Category Archives: Breakfast

A Couple of Meals on Maui

Sea House Restaurant serves three meals a day and a perpetual ocean view

We stayed at the Napili Kai Beach Resort for just a couple of nights because my brother-in-law was getting married on the adjacent beach. Because it is at a resort, the Sea House Restaurant’s menu (right) lists breakfast and lunch and some of the dinner offerings too.

We ate a couple of breakfasts and the lovely wedding dinner at which guests were generously invited to select from the menu. Caring service and unobtrusive music (recorded by day, live in the evening) make this a pleasant place to enjoy a meal. The ocean-view restaurant overlooks a gentle arc of a white sand beach (below) bracketed by black lava rocks, with Molokai visible across the strait. Windows open wide to make the dining experience feel like a roofed-over dining venue, combining the best of indoor and outdoor eating. The main flaw is that the kitchen seems unable to turn out meals where every dish is as warm as it should be when it is brought to the table.

During a big breakfast for 10 with different people arriving at different times and during the wedding dinner itself, I took pictures when I could, but I was unable to catch any dishes other than my own and those ordered by people right next to or across from me. So consider these a sampling of the Sea House’s offerings.

Breakfast Sampler

The Sea House’s Ali’i Breakfast combines eggs, ham, Portuguese sausage, potatoes, Maui onion jam, a mild cheese, tomatoes, a blanket of thinnish country gravy and some sweet potatoes fries on top.

Eggs Napili Kai are a variation of eggs Benedict. An English muffin topped with something, poached eggs and Hollandaise. I asked for my “something” to be crab cakes, and I also requested tomato and spinach instead of home fries or rice, which are the “something” offered on this dish’s vegetarian version.

It’s something of a challenge to find the waffles beneath the mantle of guava whipped cream, pineapple, banana, mandarin oranges and coconut. This topping, called the Kahuna, is available for pancakes and waffles — and probably any other breakfast entree a guest might want.

Molokai Sweet Potato Egg Frittata layers eggs, with spinach, tomatoes, cheese and Molokai sweet potatoes, served with Hollandaise on top, caramelized Maui onions on top of that and vegetable ragout on the side. The frittata is as big as a brick!

Dinner Sampler

Seared jumbo sea scallops each crowned with mango and lobster relish, surrounding a heap of Maui onion mashed potatoes, topped with crisp-fried onions and served in a soup bowl to hold the rich lobster curry broth.

Sweet Peppercorn Crusted Filet Mignon is a seared center-cut filet with pink peppercorns and served with Burgundy demi-glace and mixed vegetables.

Cioppino of lobster, crab, prawns, scallops, clams and fresh fish in a vegetable

tomato stew over capellini pasta with Asiago toast comes in an unusual, rectangular wooden bowl.

Macadamia Crusted MahiMahi (their spelling) on top of a rice pilaf, topped by a bit of tropical fruit salsa and served with pineapple/rum buerre blanc.

Price Check: Compared with most Mainland prices, restaurant meals in Hawaii are pricey. The Sea House Restaurant is not out of line, with breakfast entrees at $5-$12, plus juices, optional side dishes and beverages; lunch specialties and sandwiches, $11-$16; dinner entrees, $24-$36 (the lower end being for “lite portions” of select items).

The Sea House Restaurant overlooks the beach at the Napili Kai Beach Resort, 5900 Lower Honopi’ilani Road, north of Lahaina; 808-669-1500

Sea House on Urbanspoon

Fab Breakfast is Nothing to Snooze At

Cafe in Denver’s burgeoning Ballpark Neighborhood is a sprightly breakfast and lunch spot

The headline on this post is a play on words and not a typo. Snooze An A.M. Eatery opens for early breakfast, closes right after lunch and in between serves generous portions of tasty fare. It was established in 2006 by Jon Schlegel who graduated from the University of Denver’s restaurant program, worked for such corporations as Hyatt and Rockbottom Breweries, signed on with Sushi Den, explored Latin America (hence a personal Guatemala coffee connection) and finally returned to his native Denver to open a breakfast and lunch restaurant. Brenda Buenviaje, now owner/chef of Brenda’s French Soul Food in San Francisco, has been consultant chef for Snooze’s opening menu and for seasonal changes. The combination of vision, creativity and skills and vision that Schlegel and Buenviaje have brought to the table made for, well, wonderful food brought to our table.

