Buzz popped into the recently opened Snooze, an A.M.Eatery, to meet a friend for a late breakfast. The place hops at 10:30 on a Tuesday morning–so get your name on the waiting list since they seat when all of your party arrives. It’s a big fun room, with seating that includes a counter, booths and casual banquettes. In 2006, Snooze woke up in Denver and has locations in Colorado; San Diego is their first out of that state.
The menu includes eggs and pancakes, both with twists and liberties taken in name and flavors. Niman Ranch cage free eggs come in a variety of possibilities. A three egg omelet or scramble ($8.5) allows a choice of three fillings—everything from bacon, sausage, pulled pork, soyrizo, salmon, prosciutto to roasted garlic, spinach, caramelized onions, and arugula, and don’t forget various cheeses. A stack of crisp topped hash browns come with most of the egg concoctions.
My Tuscan Benedict ($9), one of many riffs on eggs Benedict, arrives with two lovely, runny-yolk poached eggs, perched on small slices of ciabatta bread and a “ragout of tomatoes, white beans, kale and squash” with cream cheese hollandaise. Unfortunately, the ragout needs to be more than just steamed vegetables with little if any herbs or seasoning–the flavors don’t meld. Snooze ought to call their sauces of either cream cheese or smoked cheddar cheese what they are—cheese sauces–NOT hollandaise since neither resembles the ethereal sauce of butter, egg yolks and lemon juice.
Check the menu here and you’ll find a BLT, burger and even fish tacos if eggs and pancakes aren’t your thing. Though Buzz didn’t try the pancakes, Keli Dailey did and Amy T. Granite tried a few other items. 3940 Fifth Avenue, (619) 500-3344, Open from 6:30am to 2:30pm weekdays and 7am to 2:30pm weekends.
Change is part of life and on Fifth Avenue between Washington and University change is redefining life for some of Hillcrest’s locally owned restaurants. Not long ago Kemosabe and Corvette Diner left the area and now, across the street in the complex that houses the Landmark Theater and 24 Hour Fitness, Pizza Nova closes at the end of August after 17 years (and a doubling of rent) while next door Banana Leaf that served southern Indian food (owned by Bombay formerly in the space and now across the street), just closed.
Apparently the owners/developers decided to up the rents to be more in line with the current going rates on the street–anyone interested in $3.50 a square foot for these spaces? Interested parties can check with Location Matters for more information.
The new leases for the expected winter opening of Colorado’s Snooze (breakfast and brunch) and soon-to-open Texas transplant Freebirds World Burrito, (owned by the Tavisock Group out of Florida) are both just above $3, not $3.50. But in this economy, one wonders if prospective tenants (locals or out-of-town franchises) are beating down the doors to get into spots like Banana Leaf or Pizza Nova. Buzz hopes the area doesn’t discourage locals trying to compete with new franchises. Time will tell.
At the corner of Washington and Fifth, Brazen BBQ Smokehouse & Bar opened this week. It’s a casual spot with patio tables, a wash sink for sticky hands in the dining room, a full bar and eager staff. This is the soft opening so be patient if you try the place in the next few weeks as they work out the kinks and add menu items. Buzz popped in to see the place. Here you won’t find parboiled meat, just smoked. While I was waiting for my to-go order (3 meats and 3 sides $20.99) a big basket of chicken wings waited its turn in the smoker that’s right behind the cashiers. 441 Washington at Fifth Ave., 619-816-1990, closed Tuesdays, open daily from 11am
Finally, heard on the street that City Deli on the corner of Sixth and University is up for sale.
Two new additions to San Diego’s restaurant scene: Mukashi in Bankers HIll at the corner of Nutmeg and Fifth finally got their door open last week. Hope to try it soon. Call for dinner reservations: 619-298-1329.
Cardamom Cafe & Bakery in North Park is the newest addition for breakfast, lunch and bakery goods. They’re located at the interesection of 30th and Upas. They serve breakfast all day–a short menu of eggs, pancakes, cardamom sour cream coffee cake along with sandwiches and salads in the afternoon. Buzz looks forward to trying both places.
Once again, chef Gavin Kaysen garnered a top culinary award. This time it was the James Beard award for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Quite an honor as it is given to a chef, under 30 years old, who “displays an impressive talent and is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in the years to come.” In case you missed Kaysen in San Diego when he cooked at the Rancho Bernardo Inn’s El Bizcocho, now you’ll find him doing his magic at Cafe Boulud in New York.