Seasonal Dining at Seasons 52- A Girls Night Review

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The holidays are a busy hectic time, but you still need to make time to hang out with your best buds or to go out on a fun date night. It’s so important to take the time to have some fun and enjoy a good meal.

My friend, Nichole, and I went out on Sunday for some girl time. We did some furniture shopping… found the perfect table for the house!… and then some clothes shopping…I found the best leggings ever!… and then we went out for diner at Seasons 52. It was such a good time.

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Great company, great shopping, and great food.

Amy, our server, introduced us to the restaurant telling us all about how Seasons 52 is a seasonal restaurant with a rotating menu based upon what is in season. They highlight fresh ingredients in creative ways. We were blown away with everything.

Plus, we were blown away about her in depth knowledge of the menu, ingredients, and the restaurant as a whole. I can barely remember my own birthday some days and she had everything down pat, without sounding like a robot. There was knowledge and passion behind her information and stories.

Shortly after we sat down we were served an amuse bouche of their Lobster Salad that is on their lunch menu. It was a wonderful bite-sized introduction to Seasons 52.

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We started with one of the Chef’s Suggestions for an appetizer and another on the main seasonal menu. The Caramelized Bosc Pear and Burrata Salad ($9.50) was a featured item that consisted of a pear, proscuitto, and burrata arranged on fresh arugula, drizzled with a 15-year aged balsamic and served with piece of honeycomb.

Neither of us couldn’t get over the fact the pear and burrata salad was less than $10, especially for the quality of all ingredients. I’ve never had a burrata dish for less than $14 either. Burrata… bliss. Plus, the presentation of the salad was just so beautiful on the wooden serving board too.

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The Blistered Shishito Peppers ($7.20) was another appetizer that we just had to have. I love that shishitos and the addition of roasted corn, Sonoma goat-feta cheese and a lemon aioli all sounded amazing. Every pepper had some spice and the melty goat cheese on top was irresistible.

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While we enjoyed our meals, we enjoyed some drinks too. Nichole wanted a Cali/Oregon Pinot Noir so Amy brought her a Kim Crawford ’12 ($12) and a Schug ’15 ($14) to sample and pick from. Ultimately, Nichole picked the Schug as she had not had that previously. I enjoyed their Cranberry and Sage cocktail ($10.30) and their Ginger Agave soda. Both were incredible. Hello… candied sage and homemade ginger syrup.

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Nichole ordered the Asian-Glazed Chilean Sea Bass ($31.90) that was on the Chef’s Suggestions menu. It was served with black rice, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms and garnished with micro wasabi greens. The black rice was just so cool and different. It had great texture that worked well with the tender fish.

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As soon as I saw that the Seafood Paella ($27.70) had a Maine lobster tail, I knew that I had to order it. I have really missed New England Lobster since moving to Florida. Plus, paella always rocks. This one was made with sea scallops, mussels, Chilean sea bass, and chorizo. Every bite had a great mixture of textures and flavors.

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Dinner thus far was awesome and we were really full but we couldn’t resist the Mini Indulgences ($3 each). They are little layered desserts that come in a variety of flavors like Key Lime Pie, Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cannoli, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte.

Nichole had the seasonal Pumpkin Pie that had pumpkin mousse and gingersnap cookie, while I had the Belgian Chocolate S’more. I can’t resist a s’mores dessert, especially one that has a chocolate cake layered with rocky road mousse and topped off with a toasted marshmallow and chocolate dipped graham cracker.

Be sure to save room for a Mini Indulgence since they are awesome. Plus, they are on the house for your first visit!

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I loved my girls night out with my friend at Seasons 52, but I am looking forward to visiting again for a great Date Night!

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While I received this complimentary dinner in exchange for a review, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Monday Munchies: Fat Heads BBQ Stand

As part of my Monday Munchies series, I will feature a different eatery for a review on the third Monday of every month. Hope you enjoy!

