OZ Restaurant and Bar: Service, Food and Restrooms! Oh my…

I never had a taste or even an idea of Australian food before. But I will say that the brunch at OZ Restaurant & Bar looks WAY more appetizing than what I found on the first page of a google search for Australian Breakfast. I was tempted to try OZ because this restaurant is co-owned by Ashley Darby of The Real Housewives of Potomac. On the show, people didn’t have nice things to say about it. In fact, we always saw OZ as this empty establishment that served unfamiliar food. Our impression was that Ashley and her husband were struggling to break even on their investment and that caused problems in their marriage. However we need to keep in mind that this IS television. Therefore, I decided to check out the restaurant for myself. The yelp ratings weren’t horrible…So how bad could my experience really be?

I picked Sunday because its $35 for bottomless brunch and I am greedy. I went with two of my cousins and some friends. Thankfully we had a reservation because it was a full house. I absolutely loved the decor. It was very inviting with details of bamboo and ivy. Up front are these two stuffed Koloas that we couldn’t help but take selfies with. Oh and I can’t forget the live band. I loved that! So far so good…

Our table for 6 was smack in the middle of the main dinning area. We waited a while before we were greeted by our server. Then out from the curtains in the back comes Ashley’s brother, Zach. Out of all people HE was our server. It’s like they knew I was coming. 😛 I have seen him on the show a couple of times so I let him know immediately that I knew who he was. I am not sure if that was a good idea but I thought it would be fun to stroke his ego a little bit. He was a cool kid and he smiled a lot. I am not sure if the “Caz God” was feeling himself after my comment but he wasn’t very attentive to my table AT ALL. He could have been easily been overwhelmed because he appeared to have more tables than the other servers. Well once the rest of my party arrived, we asked Zach for more glasses and another bottle of Champagne for our Mimosas. After waiting FOURTY THREE MINUTES we finally gave up and asked the next server we could find. That server was Alima. Before we could even finish, Alima apologized and came to the rescue with not one but two more bottles for our table. It was THAT simple. After all, bottomless champagne is included. You’d figure they would be readily available, right? Little did we know…we were going to need to be tispy to deal with this place.

In terms of texture, this was between a crepe and a pancake. Not bad…
Breakfast Mac at OZ Restaurant
Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? This pasta was al dente and a bit on the salty side…Nah it was salty AF! But the presentation was nice.

Spaghettiand Egg

As if the service wasn’t slow enough…things started to get strange. My cousin decided to try this dish for herself. When it finally arrived, it looked like the picture to the right.

Our ENTIRE table busted out laughing like a bunch of hyenas. I couldn’t believe my eyeballs. The garnish wasn’t even the same. Not to mention it looked absolutely gross. Of course we sent it back. Then out comes the manager on duty…I believe her name was Ava or Eva. She asked us what was wrong. I mean, YOU TELL US! What happened back there? Were y’all ready to go home? Did chef Brad approve of this? She said they ran out of Orecchiette pasta so they substituted it with freaking spaghetti. Lol A mess.

I even asked her if she thought that was acceptable. And guess what? SHE REALLY DID think it was OK! How? Everything took 30 minutes anyway. I am sure if they communicated the issue with us we could have waited for the right pasta or ordered something else for the time being. Moving on…

Chicken and Doughnuts at OZ Restaurant
This particular dish was on the show. It is certainly an interesting combination of foods. I actually thought it was OK. This would be a runner up to the next dish. The donut is nothing like an American one though. More like a muffin or sweet biscuit.That is slices of mango on top from what I recall.
French Toast at Oz Restauant
This was the only memorable dish to me. Very good! If I were to order a full size brunch plate, this would be it.
Omelette at OZ Restaurant
I had to have eggs. Probably over cooked for some people but it was fine.
Brekkie Taco at OZ Restaurant
Ugh… I recall McDonald’s burritos being better than this and I haven’t had one of those in years. Another disappointment from something that was suggested to us.
Basically left over french toast. Definitely didn’t taste like bread pudding either.

One thing I had that isn’t shown was the Watermelon Rocket salad. I love watermelon but I have to be honest and say it wasn’t as good as the salad I had at Succotash.

Overall, the service was slow as a sloth. This was my first experience at a restaurant where the servers were cool as a fan but terrible at their jobs. The bus boy Alexander actually felt more like our server. Poor thing was so confused. OZ did very little to make up for it either. I was very honest with Zach about my feelings, to which he said he would “take care of us” but in the end…nothing was comped, added or discounted to my table. Turns out he was only joking because he didn’t really “have that kind of pull”. And for that reason, I didn’t even give a full 20% tip. Oh and it took 15 minutes or more to get the check. We had to ask for it. Sadly we were one of the last people there. Can you believe they had the nerve to suggest more than 20% that on the bill? HA! If that wasn’t enough… on the way out, both stalls in the bathroom were unusable due to bodily explosions.

I truly believe the employees let the buzz from RHOP get to their heads. Aside from Alima everyone (including the manager on duty) was oblivious to how bad it was. All I could do is laugh it off. My experience was nothing to write home about… but yet I did. 😛 Only for you guys! Oh and chef Brad showed his face a few times. That was the best part. I might be crazy enough to try dinner or happy hour another time but honestly… I don’t live close enough to make it a priority.

One last note: The Bottomless Wycliff Brut only retails for $5. I don’t know much about champagne but I do know I caught a headache from this one before I even got home. LOL Looks like I need to hit up “Champagne Charrisse” and her room for some real bubbly. 😛

Update: The Oz Restaurant Instagram page was following me since last year (They even watched my IG stories)… That was until I wrote this review. I thought I was pretty fair…but whatever. I think an apology and invitation back would have been more appropriate, don’t you?

