Zinc’s Market & Coffee

I admit I probably drove my grandparents and family insane when I was little.  I had this strong desire to stay busy at every single moment possible.  Maybe it is because I grew up in a family that was constantly on the move – school, soccer practices, and tournaments, etc.  As a baby and toddler, I never grasped the concept of naps and as I grew up, never fully understood the meaning of “down-time.”   The point of this story, besides the fact that I feel like a chicken with its head cut off a lot of the time, is that I always seem to have a list of things to do and places to go and sometimes fear that slowing down will not allow me to accomplish it all. Laguna Beach is an excellent place to do this and I am able to say I have been successful in doing practically everything a local, or tourist to the Southern California region, can do.

My grandparents have been kind enough to grant me these adventures, from browsing the downtown shops, to searching for sea glass on the beach, or driving up and down to find the perfect menu.  My grandpa, who also seems to be like the Energizer Bunny will also write out a list of things to do/try or restaurants to eat at.  Kayaking, Ruby’s, golf, Zinc’s, and more.  Over the years I became fascinated with the presentation of restaurants and the various meals.  How did one decide how to plate a salad or pasta so that it could not only be savored by the palate but by the eyes as well?  In order to be successful, meals have to not only taste good, but they sure better look good.

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Over the years, one coffee shop in particular has stood out in my mind.  Zinc’s Coffee Shop has three locations: Laguna Beach, Corona Del Mar, and Solana Beach.  I have visited the first two and assume the third has a similar vibe.  The popular café offers a breakfast and lunch menu and is accompanied by a side market that sells gourmet (and a bit pricier) foods from cheese to sandwiches (brie and arugula for example), salads (artichoke pasta salad, black bean chili), and all sorts of beverages.

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The presentations are divine and food simply delicious.  During our family reunion weekend in Laguna Beach, my aunt made it a point to eat there twice.  It’s simply her favorite and I certainly don’t blame her.   She selected the muesli with strawberries and a poached egg, which will be my selection the next time I am in town!  I recall my sister sampled the oatmeal and satisfied with it.  This trip, my mom and I each made room for one of the best lattes and split one of their dark cherry scones, large and crumbly enough to accompany our drinks.

Each store has a definite Pottery Barn beach chic ambiance with its wooden chairs and tables.  It’s certainly one of the more popular joints, usually crowded with locals and tourists alike, fighting for an outside table.  But, if you happen to take a trip during the week, or even a foggy weekend morning (as many mornings are by the beach), you just might be able to lay claim to a table.

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Looking back, I don’t think I truly appreciated these experiences and instead felt the necessity to check items off my imaginary lists.  Today, I am still as motivated as always to try it all (or as much as I can), but have certainly slowed down to savor every moment. Even if it all seems like a cliché, I really do believe that everything happens for a reason and things will work out, even if it isn’t how we originally planned or factored into our life agenda. Just enjoy 🙂

350 Ocean Avenue
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: 949-494-6302
Market: 949-494-2791

Hours:
7-6:00 Market / every day
7-4:00 Cafe / every day

5-9:30 Cafe Dinners / Wednesday-Sunday
Beginning May 9th – Sept. 16th, 2012

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