Breakfast Club

it was superbowl sunday (steelers vs packers). cheeks was craving french toast. where is the chef from the st paul embassy suites when you need him??

we didn’t want to go far so a-googling we went! our search led us to try breakfast club in lebanon. from mason, it’s actually a pleasant drive on route 42 to downtown lebanon. open fields and low homes offered a wide view of the sky. it would have taken us about the same time to go to take the cake, one of our favorite brunch places, but thought we’d try a different neighborhood this time.

(above L: a cup of their in-house roasted coffee; above R: biscuits and gravy)

(french toast)

(over-easy eggs and hash browns)

i loved their hash browns! i’ve never had them served this way and called hash browns so … ok the flavors are the same but it was something new nonetheless and now i know where to find thinly-sliced hash browns! it was good to know of a locally-owned brunch place not too far from home so we will be back when breakfast cravings need to be satiated.

the way back to mason offered a few new discoveries:

• a new cupcake place called manna cupcakes is now where a coffee shop used to be (i think it was a couple other businesses in between)

• the shoe factory antique mall and double dip, an ice cream shop that received 2 blue ribbons for their chocolate and vanilla ice creams (i think cheeks may want to have a taste of that!)

• and wild eastern turkeys grazing on an open field! ofcourse they won’t be there the next time we’re back, but it surprised me to find wild animals that close to the suburbs!

photos to come when we go back explorin!



we return to our regularly scheduled programming (from our trip to chicago) and introduce you to perennial in lincoln park.

this eatery was recommended by a friend (thanks SP), who loves everything about chicago. i’ve only been to the magnificent mile and the suburbs in my past trips to this city, so i was eager to eat in lincoln park and explore this neat little neighborhood.

(above: sancho’s omelet (roasted poblano peppers, chorizo, queso fresco, cilantro cream))

(above L: citrus house cured gravlax (fingerling potato salad, caramelized onions, toasted bagel chips); above R: bravas style potatoes)

(above L: pain au chocolat; above R: “Eat, Drink, Repeat”)

it was a delicious brunch to get us on our day. our visit to rick bayless’ xoco the day before still left us craving for chorizo. sancho’s omelet was an easy choice. their citrus house cured gravlax was a bit tricky to eat (the bagel crisps would break when any weight was added to them), but was very good! it was like a deconstructed bagel with salmon bits and cream cheese. mmm and ofcourse i couldn’t pass up the pan au chocolat.

“eat, drink, repeat”? yes please!

Brunch at Greenup Cafe

i took my mom to take the cake for brunch last saturday. i was happy that she got into it as i had hoped she would, even splitting dessert with me (black bottom cheesecake) after a full meal. that day made me think about other places i could take my family to while they’re here visiting for the summer.

one of those places that came to mind was Greenup Cafe in covington, ky. a couple of friends had mentioned this place before, and cheeks and i had picked a cup of their dark chocolate mocha on our way to a bengals game but we hadnt tried brunch there.

greenup cafe is part of the Relish Group of restaurants who also own chalk food + wine, lavomatic cafe, jeanro bistro, local 127 and tonic on 4th. the cafe is actually 2 doors down from chalk, another favorite, on greenup street (makes the cafe easy to find eh?). it’s in an old converted house, quite unassuming from the outside.

the walls are painted in bright colors, and a gaggle of tables and chairs fill each room, no two alike. nothing matches and yet it all seems to be in its right place. a separate room to the left, upon entering, is reserved for takeout orders, and where you will also find their pastries and desserts (and treats for the doggies too!). one of the blackboards above offer wise words: Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Starbucks.

(quiche taragon, greenup salad and country potatoes)

(puff pastry with goetta and piperade sauce and country potatoes)

brunch was heavenly. makes you regret ever having gone to the ‘breakfast factories’. their menu is small but everything looks appetizing making it even harder to order. one of everything please? like many local establishments, greenup cafe changes their menu regularly, and sources from local vendors. be sure to check their website or call before going.

Take the Cake Brunch

we decided to go for brunch at Take the Cake a couple of weekends ago. i had already been there one other sunday with a friend of mine and so was excited that cheeks was going to be able to finally see for himself what i had been raving about.

curried chicken soup over a buttermilk biscuitspinach and tomato frittata

the staff did not let me down! cheeks ordered the curried chicken soup over buttermilk biscuits and i asked for the spinach and tomato frittata. yum!

we both wowed at the flavors of the curried chicken soup and my frittata … mmm . i am a potato-lover, and so i geeked out at the layer of potato that sat just on top of the egg layer which made the base. the eggs were so light and fluffy!

and we could not leave without having one of their desserts. one for each of us! i guess we both insisted on this (or was it me) and, like the meal, they did not disappoint! we’ve had their cupcakes numerous times in the past as well as a different version of their bread pudding, and we didn’t venture out this time. there is comfort in already knowing the flavors of what you’re going to eat. we also packed a box of some extra desserts to bring back home and share with friends (their cheesecake black bottom is so good! will be ordering that again next time!)

caramel bread puddingpumpkin carrot cupcake

i was told this is their 3rd location (they were once located downtown along Main and Liberty I believe; this is their 2nd space in the Northside area), and this is the first time they are serving food other than their well-loved desserts. their space invite a sense of community with 2 long communal tables along the floor-to-ceiling front windows and along the main wall. there is also a long eating counter facing the kitchen and prep area.

TtC chair detailTtC table

food here changes every day so make sure to check their website before you go. or just go and let yourself be surprised! like us, you won’t be disappointed.

flank steak salad with pomegranate and cheesebuttermilk biscuits rancheros

(L: flank steak salad with pomegranate and cheese; R: buttermilk biscuits rancheros)

creamy squash soup with candied pepitashot tea

(L: creamy squash soup with candied pepitas; R: hot tea)

TtC cupcakes