Louie’s Modern

brunch mottoWhat better way to start my blog than to write about brunch at my favorite place thus far, Louie’s Modern in downtown Sarasota. Louie’s Modern Market Sunday Brunch is my no brainer fav for birthdays and any other reason I can find to go there. My mouth is salivating just thinking about their BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH. YES BOTTOMLESS! Bottomless food and bottomless Mimosas or Bloody Mary’s! Are you hungry yet? Get ready to eat to your hearts content… As soon as I sit down the always gracious staff brings me my first refreshing Mimosa of the morning. Because brunch without a mimosa is really just breakfast. While I haven’t had their Bloody Mary’s because that would be like cheating on Champagne for me, my friends say the MAKE YOUR OWN Bloody Mary Bar is to die for! After a few sips of my Mimosa, I make my way to the buffet tables and help myself. I always start by filling my plate with the crispy bacon, hash browns and the perfect Eggs Benedict, with a side of blueberry pancakes. For my second course, I adore the homemade waffles with homemade whipped cream. They even have an array of toppings including Nutella which everyone can’t get enough of. And let’s not forget the made to order omelet station. Oh my goodness! I hope you still have room for more because you definitely do not want to miss out on the Alaskan King Crab Legs! Shall I go on? Well I won’t because I have to let you have some surprises during your Louie’s Modern brunch experience! Don’t forget to save room for dessert!

Happy Brunching! xoxo The Brunch Babe

Louie’s Modern Market Brunch, 1289 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, Florida 34236

$35 per person + $5 for bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. (Well worth it!)

Bro Friendly Brunch

This past Sunday, I wholeheartedly took part in a BRUNCH TASTING at Oak & Stone in Lakewood Ranch. Oak & Stone was JUST named BEST New Restaurant in SRQ Magazine. They hosted this SPECIAL EVENT for a select group of VIBS. What in the world are VIBS?! VERY IMPORTANT BRUNCHERS!!!! I know, I know, so adorable right?!

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Oak & Stone just recently added brunch to their menu and this brunch tasting was the PERFECT way for them to get the word out there that Oak & Stone isn’t just for Beer.

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The tasting started with everyone enjoying either Bloody Mary’s or Mimosas. They did good and offer Bottomless for only $10 during Sunday brunch! Y’all know Bottomless is almost a brunch requirement!

Now for the food! The first item served was Sausage & Gravy Knots. Yes, I said Gravy Knots. Not what I typically think of when I think of brunch, but it actually was a perfect dish and was really hearty. It also had hash browns in it and was topped with a fried egg. I usually favor sweet things, but I’m actually salivating thinking of biting into it right now.  It was so juicy!

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Brunch Pizza!

Pizza. My second love. Oak & Stone has 3 different Brunch Pizzas on the menu and we got to try The Benedict, their number 1 seller! You can’t go wrong with garlic sauce, cheese, Taylor pork (Jersey girls love Taylor pork), bacon, onion, eggs and homemade hollandaise sauce. This was so dynamite I took home the leftovers and my friends ate it cold.

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The Bloody Burger pairs well with a Bloody Mary or a refreshing cold brown ale. I tried Calusa Brewing’s Dissonance which is described as a “breakfast brown ale with coffee and cinnamon”. I’m not typically a beer drinker, but this tasted more like a heavy cold brew coffee to me, so I could actually see myself ordering this again. And of course, Oak & Stone has an extensive array of beer on hand to choose from so if coffee flavored beer isn’t your thing, you’ve got options.

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Speaking of wings. Wait what? Ok, just kidding, wings aren’t on the brunch menu, but General Manager, Anthony Liakakos and Chef Mike Yoder like them so much, they thought we should experience them too! Their wings are soaked in brine for 24 hours before being baked in a wood fire oven. Then they are tossed in hot wing butter sauce and topped with blue cheese and scallions. Delicious!

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These two are super cool and passionate about their business!

The grand finale of our tasting was the Bourbon Barrel French Toast with Candied Bacon. This was made with Brioche bread dipped in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Batter and topped with homemade Pecan butter and syrup. The syrup was made with Bourbon Barrel Beer infused with Bourbon. The side of potatoes it came with was a generous portion and they were just well done enough without being too crispy. The fact that I’ve dreamt of this french toast not once but twice this week, it’s safe to say that it is a new favorite and I can’t wait to have it again.

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Candied Bacon with a kick!

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Dreamy.

