Brunch Bites: A Taste of Royal Oak

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to Royal Oak Brunch Bites. All opinions expressed are my own.

I had a blast at last year’s Brunch Bites, so I was excited when the event coordinator reached out with tickets to this year’s event. I live in the Royal Oak area, so this is a fun opportunity to get out downtown and explore 12 different brunch destinations for food and drinks.

We kicked it off again at Bigalora with a Bigalora Waffle, house made peanut butter, banana and fresh whip cream with a Gordon Bombay Loves Brunch (Honeydew infused Bombay Sapphire, hibiscus/rose syrup, lime, soda). This was probably my favorite food item – SO GOOD!

Our second stop was at The Morrie where we chowed down on a Nashville hot chicken and waffle paired with the Lola (a Sugar Island Coconut Rum, coconut milk-bourbon vanilla simple, cold brew coffee). I don’t even like the coffee, but this was amazing. I will go on record and say this is the only coffee I will drink. The Morrie was new to brunch bites this year and I was happy to visit again.

Bastone Brewery is up next and they were another new addition this year. They served us corned beef hash with bell peppers, skillet potatoes and cheddar cheese along with a Tropical Mimosa (pineapple, orange juice, passionfruit and grenadine).

Lockhart’s BBQ is always a treat and they didn’t disappoint this year with a smoked brisket mess including smoked sausage, potatoes, onions, peppers, cheddar cheese and eggs all scrambled together. Their Poor Man’s Bloody Mary was to die for (a mix of their house made bloody mary mix combined with craft lager beer).

I had just been to Andiamo for Easter brunch so I was excited to what they were offering for Brunch Bites. They didn’t disappoint with Eggs Wellington: soft scrambled eggs, prosciutto and imported cheeses in crisp phyllo pastry with creamed leeks. They topped it off with a white sangria with fresh fruit.

No brunch would be complete without chorizo and Mesa Tacos and Tequila did not disappoint with their chorizo hash taco and Violet Beauregarde (Reposado Tequila, fresh blueberry compote, fresh squeezed lime juice, sparkling wine).

New this year was Rebel Cafe, which I hadn’t been to before. They served a mini cinnamon roll sandwich and these AMAZING brownie cheesecake bites along with a Beermosa. It was so delicious!

I was enamored with Blackfinn Ameripub’s Sea Breeze Mimosa (grapefruit, cranberry and champagne). They served a southern skillet with southern fried chicken, scrambled eggs, tasso cream, hollandaise sauce and green onions stacked on a bacon and goat cheese grit.

Pronto! served a decadent stuffed French Toast with blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cream cheese filling and caramel maple sauce. It was to die for! Their Oiu il (Yes Please!) drink included cinnamon spiced Khalua, Chambord, coffee and whipped cream.

I took a time out at Cafe Muse due to their exotic mushroom and Boursin scramble. I cannot handle anything with mushrooms so my friend got two. They served an Aperol spritz with muddled blueberries which made up for it.

Lily’s Seafood Grille & Brewery let me customize my shrimp & grits with no shrimp so I was happy. They served a Hefemosa with Whitefish Bay Wheat Beer and orange juice.

By the time we made it to Gayle’s Chocolates, they must have been out of the advertised cookies, but we got truffles and Gayle’s Homemade Haute Cocoa so all was well.

Did you attend this year’s Brunch Bites? What was your favorite pairing? This is one of my favorite events and I can’t wait until next year!

To see last year’s Brunch Bites post, click here.



Weekend Recap: I’m a Godmother

This past weekend was one of the busiest I’ve had in a while. It was also one of the most memorable. I think I mentioned a number of times to people that I felt like I was living the life of a Sex and the City character with all of the events that I was booked for. It all started on Thursday night, when I was invited to the Spring Launch Party of TBD Magazine.

TBD Magazine Spring Launch Party

TBD is a new magazine launched by Bedrock to feature the unique people, places, organizations and culture of Detroit. The Spring ebdition just came out and we celebrated with a special release party at El Club.

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I attended with my boss, Tina, and wore the Connected floral-print faux-wrap dress from my Spring Favorites post.

