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Bloody Mary Round Up

Good morning on this wonderful almost Solstice Monday. It’s time to review some Bloody Marys!

I had a panic moment when I was preparing to write this post. I haven’t had too many Bloodies over the last 6 months, I haven’t really been in the mood, and brunch hasn’t been happening as much as I thought it would when we got new “normal people” jobs. There’s an aspect of laziness, and still some scheduling issues where J’s work finishes up a hair too late for brunch. But I have had a few, so I went to locate my photos, and for 2 of the places the photos were gone. No problem, I use google photos for backup, they must be there. Nope, also gone. Ok, whelp, nothing I can do now, I’ll just have to go on without them. *sad face*

Hold up! Smart Past-me had already uploaded them to dropbox! Thank you, Smart Past-me!

Brownie’s Sports Bar has become a regular spot for us, as it’s in walking distance, and we like to play trivia there on Wednesday nights. They’ve dabbled in brunch in the past, but we had never made it. They started it up again, serving brunch Saturdays and Sundays and we found ourselves there one afternoon.

Brownie’s Sports Bar…mmmm….bacon!

Garnished with lemon, lime and bacon, this mason jar cocktail features a house made mix that is fairly thick, with a strong horseradish flavor.

Brownie’s has a solid menu, with unexpected dishes and specials you wouldn’t expect from a “sports bar”. Brunch is no different. And this Bloody is a solid, tasty offering for only FIVE DOLLARS! It’s definitely a deal and worth a visit. And if, like J, Bloody Marys aren’t your thing, they have bottomless mimosas, and a rotating craft beer menu.

Next up is a fairly new cafe called Craft Coffee House. This is not in an area we would typically find ourselves in, it’s kind of a rural spot between towns. The address says it’s Lockport, but….not LOCKPORT Lockport. However the parents recommended it, so we gave it a shot.

Craft Coffee House. It’s fine. This is fine.

As you can see, it’s very, very basic. The menu claims it’s made with smoked tomatoes, however I did not pick that flavor up at all. To me, it was just vodka in tomato juice. Very plain, no spice, although I can’t remember if I asked for it spicy or not (you order online from the table, so it’s likely there was no option to add spice.) I mean….It was fine. I guess. It’s not what I want from a Bloody, and it most definitely is not worth $8. It may look huge compared to my tiny cappuccino, but I assure you, it was not.

This past weekend brought Father’s Day and my mom’s birthday (today actually!), so I took them out for brunch to Graylynn Gin Bar and Bistro. I have posted about them before but it was not a real, true Bloody Mary that time. With a brunch visit, I was able to order their Red Snapper – a gin based Bloody Mary.

Mom got one too

Featuring London Dry Gin and Toma Bloody Mary mix, this was a solid cocktail, that you’d never know had gin instead of vodka. I know gin scares some people, and dry gin is maybe not what I’d call my favorite, but truly, you couldn’t tell. The Toma mix, which I don’t believe I’ve had before, had a good flavor, with a good thickness. Garnished with an olive and lime, it’s a simple drink, but unlike Craft Coffee House, one worth drinking.

And brunch was fantastic. As a table we ordered the full English breakfast, the breakfast butty, and avocado toasts, and the servings were large and delicious. Avocado toast can make me nervous, because it’s usually expensive and you might just get one piece of bread with a schmear of avocado. Not here, 2 large pieces of bread, a ton of avocado, and toppings (onion and tomato, I think. I am not sure, I had the full English). The butty was HUGE, like a sub, and my full English had the right amount of each thing. I definitely recommend it, and will be back. And again, if you go with a companion who doesn’t like Bloodies, they have other brunch offerings like mimosas, and a huge great looking cocktail menu (mostly gin based, as they are a gin bar, but they do have limited types of other spirits.)

Until next time, Happy Summer!

Sophia’s and a bonus drink

Remember that 14 day Corona-cation I mentioned in my last post? Well, as I’m sure everyone on the planet knows, that went a bit longer than 14 days. First it turned into 21 days, and then it turned into 3 and a half months. And it was the best 3 and a half months of my life. No responsibilities, no obligations, no forced socialization! This introvert loved it. I went to bed when I was tired, I got up whenever I happened to wake up, I did whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I read a bunch of books and did a bunch of crafts. I played a lot of online pub trivia. It was awesome. I wanted to retire at 50, now I want to retire at 41.

Then it all came to a crashing end with the call to return to work. Booooo! I worked a week before I was put in REAL-not allowed to leave the house-quarantine for 2 weeks when J tested positive for Covid. He’s fine, don’t worry, and I apparently did not catch it. Was I just asymptomatic? Am I super human? We may never know.

But there was one thing that I didn’t do with my time off, and that was drink Bloodies. So I don’t feel totally bad for not updating this blog. I had nothing to say!

