On a Pink Typewriter

a writer with a hearty appetite & an active lifestyle

Tag: restaurant (page 2 of 7)

Brunch at Cafe Chloe

Guys. IMG_4017

I have a new favorite restaurant, and her name is Chloe.

Too much? Okay. Moving on.

This past Saturday afternoon, a few friends and I met at Cafe Chloe downtown for brunch. I’d never been before, and oh my gosh – it is so adorable! It reminded me of a little Greenwich Village cafe in New York City, and is located right by Petco Park.

I hadn’t had more than a banana and some gatorade since my ten mile run that morning (I was feeling too zapped from the heat),  so I was ready to EAT when I sat down at our table. IMG_3982

There were some sticky buns and other deliciousness sitting on platters at their front counter/bar area that got me excited right off the bat. I didn’t try one so I can’t vouch for the taste, but they sure looked good. It also made me smile noticing their rack of magazines on the wall, labeled “for your reading pleasure” and available (presumably) in case you’re dining alone. That’s how you win over an English major’s heart, people.

We sat inside since it was approximately a million degrees outside this weekend, but they do have a cute (and teeny) little patio area out front.

I started with some water and an iced coffee (free refills, what what!) as I began to peruse the menu. Two friends enjoyed Cafe Chloe’s special lemon lavender mimosas, which looked and sounded incredible. Had I not been so dehydrated, I would have ordered one myself.

The entire brunch menu was enticing (possibly because I was starving), but their basque style eggs eventually sold me. I ordered them poached instead of fried, because I’m that girl at restaurants.

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Poached eggs atop a luxurious bed of sautéed sweet peppers, tomatoes, prosciutto, and pinenuts, with a side of crisp, country bread.

OMG.

Seriously, this blew my mind. I was not expecting such a vibrant plate. Every bite was filled with flavor and for once I didn’t have restaurant order envy.  Sometimes when you order sautéed anything, the dish can be a bit greasy or oily. These were perfect, even for a picky palate like myself.

One of my friends ordered the vanilla pain perdu with fruit compote and creme fraise (aka decadent french toast), and holy moly. It basically looked like dessert for breakfast. Which is totally acceptable during brunch.

I think it’s also important to note that our server was very patient with us, as we were talking loudly and took forever to order because of the aforementioned talking. ;-) Our food was also served pretty quickly, which my hunger appreciated.

I already want to return for restaurant week – they have a pumpkin soup on the menu!

Cafe Chloe

721 9th Avenue

San Diego, CA 92101

(corner of 9th Avenue and G Street)

 

SD locals, what’s your fav brunch place?

 

Sidecar Doughnuts

Good morning!

This weekend was a blur.  I guess that’s what happens when you approach the end of summer, huh? I spent a lot of time with friends, including a post-cardio barre (think Pure Barre meets Flashdance) date for doughuts yesterday.

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Because obviously after working out on Sunday morning, you need a sugar coma with a side of caffeine. Right.

We decided to try Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa (here in Orange County), conveniently located down the street from the barre studio.

I’m not a huge doughnut fan (despite some past evidence to the contrary), but I’ve been dying check out Sidecar for the last few months. I’d been hearing over and over how delicious it is from various sources, and hadn’t had an opportunity to check it out for myself.

First of all, I nearly had a stroke trying to pick which type of doughnut I wanted.

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There were so many interesting flavors and they all looked delicious (and like I’d immediately get some cavities). S’mores, huckleberry, maple bacon, goat cheese and fig….. Hard stop.

I was also overloaded by how cute the shop itself was. I felt like I was wandering into a hipster’s dream.

photo 1 (9)And I didn’t really want to leave.

So, once I pulled myself together, I ordered the one the lady behind the counter said was their best and most popular: the butter and salt doughnut.

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Vanilla bean cake with brown butter glaze and fleur de sel.

Oh my.

You guys. This was ridiculously good. It tasted like a traditional glazed doughnut, but with a salty flavor that was all its own.