Frame Dinner Featuring Katoi

This was a last minute opportunity for me. My boss had tickets to go and had an event come up at the last minute so I was the lucky one who got to take her spot. Frame is a secret restaurant located in the back of JoeBar in Hazel Park. They just launched on March 31st with a month long residency with Katoi. They are going to feature different headliners for various lengths of time after Katoi. This was SO much fun! I hadn’t been to JoeBar which just opened in March either and will have to go back. Here are some of the foodie highlights for you. It seemed like coconut was the theme of the menu and I wasn’t complaining!

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Spring Fever Beer Fest

On Saturday John and I met some friends at the Spring Fever Beer Fest hosted at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market. My favorite beer of the night was (at least I’m fairly certain this was it) the St. James Ale from the Paw Paw Brewing Company. It tasted like a smooth milkshake – I was sad when they ran out of it.

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Allison’s Baptism

I was honored when my dear friend Carolyn asked me to be her daughter, Allison’s, godmother. On Sunday we participated in her baptism and it was such a great day! Just thinking of what the future holds for Allison Elizabeth gets me all emotional. Celebrations, graduation and someday even her wedding. I’m glad I get to be part of it all. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day:

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I was on a high for the rest of the day, one of my most memorable moments by far. If any of you have godchildren I would love to hear what kinds of things you do in the comments.



Detroit Review: The Morrie

I was invited to a sponsored dinner by The Morrie in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own. 

Last week I was invited to dinner at the recently opened roadhouse-style restaurant, The Morrie in Royal Oak. As a Royal Oak resident, I’ve been dying to go there so I jumped at the chance to check it out. The Morrie is known for its live music and being a fun place to hang out. I can see myself visiting many more times as it is about a $4 Uber ride from my house.

I had just left a long day at work and upon arriving at The Morrie (which has valet) I could tell it was my kind of place. The ambiance was cool – sort of rock n’ roll. There were record albums on our table and fun artwork on the walls, plus a place for live music.

After a long day, the first thing I wanted was a big drink. The Morrie makes classic cocktails, but they all have some sort of fun rock n’ roll name. I tried the Mai-Tai PA System, which was SO amazing! I couldn’t get over the fun tiki glass they brought it out in.

Before dinner, we tried a variety of the appetizers including the Brisket Mac, One Big Ol’ Meatball, and Kung Pao Cauliflower. Everything was delicious, but my favorite was the Brisket Mac. It was made with smoked cheddar, manchengo, sweet BBQ, crispy onion and smoked brisket. I was so pumped that it used my favorite cheese, Manchengo!

The meatball is nestled into polenta, which was so creamy and rich.

I had just come off a bout of pneumonia and hadn’t really had much of an appetite until this dinner, so needless to say I was pretty hungry! For dinner I decided to go for it with The Morrie Burger and the Sweet Potato Tots. People take note – ALWAYS frequent a restaurant with tots on the menu, especially sweet potato ones!

After dinner, I was pretty much in a food coma so I decided to try the Lola, which is made up of Sugar Island Coconut Rum, Coconut Milk-Bourbon, Vanilla Simple, and Cold Brew Coffee. I don’t even like coffee, but this was amazing!

For dessert, I decided to try the truly decadent Banana Split. Now, I did share this with someone but between the two of us we still only finished about half. There were tons of surprises in every bite – heath bar bits, peanut butter ice cream and more!

I had the best time at The Morrie and can’t wait to bring my husband with me next time! A fun bonus for you – we are giving away a $50 gift card so you can try The Morrie for yourself. Just enter the giveaway below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**The winner must be willing to travel to The Morrie in Royal Oak, Michigan to claim their prize.

Have you been to The Morrie? Let me know what your favorites are and what I should try next time!

For more Detroit reviews, click here.



Royal Oak Brunch Bites

My bestie Jen and I spent this past Saturday having a blast at Royal Oak’s Brunch Bites event and I thought I would share all of my fun pictures with you. Brunch Bites is a walking food and drink event where you get to check out 12 of Royal Oak’s brunch destinations and sample food and drink at each location.

Brunch Bites

We started our adventure at Bigalora with a Bigalora Waffle (Strawberries, Whip Cream, Pine Nuts) and a Provatelo (Tito’s Vodka, Aperol, Lemon Juice, St. Germain).

Bigalora

Stop 2 was at Pronto! with Stuffed French Toast (Blackberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Cream Cheese Filling and Caramel Maple Sauce) and Sinful Sparkling Sangria (Blood Orange, Kiwi, Mango, Strawberries, Triple Sec & Bubbles).

