FLINT RESTAURANT @ THE COLCORDE HOTEL… “Igniting The Flavors of Breakfast!”

On the first floor of the historic Colcorde Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City is a flourishing restaurant and lounge named Flint. Presenting all-day dining options and a variety of menu selections inside or on the newly-opened expansive patio, this restaurant is sure to make a mark on the city’s culinary enthusiasts in no time.

Flint

Serving casual American favorites and several unique creations, Flint caters to those longing for succulent, quality-based, and memorable fare in a relaxing environment with a trendy edge and an energetic vibe.

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Eye-catching fire pits flicker near the lounge beside leather easy chairs, while a blue lighted deer head oversees the crowd from behind the bar. Cozy booth-style seating is available as well as more formal table seating throughout the establishment.

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The Flint Patio

Now open, the Flint patio provides a Small Bites menu to go along with those tempting and flavorsome libations mixed at the bar. Here one can admire the beautiful architecture that has gone into the building known as one of the Historic Hotels of America. A glass surround with etchings of leaves and the restaurant’s logo enhance the true beauty of such simplistic design while encouraging outsiders and passers-by to take a look inside.

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Morning Beverages

Steaming coffee and tea was served promptly to our table shortly after being ordered. Simple, yet classic white serving vessels provided the beverages, while a silver stainless steel carafe housed the java keeping it warm throughout our meal. Chilled freshly squeezed orange juice arrived soon after, satisfying my taste buds and offering a sweet and tangy wake-up call.

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Heart Healthy Omelet

My husband chose the Heart Healthy Omelet, which was quite delicious despite its healthy name. Protein-rich egg whites enveloped turkey bacon and sautéed vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and butternut squash. Breakfast potatoes on the side allowed for a heart healthy and hearty start to anyone’s day. This item was not only tasty from the first bite to the last forkful, but it’s vibrancy of color was also appealing as well satisfying not only our urge for something tasty, but our visual perception as well.

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Farmer’s Biscuits & Gravy

Not something I would normally order on a regular basis while watching my waistline, I chose the Farmer’s Biscuits & Gravy as an additional side item for my husband and I to share. What was originally meant for a taste soon became a complete consumption after the first mouthful of this decadent and sinful gravy-topped creation. Both buttery and filling, this addition to our breakfast was perfectly sized for two people, and packed with mouthwatering flavor.

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Challah Bread French Toast

I suppose I was craving carbs this particular morning, because I selected the Challah Bread French Toast. Soft Challah bread was expertly prepared “French Toast” style then topped with a warm berry compote and showered with a mountain of Confectioner’s sugar. Fluffy and savory, this dish was served with an accompanying separate bottle of warmed maple syrup for an addition of more sweet and sinful goodness.

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After breakfast, we walked through the spacious patio, then across the street to the Myriad Botanical Gardens and enjoyed the beautiful sights there. What a great way to spend the morning after a sumptuous meal at Flint!

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: The modern motif of the establishment is welcoming and a relaxed vibe can be felt throughout. Fire pits flicker and conversation-piece items stand out in the lounge, while an expansive stunning patio offers fresh air amid casual comfort.
  • FOOD / DRINK: Unfortunately, we only had the chance to enjoy breakfast before we departed the hotel on this specific trip, but judging by the quality of the cuisine we did experience, we would take a pretty good guess that lunch, brunch and dinner will be just as satisfying and excellently prepared.
  • LOCATION: Flint Restaurant is located on the corner of Robinson and Sheridan inside The Colcorde Hotel at 15 North Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City, OK 73102.
  • HOURS: Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 6:30 AM until 11 AM, and again on Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 AM to 10 AM, while Brunch is available Saturday and Sunday only from 6:30 Am through 10 AM. Lunch is available Monday through Friday from 11 AM until 2 PM. Dinner is accessible Sunday through Thursday from 5 Pm to 11 PM, and again on Friday and Saturday from 5 Pm until Midnight.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: Our server was friendly, smiling, and gracious. She was genuinely focused on our orders and our happiness and satisfaction with the establishment.
  • PRICE / VALUE: Our indulgence in the sinfully delicious breakfast we enjoyed was priced appropriately in our opinion. Very reasonable for the quality of the items we ordered for our morning sustenance.
  • CORKAGE FEE: No outside alcohol is allwed inside of the restaurant.
  • PARKING: As guests of The Colcorde Hotel, the property’s valet parking took care of our vehicle while we were staying in-house.
  • PRICING: The cup of hot tea was easily priced at $3, while the orange juice was a simple $5. The Heart Healthy Omelet came in at $8, and the Challah Bread French Toast was priced at $9. The order of Biscuits & Gravy was featured at $5.

Flint on Urbanspoon

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

MANGIAMO PRONTO UN CAFE ITALIANO… “Espresso & Wine Bar In An Energy-Filled City!”

On a popular corner in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico sits a ‘Tuscan’ coffeehouse and wine bar named Mangiamo Pronto. The name in Italian simply means, “Let’s Eat Now!’, and suits this captivating and energetic town just fine when it comes to the perfect locale for sitting back and indulging in the beauty of the area, passers-by, tourists trying to find their way around the city, and catching up with friends and love ones over a glass of wine or a specially crafted cup of coffee…not to mention some pretty delicious fare from what we hear.

Opened in 2008, this eatery offers breakfast fritatas, French toast, fresh baked pastries and an array of other early morning items pleasing many with a multitude of choices for those rising as early as the sun. In addition, lunch and dinner items include such options as pizza, paninis, salads, bruschetta, burgers, homemade soups, antipasti, and a multifarious selection of sugary treats to appease that sweet tooth including tasty gelato! Mangiamo Pronto possesses the perfect location. Positioned on the patio, one can observe the city’s liveliness occur all around you. The feel in general is welcoming, cozy, and can also be very romantic.

