My Favorite Things Pensacola, FL – My Favorite Place to Go for Grouper Pontchartrain

My Favorite Things Pensacola: Grouper Pontchartrain

My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things is a local coffee shop/boutique/lunch and breakfast spot that has been known to the Pensacola area for several years now. Initially, this coffee shop served only breakfast and lunch, but last year they extended their hours and their menu and began serving an evening meal. The restaurant itself is tucked in between Jerry’s Diner and The Magnolia. It’s a quaint coffee shop turned-restaurant with a cute and quirky personality. The dining atmosphere is casual and laid-back with an indoor dining area as well as an outdoor courtyard.

Recently, I dined at My Favorite Things and was quite impressed with their dinner menu.  The menu included an extensive variety of options. Steak, grouper, salmon, braised lamb shank, and lobster ravioli are among the dinner selections. For those with more of a gourmet street food craving, the menu also offers  tacos, burgers, and flatbreads. With such a blend of culinary options, anyone is certain to find a food that suits their palate.

It was honestly hard to choose from all the tempting entrées. Admittedly, I am a bit partial to seafood. Living on the Gulf Coast, I’m rather spoiled by the convenience and availability of fresh seafood. While I do love a good steak, more often than not you’ll find me ordering seafood when dining out. I’m pretty much a fan of grouper prepared in any form or fashion.

Grouper Pontchartrain

When Tosh, our server, brought out the Grouper Pontchartrain I was quite impressed. I was not expecting such a generous serving nor such a lavishly crafted presentation. The golden-crusted grouper regally set atop a crisp leaf of Savoy Cabbage. The grouper was peeking out from underneath a generous amassment of jumbo shrimp, crabmeat, onions and mushrooms all married together in a rich, buttery sauce. To the side and slightly underneath the cabbage-encased grouper, sat a fluffy white cloud of whipped potatoes. Adorning the plate and adding a pop of color was an assortment of zucchini, yellow squash, diced sliced tomatoes and ribbons of purple onion.

My Favorite Things: Grouper Pontchartrain
Grouper Pontchartrain at My Favorite Things

The grouper was a large, fresh fillet. Grouper is a lean fish with a nice firm and flakey texture. It is light in flavor without being overly “fishy.”The grouper fillet was generously coated and dressed with Panko crumbs and then panéed to a light and golden brown. The Panko crumbs added just the right crunch. The Grouper itself was impeccably cooked to just the right doneness without being the least bit dry.

The grouper would have been delicious simply by itself. But why stop here? At least that’s what the culinary mastermind at My Favorite Things seems to think. This light and flavorful fish is then topped with a Pontchartrain sauce.  The Pontchartrain sauce is FULL of jumbo shrimp and lump crab meat. Again, they don’t skimp on portions for this entrée! The shrimp and crab meat swam in a delightfully rich and buttery Pontchartrain sauce. Red onion, mushrooms, parsley along with a hint of lemon balanced the sauce and gave it the ideal balance of buttery creaminess and herbaceous earthiness.

The Accompaniments

The Grouper Pontchartrain is served with My Favorite Things mashed potatoes and your choice of a side.  The vegetable of the day was medley of yellow squash, zucchini squash, red onion and tomatoes.  The mashed potatoes were fluffy and buttery, just they way mashed potatoes should taste. The vegetable medley was sautéed splendidly and was the perfect side to compliment the rich flavors of the Grouper Pontchartrain and the whipped potatoes.

Next time you’re in the East Hill area for dinner, stop by My Favorites Things and try the Grouper Pontchartrain. Even if you’re not in the area it’s definitely worth a special trip. It may just become your new favorite thing.

 

 

 

My Favorite Things Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ruby Slipper Cafe – Why the Smoked Salmon Bennie is Worth the Wait

Ruby Slipper Cafe Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

Ruby Slipper Cafe

A restaurant that consistently has a long wait time is typically a good sign. This has been the case the last couple of times I’ve visited Ruby Slipper Cafe. I’ve been to Ruby Slipper Cafe three times now and eaten there twice.  I went a few months ago with a group of friends. We had a larger party and the wait time was an estimated hour for our group. A bit of a longer wait than anticipated. Since this didn’t fit with everyone’s schedule we decided to try again for another time.

