Clouds Brewing 2A few weekends ago, my girlfriends and I decided that we needed a “Ladies Brunch”. Sometimes you just need to let the testosterone stay home and get your afternoon buzz on with mimosas, fancy Bloody Mary’s that are decorated to the tits, and twisted conversations about famous murder cases. Where were you during the OJ chase?

While tossing restaurant ideas out through mass e-mails, one of the gals suggested Clouds Brewing: Raleigh, NC. I’d never heard of it, and being new to Raleigh I’m all about new dining experiences, so I was pretty stoked to check this place out. Also it has Brewing in the name, so… 

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The exterior of the restaurant has that contemporary-meets-age-old appeal that I absolutely adore. I’m a total sucker for architecture–especially with the “industrial-chic” vibe that is trending these days–so as we approached the building, my level of pumpedness reached a new high. 

Clouds BrewingThe inside was just as appealing with exposed pipes and swanky Edison bulbs. I was glowing, and I hadn’t even seen a menu yet.

Clouds Brewing 3And why is the bar empty, you might ask?

Not because it was early afternoon, no. It’s because Clouds Brewing has a $5 Bloody Mary bar.

Me and a few of my fellow lushes were all. over. that.

When the waitress brought us our glasses of ice and vodka, this is what we were presented with:

Clouds Bloody Mary GlassOnly in ‘Murica do you get access to a $5 Bloody Mary bar with complimentary bacon and eggs.

I handed off that beauty piece of bacon to one of my G’s who didn’t order a Bloody Mary since my pescetarian ass couldn’t eat it, but I will admit it was a perfectly cooked slice of bacon.

As us little lushes approached the Bloody Mary bar, we squee’d. Well, I did.

Clouds Bloody Mary BarToppers, mixers, juices, and hot sauces galore. It was a dream! I was so overwhelmed with joy that I had no idea where to start. I almost needed to just throw my vodka back straight in order to deal with the awesome that was in front of me.

But then I’d end up with a virgin Bloody Mary, so no.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had Clamato juice. Here they were, offering Canadians like myself the option to make a Caesar. Anytime I’ve asked for a Caesar in the US of A, the response has been a perplexed glare. Clouds Brewing, thank you for being hip and knowing what’s up with your Liberal brother living in the attic.

My hot sauce of choice was Heartbreaking Dawns Apricot and Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Hot Sauce. ‘Cause I’m an animal.

Clouds Hot SauceNot-so-fun-fact: The bottle does not dispense hot sauce in drips and drabs like a bottle of Tabasco; it dispenses hot sauce in large globs like a recently smacked bottle of Heinz ketchup.

Needless to say, Tums’ stock went up that week, but it was so worth it.Clouds Bloody MaryWhen it came to ordering food, I put my brave face on. I was super torn between getting the Catfish Sandwich and the Portobello Veggie Sandwich because portobello mushrooms kind of frighten me. I do love mushrooms, but prepared a certain way–and if they’re slimy, I won’t eat them. Any time I’ve tried to do something with portobello mushrooms, they’ve tasted like dirt. Slimy dirt. Regardless, I wanted to challenge myself. Portobello mushrooms are known for being great in burgers and I’m all about solid meat substitutes these days. After humming and hawing I decided to just go for it. Stop being a baby, self! Just eat the damn mushroom.

Clouds Portobello Mushroom BurgerThis big gorgeous thing is built between a pretzel bun and includes a grilled marinated portobello mushroom, a fried green tomato, pimento cheese, and lettuce. And it was freaking. Delicious. For real. But I mean, it’s kind of hard to do wrong with a fried green tomato in the mix, am I right? Welcome to the South, darlin’.

Another great thing I noticed about Clouds Brewery is they have a dog-friendly patio. So, if you feel like grabbing a pint, a bite, and enjoying the sunshine out on the patio with your furry friend, Clouds welcomes you both!

All in all a great experience here. I’m really looking forward to bringing my husband here, as well as one of my best girls who is visiting me at the end of this month! I know she’ll appreciate the $5 Bloody Mary bar as much as I do.