Quiet nooks for reading inside the cafe offer the local writer a place away from everything earlier in the day, while the walk-up-and-order counter tempts customers with a variation of appealing-looking goodies.

Above, we stopped midway through a self-walking tour of the area. We enjoyed the restaurant’s Italian wines and some of their hot herbal tea while sitting on the al fresco patio along the sidewalk.

We stayed at the Inn & Spa at Loretto, which is conveniently located just across the street. We had a direct view of the hotel from where we were seated at Mangiamo Pronto.

If you’re ever in the awe-inspiring city of Santa Fe, be sure to get a Walking Map from your hotel Concierge. If you’ve never been here before, you’re going to need it (as we found out!) It will show every nook, cranny, and walkway in the downtown area of Santa Fe including Canyon Road, which presents streets lined with art studios, sculptures made of bronze and other intriguing materials, paintings, and more.

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: This Tuscan-styled quaint coffeehouse and restaurant offers a relaxed ambiance both indoors and outside. An accommodating sidewalk patio covered by trees creates an alluring and cozy feel, while patrons sip Italian wines, espressos and teas, and enjoy the tasty offerings from the kitchen.
  • FOOD/ DRINK: We stopped for a while and enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine and hot herbal tea (not together of course!) On a return trip to the city, we will try some of the sensational bites we’ve heard so much about at this cafe.
  • LOCATION: Mangiamo Pronto is located at 228 Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe, NM 87501 just two blocks from the downtown Santa Fe Plaza directly across the street from the Inn & Spa at Loretto.
  • HOURS: This Italian eatery is available Sundays through Tuesdays from 8 AM to 5 PM, and also on Wednesdays through Saturdays from 8 AM to 8 PM. Breakfast is served from 8 AM – 11 AM, lunch is accessible from 11 AM to 5 PM, while dinner is served Wednesday through Saturday from 5 PM until closing (around 8 PM). Full table service is available for dinner only.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: We witnessed kind efficient service when we visited. Everyone seemed extremely gracious and happy to have us there.
  • PRICE / VALUE: A couple of glasses of wine and hot tea were reasonable in our opinion for what was charged.
  • CORKAGE FEE: No outside alcohol is permitted.
  • PARKING: My husband and I walked to Mangiamo Pronto, so there was no issue with finding a parking space. However, there are also metered parking spots along the side streets if you arrive by vehicle.
  • TOTAL BILL: Our bill for two glasses of wine and a hot tea totaled just under $20 (including tax).

Mangiamo Pronto! on Urbanspoon

mangiamo pronto!  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

M STREET COFFEE BAR & ART GALLERY… “The Perfect Eco-Friendly Neighborhood Coffee House!”

My husband is constantly in meetings that require a lot of his time. Of course, I tend to benefit from accompanying him on his away-from-home trips and wind up writing about those experiences in the process. For the the last eleven months, he has had meetings with clients in Studio City, CA where in between, before, and after crucial meetings, we have met at M Street Coffee, among other establishments, on the corner of Moorpark Street and Longridge Avenue to spend time together. We usually enjoy M Street Coffee’s Berry White Iced Tea in the warm afternoons, or the hot version in the as-of-late cooler evenings, and my husband always enjoys the consistently fresh blueberry muffins. He eats the muffins…I may take a bite now and then. They’re really good. I especially like the Almond Croissants….sinfully delicious and equally beautiful to the eye as well!

M Street Coffee Logo

Longridge Avenue, which runs along the side of M Street Coffee is lined with towering palms, while carefully cared for lemon trees in large planters create a calming outdoor feeling when sitting at any of the cafe tables along the sidewalk. I especially love the engraving in the concrete right outside the side door of the venue (see below). Owner Andrea McClain has really devised quite a spectacular venue for the community here at M Street Coffee. Overseeing the smooth and seamless coffee shop and gallery, she has proven that simple coffee house pleasures are attainable here. That easy afternoons sitting with someone you care about over a couple of cups of a favorite coffee or tea are reachable in this crazy and unforgivable world we live in. That even if just for a few moments in time, one can in fact stop for a few minutes and realize that moments in life like this are precious and should never go unrealized or unforgotten.

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M Street coffee and its staff pride themselves on their Eco-friendly nature. Caring for the environment we live in is a step everyone can take and additionally benefit from in many ways. The process of taking advantage of recyclable products that are used at M Street Coffee, organic coffees and teas, and other such items make an impressionable mark on the world we live in. Besides the Eco-friendliness here, the coffee is what brings people in the droves to this quaint neighborhood coffee bar with organic coffee beans. Whether you’re in the mood for Cafe’ au Lait, Espresso, Machiato, Latte, Cocoa, Matcha Latte, Chai Latte, Blended coffee drinks, Whole leaf tea Latte, brewed black, green, white, Oolong or herbal varieties of tea, fruit smoothies or loose leaf teas, M Street Coffee has what you’re looking for.

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About those blueberry muffins my husband loves so much at M Street Coffee…well, here’s a photo of that below along with pictures of some of the other locally baked tempting sweet treats. Oh, and there are several gluten-free and vegan treats available as well…

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Blueberry Muffin

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Pop Tart

M Street Window Pane Cookie

Windowpane Sugar Cookie

M Street Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake

I usually work on articles for SavorHour.com, or work on my writing, or just read something that takes me away from the daily grind (no pun intended!) On many occasions, my husband has completed business deals on the phone while sitting in front of me…which I love watching. It gives me inspiration for my writing! M Street Coffee offers a 2-hour free window of Wi-Fi access with a simple code that is printed out when you purchase your favorite coffee, tea, smoothie, soda or other delectable item from the main counter inside the establishment.M Street Almond Croissant

Almond Croissant

We have enjoyed sitting indoors on many occasions when we first discovered this refuge from the real world. Over time, we started seating ourselves outside at one of the several umbrella-shaded bistro tables along the sidewalk. After about 1 PM, the Longridge side of the building is shaded from the harsh rays and heat from the sun and a gentle breeze offers a substantial refreshing coolness as the day transforms from afternoon to evening.