Mind you, I’m the person who usually gravitates toward cake doughnuts (the less sugary tasting, the better) or mini chocolate munchkins (should I be near a Dunkin Donuts). Ya know. I’m just more of a savory person, with the exception of pancakes or chocolate chip cookies. And yes I couldn’t stop stuffing this doughnut in my mouth. Somehow I did manage to save half to bring home to my boyfriend to try, because I’m real generous like that, but gosh…. I could definitely have eaten the whole thing.

My friend ordered the buttermilk old fashioned, their take on the classic (<–according to the menu – I actually have no idea what that means or what the classic might be). I had a bite and it was also good, although definitely sweeter than mine.

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I washed my doughnut down with an iced coffee, which was also pretty darn good. I drink my coffee black unless there’s almond milk available, so it makes a difference if a place brews coffee that isn’t bitter or too strong.

Did I mention this was my mid morning snack? It was totally worth it. Sometimes you need that extra treat on Sunday before tackling the work week, you know?

Or, um, on a Monday. ;-)

Sidecar Doughnuts

270 E. 17th Street #18

Costa Mesa, CA 92627

 

 

How do you feel about doughnuts: love ‘em or hate ‘em? OC locals- ever tried Sidecar? What’d you think?

 

Brooklyn Girl Eatery

Good morning, friends!

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I have to tell you all about this amaze-face restaurant I tried last week, Brooklyn Girl Eatery! It’s in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego, which is adorable in its own right. I chatted a little bit with the owner who was at the hostess stand helping seat people, and she shared that the restaurant is actually owned and managed by true blue New Yorkers who relocated here to SoCal. She said they wanted to bring over some of the culinary creativity and freshness they’d seen in the Brooklyn dining scene.

My whole family (including me!) is originally from Brooklyn, and that’s what initially sparked my interest in visiting this restaurant. Since my mama was in town last week, it seemed like a good time to give it a go. And oh my gosh!

You guys, it’s delicious.

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And so stinkin’ cute! Hipster paradise, and the decor is New York City nostalgia at its finest, from the public school chairs at some of the tables to portraits of famous New Yorkers (like Woody Allen).

The whole menu looked great, and I was a bit torn on what to order. I’d be craving a burger that week, though, so I went with their Williams Burger.

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Williams Burger / Williamsburg (i.e., neighborhood in Brooklyn)? Not sure if that’s what they were going for, but that’s what the name reminded me of. ;-)

Totally hit the spot. Not to be dramatic or anything, but I’d say this was the best burger I’ve had in San Diego as of yet.

It was cooked perfectly and topped with some delicious cheddar. I pretty much NEVER get cheese on my burgers anymore since I’m lactose intolerant, but I decided to go big or go home. Yolo. (<–pretty sure that’s not the right use of that term……. cool.)

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I also got a side of succotash, which was such a simple side dish, but I practically licked the bowl. My fellow Trader Joe’s fans, it reminded me of their soycutash (in the frozen section) sautéed with olive oil, only with fava beans instead of soybeans.

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Mmmm.

As for my mom’s meal, she ordered the crab salad. She said it was really tasty, but not that filling for a dinner entree…. she ended up snacking on the complimentary popcorn that was already on the table to make up for it.

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Major presentation points! Clearly I didn’t make that in my own kitchen.

To be fair, my mom had originally wanted to order the burger as well, and I pouted that we needed to order a variety since it was our first taste of Brooklyn Girl. Brat moment.

And no visit to a New Yorker-themed/owned restaurant is complete with cheesecake, now is it?

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I didn’t think so.

Perfect.

I definitely recommend trying Brooklyn Girl! I was very impressed. And it should go without saying that I’m dying to try this place for brunch next. Maybe for my birthday next month?

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Enjoy the rest of your day!

Brooklyn Girl Eatery
4033 Goldfinch Street
San Diego, CA

 

Locals, have you been to Brooklyn Girl Eatery yet? What’d you think?

Haute Cakes For Breakfast

Hello, hello!

IMG_1443How are you guys doing today?

It’s almost Friday, and the first day of spring – hang in there. ;-) And since it’s almost the weekend, that means you’re probably already thinking about brunch.

It’s okay…. I know how you roll.

