A morning at Snooze

The first time I heard of Snooze they were doing a fundraiser in support of Lambda Archives, a great organization committed to preserving the history of San Diegans instrumental in LGBT equality.  The second thing I heard was that they recycle or compost 90% of their waste.  With no legislative mandate.  And that was before I ever sat down for a meal.  Wait, there’s more.  The ‘more’ in this case is the people who work there–Kiersten, Justin, Sharon, Shanna and Julie–the perfectly wonderful team we’ve had the pleasure to meet since we started dropping in on one of San Diego’s best early-morning breakfast spots. Let’s get on to the good stuff…

There are a lot of great reasons to go to Snooze.  Probably the first is the tone the entire staff sets for your day.  They are upbeat, friendly, helpful, warm and genuinely seem to care about their role in starting a weekend day off right.  I am not saying this just because we now go there almost every other weekend.  The first time we went–probably more than six months ago–the foursquare tip I left was about our server Justin (what is Foursquare? Why use it?).  He couldn’t know that his friendly early-morning persona would bring us back several times, overcome the one off-meal (out of dozens) we’ve had there and set the tone for becoming our favorite breakfast place that opens before Urban Solace. As I’ve explained, service matters.  And great service is the difference between getting a person’s discretionary income and not (plus having them tell all their friends about your bunk, unfriendly service).  But service only carries you so far, so let’s get to the food.

Off-menu pancake that has become my favorite – bacon and jalapeno

This pancake first made its appearance as a ‘pancake of the day,’ which is the name for some random creation the folks in back come up with each week.  I liked it so much I now order it every time I go.  If you are the type of person who likes a little sweet and savory with a kick at breakfast, this option wins.   It’s really too big to order with anything else, but that can be a good thing (note: not big as in “Hash House big”–which would be 15 inches or so, by the way–but large enough to share at a table of four as a breakfast app if you like).  In addition to the specialty pancake, they let you split the many eggs benedict variations on the menu.  If, for example, you want to try the traditional shaved ham and a non-traditional lox benny, they will accommodate you.  Here’s the half I chose

They let you split your bennies, which is a very helpful option

And better, I wish I could say more about this next pancake, though it kind of speaks for itself.  It’s a sweet potato pancake, but nothing like a latke.  This one has all the fluffy goodness of a traditional pancake, but is made with ginger and cinnamon and comes with ginger butter, pecans and a nice caramel syrup.  It sounds sweet, and is, but the ginger cuts it a little and I highly recommend it.

By far and away the best thing on the menu–if you like freakishly good pancakes, I mean

This is the signature pancake.  Really something you must try.  My recommendation is to get a “flight” of pancakes.  This is three approximately 6-inch pancakes of your choosing served up on an oval plate.  Then, if you have a breakfast companion, coax them to order either one of the bennies or something off the French toast menu.  It’s a great way to go.  Plus, and I almost forgot this, the owner is uber-passionate about coffee.  Read the story about his shacking up with a Central American family while he was exploring coffee.  It’s a ridiculously good cup of coffee, in a nice heavy cup with a slightly wide mouth, which seems to matter for some reason.  Go early.  We always get there around 7am because by 8am on the weekends there is a wait, and a healthy one at that.

One last little bit of humor.  I found this gem in the restroom

Saving all kinds of water with some humor

Yet another reason to support Snooze.  For every person who says they want companies to recycle and to care about their staff and to support the community, THIS.IS.YOUR.PLACE.  Seriously.  Support them so that other restaurants will decide to follow suit.  And tell them you like the composting program and the outstanding service and the commitment to the local community.  Everybody wins! Thanks for reading.

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