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With decor that can be only be described as eclectic and entirely whimsical, Chez José is a favourite local lunch spot with smoothies to die for, bangin’ sandwiches and awesome homemade pastries. Looking around the small shop, brightly contrasting animal prints (red and yellow leopard print, purple and black zebra stripes), funny bits and pieces of memorabilia (“sex scene – do not cross” tape, Ken barbie doll, disco ball) and high res photographs of nameless individuals catch your eye and make you smile.
Yes, the consensus is that brunch is one of the most hated courses among the majority of chefs. The thing is though, places that serve continental or Western style breakfasts have got it all wrong. Out with the boiled eggs, hash browns and sausages and in with grilled vegetables, feta eggs and healthy meat and veggie dips. Places like Byblos have managed to revitalize the way the meal is served and turned into one of my favorite spots to get some amazing late morning grub.
Situated on lower St Denis amongst great restaurants like La Fabrique, L’Evidence is a classic restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. During the summer the terrace is nearly always full for brunch and I visited with some friends of mine who are regulars. The interior decor has a classic french vibe in the style of L’Express but with a more down to earth mentality. The service was quick and efficient – don’t expect small talk but do expect perfect coffee refills.
Hidden between Montgomery and Embarcadero, Hillstone is part of the Houston’s restaurant family and serves New American Fare that is true to fresh ingredients and big flavors. Reservations are essential – even with one there was a slight delay before we were seated. We started with a Iceberg Wedge & Blue Cheese Salad with Campari tomatoes and warm beets along with Oak Grilled Artichokes and Spinach Artichoke dip. The grilled artichokes were charred and served with a few simple dipping sauces – simple and tasty. The Spinach artichoke dip was a perfect dish to share, cheesy and thick. I usually don’t order blue cheese because I find the cheese overpowering but the blue cheese salad was actually quite creamy and well balanced (not too strong).
For entrees we began with Hardwood Grilled Trout which is cajun seasoned trout, served with seasonal vegetables, followed by Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with pommery mustard sauce, served with hand-cut French fries and coleslaw and finally the Flying Tuna Platter with mixed greens, avocado, mango and miso vinaigrette.
The highlight was definitely the Flying Tuna Platter (Above) which was seared perfectly. The mango and avocado complemented the tuna so perfectly that I found myself trying to get a piece of each component in every bite.
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Shia Bia is at the midpoint of a climbing windy road leading to the top of a mountain overlooking the merging of the freshwater Danshui river and the Pacific Ocean. Part of a resort for golfers, the Chinese restaurant is equipped to handle a capacity of at least 200 diners in its spacious hall.