M Street Pineapple Mango Pineapple Mango Smoothie

Space rental is also available at M Street Coffee for filming, business meetings, parties, piano concerts, gallery showings, fundraisers and acoustic music presentations just to name a few. There are several events ongoing, however, that you should know about. Meditation classes are held at the coffee shop after hours for $10 per person on Mondays from 7 PM – 8 PM. Poetry readings are held every third Thursday of the month, and the sessions are aptly titled “The Spoken Poem”, where fans of open mic night for poets and musicians can come together and share their craft. Area artists’ works are also showcased inside the establishment, and there is a rotating featured gallery on the inside walls as well. To see which artist is being featured at any given time, take a peek at M Street Coffee’s website to view who is being showcased.

M Street DRY Cucumber Soda

DRY Cucumber Soda

So maybe the ‘M’ in the name of this delightful coffee shop stands for Moorpark, or maybe it’s the owner’s last name. We think it stands for “Mmmmmmm…”, and “More, please!’”, and for the memories that are made there and remembered for a lifetime.

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Inside, this neighborhood coffee shop welcomes patrons with several seating options as well as outdoor availability at bistro tables shaded by towering palm trees and umbrellas overhead.
  • FOOD / DRINK: Fresh delectable muffins, croissants and other baked goodies from area bakeries as well as organic coffees and teas.
  • LOCATION: M Street Coffee is located at 13251 Moorpark Street (on the corner of Longridge Avenue and is one block east of Fulton Avenue) in Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.
  • HOURS: Monday through Fridays from 7 AM – 6 PM, and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 AM – 5 PM.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: Andrea, Jennifer and Christine are always kind and generously assisting with anything one may need. These baristas know a thing or two about coffee and tea!
  • PRICE / VALUE: Great prices for organic local coffee beans and teas, fresh baked temptations, fruity smoothies, and other unique items inside at the counter.
  • CORKAGE FEE: No outside alcohol allowed here. It’s a coffee house!
  • PARKING: Metered parking is available along Moorpark as well as Longridge Avenues. Several regulars also ride their bicycles to the coffee bar and lock those up at the available post just outside M Street Coffee.
  • TOTAL BILL: It’s a coffee house, so it just depends on what you’re ordering. Our bill for a couple of cups of tea and a couple of snacks is usually around $12 per visit or around that amount.

M Street Coffee on Urbanspoon

M Street Coffee  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

LARCHMONT BUNGALOW ARTISAN CAFE, BAKERY & BREW… “All the Comforts of Home…Fireplace Included!”

Beneath the cover of numerous shady trees and located on charming Larchmont Boulevard amidst a multitude of quaint shops, local businesses and historic homes lies a thriving business within a hundred-year-old building called Larchmont Bungalow. One visit to this friendly neighborhood cafe and you’ll be as captivated as we were. This eco-friendly fully certified “green” establishment includes reclaimed wood flooring, incorporates biodegradable products into their daily business including coffee mugs made from corn that are recyclable, and allows for ample comfortable seating both indoors as well as outside on one of multiple inviting patios.

Caring for our environment as well as the community of Larchmont Village, manager and partner, Ken Bernard calls the abode “a living room for the neighborhood.” And he couldn’t have said it better in our opinion. Handwritten menus donning daily offerings from the kitchen on hanging chalkboards throughout, warm wood tones from the overhead trussed ceiling and reconditioned wood paneling beneath your feet, and even a cozy fireplace inside the cafe crate a welcoming environment for the perfect meal or live evening candlelit entertainment in front of the fire.

Originally built and operated as a commercial entity in the 1920s, this intriguing establishment has been offering an environmentally-friendly and loving touch to the public on Larchmont Boulevard since it’s opening in 2009. Four years later and it’s still going strong. Why wouldn’t it be. Between the artisan baked goods offered, the extensive multiple meal menu presented (including vegan and gluten-free options), one-of-a-kind house brewed coffees and teas, and the alluring ambiance this cafe emanates, there’s something available for most anyone who steps foot through the threshold of this eatery and neighborhood coffeehouse.

Aside from Larchmont Bungalow’s ever-popular all-day breakfast selections, my husband and I truly enjoyed a recent trip to the artisan cafe and bakery for lunch one lazy sunny afternoon. The tea was uncomparably fresh-tasting, invigorating and perfectly chilled over ice for us. My husband and I each enjoyed a large green variety of this beverage, and were satisfied by its coolness and clean flavor…

Fresh-Brewed Green Iced Tea

Traditional Tuna Melt with Side Salad

Above and below, the Traditional Tuna Melt ($12.95) was served with a side salad and was just oozing with flavorful tuna and cheddar cheese. My husband enjoyed this delicious conglomeration of savoriness, as did I. Certainly one of my favorite tuna melts ever, this sandwich was an experience to behold with the colorful crisp lettuce and crunchy bold-flavored chopped red pepper, sweet and tangy green apple, hearty honey-roasted cashews and taste awakening house vinaigrette dressing.

Traditional Tuna Melt With Side Salad

BBQ Pulled Pork Wrap with Sweet Potato Fries and a Fried Pickle

This stunning menu option (pictured above and below) was gratifying and every bite was particularly comforting to me. At first taste, the BBQ Pulled Pork Wrap ($12.95) sent flavors of tender pulled pork with a tangy sweet barbecue essence across my taste buds for an enthralling ride. I actually debated whether or not to finish it in its entirety, but resolved to take the second half home with me to enjoy and savor later in the evening. (Not bad with a nice glass of Cabernet, I might add!) The tender greens and creamy avocado in this wrap also added to the flavor experience, and the sweet potato fries and fried pickle were also well-received.

