Category Archives: Brunch

UP Inspired Kitchen

If you’re looking for a spot in Frisco where  you can grab a brunch that’s guilt-free AND delicious … and somewhere you can linger over a mimosa (or two or five) … UP Inspired Kitchen might by your new sanctuary.

Owners Mike and Rae Luther (a husband and wife team) have paired up with concept chef Todd Duplechan (of Austin’s Lenoir) to create UP’s fast-casual concept, featuring a chef-driven menu comprised of better-for-you breakfast and lunch options prepared with honestly sourced ingredients. In addition to Mike and Rae’s passion for the food they serve, their passion for people is apparent in UP’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere. From the children’s play house located on the open-air patio to the multitude of power outlets available in the cheerful dining room, UP beckons you to come as you are and make yourself at home.

UP’s menu features cravable, familiar favorites, with a healthy twist like the “Biscuits and Groovy” featuring cornbread muffins with a cauliflower gravy. UP offers a lovely assortment of egg dishes, like the delicious Tahoe Wrap I sampled on my recent visit featuring cage-free eggs, turkey, avocado, cheddar, and salsa verde nestled in a whole wheat tortilla ($9.50). A variety of beautiful toasts grace the menu, like the Avocado Toast with edamame, lime, and a fresno chili relish ($8). A collection of fresh salads, as well as an assortment of bowls with health boosting ingredients like the Acai Bowl (Acai, strawberries, bananas, granola, seasonal fruit, Texas honey) ($9.80) represent some additional guilt-free options.

If you’d rather treat-yo-self though, don’t worry; UP has a “Cheat Day” menu with your name on it. With offerings like the Breakfast Burger– Akaushi beef, sausage, fried cage-free egg, pickles, cheddar, red onion, dijon mustard, arugula ($11), and a Short-Rib Grilled Cheese with cheddar and pickled onion on sourdough ($10) , there’s something for everyone. Vegetarian, Paleo, Whole 30, and gluten-free friends- they’ve got you covered, too. Lots of great options! 

UP has partnered with some great companies to round out their coffee and juice menu, including Limitless Coffee, Buda Juice, and Manny’s Cortado. The impressively curated coffee menu offers some unique and interesting options like the Butter Brew Plus made with MCT oil, grass-fed butter, maple syrup, and collagen ($6.80)—trust me, you’ve got to try this one. 

If an adult beverage is what you’re after, UP’s mimosas are equally creative; the Mimosa Sampler comes with a bottle of bubbles, traditional OJ, blueberry-pomegranate juice, and a carafe of Holy Kombucha Hibiscus Sangria. The latter works surprisingly well, I must say. A selection of local craft brews are available on tap.

UP Inspired Kitchen
upinspiredkitchen.com
5285 North Dallas Parkway, Suite 400 (at the Shops at Starwood)

Serving breakfast and lunch daily from 7:00 AM-3:00 PM

 

 

A Tricky Brunch

Nestled among the retail stores and restaurants lining State Street’s pristine pavement within Richardson’s sexy, new mixed-use community, City Line, there lies an unexpected early afternoon delight. When walking past the Tricky Fish, the last thing I would think is, “I bet this place has a good brunch.” It’s not that it’s unappealing; the location is perfect and the atheistic is mesmerizing. The space is wrapped in a bold, brick veneer that melds into modern subway tiles as you walk towards the fish market-inspired kitchen. There are bonded polished wooden planks flanked in steel and embossed with rivets separating tables to break up the space, accompanied with walls of corrugated steel cleverly capping corners. It just feels like you’ve walked into a sleek Cajun restaurant on the edges of Port A that’s looking for an excuse to throw a party instead of serving a late breakfast.

We’ve learned that there’s always a party happening in Tricky Fish’s the kitchen, and it opens to the public on Saturdays and Sundays at 10am. The brunch menu here is focused and the kitchen clearly knows their strengths.

I’m a huge fan of breakfast pastries, so I started the meal with Praline Pancakes. Served with macerated raspberries, candied praline pecan whisky syrup, and orange cream delivered on a sizable plate framed with ramekins for toppings; I can’t think of a better way to get two servings of fruit and a little whiskey to start the day. While the cakes didn’t look like anything special, they were. The cakes were fluffy, lightly crisp, and I really liked getting the toppings separately so my pancakes didn’t get soggy half way through the celebration. Explosions of raspberry layered with the sweet satisfying crunch of pecans wrapped in whisky syrup, finished with a dollop of creme confetti-ed in orange zest, made every bite feel sinful.

