Yolk Brunch

During my trip to Chicago, my friend took us to this splendid place for brunch. It’s called Yolk! I think there are a few locations in the Chicago area. This is probably the ultimate brunch place. They have an extensive menu, so I would recommend browsing it a little before coming.

Atmosphere:  There were a tonnnn of people waiting outside so we figured the wait had to have been at least an hour. We headed to a nearby coffee shop to kill some time. The venue didn’t look too big, but somehow the turnover was pretty fast. We got called after half an hour! They also have some patio seating under a cabana. Tables are somewhat close to each other and there are two sides to this particular location.

Pricing: A little bit on the cheaper end of some brunches I’ve been to, about $9-$12 for entrees, averaging ~$10 for most.

Service: Very efficient and fast! Our server was very quick to take our orders and serve us. She was pretty much on top of things!

Food:

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My dish! The croque madame – grilled ham, turkey, melted swiss, dijon smacked between two challah french toasts and topped with a sunny side up egg (had to get something with yolk in it!). This was VERY filling. I ended up only eating most of the insides and maybe one french toast.

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Big easy skillet – andouille sausage, green peppers, onions, tomatoes over potatoes with jack cheese, and 2 scrambled eggs on top. I had a bite and it was pretty good, but on the heavier side.

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This was probably my favorite dish that my friend got, the red velvet french toast! It has swirls of cream cheese, topped with strawberries and a side with whip cream. It’s so unique and delicious, it’s a must try.

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Carnita egg sandwich – pulled pork, pineapple-mango salsa, goat cheese and a friend egg, topped with a pretzel bun. I didn’t have a bite of this but from what I can tell, my friend really enjoyed her dish and that the pork was tender.

Overall: This place has nearly every dish you could want and more. It’s really hard to decide on a dish.. so I’m sure you’d come back if you had the chance. They have traditional dishes and also have a variety of unique dishes to cater to all. I would definitely recommend trying this place if you’re ever in Chicago!

Yolk on Urbanspoon

Belltown brunch

In the heart of Belltown, we went to Local 360 for brunch. Our usual spot is Lola, but the wait was a little too long for our liking. Local 360 is pretty much your ideal new-American style that specializes in brunch.

Atmosphere: It was a nice day so the windows were open, which made the restaurant seem more spacious. There are a few booths in the middle of the room that can accommodate large parties like ours (we had a party of 8). I really liked the decor. There’s a rustic feel with all of the booths made of wood and high ceilings.

Pricing: Moderate pricing $8-$13 for entrees.

Service: Average service, but our server did well with our large party.

Food:

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Latte. Delicious! My cousin ordered the macchiato, not expecting that it came as a shot (which is the European way that it’s done. Starbucks just adds a ton more milk!). So just be aware of that when ordering at many places.

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Appetizer – PB&J bon bons with a side of milk. $5. I wasn’t really wowed but it was still worth trying.

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House made chorizo, sharp cheddar, scramble, and biscuit. $13. The chorizo was excellent! A very healthy serving that needed a take home box.

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Chicken fried steak with sherry mushroom cream, over easy eggs, and a biscuit on the side not pictured. $14. I’ve had a few chicken fried steaks in my time and this was a pretty good one. The chicken was quite crispy and cooked to perfection. I just wish there was more of the sauce!

Overall: They had a lot of items to choose from and it was a pretty hard decision for brunch. Needless to say, I’ll be back to try their other dishes. This restaurant is pretty much a Seattle staple that everyone should try.

Local 360 on Urbanspoon

Seattle Restaurant Week Round 3

I heard about this really good vegetarian restaurant that wasn’t too far away from where I lived. I haven’t been to a vegetarian restaurant before so I decided to give this place a try. You probably have heard about it… it’s called Cafe Flora located nearby Madison Park.

Atmosphere: Upon entering, the restaurant seems to share the space with another cafe/restaurant. Most of the seating for Cafe Flora was in a room that reminded me like a green house room. They had lots of large windows and plants everywhere. There wasn’t too much seating in this room and there was another room in the back.

Pricing: For lunch, it was 3 courses for $15. Such a deal!

Service: I would say the service was just okay. Nothing outstanding. It was pretty busy so we had to wait a little bit while getting our check. Otherwise the food came out quite promptly after each course.

Food:
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1st appetizer – roasted cauliflower & lentil salad with onions, almonds, dates, feta cheese, lemon tahini dressing, and spicy greens. Overall, the salad was really light, flavorful and refreshing.