Fat Heads BBQ Shack

I believe that you can get some really great food at road side stands. The food has to be good to keep people coming back since there really is no service or decor to help keep people coming back. When you drive by a stand and see people laying food out on the roof of their car and chowing down right there, you know it’s good.

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Thankfully, there are plenty of road side stands near where we have moved to here in Florida. They dot the side of the road and are stationed in dusty parking lots.

My current fav is just a few miles away from us. Yes!

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Besides the food itself, the thing that I love the most about Fat Heads BBQ Stand is that it is so fresh. They make your order when you order it. No, you don’t chill out in a plastic chair next to the smoke for hours waiting for your pulled pork to smoke, but they make everything to order. It’s take out but it’s not exactly quick, but I appreciate that.

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Meaning, they cut the ribs, quarter the chicken, scoop the sides all the order. It’s not just hanging out there for you, it’s made for you with your order. So good.

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The father and son duo that run it are so nice and talented. Stan Sr. and Stan Jr have been running the stand for over 5 years but have many combined years of experience of making great food.

I have tried it all and let me tell you everything is wonderful. Just wonderful!!

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When ordering the pulled pork, you are asked if you want the sandwich wet (sauce mixed in) or dry and what bbq sauce you want, mild or spicy.  I personally prefer it wet with mild sauce. The hot BBQ sauce is good but it’s very spicy. Proceed with caution if you don’t like things that spicy.

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Just look at that smoke ring!!!

Their beef brisket is also so wonderful. I love the smokey flavor and the tender texture of the thin sliced brisket.

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I think that everything is a great value, but their Family Value Dinners are the best option when you want to try a bunch of things, have a bunch of leftovers, or actually share with your family and friends. There are 2 options, the Fat Head sampler for $23, which ended up being 4 servings for us so that was a great value. The larger Dinner Meal for 4 for $40 which is very generous so be ready for some leftovers for lunch or your midnight snack.

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The cornbread is not included in the samplers, but order it… it’s good.

As well, ask for buns when you get the sampler for the pulled pork so that you can make sandwiches.

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I’ve enjoyed all the sides we have tried from our various visits. The collards and beans are my favorite. I love collards and enjoyed the sweet tang in their collards. My daughter likes the mac and cheese, which I thought was a little dry one time, but great the other times. I am picky about potato salad but I really liked their’s.

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Be sure to stop by Fat Heads BBQ Stand when you have a chance. The quick 25 minutes drive south from Tampa is worth it. I swear!

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Fat Heads BBQ Stand

5813 N US Highway 41 (at the intersection of Big Bend Road)

Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Saturday and Sunday 11-7pm

813.731.5256

Catering available, accepts Debit/CC

 

 

 

Monday Munchies: Breakfast at Moody’s Delicatessen and Provisions- Waltham MA

As part of my Monday Munchies series, I will feature a different eatery for a review on the third Monday of every month. Hope you enjoy!

Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions

If you ever happened to ask me what my favorite meal of that day is, I’d say it is breakfast.

It might be because of how much I really truly love eggs benedict. Plus, I make a meal egg sandwich. I toot my own horn about it, but it’s true. I rock it.

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So when I saw that Moody’s Delicatessen and Provisions, in Waltham, MA, was featured as a local a Cheap Eats in Boston Magazine‘s Feb 2014 issue, I knew I’d have to get there to devour the featured breakfast sandwich.

Besides the low price, what was so amazing about this breakfast sandwich that made it get named the Best Egg Sandwich and get featured on the cover? ALL OF IT.

But the real highlight to me was the in house made Pork Roll.

 

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What is Pork Roll?

My parents are both from New Jersey so I grew up eating Pork Roll that we would pick up from our visits to visit my grandparents. It’s a regional delicacy that hails from New Jersey. The simplest way to explain it is similar to bologna that you cook and eat for breakfast, most often in a breakfast sandwich.

But don’t just think that Moody’s is only good for Pork Roll. Oh no, they are aficionados in in a large variety of house made cured meats. If you want a great sandwich or if you want to make a fantastic charcuterie platter, then stop in an pick of some of their meats, like bologna, salami, and roast beef.

