Tag Archives: Eggs

{ The Down to Earth Cafe } ****

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1141 N 5th St
Perkasie, PA 18944
(215) 258-2233

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Eating out at a restaurant is often an experience that is driven and dominated by the desire to socialize. People go out for a meal to spend time with the ones that they love, and the food serves as the unifying element that brings them all together. Sometimes the food is very well prepared and someone will comment on its palatability, and other times, the food is just present as a mere necessity for sustaining life and a backdrop for the conversation.

What I am trying to say is that very rarely do people make an emotional connection with their food when they dine out. After all, they are not involved in the direct preparation of their food, nor do they often get the opportunity to watch as chefs transform raw ingredients into the entrée of their choice. The food arrives at the table, they eat, and go home.

The Down to Earth Café in Perkasie Pa offers a different kind of dining experience though—one that is atypical of the norm. In all facets of the restaurant, there is a permeating sense of community; a genuine connection established between every person, object, and meal that one comes in contact with. The servers feel familiar and their smiles seem genuine, as if they would rather be nowhere else in the world. The kitchen is partially within the customer’s view so that patrons can watch as their food is being prepared, and see who is responsible for crafting their meal. The food itself is sourced locally and organically—whenever feasible—and the menu showcases how simple high-quality ingredients can come together to create something delicious.

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I went for brunch this weekend and had very few expectations for this little café tucked away in a rather non-descript and rundown strip mall. But from the moment that I walked in, I knew I was in for a good meal! I ordered the Anti-Salerno Sandwich with grilled eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, onions, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers, topped with melted goat cheese on a fresh ciabatta roll ($8.95).

Veggie Sandwich 2

I added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and it was delightful! The veggies were chopped up nice and small so that each bite was clean, and the side of balsamic and grape quinoa salad was super tasty. I wish there had been a bit more than the level tablespoon that was dolloped on the plate, but it was excellent.

Veggie Sandwich 1

My boyfriend ordered the Farmer’s Panini Special with scrambled eggs, Blooming Glen scrapple, cheddar cheese, and baby spinach ($9.95). I am not one that cares for scrapple, so I did not sample his dish, but he said that it was hearty and delicious.

Scrapple Sandwich

To drink, I sampled one of the new Sipp organic sodas that they offered in the Mojo berry flavor with blackberry juice, mint, lime, and a touch of agave nectar. It was very refreshing and much less syrupy than a typical soda. Dare I say a healthy soda?

Menu and Soda

All in all, I cannot wait to go back and try some of the other fabulous meals offered at the Down to Earth Café…in particular the smoothies, which looked incredible!

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Filed under Bakery, Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, Buck's County, Cafe / Bistro, Coffee Shop, Cookies, Dessert, Fast Casual Food, Lunch Spots, Muffins, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Restaurants

Domani Star – BRUNCH! *****

Jessica Omelet #2

215.230.9100
57 West State Street 
Doylestown, Pa 18901

CHECK OUT THE BRUNCH MENU!

As I mentioned in my review of Cafe Lift, I am highly critical of brunches served in restaurants. Not only is it my favorite meal of the day, but I also have become quite good at cooking it, so my standards are set pretty high. But Domani Star is one place that I can confidently go for a consistently amazing breakfast…and now that I come to think of it, I do go almost every Sunday!

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The menu features brunch classics like eggs benedict, pancakes, and 2 eggs any style, but it also features unique and memorable dishes like a Bolognese Omelet with asiago cheese, and a Carbonara Scramble with bacon, onions, and parmesan cheese. 

Italian COuntry Scramble.

My personal favorite is the Italian Country Scramble with crispy polenta, fontina cheese, and baby arugula. This dish is to.die.for.

The Jessica Omelet

I also like the Jessica Omelet with avocado, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and baby arugula. I get mine with egg whites and a large side of hot sauce and call it a day!

Open Face Sandwich

Another Domani specialty is the Open Face Sandwich with 2 over-easy eggs atop whole wheat toast with avocado, tomato, bacon, and Vermont cheddar cheese with shaved romaine hearts! My dad is a huge fan of this one.