Oak & Stone’s brunch surpassed my expectations and I think this is the perfect place for a casual Sunday brunch with friends or even to go on a Sunday daytime date. It’s a super approachable place to take guys that are maybe unsure about what brunch is all about or that just think brunch is only for girls. Let’s not forgot O&S has giant, flat screen tv’s all over the restaurant inside and out, so the men can still watch their Sunday sports while they brunch. It’s a win for everyone! 🙂

Happy Brunching! xoxo The Brunch Babe

Oak & Stone, 5405 University Parkway, Lakewood Ranch, FL.

Sunday Brunch 11:30am-3pm

Brunch Jr.

IMG_1672Brunch Jr. is what happens when you have 3 hours to kill ALONE in an airport. I started off wandering around the terminals looking for Kahwa Coffee and when that proved too difficult I gave up and went to the terminal my flight was leaving from and accepted the fact that I was going to have breakfast at Starbucks instead. Which, don’t get me wrong your girl loves Starbucks, but it’s more routine than exciting after all this time. Insert Columbia Restaurant appears before my very eyes.

IMG_1666I eagerly walked into Columbia at 6:37am with luggage in tow and asked the host how soon could I get a Mimosa 🍾. The bar didn’t open till 7am so I got a table for 1 and had some delicious coffee. My waitress was super attentive refilling my coffee which I love. Who wants to always have to ask for refills?! ☕️  I also thoroughly enjoyed the upbeat Spanish music that early in the morning. It was really lively and kicked my vacation ✈️ off to a good start. At about 7:15 some other thirsty travelers sat at the bar and ordered Bloody Mary’s so I decided it was socially acceptable to place my order of Mimosas for one. I also ordered the “Torrejas” French Toast which is basically French Toast made with Cuban Bread. It was a good size helping! I was so full from it that I didn’t even finish the last slice of it. The meal also came with your choice of Applewood Smoked Bacon, Chorizo or Glazed Ham.  I chose the bacon which was borderline too crispy but it tasted delicious so I happily scarfed it down.

IMG_1651My only gripe with Brunch Jr. at Columbia was that my bill came and I was baffled to find that I was charged 15.99 for ONE Mimosa. I actually had to ask if I was incorrectly charged for Bottomless Mimosas and nope I was only charged for one! I know airport prices are typically higher in general, but I don’t think I’ve ever paid that much for a Mimosa, not even at the Ritz Carlton, so I do think that’s a little much for a restaurant in the airport to charge. Sorry, not sorry! Perhaps they could add specialty drink pricing to their menu, because they were not advertised.

If you’re headed out of town and want to start off your trip with Brunch Jr. at Columbia Restaurant, it is located in Tampa International Airport in Terminal E.

Happy Brunching! Xoxo The Brunch Babe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hop, Skip and a Jump away!

Station House, St. Petersburg

Just a short drive away, Station House is worth the drive over the Skyway Bridge! Just make sure you have a DD to get you home safely after the bottomless Mimosa’s and Bloody Mary’s!

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Station House is not just a restaurant and not just a workspace. It’s also not just a yoga studio. Yes, I said yoga. Yes, you are still reading a blog about brunch. Yes, Station House has combined the two. Rooftop Yoga and Brunch every is held every Sunday at 9:30am on the 4th Floor Rooftop. After class, attendees get 10% off a well deserved brunch after all those downward dog poses.

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When you step inside Station House, it’s dimly lit with a various lamps and chandeliers and lots of character and old world charm. They spared no detail when decorating, right down to the bathroom stalls which are covered in fun and catchy song lyrics.image

The brunch menu is full of hearty combinations that you won’t find just anywhere. I had to have the Brioche French Toast with a side of bacon. It was decadent and you could definitely taste the Bourbon in the syrup!

One of my fellow yogi & brunch goers had “The Morning After Panini”. The name kinda says it all! Full of eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese and onions, it’s a great choice if you show up to brunch with a hangover and wearing sunglasses.

My cousin enjoyed the French Omelet with cheese and chives enveloped inside. This on my hit list for next time. The accompanying Arugula was so bright and fresh looking, I can’t wait to try it! The Cheddar Cheese Grits are on my list to try as well.

All in all you can’t go wrong with brunch at Station House, the food was great and our server was very attentive with refilling our Mimosas before our glasses were empty. Points!

Happy Brunching! xoxo The Brunch Babe

Station House, 260 1st Ave S, St Petersburg, FL 33701

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Libby’s Cafe & Bar

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This week I’m taking it back to the 1st place that I brunched at when I moved to the Sunshine State and my 2nd favorite brunch spot in Sarasota… Libby’s!

