breakfast

The Egg and I – Fuel for the Morning

by Franklin on July 5, 2014

My last trip to Vegas was filled with cheap eats and golf. I think I’ve found the cheapest and tastiest breakfast spot in Las Vegas. Granted, it is way off the strip, but the price can’t be beat, and the breakfast here was exactly what I was looking for. The Egg and I had a diner feel, something that oozes good breakfast food. Most of the items fell under 10 bucks, and it came with a lot of food. This was exactly what we needed to fuel our full round of golf.

I had the Catherine’s Scramble. It had four eggs scrambled with sliced chicken, mushrooms, spinach, feta cheese,
and artichoke hearts. The eggs were ok — something I can make at home. In hind sight, I should have ordered something else. Nonetheless, the scramble was delicious and cheesy. A little dash of their hot sauce and we were in business. With a side of their heavenly buttered rye bread, I was just munchin’ away.

I had a bite of their Eggs Benedict, something a buddy of mine always seems to order. The eggs were nicely cooked and the hollandaise was tasty. What sets this breakfast spot apart from the rest was their ranch potatoes. Cubed up and crispy from frying, the potatoes were like little cubes of French fries. The seasons on these I thing were addicting — a little salty, but good with the somewhat bland eggs. Maybe these are made with ranch seasoning mix? Whatever it was, it was delicious.

The banana nut bread French toast was a huge disappointment. A lover of all things French Toast, this one was much too dense and heavy. A good French toast should haves nice light crust on. The outside and a nice custards mixture on the inside. The banana nut bread is a poor choice for French toast. It was basically just 4 slices of banana nut bread that was cooked over the flat top. Not the restaurant’s fault at all — should have just went with the classic pancake or regular French toast.

Learn from my mistake. Do order something more complex than a scramble, and stay away from the cake/muffin style French toasts. Do get their ranch potatoes. It will make your morning. The Egg and I is a good spot for casual breakfast on the cheap. Our next mission is to get them closer to the strip.

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Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Vegas. Saving up for a wedding and paying off student loans isn’t something one should take lightly. As for me, my trips to Vegas have been somewhat not as frequent. Fortunately, I have my blog to remind me of the wonderful places I ate at. One my latest trip out, I visited the Encore and fell in love with the property. Before, I assumed it was exactly these me as the Wynn, but it was quieter and definitely more my style. For a nice brunch, I found Society Cafe. The menu and price was that of a cafe (affordable), but the inside decor was impressive and elegant.

We started off with Pretzel bread sticks with mustard butter. These were perfect as starters. The pretzel had a tough skin and a soft inside. The mustard butter was and is an amazing invention. Fatty butter mixed with the acidic mustard was a perfect condiment for the pretzels. The salty, soft, and mustardy treat was a nice start.

We came here for the ultimate steak and eggs sliders. Though we came at the cusp of breakfast ending and lunch starting, the chef graciously prepared this for us. The bacon cheddar muffin hosted filet mignon, scrambled eggs, and creamed spinach. This really was a treat. I was thinking the steak would be too tough for the delicate ingredients inside, causing everything to spill out. The eggs and spinach was such a nice combination, but the filet minion was soft as can be. It was a very elegant, yet comforting kind of breakfast sandwich.

The Mac N Cheese Bites were quite an indulgence. The Mac and cheese bite by themselves were quite perfect themselves — cheesy and crispy. The truffle dipping sauce just created an explosion of flavors and even more creaminess. This was addicting and probably the mot memorable thing at Society Cafe.

We ended things with the frosted flake french toast. Topped with caramelized bananas and whipped cream, this cinnamon heavy, buttery French toast was such a perfect ending. The little nuggets of frosted flakes created such a crunch. It soaked up all that butter and syrup — a perfect combination of sweet, crunchy, custardy goodness.

I liked Encore’s Society Cafe. The ambiance was nice a chic — it’s definitely an upscale breakfast/brunch dining experience. From the appetizer pretzel bread sticks to the comfort food made classy cuisine, this place has my vote. It doesn’t hurt that it’s at one of my favorite properties on the trip as well. Brunch didn’t get any better on the strip.

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Little Next Door – Parisian Brunch

by Franklin on February 15, 2014

Find your passport, grab a plane, and fly over to Paris. Grab brunch at your local brasserie, and there is your European/French breakfast with freshly baked bread and all the classics. Instead, drive down 3rd Street near Crescent Heights and you will be at Little Next Door. The French inspired brasserie is spot on with the colors, cuisine and bakery selections. I enjoyed the food and Little Next Door is a great contender amongst the many breakfast spots in this area.

We started things off with a caramel latte. Doctors say, drink water in the morning to jump start your internal organs. Well, caffeine does the same, except really fast. Coffee Latte over water always! We missed the latte art, but this large cup of caramel latte was delicious. Not too sweet, the coffee flavor was pure and delightful. It was creamy, delicious, and all I could wish was to have had this last with our dessert.

We were treated with some delicious bread. One could only assume this was all made in house. It was light, airy and perfect with the olive oil and balsamic mix. The mixture was sweet, acidic, and was zesty from the herbs and garlic inside. I was glad there wasn’t a lot of bread that was served — that would have been bad.

The Croque Madame is almost the perfect breakfast. It is cheesy, has ham, and of course, a runny egg on top. The grilled ham in this one was really nice in quality. You could taste the freshness and the actual pork flavor came out. This open faced sandwich made with whole wheat bread was a covered in amazingly melted and toasted cheese. The combination with the simple vinaigrette salad was satisfying. The simplicity of this dish is what made me enjoy it.

