There are certainly places in the Miami Valley with mimosas for brunch, but bottomless drinks I have yet to encounter (If you know of a place with bottomless mimosas for Sunday brunch, please let me know!).
I still hadn’t been there yet, and decided today was the day.
If you haven’t been yet, it’s in Miamisburg diagonally across the street from Lexis Nexis headquarters in the strip called “The Exchange.”
Situated on the corner of one of the strip mall facets of “The Exchange” next to an Indian food restaurant (Namaste India, a great one I’ll add), and a nail salon, you can’t miss it when you’re driving up 741 towards Austin Landing from the Dayton Mall.
When you walk in, you’ll immediately notice how bright it is. With windows surrounding the front walls of the restaurant, along with the brightly painted colors of the walls along with artwork lining those walls, its atmosphere is warm and inviting. There are tables of many different sizes all over the restaurant. It made me think of a puzzle, with different sections bound together by an oasis of bright colored planters at the top of these sections. I was seated in the far back corner of the restaurant. I had gotten there in the early afternoon, and I noticed empty tables in my section covered with remnants of what appeared to be families who had eaten there. The waitstaff eventually cleaned those tables up. Pleasant classical music played on the speakers above. The table I sat at was really big (seated 6), and had a cute little plant on it at the end, along with the typical diner accommodations (jelly/salt/pepper/sugar). There were also creamers in a little dish on the table, including french vanilla!
What I ate/drank: Regular coffee with French vanilla creamer & a South of the Border omelette (Chorizo sausage, green chilies, onions, salsa & cheese, topped with sour cream and chives), hash browns, biscuit & butter.
Coffee – $2.29
South of the Border meal – $8.79
Total plus tax – $11.88
A few minutes after I sat down, I was quickly greeted by a friendly server who immediately asked if I wanted coffee.
Any place that serves you coffee and water in an individual coffee pot / caraf like this, gets automatic points in my book.
Never had to worry about asking for refills during my time there, as you had it right in front of you. The coffee pot gets you about 3.5-4 cups, which is perfect for an individual or for two (I definitely drank my entire coffee pot).
Glancing over the menu, I knew I wanted eggs but couldn’t pinpoint what to get. If this ever happens to you, ask your server what they recommend. I had wanted an omelette, and my server recommended the South of the Border omelette to me. I’m so glad I listened to her.
Not too long after I ordered, this beautiful plate came to my table.
Two top criteria for a good omelette in my eyes are the eggs (are they moist/fluffy or flat/dry), and flavor (is it flavorful or bland).
This omelette is what an omelette should be.
The eggs were moist and fluffy, and not too oily/greasy. Each bite was PACKED with flavor, especially when you had the spicy, yet earthy kick of the chorizo sausage. Huge chunks of sausage in each bite, along with the massive, gooey blend of the cheeses on top and in the middle of the omelette.
I was introduced to salsa and eggs several years ago at a Waffle House. My dad and I were taking a road trip from Myrtle Beach, S.C. back to Long Island, and stopped at a Waffle House. I found myself pouring salsa and/or hot sauce on my eggs and grits there, as it was conveniently on the table. I’ve been doing it (for the most part) since.
The big chunks of tomato in the salsa along with the onions and herbs mixed together well with the rest of the flavors. And the sour cream and chives on top of the omelette were like the icing to a cake: magic.
The hash browns at first glance looked similar to those of the homefries at Friendly’s. They were alright, some had a little crisp to them, some didn’t. They weren’t greasy, but I added pepper and ketchup to them for extra flavor.
My biscuit was good, especially with the butter. If you order a biscuit from its “bread pantry” (when you order omelettes you pick something from its “bread pantry” along with a “Scrambler Side”), it comes with a little packet of honey. I opted out of using honey, thought that would be too sweet. It wasn’t super flaky, but for what it’s worth, it was good.
Why you should go: You need to go for the eggs. Hands down. Fluffy and packed with flavor. You also need to come if you’re a coffee lover and would like your own little pot of coffee to start your day. The atmosphere is relaxed, and you’ll find people of all ages and groups big or small inside this bright, airy establishment. There’s also the option of sitting outside, which I was tempted to do on this nice cool day. It’s a no frills breakfast/brunch/lunch place with good food at good prices. There’s options for your eggs: from omelettes to skillets to “benny’s” (eggs benedict), and if you order a full order of pancakes or waffles it comes on a “bottomless” plate. There’s also a selection of burgers/sandwiches if you’re looking for lunch. With locations not only in the area but in other parts of Ohio, it’s convenient too!
Chock full of vitamins, plus kale, according to webmd.com, helps fight off CANCER along with promoting eye health, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels and lowering risk for heart disease.
This salad took minutes, yes minutes, to prepare, and loved every bite. The dressing had a good amount of tang and spices, and along with the crunch of the garlic croutons and the crunchy baby kale, spinach and shredded broccoli, it was having a restaurant Caesar salad with even more health benefits and minus the prep work / fancy presentation. As kale has been such a huge craze, it’s exciting to see it being implemented into salad bags. Its already implemented into its chopped salad bags (another new favorite of mine from Dole), check those out here.
I said the same two things to myself after seeing these in the water aisle, next to a similar product that’s been out for some time now, Sparkling Ice.
I have found myself guilty of drinking A LOT of diet soda over the years. I love the taste, and at zero calories, it’s a great cold refreshing drink.
But I realize it’s not always the healthiest. And at times, I have turned to sparkling water’s, such as Sparkling Ice or back when I lived in CT/NY – Stop & Shop‘s sparkling waters.
Sparkling water versus seltzer to me is HUGE. The taste of seltzer is acquired. It can be bitter. Sparkling water, depending on the one you have, tastes like fruit flavored soda, minus that hard seltzer taste. Can I get a YUM!?
Which brings me to VitaminWater on the sparkling water bandwagon. It’s awesome.
I’ve had the strawberry kiwi flavor, and it tastes just like its still version, only carbonated. Zero calories. Delicious. Not overly sweet, just the right amount.
After doing a little research, its sparkling water has been around for a bit. However, the new packaging reminds me of Sparkling Ice, which makes me wonder if they’re trying to compete with them.
Regardless, so glad both parties in today’s post are on the bandwagon, and if you try either of these products, please let me know what you think!
You’re getting your soy in there yes, so a.k.a. some tofu-like qualities. But tofu, you do NOT taste in this, in fact this was one of the first meatless items besides meatless chicken tenders/nuggets where it actually had a similar texture to chicken (now not 100 % obviously, but similar). I’m impressed to see there’s quinoa in this as well, along with pea protein, carrot and beetroot fiber. I don’t know about you, but this product alone has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for QUICK meal ideas (and you know I love eating out of CONVENIENCE!).
And here’s how you cook it:
-Put some of your favorite cooking oil (I’ve used olive oil or vegetable oil) in a frying pan.
-Heat stove to medium high heat
-Cook by itself or in the picture up top, I cooked mine dredged in flour, and some herbs/spices (lemon pepper, paprika, garlic powder, etc)
-Saute on each side for about 2-3 minutes
The picture you see at the top of this post.
Now this may not be for everyone, I understand. I’m no vegetarian, but I do consider myself a vegivore from time to time.
But this find is exciting. And as you peruse Gardein’s website, you’ll find not only meatless chicken, but beef, fish filets and even holiday meals!
Bam. Easy, quick meal ideas.
**SIDENOTE: Another meatless #grocerystoreobsession I have right now, not pictured (because I ate them all!) are Kroger Simple Truth Meatless Chicken Tenders. Heat them up in the oven for 20 minutes and boom. Chicken minus the chicken. Delicious.
I’ve been keeping a slight (slight) distance from frozen foods. Not that I don’t like frozen foods, I do. But for a little bit now, I’ve been either eating meals from restaurants, or cooking myself.
But this week, I decided to head down the frozen meals aisle, and take a gander at what’s new. I was at my local Target store, and came across a line of foods that after making one of the meals just now, it’s become one of my grocery store obsessions.
The mission, motto, and packaging are very promising.
And based off of the grilled chicken Parmesan skillet meal for 2 (butttt I made mine for one), it delivers.
Several things I’m blown away about with this meal:
1) From cooking the pasta in the skillet, the pasta did NOT turn soggy!
Sometimes this happens with frozen food, if you overcook, the pasta turns into mush. This was not the case today.