BBQ Pulled Pork Wrap with Sweet Potato Fries and a Fried Pickle

Aside from the fresh, lovingly-crafted meal options at this cafe, there is also the bakery part of it not to be overlooked. But we really don’t think you’ll be overlooking it. Upon entering the front door, a huge glass-encased dessert-filled display almost beckons you into its presence mischievously tempting you with a kaleidoscope of various colors, shapes and portions made of only the finest and freshest ingredients…

Larchmont Bunglalow’s Sinfully Savory Dessert Offerings

The perfect flaky croissant to accompany a cup of house-brewed artisan coffee? A moist blueberry-filled muffin? How about an intriguing-to-the-eye rainbow of fresh berries atop one of the Larchmont Bungalow’s sweet sensations with a tender graham cracker crust? Or maybe you’d prefer a few of the meticulously decorated and colorful savory cookies available…it’s all up to you. And it’s all available at Larchmont Bungalow.

Flaky Croissants, Berry-Topped Temptations & House-Baked Colorful Cookies

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Larchmont Bungalow. We look forward to returning for breakfast, dinner and some nightly fireside entertainment very soon!

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: The feel of Larchmont Bungalow is that of walking into the front door of a friend’s home…that of welcome invitation. The spacious interior allows for seating in multiple areas, while dining outdoors is another option not to be missed. Warm tones of color fill the entire establishment, while the aromas of freshly ground coffee and artisan baked goods carry themselves through the air tempting and luring patrons inside.
  • FOOD / DRINK: Fresh fare is creative, enticing and sensationally delicious. Don’t be surprised if you return to the register to even take something home with you after your dining experience! Beverages are made with care and worth ordering more.
  • LOCATION: Larchmont bungalow is located on the inviting stretch of Larchmont Village at 107 North Larchmont Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA 90094.
  • HOURS: Open from 7:30 AM – 9 PM Sunday through Saturday, this cafe conveniently offers delectable beverages and tempting fare daily.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: The staff showed only kindness, well-versed knowledge about the establishment and the menu, and seemed genuinely pleased to be there.
  • PRICE / VALUE: At just $12.95 each for the Traditional Tuna Melt and the BBQ Pulled Pork Wrap, we were thrilled with the price. What we got for the money was delightful flavor, huge portions, and even leftovers to take home! A terrific value.
  • CORKAGE FEE: No outside alcohol is permitted.
  • PARKING: Available parking is present along charming Larchmont Boulevard via metered spaces.
  • TOTAL BILL: Our total bill came in under $36 for two iced teas, a Traditional Tuna Melt, and a BBQ Pulled Pork Wrap (including tax).

Larchmont Bungalow on Urbanspoon

Larchmont Bungalow  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

JOE’S RESTAURANT… “Culinary Excellence With a Neighborhood Feel!”

Known for it’s beaches and popular boardwalk, being an abode for the creative and artistically-inclined, its elongated entertainment-furnished Promenade and slower-paced neighborhood feel, Venice, CA is also host to another notable attraction…Joe’s Restaurant. For more than 20 years, Joe’s has been catering to the gastronomic cravings of patrons and leaving in its wake only satisfied customers forming lines to return. Our most recent visit to this eatery proved to be a delight of the senses, a culinary experience worth noting and an excellent choice for a late lunch.

Opened in1991, Executive Chef and owner, Joseph Miller sought out his love of all things culinary by opening Joe’s Restaurant along Abbot Kinney Boulevard in an eclectic section of Venice, California. Since that memorable occasion, Chef Miller has been serving up unmistakable offerings that serve as a favorite gathering spot among locals.

Below, the restaurant’s staff hard at work in the kitchen, the covered tranquil patio, the view of Joe’s from outside, indoor dining, a walk along the sidewalk beside the eatery and the view of the hallway leading from the patio back to the front entry.

Upon being seated at a cozy table for two on the patio on a perfectly beautiful California day, our server brought a vessel of iced water to our table, menus and a variety of breads with butter and an olive tapenade. Relaxing sounds of water flowing from the stone wall fountain built into a patio wall amplifies the al fresco dining experience. The fresh crusty bread that is served while perusing the menu is hearty and delightful.

I especially loved this warm weather chiller…the Watermelon Agua Fresca! Fresh-squeezed watermelon juice, simple syrup, a splash of soda and lime juice just waiting to be enjoyed. Such a refreshing beverage to enjoy on a warm day...

Watermelon Agua Fresca

The Chef’s Tasting was a small biscuit accompanied by a square of pork belly with a peach mustard, which complimented the flavors nicely.

Chef’s Tasting…Pork Belly With Peach Mustard and a Biscuit

Joe’s offers a sensational three-course lunch extension. For just $19, you can choose a starter, entree and dessert! We’re not kidding! We both did this, and were extremely satisfied with what we were presented for under $20.

Here’s what we ordered…

For my starter, I chose the Carrot Ginger Soup with Creme Fraiche and Cilantro. The essence of ginger was unique and mildly spicy throughout without being too overwhelming, while the soothing carrot puree rounded the dish off perfectly…

Carrot Ginger Soup

My husband chose the Albacore Crudo for his beginning flavor experience. Enhanced with Creme Fraiche, Japanese cucumber, breakfast radish, watermelon and toasted sesame, a quick taste of this appetizer convinced me that visual artistry wasn’t it’s only highlight…

Albacore Crudo

For his entree, my husband selected the California Sand Dabs. Avocado, cherry tomatoes, Maine sweet shrimp and delicate Sand Dabs in a delicious chive nage. (Nage is a French word for a flavored liquid used for poaching delicate foods-typically seafood. An example of a traditional nage is a broth flavored with white wine, vegetables and herbs in which seafood is poached. The liquid is then reduced and thickened with cream and butter.)

