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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 08:01 AM

Well another year has come and gone and Pop Culture Cuisine is officially a two years old!  This year our lives have changed dramatically in many ways, including the addition of a new family member.  We also may not have traveled as far as in the past, but Adam and I still love finding new ways to seek out culinary hot spots wherever our travels take us.  We have compiled a list of some of our favorite and not so favorite spots to share with you with links so you can read our reviews for yourself.  We STILL love food and hope to continue to share lots of great finds with you all along the way.

Signature Dish:


1. Al’s Beef’s “Italian Beef Sandwich” – Chicago, IL

2. Kim & Scott’s Café Twist’s “Twist Your Own” – Chicago, IL

3. The Varsity’s “Chili Dog” – Atlanta, GA




1. Hot Doug’s – Chicago, IL

2. Al’s Beef – Chicago, IL

3. The Depot American Diner – Chicago, IL




1. The Walnut Room – Chicago, IL

2. Slow’s Bar-BQ – Detroit, MI

3. Lynn’s Paradise Café – Louisville, KY



1. Tufano’s Vernon Park TapJoe and his staff – Chicago, IL

2. KouzzinaJohn – Orlando, FL

3. Emeril’sSpencer – Orlando, FL




1. The Varsity – Atlanta, GA

2. Al’s Beef – Chicago, IL

3. South Side Soda Shop – Goshen, IN


Overall Top 5:


1. Al’s Beef – Chicago, IL

2. Hot Doug’s – Chicago, IL (A VERY close 2nd place)

3. The Walnut Room – Chicago, IL

4. Kouzzina – Orlando, FL

5. Emeril’s – Orlando, FL

Top 5 Biggest Letdowns…Not worth the Hype:


1. The Whale’s Rib – Deerfield Beach, FL

2. Brennan’s – New Orleans, LA

3. Camp Washington – Cincinnati, OH

4. Graeter’s – Cincinnati, OH

5. The Loveless Café – Nashville, TN

Best of the Rest…Honorable Mention:


Most Fun Kim & Scott’s Café Twist – Chicago, IL


Most Memorable Kouzzina – Orlando, FL


Most Worth the Wait Hot Doug’s – Chicago, IL


Most Outrageous Dish Bub’s Burgers – Carmel, IN


Best Excursion Epcot International Food and Wine Festival – Orlando. FL


Best Sandwich (Burgers Included) The Depot American Diner – Chicago, IL


Best Sweet Treat Emeril’s – Orlando, FL

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

104Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner?  Amidst all the feedings, diapers, and helping Adam with work parties, the weeks of December have just flown by.  I barely got to enjoy the fall and now I am preparing myself for the cold months ahead where we will be mostly home bound.  During these winter months I like to daydream about fun trips and destinations that evoke the term paradise in my head; and while Louisville isn’t often what springs to mind as far as a paradise locale, they do have a restaurant that truly brings that thought to mind.

Lynn’s Paradise Café opened in 1991 as the venture of Lynn Winter, who as a former woodworker had great passion for art and creating things, but decided with a twist of fate to take on a new culinary fueled adventure.  With her love of the creative, she sought to create a restaurant that not only was aesthetically interesting, AND I MEAN INTERESTING, but she began introducing new takes on food that are truly artistic in both their ingredients and appearance.  Also, attached to the restaurant is a shop that boasts some of the most unique nifty-gifty stuff you will ever see, as well as a large assortment of hats and glasses that we all had a blast trying on..

Over the years the restaurant has continued to grow and thousands of people from around the country come to visit and try some of her winning creations every year.  Lynn’s has been featured on Food Network’s “Best of,” Diner’s Drive-Ins & Dives, and Bobby Flay even paid Lynn a visit to offer a “Throwdown.”

So with my parents now living in Louisville, we knew on our first visit down there we would have to make sure Lynn’s received a visit. We had heard ahead of time that the wait can be a bit insane and that although it’s a large place, many MANY people go there on the weekends.  We were also there with the whole family on a holiday weekend, so we were prepared for a possibly lengthy wait. Luckily, there is no shortage of fun things to look at and picture opportunities…









In total we waited about an hour to get seated, but looking at all the merchandise and trying on funny hats helped the time fly. Still, we were definitely hungry. We got to sit right next to a large tree smack-dab in the center of the restaurant, which truly displays how Lynn’s is an eclectic “paradise” if I ever saw one…bright colors, crazy décor, and odd shaped chair and tables throughout. You wonder if there is even one ounce of free wall or ceiling space? But I guess that’s what adds to whole atmosphere.