2) It had good flavor!
3) The meat looked and tasted good.
Sometimes with frozen meals I find the meat looks and tastes weird ! Do you ever find that? The chicken in this meal tasted really light, tender and fresh.
Evol has TONS of options for you to try, including another one I bought and am anxiously awaiting to try, truffle Parmesan mac and cheese, butternut squash and sage ravioli, a handful of fun breakfast sandwiches, and several gluten free items too.
If you’re looking for something cheap and very easy to make, try out Evol.
My second obsession comes from a recent trip to the salon.
I’m getting my hair colored one day, and my hairdresser offers its drink selection to me, one option being wine.
Every time I’ve gone there so far, I’ve always opted for a Diet Coke, or a coffee. But that day, I decided to ask about it, and she told me there was a blackberry Merlot.
“Ooh!” I said excitedly.
And lo and behold, it was a wine brand I hadn’t really drank before until now: Arbor Mist.
If I had to choose between sweet or dry wine, I would choose dry, and that I have my parents to thank because they love a good Chardonnay, and so do I.
But the blackberry merlot is magic. It has a little sparkle to it, tasting not overly sweet, and has the nice blackberry tangy flavor.
POPCORN. It’s the movie time staple we all know. But when doused in a ton of movie theater butter (I’m guilty of this, trust me), calories can add up. But this popcorn is a guilt-free gold mine. If you love cheese, this is the popcorn for you. It’s just enough of a cheesy taste to fulfill a craving, but it doesn’t overdo it (and you won’t get orange or white powder on your hands!). According to its website, the ultra lite white cheddar has a serving size of 3.5 cups, which is generous! And at only 160 calories, 9 grams of fat and 95 mg of sodium per serving size , guilt-free is definitely the word. And as it says there’s “no artificial anything,” as well as zero trans fat and a good source of fiber, I say DIG IN and bring this to your movies (or try it as a snack anytime).
These are something that if you offered it to me as a kid, I would’ve said no. Brussels sprouts! The ultimate healthy green vegetable that you either like, or pass on. I grew into liking these green morsels in recent years, and came across these frozen ones at Kroger recently. Very easy to make, just microwave and when you open the bag they’re hot, steamy, and perfectly seasoned with the salt and pepper. The serving size is 3/4 cup at 3 grams of fat. The only thing to watch would be the sodium (at 250 mg). But according to whfoods.com, brussels sprouts have special cholesterol-lowering benefits, and is also a great cancer protector!
Have you ever had a protein bar? I’ve tried different kinds, from PowerBars to CLIF, and while not all of these are “protein” bars, they’re amazing for breakfast or as a dessert to resist eating sweets (and I’m a chocoholic, I love sweets!). In fact, it says on the bars’ packaging that “A recent study conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center found that two KIND bars a day can curb appetite and even help prevent weight gain.” The company is all about using ingredients you can actually pronounce, i.e. nuts. But many have nuts in them, so if you don’t like nuts or are allergic, be cautious at the store. There are so many sweet/savory combinations to choose from, but two of my favorites right now are Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants and Dark Chocolate Chili Almond.
Woohoo!If you’re looking for something fun to munch and crunch on guilt-free, this is IT. And to give you an idea of the fat content, serving size is 1 ounce, 7 grams of fat and 116 mg of sodium.And Brad’s story on the website is inspiring in itself, please check it out. Brad, if you read this, I give you MAJOR kudos to an awesome chip. —What are your current #grocerystoreobsessions?Comment below or tweet at me, @kathleenhessman!
There’s something special to me about buying the Fiji water over other brands of bottled water. It’s always stood out to me, and tastes amazing, with a light, clean and smooth taste. (P.S. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really into Evian). Comment below and let me know which brand(s) of water you like!
I’ve noticed there are starting to be some other brands who want in on the I’m-from-out-of-the-country-you-must-try-my-water train. So I went ahead and bought the two I keep seeing, and am comparing the two to Fiji water.
Packaging: Narrow top but wider square bottom. I love the way the top looks like an actual glacier, a very nice touch. I love how the bottle says multiple times “the source of an epic life.” The packaging also says the water has a pH level of 8.4, which is good.