So my question to you is… have you been or will you go to OZ Restaurant and Bar? I would love to hear…

The Mother of All Baby Showers – Luxe Edition

I was recently I was invited as a VIP correspondent for the 5th Annual Mother of All Baby Showers in the DC area. I had a good time getting pampered, showered and drinking mocktails with others moms and moms to be. We all came together at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel for a night of treats and informative sessions about the latest trends and products in both the parenting and blogging industry.

The Key Note speaker was Maria Bailey. That name should ring a bell if you are a blogger. She is the host of Mom Talk Radio and Co-Founder of Mother Nature products.

 

Mother of All Baby Showers Maria Bailey

Around the floor there were tons of great brands such as:

Chicco that featured their latest Fit2 infant car seat that can expand up until age 2

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Yummy Randy Cakes in Virginia

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And the story telling assistant Solu Publishing.

This product allows you to share memories in a story format, using recordings and such. I found this cool because something I never shared is that I save voicemails of my elders. I honestly dread the day they will no longer be here and when that time comes, I would like to hear their voice again. This product is the perfect tool for a sentimental person like myself.

The #MOABS event was similar to a convention or job fair with vendors throughout the space. I had a chance to connect one-on-one with representatives and after every speaker, there were major raffle giveaways. And guess what?

I won the final (sort of) grand prize of the night!

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So yea… I went home with a loaded VIP Baby K’tan diaper bag, Combí car seat, Combí stroller and an HP All-In-One printer. Sweet right?

The only thing is…I am not pregnant.

Yet 😛 lol

Based on the reactions on social media, I would say you guys are ready for Noah to be a big brother. But for now I guess I will have to share some of these goodies with a few moms to be. Make sure to visit #MOABS to see if there is an event coming to your area!

 

Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Competitive Edge is a new athletic performance center located in Woodbridge, VA. The 18,480 sq. ft. space is specifically designed to accommodate a variety of sports with trainers and equipment that will condition young athletes (and adults) to excel in their desired sport. Accommodations include: Baseball/Softball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Track & Field, Vertimax Resistance/Jump Training and Wrestling.

However, there are two major programs:

Baseball which offers athletes hitting and pitching sessions, in addition to private lessons.

Competitive Edge
Courtesy of Competitive Edge

Speed & Agility to improve speed, strength, agility and athletic performance in sports such as basketball, football, track and field, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, baseball and softball.

Competitive Edge
Courtesy of Competitive Edge

You don’t need professional goals to be a member. Competitive edge also offers supplemental school programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade during school, after school or the during the summer break. This is a great way for children to keep busy while developing a healthy lifestyle.

It has been one year since Competitive Edge opened its doors and Noah and I were happy to help celebrate. This recent anniversary event was open to the public. Like most parties, there were lots of goodies and freebies. Guests were given free assessments, food tastings, massages, nutritional coaching and membership specials. There were also training stations throughout the facility which included Virtual Golf, Sports Performance, Zumba, Vertimax Assessments and a Curveball Machine. Here is a short clip of the facility and some of the fun Noah had that day:

The facility includes 7 indoor batting cages, pitching tunnels, a half basketball and mini-tennis/volleyball sports court, running speed lanes, and a weight room.

We all know that parents of athletes spend a lot of time on the sidelines as their kids train. Competitive Edge has created an environment where parents can multi-task as their kids practice. You can relax in the parent lounge, use wi-fi to catch up on work-emails or you grab an exercise class upstairs in the Edge Studio.

Competitive Edge Studio
Courtesy of Competitive Edge

Speaking of the Edge Studio….this area also serve as a unique multi-use space for your next special event. Whether you are hosting ceremony or birthday you can rent this 2,200 sq. ft. space in addition to the batting cages. There are several party packages that you can choose from. And if party planning, decorating and catering is not your thing, those services can arranged for a fee as well.

Special thanks the Operations Manager, Shanel Evans for the invitation. Shanel has two of three children who are athletes themselves. She first started with a youth track club for seven years but was looking for a better space for the kids. It was only natural for her to become a Co-Partner at Competitive Edge.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Competitive Edge, and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.

Santa's Flight Academy Fair Oaks Mall

Access Granted: Santa’s Flight Academy In Fair Oaks Mall

During the holidays, lines can get pretty long as families wait to take pictures with Santa at the mall. Lucky for the DMV, Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, VA is taking this traditional experience to a new level. You little ones are less likely to be restless because they will be training for Santa’s Flight Academy before they see Santa himself.

 

 

During this process kids will create their own flight badge that will be scanned at several interactive stations. Yes, this is more than just pretend…these machines actually recognize your child’s name. Isn’t that cool?

 

Santa's Flight Academy Fair Oaks Mall

 

Here are some of the things your little cadet will be doing during training at Santa’s Flight Academy:

  • Taking measurements for their flight suit.
  • Verifying their identity.
  • Filling up Santa’s sleigh.
  • Choosing Santa’s gift route – adjusted to weather conditions.
  • Powering up the sleigh with their Christmas cheer. If you hear screams coming from around center court in the mall, don’t be alarmed. LOL
  • Celebration and dance party before meeting and taking pictures Santa (Prices vary based on package).

 

Santa's Flight Academy Fair Oaks Mall

 

Want to see more? Visit our Instagram page for a video of our son, Noah in training. If you visit Santa’s Flight Academy, let us know by tagging #OffThePotomac.

Disclosure: I was invited for VIP breakfast with Santa and preview of Santa’s Flight Academy in Fair Oaks Mall courtesy of Northern Virginia Housewives. I have volunteered to share my experience with you.