Apparently my friends are always slightly nervous when they are the ones picking the restaurant we are meeting at. It made me laugh to hear that, but I guess I can see why since you never really know what I’ll think of a place. Luckily for this particular couple that Gabriel and I were meeting up with for lunch, they pretty much always pick winners.
Station 400 is a couple of miles from where we live and we’d been meaning to try it. We met up for lunch and I was immediately impressed with the cute, train-themed atmosphere, complete with a model train periodically circling the ceiling in full view. The menu was full of great sounding choices and I knew it would be a tough decision being that brunch is my favorite meal of the day (unless you include dessert as a meal). It seems a shame when a restaurant only offers breakfast and brunch and overlooks the more lucrative meal of the day by closing before dinner time, but I suppose they know what works for them. Before I even ordered, I’d already assumed everything would be great and was thinking about what I’d pick the next time we came in. It was 1pm on a Sunday, and we’d woken up fairly early, had breakfast, and taken a yoga class, so by the time 1:00 rolled around, I was ready for lunch type foods. I was tempted by the truffle eggs benedict, the blueberry stuffed, almond crusted, croissant french toast (WOAH) and the salmon caesar salad, but wanting to stay on the healthy side, I ultimately ended up choosing the portobello sandwich (YUM) with a side of cucumber/tomato olive salad. Gabriel had the open faced roast beef sandwich with blue cheese, caramelized onions, horseradish and parmesan fries on the side and my mouth watered as I convinced him to share both meals. Both were excellent with fresh ingredients, perfectly paired ingredients and manageable portions. Our friend’s dishes also looked awesome, and I had to sample Rachel’s amazing sweet potato fries. Neil’s fried green tomato BLT also looked amazing and I made a note to myself to order that one on another occasion.
The incredible looking homemade muffins (with flavors like maple/bacon, strawberry/lavender and peach/ginger), cake and pastries looked too lovely to ignore and we decided to share a cinnamon roll to finish off the meal with something sweet and special. The icing on top was a rich, cream cheese based gooey treat, and the bun itself was crisp, cinnamony and clearly fresh-baked. Just like the entrees, this was wonderful and left us wanting more- even though we were totally full.
Clearly, we’d have to return frequently to try all of the tempting plates they offered. Good thing they are close and super reasonably priced with almost everything under $10. We will absolutely and positively be back soon.
Today was Gabriel’s and my 2nd Saturday morning since moving to Lakewood Ranch and the first one that was free to go out for breakfast. We live a mile from the Broken Egg and had noticed the cute outdoor dining section when we drove past every day. We decided we’d try it today and got there around 9:30 to see plenty of open tables. We sat right away and our waitress brought over menus and took our orders for coffee with skim milk & honey (which they actually had- both seem to be fairly hard to get around here), and ice water. I noticed on yelp.com that there was a check-in deal for $5 off a $25 check. I showed it to the waitress who checked with her boss and confirmed that it would be honored. We actually doubted we’d spend enough to use it, but then we saw the prices…
Our waitress came back a few minutes later with our coffee, skim and honey, but no water so we asked again. The coffee, I’m sorry to say, left a lot to be desired. Although it was hot and topped off frequently by a team of staff, it was so weak and flavorless that it really needed the skim and honey even more than it normally would.
For my breakfast, I ordered the Ken’s Bella Veggie Skillet: 2 Eggs ‘your way’ (I had them poached), sautéed Portabella Mushrooms, Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Swiss Cheese over potatoes with a side of fruit salad and rye toast. I asked for my toast dry with butter on the side.
My meal came out lightening fast and looked great with lots of veggies and 2 perfectly poached eggs. I dug right in and was pleased with the combo of flavors and textures. The only thing that wasn’t great was the soggy/cheesy potatoes that the whole thing sat atop. I was hoping they’d have some crispy edges, but no, not even a little. The fruit salad was a nice refreshing side, full of fresh melons, berries and apples. Unfortunately, the waitress had forgotten my butter for my toast so I reminded her again. I’d finished about 3/4 of my meal before she finally came around again and I asked for a 3rd time. When she finally brought it out I was just about done eating my meal. Well, better late than never I guess.
Our check was brought over and our ‘pretty good’ food quickly turned into ‘totally not worth it’. Even WITH our $5 credit, the total plus tip came to $30. That’s just ridiculous. We are NOT in NYC anymore and charging more than double what a breakfast at a great NY diner would charge is insane. Yes, the setting is cute. Yes, the menu had great choices and the food was tasty…but NO, not worth $30 at all. I will not be going back.
A couple of months ago, my wonderful boyfriend gave me the most awesome shock of my life with a surprise 35th birthday party at Seahorse Tavern. I was so overwhelmed that day that I totally forgot to write about this awesome restaurant and figured that we’d just have to return another time to do so. When we found a 50% off deal on Scoutmob, we jumped at the chance to go for brunch this weekend.
I’d called for a reservation the previous day, but no one returned the call. When I called again in the morning, I was told that the messages were never listened to but that we could come in whenever. Ok. I guess reservations aren’t necessary. When we arrived, there were only a couple of tables full and we had our pick of spots. We chose a 2 top next to the window in the corner and the waitress brought over our menus and water right away.
Brunch includes a choice of entree and a drink (bloody mary, wine, beer, or mimosa) for $14.95- it’s a fantastic deal. We remember loving the fried oysters appetizer from the party and even though they weren’t on the brunch menu, they were happy to serve them to us as our starter. YUM. SO good. Little toasted sesame seeds in the batter make for an interesting flavor and crunch on these perfectly cooked oysters. They each sit in their own shells atop a lovely tartar sauce and it’s all presented on tiny mounds of crushed sea salt. Great presentation, even better taste.
Next I had the goat cheese, arugula, mushroom omelette with home fries. This is a gorgeous, fluffy, omelette, cooked to perfection with a creamy, cheesy, mushroomy interior. My only complaint about it is that I only saw one tiny piece of arugula in there- it was mostly cheese and mushrooms. Still delicious, just not as green as I’d hoped. The home fries were wonderful- not greasy, cooked just right, and a bit spicy with various peppers mixed in. The bloody Mary is one of the best ones I’ve ever had- and was even better once I asked for a few extra olives. Gabriel ordered the Eggs Benedict over fresh crab meat and it was amazing. The crab was so fresh, flaked and chilled and piled underneath the most beautifully poached eggs. We both pretty much licked our plates clean.
The service at Seahorse is casual, low-key and friendly and the food is fabulous. I love the mix of a casual, laid back atmosphere with somewhat fancy food. This is definitely one of my favorite neighborhood spots and we’ll be going back again soon. Try it out!