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2nd appetizer – Cheese blintz with strawberry and flower creme chantilly. I thought this was really interesting.. it was like a crepe filled with cheese inside. I’m not sure if it was my favorite but it was a combination of flavors that I’ve never tasted before. I don’t think I would order it again, but I’m glad to have tried it.

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1st entree – egg scramble with king oyster mushrooms, havarti cheese, sweet onion, and pesto served with a side of roasted potatoes. I love pesto and mushrooms so this was a nice dish. I wish there were more of it though!

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2nd entree – french dip sandwich with Portobello mushrooms and caramelized onions on a seeded baguette. Light green salad on the side. This was probably better than the scramble. Again, I am a huge sucker for mushrooms so I was really pleased with this.

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1st dessert – strawberry rhubarb bar. DELICIOUS. That’s all I have to say.

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2nd dessert – Vanilla panna cotta with apricot coulis and shortbread. Also DELICIOUS.

Overall: I was really happy with lunch. I shared each dish with a friend and was pretty satisfied at the end of the meal. I wasn’t overly stuffed but still quite full. The desserts were probably my favorite, then the entrees, and finally the appetizers. I would definitely come back and try other things on their brunch menu. Their french toast looks tasty. I really enjoyed the space and atmosphere too. There was a lot of natural light coming in 🙂

Cafe Flora on Urbanspoon

Sunday Morning Brunch

I’ve been exploring upper Queen Anne since my boyfriend moved into that area and we’ve been to most of the restaurants along Queen Anne Ave N. We decided to explore nearby and found this bakery called Macrina. It’s a cute cafe with tons of delicious looking pastries and food.

Atmosphere: Nice cozy space with plenty of seating at counters and tables.

Pricing: A little pricy for a bakery, but I can tell that their food is fresh and meticulously made. Brunch items ranged from $8-$12. Pastries were about $3-$5.

Service: The staff was super friendly and helpful as it was our first time going.

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This was my egg sandwich on brioche bialy baked with sweet onions and poppy seeds layered in goat cheese, egg and basil. Added smoked applewood bacon for a dollar. Delicious and it looks like a cute fish.

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Thick cut brioche french toast with sweet apples and Zoe’s chicken sausages topped with mascapone whip cream and walnuts.

Overall:
Short and sweet breakfast. I loved the savory sausage with the sweet french toast. The portions of both dishes were quite large and filling. I would definitely come back to try their other brunch items. They rotate their menu weekly and have a standard breakfast menu. I also got an iced Mexican mocha (not pictured) that was also delicious!

Macrina Bakery on Urbanspoon

Buffet brunch!

I heard about a really good brunch from my brother, foodhipster206.com, and I knew I had to try it! I’ve been to their sister restaurant, Revel and I really enjoyed the food there.. so I had to go to Joule (also an asian fusion restaurant). They recently moved from Wallingford to Fremont (they share a building with The Whale Wins which I have yet to try).

Atmosphere: High ceilings make it seem quite spacious. They have their kitchen right in the front just like revel. We got to sit there and just watch them cook. They also have a porch area with a fire place. It’s a little small, but they make good use of the space.

Pricing: For brunch, they had it buffet style but with a twist. You get a main entree and then there were salads/pastries/other assortments that you can help yourself to. Each portion was $17, and if you got a more expensive dish with steak, it’s $20.

Service: Very friendly, we talked to a chef working and gave us good recommendations.

Food: (Pictures taken with iPhone 5)
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We started with the buffet while we waited for our entrees. From L-R, pickled cucumber salad, pear salad, bok choy with ramen bits (actually very good!), tofu, onions, cashew and celery salad.. and a random pickle!IMG_1719

My boyfriend’s entree, their version of chicken and waffles. Black sesame waffles with chicken fried steak (katsu), smokey maple sauce with a dollop of marscapone cream. Overall,  I thought it was ok. The chicken was good only if pieces of salt were sprinkled on it to bring out more of the flavor.

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My dish.. and boy was it delicious!! I had the porchetta with an apple salad. The porchetta is a bacon, breakfast sausage mix. It was crispy on the outside and full of flavor in the center. Apple salad was ok, there were better salads at the buffet counter.

IMG_1721Some pastries from their buffet – mushu pork pastry with hoisin sauce and a black sesame muffin. I thought these were both ok. The mushu pork had a little bit too much hoisin for my taste.

Overall: I would definitely come back to try something new! They have delicious look entrees to try (mac and cheese with sausage is my next). Their entrees are also REALLY BIG. We had to take the rest of our food home. They also have a rotating buffet menu that they change every month. This month was Chinese. I love the new location because it’s bigger and very close to where I live! I will definitely be coming back for dinner too.. to try their kalbi burger.