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Fremont Diner – Sonoma, CA

Once upon a time this spot used to be a secret but…that’s not so much the case anymore.  The line will prove it too!  But don’t be afraid, people are there for a reason and it’s worth the wait.  Just grab a coffee, iced tea or malt and make the most of it:)

I was there recently for brunch and was overwhelmed by all the tasty options on the menu.  What to order – what to order!  I finally decided on the chilaquiles.  That seems to be my go-to whenever I see it on a menu.  I’m so glad I decided to add the “smoked pork” for $3.50…worth every cent!!!  What a scrumptious breakfast/brunch/lunch!  I couldn’t even finish it but I didn’t leave overly stuffed and I would definitely go back for this again.  My friend got the “shrimp & grits” which were just as amazing.  There was so much more to both these dishes than expected.  Packed with flavor and complexity…the first bite left us moaning, “Mmmmm…Mmmmm!”:)

The “chicken & waffle” and “breakfast toast” had me salivating as well.  Next time:)

Rotisserie & Wine – Napa, CA

I’m a huge fan of Tyler Florence already but this just confirmed it even more.  Located in the heart of Napa with a patio facing the Napa River, he’s opened another fantastic restaurant that is the perfect spot for any occasion.  A thanks to his wife Tolan, his personal interior decorator, the decor couldn’t be more or a perfect marriage with the food.  Rustic yet refined, it’s a comfortable spot that has managed to still be current.  Whether it’s a casual lunch (like i enjoyed) or a birthday get together, you’ve got to try it!

The best surprise ever was the warm cornbread that came out before our meal.  I seriously could have eaten tons of it but had to remind myself of all the food coming.  My husbands R&W cheeseburger looked incredible.  With the fried egg on top it was a little hard to share so lucky him…he got it all to himself.  My salad was perfect for the middle of the day, especially since we had the deviled eggs as starters.

And don’t forget about his tempting kitchen store next door – Tyler Florence West Coast Kitchen Essentials.  I could spend all day in there:)  Here’s where you can get your hands on the pots and pans Chef Florence uses in his restaurants and at home as well as other top brands.   His spice rubs and marinades make amazing hostess and holiday gifts.  I’d be amazed if you walked out without purchasing anything:)

Complementary cornbread to start your meal with…yum!

Deviled eggs with fried capers, shallots and thyme oil

Chop salad – pulled chicken, bacon, avocado, jack cheese and a garlic vinaigrette

R&W Cheeseburger with an added fried egg

Keedy’s – Palm Desert, CA

Like it says on the menu…this place truly is “A Blast From The Past”.  Established in 1957 I don’t think too much has changed since then and it’s a good thing.  That’s where this old-fashioned diner gets it’s charm.  There are NO frills here but if you’re looking for the best breakfast in town (remember, no frills), this is your spot.  I go every time I’m in town and usually order the exact same thing.  Chorizo and eggs with well done hash browns and flour tortillas.  My mom and husband are devoted fans of their popular thin pancakes.  I’m just not a pancake girl but if I were, this would be the place to get them.  Next time you’re in the desert, this is your spot.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

Last May my husband and I joined our good friends Jen (of Sweet Jennies) and John for a cooking class/demonstration at The Fork at Point Reyes located on the Giacomini family owned dairy farm.

I had never been to a dairy farm nor did I understand how exactly they functioned but I learned a TON and now have even more respect for the hard workers that keep them functioning.  I also have a new respect for the cheese that they produce.  It takes some serious TLC and when done right it’s absolutely delicious.

We were encouraged to try the rind on every type and I have to say, I now enjoy eating it even more than I did before.  There’s more depth and complexity in it.  The box below is the Taste of Point Reyes which I ordered as a surprise for my husband for Christmas this year.  Their Original Blue changed his perception of blue cheese forever and I’m so glad:)  I highly recommend all of their cheese for you or as a gift for someone else.

*I’ve also included some photos of our day at the dairy farm

Scala’s Bistro – San Francisco, CA

I definitely have favorite breakfast spots in SF but this one is new to me and a place I would love to go back to…if not for breakfast, for lunch or dinner.  Executive Chef Jen Biesty is a former Top Chef contestant as well as her pastry chef, Tim Nugent.

One of my favorite breakfast items is chilaquiles.  Tortilla chips smothered in tomatillo sauce, ranchero sauce and créme fraiche baked to perfection.  This particular recipe has two poached eggs on top and was exactly what I was hoping for!  Yummmm!

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