Spring in Santa Barbara, with Two Brunches

7583918400_IMG_0150One of the best things about living in California is how much variety this lovely state has. Last weekend we toddled off for a whirlwind weekend in Santa Barbara. It’s only a couple of hours away from home base in North Hollywood. We were celebrating my birthday. My sister and I have birthdays two days apart so the end of April is always a great excuse to head to Wine Country (any Wine Country, really). So the four of us popped up to Santa Barbara and began what I hope will be the first of many weekends exploring up there.

So today, I’m going to talk about food. Mostly about breakfast. Two fantastic brunches two mornings in a row.

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Firstly on out way up, the husband and I stopped at The BoatHouse at Hendry Beach. This little spot might have a long wait on a Saturday morning, but it sure is pretty. They have a big outdoor patio right on the water. The menu is filled with breakfast classics and some nice looking cocktails. Their Blood Orange Mimosa was really lovely. A little sweeter than a normal mimosa, yummy and perfect for a Saturday noon-time.

I went for the Signature Breakfast, which was a version of an Eggs Benedict on Crab Cakes with a Chipotle Hollandaise. It was very very very good. I think I inhaled it in about 45 seconds. Part of that was, well, the wait was pretty long. But it’s a delicious dish. The crab cakes were sweet and light and the hollandaise balanced it perfectly. I’m also always a sucker anytime I get random avocado on a dish. I loved it and would order it again in a heartbeat.

My partner in crime had Huevos Hope Ranch and a Blood Orange Margarita. Both of these were similarly immediately inhaled. I would say that I think his Margarita was better than my Mimosa, but I think I won with my entree.

I think if you got there a little earlier, the wait wouldn’t be so bad, but they definitely estimate conservatively. We were told an hour to an hour and a half and sat down after about 35 minutes. They don’t take reservations for brunch. Definitely a good spot.

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Sunday Brunch was at the Finch and Fork in downtown Santa Barbara. I’d read about the Finch and Fork a few times when doing a wee bit of scouting for this trip. This place was really great. We got there pretty early (for a Sunday) to fortify for the day, since we were going to be off to wineries afterwards. No wait for a table at 9:30am meant I was drinking mimosas before 10am. Always my preferred choice! The restaurant is inside a hotel and was very cute. Weirdly, also, the hotel smells amazing. All the food we had was good. I did a standard breakfast, scrambled eggs, toast, sausage. My Partner in Crime went for the Pork Belly Benedict and gave me a bite. I nearly stole the entire thing. It was sensational. There is a bit of a char on the Pork Belly which gave it this unctuous smoky barbecue-like feel without being overwhelming. It was just the right amount of heat. Completely great. Our dining companions went with the Short Rib Sweet Potato Hash, and The Chop, which was a salmon salad with an added egg (per my suggestion, because everything is better with an added egg. Pro tip). They were both super happy with the food, but my Partner in Crime definitely won with the Benedict. Mimosas were strong, the Bloody Mary’s were apparently great. It was a perfect start to a lovely day.

Alas, no food pictures. Too much focus on the Mimosas, but definitely a good spot. It started to get really busy around 10:30am so definitely something to consider when planning your timing. But, they do take reservations so maybe plan ahead? And definitely order that Benedict.

And then after that…the wine. So much wine. To be continued in another post.