All posts tagged “drink

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Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle may be hands down one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. Of course, it’s on the other side of the world and incredibly busy! Perched on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, 2 floors up from the popular Sushi Samba, Duck & Waffle has the most amazing food and one of the best views in all of London.

The only reservation I could get for the week that I would be in London was a 3:30PM brunch on a random weekday. While it wasn’t packed inside, it was still bustling with people from all over the world enjoying their late-time brunch as we were, or transitioning to the late lunch menu.

As a sucker for all things brunch, we stuck to the classics – the Duck & Waffle and the Smoked Scottish Salmon flatbread.

The Duck & Waffle blew Chicken & Waffles out of the water (and I LOVE Chicken & Waffles. But I love duck more). The Duck & Waffle, the namesake of the restaurant, was a crispy leg confit and fried duck egg on top of a Belgian waffle with a mustard maple syrup on the side. While incredibly flavorful and filling, I could definitely eat 6 of these in one sitting. I could see why this is the favorite dish of the restaurant: the meat was tender and rich, with perfectly runny yolk and a fluffy Belgian waffle. The mustard maple syrup flawlessly tied the sweet and savory flavors of the dish together.

The Smoked Scottish Salmon flatbread was another mind-blowing favorite for me, as I’m addicted to all things smoked salmon. The flatbread was light, with the perfect amount of creamy shmear, and topped with pickled cucumber and sprigs of dill. I could have eaten 6 of these as well. With the Duck & Waffle.

The third dish on the table is the Puy Lentils, ordered by my vegetarian friend that doesn’t understand brunch (sorry Becca 😘 ). However, I’m glad she did because it was delicious! Although I wouldn’t order 6 of these (I’d be too full from the other two x 6), the combination of spinach, sweet onion, yogurt, miso, and nasturtiums (I had to google that, it’s the little edible flowers) was a sweet and savory surprise that went perfectly with the house bread (which looks almost like a flatbread too).

The brunch, however, would not have been complete without this view!

Duck & Waffle overlooks ‘The City,’ aka London’s Financial District, with the giant Gherkin (a pickle shaped building) right next to it, and a view of Tower Bridge, Tower of London, the Thames, and St Paul’s Cathedral on the opposite side. It was absolutely incredible and slightly terrifying at the same time, knowing we were casually sipping wine and eating a 3:30 brunch 40 floors high.

I would definitely recommend, or more like order you to book a meal at Duck & Waffle, if not for the delicious food at least for the amazing view!

Heron Tower
110 Bishopsgate
London EC2N 4AY
United Kingdom

PS. Dress well 😉

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Smokestack

Smokestack is the little sister of Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery. While Magnolia is known for their beers in the Haight, Smokestack offers beer AND amazing BBQ.

Located in the Dogpatch, Smokestack has a similar vibe and design of Magnolia, but with less people. There are more food options here than at Magnolia, with a large selection of BBQ items as well as other bar food. Both bars also have an absurd amount of classy liquors, with a whole side of the menu dedicated to top-shelf bourbon, rum, tequila, mezcal, vodka, rye, gin, and cocktails. Name a type of drink, and they’ll probably have it!

Everyday, Smokestack has a Daily Special, from Brisket to Jerk Spiced Chicken Wings. Wednesdays are Dollar Rib Days – which are juicy, tender, and flavorful, and can come with various sides such as Potato Salad, Baked Mac & Cheese, Cole Slaw, and other classic BBQ dishes. The ribs are marinated in a spicy sauce, and tear off the bone smoothly when eaten. Other meat dishes can be ordered, and the sides are always available to go with the meal.

While both Smokestack and Magnolia Brewing are visited often for their large selection of liquors and beers, it’s worth it to make the trek to the Dogpatch to enjoy a beer and BBQ without the packed spaces of the Magnolia Haight St. location!

2505 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107

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Lardo

Lardo offers exactly what you think it would offer… juicy, heavy foods. Keeping up with their slogan “Bringing Fatback,” Lardo serves sandwiches, fries, and other greasy foods that give Portlanders the opportunity to “Pig Out.” Lardo’s pride is their flavorful, stuffed sandwiches – which they… Read More

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Cup & Bar 

While I am partial to Stumptown Coffee, Cup & Bar, a spacious, hip cafe in Portland, was a cute stop for a quick coffee in the cold weather. As I didn’t spend too much time here, I unfortunately don’t have much to say — the… Read More

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The Vestry

If you’re looking for a great Boozy Brunch, The Vestry is the place to go! Upon arrival it was very empty, but the tables filled up quickly last Saturday morning as everyone dragged themselves out of bed to ease their hangovers with bottomless mimosas (only $16!).

