Archive for the 'Breakfast / Brunch' Category

Firecakes Donuts – Chicago

Firecakes - Chicago

The Polar Vortex couldn’t stop me from getting my deep-fried high on while in Chicago this past January. In fact, it may have contributed to my appetite—a full belly means a warm Gastronomer.

The first stop on the Chicago feeding frenzy took The Astronomer, Cousin Jackie, and me to Firecakes Donuts.

Firecakes - Chicago

Opened last spring by Jonathan Fox (President and CEO of 3Sixty Dinning Intelligence and owner of La Madia), Firecakes is a notable player in Chicago’s robust gourmet doughnut scene. The doughnuts made in this teeny 600-square-foot shop use an heirloom recipe that came from Mr. Fox’s wife’s great-grandfather, Billy Hobbs.

After waiting in a painfully cold and winding line at The Doughnut Vault during my last trip to Chicago, it was really great to stroll on in and be served straightaway this evening.

Firecakes - Chicago

For our pre-dinner “snack,” we selected four doughnuts to share.

First up, a light and lovely cake ring dusted with toasted coconut flakes and prettied with coconut cream ($2.49).  This well-balanced creation was my fave pick of the four.

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Poogan’s Porch – Charleston

Poogan's Porch Restaurant Charleston, South Carolina

Another day in Charleston, another splendid meal set in a gorgeous and historic house. This is the life…

Our first meal of the day took us to Poogan’s Porch for a proper Lowcountry brunch, which I admit resembles a Lowcountry dinner, but with noticeably more poached eggs.

Poogan's Porch Restaurant Charleston, South Carolina

Opened in 1976 and set in a grand 19th century Victorian home, Poogan’s Porch is one of Charleston’s oldest restaurants. The restaurant is named after a dog named Poogan, the pet pooch of the building’s former owners before it was converted to a restaurant.

Poogan's Porch Restaurant Charleston, South Carolina

Chef and managing partner Daniel Doyle has been in the kitchen since 2007. Like all of the best restaurants in town, Poogan’s prides itself on sourcing proteins and produce locally from Charleston and its surrounding areas.

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Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts – Charleston

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts - Charleston, South Charleston

Now that doughnuts are finally having their moment in the spotlight, I’m making sure to cram in as many as possible whether at home or away. High on my list of Charleston haunts to hit was Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts, the premier purveyor of fancy doughnuts in town.

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts - Charleston, South Charleston

Allison Smith, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Charleston, opened the shop in 2011 and makes twelve different varieties daily using as many local ingredients as possible. In fact, many of the herbs and berries found in her doughnuts are grown in the garden right behind the shop.

The Astronomer and I made sure to set our alarm clocks this morning because these babies have been known to sell out well before the shop’s advertised closing time of 3 PM.

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts - Charleston, South Charleston

The first doughnut we sampled, a classic raised ring with a spot-on raspberry glaze ($1.99), made us smile from ear to ear. The texture of the dough was definitely good, but it was the tart and bright glaze that made this doughnut one to remember.

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Portland Odds & Sods: Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, Nuvrei, Tasty n Alder

White Stag Sign - Portland

With just 40 hours in Portland, my girlfriends and I managed to cram in 10 solid dining destinations without a hitch. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, we filled our drizzly days with savories, sweets, and seemingly everything in between. Not to mention lots of walking to balance everything all out, or so we hoped.

While BakeshopBlue StarPok PokNong’s Khao Man Gai, and Salt & Straw delighted me most this trip, these five spots had their charms as well: Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, Nuvrei, and Tasty n Alder. The best of the rest—PDX style:

Pine State Biscuits

Pine State Biscuits - Portland State University Farmers' Market - Portland

Pine State Biscuits launched their kitchen at the Portland Farmers Market in 2006. Even with a  brick and mortar location on Belmont Avenue, which opened in 2008, the trio behind the operation continues to lug their stoves to the farmers market each Saturday to feed the hoards of hungry fans.

Pine State Biscuits - Portland State University Farmers' Market - Portland

We dug into “The Reggie,” a fried chicken, bacon, and cheese situation, topped with a whole lot of gravy.

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