California Sand Dabs

Below is a close-up of the Sand Dab dish. It was so beautiful and colorful, I just couldn’t resist…

My entree choice was the Duck Confit Tagliatelle. Super thin ribbons of Tagliatelle pasta, topped with multi-colored baby carrots, poached leeks, grilled onions and a savory duck jus. This dish was scrumptious and filling and I was happy to have ordered it.

Duck Confit Tagliatelle

For our dessert selections, my husband opted for the Chocolate Crunch Cake below. Joined by a hazelnut praline, coffee ice cream and flavorful candied hazelnuts, this sweet temptation was crunchy, delectable and good enough to cure even the most discriminative chocolate cravings.

Chocolate Crunch Cake

I selected the Pavlova. Fresh macerated berries, meringue, mascarpone cream atop delicately crumbled cookies. So picturesque!

Pavlova

Joe’s has the deal on lunch in Venice! Nowhere else that we have found has this much variety and quality for under $20 for three courses. Take a look at their menu online and see what we mean. And the next time you’re in the Venice area, be sure to stop in at Joe’s. Whether it’s for their three-course lunches, their prix-fixed dinners, or just to indulge in a cold creative concoction at the cozy intimate bar, you’ll be glad you visited!

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Upscale, yet has a casual feel. Cozy, yet possesses a spacious ambiance. Gets busy, yet we never felt as thought we were forgotten at any point during our visit.
  • FOOD / DRINK: Refreshing Watermelon Agua Fresca coolers, a choice selection of wines and cocktails and eye-catching culinary presentations worthy of being placed in national food magazines. The menu items are full of flavor and creatively engineered.
  • LOCATION: Joe’s is located at 1023 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, CA 91411.
  • HOURS: Joe’s is available for lunch Tuesday through Friday from Noon – 2:30 PM, dinner on Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 6 PM – 10 PM, then on Friday and Saturday from 6 PM – 11 PM, brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11A to 2:30 PM. Joe’s is closed on Mondays.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: Marguerite was our server, and was professional, suggested favorites on the menu and gracious. All other staff we interacted with were friendly and very assisting as well.
  • PRICE / VALUE: Happy, happy, happy. Where else can you find such value for two lunches with such variety at these prices?
  • CORKAGE FEE: $25 per bottle.
  • PARKING: $2 with restaurant validation located in the lot behind the restaurant.
  • TOTAL BILL: Our two three-course lunches at $19 per meal plus a Watermelon Agua Fresca and a green tea came to a total of $50.03 (including tax).

Joe's Restaurant on UrbanspoonJoe's Restaurant on Restaurantica

Joe's  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

THE COTTAGE CAFE, BAKERY & TEA ROOM… “Southern Cuisine Among The Oak Trees!”

The South is home to many traditions. Hospitality reigns king, shrimp and grits are a staple, and beauty resides in Spanish moss strewn oak trees, soothing gentle waves washing onto sandy shores and local Jazz and Zydeco music. On our many visits to the commonly called “Lowcountry” of South Carolina, the quaint town of Bluffton is home to a terrific southern cafe, bakery and tea room we frequent often when there. It’s called The Cottage…

With its quaint location on popular Calhoun Street, The Cottage is tucked under the Spanish moss bearded oak trees of the charming town. With a wrap-around porch and wind chimes that play harmoniously in the gentle breeze off the May River, there is no doubt why this location is such a local’s favorite…

Above, you can see the dedication and creativity that went into every last detail at The Cottage. From the metal dragonfly that hangs on a porch wall beside the front door to the colorful and artistic signs to the babbling modern fountain standing in the front yard beside wrought iron park benches, you will feel a sense of warmth and welcome the moment you step foot onto the property.

Above, there is no item left out at The Cottage… suttle-sounding wind chimes that play a melodic tune as you dine on the wrap around porch, a bird feeder hanging cleverly from a tree in the front yard beside a cafe table and the massive healthy ferns pouring over the edges of their hanging planters all around the outdoor dining area are just part of the detailed mastery provided by the owners to create the perfect southern getaway…

A crisp glass of Chardonnay (upper left), southern sweet tea (much sweeter than iced tea on the west coast) and The Cottage menus (lower right)…

A quaint neighborhood view from the sidewalk, Spanish moss-draped Oaks and a view of the porch seating above offer a relaxed feel most anywhere one occupies at The Cottage…

At lunch, instead of bread, crackers are served with a tasty pimento cheese in a small white ramekin and fresh cut raw carrots above.

Maine Lobster Pot Pie

The Summer In Maine Lobster Pot Pie above is scrumptious with its peas, carrots, corn, mushrooms, leeks, scallions and hearty chunks of lobster meat topped with a flaky filo pastry and finished with a sour cream drizzle…

Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad

Another favorite we’ve enjoyed at The Cottage is the Grilled Shrimp Cobb. Savory, delicious and enhanced with mixed greens tossed with a creamy buttermilk blue cheese dressing, crisp bacon, egg, tomato, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette topped with perfectly-grilled large shrimp…

Flounder Almondine

The Flounder Almondine, (top), is luscious with a nice buttery crunch. Panko-crusted, pan-seared and finished with sliced almonds, lemon, butter, white wine, and parsley makes this selection a local favorite!

Curried Chicken Salad Wrap

Above, the Curried Chicken Salad Wrap includes cashews, raisins, lettuce and chutney all wrapped up in an easy-to-eat thin flour tortilla and served with vegetable chips.

Shrimp and Grits

The Cottage prepares a beautiful version of traditional shrimp and grits. But this rendition is anything but traditional…it’s amazing! Above, the creamy cheddar stone ground grits are topped with a heaping mound of fresh local shrimp sauteed with bacon, onion, garlic, mushrooms and scallions and complimented with a delightful cornbread muffin.

Fish Tacos

The Fish Tacos encased in soft taco shells are loaded with tender chunks of local fish and accompanied by a salsa-filled avocado half.