For those not in the know, Libby’s is located in the ADORABLE Hillview Section of SRQ. I immediately fell IN LOVE with that part of town AND Libby’s Cafe & Bar!

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My favorite thing to eat at their brunch is the Libbypalooza. The Libbypalooza is the perfect combination of salty and sweet. It features scrambled eggs (made with cheddar cheese), sausage links, crispy bacon, home fries and blueberry pancakes! I almost always order it!

Another winner on the menu is the Prime Burger which has bacon jam, swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato on it. It’s almost too big for me to eat though because I fill up on the truffle parmesan fries. Truffle fries have been a favorite of mine since I first tasted them several years ago up North.

My friend is a Bloody Mary lover and Libby’s makes one to write home about because they use organic crop cucumber vodka and horseradish crème fraiche. Plus it’s topped with fresh fruit!

The Pigs in a Pretzel Blanket was a little too dry for me, but in Libby’s defense we were sitting outside and the sun was blazing down on us.

I’m planing to return soon to experience their Irish Coffee which has whiskey, cinnamon, vanilla bean cream and grated nutmeg in it. I’m going to sit inside next time so I can enjoy it in the comfort of air conditioning. I’m also looking forward to trying the Cauliflower Mac ‘N Cheese on my next visit.

Happy Brunching! xoxo The Brunch Babe

Libby’s Cafe & Bar, 1917 S Osprey Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

Honorable Mention- Coming soon to Sarasota!

Boca- Kitchen, Bar & Market

One of my friends recently moved to Tampa, so I got to visit with her and check out Boca before it opens in Sarasota. Yes, you heard me right, a new restaurant/bar/market is coming to Downtown SRQ very soon! In the meantime, you can get a little preview of this trendy but casual hotspot in Hyde Park Tampa.

The menu at Boca (full of “farm-to-table cuisine”) is pretty creative and has things you won’t find everywhere. My friend got their B.L.T which was a special that came with the usual suspects and then some! It had avocado and an egg over easy on it. The egg yolk cracked when she bit into it and dripped onto the side of roasted potatoes that came with it. I think the yolk drippings made the potatoes taste even more delicious. Yum!

Cons: The order of pancakes was really small for the price. For $11 I got 3 very small pancakes that left me unsatisfied and my side of bacon was on the drier side. Also, my second Mimosa wasn’t brought out until we were basically finished eating, so I ended up chugging it. While chugging isn’t always a bad thing, I do enjoy savoring my Mimosa with my brunch.

On the other hand, my Irish Coffee with Chantilly Cream was dynamite! I will definitely get one again, when I visit the soon to open Sarasota location. I’m also looking forward to trying the French Toast, Grilled Cheese and the Hangover Panini!!! Like I said their menu is creative, so there is truly something for everyone and every taste bud! Additionally, they have a full bar and a cute little “market” letting you grab a juice or sandwich on the run.

Happy Brunching! xoxo The Brunch Babe

Boca- Kitchen, Bar & Market  901 W. Platt Street. Tampa, FL 33606

COMING SOON TO: 21 S Lemon Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

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The Toasted Mango- Siesta Key

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So many locals had told me to check out The Toasted Mango Cafe before I finally made it there! I call it a hidden gem… Nestled in the Crescent Plaza just off Stickney Point Rd, if you blink you might miss it. The Toasted Mango is the perfect place for a casual brunch to catch up with your friends or to hit on the way to the beach! I went there on a very rainy morning after apartment hunting and despite the icky weather the place was packed!

First things first! Toasted Mango does not skimp on their Mimosa! Some places try to give you a glass of orange juice with a splash of Champs. Not The Toasted Mango… Brownie points!!! They even have a Mango Mimosa for a nice little twist.

I had the French Toast which wasn’t your average French Toast! It was so good with a hint of Vanilla and topped with Mango Butter that they make themselves. It was a tropical twist on a classic dish. And of course I had a side of bacon which was cooked to the perfect crispness.

My friend had the Toasted Mango Special which was a hearty helping of eggs, bacon, pancakes and home fries. Think of a hungry man (or woman) special, only better.

All in all The Toasted Mango Cafe hit the spot and is very reasonable priced. I cannot wait to go back and try the Banana Granola Pancakes!

Happy Brunching! xoxo The Brunch Babe

The Toasted Mango Cafe has 2 convenient locations. 6621 Midnight Pass Rd, Sarasota FL 34242 and 430 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236.