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Friday, March 22, 2013

Whiskey Cake Brunch

This past Sunday was St. Paddy's Day! We went for a late brunch at Whiskey Cake. I've only been to Whiskey Cake for brunch once and I remembered it being really good. And I just love this place in general... they frequently change their menu because they use seasonal and local ingredients. So I get to try new things from time to time. 

Whiskey Cake 
3601 Dallas Pkwy 
 Plano, TX 75093 
(972) 993-2253 
Price: $$ 

My bf has never been there before and it's one of the main places in Plano I've been meaning to take him. I hope I didn't hype it up too much!! haha. 

There was a line waiting when we got there... It was almost 2PM! Crazy.. But we lucked out and they had tables outside. It was a little chilly but a table opened up under the heat lamps and they gladly let us move there. We also had the fireplace on the side. :) 

They changed all the brunch items since I've been there last. I wanted to try everything!! Guess I'll have to go back again soon. hehe. 

French Toast Switch-Up (a new creation whenever the mood strikes us) $11~ Their creation that day was French toast with fresh nectarines, pistachios, whipped cream cheese sauce, and maple syrup. 
He had been craving French toast for a long time now so immediately decided on that. It was an awesome choice. So delicious and nice to look at. I liked how they presented the plate. I also loved the fact that they put the sauce/pistachios/nectarines in every layer instead of just on top! Everything tasted so fresh. The nectarines are in season and were just the perfect sweetness and very juicy. It was a very filling dish but surprisingly not too heavy. And all the flavor combos worked together beautifully. I'd have to say it's one of the best French toasts I've had in a long time!! Now I'm curious what they're going come up with next! :) 

Skillet "Reuben" Hash & Eggs (sweet potato corned beef hash, melted fontina cheese, up eggs, hollandaise Louie) $12~ 
I got the eggs over medium. Since we got a sweet dish, I decided on a savory dish. I love hash AND sweet potato AND eggs. haha. There was nothing wrong in this combo. It was served on a cute square skillet. It didn't look very big but was a hefty dish. The salty corned beef hash with the sweetness of the sweet potato paired very well together. It had tons of flavor in every bite! The egg was just runny enough when I cut through it. And the hollandaise Louie added another depth of flavor. It was a little oily, but overall super yummy. The perfect compliment to the sweet French toast. 

I just wanted to mention that they use Farm fresh eggs from Noble Family Farms in Greenville, Texas. I really like the whole seasonal/local approach and I'm glad to see that trend gaining popularity in Dallas. 

To go with our meals we had ordered some drinks. I got Grow a Pear (Freshly juiced bosc pear, fennel, ginger, local honey, lemon juice) $5~ The name was pretty funny. haha. It was interesting. Very light and refreshing. I can definitely taste the fennel and ginger. I wished it was a bit sweeter though. I wouldn't order it again though. Once the food came, it overpowered the drink. 
He got an Irish Coffee (Jameson Irish Whiskey, cinnamon simple, spiced bitters, Oak Cliff Roasters coffee, hand whipped cream) $9~ It IS St. Patrick's Day after all! Can't go the day without something Irish! It was pretty with the whipped cream on top and I loved the little handle on the glass. I'm not a whiskey or coffee fan, but it was pretty good. And he loved it. It was a good start to Sunday brunch. 

We were pretty full after the entrees but since he's never been here before he HAD to try their whiskey cake! That's the whole reason I wanted to take him there! The whiskey cake is one of my favorite cakes in Dallas. 

Whiskey Cake (with fresh whipped cream) $8~ 
We got a corner piece! YAYYYY! I love the slightly caramelized edges. :) Topped with the candied pecans and freshly whipped's always yummy. He loved it. Good! I did not disappoint. hehe. And he liked the fluffy inside more so I got all the edges I want. :D 

It was an awesome brunch. I think the brunch menu options at Whiskey Cake is my favorite there. I mean the regular menu is fine, but I rather try everything on the brunch menu more! Our waitress was pretty good too...very friendly and timely. Definitely need to make it back soon and try something new. I highly recommend brunch there if you haven't been. Keep in mind they don't take reservations though. And they're very busy most of the time so there might be a wait... It's worth it!! 

