Review: Against the Grain Urban Tavern

Against the Grain Urban Tavern - Leaside

“Want to go for brunch on Sunday??” I get or send that text message every week, typically sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. Usually it’s to and from my friends Matt and Dawn. Brunch is one of those meals where you recap the week and make plans for the next so you have to be in good company either because you need someone to laugh with (hopefully not at) and occasionally a shoulder to cry on. Knowing I was in good company, it was time to send the all-important follow up, “Where do you want to eat?” That’s not a tricky question normally, except when one goes out for brunch every weekend and then where do you go avoid gastro-boredom?

Then I remembered the Against the Grain Urban Tavern, a restaurant in Leaside I had watched being built over the winter months. I suppose being stuck in traffic caused by the road construction on Laird Avenue could be looked at as a bad thing by local businesses, but on the other hand it’s free advertising because what else do people do when they’re stopped in their car, but look around. So why not? Let’s give this place a shot and see what they’ve got for brunch.  Continue reading “Review: Against the Grain Urban Tavern”

Maple Bacon Biscuits

Maple Bacon Biscuits

Last year, when I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon, I figured it was a one and done race. I was there to get my Coast to Coast medal and had no plans on going back. That was until runDisney announced the Dumbo Double Dare – a 10K race on Saturday followed by a half marathon on Sunday. It’s an inaugural race and with a little bit of peer pressure, I found myself signed up. What else is new?  Continue reading “Maple Bacon Biscuits”

‘Ohana’s Pineapple Breakfast Bread


Fans of Disney World know that when you plan a trip to see the mouse, you have to book your dining reservations 180 days in advance. It might seem a little strange but if you don’t make those reservations, you may not get to eat where you want, when you want. Many of you know that I’m going back to Disney World in January for marathon weekend to do Goofy’s Race and Half Challenge with my running group. Which means our 180-day window is coming up and it’s time to get organized. One of our group meals is going to be at the Polynesian resort. It’s my favorite resort at Disney – I love the theming of the resort and I think it has some of the best restaurants on property. That got me thinking about some of my favorite foods from the Polynesian. One of those is ‘Ohana’s Pineapple Breakfast Bread.

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Sundried Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche

Here’s another recipe for those of you looking for brunch ideas for Mother’s Day. Remember the bagel bombs from a few days ago? Here’s something else you can add to your brunch menu, a quiche with sundried tomatoes and goat’s cheese. You’ve got eggs, cheese and cream mixed together and surrounded by a warm pie crust. It’s a slice of heaven! I don’t think you can go wrong. The best part? It’s easier than you think but looks and tastes like something that requires a lot of work. You’re guaranteed compliments all around!

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Bagel Bombs and Brunch Ideas

I came across this recipe for bagel bombs while researching savory alternatives for a Mother’s Day brunch. Crowds of people at restaurants… waiting forever for a table… forgotten reservations… more crowds? Forget it! We’re staying in because nothing beats a home cooked brunch. More time to spend with each other and no elbow to elbow seating with strangers. The recipe comes from Adam over at Amateur Gourmet  but can also be found in the Momofuku Milk Bar book. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Christina Tosi and her wonderful creations such as Compost cookies and Blueberry Cream cookies. So what exactly is a bagel bomb? Continue reading “Bagel Bombs and Brunch Ideas”

Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter everyone!

I’ve been seeing hot cross buns for sale in grocery stores for weeks now. So tempting! I finally broke down and made a batch. I couldn’t resist! Traditionally, hot cross buns are made and eaten on Good Friday or Easter Sunday but I say they’re good for whenever you feel like eating them. I think this would be a great recipe to serve for a brunch. Who doesn’t like fresh bread?

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