Recently, I made plans to meet a friend for brunch at Ruby Slipper Cafe.  She had not been there before, but was eager to try it out since she had heard a lot about this popular brunch spot. It had been over a year since I had eaten there. I remembered their biscuits being heavenly.  I was craving good  biscuits.  “Let’s plan on Ruby Slipper,” I replied, “but be prepared to wait.”

We had plans to meet at 10:45. About 20-30 minutes prior to that I checked in with No Wait. No Wait is an app that let’s you see the estimated wait times for local restaurants. You then have the option of checking in and getting your name on the wait list prior to arrival. No Wait was showing an estimate wait time of 20 to 35 minutes.  Prepare for an arrival time of 11 the app instructed. Ok, a little later than what we had planned, but better than arriving and waiting 45 minutes.

Long Lines are a Good Sign

Ruby Slipper unmistakably boasted the largest crowd in the area that morning. Mid-morning brunchers  spilled outside and around the building as inside there was barely room to stand. Luckily for us, the weekend we chose for brunch was a gorgeous one. One of those weekends where spring isn’t quite here, but the sun is so brilliant and the sky so clear it’s only the bite of the north wind that reminds you that spring had not officially arrived. We decided to walk around Palafox for a bit and enjoy the scenery.

Our actual seating time was closer to 11:30, but that was ok. It was a gorgeous day and it gave us a chance to talk and catch up as well as develop an appetite for our meal.  The inside of the restaurant has ruby-red tones paired with buttery/marigold yellow hues. One thing I love about this place is the sky lights! I like a well-lit restaurant, especially for a place that serves breakfast and brunch. The light is also great for snapping pictures of food.

The Menu

The menu at Ruby Slipper offers an array of southern and NOLA inspired breakfast options. BBQ shrimp and grits, Croque Madame, Catfish Coupion,  Chicken St. Charles Benedict, Eggs Cochon, and a variety of omelettes, pancakes and waffles. The menu is not lacking in options! Their drink menu is extensive as well. Mimosas, Sangria specials, Irish Coffee, Brandy Milk Punch and, of course, their signature Bacon Infused Vodka Bloody Mary.

I typically have a hard time making a decision and today was no different. I thought it would be easier since I knew I wanted salmon. However, Ruby Slipper Cafe boasts two options for salmon. The Hot Smoked Salmon Omelette and the Hot Smoked Salmon Bennie.  The omelette comes with the option of bread, so I could order the omelette and still have my biscuit. It also comes with goat cheese, which I adore.  In the end the Hot Smoked Salmon Bennie won out for this visit. I was really in the mood for poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

Ruby Slipper Cafe: Smoked Salmon Bennie
Smoked Salmon Bennie

Ruby Slipper Cafe’s Smoked Salmon Bennie

It was an excellent choice! I do love a good eggs benedict and this version of eggs benedict definitely made the cut.  As you can see from the picture, the serving was quite generous. Instead of the classic english muffin, Ruby Slipper serves their benedicts atop a dense and buttery biscuit.

Ruby Slipper Cafe: Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
Perfectly poached egg

The presentation itself was appetizing and gorgeous – I could barely restrain myself from digging in before I snapped a few photos to capture this picture perfect brunch.  The salmon had a  distinct smokey flavor with a dusting of black pepper and touch of mesquite. The eggs were precisely poached to perfection.

Ruby Slipper Cafe, Smoked Salmon Benedict
Lovely infusion of flavors.

It was with absolute delight I sliced into the poached egg so  the runny yolk could escape. It swiftly intermingled with the hollandaise sauce and infused all the flavors of the smoked salmon and buttermilk biscuit. The sprinkle of purple onion confetti gave the benedict a sharp and pungent bite that was unexpected yet welcome.

If you’re looking for a unique twist on eggs benedict you must try Ruby Slipper Cafe’s Smoked Salmon Bennie! If you’re not a fan of salmon  or don’t enjoy a good smokey flavor this may not be the dish for you.  However, I’m certain you won’t have a problem finding another delicious option that appeals to your palate, as the menu offers an expansive selection.

Use No Wait to Shorter Your Wait Time

One final thought. If you’re planning on going to Ruby Slipper Cafe on a weekend I HIGHLY recommend using the No Wait app.  Ruby Slipper does not take reservations over the phone, but you can put your name in through the No Wait app and it will shorten your wait time. The app is free and all you have to do is download it to your smart phone, chose your restaurant, enter your phone number and indicate how many are in your party. Once your table is ready, you will receive a text and phone call.

 

Ruby Slipper Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato