Brunchin at Cuba Libre

So can I say sometimes I don’t always put things together when it comes to location. I am the one who needs needs their GPS! So when I was asked to go to Cuba Libre for brunch I had no idea that I had been there already. Last week I blogged about their drinks for Old City Eats Block Party. I had no idea they also have an amazing weekend brunch menu. So why should you stop in….

Well Cuba Libre’s food is absolutely amazing. I mean it taste so fresh and made to order. For my meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, and pescatarians you are all on this menu. They have something for even the picky eaters as well as for my parent friends too!! Their kid menus have activities and a great selection to keep the Littles entertained while you enjoy a cocktail or two! The two floors of space makes for a great time. So let’s dive in:

Brunch especially for women is like a holiday within itself. It’s better than any other meal of the day. We love a good location, lighting for pictures, space, as well as amazing food so we can chit chat and catch up. It’s just an altogether amazing time. I got all of that and more at Cuba Libre! From the time I stepped in the door every last staff member treated me with love and like family. As always I peep restaurants out before they know who I am or why I’m there. It’s important for me to see how they are before they know I’m on assignment to get the essence of how they might treat followers. Trust me you are in good hands. I watched their interactions with all patrons and they were stellar. They were attentive and by far have a great serving rhythm! Trust me it’s important to know that before you head out!

The food was great. The waitress answered every question. When I brunch I always have at least one person who is picky and she was patient. She explained all of the options. Sometimes I ask questions because some places have people who don’t even know their own menu. She was on point and answered the questions thoroughly! I was impressed.

So they had passed the beginning phase. Let’s step into phase two and that’s food and that includes presentation, taste and temperature. Some restaurants mass make their food and once it gets to your table…it’s room temperature, but not at Cuba Libre. Everything was hot! Oh FYI we took so many pictures before we ate and the food was still hot! I like to make that equivalent to me and my girls talking and still being able to enjoy our food! They have a brunch special that is $22.95 which includes a small plate and large plate choice and an aqua Fresca. Here is an example:

Churros with chocolate sauce

Banana Quinoa waffle

Limonada-part of their aqua Fresca and amazingly fresh option for those who don’t drink alcohol

Above was probably the best combination that I could have picked. I picked this because this reflects what I would order. I couldn’t finish it. I had other items too but trust me it was outstanding. Knowing it was $22.95 was a great price too. I felt like I could keep control of my coins but eat well too.

Here are a few more items:

Pineapple guacamole cubano

Corn meal pancakes served with mango butter and dark rum molasses syrup

Trio sauces that comes with tropical chips-black bean hummus, roasted cauliflower hummus with curried onions, and Cuba Libre salsa

Homemade Latin pastries includes vegetarian options too!

Mango butter is a must ask must have must take home

I didn’t have to do one thing for these pictures either. The lighting is amazing! Also presentation is everything and they hit it on the marker! The taste was mind blowing! Also I are the banana quinoa waffles 2 days later and they heated up perfectly. You can’t say that about most places!

For my alcohol drinkers I love a great drink to taste. No lie just like I had it at the Old City Eats, they are strong! I hate seeing a great drink on a menu that doesn’t come to life when I drink it. Cuba Libre lives up to their rum bar name. Rum is an experience and I tried their Bloody Mary with their Cuban rum-they knocked it out the park!

I also always look for an alcoholic spritz or amazing sangria and Cuba Libre has a red, white or blue in their brunch beverage:

I didn’t have my kids with me this time because often times I go to places and explore before I take them but next time I go I definitely plan to take them and the husband with me. The staff handled other patrons children well. They understood to bring the kids food without even having to ask. Again all things that I look for when I’m out. We know kids can get restless but they have enough space to accommodate large crowds, kids included!

Here are a few extra tips and extras to assist you:

They open on Saturday and Sunday at 1030! If you are going for brunch especially with kids go when they open. Also parking is on the street which is metered. Go early to get parking almost in front of the restaurant. I had absolutely not one issue finding parking. There are at least 2 lots on the block too. Brunch is served until 2pm! Again I would stress going earlier in the brunch hours. You can pick the brunch menu or go alacarte as well. You will get more for your money choosing the brunch $22.95 options and from there choosing what you want from that menu. You won’t be disappointed at all!!

Look at the downstairs seating from my angle coming down she steps. It’s absolutely stunning:

Thank you to my girl, Cherryl of Phillyfoodgal for the invite. Thank you Cuba Libre and all of the staff for an amazing time and hospitality. I will definitely be back and this time bringing my fam bam back with me!

This is a great place to take a first date, day date, family time, time with friends, group brunch, and you can sit by a window and have some me time!! It’s a kid friendly restaurant as well as clean and has an amazing atmosphere!

Trust me you will leave full and smiling!

Make sure when you are in Philly and you’re thinking about brunch, place Cuba Libre at the top of the list!! They have you covered in price, quality, quantity, hospitality, and fun!

Cuba Libre Restaurant And Rum Bar is located 10 S. 2nd Street; Philadelphia PA

To make easy reservations do it here!

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SomoSoPhi

I had a wonderful time yesterday at SOMO South Philly. It’s a beautiful restaurant right in of course, South Philly that is within a short distance of all of the sports complexes. SOMO is a great place to grab some quick bites if you’re about to tailgate, have some amazing drinks with your friends, happy hour with co-workers, or you just want to get out with your family.

SOMO is the perfect spot to sit in a traditional restaurant style seating or sit on the second floor and eat patio style on a nice day and enjoy the scenery.

Somo is located at 3101 South 13th Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

Especially loved the see through kitchen so you can see your food being prepared

SOMO has two locations. The one in South Philly as well as Manayunk. SOMO is an upscale casual that combines elegance in their design with the casuality of their space and great and amazing food selections from their bar food to their sit down menu.  We were there yesterday which was Tuesday and it was “Taco Tuesdays.” Let me tell you that the tacos are something to talk about. I had the vegetarian and they were amazing. One of the things I look for even with being vegan is flavor. These tacos were simply wonderful from the first bite to the last.  I was impressed.

From left to right, vegetarian, mahi-mahi, and brisket tacos

My favorite the vegetarian taco with radishes, spinach, asparagus, and mushroom

Now when I go and preview a restaurant I look for a few things that I know my readers want to know:

  • Price
  • Hospitality
  • Convenience of location
  • Taste of Food

Price

Let’s face it we all want great food without sacrificing all of the coins to achieve it. SOMO prices are not going to break the bank. For instance I had my kids with me and I rarely do when doing these outings. The kids menu was $5.  Let me repeat that $5! So you’re getting premium food for your kids for less than you would spend at a fast food restaurant. As a mom that is right up my alley. Drinks were priced right around what you would expect and they didn’t skip on the alcohol or water it down in any way. The drinks were good and worth the price so don’t skip on it. Plus the happy hour has great prices on their drinks. Keep in mind if you are coming for happy hour make sure you enjoy them in the downstairs bar area for the pricing. Oh and ask for the pretzels!!

Bar Menu

Try the Sling Blade

Hospitality

I like to see how restaurants treat you before you identify who you are and why you are there. SOMO from the waitress/waiter to the manager were more than pleasant.  Everyone had smiles and everyone was welcoming. Since I had my children with me which let me say they were stellar in their behavior, staff was attentive to their needs as well. Devon is hands down an amazing manager who understands people and how they want to be treated. Kudos for SOMO for snagging him! I liked as I watched how they serviced others that they don’t do that weird hover over you as you try to eat. Not one time was my water-glass empty. They weren’t intrusive while I ate. They allowed other patrons to eat and yet they were there to assist in any way.

Convenience of Location

Again its right in the pathways of all of the sports complexes. So for me it’s like seeing Philly for real while you eat. You can’t beat that. If you know anything about Philadelphia you know we care and love our sports team. I was observing the people walking to the game and the Justin Timberlake concert and that energy alone is something that SOMO tapped into with the location. South Philly is the heart of Philadelphia and you feel that here. Do you like open air? I enjoyed the fact that it was nice enough for them to have all of the patio doors open. It was refreshing to see. I am an outdoor type eatery girl and my husband isn’t. Going back I can get the best of both worlds.

Few specials to think about: come and get drink specials, djs, etc.

Taco Tuesdays

Thirsty Thursdays

Daily Happy Hour 5-7pm

Taste of Food

I asked my children especially my son who loves his food how he thought the food was. He gave the immediate thumbs up. He isn’t a picky eater but he is particular about how he likes his food. When I didn’t hear him talking I knew SOMO did his food right. There was nothing but smiles from the entire table. Every dish was amazing.  I know you will find something for everyone. I am vegan I didn’t leave hungry by any means. They do not have a vegan menu but they allowed me to tweak my order to fit and it was still great. Thank you for the great experience.

Charred Brussel sprouts, with parmesan cheese. I removed the cheese but it was extremely good cooked with apple cider vinegar

Kid menu mac and cheese; the picture doesn’t even show the depth of how big the bowl is

Kid menu hamburger and fries, $5

Colton Court Podcasts

Did you know that Colton Court Podcasts is taped right in the sit down sports lounge of SOMO SoPhi? I had no clue. I was impressed with the lounge area as it sits downstairs when you walk in. The big television, the seating, it was definitely is a well thought out space.  I was even more impressed once it was transformed into the podcasts recording space. It was the perfect space. Take a listen for yourself; Colton Court Podcasts.

Owners, James M. Morrissey son of a fashion designer along with Jahri Evans and wife, Takia definitely got it right. Mix in Morrissey’s eye for creating a beautiful space and Jahri sports affiliation and love for the city, how could you go wrong? I absolutely loved the collaboration of SOMO. It’s inviting, well-managed, and the food and drinks will keep me and my family coming back. This is the go to spot for any dinner or luncheon you need. It has food for the whole family from kids to adults. The drinks had me smiling too! Check it out as well as my other pictures on my Instagram

Keep in mind they also offer space for private parties, birthdays, and they have an amazing brunch! You already know how I feel about a great brunch spot!

Also follow SOMO SoPhi on Instagram

Thanks to the #Travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch bunch, Philly Dine Out for an amazing time.

Need reservations, book your time at SOMO SoPhi with Open Table

 

 

 

Summer Be Good to Me!

Welp in a few days Summer will officially make its mark.  There a few things we can do to ensure we have a great one.  So here are some ways to get Summer going:

Make Me Over

Ladies, all of my ladies, do me a favor and check your make up bag.  Have you checked your bag to make sure that you are getting rid of a few things you might need to switch up.  I know there are a few things that we just absolutely love and don’t want to part ways but don’t let your makeup bag be the cause of increased acne breakouts or other facial issues.  Please let it go or replace it.  Trust me your face will thank you.

Wardrobe

It’s the time for sun dresses, shorts, swimsuits! Who isn’t excited?  There are all of these items in every size.  So you can be cool and cute all Summer long no matter what size you are in.  Enjoy it! Trust me once the heat is gone and the snow is back on the ground you are going to be sad.  Let me say especially to my ladies, there are way too many options to be comfortable for whatever you are doing so there is absolutely NO reason to be in these streets in your pajamas.  I do NOT care how they feel, wear some clothes.  Real clothes!  Thanks the world would appreciate it.  Also back in the day I was taught not to come outside in a head scarf, now we can wear them fashionably.  There are a thousand YouTube videos in how to tie one so that you can match it up and wear it flattering.  Do not come outside in the regular you slept in your scarf look.  Thanks again.  We got to care about how we walk out the house not only due to the fact that you may run into someone you know but just because self-love causes us to walk differently.