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The Moody’s Breakfast Sandwich ($6) lived up to all of the hype that I had read about over the years in magazines and on Yelp.

After years of dreaming about heading out to Waltham, we finally visited before we moved and it was worth the wait,

The buttery griddled English Muffin makes for the perfect vessel for the egg, cheese, and meat. It’s soft, but still has a slight crunch that is a perfect contrast to the fluffy egg sandwiched between layers of Pork Roll. And of course, the melted American-cheese that waterfalls down the sandwich. The jazzed up Tobasco-spiked Ketchup gives it the perfect amount of kick as well.

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Bliss. I was almost tempted to order another. I really should have.

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The 2 layers of pork roll make for the perfect bite.

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Price enjoyed their Breakfast Burrito ($6), which featured Spicy Sausage, Soft Scrambled Eggs, Green Onions, Cheddar, Barrel-Aged Hot Sauce in a flour tortila. He thought it was really good but from the bite that I relucantly shared of my sandwich made him declare the egg sandwich the (obvious) winner.

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And never one not to eat, Autumn enjoyed her 2nd breakfast of the day and had a blueberry muffin. But it wasn’t just your average blueberry muffin, it was a light and fluffy muffin that had a big gob of cream cheese in the middle of it that made it so much better than your average muffin.

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If you are in the Boston area, I highly recommend heading over to Moody’s for the most epic breakfast egg sandwich to start your day off on the right foot.

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Moody’s Delicatessen and Provisions

468 Moody Street

Waltham, MA 02453

781.216.8732

Monday Munchies: KO Catering and Pies

As part of my Monday Munchies series, I will feature a different eatery for a review on the third Monday of every month. Hope you enjoy!

I had taken a winter break from my Monday Munchies series since it was just too dang cold out to go out. Just kidding. Well, sorta. It was cold, but the holidays are crazy and then from there we went into ‘moving mode’ and things got even crazier. But I’m back today and I have a great place to share with you.

KO Catering and Pies

Now, people typically think of Shrimp on the Barbie, ginormous steaks, and vegemite when they think of Australian food, but KO Catering and Pies educates Bostonians on what Australian comfort food is all about.

Since opening their first location in South Boston in October of 2010, they have selling out of meat pies left and right. Thankfully, I learned of the hole in the wall storefront soon after they opened so I have been a long time fan. At that point I was a decent 30+ minute drive to there from our house so I was fully committed when I would drive over to stock up on warm and frozen pies and sausage rolls.

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They opened a second location along the East Boston waterfront in the summer of 2012 which has a fantastic outdoor seating area that is packed during the summer. You just can’t beat hanging out with friends while drinking great beers, eating Aussie Pies, and playing corn hole.

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Their signature dish are their Meat Pies, the unofficial national dish of Australia and it’s part of the national identity of New Zealand.

A meat pie typically is a hand-held take-away dish that consists of a meat filled pie that has a pastry crust on the bottom and a puff pastry crust on top. Most often it is topped off with some ketchup prior to enjoying.

KO serves several pies, including Classic Beef ($6.35), Beef with Cheese ($6.60), Curried Vegetable ($6.00), Irish beef stew ($6.85) and Braised Lamb Shank ($6.95), and a Pie of the Month ($TBD). All of which are fantastic and have such great different qualities about each of them from their flavors to their textures of the different kinds of tender meat and vegetables.

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The crew at K.O. often hosts pie throw-downs when they invite local innovative, creative chefs to create pies that are signature of their restaurants to battle it out to get fun bragging rights and get featured at KO.

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You can also get a Pie Floater, which is any of their pies that is topped off with a scoop of mashed potatoes, gravy and mushy peas for and additional $6.50. It’s their awesome spin on the traditional pie floater that actually is a pie ‘floating’ in a bowl of pea soup.

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It’s very important to note that there is a proper way to Eat a Pie, which they so helpfully (and playfully) diagram out for meat pie newbies!

