I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Sunday Brunch

If you called me up and extended an invitation to breakfast, I'd probably give you a really good excuse reason as to why I just couldn't make it...I'm out of town on business, I'm scheduled for a root canal, or I have to give my dog a bath. There's just something so inside the box about breakfast. I mean, once you breach the subject of scrambled or over-easy, links or patties, white or wheat, there's not much else to get excited over.

Brunch, on the other hand, is a different story. The combination of a late breakfast and early lunch lends itself to all sorts of creativity. It's standard practice to see breakfast fare like eggs and waffles listed right beside pizza and seafood on a restaurant menu and it's perfectly acceptable to go either way with your menu choice. There is no right or wrong with brunch.

Recently, the Good Eats and Meets! Charlotte group hosted Sunday brunch at Cafe Monte, located at 6700 Fairview Road tucked away behind the Hampton Inn in the Allen Tate building. In addition to brunch, the French Bakery and Bistro also serves lunch and dinner and the menu choices are excellent and the portions are impressive. I chose the crab and lobster crepes even though I was slightly apprehensive about the tarragon creme sauce because I'm not a huge fan of heavy cream sauces. It was divine! The sauce, light but rich with flavor, was loaded with succulent pieces of crab and lobster and did not overpower the delicate crepes.

There were eleven people in our group and every single menu choice looked delicious. And with prices ranging from $7.95 to $15.95, you're not going to break the bank by indulging just a bit. Quaintly decorated with photos of people and places from 1900's France, the dining area seats 120 and while it was certainly crowded and full the day our group was there, the noise level was still comfortable enough that we could talk to each other across and down the length of the table.

Based on data collected from OpenTable diners, Cafe Monte was voted one of the best 50 restaurants for brunch based on feedback from over 4 million reviews from more than 10,000 restaurants in all 50 states. Receiving the 2010 Best Diner's Choice Award for Best Brunch is truly a proud accomplishment for this Charlotte jewel and I can guarantee that if you called me up and extended an invitation for brunch at Cafe Monte, I'd beat you to the table!

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