Cappuccino

If you go for brunch, please do not forget to try a cappuccino because they serve one of the best that I have ever had. And if you are a mimosa with breakfast kind of person–which we all know I am!–then feel free to bring a bottle of bubbly (BYOB) and they will supply the OJ. Can’t beat that!

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Buck's County, Italian Restaurants, Lunch Spots, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Restaurants

Cafe Lift ***

Cafe Lift French Toast
 
428 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215.922.3031

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Breakfast is my FAVORITE meal of the day. But it is not just an indulgence for me, it is a necessary ritual. God forbid I don’t eat my four-egg omelet before leaving the house in the morning, and I am like Atilla the Hun for the remainder of the day—just ask any of my friends.

Having spent almost all of my life with a passion for both breakfast and cooking, you can imagine that I have become quite talented at preparing 5-star omelets, fluffy pancakes, hearty oatmeals, and fresh yogurt parfaits (or at least I think so!). That being said, I am highly critical of breakfasts served outside of my own kitchen. Every now and then though, I venture to a restaurant to check out their version of breakfast and I did so this weekend at Café Lift.

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The restaurant is a modern loft space, decorated as if Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel had a love child. It is verging on the edge of hipster, but it is comfortable and cozy to patrons of all ages (and there is a wide variety!).

Inside Cafe Lift

I ordered the Plum Tomato Frittata with Asparagus, Roasted Plum Tomatoes, and Fontina Cheese, drizzled with Homemade Basil Pesto ($8).

Frittata 1edited

The basil pesto was so fresh and summery, and the frittata was executed very well, without being overcooked or hard. The parmesan-crusted home fries were tasty, but a bit overcooked and consequently mushy for my liking (I told you I was critical!). The multigrain toast was god awful, but I’m watching my carb intake so I’ll consider that a blessing in disguise!

To accompany my enormous frittata, I also ordered a Lemon Ricotta Pancake topped with Fresh Strawberries ($3).

Lemon Ricotta Pancakeedited

It sounded amazing, but fell a little flat for me. I thought the batter could have benefitted from some and/or more lemon zest. I just didn’t get that bright citrus flavor to compliment the creaminess of the ricotta. It did photograph quite lovely though. #pancakefoodporn

My friend Sara ordered the Special Eggs Florentine served with Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Spinach, and Truffle Hollandaise Sauce ($11.50).

Crab Eggs Florentine2edited

Normally, the dish would be served on an English muffin, but Sara is Gluten-Free so she had it open-face instead. She enjoyed it, although we both agreed the hollandaise was lacking a bit in truffle flavor…aka the best part.

All in all, the food was good but is it better than my own version of breakfast?

Nope.

I will definitely say that it is an awesome value for what you get though, and if you’re not as high maintenance about breakfast as I am, you will probably love it!

Here’s a look at what I would serve if I could have my very own brunch spot…

……..someday!

Black Bean and Corn Omelet

garden omelet

Omelet with Goat Cheese

Huevos Rancheros KB

Brocoli and Gruyere Quiche

Veggie Omelet ad Hash Browns

Mushroom Spinach and Goat Cheese Oetitie Quiche

Mexican Scramble

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Yogurt with Berries and Granola

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Filed under Bakery, Breakfast, Brunch, Buck's County, Cafe / Bistro, Coffee Shop, Lunch Spots, Pennsylvania

Corner Shop Cafe ****

212.253.7467
643 Broadway (and Bleecker)
New York, NY

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I was preparing to photograph my lunch today (a couple of delicious chicken quesadillas), when my phone alerted me that I had “insufficient memory space” to store the images. Considering that I upload and delete my photos as I write reviews, this notification means that I am seriously behind on blogging (too much eatting, not enough writing!). I was forced to go through my collection of food photos and decide which images looked the most decadent, deleting the others that were not up to par. This sounds like an easy task, but choosing which images to part with was a painstaking process. Needless to say, my quesadillas were cold by the time I finally finished. In order to make space for future reviews, I will be backtracking a bit and intermittenly posting some articles on New York grub.

