Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts

Stoneburner in Seattle; brunch greatness

If you spend much time on this blog you'll notice the many references to Seattle and breakfast/brunch.  The two seem intertwined and something I always look forward to during trips back home.  A recent trip over Easter weekend was no exception...

When touching down in Seattle I've taken to spending more and more time in Ballard, an area undergoing a revival on it's way to becoming industrial chic.  The food - and restaurants - seem to be keeping pace.  My recent favorite is Stoneburner which is a modern take on Italian food.  And while the food is pretty stellar, like many locations in Ballard, it's the building, setting and aesthetic that do the trick.

Check out the bar when you're there (someone had a great eye for detail) and then dive into the food. Oh, and on Sundays the farmer's market is close and well-stocked with great vendors.

5214 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle WA

Poached eggs and polenta.  A truly great combination.

The dutch baby in cast iron.

The capitvating menu at Stoneburner.

Santa Cruz Cuisine - Lillian's, Gayle's

A recent spate of sunny weather spurred a weekend stay in Santa Cruz and some time at the beach.  With the sun setting we turned our focus to dinner and how best to answer the usual questions:  "What should we eat?" and "Where should we go?"

Turns out we didn't have to go far before we came across Lillian's, a family-style Italian restaurant where reservations are scarce,  the atmosphere is cozy, the service is attentive and the food is simply killer.  Don't miss the Sunday gravy and meatballs or you will experience food envy!

1116 Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz CA  95062

Italian food served up in a comfortable, casual setting.  Attentive, authentic service from the family-owned personnel.  Specialties:
  • Sunday gravy - tomato base meat sauce simmered slow with beef, pork, Italian sausage and spare ribs.  Your choice of penne, spaghetti, fettucine or polenta.  Don't forget the meatballs. Yum.
  • Black truffle stuffed gnocchi with white wine pesto cream sauce.

Bakery & Rosticceria
504 Bay Avenue
Capitola CA  95010

The glass display at Gayle's contains a bevvy of eye-catching pastries and cakes which beckon and confuse as you try make a decision.  In the end breakfast burritos and cookies won out and we happily started the day on a high.

SF Favorites - Ananda Fuara, Craftsman and Wolves

Two favorite "eats" but with strikingly different, interesting offerings. 

Ananda Fuara 

Amazing food that's all vegetarian and totally delicious!  My favorites include the veggie burger - a mixture of seeds, nuts and other goodness topped with a wheat bun - and the neatloaf, a riff on traditional meatloaf.  Oh, and they add a really yummy, tangy bbq sauce to the neatloaf for added flavor and punch.

Ananda is a place where vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike can find their own favorite dish and some calm amid the storm that is Market Street in SF.

The neatloaf and broccoli soup at Ananda Fuara.

The veggie wrap from Ananda.

Craftsman and Wolves

The other notable here is Craftsman and Wolves located in the Mission. Don't let the eye-catching, almost artistic display of sweets and treats fool you.  They serve a mean coffee AND the Rebel Within (pictured below).  Try as I might, the guy behind the counter wouldn't give up the method for pulling off a perfectly cooked - but runny yolk - egg inside a muffin. 

I suppose this will require multiple trips and muffins to figure out!  Ahh...the research required for this blog :)

The Rebel Within:  a soft cooked egg surrounded by an asiago, onion studded muffin.
Additional information
Craftsman and Wolves
746 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 913-7713

Ananda Fuara
1298 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 621-1994

Oakland dining at Lungomare

Jack London Square in Oakland boasts an impressive lineup of places to dine with brunch being one of my favorites.  It's the perfect time of day to take in a view of the water and relax with glass - and fork - in hand. 
A recent visit found us at Lungomare where the tantalizing descriptions made food selections difficult.  We settled on ricotta pancakes (robust in flavor but light in texture) and scrambled egg panini. Both were delicious.   
The menu at Lungomare

Although I stuck with my usual beverage, coffee - I prefer to take my calories in hearty food! - I couldn't resist this photo of my friend's mimosa.  It's like a wonderful work of art - in a glass. 

Great start to the day;  a beautiful, inspiring mimosa

Fluffy ricotta, blueberry pancakes.

Geraldine's - Breakfast in Seattle

For some reason I obsessed about breakfast this time around while visiting Seattle.  I chose to indulge in a new restaurant - for me - Glo's diner, and one I'd been to before - Geraldine's.

While a tad out of the way (Beacon Hill/Columbia City)  it's still a nice stop for a hot, hearty breakfast*.  I ordered the avocado, salsa and sour cream omelette and my mom ordered the eggs + oatmeal pancakes.  Both were the right bite for each of us. 

I will say after the 4-egg version at Glo's, this one - I assume it's a mere 3-egg version - seemed to fit my appetite better.

Doesn't matter, I still have to give it to Seattle:  amazing breakfast scene, hands down.

*Geraldine's also serves lunch and dinner!

Mothers Bistro - Portland

The motto on Mothers website is "it's all about the love" which resonated with this diner!  I loved the reuben sandwich with melty cheese, sauerkraut and, of course, homemade corned beef.  It felt like the entire plate was made with love, right down to the crispy bread which held everything together.

Apparently our short wait for a table was the result of good timing and good luck. I'm told our wait wasn't the norm and a visit usually requires patience.  In any case, don't miss the Reuben.  It's really fantastic.