Well, to help with your daydreams, I thought I’d share my new restaurant obsession with you all: Haute Cakes Caffe in Newport Beach, CA.IMG_1440

I’m up in the Orange County area frequently these days (it’s about an hour north of San Diego), and when  I am, I’m always on the look-out for yummy new-to-me restaurants. A couple OC bloggers I follow on Instagram had posted about Haute Cakes, and I knew I had to give it a try.

I stopped in last Friday for a working breakfast (they have free wifi- win!), and luckily arrived before they got too crowded. I heard a girl say while I was there that they usually have a line (you order your food at the counter and then they bring it out to your table). Apparently everyone in Newport has a work schedule that lets them go to brunch in the middle of a work day?

Anyways, their coffee was  delicious, and they actually have non-dairy milks available. <–Always impressive. Oh, AND they serve breakfast all day!

Instant key to my heart. I just about moved in.

IMG_1441It was just the cutest little restaurant ever!

I ordered one of the breakfast specials: smashed avocado toast, topped with two poached eggs and sea salt, and a side of fresh fruit.IMG_1445

You guys. I literally had to call my mom after cleaning my plate because I was compelled to tell SOMEONE how flippin’ good this stupid-simple breakfast was (and she’s one of the few who will humor me).

Anyways, the sea salt was a nice touch, and they were NOT stingy on ‘cado.

I know what you may be thinking – yes, I certainly could have made avocado toast at home for approximately $1.50 and tried something more creative. But this was raved about on Yelp (along with their pancakes), and I was in an avocado mood. Whatevs.

I’m actually planning to stop there today because I’ll be passing through that area later! Can’t stop, won’t stop.

And with that,  I’m off! Enjoy your day!

 

Do you ever grab breakfast or brunch out during the work week? It felt like a fancy treat to me, because I always make breakfast at home Monday through Friday!

 

*Disclaimer: Haute Cakes Caffe’s ownership has no idea who I am or that I’m writing about them, and didn’t sponsor this post; all opinions are my own.

Dinner at Luna Grill

It’s no secret that I love food. IMG_1352

I mean looooooooooooooooove. As in, I usually take down double the amount of food people twice my height consume in any given meal. And when I’m running a lot, like in half marathon training? Watch out.

Clearly even people who don’t know me have come to recognize this fact. I was recently invited to try dinner at a local Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Luna Grill. This southern California chain was new to me, and I was excited to give it a try when they kindly asked me to stop by.

Pita bread and falafel and hummus, all promised to be freshly made and natural? Sold.

My mom was in town yesterday, so she and I stopped by the Luna Grill location near my apartment and enjoyed some dinner. I ordered a chicken kabob entree, served with pita bread, rice, and salad, and we split some spinach pie (aka spanokopita).IMG_1354IMG_1357

OMG.

If I’m being honest, I was pretty surprised at how yummy the food was, not to mention how fresh it all tasted. And for a hungry girl like myself, my plate was packed! I was actually expecting more of a fast food sort of experience, and this was nothing like that.

I enjoyed my whole meal, and was impressed with how friendly the staff was at this location, too. I’m allergic to cucumbers, which usually means a giant headache at Mediterranean restaurants, but the folks here were accommodating and left off the vegetable of death for me. ;-)

Luna Grill also lists the calories for each item on the menu in plain sight, which I appreciated — particularly because the calorie counts weren’t frightening! I have to admit, I’m not entirely convinced they are 100% accurate judging by the portion size and my own personal nutrition knowledge (my rice serving was pretty generous for the 340 calories they quoted, and topped with their signature safflower oil), but it’s a positive gesture in the right direction nonetheless. I’m all about empowering consumers to making healthier choices.

I’m already planning to stop by again for a falafel wrap, especially now that it’s Lent aka meatless Fridays.

A big thank you to the folks at Luna Grill for inviting me to try their food!

 

What’s your favorite healthy chain restaurant? When I lived on the east coast, I was obsessed with Zoe’s Kitchen, but now Luna Grill might be the west coast winner.

 

 

*DISCLAIMER: Luna Grill compensated the cost of my meal, but, as always, all opinions were 100% my own.

 

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