A Day at Brunch at the Races.
Sometimes, the food invites I get sound TOO GOOD to pass up on. Not only do I often get to collaborate with either a PR firm or publication I already love, but I also am given the opportunity to host a giveaway, which I love since it is a great opportunity to say THANKS to my dear readers, & to get out into the city I love most: LA (duh!). This was definitely the case when LA Weekly reached out to me to work with them on their 1st annual Brunch at the Races, held this past Sunday at the gorgeous Santa Anita Race Tracks. Having been to the tracks before in the evening, I was extremely anxious to get an early start out to Arcadia, see a race (& bet) & get my brunch on. The one dilemma? Oh, yeah…most of the decadent offerings were not very gluten-free oriented.
For a VIP ticket, you were treated to a swag bag & a special VIP lounge, while for General Admission, you got most of the same perks (full day race track entry, unlimited samples, cocktails, etc, & a complimentary mug) sans the bag & lounge access. Mike & I were thrilled to check out what the GA admission entailed. There was certainly no lack of restaurants & food available, even though some vendors did run out of food early on. While Mike had his FILL of brunch grub that ranged from maple glazed donuts, biscuits & gravy & a pork sandwich with a spicy Bloody Mary, Gluten Free Mary had a bit trickier of a time!
Thank goodness for Auntie Em’s Kitchen, an Eagle Rock staple for the ultimate greasy spoon, casual dining experience. For Brunch at the Races, they were serving up their mouth-watering shrimp & grits, which was just what I needed, along with a TARTE Asian Yogurt, to move onto what I could enjoy: The cocktail samples!
After having my first shot of Hornitas Tequila a few months ago at The LA Food & Wine Festival, it was great to see Hornitas back & still serving up their top shelf tequila, as well as Soleil Mimosa; Soleil is the ultimate way to try a mimosa, with a twist. Along with the traditional orange juice option to their libation, they also offer several other citrus juices to enjoy over your champagne, like mango & pineapple. Mike tried the mango (he’s becoming more like me, I swear) while I stuck to the traditional. Verdict? We both favored the OJ mimosa.
Sponsor, Stella Artois, was also on hand giving you not only a full size beer, but in an awesome, signature Stella beer glass. We attempted to wait, but, alas, the line was absolutely massive & we were happy with our coffee mug.
I then was thrilled to encounter another gluten free dish: a coconut flour ‘pancake’ like treat from Sticky Rice:
Then, I was really appreciative that when I went to grab Mike a pancake from 3rd & Fairfax favorite, Du Par’s, that the Chef instead gave me 3. It was a true sized short stack!
And, what is brunch without coffee? I was treated to several samples of iced java’s that hit the spot before we headed over to pick our ‘winning’ horses for a friendly little round of betting.
Did we win our fortune? not exactly 😉 Did we have fun? Definitely.
Next up, LA Weekly will be presenting their 2nd annual Sips & Sweets for the Holiday season, which I cannot wait to check out.
(*Disclosure: I was invited to cover this event. All opinions are my own.)