It’s Saturday, about 10:30 a.m., and you and two friends have just finished a 2-hour hike in Trabuco Canyon. What do you do next? Breakfast, of course. But where? Fortunately the planning member in our group had given that very question some thought the previous night and, prior to hitting the trail, stopped by our destination to put our name on “the list” at Snooze.
This very hip – and very tasty – breakfast eatery is located in Tustin. Founded in early 2006 in Denver, Colorado, by brothers Jon and Adam Schlegel, Snooze is spreading its tentacles and now has locations in California, Arizona and Texas – with more in the works.
Striving to be part of the community where each restaurant is located, and being a good corporate citizen, the company donates 1 percent of sales from each location through in-kind goods (A.K.A. pancakes!) and services. They also recycle or compost about 90 percent of their waste, helping to create a better environment for future generations to come.
The folks at Snooze have proven that you can do good and still deliver on food and an amazing breakfast experience that has people waiting 3 hours. And no, that’s not a typo – the wait is 3 hours on an average Saturday or Sunday, and 1 to 2 hours on weekdays. If you want to avoid those types of queues, try to get there before 9 a.m., or after 1:30 p.m., when the rush has died down just a bit. If you do end up having to wait, endless cups of self-serve coffee are available at the entrance – and it’s the kind of coffee you’re going to want more than one cup of.
Just what are people waiting for this long to experience? An eclectic and energizing menu and space with food and drink that will have you planning your next visit halfway through your first. Their Morning Cocktails menu is the way I recommend starting your meal. There are 15 different drinks on it, such as the Boss Hog Bloody, made with a bacon infused Elijah Craig Bourbon and house Bloody Mix … mmm bacon infused bourbon (doing my best Homer Simpson impression); the Pomegranate Marg, made with Espolón Blanco Tequila (or get it spicy with Ancho Reyes), Pomegranate Shrub, Orange Liqueur, House Sour and Lime Squeeze; or the Spiced Apple Mimosa with Snooze Sparkling, Apple Juice, Ancho Reyes Liqueur, cinnamon and lemon. With these options, you’ll have to remind yourself you came for the food.
And what food it is! Our party went more the traditional route and ordered the corned beef hash, Snooze Classic, and a three-egg omelet. The corned beef hash dish comes with Snooze’s signature shredded hash mixed with artisan corned beef, caramelized poblanos and onions, and is topped with two perfectly cooked eggs and a side of toast. The Snooze Classic comes with farm fresh cage-free eggs – and it does make a difference in how happy your laying hen is, believe me – cooked any style and includes your choice of ham, bacon, sausage, chorizo, pulled pork, chicken sausage or soyrizo. The three-egg omelet, with the aforementioned humanely harvested eggs, comes with your choice of three fillings from a long list. The last two dishes were served with hash browns cooked unlike any hash browns I’ve seen before, but definitely sumptuous, and your choice of a side of bread. We all opted for the sourdough, which was perfectly toasted and came with a side of jam, which you’ll have to ask for but was undoubtedly some of the best tasting jam I’ve had.
But don’t let my group’s sudden lack of adventure keep you from trying some of Snooze’s many other delicious options. They offer six different benedicts with combinations of flavors you won’t have seen before. More into pancakes and such? Try their OMG! French Toast, made from Bread & Cie brioche stuffed with mascarpone then grilled and topped with vanilla crème, salted caramel, fresh strawberries and toasted coconut. Or go for the blueberry danish pancakes, which are buttermilk pancakes topped with blueberry coulis, sweet cream and almond streusel surrounding a center of lemony cream cheese filling. I saw both of these dishes at neighboring tables and had to stop myself from staring and asking for a bite. I’ll be ordering at least one of them on my return trip, which will be very soon.
To top it all off, the service was second to none. Our server, Miquel, anticipated everything we might need. There can be a slight wait for your meal as there are numerous tables of hungry patrons anticipating the food coming out of Snooze’s kitchen, but your patience will be rewarded.
3032 El Camino Real, Tustin
Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.