The Vestry is combined with The Chapel, a venue on Valencia in the Mission. The restaurant portion of The Vestry serves brunch and dinner, as well as offers musical performances, comedy acts, and other late night entertainment. The inside is a simple bar, with very low lighting and dimly lit red lanterns, but the outdoor area has small globe lights and sets a more hipster vibe for brunch and drinks.

While recovering from NYE, we weren’t super in the mood for heavy drinking, so we got a mimosa each and split the Avocado Toast (I had to) and the House Cured Lox Flatbread. The menu also offered items such as a Persimmon Salad, Southern foods like a Po’ Boy and Biscuits & Gravy, and the classics such as Eggs Benedict and Homemade Granola.

Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the Avocado Toast. It was still good to eat, but the bread, which was soft (a plus) was covered in their Pumpkin Seed Spread which was… interesting, to say the least. While the avocado itself was an amazing portion and just the right amount of ripeness, the only flavor it had was the salt and pink peppercorn sprinkled on top, which when combined with the earthy taste of the Pumpkin Seed Spread was rather… bland. My heart will forever lie with Jane’s Avocado Toast, and this one was also overpriced ($10) for what it was.

The House Cured Lox Flatbread, however, was phenomenal. I was a little hesitant because flatbread usually means “thin pizza…” and I was not trying to have Salmon Pizza for breakfast. However, what they brought out was absolutely amazing, and I would come back just for this. The dough was light and crispy, an “everything crust,” which had hints of garlic and onion, and smothered in lemon-dill schmear, which was the perfect flavor pairing with the mounds of salmon (so much!) and the scattering of red onions, capers, and dill. It was a great alternative to a Lox Bagel since it didn’t have the heaviness of the bagel but still had the freshness of the salmon and the tang from the lemon-dill schmear.

The Vestry is a great spot for bottomless mimosas and brunch, and I would’ve loved to try more items from the menu, such as the Pumpkin Spice Waffle or the Toad in the Hole Sandwich – although if I go again, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist the Lox Flatbread!

777 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Better Buzz

Life’s Better Buzzed

With their fun slogan, cute interior, and drool-worthy avo-toast, it’s no wonder that Better Buzz has become a hot spot for coffee sipping and brunching in Downtown Encinitas.

As soon as I walked in, I felt like the cafe KNEW me – “Coffee First” are my thoughts exactly every morning. There were many seating options, from loungey to more quiet study corners, and the area was spacious and clean.

Of course, the avo-toast was a must, which came on a fluffy sourdough toast, sprinkled with feta cheese and cherry tomatoes, served with a small cup of arugula with balsamic vinaigrette.

Since I was in Encinitas for the holidays, it was only right to get the Acai Bowl as well, a summertime favorite in this hip beach town.


While I love having a poached egg on my avocado toast, Better Buzz’s feta cheese version was still fulfilling, with an almost Greek twist to the avocado toast (from the feta and the balsamic on the arugula). The toast was softer than the usual Levain toasts from bakeries in San Francisco, which made it easier to eat and less hassle to split up.

The Acai Bowl, filled with vanilla granola, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, honey, and bee pollen, was sweet and fresh, with a large helping of fruits mixed with a good balance of granola.

Their other menu items include sandwiches (egg, ham, cheese, etc) and other variations of toasts, such as Nutella (with strawberries), and different Acai Bowl toppings with healthier twists (hemp granola, etc).

As for drinks, they offer coffees and teas, as well as smoothies and fresh squeezed juices. Better Buzz is known for their “Best Drink Ever,” a classic Americano with their signature creamy vanilla. I’m not sure if it was the best drink I’ve ever had, but it was definitely sweet and delicious! Better Buzz also has various iced and blended coffee drinks, and offer many varieties of sweetness and coffee flavors.

With not many cute, hip cafes in Downtown Encinitas (besides my favorite, Pannikin) Better Buzz is definitely the new go-to spot for coffee and breakfast. If you’re looking for a more artsy/hipster vibe in a cafe, Better Buzz is the place to go!

Go Get Buzzed!

578 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

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Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Rachel’s Ginger Beer, or RGB, located right above Pike Place Market in Seattle, is heaven for all Moscow Mule and Ginger Beer lovers. RGB offers a variety of fruity Ginger Beer flavors, such as White Peach, Blueberry, Blood Orange, and Hibiscus, which can be ordered… Read More