After shaking my sugar buzz, it was on to heartier, protein-filled plates. The only thing missing from my pancake cavalcade were bacon and eggs, so I gathered myself and crawled over to the NOLA Benedict to get my fix. Flaky biscuits loaded with Andouille sausage, grilled peppers and onions topped with poached eggs and a creole mustard hollandaise sauce surrounded by fried okra brought this dish to the next level. This is a robust benedict. (The impregnable moment right before the perfect pop of a poached egg yolk reminds me of energy building in a crowd before a heavy breakdown in a dynamic rock song, or an elongated pause before a bass filled beat drop from your favorite DJ. Just me?) Cascading over the milky white edges of egg and through a meat and veggie medley before finally soaking into the biscuit below; the warm yolk and hollandaise blend really binds the individual pieces of the dish together into a perfect finish. However, the life of the party on this plate is the fried okra! Perfectly salted, briskly breaded and fried with a crispy gratifying texture that begs you to eat more. It’s the after party you didn’t know you wanted to go to, but once you get there, you don’t want to leave.

Walking away from a dish with such an unexpected connection was difficult, but the party wasn’t over. So, I cautiously cozied up to the Fried Shrimp and Oyster Grits. At first glance this is an odd and eclectic bowl—it was laced with hidden bits of corn and bacon, with melting cheese and a gooey yolk under a canopy of fried egg with a juicy, golden brown assortment of sealife splashed with a tangy BBQ sauce from Shiner. the first bite was like saying the right secret password at a speakeasy—decadent, spicy, and savory with depth and texture rarely experienced in a single dish. These grits are phenomenal. The oysters and shrimp are coated and fried, and bear a brash crackle in contrast to the creamy grains of hearty, whipped wheat.

Photo credit: Quincy Atkinson

After the serotonin release from consuming something so obscenely rich, I was ready to call it an afternoon until the FOMO and temptation of tequila and bananas foster convinced me to stay for a brunch cap.

 

The arrival of the Bananas Foster Monkey Bread (pictured at the top) was similar to the feeling that you may have had one drink too many before closing your tab. This rum-based dessert has a brittle shell that’s punctuated with slices of candied banana that crumbles into puffy folds of warm monkey bread when you dig in. You can comfortably share this treat with four people, and its quite rich, so the option for added ice cream might be overkill.

Finally, doing last what I should’ve done first … I ordered a cocktail, a La Paloma. Tricky Fish’s take on the La Paloma starts with a grapefruit-infused tequila, then they add real grapefruit, lime, and agave, and top it with Topo Chico. It’s a fantastic refreshing summer drink that provides a great guilt-free way to enjoy tequila before noon. If you don’t know how to enjoy alcohol guilt free before noon, that’s okay too … Tricky Fish’s happy hour starts at 5pm and goes until close every night of the week.

Good food, great drinks, and a party in the kitchen. Next time you’re in Richardson, let this fish show you a few tricks.


TRICKY FISH
tricky-fish.com
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1251 State Street, Suite 750 (Richardson)
(972)437-FISH

Pictures courtesy of Tricky Fish.

Chelsea Corner

Chelsea Corner is BACK!

The McKinney Avenue and Monticello corner spot from the 70s is back in it’s old stomping grounds, and it has just the right mix of nostalgia and shiny new offerings. The owners wanted to bring it back to its former glory but also provide customers with food for today.

We were curious what we’d see when Corner Bar shut its doors last year, and they’ve made some really fantastic improvements to the once dingy space. First, everything has been completely overhauled. It’s clean, and aside from the general layout, there’s no sign of the previous dive bar to be found. (Thank goodness.)

The bar has individual rooms to give a “house party” feel with video DJs playing oldies videos on all 17 TV screens around the restaurant and bar. The vibe of the whole place is laid back during the day, but can get wild in the evenings. You’ll see anyone from college students to empty nesters to business men stopping in for a drink (and a quick glance at some PYTs) after work. You might see one guy popping a bottle right next to another guy popping a bottle … of milk for his kid.

Overall, the new Chelsea Corner is a neighborhood bar that’s all about the neighborhood with environments to pay love to the area … with a bit of a naughty side at night.

May 19th marks the opening of their new 3500 square foot dog-friendly patio that seats 90 people with a back entrance off of Monticello. It will be perfect for day drinking with friends and pets.

