Sunday Brunch
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Sunday brunch has become quite the welcomed weekend tradition. On any given Sunday, there is no limit to the number of guests pouring into restaurants eagerly awaiting to partake in everything from bottomless mimosas and avocado toast to turning up on the dance floor. While I admit it is an event I look forward to each week, sometimes I want to experience the same brunch joys with a few out of box twists.

There’s no shame in wanting to do things your own way with a little creativity. Dying to take the boring out of brunch? Get into these three useful tips and thank me later:

1. Cook This, Not That

When you think brunch, a bevy of omelets, French toast and crepes served hot and ready probably come to mind. But the downside is that they require your constant stove-top attention, which can take away from the brunching fun. If you’re hosting Sunday brunch for your family and friends, opt for unconventional brunch items that you can make ahead of time, like a quick breakfast casserole, quiche, banana breads or muffins. And if you plan well enough in advance, you can freeze and thaw them the same day without sacrificing taste.

2. Turn Sunday Brunch Into A Show

Another way to breathe some life into your drab brunch plans is to go multi-course. Like upscale dinners, you can have a five-course breakfast with new pairings each round to keep the conversation going for hours. Keep it light at first then bring out the heavier entrees a little later. Don’t forget: always end with dessert because, why not?

A plate of waffles and bowls of fruit sit on a brunch table.
Fruit is a great beginning course while waffles and other pastries are cooking. Photo by Photo by Megan Savoie on Unsplash.

3. Turn Chambong Into Your Best Friend.

Mimosas are a Sunday brunch staple and here at Food Before Love, we are proud mimosaholics. While you can never go wrong with a classic, putting your own spin on the drink can offer a pleasant surprise. Enter the chambong. An easy-to-use glass that enhances the champagne drinking experience, you’ll never put your lips to a flute again. Instead of a stem, the champagne comes out the bottom of the glass in a funnel-like manner. Talk about a new way to enjoy your favorite beverage, right? You can even turn things up a notch by trying to finish the entire glass in one “sip.” To purchase your own, visit https://shopchambong.com/.

A clutch with the words "mimisaholic" on it and two clinking champagne glasses.
Proudly proclaim your love for mimosas at brunch with our mimosaholic clutch!

Now that you know how I like to mis up my Sunday brunch, let me know you like to enjoy brunch. Any new ideas you’re looking to try? Share your suggestions in the comments below!

Be a better brunch babe

Do you often find yourself questioning where you should brunch this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC Brunch guide gives you 6 weeks of Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat .

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A set table in a sunny room.

Survey any number of my friends and they will tell you going out to eat is my external happy place. New scenery, insatiable dishes that I’d normally be too skeptical to ever try and having an overall fabulous dining experience? That’s what life is all about.

But with every unforgettable night out comes an experience that leaves a sour taste in your mouth. From iffy menu options, to horrible customer service, you name it and it is bound to happen. That’s why it’s so important to cover all your bases to ensure you have the best night possible.

Want to have the ultimate dining experience, no matter where you go? Get into these eight tips you need to turn your night out into an amazing one:

1. Read Restaurant Reviews

Before I make plans to go out to eat, I like to read a few online reviews of the restaurant so I know what to expect in terms of dress code, quality of food and customer service. Yelp! and Eater are two of my go-to sites, they normally have pretty reliable ratings. Be sure to read the reviews carefully, some customers look for any reason to complain. That low rating you see could be the result of something silly, like a guest not getting enough ice cubes in their drinks. Know when to weed out the ridiculous from the truly helpful.

2. Make Reservations

I cannot stress this enough. With the holiday season approaching, restaurants are guaranteed to fill up quickly. And the last thing you want to do is get all dolled up just to find out there is an hour wait – or worse – flat out turned away because there is no availability. Put an alert in your phone days or weeks in advance to reserve a table. Doing this will alleviate stress, and you will get to enjoy yourself the night of.

3. Have A Dining Backup

Let’s say you made your reservation and you’re ready to go, but you suddenly decide you have a taste for Mediterranean instead of the little Italian restaurant where you’re booked. What then? That’s why it’s always smart to have a dining backup. In case your taste changes – and it might – having a backup means you’ll still be able to take advantage of a night out and still have a great dining experience. Choose a backup restaurant that has equally delicious food and doesn’t fill up too fast, just in case you need to arrive last-minute.

A neon sign that reads "Eat What Makes You Happy"
Even if you change your mind the night of, eat what you love! Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.