With a variety of interesting menu options, we all ordered and waited in anticipation.  I will say it now… I once again ordered poorly.  It wasn’t that my meal wasn’t good…, it was just that I really should have chosen something more exciting than the homemade granola, and after a couple of bites I was sort of sick of it and looking for other flavors.  Luckily, Adam shared some bites of his meal with me, which was outstanding!  His breakfast came with fried green tomatoes, which we both have now discovered are AWESOME…, something I would have never thought considering. I mean…I don’t like tomatoes, so I thought there would be no way I’d like fried green ones. Let just say…I WAS WRONG!  These were so good I am now afraid I will measure any other fried green tomato against these and they just might never measure up.  Lynn’s tomatoes also came with this dipping sauce that I can’t describe other than it added the perfect amount of creamy zing. His egg scramble was also pretty good; and their cheese grits….WOW! Also not a big grit fan…but Lynn’s is doing it in the yummiest way! In all, we all really seemed to enjoy our meals and I think almost everyone cleaned their plates.




SIGNATURE DISH: While they aren’t known for any one dish in particular, there are definitely a few that stand out as fun variations on classic dishes.  Lynn’s French toast recipes and scrambles are definitely signature to her and more than worth the visit.

TASTE: I think we were all pretty blown away by the depth in flavor in each of our dishes; and while I said I was disappointed with my order, it wasn’t because it wasn’t good…far from it. Actually, it was some of the best granola I’ve had, I just needed more flavors to accompany it. Lucky for me, the meals are all large and I was able to get bites from other people’s…which were all good!

AMBIANCE: This is really what makes Lynn’s. The décor is SOOO fun. Our table literally was curved around a giant tree in the middle of the restaurant!  Also, there is plenty of unique artwork and other fun kitschy features hanging throughout the whole place that you are never bored with your surroundings; and while it makes it a tad difficult to maneuver through it all, it is truly what makes the overall appeal.

PRICE: Definitely more than your good ol’ IHOP or Denny’s type place.  For our family of 7, it was over $100; which I guess isn’t terrible considering you’re in the city. Plus, the food was well worth it. It was homemade, hearty and wholesome. In my world, you pay a little extra for the special touches and non-preserved ingredients.

SERVICE: Our waitress was super friendly and very helpful.  Like her surroundings, she also had some eclectic body décor, which I got the sense that many of their wait staff had as this restaurant is pretty funky.  Our meals came out quick and given the crazy amount of people scattered throughout the restaurant, the wait staff was well equipped to deal.

Lynn’s boasts quite the unique environment and possibly the type of dining atmosphere you don’t run into on a day to day basis.  Although it is pretty “out there” as far as style is concerned, this does not seem to deter any patron from enjoying the whole experience.  So whether it is the décor, the store, or the food that is drawing the people in (or all 3), you will witness a variety of visitors that truly LOVE Lynn’s!  We were no different.


Lynn’s was the perfect ending to a great trip to Louisville and I hope I am able to return again soon, if for nothing else than to get my fried green tomato fix! I’m proud to give this local favorite, Lynn’s Paradise Café 4 ‘Little Piggies’


Friday, May 6, 2011 @ 08:05 AM

161It’s May, and although it hasn’t warmed up much yet, we are at least seeing some sunshine this week, which I will take any day over all the rain we have had. Still, I’m really looking forward to summer and all that good summer grub that comes with, but in the meantime I want to keep playing catch up from all the wonderful spots we visited in 2010 and thus far in 2011 so that you PCC’ers can incorporate some of these stops into your summer travels.

I am lucky enough to have lived a fair amount of places in my life allowing me to experience the local culture and cuisine that come with a new city.  Additionally, I have family spread out around the country which stinks when I can’t see them as much as I would like, but makes for a great excuse to travel to their cities from time to time. And on those trips….I get to experience the food of that city, which I love!  One such individual is my younger brother Christian and his new wife Amy who live in the great city of Nashville, TN; and back in October when we were driving back from Florida, we stopped in to stay with for the evening…which also made a good stopping point for the long drive.

Now Nashville has a lot of culture and if you are a country music lover than I’m sure you’re aware of all the fun this city has to offer. Along with that, it also has some pretty famed food joints….one in particular being The Loveless Café…one of the most famous down home eateries in the land.  Adam and I were very familiar we this spot after seeing it featured on countless food programs, magazines, and even movies…most recently The Loveless was a top spot on Travel Channel’s “Breakfast Paradise.”