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You can pair their pies with their potato wedges ($6.50). The crisp wedges are seasoned right out of the fryer and are served hot with a Sweet Chili  Sauce & Sour Cream. I can’t resist getting these. The only issue now is that my daughter loves them as well so we have to share with her as well… ha!

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My husband enjoys their sandwiches most often. He worked near by for about a year at a satellite office for a project and went there quite often for lunch either by himself or with a group.

Like with their pies, they have a variety of sandwiches from burgers to chicken sandwiches to fish sandwiches. Everything is made to order and is really fresh and flavorful starting with fresh breads that cap off marinated meats that are topped off with zesty sauces.

The only sort of crummy situation is that their sandwiches change every now and then and I had to hear bummed my husband was when they changed out the chicken sandwich that he fell in love with.

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I highly suggest grabbing a sausage roll ($3.75) when you are ready to cozy up under a blanket and watch a good movie. Or to take to the nearby park to nosh on while you watch your kid run around. Or take it along with you for a beach picnic, just like Australians do.

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I love that KO brings everyone together around great quality food. Our 2 year old daughter is a big fan of their meat pies as they are easy to eat with a fork (or her hands!), not too spicy, and at just plain ol’ delicious.

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While the meat pies are awesome there, my absolute favorite thing to order their Spicy Shrimp on the Barbie entree($13). It’s a loaded rice and salad plate that is topped off with grilled shrimp. They provide a generous serving of 6 of very spicy Chermoula marinated shrimp that are grilled to perfection. In all, I love the fresh combination of the flavors and textures from the sweet corn and grape tomatoes, salty crumbled feta, crunchy cucumbers, and zesty lime.

It should be noted that things can add up quickly here, but I have found that most times I take things home or I will skip dinner after a filling lunch. But it can definitely sing our wallet when you go out for lunch and drop $30 on 2 pies, potato wedges, and drinks, but without a doubt the quality is top notch. It’s not like you’re just grabbing some fast food burger and fries.

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But don’t forget to leave room for dessert!

They have Lamingtons ($3) and Anzac Biscuit Cookies ($2) for dessert giving you the true experience of the land down under.

I highly suggest checking out KO Catering and Pies for your next lunch out, office luncheon, or party. From take-out to catering, you can’t go wrong with fantastic hearty meat pies, fresh salads, and sausage rolls.

I’m quite serious when I suggest KO, I made a point of going as often as I could and even went the last weekend in Boston to get one last pie fix before heading to Florida. Love it!

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KO Catering and Pies at the Shipyard

Boston Harbor Shipyard

256 Marginal St | Building 16

East Boston, MA 02128

617.418.5234

KO Catering and Pies- South Boston

87 A Street

South Boston, MA 02127

617.269.4500

Butter Poached Lobster Eggs Benedict- State Street Provisions

State Street Provisions Brunch

You’ve just taken a sip of your mimosa, when your plate arrives. It’s placed in front of you and you take it all in. The luscious yellow river of Hollandaise over the dome of poached eggs that are sitting on top of crisp Canadian Bacon and crunchy, buttery English Muffin halves. But the real beauty is when you take your fork, turn it on its side, and gently press it into one of those poached eggs, making the sunshine yellow yolk pour out. Then you cut a piece and take a bite.

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That is brunch for me. And that is pure bliss.

As someone who carefully ‘watches’ what she eats to maintain her weight, I make sure I live by the 80/20 rule so I still have some fun. I’m generally stricter with myself during the week so I can have fun on the weekends. I love brunch, and eggs benedict, more specifically, so I generally let myself really splurge while I am out.

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While recently visiting the brand spanking new State Street Provisions, located right along the Greenway by the aquarium, with a friend we let ourselves have a lot of delicious fun with their new menu.

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Now, I’m normally like Joey from Friends, and I don’t like to share food, but everything looked so good so my friend and I split everything since we couldn’t decide what to get. It actually worked out perfectly!!