Taste: When I first drank it, I thought the consistency was almost too light, like I was drinking air. I was shocked at the light consistency of this water. It was clean, and almost didn’t have taste as to how light it was, which impressed me, making me think, “Wow, is this what it’s like to sip water near a beautiful glacier?!” Overall was satisfied.
Price: $1.29 for a 500 ml bottle, with Kroger card $1
Packaging: The look of it is very similar to Fiji, except different color packaging and a narrower/skinnier bottle. The Kiwaii is written vertically as well. On the bottle it says “100% True New Zealand Spring Water”, along with “Water You Can Trust.” While I appreciate that its saying I can trust this water, are we not supposed to trust other water bottles? Is there something wrong with other water bottles, is there “true” water and “false” water? What makes up “false” water? The bottle struck my curiosity.
Taste/Compared to Fiji: It’s another water that comes from a source having to do with volcanic rock (like Fiji), so I was expecting it to be just like Fiji. It was definitely lighter than Fiji, but definitely not as airy as the Icelandic was. There definitely was a “taste” I was picking up as I sipped on it, perhaps the minerals? Overall this one is good too, a little lighter than Fiji.
It’s amazing the words that are used to make you drink or not drink something. I have always loved Fiji water, but trying the other two newer bottles into the market, Fiji definitely has some competition.
Each of the two contenders were good in their own right. I do think Kiwaii is very similar to Fiji, and if you like Fiji water you’ll like Kiwaii. But if I had to pick Kiwaii or Icelandic Glacial, I’d pick the Icelandic Glacial. I really enjoyed drinking that bottle, and I really liked its packaging.
I thought the pricing was interesting too. Each one is about a dollar a bottle, the Icelandic Glacial being $1 at Kroger right now, and the Kiwaii being $1 if you have a Kroger card. You can get a pack of six 500 ml bottles of Fiji at Kroger for $6.19 right now, which equals about $1.03 per single 500 ml bottle.
Which water brand(s) do you like? Is there a difference in taste when you drink different waters? Comment below!
And when I went to Sima in Kettering tonight and discovered it was half price sushi night, I couldn’t resist.
Owners Mr. and Mrs. Kim are all about having high quality, fresh ingredients in their menu items.
And with many creative sushi rolls to choose from (that the owners and staff come up with), some of those being on the special rolls menu (which at normal price, can get expensive), trying rolls like this at half price is a great deal.
Sima has a very friendly staff where if you go, they will remember who you are. Depending on the server/staff, they will also remember things you like on the menu.
The restaurant has a sushi bar, as well as booths, tables, an area for Korean BBQ (grills and all), as well as a separate room that can be used for parties.
If you order off the sushi menu on half price Wednesdays, the staff gives you a sheet of paper and pencil where it lists the rolls in play that night. You can mark off which ones you want and how much you want, as well as a listing of their prices including the discount.
Here are the rolls I had:
1) Monkey Brains (not actual monkey brains, and a special dish that’s listed on the wall above the sushi bar. One of the owners came up with this dish, which is actually deep fried mushrooms stuffed with spicy crab and cream cheese, topped with masago and sauce). Loved the mix of the creaminess and meatiness of the mushrooms/cream cheese along with the crunch from the outer coating, as well as the nice kick from the sauce on top.
2) Playboy roll (on special menu, its a roll that’s set on fire and gives off a nice grilled taste, along with a tanginess from the sauces on top.)
3) Left: Shrimp Crunch roll (on special menu, a deep fried tempura roll with shrimp, cream cheese, etc., great flavors with the shrimp and a little crunch from the veggies inside and the coating outside along with the creaminess inside of the cream cheese), Right: golden California roll (deep fried California roll. Melt in your mouth. Amazing.) Loved the sauce on top (what appeared to be a spicy mayo sauce).
If you’re looking for a good deal mid week whether it be with friends, or going solo, Sima half price sushi Wednesdays equals good food and good times.
Sometimes, you just have to let the restaurant find you.
This was the case for me, today.
On a mission to find another new brunch place to try, I first found myself in downtown Miamisburg. I was walking the streets, looking for this one place, but I ended up not finding it.
But everything happens for a reason.
Walking around, I came across a noticeable line for a little food stand right in the middle of downtown: Hamburger Wagon.
Each time I walked by, the line got bigger, and from what it looked like, these burgers took time to make.
