Frequently travelling for business across Canada (mostly West) and the U.S. (periodically), we are privileged with eating in various cities, experiencing the life of the city and through the magic of food, different cultures.

The reason for starting this site was because we can't tell you the number of times we would look on other sites to find reviews of restaurants by the general public, only to come away scratching our heads. Yes, that likely will make us sound like snobs, but hey...there really is no accounting for some people's taste.

Unlike most "reviewers", we never, ever tell the restaurant who we are, or what we are doing. This ensures that we receive no special treatment, and that the establishments aren't on their "best behavior" just because we're there. So you'll hear about the worst of the worst, the best of the best and everything from fast food to luxurious restuarants in our travels, as that is the range and diversity of our palates. Please join us on what has been one hell of a food ride thus far, as we finally unveil, without prejudice, what we really think of the food and let you decide where to eat your next meal.

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Balans Brickell: Miami Florida

Wednesday after having being woken up early it the morning due to unauthorized construction in the apartment above us and not having a good frying pan or cooking utensils, we venture out for food. Just down the road from our rental is Mary Brickell square which boasts several cute restaurants and cafes. Since our morning trek includes starbucks we have passed this quaint establishment a few times and today decide to give it a shot. Arriving a bit later than usual for breakfast we are instinctively provided lunch menus. With nothing specifically jumping out at us, we enquire if they are still offering breakfast, the hostess acknowledges that breakfast is still available and brings us two menus to review. The chorizo con papas immediately catches my eye, and at 7.95 it boasts two eggs, chorizo sausage, salsa and potatoes...so I decide to give it a try. SJ opts for the breakfast burrito listed at 9.25 and adds chorizo for an additional 2$. Adding two mimosas to our meal for $8 each we enjoy the outdoor atmosphere and the fan that is (thankfully) strategically pointed in our direction.

The service, efficient and fast, lead to our food arriving rather swiftly after our order.

SJ's burrito looked rather appetizing. A large flour burrito delicately drizzled with sour cream and accompanied with salsa. The first bite was great, eggs and cheese well mixed, not too little cheese not too much egg. My plate, with the scrambled eggs, looked rather large, more than the typical two eggs. The salsa provided was fresh and suited the dishes well. The only thing I can say about my meal was the potatoes and chorizo sausage were VERY greasy...so much that I could see the oil collecting at the bottom of my plate, and although I usually enjoy crispy potatoes, I don't enjoy them soaked in oil. There is a distinct difference between crispy and over fried. To top it off, the chorizo was so hard my fork could not penetrate it....honestly. Having had chirozo several times, SJ and I know that it can be prepared differently. So harder than others is somewhat understandable, but these were way over cooked. SJ's chorizo was also hard and barely edible. It may have been the late breakfast order, because it really seemed like these had sat under a heat lamp or on the side of the grill for several hours. The mimosas we ordered were good however and the eggs done well....I mean how can you screw up eggs right?? Well, unless you happen to go to a certain resort in Cuba...but that's a story for another time.

Our waitress was attentive and friendly. However based on this experience, the potatoes and chorizo being sooooooooo oily and hard, I would definitely not return for breakfast. I would however give it another try but stick to the lunch menu and stay away from brunch....

Location visited: 213 SE 1st St. (Mary Brickell Village)

Ambiance: Cafe
Cuisine: International
Presentation: Average
Price: $15/serving
Service: Average
Value: Below Average

Balans Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The Meal Truth - Undercover food critics

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