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I typically order Eggs Benedict when getting breakfast or brunch, but when I read the brunch menu from State Street Provisions, I was really conflicted since I wanted the Apricot-Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast ($12). I loved french toast, but the stuffed french toast sounded extra incredible.

But the Butter Poached Lobster Benny ($19) sounded just as incredible. We both wanted to try it. I mean, how can you pass that up?!?! Buttery English Muffin topped with butter poached chunks of lobster, and poached eggs that are topped off with a Tarragon-Lemon Hollandaise.

 

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So we ‘settled’ on ordering both the french toast and the eggs benedict to share. Such a tough situation!

We also, decided on getting a side of sausage ($3) and giving the biscuit ($3) a try too.

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First our drinks arrived. My friend ordered the Dejeuener ($10), made with Aperol, Grapefruit, St. Germain, which she loved from the color to the taste. And my Aperol Spritz ($11) was so refreshing with its Aperol, Prosecco, and House-Made Soda.

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Both were so enjoyable and just so pretty! Such beautiful colors!

And then the real stars of the show arrived!

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The Apricot-Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast was a large plate of 4 thick stuffed french toast triangles. The pieces were arranged on the plate sitting in shallow pool of Maple-Molasses Syrup and topped off with Candied Pecans. Typically, the french toast is served with Candied Hazelnuts but substituted them for Candied Pecans when I visited, and I didn’t mind the substitution. I really enjoyed the pecan flavor and the texture of it.

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This is a very generous serving of French Toast. You would need some stretchy pants to take on this baby. But every bite would be worth it! We had some leftovers and I brought my doggie bag back to my husband and he liked it too (even cold! h.a!)

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One of the nicest things about the new State Street Provisions is the general ambiance of the space from leather banquets, rich woods, soft marbled stone, and the coolest lights.

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My oh my, this Eggs Benedict. If you like Eggs Benedict then you need to order this Butter Poached Lobster Eggs Benedict. I insist upon it.

The buttery English Muffin made for a perfect bed for the large chunks of butter poached lobster. The pieces were large but still bite sized. While the lobster was poached in butter, it was not overdone. It was not dripping in butter, which I honestly was afraid of, like it would be overdone to prove it was butter poached.

The home fries were cooked perfectly with a soft, get firm potato that had a nice, crisp exterior. They were seasoned well with a bit of a spicy kick to them. They did a great job of scooping up the creamy Hollandaise Sauce. The pale yellow sauce was buttery and rich without being overpowering. Every bite felt like a special occasion.

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My one comment about the dish was that the eggs were under-cooked, for my preference, with one egg being very undercooked. I am super picky about eggs, especially poached eggs. But don’t get me wrong, I completely understand how difficult it can be to make perfectly cooked poached eggs (no, I’ve never thrown a pot of water in the sink in disgust after my 4th failed poached egg. No, never…) But I am picky so it was my one comment about the otherwise perfect dish.

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Our ‘impulse buys’ were just as good. The biscuit was incredible. It wasn’t very flaky, but it has such a great soft texture with a nice chew. The accompanying butter and jam were paired perfectly. The butter was soft and easy to spread on the warm biscuit. And then the homemade raspberry jam was luscious and perfectly sweet.

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The brunch really made the weekend. It gave me the opportunity to relax, enjoy spending some quality time with a friend, drink some great drinks, and eat some amazing food.

Besides enjoying

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State Street Provisions recently opened and I think that with what fantastic brunches like this they will be really successful! I’m really hoping to make it back before I move for another brunch or to check out their lunch or dinner.

Rating

English Muffin– 20/20 pts

Butter Poached Lobster– 20/20 pts

Poached Egg– 20/25 pts

Hollandaise- 25/25 pts

Homefries– 10/10 pts

Total: 95/100 pts

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State Street Provisions

255 State Street

Boston, MA 02109

617.863.8363

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While I received this complimentary brunch in exchange for a review, all opinions expressed are my own.

Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.