Maine Lobster Avocado Roll

The Maine Lobster Avocado Roll is delectable with sizable chunks of Maine lobster that are marinated with celery, herbs and lemon on a garlic buttered New England frank bun with fresh avocado and a lobster au jus and served with potato salad and pickles.

The historic neighborhood that The Cottage is nestled within is cozy and quaint and filled with antique shops, art galleries, upscale boutiques, and endless other fun and exciting opportunities. Recipient of the 2010 and 2011 Reader’s Choice Award by Hilton Head Monthly and Best of Bluffton in the Bluffton Today, The Cottage is the original Carson Cottage now surrounded by four other more recently built cottages collectively called the Carson Cottages. The original Carson Cottage’s history dates back to 1868 when Confederate soldier J.J. Carson built the structure as his residence. In 1902, he formed the first Baptist Church of Bluffton in the home’s front room, which was later restored by Thomas Viljac in 2007.

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: You realize you have arrived in the south when you see how you are treated at The Cottage. With the staff’s kind and friendly reputation and delightful front porch setting, you’ll be making a mental note to return to this quaint establishment!
  • FOOD / DRINK: Fresh ingredients, refreshing beverages, traditional southern sweet tea with mint (and a great raspberry iced tea, also), and an all-around terrific charming ambiance on the wrap-around front porch perfectly suited for relaxed lunching and calming dinners beneath the cover of massive oaks.
  • LOCATION: The Cottage is located at 38 Calhoun Street in Bluffton SC 29910.
  • HOURS: The Cottage serves breakfast Monday through Saturday from 8 AM – 11 AM, lunch Monday through Saturdays between 11 AM and 3 PM, Sunday brunch from 8 AM – 2 PM, and tapas on Thursdays after the Farmer’s Market closes next door from 5 PM. Dinner has been suspended for the summer of 2012 until Labor Day weekend. Afternoon Tea by reservation is only available during this time from 3 PM – 5 PM.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: Always friendly, always courteous and hospitable and always happy to recommend something to your liking.
  • PRICE / VALUE: Excellent value for the prices at The Cottage. We highly recommend visiting. Once you do, you’ll become a regular patron!
  • CORKAGE FEE: $15 per bottle.
  • PARKING: Parking is available along Calhoun Street or any of the cross streets in the neighborhood.
  • TOTAL BILL: With lunch entrees not exceeding $17.95 for their highest priced item, The Cottage is the perfect location for a long relaxed lunch, a seamless dinner, a quick trip to pick up some fresh bakery goods or for scheduled afternoon tea.

The Cottage on Urbanspoon The Cottage Cafe  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

BRICKS & SCONES… “Tea, Coffee and Simple Savory Bites!”

Another favorite spot we frequent quite a bit on Larchmont Boulevard is the green foliage-adorned one-of-a-kind coffee and tea cafe, Bricks & Scones. It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a quiet spot either outdoors on the red brick umbrella-flocked patio, or inside in one of the multiple spaces there.  I find myself going there often to read or work on my writing or on articles for SavorHour.com.  It’s relaxing and I really love being there. 

 Upon entering this quaint, cottage-esque coffee house, you will notice the massive fabric-draped chandelier hovering above you, while an intriguing spiral staircase wraps its way around it. What’s upstairs? A designated “quiet zone” with little nooks for reading, studying or just hiding yourself away while writing the next great American novel. (It could happen)! On the first floor inside, there is also a larger expanse with comfortable seating areas just past the ordering counter.

As you turn your attention back to the counter after admiring the beautiful decor of Bricks & Scones, a multitude of colorful chalk-written options are presented to you via several blackboards hanging everywhere you look. From hot and cold teas, savory hot and iced coffee selections, sweet temptations that will not allow you to pass them by and a board listing all-day breakfast options and meal choices from sandwiches and wraps to salads and soups and even bowls of fresh fruit. 

But my absolute favorite part is the relaxed and open feel of the patio, where colored umbrellas unite to shield patrons from the sun as well as enhance the already beautiful appeal of the courtyard. There are multiple outlets for powering electronics, and the red bricks that pave the way remind me of those Old St. Louis pavers that are commonly used to create driveways of southern plantation homes and winding garden paths. Wrought iron gates and tables adorn the out-of-doors area and the eclectic combination of planters, table-and-chair offerings and massive foliage and climbing ivy creates a perfect setting for letting one’s writing creativity roam free at last…free at last.

As we all know, creativity at any level will cause some form of mental exhaustion. If I could summon the power to never sleep or eat and just write 24 hours a day, I would. But that’s just not humanly possible for any of us. Not to worry, because Bricks & Scones has many solutions for that…

Above, the iced tea is refreshing, icy cold and delicious. I usually add a couple of slices of lemon to mine and a wee bit of sweetener. Sublime and definitely a boost well accepted.

Cashew Chicken Salad

Above, the delicious Cashew Chicken Salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, salted cashews, chopped chicken breast meat, dried cranberries and mouthwatering sweet house vinaigrette dressing.

Turkey Pesto Mozzarella Panini on Ciabatta Bread

Above and below, the Turkey Pesto Mozzarella Panini on Ciabatta bread. The flavor and experience you will have when you bite into this scrumptious sandwich will keep it in your memory forever.  Served with an arugula and tomato salad, the turkey, mozzarella, fresh basil and tangy-sweet balsamic glaze on this amazing provision will force you to return soon for more!

The Caprese Panini (below) is filled with creamy fresh mozzarella, tomato, flavorsome basil and that same incredible balsamic glaze that comes on the Turkey Pesto Mozzarella Panini…not sure how they make this balsamic glaze, but whatever they’re doing, we hope they keep it up! 

Caprese Panini

With the Caprese Panini, we enjoyed a bowl of Bricks & Scones’ Tomato Basil Soup. Made from scratch in the kitchen, this hot vessel of tomato goodness was rich with flavor and perfect for that cozy feeling when there’s a slight chill in the air some evenings.

