Breakfast at Chocolat

I took a trip to San Diego with my gal pals Keisha and Synthia (girls' trip!) and we ate well during our weekend jaunt.

For one of our breakfast meals we ate at a quaint creperie called Chocolat which had a cute cow theme. I loved the decor and seating - mix of countertop and small round tables with square cushion block seats.

Not only did they serve fresh, delicious crepes (savory and sweet) but they also had an extensive gelato selection and gelato cocktails menu. Yum!

The three of us split a nutella crepe and I had a simple butter croissant sandwich with ham and cheese. With some freshly brewed joe, delish! There's something about pulling apart a toasted croissant that is as fun as it is tasty. I love the flaky texture and the way it melts in your mouth. Though I'm not fond of ham in sandwiches, this ham was a good thickness and texture. As expected, the nutella crepe was sweet and made extra sweet by the thick coat of powdered sugar on top.

Good thing we had a hike lined up for after our breakfast.

Zip, Zap, ZIN!

I yelp! Do you yelp? Well, you should. Because there are many splendid perks to yelping. A recent great example is one day prior to a zinfandel tasting event at Wine World I received an email from yelp inviting me to the shindig at no cost. And I got to bring a guest.

The event was called Zinfandel Grand Tasting and in a nutshell it was three hours of zinfandels mostly from Sonoma County paired with a delicious food spread from Daniel's Broiler, Chandler's Crabhouse, and Spazzo Italian Grill.

Let me start by describing Wine World in one word - WOW. The selection, store layout, and prices were all incredible. There was even a Teatro Zinzanni display in the middle of the store. And now spirits are sold there too and I saw an entire back wall full of them!

The event was held in a room towards the back of the store and when I walked in my face lit up like a kid in a candy store. In the middle of one room (there were two connected rooms - one for the wine tasting tables and the other for food/espresso seating) was a table set up with huge cheese/fruit/cracker plates and along that room were tables set up by wineries that had at least 3 types of their wines to taste. The process was to grab a program that listed all of the present wineries and the wines they had for folks to taste and an empty wine glass...and you can figure out the rest.

My guest, foodie blog partner, and roommate (just can't get enough quality time with her!) started out methodically with the first table but soon randomized which table we went to for wine tastings. And within 30 minutes of us being there, the food was setup and we quickly zipped on over there, got in line, and proceeded to pile up our plates with food. Some of the foods that were there were a ravioli in a brown sugar sage sauce (drool), crab legs (so fresh), tomato bruschetta, prawns, roast beef sliders, sushi, and more (nom, nom, nom).

After chatting it up with the wine producers and drinking and eating to our hearts delight Keisha suggested we walk on over to nearby Molly Moon's to end our lovely afternoon with our favorite dessert. As I've said before, a day that ends in Molly Moon's is, by my definition, a FABULOUS one, and thank you to yelp, Wine World, and ZAP for a wonderful time at the event.

Meander's Kitchen, West Seattle

If you meet me and talk to me for more than 5 minutes, you will quickly find out that I love food. And if you've ever gone out to brunch with me you will know that my favorite brunch item is eggs benedict. Lastly, if you're my eating partner-in-crime, Keisha, you will know that the best eggs benedict I have ever had is on Roche Harbor at Lime Kiln Cafe.

My colleague, Christina, lives in West Seattle. I almost moved there too last year, but I digress. She had been raving about a new-ish brunch spot called Meander's Kitchen and I had been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to check it out. When she sent me a picture text of her meal there last weekend and I just about drooled all over myself I knew that I had to go there soon. So the following weekend Christina and I set up a brunch date so I can experience this place for myself.

I had some preconceived notions about Meander's Kitchen, from Yelp reviews and Christina's experiences there: that it would be a tiny, smoke-filled room with rude waitstaff and you'd have to wait two days to be seated and have your food ready. What I got instead was an overall pleasant experience! Christina was kind enough to get there before me and secure a table and order our food. So when I arrived to that area, I quickly found parking, walked into a larger-than-expected restaurant (I'm told that the room we ate in was the addition), friendly service, and food that arrived within 20 minutes of ordering it.

As for the meal itself, it was pretty darn tasty. The hashbrowns had a crunch to them and though good by themselves were definitely magical dipped in the homemade ketchup-Tabasco Chipotle mixture I had created. The eggs benedict looked pretty small compared to what I'm used to and one of them had a very small sad-looking piece of ham on it, but were seasoned perfectly and had a great texture once the yolk started running down everything. I scarfed down my meal and was left full and satisfied, and not too full which is often the case.

I hear that Saturday before 12pm can get pretty crowded, but after that it's easier to get seated. We went around 12:30pm. And they are also open 10pm - 4am on the weekends, perfect for a fourth meal after a night of partying.