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Ellen's Southern Kitchen

This past Sunday I was at the Perot Museum with a few friends. We decided to go check out Ellen's Southern Kitchen for dinner since my sister bought a groupon from there. I love Southern comfort food so I'm not gonna say no! :P 

Ellen's Southern Kitchen 
1718 N. Market St. 
Dallas, TX 75202 
(469) 206-3339 
Price: $$ 

My sister had made a reservation for 7PM. One of my friends arrived 5 minutes before the reservation and the rest of us got there 5 minutes after. We stood by the front door for awhile before the host finally greeted us. He immediately said that we were late and he almost gave our table away but he didn't because "he was nice". What?!? The place wasn't completely packed, mind you. And my friend said "I was here before 7…" He continued to go on about how nice he is and how he's going to get us settled in… ok… So we waited around a bit more. We saw him putting 2 tables together for us in the back, but then disappeared. We ended up waiting about 20 minutes before we were actually seated. So bizarre!! 

Once we were seated, the sunset was shining through the window right in the faces of me and my sister. The host says "oh, the drapes don't move…maybe just lean your head over to the side for 5 minutes until the sun completely sets…" DOUBLE WTF?!? Seriously? They were just simple cloth drapes and they "can't be moved"?! Wow… that was a new one. We are not off to a good start.. :-/ So my sister and I had to scoot to the sides of the table for the next 10 minutes and wait for the sun to set. Weirrrrd. 

We were all starving and the menu looked so good. And while waiting for our table we saw many dishes go by. The mac and cheese looked amazing! So we each ordered our own dishes and my sister got a mac & cheese for the table. 

Chicken Fried Chicken (fresh organic chicken, breaded to order, fried and topped with cream sausage gravy and served with two fresh vegetables) $11.99~ With asparagus and braised swiss chard. 

This was my order. I wanted to be healthy... but oh hell. This is southern comfort food... there's no point being healthy here. haha. The chicken fried chicken was smaller than I expected. Normally I see them as big as an entire plate, right? Don't you agree? But I thought it was really good. I like the batter and crispness on the outside and the white meat chicken was quite moist. The gravy was pretty generic. It would be better if it was jalapeno gravy or something. The veggies were delicious and cooked well, but the portion size of the swiss chard was laughable... 

Buttermilk Fried Chicken (two pieces of fresh chicken marinated to perfection, fried crispy and served with two fresh vegetables) $11.49~ With green beans and braised swiss chard. My sister's dish. The chicken was fried well and moist, but the meat itself needed more seasoning. 

Pork Chop (grilled bone-in pork chop topped with roasted fig demi and served with two fresh vegetables) $13.99~ With fried okra and braised swiss chard. I only tried the okra which was fried nicely. My friend said the flavors of the dish were good, but the pork chop was kinda dry... The size of the chop was pretty small too. 

Ellen's U.S.D.A. Prime Meatloaf (prime angus beef meatloaf with pan gravy and crispy onions, served with two fresh vegetables) $12.49~ With buttered kernel corn and green beans. The meatloaf was not bad. I don't tend to order meatloaf but I've had better ones. It was moist enough though. My friend did not care for it. And she said her green beans were undercooked. 

Ellen's U.S.D.A. Prime Meatloaf (prime angus beef meatloaf with pan gravy and crispy onions, served with two fresh vegetables) $12.49~ With mashed potatoes and sweet potato fries. The sweet potato fries were yummy. 

Cajun Shrimp and Grits (cheesy grits topped with spicy cajun shrimp and fresh spinach) $15.49~ I liked the grits a lot. The texture was great. Nice and creamy. I didn't get to try the shrimp but my friend cleaned his plate so I'm assuming he liked it! haha. 

Joe's Mac & Cheese (a big bowl of our famous smoked mac & cheese mixed with your choice of ingredients) $6.99~ Plus veggies $0.49 each. Plus meats $1.49 each. We got it with bacon, broccoli and mushrooms. Everyone was waiting for this. It looked soooo good. And it was! The pasta was cooked well and the toppings were perfect in the melty cheese. Best dish of the night by far! 