4. Prep and Arrive Early

Now that you’ve made your reservation, leaving the house and getting to the restaurant on time is another hurdle to overcome. Whenever I make plans, I swear I’ll have enough time to get dressed, and do my hair plus a full face of makeup. Yet the hour rolls around and I’m stuck standing in front of the bathroom mirror, hair pinned and one eyelash on. Words of caution: don’t be like me. Start getting ready a few hours in advance by ironing clothes and setting out accessories. Whatever you need to do to pull it together. That way you won’t have to rush to get to the restaurant on time. And the bonus is, if you arrive early, you can make any seating changes within the restaurant you may find necessary.

5. Be Adventurous, But Don’t Overdo It

There’s just something about reading menu items that makes you want to try every last one. I know I’m not alone. Each dish described sounds so good and the pictures make your mouth water. You’re thinking, “It’s my night out, let me try something new.” And while it is certainly great to broaden your palette and step out of your comfort zone, there is a chance you won’t like the taste of something even if the picture of the food looks handcrafted by angels. I try to stick to what I know and add a little umph. I love all types of fish and know that I normally can’t go wrong with a seafood dish. It’s all about understanding what you like and catering to that.

6. Alert The Waiter of Any Dietary Restrictions

As I’ve been focused on leading a healthier lifestyle, I know I cannot eat everything I used to. Which also means I can’t have certain foods prepared the way I’m used to. So I have to alert the waitstaff of any concerns I may have early on. Whether an entrée is cooked with dairy products or includes processed ingredients are real concerns for me. Letting the staff know early on gives them a chance to recommend the best menu options and accommodate me throughout my meal.

7. Take Your Time

This is so important. I can’t tell you how many times I have been so hungry that I practically inhaled my food. Minutes later, I couldn’t even tell you what I had just eaten. Taking the time to really savor each bite makes the dining experience that much more enjoyable. You can take in the full effect and really enjoy the dish that the chef has crafted so beautifully.

8. Turn Off All Technology

Sometimes sitting down at a dinner table is the only chance you get to have an uninterrupted conversation and share a similar thought with friends and family throughout the week. You can’t enjoy yourself if you have work emails, text message dings and calendar appointments constantly popping up, disrupting the moment. It’s okay to silence your phone or even turn it off and give the experience your undivided attention. It’s hard to believe, but trust me, the world won’t stop just because you’re disconnected for an hour or two.

Okay, now that you’ve checked everything off on your list, you’re ready to have a worry-free night with great food, great company and even better vibes?

Happy eating!

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Do you often find yourself questioning where you should brunch this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC Brunch guide gives you 6 weeks of Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat .

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Traveling While Hungry Facebook

Traveling is one of our favorite pastimes. Nothing is more exhilarating than a new adventure, a change of scenery and amazing experiences you will never forget. But what’s most thrilling? Exploring foods unlike any other we have experienced. That is where the idea for Traveling While Hungry came from.

Traveling While Hungry is a group travel series created for the millennial traveler who wants to take in a new city or country while embracing the native foods of the area. And while it isn’t possible to stop into every great restaurant in town on a one-day trip, it is possible to get a sampling of some of the best foods a city has to offer. Who wants to eat junk food on their entire vacation? Or spend unnecessary coins on hotel room service? Not us. And do not even think about finding a restaurant on your own. Searching for a place to eat via never-ending Yelp reviews is just plain time-consuming. 

Because the focus of this travel series is placed on good food, not just the destination, you can uncover hidden restaurants you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Hitting the road every once in a while to treat yourself to deliciously unique foods is the best. 

The plus is that you do not have to do it alone. During our trips, you can eat whatever your little heart desires with individuals who love food just as much as you do. You will be with people from all walks of life and a variety of interesting places. You can be as spontaneous as you want all while developing new friendships. It takes away the anxiety of traveling and dining alone. 

Want more information on our next stop? Be sure to head to our Facebook group for all the latest updates and discussion.

Watch a clip from our trip to Colombia here.

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Of course you could have made a sandwich for him everyday until you got that ring ladies, and maybe picking up her favorite ice cream on your way home does do it for her fellas but this is 2014 and going the untraditional route is much appreciated now-a-days. So instead of making that dinner reservation, or trying to get his mom to show you that favorite recipe of his, try these 5 food related things to do with your significant other.

Disclaimer: Everything mentioned above, is still valid. My favorite Ice cream is Orange Sorbet boo Food Tasting

  1. Sip & Paint: Who doesn’t love to release their inhibitions with some wine and let their creativity flow with some art? I would suggest a BYOB location so that you can have the wine you fancy but some of the sip and paint shops will provide it for you during your session. The idea is to create with one another, even if you have no artistic skills and well, a little wine never hurt. Check out Paint Nite as an option.
  2. Pizza Making Class: Because sometimes cooking WITH bae is more enjoyable than cooking for bae. So learn how to move that dough with the right one and sign up for a pizza making class where you can take your new skills home to try again later. Some of these classes have an open bar option and I think Mimosas + Mozzarella sounds refreshing for an early Saturday Afternoon. Check out AOA Bar & Grill as an option
  3. Bacon is Bible. Do a Bacon Tasting: There are bacon festivals happening all year around that you can bring your little bacon lover to. There are also restaurants like Bar Bacon that offer a bacon tasting on their menu to make your taste buds dance. Yes, you can “pig out”
  4. Sushi Making Class: Because we both love sushi long time so maybe so do you, and you can even try this at home with your favorite bottle of sake. If you can’t find a class, Hire an affordable private chef to show you OR just use youtube after you’ve purchased all the key ingredients.
  5. Apple picking: Because Tis the season! Nothing like a relaxing day of apple picking, laughs, and maybe some wine but truly some quality time with your loved one! You can go home after and bake an apple pie together instead of getting the new apple cider latter mocha whomever at starbucks.
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Served by Stadium donut

Last week I had the pleasure of being Served by Stadium. They’re a new take out service that allows you to select menu items from multiple locations. So yes, you can have sushi and chicken wings for lunch now.  The kicker though, is that they only have a limited menu but as the company expands, I suspect that their menu will expand as well. The great part is that they have a pretty good variety of items already that will keep you full and intrigued. There’s nothing like a Mix and Match menu for an eater like me who just can’t decide and wants it all; Served by Stadium makes that possible

.Menu

The runners that greeted me were so kind and warm. They made me extremely anxious to peek into my tightly sealed served by stadium bag. I started with the Fig toast, topped with arm goat cheese, figs, and rosemary honey. To my surprise, the toast was really still warm and the cheese didn’t overpower the fresh bread it was served on. Harding’s did a great job of adding figs to balance the flavors and leave the honey, literally as a sweet finish.Toast

I planned to save some of my toast for later as I dug into the summer roll from Rhong Tiams. The crunchy veggies in the delicate rice paper were very light in flavor but heightened with the hoisin peanut sauce that it came with. It was comforting to have as the sauce reminded me of Massaman curry.Summer roll

My entree, was a dry pepper style chicken by Han Dynasty that came with white rice. The rice was necessary as this dish is spicy! The nuggets were nice and crisp and hot. I really enjoyed how juicy they were on the inside despite the dryness on the outer layer.Dry Pepper Chicken

Still in disbelief that someone went to all these places to make my lunch amazing, I had to get onto the dessert. Bosie Tea Parlor makes this Paris-Brest, which is like puff pastry filled with praline creme that is truly delightful. The pastry itself had caramelized hazelnuts engulfed within that makes you close your eyes once you bite into it. That’s the kind of dessert I always want to enjoy.

Dessert

So how about you? Do you plan to get Served by Stadium?Utensils

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batters and berries chicken
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It is too good for words. Though Harold’s still stands as my favorite chicken spot in the Chi, Batter’s and Berries really had me thinking what do they really put in the chicken in Chicago? Seriously.

Batter’s and Berries was an hour wait, BYOB, popular brunch spot that was worth every second I stood in line. The 7-eleven a few blocks away is easily accessible and ready to make your champagne wishes come true. The restaurant doesn’t have a corkage fee but they will charge for flutes if you want to get fancy with it. Aside from their menu, sounding simply mouth watering, they run a number of specials every weekend. Not being able to decide between the rumchatta French toast and the ones on the menu, I opted for a super flight. The flight, gives you EACH of the french toast on the menu, in addition to the special. Yes, this is my kind of party.

batters and berriesBlueberry, Strawberry, Rumchatta, and the lemon French toast all graced my plate to my anticipation. Each piece was infused with the flavor it called for and I must admit, that strawberry French toast was like nothing I ever tasted before. I could sit here and have flights all day, which I recommend for those who just can’t help themselves to everything. It would be a disservice to your tastebuds, to just try one.

batters and berries

But then I reached across the table and had the chicken. Again, what do they put in the chicken in Chicago!? Sweet Potato waffles and a beautiful piece of chicken breast sat across from me with the batter & berries in-house hot sauce  on the side. I meant to only have a piece, but this was an amazing thing – I had to go on and order my own. When was the last time you had something so good off someone else’s plate that you had to go and order your own? It was THAT good. The meat peeled right off my fork, evenly crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside. With the appropriate amount of sauce on the top, I knew they were onto something here.

Batters and Berries

Not only was my server a doll, but the food was also amazing and the vibe at batter’s and berries was busy but not congested. It’s definitely not a brunch you want to pass up in Chicago

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