Corned beef and sauerkraut atop toasted bread.  Just the best.
Way to start the day!  A mimosa at the ready
212 SW Stark St  Portland, OR 97204
(503) 464-1122

Hot feet and a warm soul in San Jose del Cabo, Baja California

It started around January... a recurring vision of sandy beach and fiery sun to warm my soul...  and didn't ease up until I was poolside with a plate of  fish tacos and a generous helping of smooth guacamole.  Cabo has become the stuff of my dreams and the place I think of first when I want to unwind and unplug. 

Last year I travelled to Cabo and stayed at the Hilton which is very plush and a great way to touch down for a few days of doing nothing (which is quite pleasant I must admit!)  This year it was the same but after a few days we changed hotels (Casa Natalia, boutique hotel) and locations (San Jose del Cabo) for a walkable experience via newly cobblestoned streets and updated core.

Fun, funky art adds beauty and character to Casa Natalia
Great for relaxing poolside

I loved Casa Natalia with its ultra chic setting and simple but comfortable rooms.  The hotel is right on the plaza so you can go out for a coffee at the French Riviera (great pastries) and then check out Casa Dahlia (art, light food) or Mi Casa Azul (nice collection of items for you or your home.)  Casa Natalia (whew, seems like everything here starts or ends with a "casa") also offers breakfast delivered to your room for dining al fresco. A great way to start the day!
Fresh fruit for our daily desayuno...breakfast!

One thing I will say is this:  Casa Natalia offers natural cooling with ceiling fans and open windows which isn't for everyone but was fine with us.   If you are looking for air-conditioned bliss, a larger hotel is probably a better fit.  However, the location and amenities overrule the lack of A/C in my opinion (unless of course it's the middle of summer when it's blistering hot.)

 Next up:  the food and fun of Cabo.  Don't miss the next post coming your way soon!

Boulevard Mijares N. 4
San Jose del Cabo
Baja California Sur 23400, Mexico
Mi Casa Azul Studio
Casa Dahlia

French Riveria

Easy, breezy weekend getaway to Carmel and Monterey

We liked our first trip to Monterey so much we headed back for another weekend getaway.  It's no surprise this area is a very popular destination for tourists both near and far with something for just about everyone within arms reach.

This time we stayed in Monterey but spent our first day in Carmel meandering down Ocean Ave looking at all the shops.  We wandered into Il Fornaio which is tucked away off the street and opens up into a large comfortable atrium-covered dining area.  Here you can order a tasty margarita pizza - enough for two - with the usual toppings (cheese + tomato sauce) and a delightfully thin crust for about $7.50.   Add a cookie and coffee for the perfect midday meal.

Lodging this time was Casa Munras on, you guessed it, Munras Avenue.  The hotel is well-located and well-priced with most restaurants a few minutes walking distance.  Also within close proximity is the pedestrian-friendly foot path which winds past Cannery Row down to the Aquarium for a leisurely way to see the sights.

For breakfast try the Old Monterey Cafe located on Alvarado Street.   You might have a bit of a wait but the breakfast burritos and Belgian waffles are worth it!

Finally, we returned to Montrio Bistro where we ordered family style:  bacon-wrapped prawns, spinach salad and a sirloin steak accompanied by mashed potatoes.  All fairly standard but well done and served by the ever-friendly, knowledgeable staff.  The dessert - bread pudding - is simply a must-have!

The bread pudding with passion fruit ice cream at Montrio Bistro in Monterey.  Amazing!

Fried Chicken and Waffles at Brown Sugar Kitchen

The wait to secure a table at the Brown Sugar Cafe in Oakland CA was long. A little too long for our party of four. But I couldn't help but think "it must be worth the wait". Right before our patience wore out (it was almost an hour!) we shuffled off to a table and a great brunch soon followed.

Apparently the Brown Sugar Cafe is known for beignets and the waffles. We tried both. The waffles are light in texture and seem as though they are fried in butter. As if that's not enough, you can order the waffles served alongside fried chicken. All this crispy goodness is a great warm-up to the finale: the beignets.

While I liked the beignets, they seemed a little dough-ier than I would have imagined. It didn't stop me from eating them but if I could have snagged another waffle that would have been my dessert of choice!

The buttermilk biscuits were divine!

Brown Sugar Kitchen
2534 Mandela Parkway
Oakland CA 94607
510.839.SOUL (love this!)

Holiday Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

Ok, so you don't have to serve this on a holiday. But my family does. We make it the night before Christmas (no, not like the story) so that we have a tasty treat before getting down to the very task of opening gifts and making merry (whatever that means!)

Of course you can make this anytime and your guests/friends will profusely thank you. It's a nice change from the usual recipes with bread since the base is frozen hash browns (a big timesaver!)

I should also thank my neighbor Pam who sent this recipe over a few years ago. So thanks to Pam and please enjoy!

  • 7 cups frozen shredded hash browns
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated jalepeno cheese (or monterey jack)
  • Your choice of toppings: diced ham, sliced red bell pepper, onions, mushrooms or zucchini.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Press the hash browns into a 9x13 dish, drizzle the melted butter on top. Bake for 35 minutes, remove from oven. Cool.

Mix together the eggs, cream and salt. Then stir in the cheese.

Pour the egg mixture over the hash brown layer. Make sure the cheese is evenly distributed on top of the hash browns!

Now for the fun part, top with your favorite toppings.

Bake for 40 minutes (center may still be somewhat jiggly). Note: the eggs will continue to cook once they come out of the oven. Don't bake this dish until the center is firm otherwise it may become overcooked and dry.

This dish can be assembled the day before serving. Simply refrigerate and bake when ready. YUM.