The first review is from one of my favorite lunch/brunch spots in NYC–The Corner Shop Cafe. Their menu is an eclectic mix of sandwiches, pastas, salads, and eggs but these often simple dishes are far from the ordinary here.  The Corner Shop Cafe has mastered the art of delivering the classics with a whole new twist, taking them to another level. For example, their PB & Banana Grilled Sandwich which comes on cranberry raisin bread dipped in french toast batter, served with honey and minted berries ($9). Clearly, this is not your mom’s PB & J!

Some how I fought the temptation of ordering this mastermind creation (along with the Creme Brûlée Dipped French Toast ($11)), and instead opted for a lighter lunch of Steamed Mussels in a white wine garlic sauce with parsley, peas, and tomatoes ($12). Let me tell you, these mussels were fan-freaking-tastic! The mussels themselves were plump and fresh, and the sauce was out of this world. The herb parmesan crostini soaking in the bowl was also a very nice touch and made the meal more satisfying.

My friend Sam ordered Brie & Basil Panini with aged tried cheese, oven roasted tomatoes, and prosciutto on a toasted ciabatta roll ($13). Again, a very common menu item, but executed perfectly. The ingredients were all very fresh, from the salty to prosciutto to the flakey bread, and the side salad was dressed perfectly with a nice light vinaigrette.

My other friend Ariana went all out and ordered the Truffled Poached Eggs on Toast Platter with two organic poached eggs atop grilled asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and drizzled with truffle oil served with grilled ciabatta bread ($10). A little bit of food jealous crept up on me when this plate was brought to the table. You know when you second guess your meal decision and get grumpy because another person’s food at the table looks better. Ariana was kind enough to fed me forkfuls every now and then though, so it lowered my post-order dissonance. Everything on the plate was fantastic and for the menial price of $10, it tastes even better!

We also all shared a bowl a Cream of Tomato Soup ($7), which paired great with my herb parmesan crostini. I highly recommend this soup because they only use enough cream to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. You can see by the color of the broth that the cream isn’t too overdone or heavy. It begs for grill cheese dipping!

Also, the prices on the drinks were very reasonable. We had a couple of Mimosas and a round of Chardonnay for about $10 each. I am looking forward to going back to the Corner Shop Cafe as soon as I return to the states!

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{ Truffle-Infused Deviled Eggs }

Deviled eggs at a potluck are as predictable as the sun rising in the East–someone is bringing them! And the the rest of the dinner party will inevitably pass some sort of judgement on that person (along with the person that brings box-made brownies for dessert, of course). One guest will remark how outdated deviled eggs are (like shag carpets and green bean casseroles), another will comment on the lack of creativity and/or effort. But wouldn’t you know that at the end of the night, not one of those bad boys is left on the buffet table. People can hate on the notion of deviled eggs all they want, but everyone’s got a secret soft spot for that fluffy, mayo-whipped, goodness. And what else are you supposed to do with all those hard boiled eggs after Easter!?!

Anyways, with the holiday seasons now in full swing, I thought it would be an appropriate time to give my readers a more “modern” and “contemporary” deviled egg recipe that they can surprise guests with at their impending potluck dinner parties. Owning a cool deviled egg tray from the 1970′s gets you a bonus point, pipping the yolk into the eggs earns you a little more, but putting truffle oil into your egg mixture will really wow your guests.

I like to dust the tops of my eggs with a little paprika, minced truffles, parsley, and capers (not all on one course, but in alternation!)

{ Ingredients }

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped black truffle peelings
  • Chopped parsley, capers, and paprika for garnish

{ To Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs } Place the eggs in a large pot and cover with room temperature water. Bring the pot of water to a boil, and then remove from heat. Cover the pot with lid and allow to sit for 12-13 minutes.

Remove the eggs from the pot and place into a prepared ice bath with cold water (this prevents them from cooking further!).

