donut connection

On the way back to Rehoboth after the Dogfish Dash last weekend, my friend and I spotted Donut Connection on the side of the road. Sure, it could be a typical place like Dunkin Donuts or one of those places that sell donuts bought from the price club, but it could also be a hidden gem, a place serving homemade donuts or something unique and special.

Not wanting to eat too much (since we had plans to stuff our faces again at the brewpub), we got one blueberry cake donut. Right before we paid, we noticed a strange item on the menu, the Delaware Donut. We immediately asked the woman behind the counter about it. She said, “You know pigs in a blanket……wrapped in a donut batter.” Our faces lit up as soon as we heard pigs in a blanket, we knew exactly what this was. It was a breakfast sausage wrapped in cheese and encased with donut batter. Of course, there was still speculation that this coulda been pretty awful. Thoughts of frozen breakfast sausage (ex. Brown & Serve, Jimmy Dean) and a stale donut outside filled our minds.

We were pleasantly surprised. It was quite fantastic. The donut outside was warm, fresh, and tasty. The sausage was great too. It’s casing gave a nice snap to it and was delicious.

The blueberry cake donut was standard. Nothing to write home about there. I did note a large production area that you could see through the window of the restaurant. There was a donut machine back there! Eat that Dunkin Donuts.

Have any of you ever had or heard of a Delaware Donut?

Upon further research, it turns out that Donut Connection is actually a chain with locations in several states on the East Coast and Midwest. It may not offer as much as Dunkin Donuts but that Delaware Donut was far better than any breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had at DD.

Donut Connection
26850 Lewes Georgetown Highway
Harbeson, DE 19951

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northern spy food co.

I brunched with a couple friends not too long ago at Northern Spy Food Co. This East Village restaurant’s menu focuses on local and seasonal ingredients. The space isn’t the largest, but it sure was nice and cozy on that Sunday afternoon.

Coffees, waters, and a blueberry mimosa were the drinks ordered by the table. To start the meal, we all split an order of their buttermilk biscuits. These were delicious. They came to the table still warm and were some of the best biscuits I’ve ever had.

slow-whisked scrambled eggs

A friend ordered the slow whisked scrambled eggs which came with Heritage bacon and pan bread. Another ordered the sausage, egg & cheese sandwich which used gruyere and a fennel-sage sausage. I went with the chicken & egg sandwich which had a crispy chicken thigh, a poached egg, and chimichurri sauce.

chicken & egg sandwich

Definitely enjoyed everything I had for brunch. After having the biscuits on their own, I’ve gotta order their biscuits and gravy next time!

Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10009

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cuba libre – brunch without borders

Cuba Libre in Old City has a new menu for their 10th anniversary which has been inspired by Chef Guillermo Pernot’s recent trip to Cuba. One of the menu changes is their Brunch without Borders. Brunch without Borders is a $25, all-you-can-eat meal featuring several piqueos (small plates). Last Saturday, a friend and I certainly indulged until our stomachs reached their borders!

cafe cuba libre w/ shot of spiced rum

There were so many drinks to start the day off from coffees, tropical cocktails, and juices. I think I chose the best one though. My drink of choice was the Cafe Cuba Libre with an added shot of spiced rum. It’s Cuban coffee with steamed coconut milk and Cuba Libre spiced rum. This stuff was so ridiculously good. Could I have these everyday?

torta de cangrejo benedict

We certainly tried a ton of items, but the ones shown here were definitely our favorites. The Torta de Cangrejo Benedict was an interesting take on eggs benedict. It consisted of a jumbo lump crabmeat & potato cake topped with a poached egg and tomato Hollandaise served over an avocado mash.

cobbano salad

Another piqueo we ordered twice was the Cobbano Salad. Essentially a Cobb salad with Cuban flair, it had pulled pork, plaintains, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes, avocado, bacon, Cabrales cheese, hard boiled egg, scallions, watercress, and baby spinach tossed in a light mustard vinaigrette.

sopa levanta muerto

We may have also ordered the Sopa Levanta Muerto twice as well. Despite being fairly hot on Sunday, this was too good not to order twice. The translation means Raise the Dead Soup, which is named due to it’s consumption by those hungover to “raise spirits and body”…perfect for the Friday nights we both had. This soup had a delicious broth made up of some coconut milk and had crab meat, scallops, shrimp, and mussels.

To end our meal, we ordered the torreja (pictured above). It was a hazelnut and almond encrusted brioche French toast topped with strawberries, Frangelico-Mascarpone cheese, honey, and powdered sugar.

You can also order all these items a la carte should you not want to Brunch without Borders. Here is the rest of the brunch menu.

Cuba Libre
10 S. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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cooking: pumpkin pancakes

I’ve made pancakes before and I’ve learned to not whisk or stir the batter too much as it introduces more gluten, which is responsible for dry, undesirable pancakes. With this in mind, I was a little worried when whisking this together since the pumpkin would surely have to be well incorporated. Surprisingly, they came out moist and not one bit dry. Maybe it was the pumpkin? Whatever it was, this breakfast was delish!

Pumpkin Pancakes
adapted from Saveur – Shopsin’s Pumpkin Pancakes
serves 4

-1 1/4 c ap flour
-1/2 c whole wheat flour
-3 tbsp light brown sugar
-1 tbsp ground cinnamon
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp ground cloves
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 c pumpkin puree
-1 1/2 c milk
-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-canola oil, for frying
-butter, for serving
-maple syrup, for serving

Preheat oven to 200° with sheetpan inside.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, ginger, and salt) until well combined. Add pumpkin, milk, and eggs. Continue to whisk until combined.

In a large skillet, place enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan (about 1 tbsp) and heat over medium-high.

Once hot, ladle pancakes (to desired size) into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Should be just lightly browned on each side.

Place finished pancakes onto heated sheetpan in oven to keep warm while you make the rest.

Serve with butter and warmed maple syrup.


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honest tom’s taco shop

Since I had an early morning, (I had to make it on time to spectate/photograph the Philly Half Marathon) I did not get to eat much, if anything at all. It was a good couple hours until it was finished and thanks to Twitter, I found out that Honest Tom’s was nearby at the Callowhill Whole Foods!

breakfast tacos

I’ve been following them on Twitter for quite some time and have constantly read about them, so there was definitely some excitement built up already. It was still brunch hour, so they were offering breakfast tacos. They consisted of scrambled eggs, home fries, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and guacamole. Delicious.

Next mission: Try their fish tacos!

Honest Tom’s Taco Shop different locations, check twitter!
Philadelphia, PA

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