• ZINC CAFE, 3222 E. Coast Hwy, Corona del Mar / 350 Ocean Av. Laguna Beach, CA www.zinccafe.com

Not satisfied with merely one location, we test two out of three Zinc Cafe‘s spots. Our investigation starts with breakfast at Corona del Mar.

Their variety of items is impressing. Their baked goods display overflowing. Standing at the counter, one is really spoiled with choice. The people behind us aren’t that concerned about our research though. We have to pick. One salty. One sweet.

Huevos Rancheros, a poached egg with black bean chili, smoked gouda, marinara and diced papaya creates an interesting combination of flavors. A healthy alternative made with egg whites, this dish is not your typical one. If normally after an indulgent breakfast you feel heavy and full, after this you are light and refreshed. We could even have another.

The Apple Strudel is not bad. We don’t love it, but we like it. With all those apples and just a little, thin dough, it gives you the impression that you’re not indulging.

For lunch we get lucky. At the Laguna Beach location, the soup of the day is an healthier version of our favorite buttercup squash puree. Instead of sour cream, it’s thickened by a cauliflower bisque and flavored with nutmeg.

The warm rosemary bread that comes along with the soup replays it sweetness. If it wasn’t for the intensity of the herb, you could think you’re eating a muffin. We dip it in the squash. Toothsome.

Our Burrito Bowl consists in a rice and black beans salad, coated with melted cheddar cheese and pico de gallo (a Mexican fresh tomatoes and cilantro condiment). The guacamole they serve as a side, together with sour cream and fire roasted salsa, is abundantly scattered with big chunks of avocado, onions and plum tomatoes. The bowl’s taste is strong, intense. Perfect to awake our taste buds after the mildness of the soup.

At the end of the meal we are pretty satisfied. The only regret is that we haven’t considered the Zinc Burger our neighbor is eating. It looks pretty good…
Maybe we should check the Solana Beach location for dinner…

Just kidding.

It would have been better if… we had had the chance to try the third location.