Monday, 24 November 2008

California sunshine in Crouchend?

We're all moved in, and the first week of the new job is history now. What better way to celebrate than an exploratory venture into the as yet undiscovered delights that our new hood offers.

Yesterday was sleety, gray, cold cold cold but still we made the three block trek to Pick more daisies. From the outside, and from the website it sounded like it could be a ray of sunshine on an otherwise bleak autumn day. What else does 'california cafe' make you think of?

When we got there at half eleven the place was packed and we resigned ourselves to an estimated 20 minute wait. Never mind, the seats were facing the open plan kitchen and I got to see the nimble chefs in action. I don't really know why, but the thing that always catches my eye is the various food containers that are used for mise in kitchens. I love to see what they prep beforehand and how it's stored. I don't know why?

Less than 20 minutes later we were seated in the front area and had a good look thru the menu. In addition to the breakfast offers there's a variety of other things on offer throughout the day. But breakfast was on the brain so we ordered.

Kelsie had freshly squeezed orange juice, and banana hotcakes. I had a cappuccino and huevos rancheros. Kelsie found the pancakes good, but (of course) not as good as mine. They were a bit dense, and she had to add lots of maple syrup to counteract the density. Remind me to post my banana pancake recipe. I swear it turns out the lightest, fluffiest pancakes i've ever had!

The huevos rancheros were a nice alternative to your traditional fry up, but, compared to other huevos rancheros i was a bit disappointed. Mostly i was disappointed by the slightly stale tortilla, which could have easily been revived by either a splash of water and zap in a microwave, or, a super quick toss in a lightly oiled frying pan. The salsa was a bit bland but that was easily counteracted with several dashes of habenero sauce.

All in all, we think we'd probably go back but not any time soon, as there's still so much to explore!

Here's our final ratings:
Atmosphere: 6/10 -- from the front room things seemed less lively than the back room and there was a mean draft from the front door which our host apologised for.
Food: 6.5/10 -- different offerings than your average caff but a bit mediocre in execution.
Service: 10/10 -- our host was really attentive and friendly and our server didn't leave us waiting.

Total score: 22.5/30

Pick More Daisies / 12 crouch end hill london n8 8aa / 020 8340 2288

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