Not only are both the cafe and the foods it serves truly attractive, but everything is cooked from scratch with “conscience” as one of the ingredients. Snooze uses sustainable ingredients such as local produce, natural eggs and natural meats — nothing unusual there. But it flies coffee directly from a Guatemala grower who also treats both land and people ethically. Snooze serves water on request, recycles fanatically, supports various charities and has an admirable rep as a good neighbor both to denizens of pricey condos and to the Samaritan House, a large homeless shelter.

Cheerful Snooze occupies a bright corner building. Stylewise it is very cool and ambiance-wise it is very warm. The cafe has two dining rooms done with “atomic” swooshes on the light green walls, polished wood floors, big orange shades on the ceiling fixture, orange Formica tables and paintings on the walls that represent this transitional neighborhood. The website describes it as “Happy Days Meets the Jetsons.” Schlegel lives upstairs and has a short commute, another example of Snooze’s environmental correctness.

If I have any complaint about Snooze, it is noise. Nothing in the the bare wood floors, lightly adorned walls and high ceiling absorbs sound. The kitchen is well insulated, so it’s not the racket of clattering dishes but of reveberating volices raised above each other. But perhaps that too is a deliberate effort to help catapault customers into wakefulness.

My husband, I and our friend Christine had attended a rare morning event in Denver. She been to Snooze before and had raved about it, so it was on her recommendation that we went there today. The diverse late breakfast and early lunch crowd included guys with media badges who would be covering the Rockies game, small parties of what seemed to be friends who might be heading to the game, plain clothes officers with badges hanging off their belts and a couple of families. We arrived at 11:30 and had a short wait for seats. We slid into a comfy booth in the middle of the room to agonize over our choices. We all drew a bead on breakfast menu, which is divided into Flavors from the Hen and Tastes from the Crop & the Cow, plus assorted sides and beverages.

Christine had recommended the sweet potato pancakes, so I ordered them — a good choice indeed. The two light, dinner-plate-size pancakes swam in a sweet lake of a bourbon-caramel glaze and were crowned with a sprinkling of roasted pecans and a scoop of house-made ginger butter. What a delicious combination. I was full after I had eaten half, but I soldiered on because they were too good to stop eating.

Christine’s Vanilla Almond Oatmeal Brûlée was also picture-pretty, equally delicious and certainly healthier! Perfectly cooked oats (probably steel-cut) were topped with “brûlée-ed” sugar and almonds with a cascade of fruit and a side pitcher of cream.

My husband’s Pulled Piglet Benedict was an English muffin topped with tender braised pork, poached eggs, avocado and a smoked cheddar Hollandaise, an assertive addition that neverthleless did not overwhelm the delicate sauce. He pronounced the crisp-crusted hash browns “perfect” — and he is not a man to shower praise lightly on any but exellent preparations of either of his two favorite ways of serving potatoes.

We also shared a single Juan’s Breakfast Taco (the normal order is three), because we wanted to taste the the house-made chicken sausage that goes so well with the scrambled egg, hash browns, jack cheese and ranchero sauce. It is available folded into a corn or flour tortilla. And the coffee, of course, was as rich and flavorful as custom imported joe should be. My first cup was a perfect latte and my second a refill from the pot.

Price and Time Check: Snooze’s hours are noteworthy: open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Breakfast is served throughout. Flavors from the Hen (egg dishes), $6-$12; veggie add-ins are 75 cents each; meats, $1; Tastes from the Crop & the Cow (pancakes, cereals, etc.), $6.50-$8.50. The lunch menu, available from 11:00 a.m., offers a couple of soups ($7-$8) and sandwiches and salads ($8-$10). I’ll bet they’re all terrific too.

Snooze An A.M. Eatery is at 2262 Larimer Street, Denver; 303-297-0700.