Know your Arena

If you are going to concert dress for one. This could go under wardrobe but I wanted to make it separate.  You can’t be at Brunch with sports clothes unless you are going to a game. I know we can do what we want, but know your arena.  Would you go to a wedding in jeans?  No! Then be sure that you are in the right arena with the correct clothing.  It makes a difference and not only that we live in a take a picture world and I remember when I was going through depression that I would be out looking a hot mess. I wasn’t dressed for the right arena and that sent me further in a tail spin. It happens trust me.  So research and use Pintrest.  Pintrest will actually align up some suggestions if you do not know.  Have some fun with your looks and be fly all Summer long.

adult background beach blue

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Summer Parties

This could be in the form of a cookout or a good party, make it your best one.  If you are the one who is throwing one, pick a theme and commit to it.  Nothing is more fun than a good Summer party with all of the frills.  Also realize you can be super creative and stay in budget.  Trust me when I have a theme even for my kids, I find ways to keep my budget on point but nail it every time.  Have some fun and make it a great party.  Also drinks are important non alcoholic and alcoholic. You can really find some new ways to drink a refreshing drink that makes you feel good and wow a crowd.  Do your research.  Also if you choose to consume alcohol do so conservatively and use Uber or Lyft or a trusted friend or family member for a ride.  DUI are super expensive.  Don’t let that Summer turn up cost you or someone else their life. Have fun and be responsible.

Get Out

There are many events in your city or town that is free.  Please explore and get out. Do not sit around salty all Summer long complaining about how there’s nothing for you to do. Get on  Google and find something to do.  There may be events in towns and cities near you to explore as well.  All I am saying is the boredom that kicks in by adults are self inflicting. You have the choice to sit and be miserable or be creative.  If you are single and are saying well I have no one to go with, I understand.  I used to say that too.  One part of doing better socially is sometimes pushing past that and getting out.  It’s scary I won’t lie.  However be open to meeting new people while out.  Even married my husband hates all activities that require you to be outside in the sun or around bugs.  Every festival that I want to attend I used to not go or break him down to go.  Now yes he will go, but the ones that he won’t I have learned to get out and have a great time.  One time I went somewhere and eventually he showed up.  I refuse to not attend these types of events.

Solo Trips

Yes I took a big solo trip in April but I also take solo day trips or beach days.  These are important as getting together with my girls, family time, and baecations.  You got to know you and what you like.  The best way is to push past being uncomfortable and explore.  I love it NOW.  I will not pretend that it’s always been this way because that is a lie.  However EVERY time I have come home I have been better. I do NOT answer any non emergency calls while I am out.  That is my time and my family respects it.  If I am on my phone the whole time, when am I having my time?  Reserve your time and don’t let anyone infringe on it and that’s family and friends.  The only thing that should happen is confirmation that you are safe and if an emergency then yes a call.  Your time is your time.

female leisure recreation relaxation

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

My Summer Playlist

So here is my personal Summer Playlist.  I love music and nothing is better than having that AC on or having the windows down and have the base jumping:

Nice; The Carters

Summertime; DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

New Rules; Dua Lipa

Nice for What; Drake

Wait; Maroon 5

Rock with you;  Michael Jackson

I like it; Cardi B

This is America; Childish Gambino

Can’t stop the feeling; Justin Timberlake

Big Poppa; Notarious B.I.G

Image result for music

My Summer Must Haves

Pool time-tan lines are made at the pool or beach. I love tan lines because they remind me that I have enjoyed a little bit of life.  I look forward to them and allowing all of this melanin to pop!

Ice-cream sundae bar: yes this can be done all year-long but nothing is better than eating it and stepping up my ice-cream sundae bar in the cutest of dishes

Outside Movies: in Philly they do series of movies for all age ranges throughout.  You will find me at one or more of these in the city

Beach day-self explanatory

Summer Fests-another thing that I love about Philly is that all summer long there is a festival for many reasons and many of them come ready to go with alcohol. I love the ones that are kid friendly since I have kids.  We all have fun, it wears them out, mommy and daddy can have our time or have a quiet house afterwards.  It’s a win, win!

Cookouts-who doesn’t like grilled food?  It’s the best and couple that with some awesome Summer salads and you got a good meal.  Nothing like getting together with a few folks and having a great time while the kids play!

So break out the sunscreen and fill up the water jugs it is happening.  Today alone it’s almost 100 degrees and the smile on my face can’t be wiped off.  So bring on the sweat, the fun, the sun, and all of the things to do. I will be hitting the streets and blogging it along the way.  Enjoy this season!!