The menu features classic Chelsea Corner bites such as giant pretzels, pizza, and burgers. A few personal favorites:

  • Big Daddy’s White Pizza – fresh ricotta cheese and oven dried roma tomatoes
  • Twisted Fried Chicken Sandwich – crunchy fried chicken breast, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and house-made honey mustard
  • Best Darn Steak Sandwich – beef tenderloin, chelsea brandy butter, caramelized onion, and manchego or blue cheese (pictured below)

Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am to 3pm (beignets are a must), and on Tuesdays they have live jazz and 1/2 price bottles of wine and champagne.

Don’t even think about leaving without ordering the warm chocolate chip cookies. You can thank me later …


CHELSEA CORNER
www.chelseacornerdallas.com
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4830 McKinney Avenue (Knox/Henderson)
(469) 726-2211

Mon    4p – 12a
Tue     4p – 2a
Wed   4p – 2a
Thu    4p – 2a
Fri       11a – 2a
Sat      10:30a – 2a
Sun     10:30a – 12a
**brunch sat & sun 10:30a-3p

Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival

It’s almost time for my favorite weekend of the year..that’s right- the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival. This year, the festival will be held March 30 – April 1, 2017. Tickets just went on sale, so don’t wait- or you will be sorry!

Here is a recap of last year if you need more convincing of how awesome this weekend truly is.

Head on over to the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival website to buy tickets … like now.

The Conservatory at the Hotel Crescent Court

I’ve lived in Dallas for 13 years now; that’s enough time to have at least heard about most of the restaurants in my purview … at least that’s what I’d imagined.  I was recently invited to a “power lunch” at The Conservatory at the Hotel Crescent Court, a place of which I’d honestly never heard.  First, I assumed it was a new spot, then I realized that I was just really out of the loop.  Now, my eyes have been opened.  The Conservatory has joined the ranks of the Zodiac Room, Mercat Bistro, and T Room in my mind and given me a new “ladies who lunch” spot.

The Conservatory has been operating in the Crescent for years tucked in the back corner of the hotel.  It’s a lovely spot with floor to ceiling glass perched on a courtyard complete with a waterfall and fountain.  It’s  a quaint yet luxurious little spot that I’m delighted to have discovered.

Any good “ladies who lunch” spot needs a decent drink menu (or a bartender who is willing to try some more adventurous things out).  I started with the a Hendrick’s cocktail that paired the botanical gin with tea and cucumber and was delightful, but I drank it too fast to get a picture.  To finish the meal, I skipped dessert (because I’m trying to lose weight … duh) and ordered a cocktail, but wanted to get a little crazy and test the bartender.  I asked for a Patrón Reposado Sidecar, and it was executed beautifully.

The dishes offered range from light salads like their to-dieeeee-for Roast Beets & Texan Burrata made with perfectly ripe beets, goat cheese, and citrus.  Their Baby Arugula with watermelon radish was just as delicious and gorgeous with the perfect amount of dressing drizzled playfully yet conservatively over the top.  They also offer a full breakfast every day until 11am with some stand out options like their Biscuits & Gravy Benedict.  It was my absolute favorite dish of the day and took me back to my childhood thanks to the peppery, light gravy and braised pork.  It was delicious … but just a little less Instagrammable than the salads.

They brought out some more substantial items like the House-made Potato Gnocchi and the Crispy Red Snapper.  I usually actively dislike gnocchi, and I’ll be back for this dish.  It was the lightest gnocchi I’ve ever tasted and the potato was the perfect texture.

If the pictures don’t say it enough, this place was amazing.  I was so delighted to find  a new spot and cannot wait to make a return visit.  (I also just got wind that they have a full afternoon tea, which I hope to try out soon!)

THE CONSERVATORY
crescentcourt.com
400 Crescent Court (in the Hotel Crescent Court)
214.871.3200

True Food Kitchen – Truly Good Food

Eating healthy is hard. There are so many unhealthy options that are way easier (and let’s face it, way tastier) to fit into our busy schedules. Have no fear, friend! True Food Kitchen is making it easy and delicious to eat good-for-you food. This anti-inflammatory diet based restaurant has tons of options to help keep you on that health track … deliciously. The chef graciously explained to me that processed foods cause inflammation, which prevents the body from absorbing all the good nutrients it needs. This can lead to a plethora of unwanted things such as Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer. Because of this, True Food Kitchen doesn’t focus on calories. Instead, they focus on pure, simple, and delicious food that is hormone-free and antibiotic-free to help the body process nutrients better.