Just an FYI. The service here is SUPER slow. As if waiting for the table wasn't a warning already. Several of my friends ordered Chai Lattes and Lattes, by the time one comes out, the other person had already finished theirs. It came out one by one.. and very slowly. The waiter didn't apologize when he brought one out either... "The machine only makes one at a time" is the excuse we got. What kind of place can only make one cup of beverage at a time?!? What happens during brunch when a whole table orders coffee?! And the food took forever to come out as well. We saw several tables finish their food and leave while we sat with nothing. And other tables sitting there drooling when we got our food and watched us finish before they got theirs... It's not a big restaurant, I wonder why it's so slow... 

Anyways, we wanted dessert, so we decided it was a good idea to order it in the middle of our entrees. Genius! haha. We didn't have to wait long for them to come out after we finished eating. But guess what... our bills came out before we started our desserts! I see where they pick up the pace! 

Unfortunately I do not know the prices of the desserts since they don't have a printed dessert menu... 

Banana Pudding (topped with Nilla Wafers). Pretty decent sized bowl topped with wafers. There were tons of bananas in there. I really liked it. 
Fried Strawberry Shortcake. When I first heard this, I immediately thought of the Texas State Fair. haha. I was pretty close. It's like a fried biscuit topped with strawberries and whipped cream. Eh. None of us cared for it too much. 

Coconut Pie. I don't like shredded coconut and there were some throughout the pie, but it was tolerable. There wasn't too much. The rest of the pie was great. I loved the coconut flavor and texture of the pie. It was almost similar to a really soft bread pudding... 

Rum Raisin Bread Pudding. This was pretty good. The top was nicely browned and middle was super moist. It needed way more sauce (or glaze) or something though. 

It was unfortunate that the service was so lacking because the food was actually enjoyable. If the service and wait time had been somewhat decent, all of us would probably go back. However, none of us wanted to deal with the frustration and said we wouldn't return. And it wasn't just slow for our table, we saw it across the board. I wonder what other diners thought of their experiences?? There are better places with southern cooking anyways, spend your money (and TIME) elsewhere. 

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sweet Mix Toast Sneak Preview!!!

Sweet Mix
1811 N Greenville Ave #300 
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 231-6117
Price: $

Sneak preview at Sweet Mix!! I saw on facebook earlier today that they are rolling out some sort of French Toast or thick toast dessert soon. We happen to pay them a visit after dinner today and saw that they specially made one for a nearby table. They totally raved about it so I asked if we could get one as well. The girl at the register was a little hesitant since it's technically not supposed to be available until tomorrow (or today if you look at the time I'm posting this! haha). She was worried that it might not turn out as good as they wanted it to be. But we assured her that we want to try it regardless...

Sweet Mix Toast (topped with sweet cream, condensed milk, option of strawberry and/or banana, and option of nutella).
We got it fully loaded of course! hehe. I had initially thought it was going to be like a french toast but it wasn't. It was more like Asian style thick toast if you've ever had the pleasure of having one. I love them!!! It was so awesome looking when it came out and it tasted even better! The toast was toasted to perfection. The crust was just the right amount of crunchy and the middle was soft and pillowy. The nutella, condensed milk and fruit toppings were delicious with the bread. I think it would be the icing on the cake if we had added a scoop of ice cream! It was better than I imagined it would be. And I love their waffles and crepes but it totally overshadowed everything else. The waffles my sister got after just did not compare! I'm super excited I got to try this before their official release and even more excited that it's going to be on their menu (I hope forever!) I'm totally going back for more, and you better go get you some!!

I totally told myself no desserts this week, but broke my promise to try this. I have to say that it was worth every bite!! :D

I also got the Matcha Green Milk Tea $3.25~ Plus boba +$0.50~. 
The green milk tea itself was pretty good, not too sweet. The boba had good texture but was not sweet at all. They need to make the boba a bit sweeter then it would be better.

Not sure how much the toast was. But our total came out to be $11 and some cents. You do the math. :P

Anyways, back to the toast! I'm still drooling over it... They start offering them tomorrow (today). Go get some! Tell them CHOMP! sent ya! :)

Time for me to go to bed now. Until tomorrow~ hehe.

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