Pronto

Stop 3 was at Cafe Muse with an Apple and Gorgonzola Quiche and a Sparkling Spritzer.

Cafe Muse

Stop 4 was at Lily’s Seafood with a Bayou Breakfast Fritatta (Andouille sausage, crawfish, peppers and onions with a Tabasco lime hollandaise) and Milk Punch (Cognac, milk, syrup and vanilla). I didn’t try the fritatta because I’m not really into seafood, but I LOVED the milk punch!!

Lily's Seafood

Stop 5 was Gayle’s Chocolates with Mini Cookies (Oatmeal cherry pecan cookies with milk chocolate chunks and dark chocolate chip cookies with sea salt) and Organic and Fair Trade Mexican Altura Coffee. As you know I’m not a coffee drinker, so Jen got two samples of coffee.

Gayle's Chocolates

Stop 6 was Ale Mary’s Beer Hall where they served my favorite thing Candied Bacon (Thick cut bacon candied with sage maple syrup, brown sugar) and Rochester Mills Blueberry Pancake Milkshake Stout (Fuller body and sweeter palate, flavored with blueberry). This bacon was the thickest I’ve ever had; it was unbelievable!

Ale Mary's

Stop 7 was at Mesa Tacos and Tequila where they served Corn Pudding with a warm fig compote and Mas Tequila (El Jimador Reposado, Aperol, St. Germaine, Lemon). The drink was awesome but definitely strong.

Mesa

Stop 8 was at Lockhart’s BBQ where they served The Hangover (Buttermilk biscuit loaded up with scrambled eggs, bacon, bell peppers, shredded jack cheese and smothered in sausage gravy) and accompanied with a Peach Bellini (Sparkling wine with white cranberry peach juice). The Bellini was delightful! I could have drank that all day long.

Lockharts BBQ

Stop 9 was at Andiamo which had a Ciabatta Breakfast Panini (scrambled eggs layered with peppers bacon, cheddar cheese, Italian sausage gravy. They were supposed to have Bloody Marys, but they ran out and gave us a Screwdriver instead.

Andiamo

Stop 10 was La Dulce where they served a Belgian Waffle (Maple syrup and violet foam) and a Spanish Mimosa (Sparkling Wine and Citrus Juice).

La Dulce

Stop 11 was the Red Fox English Pub where they served an English Trifle (pound cake, raspberry puree, creme anglaise, and whipped cream) and Hot Maple Butter Rum (Goslings Black Seal Rum, complimented by pure maple syrup and a healthy tab of unsalted butter).

Red Fox English Pub

Last but not least is Strada with a Short Rib Hash (Braised short rib with diced potatoes, onion, green pepper, and a natural bourbon reduction) and a Serrano Gooseberry Margarita.

Strada

So after we crushed it at brunch, we decided to celebrate by stopping at Hamlin Pub, where they have my favorite M. Lawrence bubbly on tap.

Hamlin Pub

We had a blast at Brunch Bites! I hope they do this again next year!

Brunch Bites1

Next up is the Royal Oak Wine Stroll on May 14, which is the same concept but with wine. Sign me up!



Labor Day Weekend Recap

John and I had a great time celebrating Labor Day this weekend by not working. On Friday night, we hit up the Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak.

abe

SmashMouth played at 8 p.m. and we figured we would go and check them out. I still remembered some of the songs from my high school days. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay too long after the first show because there was a freak monsoon and we had to retreat to the local watering hole.

John and I before the monsoon

John and I before the monsoon

On Saturday our big day had finally arrived, the first Michigan game of the season! Woo hoo! I had gotten great seats for John as part of his birthday present a few weeks ago. We love this time of year – tailgating and hanging out with all of our friends – all while watching Michigan kick some butt!

Enjoying the tailgate

Enjoying the tailgate

You can check out my Five on Friday post for all of my Michigan gear. I have to give my husband credit for touching up this photo, he is my official blog photographer. It was a great game – Michigan won 59-9. John got some great pictures and was really excited to see some of the freshmen get some playing time.

Michigan Game 3

 
Michigan Game 2

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing, grilling and having a great time. I’m so glad that college football is back and can’t wait for next weekend.

How did you celebrate Labor Day weekend?

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