After a complimentary Corepower Yoga class, I tasted some of their brunch options, which are sure to give you the perfect kickstart to your day.

Garden Scramble: Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, organic eggs, and smoked gouda

Quinoa Johnny Cakes: banana and quinoa (these taste nothing like quinoa and everything like normal pancakes)

They also have Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins, Banana Espresso Muffins & Vegetable Salad on deck for you to nosh on.  They also offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options, all of which are on their regular menu!

True Food Kitchen also serves booze including beer, cider, wine, and cocktails.  Most cocktails are around $10. Because it’s always best to detox and retox at the same time …

True Food Kitchen

truefoodkitchen.com
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8383 Preston Center Plaza #100
214-377-3333

GALentine’s Day Brunch

I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day (and no, not in a sad girl way), but after years of low key, forced romance with respective boyfriends, I’ve learned that it’s actually a great opportunity to spoil your friends.  Because, really, love comes in all sorts of forms … isn’t that what Hugh Grant told us in “Love Actually”?

I got some of my girl friends together (and surprisingly, two dudes) for a fancy, little plein air brunch this past weekend.  I went a little full-tilt girly brunch with French macarons, yogurt parfaits, cookies, quiche, and croissants.  I didn’t make a dang thing (very unlike me) because I wanted to have one no-stress party.  It was the best decision I have made in a while.

I sweetened the deal (and ensured a longer brunch session) with a mimosa bar featuring Segura Viudas Brut Cava, blueberry and orange juices, and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur.  Everyone was able to make their perfect mimosa concoction.  Trader Joe’s has a fantastic selection of unique juices for mimosas, just stay away from the carbonated options as it can make your mimosa too effervescent.

A fun, extra touch on the brunch was adding party favors at each place.  Segura Viudas makes the cutest little (totally totable) splits that were perfect as placeholders.

So, what are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions–both with S.O.s and friends?

SEGURA VIUDAS CAVA
seguraviudasusa.com
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#OpenUpCava #SeguraViudas

 

***Special thanks to Segura Viudas for sponsoring our brunch!***


Yolk Media Event

There are people who like breakfast, and then there are people who LIVE for breakfast. I fall into the latter category and have been known to eat breakfast meals at any hour of the day. Eggs, bacon, avocado, fruit, pastries, waffles — I truly believe that you can satisfy any craving with breakfast food.

That said, I’m stoked to share my experience at the newest location of breakfast favorite, YolkThe breakfast and lunch spot’s first-ever Dallas location was right next to Tei-An in the Arts District, but now they have an even more accessible location in Preston Center! This brightly colored, family-friendly, sit down restaurant serves a variety of sweet and savory breakfast plates as well as some standard lunch fare daily until 3pm. 

I know some of you are a may want some suggestions on what to order, so I went ahead and tasted all of their best sellers for you (it’s a rough job, I know). Here’s a quick rundown of some go-to favorites that you can’t go wrong with:

Eggs Benedict: classic, rich, savory. Always a solid choice with an english muffin, Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and a side of potatoes.

Chilaquiles with Chorizo: for your Spanish side. This option comes with house made corn tortilla chips, salsa verde, avocado, jack cheese, red onion, crema, and is topped with two eggs any style. Side note — this plate is also gluten free!

Chicken & Waffles: Oooh boy. As their top selling item, it’s easy to see why people can’t get enough. Bacon waffle topped with crispy fried boneless chicken breast and sausage gravy, served with a side of warm maple syrup. 

Citrus Blast Salad: for those who aren’t always in the breakfast mood. This refreshing salad has a little bit of everything–mixed greens, grilled chicken, apple, avocado, pecan, raisin, mandarin orange, dried cranberries, bleu cheese crumbles, and mango chardonnay vinaigrette.
Heads-up: this option only comes in one, large size, so either come hungry, share, or be prepared to take some home.

Patty Melt: substantial lunch choice. Fill-er-up with this char-broiled burger, gilled onions, American cheese on grilled rye with a side of onion chips.

Stop in for some yummy breakfast and lunch options between the hours of 6am and 3pm.

YOLK
eatyolk.com
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Preston Center: 8315 Westchester Drive, 469-351-0344
One Arts Plaza: 1722 Routh Street, 214-855-YOLK
Sundance Square Fort Worth: 305 Main Street, 817-730-4000
Many locations in Illinois and Indiana, also!