Originally called the Harpeth Valley Tea Room in 1951, they were then known around the country by travelers riding down US Highway 100 as a place to stop in for their famed fried chicken and biscuits…, the same biscuit recipe that is served today.  While it has changed hands and been remodeled over the years, one thing that has always remained the same is that secret biscuit recipe.  Only a few people have ever known this recipe…one in particular. I’m referring to Miss Carol Fay…, the famous “biscuit lady.” If anyone, she was one who really gave notoriety to Loveless….and mostly because of her biscuits.  Already famous in its own right, she managed to make the cafe even more popular with her charisma, often leading to television appearances and showcases.  Bobby Flay even tried to take her on in a biscuit making “Throwdown!” Take a look…


As I said, things may have changed over the years, but not the crowds! The travelers and locals alike still come daily for a taste of their famed fried chicken, country ham, red eye gravy, and of course the biscuits and preserves.  With that much notoriety we knew a visit was for sure in order and luckily with a call ahead from my lovely hubby, we were able to secure a reservation, which they rarely (if ever) grant.

Now…my sister-in-law Amy grew up just down the street from the Loveless and has been to visit many times. But the other 3 of us were ready for our first Loveless biscuit experience.

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It didn’t take us long to be seated, and as a nice surprise we found out that your table is promptly served with warm biscuits and fresh preserves upon arrival.  We all promptly dug in and enjoyed these soft little pillows of dough…


What I noticed immediately was how light they were for a biscuit, so much so that it was almost hard to describe them as such.  They aren’t flaky as many other biscuits you will find, nor are they very large. But they are still very satisfying and taste wonderful with their homemade preserves.

For our meal, rather than chalking this up to our last meal out, I instead ordered something I never choose…, and egg white omelet. After the culinary adventure we had just been through the week before, my body was craving something healthy…so I lost my mind a bit upon ordering. However, the others went with some of the Café’s really eye catching specials, which I was supremely jealous of once the plates arrived.  Luckily Adam ordered the southern sampler platter, so I was still able to try bites of everything, including their delicious country ham….with the red eye gravy.


You really can’t go wrong with a good breakfast and they are certainly serving one up.  I think we all enjoyed our meals, but next time I would opt not to go for the egg white omelet, however. Not that it wasn’t tasty…, but if you are venturing to the Loveless, there are many more exciting things to try on their menu; and from the bites of ham I had, I loved how home-style it truly was…, just salty enough with a great all around flavor.

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SIGNATURE DISH: The Loveless Café has a variety of southern and regulars, both breakfast and dinner favorites alike, but what they are best known for are their fried chicken, country ham, and of course the biscuits.  Their biscuits are so famed in fact that their former Biscuit Lady was featured nationwide on television and in magazines talking about these little dough delights.  And know that along with these great staples they are also serving up tons of other dishes you are sure to enjoy.

TASTE: We very pleased with everything we tried. It all tasted all around “homey,” southern, and good; and while I have had better biscuits in my lifetime, these still hit the spot, especially when paired with their homemade preserves.

AMBIANCE: When you step inside the Loveless Café, it truly feels as if you are stepping into someone’s home.  Adorning the walls are tons of photos of all the country music stars and other celebrities who have paid a visit. Once you reach the dining room it feels just as if you are in someone’s home…, all dining together.  Also, the grounds are fun to walk around with tons of photo opp locations and little stores to go into. It is all very comforting and the only other way I can think of to describe it is “full of southern hospitality.”

SERVICE: Our waiter was very kind and knowledgeable about the Loveless.  He was patient as we ordered and our food, which arrived to us very promptly.  I was also grateful he wasn’t too taken off guard by an embarrassing hand shake move I offered by accident near the end of our meal, but rather just seemed to roll with it, which a good server always needs to be able to do. I mean….as I said, I’m sure he thought I was crazy, but at least he didn’t show it. Thanks, sir!

PRICE: I would say this place is perhaps a bit pricier than your standard greasy spoon, but the quality of food they are churning out is much higher. Also, as a result of their notoriety, I’m sure the prices have crept up a bit.  Just be prepared that most of the meals average around $10.

Overall we had a really wonderful time experiencing all that the Loveless Café had to offer and we especially loved spending time with Chris and Amy.  I certainly think we will have an opportunity to visit again. Regardless, I highly recommend it to anyone passing through who is looking for a 4 ‘Little Piggies’ experience!