Tag Archives: orange county

The Best Coffee in Costa Mesa

When I was in France, I developed a bit of a keurig pods drinking habit.  I figured the habit would disappear once I returned home, but I found myself craving a nice cup of coffee every morning.  Since I have the flexibility to work from home, a lot of my client meetings take place in little cafes and coffee shops which led me to begin my quest to find the best coffee in Costa Mesa.

One of my clients, Taste of Paleo (did you get your tickets yet?) was game to try my new endeavor, and we began meeting at various local coffee shops to determine who had the best brew. While there are still many more coffee shops to explore, I wanted to share the three places I consider to have the best coffee in Costa Mesa.

1. Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee

sidecarcoffeeLike there was even a question that this place would be on my list.  I always order the same thing when I come in: large drip coffee with steamed almond milk.  The place is always packed, everyone is incredibly friendly and there’s a smell of freshly baked doughnuts wafting through the air.  What’s not to love?

2. Outpost Kitchen

best coffee in costa mesaOutpost Kitchen is tucked away in a small industrial park in Costa Mesa and serves a variety of gluten-free, paleo and vegetarian dishes.  Their Four Barrel Coffee is excellent, and I often pick up a paleo bar or two as well.  Plus they have free wi-fi which is an added bonus

3.  Chocxo Coffee and Chocolate

best coffee in costa mesaI’ll admit, it wasn’t love at first sip at Chocxo, but their coffee quickly grew on me.  I also love their selection of bean to bar chocolate and the mellow vibe.  It’s a great place to pop in and get some work done without the hustle and bustle of a Starbucks (better tasting coffee too!).

So those are my three top coffee places (so far).  Where should Taste of Paleo and I venture next?

My Favorite Indulgence

Granola is one of those things I never buy.  I don’t buy it normally because the granola sold at most supermarkets is a calorie-laden sugar bomb, so I avoid it at all costs.  I recently had the opportunity to try the granola from My Favorite Indulgence, and I was more than pleasantly surprised at not only how tasty it was, but the quality of the ingredients as well.  Plus, how cute is this packaging?

my favorite indulgence granolaVicki Schrimmer is the mastermind behind My Favorite Indulgence, a granola company that prides itself on using not only all-natural ingredients, but GMO-free ingredients which is a huge win in my book.  The other thing that’s great about the granola is the simplicity of the ingredients, which also makes it significantly less caloric than the mass-produced granola you see in the stores.

I got to try four of Vicki’s signature flavors: Pumpkin-Spiced, Classic Almond, Chocolate Mocha, and Maple-Cinnamon (which also happens to be nut free).  I really enjoyed all of the flavors, but the standouts for me were the Chocolate Mocha and the Maple Cinnamon.

my favorite indulgence granola bowlEach serving of granola is about 1/4 cup (and 140 calories), and I found it to be a nice light breakfast when served with some almond milk and fresh berries.

I also loved adding the granola to my Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack, and even found myself grabbing a little handful when I wanted a sweet treat.  Since the granola is sweetened with brown sugar and canola oil, it had the perfect amount of sweetness without being too overpowering.

my favorite indulgence bowlAnother bonus to My Favorite Indulgence is the nut-free granola option.  As someone with food allergies, I appreciate when brands offer alternatives for someone who may not be able to have nuts but still want to enjoy some tasty granola.  And the maple cinnamon flavor is so good, you won’t even notice the nuts aren’t there!

So how can you get your hands on some granola from My Favorite Indulgence?  You can order directly from the website, or Orange County locals can pick up a bag at The Hood Kitchen and Market or at the Great Park Farmer’s Market on Sundays.

Thank you Vicki for sharing your granola with me and making me a believer!  I think it’s safe to say I’m definitely now a granola fan.

Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee

I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee since I first tried their doughnuts back in January.  After weeks and months of following their delivery truck updates on Facebook and Twitter, Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee is finally open for business in Costa Mesa!

I had an opportunity to attend a special preview event at Sidecar which just further emphasized my love for their doughnuts.  Upon arriving, I was presented with a plate with a wide variety of different cake and yeast doughnuts.

sidecar doughnuts and coffeeSidecar bakes their doughnuts in-house every morning (in fact, they fry a new batch every hour) and all the doughnuts are made with natural ingredients and free of additives and preservatives.  You can tell just by looking at them how fresh they are.

SideCar Doughnuts and Coffee

On this  visit, I got to sample the following flavors:

Birthday Cake–  covered in rainbow sprinkles and pink icing and reminded me of the sprinkle doughnuts I would get as a kid

Coconut – this was glazed with coconut milk icing.  I love all things coconut and loved this.

Huckleberry – I first tried this doughnut back in January, and still love it.

Maple Bacon – If you are a bacon lover or a maple lover or love sweet and salty you’ll love this.

Raspberry – Nice raspberry glaze on this one.  It’s the perfect spring doughnut.

Cinnamon Crumb – I loved the crunchy crumb topping on this one – very unique and tasty.

Malsada with Haupia – This doughnut had a nice cream filling.  I don’t always like cream filling in doughnuts but this was top-notch.

Callebaut Chocolate – Pretty much perfection.  Can’t go wrong with chocolate.

If you have a gluten allergy, fear not! I had the opportunity to speak with Chef Brooke Des Prez as well, and she shared that Sidecar would also be offering a gluten-free doughnut every Friday starting April 19th.  The plan is to have one gluten-free flavor in the shop every week (the flavor may change) and if the gluten-free doughnut is popular they will continue to add more flavors as well.  The gluten-free flour blend contains brown rice, garbanzo and potato flour.  There’s also talk of a vegan doughnut in the works as well.

Chef Des Prez also shared that Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee would also have seasonal flavors, with the Guava doughnut being the first one for spring.  And if you like savory doughnuts, Sidecar has a Rosemary doughnut that is sure to be up your alley.

In addition to the amazing doughnuts, Sidecar also offers coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a Portland-based company that prides itself on sourcing the best coffee in the world and maintaining strong relationships with their farmers.

Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee

Now I am by no means a coffee connoisseur, but this coffee was some of the best I’ve had in a long time.  My latte was rich, creamy, and didn’t have the bitter aftertaste that some coffee can have.  I can see why this coffee and doughnut pairing is a match made in heaven.  Thanks Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee for bringing your delicious goods to 17th Street.

Sidecar doughnuts and coffee malsadas

Now who’s ready for a doughnut?



Weekend Update – Orange County Edition

After a few chilly weeks in Southern California (chilly by our wimpy standards at least), the sun finally came out in full force this weekend and we were treated to lovely temps in the 70s.  The Englishman and I took advantage of this lovely weather and enjoyed time outside, as well as lots of delicious eats.

It’s weekends like this that remind me that spring is right around the corner which means back on daylight savings time, more flip flop wearing, and a half marathon race on May 5 (eek!).

Weekend highlights include:

Kitty shenanigans with Pip.

5 Month Old Kitten

Finally trying Sidecar Doughnuts.  They are set to open a storefront in Costa Mesa very soon, and I highly recommend checking them out.

Sidecar Doughnuts Costa Mesa

Spending time at the flea market – where you can find just about anything.

Orange County Marketplace Brunch at one of my favorites, Haute Cakes Caffe.

Haute Cakes Cafe Newport Beach

New running shoes for aforementioned half marathon.

Brooks Running Shoes

Homemade Sweet Potato and Turkey Pie (recipe coming soon)

sweet potato casseroleGoodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.