Tomato Basil Soup

Red Velvet Cupcakes are back!!! Just one of the many desserts prepared at this family-owned-and-operated establishment with it’s own in-house bakery!

…try an enormous Chocolate Chip Cookie….

How about a generous square of delicious Apple Crumb Cake…

Apple Crumb Cake

And there’s nothing like a beautiful afternoon, a cool breeze blowing through treetops and a steaming mug of hot green tea flavored with the essence of grapefruit…

Bricks & Scones is also very proud of their environmentally-friendly policy. Their use of recycled paper bags, potato starch based biodegradable utensils, compostable cups and straws and other such items show just how much the owners care about our community and our charming neighborhood.

 INSIDER’S TIP: Other bonuses include free Wi-Fi and 10% off your tea or coffee order with a student ID or if you bring in your own mug! The kind friendly folks at Bricks & Scones are happy to help in any way they possibly can. They’ve already outdone themselves with this neighborhood gem!

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Words cannot fully explain in detail what this place does for us. We’ve become habitual “Sconers!
  • FOOD / DRINK: Fresh, delectable food items and perfectly brewed coffees and teas.
  • LOCATION: Bricks & Scones is located just north of Beverly Boulevard at 403 North Larchmont Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA 90004.
  • HOURSMonday through Thursday from 7:30 AM -10 PM, Fridays from 7:30 AM – 8 PM, and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 AM – 8PM.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: Kind, friendly, helpful and resourceful.
  • PRICE / VALUE: Definitely an A+ in our book. Great value for what you receive.
  • CORKAGE FEE: No alcohol is allowed at Bricks & Scones.
  • PARKING: There is a small covered parking area behind the coffee house via a narrow driveway beside the venue. If no spots are available there, there is 2-hour metered street parking available.
  • TOTAL BILL: On our last visit, we ordered the Turkey Cashew Salad, the Turkey Pesto Mozzarella Panini and shared a large iced tea. That total came to $20.88. Not bad for what you get at this terrific neighborhood locals favorite!

Bricks and Scones on Urbanspoon Bricks & Scones  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

CAFE BIZOU… “The Jewel of the Valley!”

Cafe Bizou has been a favorite love of ours for many years. We find ourselves driving over the hill a few times a month just to have a romantic dinner there together.  It brings back fond memories, allows us a chance to catch up on old times and always welcomes us back no matter how long ago our previous visit may have been.

Cafe Bizou’s scrumptious French cuisine will make anyone’s mouth water, senses heighten and heart skip a beat.  Despite the fact that there is no Happy Hour at Cafe Bizou, this eatery is still high on our Savor Hour list.  For starters, their corkage fee is $2.  TWO DOLLARS! And that’s EVERY NIGHT!  (Time to take a trip to the wine locker)! This not only makes the bill much easier to handle, but it also allows for more room to enjoy the items on the menu. We usually bring our own wine to dinner there.  When we do, we also bring two of our large Riedel wine glasses as well to enjoy our wine.  It’s just something we stared doing a couple of years ago, and it sort of stuck. You can always order a glass of wine off the menu, of course, as well.  Ranging from $7 to $10 per glass, there are several options available if you don’t bring a bottle in to have corked. 

Once evening approaches, all of the candles are lit on the tables, restaurant lights are lowered giving the entire establishment a romantic feel, and orders of culinary excellence begin pouring out of the kitchen by the smiling waitstaff, soon to be devoured and enjoyed by dining patrons. There is an option to seating areas as well. Multiple dining rooms offer an elegant experience either inside the restaurant at tables draped in white tablecloths and a wall of mirrors, or inside their front enclosed “patio” area, which offers a less formal, yet very comfortable “booth” seating alternative.  Both are lovely and offer different views and feels. Personally, we’ve dined in both areas and recommend them both.

Hand-Shaken Refreshing Chilled Martinis

High quality martinis and other cocktails can be ordered from the bar.  Their House Martini list offers eight martinis for $8 each.  If you’re not in the mood for bringing in a bottle of wine to go with dinner, you can always opt for one of these divine adult beverages. Offerings include their Cosmopolitan, Sour Apple Martini, the Lemon Drop, the Bikini Martini, the Chocolate Martini, the Key Lime Martini, as well as the Red Delicious and Pomegranate Martinis.  A nice variety of flavors at a very desirable price. Two of my favorites are their Lemon Drop Martini and the Bikini Martini.  The Lemon Drop, made with Absolute Citron shaken with fresh lemonade served with a sugared rim. It’s the perfect amount of tart, an ample supply of sweetness.  Delicious!  The Bikini Martini is prepared with Malibu Rum, vodka, pineapple juice, and a splash of Grenadine then garnished with a maraschino cherry in the bottom.  SO INCREDIBLE! Then there’s Cafe Bizou’s creative take on the traditional apple martini…the Red Delicious Martini, which literally tastes like you’re biting into a Red Delicious apple!  I honestly do not know how they do it!

Let’s discuss what else is great besides the smiling staff, incredible cocktails, and romantic, cozy environment at the Sherman Oaks Cafe Bizou.  Let’s talk dinner!  To begin, a bread basket and glasses of ice water are delivered to your table shortly after you’re seated.  (We always ask them to toast our bread because we like it warm, which they are more than happy to do). Soft, full of flavor and tempting enough that on more than one occasion, the two of us finished off the entire basket and started on a new one! The bread is delightful and delicious and comes served with a porcelain container of individually-wrapped butter.

