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

Taco Agave’s Vietnamese Tacos? Yes, There is Such a Thing and Here is My Review

Taco Agave, Vietnamese Taco

Taco Agave

I had been hearing a lot of buzz about Taco Agave. It’s relatively new and friends are chatting about it. I wasn’t entirely sure of its location, just that it was downtown and off of Palafox. I knew I had to check out their tacos soon.  Finally the opportunity came to make good on that agenda and try out their unique and tasty Vietnamese tacos.

It’s five thirty on a Saturday evening. The day was somewhat productive, but I’ve been at home for a while and I’m ready for a change of scenery. I started off the morning with a quick walk through Palafox Market before meeting up with friends for coffee at the Bodacious Brew.

I’ve run my errands and caught up with the “adulting” responsibilities that have pressing deadlines. Now what to do? A friend texts, “Are you up for a walk downtown?” “Definitely!” I text back. I’m beginning to get stir crazy. Fresh air and a walk will do me good.

We drive downtown. I do love our downtown! The air is fresh and crisp and there’s a slight breeze that keeps your steps brisk. It really is a nice night to be out for a walk with the restaurants and shops shielding the wind. Eventually the abundance of eating options beckons us to enjoy our conversation over good food.

My First Impression

We decide to go to Taco Agave. My friend recently tried it. I’ve never been, but have heard good things about this new taco place. It’s not an overly large establishment. The decor is modern. Simple, clean lines and minimal decor. It’s actually behind World of Beer and inside the establishments are connected.

Taco Agave Pensacola, FL
Taco Agave

One of the aspects I immediately appreciate about this new restaurant is the fact that the menu is not overwhelming, but at the same time the options are interesting and impressive. The menu features between 8 and 10 tacos, some appetizers and a few side items. You don’t have the 10 page menu that some restaurants tend to have with countless combinations and endless entrees that make my head hurt by the time I finish reading the menu. The drink menu is a bit more extensive with a variety of margaritas and tequila selections, but you don’t get lost in it.

Everything on the menu looks good. Think creative and inventive combinations, such as the pink taco with ahi tuna, a vegetarian option, chicken, beef, and pork with Asian inspired flavors. We opt for chips and guacamole and I decide to go for the Vietnamese taco. The wait staff is friendly and prompt with taking our orders and bringing out our drinks. Background music is playing, but it fits with the decor and this evening it doesn’t overpower the conversation. (Update: Depending on the evening and time, some nights the music is louder than others.) It’s not long before the food arrives. The chips are seasoned well and the guacamole is homemade and very fresh. The corn chips are crisp and not the least bit stale. Always a good sign!

My Favorite: The Vietnamese Tacos

I have to say the Vietnamese taco was the highlight for me. This was absolutely brilliant! The pork on the taco was tender and flavorful. It was topped with fresh pickled vegetables  consisting of onion, carrot,  and jalapeño. The honey siracha sauce was the perfect garnish that brought everything together in this perfect symmetry of savory, yet slightly sweet and subtly spicy. This is definitely a place you need to try. I’m looking forward to going back and trying all of their tacos.

Taco Agave, Vietnamese Taco
Vietnamese Taco