Brunch

Brunch at Spoons Café in Federal Hill

My favorite brunch buddy and I are up early on Sunday morning, I mean early like 8:00 am.  We’re ready to eat early too but most of the restaurants we frequent don’t open until 10:00 or 11:00 am.   Last Sunday, however, my friend wanted grits and I told her that I had the best cheesy grits at Spoons Café in Federal Hill, Baltimore.  We googled the hours and luckily they open at 8:00 am. We arrived at Spoons around 8:45 and half of the restaurant seating was already occupied. The hostess sat us quickly towards the rear of the restaurant at a two-seat table adjacent to the kitchen.  Spoons is a quaint restaurant space that looks like it could have been a house converted into a restaurant.

My friend and I order a carafe of Apple Cider Mimosas because it’s October and that means you drink apple cider.  That was my first time trying that flavor mimosa and I was impressed. I ‘d never thought to mix apple cider with champagne, but it was a fresh Fall take on the original mimosas. We scanned the menu and decided on The Beast, Fried Oysters and Grits, Deep-Fried Stuffed French Toast and the 2-2-2 (Two Eggs, Meat of your choice and French Toast or Pancakes).  I know, I know… we’re greedy.

The Beast
Fried Oysters and Grits
Deep-Fried Stuffed French Toast
Poached Eggs, French Toast and Scrapple

The Beast sandwich is — well you guessed it — A Beast. It’s a biscuit sandwich with buttermilk fried chicken, fried egg, smoked bacon, American cheese topped with sausage gravy.  Even though the menu describes it as a sandwich it’s not meant to be handheld, you have to eat this with a fork and knife.  In addition to the chicken and bacon, the sausage gravy added another meat element. The chicken was a tender cut, seasoned well and the biscuit was moist.  The Fried Oysters and Grits were my favorite. The oysters had a crispy, seasoned, thick batter on them, what you would call chicken-fried,  and the oyster inside was soft and fresh. The grits at Spoons are always great, even when I get them as a side with cheese, they are thick like grits should be. It also had an oyster sauce that was the consistency of soup and paired well with the oyster/seafood grits dish.  The Deep-Fried Stuffed French Toast was just light and flaky on the outside and stuffed with warm sweet cream on the inside, it’s the perfect portion to share.

Spoons is a great neighborhood restaurant with tasty food and great service. It’s the type of place you bring family that’s visiting from out of town, they’d love it.  They have beer and lunch options also. And because it’s in the heart of Federal Hill, you may want to stop at one of the nearby bars after brunch.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

Night Brunch at Modern Cook Shop

Brunch is definitely my favorite meal on the weekends.  I get to sleep in late and wake with the anticipation that breakfast food and mimosas are on the horizon.  Even though it’s the highlight of my weekend, I can’t always make it to brunch because like most people I have errands to run and obligations to fulfill.  Scrolling through Instagram I was super excited to see a post from Baltimore entrepreneur, Jason Bass , about a new Night Brunch series he was hosting with Martell Cognac at Modern Cook Shop.   I thought this was a great concept for those who aren’t able to enjoy brunch on the weekends and for those who want something different to do on a weeknight.  Modern Cook Shop, per their website, is a “restaurant, market and bar, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Me + Mimosa

I made reservations on Open Table for the event because it was strongly suggested and  I’ve never been to Modern Cook Shop so I didn’t really know what the set-up would be.  When I arrived to the event the hostess and staff were very friendly and accommodating.  My friend was already there waiting for me so they showed me to my table.  I must say, Martell sure knows how to brand their events! The long tables were set with large bottles of Martell, menus and the signature Martell blue pillows. The price of brunch was $40.00 plus tax and gratuity and that included bottomless mimosas and one entrée item.  The menu had 13 entrée items and that I definitely liked because I love variety.  The options included Blueberry Waffles, Traditional Two Eggs any style with a side of meat, Breakfast Sandwich, Omelet, Peach Cobbler Scrapple, Corn Cakes, Breakfast Scramble, Corned Beef Hash, MCS Burger, Cuban Sandwich and Chicken & Biscuits.  In addition to the fixed entrees, there was another menu with A la Carte items that included small salads, toasts, side items and Martell specialty cocktails from the bar.

Chicken, Biscuits and Gravy
Breakfast Scramble
Ricotta & Jam Toast

I ordered the Chicken and Biscuits, my friend ordered the Breakfast Scramble and we both wanted something savory so we ordered the Ricotta & Jam Toast.  Normally with breakfast chicken and biscuits I’ve seen it served with a sausage gravy, but this brown gravy was a pleasant delicious change.  The Ricotta toast I also liked because it was made with rye toast. The house made ricotta was perfectly soft but I do wish the jam was a bit sweeter. I sat next to the kitchen o I got to snap photos of other menu items as they were coming out.

House made scrapple over rye bread with soft egg
Breakfast Sandwich
Two eggs any style
Open Faced Cuban Sandwich

In addition to brunch and booze the event also included beats by DJ Impulse – it was essentially a brunch party with music and I must say I had a nice time.  I used to be able to party into the wee hours on the weekday but not anymore and at the Night Brunch I got to eat, drink, two-step and socialize all by 10:00 pm.  It was a mature crowd and there were some very attractive men at this event, OooKaaayy.! (insert emoji eyes).

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

 

 

Brunch at Banditos Bar & Kitchen

I know what you’re thinking… brunch at a Mexican restaurant?   Banditos Bar & Kitchen (1118 S Charles St) boasts a slogan of “Mexi-Cali Meets Maryland”  and the breakfast menu is a mash-up of the normal Mexican restaurant items with a breakfast twist.. an egg of some sort (scrambled, omelette style or over easy).  I must admit, it’s different but oh so good.

My friend and I arrived around 11:00 am on a Sunday morning and immediately found a seat at the bar. I’m always nervous going to Federal Hill on a weekend because of scarce parking, but the earlier the better because we found metered parking on the street right outside of the restaurant.  All seats were open at the main bar area and there were two large parties in the back room area.  We were greeted by an enthusiastic friendly bartender who gave us menus and explained the $15.00 bottomless mimosa option and of course we ordered that.  After looking over the menu, I ordered The Bossdilla and my friend ordered the Breakfast Nachos.

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The “Bossdilla”

 

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Breakfast Nachos

The Bossdilla is a hybrid for Boss Quesadilla. What makes it boss? It’s packed with meat — steak, sausage, bacon, chorizo… you name it.  The steak was very tender, juicy and flavorful.  I normally don’t like my steak cut up and put into salads or sandwiches because Chipotle does such a terrible job with their chewy steak, but I definitely liked the way Banditos prepared their steak.  I do think they should have just stuffed the egg in the quesadilla instead of serving it on the side. Just put everything in there and make it extra boss.  The breakfast nachos gave me food envy.  The crispy homemade chips piled high with cheese, salsa, onions and chicken topped with an egg was heaven.  Of course we didn’t finish our meals because the portions are so big, which I like.  When you visit Banditos make sure it’s on an empty stomach.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

Benny Brunch at Wayward Kitchen and Bar

On a Sunday morning hunt for a brunch location, my best friend and I decided to visit Wayward Kitchen and Bar for the second time.  The first time we visited my best friend forgot her ID and they wouldn’t serve us Mimosas so we left. This time we were prepared to show proper identification because honestly, what’s brunch without mimosas?

Walking into the restaurant I was impressed by the Bloody Mary Bar, it’s a shame I don’t like them.  I’ll take a sip of someone else’s if they order one, but I would never order one myself.  We chose to sit at the bar and immediately ordered the bottomless mimosas.

wayward

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The brunch menu consists of the staple items such as omelettes, salads, sandwiches, wraps, skillets, French toast, waffles and something special that caught my eye…the benny.  Benny is short for Eggs Benedict and it’s basically an open-faced eggs benedict sandwich. Wayward has three variations of the Benny. I ordered the Sobo Benny, my best friend ordered the Baltimore Benny and we also ordered a Peaches and Cream Waffle topped with Whiskey Whipped Cream.

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Sobo Benny
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Baltimore Benny

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Funny story… the first item to come out was a Bris-Cuit Benny, but we didn’t order that. The server mistakenly put in the Bris-Cuit Benny instead of the Baltimore Benny, so he ordered the correct one and told us to keep the incorrect one free of charge.  Sad for my friend because she doesn’t eat brisket but more for meeee.

Bris-Cuit Benny
Bris-Cuit Benny

Having sampled all the Benny options, my favorite was the Sobo Benny. I love scrapple, can’t help it I was raised on it.  I never thought cornbread topped with scrapple, poached egg and gravy could be so good. I also enjoyed the whiskey whipped cream served on my waffle.  I could really taste the whiskey but it wasn’t overpowering because the peach puree cut the flavor.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

 

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