Archives for posts with tag: Brunch

Trickling into Terra from an evening of karaoke, voices slightly hoarse, heads foggy from a slumber cut short by default – its been a while since I’ve exhausted myself till 2 am. We’d been imbibing the night before, yet we perked up when we learned that brunch includes three glasses of your choice; champagne or mimosas. Boozy brunches are what Sundays are made for (and rest, which we did plenty of after leaving the restaurant full and satisfied).

Roll your eyes if you must; maybe even mutter an exasperated, “Millennials,” as you breeze through the first paragraph. But indulge me, and i’ll give you something even better to roll your eyes at.

Sunday Brunch at Terra American Bistro, La Mesa.

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If you’ve been following the blog for a bit, you will know that I enjoy a good brunch, and that’s just me being modest. One could say that I live for leisurely weekends and brunch was invented for just that.

Throughout my brunchventures (brunch + adventures) I have found it difficult to find a dish that combines sweet and savory on one plate. You could argue that I just order two plates (which I have) or to just pick a side, which I have also done. The former can get expensive, especially if I am ordering an a.m. cocktail, which I usually am while the latter leaves me full yet incomplete.

During a recent day-trip to Santa Barbara, I was pleasantly surprised to find the brunch dish I’ve been searching for at Scarlett Begonia, a charming restaurant tucked into the Victoria Court shopping center just off that main drag downtown (State St.).

The sweet and savory came in the form of the Pork Belly Bourbon French Toast; maple-glazed pork belly served with almonds, fresh fruit – blueberries, strawberries – and a poached egg to pair with the thick-cut piece of brioche French toast. The pork belly was generous as well, which I like to see. What a well-balanced meal; definitely not from a nutrition perspective, but we’re not talking about nutrition.

Unfortunately, there were leftovers even after stuffing myself to capacity. I opted not to take the leftovers with us. A meal this good never tastes the same after you’ve nuked it outside of the restaurant.

On the other hand, I’ll make my way back North next weekend to catch the tail end of the Music Academy of the West Festival. You’ll know where to find me in the likely hours of 11 – 2.

We sat outside. I'm a sucker for ambiance. Photo credit: Scarlett Begonia

We sat outside. I’m a sucker for ambiance. Photo credit: Scarlett Begonia

Brunch is my favorite meal of the day. Granted, since I work full-time it’s usually reserved for the weekend, but if I could enjoy a leisurely mid-day meal full of sweet and savory belly-filling items and bottomless coffee, I would. Alas, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I can make this ideal event a treat a few weekends a month, so says my schedule and my wallet. If you’ve dined with me, my tastebuds aren’t the cheapest. I am a sucker for ambiance so long as the food is on par as well.

That said, an ode to two local spots I find myself returning to every month for all of the reasons above and more:

  • Claire’s on Cedros, Solana Beach: I’ve ordered the green scrambles to the creamy benedicts and sweetened carbs (french toast, pancakes, or Claircakes, made with Cinnamon) and have never been disappointed. If I’ve got an extra fiver I’ll add a vanilla latte. On sunnier afternoons  I’ll request a table out back. The restaurant feels like a cozy cafe and is set in an intimate, eco-friendly bungalow. Everything in the place is either upcycled, repurposed or energy efficient and built to make a minimal impact on the environment. They even have electric vehicle parking stalls right out front.
  • Snooze, Hillcrest (and now Del Mar): I have to tip my hat to my best friend, a former Denver transplant for introducing me to this breakfast-only joint. As a chainlet in the Mile High City, its San Diego locations are just as busy, but I don’t mind. The complimentary coffee is strong and the wait is worth it. I usually rotate between their homemade corned beef hash or the breakfast pot pie, though they’ve also got a selection of fun pancakes (like red velvet!) and an extensive Bloody Mary menu. With the Hillcrest location’s roll-up garage windows, high ceilings and fun pod-like booths, I could loll around Snooze for hours.

Snooze, Hillcrest.

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