Snooze – Hillcrest

Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary but I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Just in case you haven’t heard, a fabulous new breakfast/brunch spot has opened up in Hillcrest. I’m almost hesitant to tell you about it because I will be sad when the wait becomes super long as word gets out. On the flip side, I want them to have lots of crowds that stick around so they’re successful, because I’m pretty sure they’ve just become my favorite place to eat breakfast. Ever.

Snooze first entered my world when we were in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. When we’re out of town, I like to make sure that I have plenty of food options so we’re not leaving meals to chance. Leaving things to chance is how you end up at weird places by the side of the road or across the street from your hotel. Yes, sometimes you discover a hole in the wall worth remembering. Other times, you end up at a greasy diner grumbling because you’ve “wasted” a meal on bad food. When this happens, I’m actually a little grump until the next meal or snack makes up for it. Yup, I’m a total dream to travel with. At least now you know it.

Anyway, I found Snooze, read good things about it, and discovered it wasn’t too far from where we’d be staying. They don’t take reservations and we had a fairly large group, but I was determined to make it happen. Long story short, it was delicious and what I remembered most was that they had a pancake flight on the menu. Three different flavored pancakes on one plate so you didn’t have to choose just one. It’s a brilliant idea.

I wasn’t able to attend any of the fundraising media breakfasts Snooze held in San Diego before their official opening, but Bread and Butter PR was kind enough to arrange a time for us to come in and see if the food was as good as I remembered.

People – I dare say it was better.

Our lovely and totally sweet server, Julie, went over the basics of the menu with us and brought us coffee to get started. When I mentioned how excited I was about the pancake flight, she told us that you can also order half orders of French toast, two kind of eggs benedict for each plate (since they come two to an order) and just about any side you want. This knowledge completely changed our ordering strategy. We stuck with coffee and didn’t go for a cocktail since we were also going to the San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival Grand Tasting in just a few hours. The lightweight in my wanted to focus on food and not booze.

Of course, I ordered the pancake flight. Julie brought us a surprise first: one pancake of the day, which was a fluffy, almond buttermilk pancake with almonds, caramel, and a persimmon compote. This meant I could choose three additional pancake flavors for my flight. I went with the Red-Eye Velvet and Pineapple Upside Down pancakes, and then a sweet potato pancake on Julie’s recommendation. I also ordered a side of corned beef hash because I really wanted to try it, I wanted a bit of meat to go with my carb overload, and this would free up Travis’ order for something else. A side of hash is not on the menu, but we found they were super nice letting us order things that would make us happy. I really, really love this in a restaurant.

Travis couldn’t decide between the Sandwich I Am (breakfast sandwich on a pretzel roll) or an eggs benedict. We confirmed we could order just a pretzel roll (I am now a sucker for pretzel rolls) so Travis went with a classic Ham Benedict III and a Bella! Bella! Benny.

The pancakes were light, fluffy, tender and amazing. I know the pineapple one is one of the most popular pancakes, but it was my least favorite. Nothing was wrong with it, I just didn’t love it as much. The almond buttermilk pancake was my favorite – I think because it was just slightly almond flavored, but light and tender. Oh, and covered in a caramel sauce. The sweet potato pancake was a surprise. I never would have ordered a sweet potato pancake, but it turned out to be my second favorite. Not overwhelmingly sweet potato-y or too sweet, just a good pancake. The Red-Eye Velvet was like eating chocolate cake. Which I love, but it felt a little naughty eating it for breakfast. However, because you can also order a single pancake, I think it would be a perfect choice for breakfast dessert! With so many amazing flavors of pancakes, I am eternally grateful for pancake flights. There should be more food flights available, don’t you think?

Travis loved his eggs benedicts, but the classic ham version was his winner. I was slightly pouty he didn’t go for more adventurous pickings, but I’m glad he ignored me because he was so pleased with the Ham Benedict III. The Bella! Bella! was good, with the prosciutto and ciabatta bread (from Bread & Cie!) underneath, but the cream cheese hollandaise was a little too rich and overwhelming. Travis was also intrigued that he could slip the yolk out of the poached egg white and it stayed intact. I attribute it to the freshness of the egg: it’s something our chicken eggs would do but I’m pretty sure the older grocery store eggs would break apart. The yolk did not stay intact after I flipped it onto the corned beef hash, in case you were wondering.

You can tell the corned beef hash did not come from a can. There are tasty bits of corned beef mixed in with shreds of potato. A plate of this, two eggs, and a pretzel roll would make a delicious breakfast plate. I had a plate of hash, an egg yolk, and half a pretzel roll, but I think the experience was pretty similar. There is a corned beef hash plate on the menu, but it comes with toast or tortillas. I bet the tortillas would be good, but I’m also betting they would let you sub in a pretzel roll.

Things I want to order next time: French toast, different eggs benedicts, more pancakes.

Hillcrest is a bit of a drive for us on weekend mornings, but if we’re going to leave the house for food, we might as well go where our tummies will be happiest, right?

Have you been to Snooze yet? Are you planning to (because I really think you should)?

Snooze A.M. Eatery on Urbanspoon


12 responses to “Snooze – Hillcrest

  1. I love beautiful food! These look amazing…….and really delicious too!

  2. Oh good to know about the half order of french toast! I definitely am coming back soon. Yummy memories
    “Other times, you end up at a greasy diner grumbling because you’ve “wasted” a meal on bad food.” –this is so me. And I get really grumpy about it too

    • Ah, glad I’m not the only one who gets grumpy over bad meals!

      I found that Snooze was very accommodating to my “but what if I’d like just…” questions. I always asked if we could order something alone or differently, but they always said yes! I’m already envisioning my next order – some way to combine bites of sweet and savory for breakfast. Mmm…

  3. I like that you can really customize your meal here. The pancakes here are awesome! Jake and I shared a peanut butter chocolate pancake and I wanted to marry it. We shared sweet and savory things so it was perfect!

    I get grumpy about bad food, too! It puts me in a funky mood.

  4. great post!

    my sis just went here and said it was amazing! i like the idea of a pancake ‘flight’ as well! i like having more choices too!

  5. Thanks for sharing your coveted brunch spot with us! I would definitely go for the almond pancake with caramel on top, but am relieved to know I could also choose two more with the flight!

  6. I’ve been away from San Diego for four years now and am returning in January! I used to live in University Heights so I will definitely be going to Snooze with my wife for a breakfast! Thanks for the post!

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