Suraya, Philadelphia, 5/22/21

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Suraya is a Lebanese restaurant in Fishtown that started as a bakery and market.  In 2018 it opened a huge dining room and large outdoor patio for evening service.  Across from the seated area is the large open kitchen, surrounded by bar seating that was not used probably due to Covid.  Sections of the dining room have partitions between them.  Booth seating is matched with armed chairs with music in the background.  It is a striking, stylish place.  On weekends they have a brunch menu where you get a set of cold mezze served with pita and then chose a mashawi for a fixed price.  They also offer 2 possible sides and whatever pastries you want from the bakery.  A server brings your food, wine and whatever you might need but you order and pay through the QR code on the table. Continue reading

Brennan’s (update), New Orleans, 2/22/20

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We had lunch at Brennan’s in Dec. 2016 in their garden room but this time we were in one of the front dining rooms for brunch.   It feels more formal in this room where the walls are decorated with oyster plates and audubon prints.  The cloth covered tables are set fairly close and some of the seating is banquette style.  It is a huge place and located across from the police station in the French Quarter.  Service was friendly but not particularly efficient.  The menu  is a la carte but they do offer a 2 course special with 2 choices for each of the courses.  We chose that option with a couple side dishes for our meal.  For drinks they had a special drink of the day that was strawberries, sparkler and something as well as several wines by the glass and half bottles.  They also had some good prices on what they called “breakfast bubbles” and we chose a bottle of that to go with out meal.

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Cultura, Carmel, 8/10/19

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Cultura is a large place whose entrance is down a pedestrian only street.  Lower light levels were accentuated by the dark bare wood tables set with black napkins and a dark wood ceiling.  Fairly loud music played in the background.  On weekends they serve brunch as well as a lunch menu.  The room with the bar had a lovely stained glass window in the ceiling and windows to the outside.  The small tables were widely spaced and service was friendly with fairly good pacing. Continue reading

The Adelaide Oyster House, St. John’s, NL, Canada, 6/29/19

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The Adelaide Oyster House is a small place on a main street of town that opened in 2014.  They have one large picnic table in the window and lots of stools around the long bar and small, closely set tables backing up to the wall.  They offer lots of locally brewed tap beers as well as a full bar.  Loud, older rock music plays in the background, exposed ductwork runs across the ceiling, the walls are a combination of wood and brick and one end of the place houses the small open kitchen.  On weekends they serve brunch all day.  It’s a friendly and welcoming place but the server was not overly directive in how much or suggestions to order.  Plates are easily split which we did so we could try a number of things. Continue reading

Petit Crenn, San Francisco, 3/4/17

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Petit Crenn is a small place with 14 closely spaced 2-top tables for reservations and a good sized bar to accommodate walk-ins. One side is windows looking out to the street and another side is a long bench seat with tons of pillows.  There is rock music in the background but it’s not loud enough to impact conversation.  The high ceiling  has ropes dangling with lights on the end for the tables.  They referred to themselves as a pescatarian restaurant and thus their Croque Madame has no ham.  For lunch they have a brunch menu but at night they offer a tasting menu only.  Service is helpful and efficient. Continue reading