tables scattered about the yard for you to sit and enjoy your food while taking in the fresh air and cool vibes – the perfect atmosphere to enjoy macaroni and cheese. With that goal in mind, we entered Wynwood Yard and headed to the back, to find the World Famous House of Mac. There was no way we could miss it because it is a bright yellow truck that really stands out among all the trucks present.

HouseOfMacTruck
Photographed by Simone Bradshaw

The menu included some combinations of macaroni and cheese that I never would have imagined. We ordered the Pizza Mac and Cheese, Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, Philly Cheese Steak Mac and Cheese, Chicken Parmesan Mac and Cheese, and Seafood Mac and Cheese. The portions were huge – way too much to finish in one sitting for most, but there were some troopers in our crew that ate every cheesy bite! Each meal consisted of a bed of baked macaroni and cheese covered with your choice of topping (i.e. the pizza mac and cheese had marinara, mozzarella, and pepperoni on top of a bed of baked mac and cheese), with a cheesy crust baked on top of that! So much cheesy goodness. As a cheese lover, I was in heaven. I had the Buffalo Mac and Cheese, and the flavor was so authentic. It was just like eating buffalo chicken wings with ranch dressing and mac and cheese…simply delicious.

PizzaMac
Pizza Mac and Cheese with a refreshing Ginger Beer Photographed by Simone Bradshaw

The service at the World Famous House of Mac was friendly. Every dish was made to order, so it took longer than I would have liked to get my food. I am sure that my hunger may have intensified the seemingly long wait, but it was well worth the wait. My favorite presentation was of the Seafood Mac and Cheese – with two lobster tails and shrimp resting comfortably on top of a bed of baked mac and cheese.

SeafoodMac
Photographed by Simone Bradshaw

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals. The World Famous House of Mac has lived up to its reputation and did not disappoint. I will be back very soon…maybe I will see you there!

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Smoked BBQ Ribs
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Although Lil’ Greenhouse Grill is less than a year old, it has easily become my favorite restaurant in Miami. To share my love and adoration for this place, I gathered my Comfort Food Before Love crew and headed over to Lil’ Greenhouse Grill for dinner at 1300 NW 3rd Avenue.
The restaurant is cozy and the service is spectacular. Our waitress was very attentive and the manager/co-owner, Nicole, was kind enough to explain the entire menu. She also made lovely wine recommendations. My favorite was the Pinotage, a red wine from South Africa.

Nicole explained that the head chef, Karim, is a meat master, so most of us opted for the BBQ Rib Tips as an appetizer. It was a major hit – super flavorful and laid on top of toasted white bread. The combination was so good that it left us all speechless. If you like a little spice, I would recommend the Dreamfire Shrimp. It was very well seasoned and had the right amount of kick.

Smoked BBQ Ribs
Photo by Korey Davis Photography

The entrees are sizable and reasonably priced. From the Half BBQ Chicken (sizable chicken smothered in BBQ sauce), to the Smoked BBQ Ribs (fall off the bone tender, smothered in BBQ sauce, and stacked on a plate), to the Seafood Cake Dinner (flaky fish bound together with imitation crab meat instead of breading so as to maintain a well-seasoned seafood flavor) – you cannot go wrong with any choice you make. Each entrée comes with your choice of two sides. The Baked Mac N Cheese is a must and Collard Greens (cooked with turkey) was the most desired side of the evening.

Mac and Cheese, Collards, Lil greenhouse grill
Photo by Korey Davis Photography

Overall, Lil’ Greenhouse Grill is a great place to grab a bite for lunch or dinner, Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The cozy ambiance, the warm hospitality, and the smooth sounds of old school R&B and soul music coupled with oh-so-good food, make for the perfect dining experience. Visit Lil’ Greenhouse Grill…you will not regret it.

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