But as much as I thought about trying Hamburger Wagon, my gut was telling me to hold off.
Across the parking lot my car was in, was the beautiful recreation trail I’ve come across many times now since being here: the Great Miami River Trail, which stretches VERY far.
There was a bridge going across this big river, and a huge hill, and as curiosity struck me, I decided to drive up.
I ended up making my way to route 725. I ended up driving through several towns, including passing through Germantown (not the downtown, but passing through). I then eventually made my way into downtown Middletown, where I decided to get back on I-75 south.
I got off the exit where Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is a landmark, and started driving up route 129 (which is another highway), and came across this beautiful looking shopping plaza in Hamilton.
I had this feeling about it, that I needed to check it out, but I at first passed it on the highway. I turned around and came back to it, and lo and behold, what do I see outside the restaurant? This sign.
The atmosphere: When I walked in, I was greeted by someone in a chef’s outfit, who seated me. As I found out a few minutes later, that guy wasn’t actually supposed to seat me (and the host and I giggled), but it shows the friendliness of the place. Everyone I encountered there was accommodating. As you walk in, you’ll find yourself surrounded by bottles and bottles of wine. The bar is huge, and as I found from its menu, you can do wine flights. The three words that came to my mind to describe the inside : classy, rustic, industrial. I loved the details of the restaurant’s interior, from the old school light bulbs hanging above you, to the open ceilings, to the exposed brick wall in one part of the restaurant. Paintings and funky murals line the walls, and there’s even a more enclosed room off to the side that I assume could be used for parties. A lot of natural light was flowing into the restaurant. The music was very light and soothing, from jazz music to Billy Joel’s “Summer, Highland Falls.” The tables and place settings were beautiful; wooden tables that had a very rustic feel. At times I felt like I was inside someone’s home, having a meal.
What I ate/drank: Warm pita bread with sun dried tomato/basil cream cheese, 2 mimosas, chef’s omelet special of the day which came with roasted red potatoes & fresh fruit.
Price: Mimosa’s – $7 each
Chef’s omelet – $10.99
With tax the total was $26.61, with tip it was brought to $31.61.
My thoughts: Because the guy from the kitchen sat me, I didn’t actually get the physical brunch menu until I had asked the host about it. As I saw the brunch cocktails were $7, I jumped on the mimosa train. I’m glad I did. The mimosas were fresh (it tasted like fresh squeezed orange juice mixed with the champagne), it tasted like Orangina in a cup (which to me makes a good mimosa, as the taste is balanced). The waitress informed me of the chef’s brunch specials today, and I decided to try to the omelet. While I waited, she brought out the warm pita bread with the sundried tomato basil cream cheese.
It was a great way to start off the brunch experience, the little warm pita bread triangles with the savory yet sweet cream cheese made me think of having a bagel without actually having a bagel. A nice little appetizer.
The omelet’s presentation was nice. I loved the cheese on top (I believe it was mozzarella on top?), as well as the cheese inside it. Inside the omelet was fresh spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions, asparagus and feta cheese. The vegetables inside were cooked perfectly: not soggy yet not crunchy, as well as being flavorful. The omelet itself was cooked great as well, light and airy but not runny. I loved the combination of flavors inside the omelet. The flavors that stuck out were the feta and the caramelized onions. The roasted red potatoes were good, not super greasy, and had a nice balance of flavor from the red onions to the herbs mixed in. What excited me was the inclusion of fresh fruit on the plate. That was my palate cleanser between every few bites. As feta cheese is very strong, it was nice to clean my palate before going back to the potatoes, for instance. While I do think the prices are a little higher on the scale of pricey-ness, I thought it was a nice brunch.
Why you should go: I noticed families eating there when I had went this afternoon, but I definitely envision this restaurant as a romantic evening for a date, or a fun girls night out doing wine flights and eating good food. It was a classy but friendly place where you could go in and have a good meal, and a good cocktail. Besides having many choices of wine (where you can also buy bottles), you can go for dinner as well, with its choices of small plates and comfort food dinners such as meatloaf and chicken marsala. There were good choices on the menu regardless of age. The prices were a little high, but the quality of food was great. It had a great open atmosphere and I would definitely go to try the wine flights and more of the food.