Food Review: Big Bad Breakfast

Big Bad Breakfast is a new brunch/ breakfast chain found in many other states that finally made its way here to Arkansas. It is in the same building at David’s Burgers at the Markham and Bowman intersection. There’s a great menu here, so let’s check it out!

ENVIRONMENT

I went with five friends to Big Bad Breakfast at 12:15 on a Saturday. The wait was supposed to be 45 minutes, but it was only 30. The restaurant is a decent size, nothing too big or tiny. There’s a bar, plenty of regular tables, tall tables, and booths. The decor is modern and has a lot of “Cathead” decor. It was nice, but pretty noisy.

MENU

Their menu can be found at their site. I love this menu! It has so many great options to choose from. You can start with one of five cocktails, all featuring Cathead vodka, or some house-blended Big Bad Cold Brews, or fresh squeezed juices. (They have oat and almond milk for a dairy-free option with your coffee). The food has everything from traditional breakfast plates, to eggs benedicts, biscuit sandwiches, omelets, shrimp and grits, french toast, pancakes, waffles, salads, or even granola or oatmeal. Yes, there is also a children’s menu. The most unique dishes to me were the Fried Oyster Scramble and the Fried Oyster Caesar salad. We don’t get a lot of friend oyster dishes here in Little Rock! They also have red eye gravy and tomato gravy.

FOOD/DRINK

Vietnamese Big Bad Cold Brew: $4.75 and a large Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice: $5.50

All of our table got waters, with great “Sonic” ice, I may add! My Vietnamese cold brew was delicious, with just the right amount of sweetened condensed milk so it didn’t taste too sweet. My friend’s large grapefruit juice was tasty, but a little smaller than expected for a large. I never saw a small juice come out of the kitchen to compare.

The Jack Benny: $13

Description: Crispy fried hash cake, two poached eggs, sliced ham, wilted spinach, hollandaise, ham powder, and one side.

I LOVE an eggs benedict. I also love a great hash. This was the perfect breakfast for me! The crispy hash brown cake was crisp on the outside and soft inside, and not too greasy. The eggs were perfectly poached. There was plenty of seared ham and just a little spinach. The hollandaise was very good. I just mixed it all up and it made a very large breakfast. (The plates are huge, making the food look smaller than it was.)

I got to choose one side and after seeing others with these massive biscuits, I had to get one. It was the best biscuit I have had around here. They add ground pepper, which is a nice touch. The buttery crust and flavorful middle made a wonderful biscuit. I hardly needed butter. Get. The. Biscuit.

OVERALL

The service was new, but good! We had a lot of questions that our waitress took the time to check for us. Need examples? We wanted to know if there was dairy in the red eye gravy- there is none except for extra butter they add at the end, and they can leave that out.

The menu has something for everyone- vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten-free, dairy-free. All of the food my table got looked great, was BIG, and very tasty! I will definitely be back the next time I want to treat myself to a big, bad breakfast.

Food Review: Olé Eatery in Branson, MO

Branson has a new authentic Spanish tapas restaurant! And it is better than I imagined. Here’s the breakdown:

 

ENVIRONMENT

While we will cover the incredible food, we must first talk about the environment. In a shopping mall, Olé Eatery is nothing fancy.

It is broken down into two rooms; one is where you order and pay at the counter. The other is the dining area, which is large and open.

This atmosphere does not set the scene for the incredible food we were about to have. With the meal I had here, I would expect a romantic, date-night type of atmosphere instead. It definitely needs sprucing up.

 

FOOD

The menu can be found here on their website. It is full of four different paellas (Spain’s national dish) and many tapas, or small shareable dishes.

Paella Negra: $21.89
Description: “Black Rice” Spanish rice cooked with squid ink with shrimp, clams, calamari, and scallops.

I lived in Spain for a summer, studying, and I had my fill of paella. It’s safe to say my expectations were high. I almost got the traditional Paella with chicken and Spanish chorizo, but I asked the man behind the counter which paella was the most flavorful and he suggested this one.
While I’ve had squid ink pasta and found it pretty bland, this perfect dish was anything but bland. There was so much flavor! The rice was cooked perfectly and it was saucy, not one dry bite. The seafood was cooked perfectly. The garlic aioli and fresh herbs that topped it off gave it a fresh bite. I LOVED this dish. It was the most flavorful, delicious paella I’ve ever had. Also, while the serving appears small, it was very large. Drew and I could barely finish it all.

Chicharron: $9.29
Description: crunchy pork belly with sweet chili aioli

While this dish was good, it was my least favorite. Fried pork belly is always good and they fried it well, it just was a little dry and could use more of the chili aioli.

Patas Bravas: $5.49
Description: Potatoes with Spanish Salsa Brava and lemon oil

I did not want to get this. I wanted the ham croquettes, croquetas españolas, but they were out. So, I went for one of the cheaper menu items. I was not disappointed! While they are no ham croquettes, they were cooked well enough they had a crunch and the sauces were delicious.

Churros: $5.49

Churros in Spain were my favorite thing to eat.  Well, except the dulce de leche gelato. In Spain, you would typically get a “hot chocolate” with your churros. However, it was not regular hot chocolate. This was thick, like a melted chocolate bar. You dip the churros in the “hot chocolate”. It’s just how it is done.
So, I was a little disappointed to see the small amount of chocolate drizzle over the churros and a small dollop of what seemed like chocolate icing on the side.
While the churros were good, they weren’t anything unique. Next time, I’ll try the guava empanada.

 

OVERALL

I loved this meal. The paella was the best paella I’ve ever had. Hands down. The tapas are super fun, too. I can’t wait to try their croquetas españolas next time if they aren’t out. The staff was very kind.  The atmosphere is the only thing that could improve. The food is way too good to be in an environment that doesn’t do it justice.