Eggs Benedict is another one of those classic brunch menu items. We opted for the Wild Mushroom Eggs Benedict. I appreciated the lightness and delicate Hollandaise sauce. It usually is a bit on the sour side or rich with too much butter. Theirs was just a compliment to this dish. The mushrooms were the star — it had a good bite to it with an earthy flavor. The egg was poached perfectly, and the egg yolk was warm and running. I appreciated that the bread was toast with crust cut off instead of an English muffin. This made it easy to cut and eat with a fork. The side house green salad went well with this dish.

Of course, we had to finish things off with macarons. My favorite was the caramel, something the waiter picked out for us. The other 3 were total misses. I tried a bunch of macarons in my day, and these were just so-so. The inside was moist, but a little too moist, almost wet. The outside crust was nice, but the inside was a bit off. A good macaron has a nice firm outer crust, and the inside should be light, then dense as you chew. Their flavors were ok, but the texture was a bit off. I wish I had a chance to try some of their other pastries and baked goods.

Little Next Door does a good job in bringing France to 3rd Street. The decor is on point, and the food items are delicious. I could only imagine food in France to be only slightly better (maybe a little more than slightly). It was relaxing eating brunch outside, people watching and seeing the cars wiz by on the street. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it is safe to say breakfast is king here.

Little Next Door on Urbanspoon

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Serendipity 3 is a famous stop for tourists in Las Vegas. Situated central to the Las Vegas strip, it sits just outside Caesar’s Palace. The colorful pink and whimsical design makes Serendipity 3 a fun place to eat. Known for their Golden Opulence Sundae, the $1000 dollar, word record holding as the most expensive dessert, the restaurant isn’t quite high end. The atmosphere is fun and casual. I remember going here when it first opened, and though the decor received an upgrade, the food and service seems to be stagnant. Nothing was out striking or extraordinary. It’s still a fun place to grab a bite and dessert in the form of a frozen hot chocolate. Popularized by the movie Serendipity, the NY base was where it all started.


The ABC burger seemed like the only legit burger here. ABC, meaning Avocado, Brie cheese, and caramelized onions made this burger what it is. The picture really makes it look small, but it was a bit larger than that. The amazing part was the blanket of melted brie over the top. It gave the burger a nice silky texture, as did the avocados as well. The caramelized onions gave a nice savory note, and everything worked perfectly together. They accidentally gave us regular fries instead of the sweet potatoes like we ordered. I liked their version of the sweet potato fries because of its sweetness. Each fry had a nice sugary crust.


We all come here for one thing only — that is their Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. It is a hot chocolate mix, mixed in with crushed ice and topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. It’s not really an ice cream, and isn’t overly sweet. The chocolate flavor shines in this bowl, and the pure cocoa is the star. If you are looking for a sugary indulgence of a dessert, this is not for you. If you like chocolate flavor, and like it cold, then this is perfect!

Serendipity 3 is an awesome place to be. The colorful wallpaper and interesting nick-nacks make it a fun destination. Close to the Bellagio Fountains, Caesars Palace, and anything central to Vegas, it’s easy to “stop by”. Honestly though, not everything was all fine and dandy. Some of the waiters were kind of sketchy. One waiter tried to serve us water from a table who didn’t want them. The burger bun was a bit on the dry side. And honestly, the restaurant keeps getting the interior/exterior changed — that could be a good thing or a bad thing. Fine tuning these things and maximizing this prime real estate could really help solidify this restaurant.

Serendipity 3 on Urbanspoon

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The best place to have breakfast is near the water. It is and has been a long time dream of mine to live near the water. I imagine waking up Saturday morning, walking or riding a bike with my family to our local cafe. The cafe wouldn’t necessarily over look the ocean, but it would be really close. The smell and the vibe of the ocean takes over and you have a relaxing breakfast. The cafe can’t be a Mecca either. No line. No hustle and bustle of waiters and patrons. Just a small cafe with no noise. After breakfast, a troll to the beach for a swim, and I am set. This to me is a perfect start to a Saturday morning. At Alta Coffee in Newport Beach, this dream felt close enough to reality.

I ordered the Bueno Bowl. It had layers with tortilla chips, black beans, potatoes, bacon, cheese, and scrambled egg. It was topped with salsa, and avocado and sour cream. This dish reminded me of Kamil’s Breakfast at Blu Jam Cafe, minus the pasta. The Mexican inspired bowl of breakfast items was a good balance of carb and protein. The bacon did a good job of flavoring everything, and the avocado did its job of bringing everything together. This was perfect with the help of their hot sauce, Gringo hot sauce. Surprisingly, it was a good mix of spices and had the right amount of tang. Props to the Gringo!

To keep up with the Hispanic theme, I ordered the South of the Border Omelette. The addition Ortega chilies, hominy, and jack / cheddar was an interesting mix. Garnished with salsa, sour cream and avocado to finish it off, the omelette was delicious and seemed healthier than most. The best part of this dish was the homemade toast with strawberry jam. Something about homemade bread is so comforting.

We finished things off with a dessert drink — toffee latte. Topped with whipped cream, chocolate, and toffee bits, the drink was sweet and hit the spot. The toffee bits were my favorite — I am sucker for anything that resembles caramel. The drink came in a mug that I would find at my own home. That kind of charm and character is hard to find nowadays.

Alta Coffee is just like in my dream. It is near the water, they serve awesome breakfast and great lattes. The weather was perfect, as was the food and service. I just felt like at home here. Too bad I had to get in my car, and drive really far to go home though. I guess the dream of waking up, walking toward the water and finding myself having the “regular” is a dream. The future is still far away — it’ll happen.

Alta Coffee & Roasting on Urbanspoon

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