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Breakfast

Gjelina – Venice, CA

I’ve had Gjelina’s cookbook on my kitchen bookshelf for a few years now and was so excited when I found out it’s just blocks from my girlfriend’s house who I was visiting in Venice.  We went for brunch (great way to get in there if you can’t get a dinner reservation – just show up before 10am) and while the outside patio was already full, we got in no problem in the main dining room.

We ordered an absurd amount of food for the two of us but I couldn’t help myself and had to try a lot seeing as it was my first time.  As generic as it sounds, the fruit plate is a must!  You’re not going to find sorry looking honeydew and pineapple on it, rather nectarines, pink pearl apples, plums, etc.  DE-lish!  We narrowed their huge menu down to the soft scramble with squash blossoms, ricotta and mint, the king oyster mushroom omelette with gruyere, red onion, arugula and lemon and then had to share the lemon buckwheat ricotta pancakes topped with créme fraiche and blueberry compote.  I wasn’t dubbed “The Good Eater” for no reason.  No I’m just dying to go back for dinner!

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Élephante – Santa Monica, CA

The restaurant scene is very different in LA – no surprise there – but when we showed up for brunch at Élephante we were met by a hostess stand on the sidewalk and then directed to the elevator to the roof.  I felt like I was in my 20’s showing up to a club!

The space is beautiful – think Mediterranean meets Cabo – at least that was my take.  Earthy tones and natural materials, cacti, plants, water features, fireplaces, gorgeous central bar and then the view…the restaurant is completely open on one side facing the beach and ocean.  They definitely killed it on the space!

For food we ordered the Green Eggs and Avocado Toast.  Both very good, not super filling, but great flavors and beautiful presentation.  I’d be so curious to see what this place is like at night, not to mention the dinner menu looks delicious.  Go if you can get in:)

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Green Eggs – soft scramble, zucchini, avocado, arugula, parmesan, salsa verde

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Avocado Toast – crispy chili, lemon, sung olds, herbs

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Sadelle’s – New York, NY

I first got wind of this place through an article in Lucky Peach magazine.  I quickly went online to read people’s reviews and honestly wasn’t sure what to expect.  Some people raved while others claimed it was grossly overrated.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous that I might get the stink eye if I didn’t know what I wanted when it was my turn to order but a year later my husband and I finally ventured in (it took a year because we are out-of-towners – we’re not that lazy) and ate in rather than ordered to go.  What a beautiful space!  It took me forever to decide what I was going to get but I finally committed to the Leo – eggs with house salmon and caramelized onions topped with créme fraîche, fresh dill and chives.  Yes!  Oh…and I forgot to mention my bagel and cream cheese on the side.  I couldn’t help myself.  I mean the whole reason we went was for the bagels right?!  My husband got the house salmon which was actually the most beautiful tower of bagel accoutrements – house salmon, tomato, cucumber, onions, capers, dill, chives and avocado.  I’m already looking forward to going back this winter so I guess that tells you what I think about it.

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The Wandering Goose – Seattle, WA

Why don’t I go here more often?!  This place is ridiculously good.  I was in the mood for a biscuit sandwich this time which didn’t disappoint.  I added homemade sausage to it and ate every crumb on my plate.  I’ve had their Little Gem Salad with fried chicken in the past and that was equally as scrumptious just not as breakfast savory.  Don’t hold back here – let yourself be tempted by the gorgeous cakes and treats – just don’t count your calories.  You’ll want to try them all!

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The Easy – egg & cheese biscuit sandwich with sausage added

Cheeky’s – Palm Springs, CA

I’ve heard people rave about this place for a long time now but haven’t been to the desert in quite some time.  I recently stayed in old Palm Springs and made a point to go here on my way out of town.  I think no matter what time of day there’s always going to be a wait so don’t expect to walk right in.  Especially since they don’t take reservations.  They have a lovely deck area where you can sit and enjoy a nice coffee or drink while you’re waiting though.

I had the hardest time deciding what to order.  I honestly I think I could have closed my eyes and pointed to anything and I would have been pleased.  Our waitress pointed out that the top portion of the menu were the weekly specials whereas the bottom half were the items that never rotate.  That definitely helped me narrow it down.  I finally decided on the Thai chili roasted pork over steamed rice topped with fried eggs and sesame.  When do you ever see that on a menu?  My girlfriend ordered the french toast with blackberry, honey mascarpone and black pepper so I felt better knowing I could have a bite of hers.  Both were excellent and couldn’t have been more different.  Mine savory, spicy and hearty, hers sweet with the most perfect balance thanks to the black pepper on top.  Let me also not forget to mention the tots with homemade ranch.  Who could say no to those?!  DE-licious!!!  I can’t wait to go back.

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Thai chili roasted pork over steamed rice, fried eggs and sesame

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French toast with blackberry, honey mascarpone, black pepper

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Tots with homemade ranch

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The Fat Hen – Seattle, WA

Ballard sure has some adorable restaurants tucked into it.  This being one of them.  We went here on a nice Sunday afternoon for brunch.  There was a long wait so I had plenty of time to decide what I was going to order.  I immediately knew – the lentil salad with warm lentils, a soft poached egg (I’m a sucker for poached eggs on just about anything), lardon and celery on top of spinach.  Holy moly this was tasty!  Definitely satisfied my insane hunger after the hour wait and I would recommend it to everyone!  Next time I might try one of their egg bakes…two eggs in tomato with sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella?  Yes please!  Adorable space, lovely staff and delicious food.

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Jackson’s Corner – Bend, OR

What an adorable restaurant!  If I lived in Bend I’m certain the staff would know me by name.  I went for breakfast and had the hardest time ordering. I settled on the Pesto & Eggs, two of my favorites so together this dish sounded like heaven.  The Sparrow baguette it was served on was so tasty and provided the perfect pedestal for the stars of the dish.  I did myself a favor and added bacon to my order.  Excellent!  I normally stick to water but I couldn’t help but notice all their kombuchas on tap.  What?!  Brilliant!  I got the non-flavored one (I can’t remember the name now) and it was exactly what I wanted.  They’re very friendly and let you try as many as you’d like.  I would love to try their lunch and dinner options.  Next time!

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