Tuna Tartare

To make matters even better, Cafe Bizou’s appetizer list astounds with quality, variety and flavorful options. The Tuna Tartare and the Baked Mushrooms are two of our favorites, but if you don’t like tuna or mushrooms, then there are the Chicken Potstickers, Lobster and Salmon Ravioli, Crab Cakes, Veal Sweetbreads, the Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna, the Ginger Jumbo Shrimp and also a Combo Plate, which includes Baked Mushrooms, Lobster and Salmon Ravioli and Tuna Tartare. Speaking of Tuna Tartare, it is one of the most delectable Tuna Tartar appetizers anywhere in the Valley.  Crispy thinly-sliced toast accompanied by slices of smoked salmon topped with heaping mounds of fresh Tuna Tartare, then finished with a cucumber slice garnish and lemon in the center. Refreshing, flavorful and a true value for the price, this one is a classic signature of the restaurant. One sure to not disappoint.

Soups Of the Day – Tomato, Potato Mushroom and Vegetable Tomato

Another highlight of Cafe Bizou’s menu is their option of having a bowl of their Soup of the Day or Romaine Salad with a Dijon honey mustard dressing for just $1 with any entree purchase. (Above, the Tomato Soup, Potato Mushroom Soup and the Vegetable Tomato soup.) You can kick that up a notch and order their Caesar Salad for just $2 with any entree as well. TWO DOLLARS! And it’s not a side salad. This is a very nicely-portioned Caesar Salad for a mere two dollars. Add that to your entree and it’s just sublime.

$2 Caesar Salad With Entree

Another recent treat that has been brought back to the menu is the escargot appetizer (photographed above.)Incredibly tender, luciously buttered and the perfect amount of garlic in the sauce.  If you haven’t had Cafe Bizou’s escargot, you simply must try them soon.  If you’ve never tried escargot, then this is the place to break yourself in!  You can’t go wrong with these.  Served six to an order, they’re just perfect.

Escargot

Cafe Bizou’s entree selection choices are rather extensive. Ranging from Entree Salads to their Prix Fixed Menu to the Daily Specials and other delectable features including seafood, grill items, pasta dishes, and many others. I’ve added a link to their website where you can see their menu in detail, but I would like to highlight a few of our favorites below. (Okay, maybe several)!

Alaskan Sand Dabs Sauteed In a Caper Butter Sauce with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Vegetables

Lake Superior Whitefish with Linguini Pasta, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Basil in a Lobster Sauce

Lamb Shank 

Shrimp and Slipper Lobster Tails with Mushroom Risotto and Fried Leeks in a Red Wine Lobster Sauce

Pan-Seared Salmon with Citrus Salsa Accompanied by Grilled Eggplant and Vegetables

Sesame Coated Salmon Served on a Bed of Potato Pancakes and Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce

Alaskan Halibut with Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes in a Tomato Garlic Sauce

Grilled New York Steak Salad with Romaine, Endive, Watercress, Tomato, Blue Cheese and Grilled Red Onions in a Honey Mustard Dressing

Chicken Balsamic with Sauteed Chicken Breast, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus and Pearl Onions in a Balsamic Sauce

Crispy Potato Scaled Salmon with Spinach, Mushrooms and Tomatoes in a Port and White Wine Sauce

Grilled Salmon Salad with Papaya, Grilled Red Onion and Passion Fruit Dressing

Steak Frites with Grilled Tomatoes, Asparagus and French Fries in a Burgundy Wine Sauce

Hungry yet?  Well, be sure to leave room for dessert, because Cafe Bizou offers a varied selection of sweet indulgements such as their Flourless Chocolate Cake, Creme Brulee, their Profiteroles and others to tempt you. We’re not big dessert eaters (most of the time), but two of our favorites here in the past have been the Flourless Chocolate Cake and the Profiteroles.

Profiteroles

Trio of Sorbets – Raspberry, Mango, Pineapple

Fourless Chocolate Cake With Vanilla Ice Cream

Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks has ample delicacies and flavor sensations to please whatever your culinary desires may be.   If you haven’t been to this fine palatable institution for some time, it’s time to revisit.  If you’ve never been to this French cafe, then it’s time to try it out.  Abundant portions, mouth-watering options, stellar service and a cozy, relaxed atmosphere make this a plus for Savor Hour!

  • DECOR / ESTABLISHMENT: Charming, romantic and captivating.  This French Cafe will romance you as well as your taste buds all the way through your meal from beginning to end.
  • FOOD / DRINK: Fresh French cuisine prepared in style, luscious and memorable dishes to suit any cuisine connoisour, and incredible hand-shaken cocktails from the bar will make anyone a return customer!
  • LOCATION14016 Ventura Boulevard  San Fernando Valley, California 91423
  • HOURS: Cafe Bizou is open for business for Lunch Mondays through Fridays from 11:30 PM – 2:30 PM, for Dinner nightly from 5 PM – 10 PM, and for Saturay and Sunay Brunch from 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM.
  • SERVICE / STAFF: From the moment you call for a reservation, the voice on the other end of the line is welcoming and polite.  (If you get Liz, you’ll see why we love her so much)! Upon arrival, you are greeted with a smile, shown in and seated, as glasses of water and fresh bread are brought to your table.  The servers are happy to see you and delighted to take your order, then deliver your meal with elegance and grace.
  • PRICE / VALUE: Two thumbs up! (Make that four if you include both my husband and me)! Desirable setting, diverse menu selections, generous portions and an efficient and professional staff.
  • CORKAGE: $2 CORKAGE!!!  EVERY NIGHT!!!  (What more needs to be said)?
  • PARKING: You can park at any of the available metered parking spaces on nearby streets, or take advantage of the Valet upon your arrival to the restaurant.
  • TOTAL BILL: $48.77 (Including tax), for a bottle of excellent wine, the $2 corkage fee, a bowl of the delicious Soup of the Day, a plate of scrumptious escargot in a buttery garlic sauce, the Sesame Coated Salmon entree and the Shrimp and Slipper Lobster Tail entree. Incredibly reasonable expenditure for such a delectable and appealing involvement!

Cafe Bizou on Urbanspoon

Cafe Bizou on Restaurantica

Cafe Bizou  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.