{ To Make the Deviled Eggs } Peel the eggs under cold running water (this helps to remove the shells easier), and cut in half lengthwise.

Remove the yolks with a spoon, placing them into a large mixing bowl.

Add the mayonnaise, truffle oil, dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, and truffle peelings, and combine with an electric mixer on medium speed.

Continue whipping until the mixture is light and fluffy. Taste the mixture and add more truffle oil if desired.

Put the egg yolk mixture into a plastic pipping bag and pipe the filling into the egg white halves. Top with the garnish of your choice and serve!

If you really want to impress your guests and challenge your culinary skills, then try making these heart shaped deviled eggs (click here for full instructions). I haven’t yet attempted it myself, but I plan to this Easter!

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Magdalena’s Party **

Thames 1795
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Palermo SOHO
11.4833.9127

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Brunch, in the United States, is defined as a weekend ritual for twenty-something year olds (typically New Yorkers), who gather to share their first meal of the day after a long night of drinking and debauchery. The meal occurs any time after noon and before 5 pm on a Saturday and/or Sunday, where the participants recap the events of the previous night over several rounds of moderately priced Bloody Mary’s and mimosas. Brunch is not just a meal; it is an urban cultural affair. In fact, people are so devoted to this culinary phenomenon, that there are entire websites dedicated to finding the best brunch spots in most major US cities—who can make the best eggs Benedict, the biggest blueberry pancakes, the most delicious omelette, and the perfect Bloody Mary. And don’t even get a New Yorker started on the best bagels and egg sandwiches!! Oy Vey!

I consider myself a fairly loyal “brunchee” at home, and after having a rather long and drunken night last night, I decided that the best way to embark on a new day was by starting it off with a proper brunch. Luckily, the brunch concept is catching on here in Buenos Aires and a ton of search results came back, much to my surprise. I was looking at the list of restaurants, when I spotted the words “breakfast buritto” nestled into the description of a place called Magdalena’s Party. My heart jumped and the decision was made, we were going to Magdelena’s!

We got a table right away, and began drooling over the very Americanized breakfast menu, which included items such as “American Diner Special,” belgian waffles, and bagels with lox. My pupils were dialating by the second. We started off with a couple of Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, which I thought were all very good. The mimosas here are made with fresh squeezed orange juice–a classy step up from Tropicana back home! And the Bloody Mary was very tasty, especially taking into account that Argentines are typically very shy with the pepper shaker and this drink had whole peppercorns at the bottom! Like little nuggets of gold!

Next we placed our food order, which entailed two orders of the Cali Coast Omelettea delicate crepe stuffed with eggs, black beans, bacon and cheese, and topped with pico de gallo, avocado and sour cream, served with a side of home fries–(45 pesos) and one order of Blueberry Pancakes (30 pesos). Then after placing our order, we waited. And we waited. And we waited.

We continued waiting for a total of one and a half hours before the first dish was brought to the table. And that was just the first dish. The second one didn’t come out until 15 minutes later, and then the third one about 5 minutes after that. Therefore, we all ate at seperate times and without an appology from the server, who acted as if this kind of service was normal and acceptable.

Now I have worked in restaurants all of my life, and I understand that sometimes there are just “off days” and the server can’t do anything to icnrease the producitivty of the kitchen. However, I also believe that a server acts as the face of the restaurant and needs to honestly and appologically inform customers of problems that occur. It is amazing what a smile (and free round of mimosas) can do to alleiviate the agony of a long wait for food.

This being said, I am torn with my review of Magdalena’s Party becasue the food was not bad, but the service was abomidable. My Cali Coast Omelette was actually pretty good. I thought it could have used a little bit more egg inside of the crepe, but the general flavor was tasty and the home fries were done perfectly. In fact, the home fries were really, really good now that I think back.

The pancakes were also nice, although the server forgot to mention that they were out of blueberries that day and just shrugged her shoulders and walked away when asked about it. And getting syrup was like pulling teeth…quite a painstaking task.