I do feel a little bad, because it took 2 weeks to review this Bloody from Sophia’s Restaurant in Buffalo. Sophia’s has long been on various lists of Bloodies to try in Buffalo, but I had only had a taste once before at the Buffalo Bloody Mary Fest. Sophia’s is a morning and early afternoon place, and we simply just don’t wake up in time to go. However we did find ourselves up early one day and J got the idea to get some breakfast there.

Famous Sophia’s Bloody

Garnished with celery, crispy bacon, lemon, lime, olives and pepperocini Sophia’s offers a nice, classic Bloody Mary. Topped with cracked pepper, the high spice level comes from Frank’s, which we all know is not my fav, but it was a well balanced cocktail with a good thickness. If you are a classic Bloody fan, who doesn’t want all the craziness you’ll find in some offerings, head to Sophia’s. Their breakfast was great as well, so you won’t leave disappointed.

While the Covid era is not the best time to be opening a new restaurant and bar, that is exactly what the owners of Graylynn did. Graylynn is a new gin bar and market located on Main St in Downtown Buffalo. I was excited to hear about this place, because I discovered a love of gin cocktails when we were in Ireland. Plenty of fancy cocktail bars, with good gin drinks, have popped up around Buffalo, but no one has quite created what I really wanted in a gin drink. Graylynn’s cocktail menu was immediately appealing, with house made tonic flavors, and a list of their own cocktails on top of your classic gin drinks. We drank most of their current menu during dinner, but I wanted to quickly mention one of them here – the A La Tomate.

Graylynn’s A La Tomate

This is not a Bloody Mary, not even really comparable, but it’s a delicious drink made with Mediterranean gin, fresh tomato, balsamic syrup, lemon and basil. It has a hint of tomato and citrus with the gin, and was super refreshing. As the pick says, it was well done (har har!) Highly recommended when you want something similar to a Bloody, but not full of heavy tomato juice.

The BQC 2018 Christmas Shopping List

Where did the year go? I feel like I just prepared last year’s Christmas gift post! But here it is, Black Friday already, and after a great Thanksgiving dinner at Hotel Henry, it’s time to buckle down and whip out the shopping list.

(Reminder: I do this out of the goodness of my heart, and I do not earn any commission from any of these gift suggestions.)

Uncommon Goods sent me a catalog for some reason. How they got my address, I’m not sure, as I’ve never ordered from them but alas, their marketing worked and I went to their website to shop. My browsing turned up two cute Bloody Mary items:

Bloody Mary Cocktail Branches – $18 – Tired of your garnishes sinking into your drink? Then get this set of two stainless steel picks to hold ’em up. Bonus: They are made here in Buffalo NY!

Bloody Mary Diagram Glassware – $25 set of 2 – In case you forget how to make a classic Bloody Mary, these glasses will help you out (but shame on you for having to refer to them!!)

If you need to clean up after making your Bloody in those fancy glasses, with a ton of garnishes on the branch, here are a few good options.

Perfect Bloody Mary recipe tea towel – $18 – This towel is a super cute hand drawn Bloody Mary recipe (in case you forgot the recipe AND broke your fancy glasses from above). Even if you don’t need a recipe, it’ll look great in your kitchen or bar area.

Fighting Garnishes tea towel – $18 – Sometimes the garnishes just have enough of each other. Hand-screenprinted for your viewing pleasure.

Need something to wear to brunch? I got ya.

Vintage Graphic Bloody Mary T-shirt – $23.50 – soft, light weight and unisex, the perfect gift for everyone!

It’s What’s For Breakfast t-shirt – $22 – It may be what’s for breakfast but we all know it’s also what’s for lunch and dinner too.

Just need something small? Have a few stocking stuffers.

Bloody Mary Keychain – $4.50 – This is such a cute little embroidered key chain, any Bloody love would adore it.

Bloody Mary Bar Print – $5 – Running out of time to get someone a gift? This cute print is an instant download. Just get this pdf printed on a quality paper, get a cheap frame, and voila. Some nice wall art!

Don’t forget to check out last year’s list, or my Etsy Collection, as many if not all of the gift ideas are still available.

Happy Holidays and have a Bloody for me!

The Birth of the Bloody Queen City

So the Spring of 2014 brought the idea to start this blog. Probably over a bloody mary. Who’d have thought! I have a history of having problems coming up with names for new projects though, and after enlisting help from a few friends, LeighAnne came up with The Blood Queen City! Perfect! So I started making an effort to take better photos (which I have failed at, cell phones and low light just don’t mix, I don’t care what the ads say), and making notes so that when I eventually got a blog up and running I’d have more things to say about these delicious cocktails.

I’ve collected many over the intervening months as I waited to get a header graphic together, until finally I went on vacation and procrastinated updating a different website, and put together this one (ha!).

Now that I’ve gotten the old posts from vacations out of the way, we can move on to more recent drinks, with hopefully more insightful reviews, and more to come.