Category Archives: Breaking the Chain

Breaking the Chain: Savory Cafe

This post is part of a series I’m doing called “Breaking the Chain”. Check out previous broken chains like White Elephant, Rúla Búla, Park View Cafe, The Old Place Cornell and Craft & Commerce.

Pancakes. Just the word makes me feel oh-so-happy! I’m always in search of new forms of pancakes, and while these aren’t specifically NEW to me, they’re noteworthy enough that I’m devoting an entire blog to them.
Savory Cafe and Bakery in Ventura. I. LOVE. Ventura. I could honestly spend my life there eating at Andria’s, eating at the Taj, eating at Savory, eating at… you get the picture. Ventura is a cesspool of deliciousness. Yeah, cesspool and deliciousness don’t go together. Deal with it.
We sat on the covered porch, warmed from the chilly marine layer by toasty heating lamps. I was warm enough to take off my superawesomecool arm warmers.
This is actually a picture from a vegan place in Colorado – I just wanted to display my superawesomecool arm warmers.
I found what I wanted immediately. Actually, I found it before we even arrived. I have this habit of reading menus online for fun. It comes in handy at such times as this.
The lighting sucked on my side of the table, but here’s the general idea…
…and here’s the close up! Sweet potato pancakes spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, covered in a rich whipped cream and topped with candied spicy pecans. Oh. Yes. These pancakes weren’t dense, the way my vegan sweet potato pancakes sometimes turn out, but light and fluffy, and it’s impossible to keep from overstuffing yourself unless you have great self control, like me.

That’s such a lie. I demolished the plate.
Along with the three thick strips of crispy bacon that came with. They melted in my mouth. I fell into the happiest brunch food coma of my entire life.

Savory, thank you for being you.


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Breaking the Chain: Craft & Commerce

This post is part of a series I’m doing called “Breaking the Chain”. Check out previous broken chains like White Elephant, Rúla Búla, Park View Cafe and The Old Place Cornell.

I spent last weekend down in San Diego working at the ArtWalk, and while I only got one chance to blog, I got PLENTY of chances to eat. Mainly, they were all here:
Craft & Commerce: The most amazing gastropub I’ve ever been to. This little place has exposed brick, literary genius written all over the walls, and when you use their bathroom, you’re treated to MORE literary genius via books on tape. I happened to stop in whilst Pride and Prejudice was being read by some lovely British voice-over.
Also, this place is kind of popular. It was JAM PACKED the entire time we were working the booth across the street. Girls come to flirt, boys show up to pretend that they’re more mature than they really are… “I’m twenty-sssss….. thirty-eight…” (and yes, I actually witnessed a boy attempting that one while he was chatting up a cougar), and superheroes come to box, like the man in red and blue above.
They serve incredibly unique food, such as the pickled cucumber slices, watermelon and jicama. I do not like jicama yet, but I only have twelve more tries until I do, according to scientific research. (Scientific research WAS conducted! I recall reading it, I just can’t find where I read it. You’ll have to trust me on this one…)
The mixologists (Do NOT call them bartenders! They are trained professionals! Also, EXCELLENT at what they do!) all wear suspenders, and thick books rest upon each table. My genius friend Kim, who recently got accepted into UCLA for her graduate program (Congrats, Khimniney!) partook in the true enjoyment of Craft & Commerce, suspenders included.
I also partook with my AleSmith Speedway Stout – (which was DELICIOUS and INTENSE!). We’re smart like that.
That’s such a lie. We’re actually complete fools when we hang out. I adore her precisely for that reason.
Some history: Kim and I were in the TAG (talented and gifted) group in middle school together. We rode my bike to the high school for our super-genius-awesome-girl-algebra class in eighth grade. I peddled, she balanced on the seat. We coasted down a steep hill every Wednesday and Thursday, praying that the garbage trucks had already crossed our intersections – there were a few close calls since I couldn’t control the brakes… I recall plenty of screaming from both of us…
After Kim left, I decided to order dinner before I headed back to the booth. Pickles = good. Fried stuff = good. Fried pickles = ????
From this place, they equal “meh”. I had fried pickles ONCE before, and they were AMAZING! Unfortunately, these did not live up to par.
The GOOD news is that I will be having said AMAZING fried pickles later this month – in Colorado! We’re taking a family trip to visit my bro and his wife (The Vegans), have fried pickles and drink good beers. I suppose I’ll find a way to suffer through…

Off to Vegas this weekend! For work, thank you very much, but it will be the first time I gamble. Legally… Gotta try it once! Legally…
My first time gambling…
I won. I cashed out. I fled.


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Breaking the Chain: The Old Place Cornell

This post is part of a new series I’m doing called “Breaking the Chain”. Check out previous broken chains like White Elephant, Rúla Búla and Park View Cafe.

I was out on a drive with the family on Saturday, and we stumbled across a hidden gem!
We found this rustic little place that looks like a dive bar in the middle of the Santa Monica mountains, and decided to give it a try. The Old Place Cornell – I love that name!
This place used to be “Hank’s Country Store” – the grocery store for the locals, and was also the post office from 1884-1904. It’s like walking into a piece of history. It even smells like history! Delicious history.
There are about five booths in the restaurant, and a long bar. That’s it. No tables except for outside. If you come here during peak hours on the weekends, you can expect to wait for one of the few seats to open up. I personally love how quaint and cozy this place is.
Their menu is relatively small compared to any other restaurant. It makes decisions SO much easier!
My parents started off with coffee. It was served in little tin cups, and smelled like heaven! The aroma was earthy and rich, and taunted me and my coffee-free self.
We started off with the gooey cinnamon rolls, baked in an iron skillet. There was an awful lot of stabbing with the forks in order to get the last piece. If you think you’ve had a good cinnamon roll, I’m here to tell you that you haven’t. THIS is THE BEST cinnamon roll out there! Normally, you suffer through the stale, dry edges in order to get to the soft, gooey center, but even the caramelized edges on this are soft and luscious and so-good-you-can’t-stop-describing-them-and-lose-your-readers’-interest.
I ordered the goat cheese, sundried tomato and spinach frittata. This iron-clad frittata had a rosemary potato crust in the bottom, and was stuffed with generous crumbles of goat cheese! They served fresh sourdough bread coated with butter on the side. I was full after the cinnamon rolls, but I still found a way to eat a portion of this and a thick slice of sourdough.
We waddled out front and checked out the surrounding area, and went into the newer building next door.
Cornell Winery & Tasting Room.
It’s a beautiful building stuffed to the gills with art, furniture and California wines. We didn’t stay too long. We wanted to reminisce on the wonderful brunch we’d just devoured while driving through the mountains and up the coast.

I’m still dreaming of those cinnamon rolls…


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