Overall, I probably won’t go back to Magdalena’s becasue I had such a bad service experience and often the service is what you remember the most when the food is just average. But again, I understand that restaurants have bad days, and had the wait not been so long and the service not so bad, I would have enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere. Try Magdeaena’s Party if you have a lot of free time to kill, becasue your Brunch might turn into a Drunch if you have the same waiting experience that I did.

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Filed under Buenos Aires Restaurants, International Restaurants

{ Best Ever 3 Egg Garden Omelet }

3 Egg Omelet with Sauteed Spinach, Onions, Asparagus, Jalapenos, and Red Bell Peppers

I have decided to dedicate my body to an experiment for the following 30 days. And originally, I didn’t know if I would disclose this information on my blog or not, but I have decided that I need to since it will be drastically altering my diet and consequently my altering blog! I figured that I might as well be open and honest with my readers, and maybe even some of you can benefit from the findings and will want try it too. I’ll be the guinea pig though, because it is a pretty ridiculous theory that even I’m skeptical about. So what is the experiment, you ask?

For one month, I will not eat sugar, fruit, dairy, or carbohydrates for six days out of the week, followed by a 7th day of binge eating whatever I want until I go into a coma (told you it was ridiculous!). I didn’t make it up though. It is called the slow-carb diet and it comes from the book titled The 4 Hour Body, which is currently a best seller and causing quite a stir in the fitness/weight loss/health world. And how could it not? It goes against everything that every other diet tells you to do. It contradicts everything that I thought was healthy, but rather than be a naysayer that dismisses it as sheer ludicrous, I figured that I would give it a shot and put it to the test!

But before I go on, let me put you all at ease. I’m not trying to lose weight. No, I don’t want be the 80-pound girl with the eating habits of a 400-pound man! Rather, I am trying to lower my percent body fat and build lean muscle. You know, erase the evidence of all the French fries from my hips and thighs and build toned arms. However, the average person that engages in this diet sees a 20-pound body reshaping, between weight loss and total inches lost, in just….drumroll, please….1 month!

For me, this will also be a major test of self-control…probably one of the hardest things I have ever attempted, actually. I can resist the temptation of a lot of things, but I never deny myself food. I eat what I want, when I want. But this will force me to change and think about what I am putting into my body, which will be good for me…and my body!

In addition to the diet, I am also following a fairly rigorous work out schedule because again, my goal is to put on lean muscle. The book claims that you only need 4 hours of solid work out per week (hence the title of the book), but I will probably be engaging in a bit more than that. I will use the blog as my food journal to record how I feel, what I eat, and my progress. Since I will be on such a strict diet, I will probably be eating in more and posting more recipes than usual, but watch out on binge day!!! I will probably have 5 or 6 posts on those nights, as I plan to eat my way fit! Ohh, and if you’re wondering what the purpose of the binge day is, it is used to increase your metabolism and of course satisfy all the cravings you have developed over the week!

So….let the journey begin! Today I started my morning with a delicious 3 egg omelet with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, onions, jalepenos, asparagus, and red bell pepper. I used the whole egg because egg whites don’t really appeal to me, and this is allowed in the diet as long as they are organic eggs. I’ve never had organic eggs, or brown eggs for that matter (apparently all organic eggs are brown eggs), but they tasted the same as white ones….just cost me twice as much. The secret to a perfect omelet is fluffy eggs. Normally, I add a drizzle of milk when I scramble the eggs, but since I am on this diet and restricted from dairy, I used a little bit of cream of tartar instead. You only need a little pinch (very little!!!), which makes the eggs super fluffy. The hardest part about making this omelet today was not putting in any cheese, which is my favorite part!! The thought of no ooey gooey cheese had me in a depression, but surprisingly I didn’t really notice the difference!! I was amazed. I think my associating cheese with eggs had just become habit. I couldn’t imagine one without the other, but I was pretty okay with it today. Of course, I used a ton of Tabasco sauce…but there is nothing against hot sauce in my diet….so spice on.

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