Zinc Cafe and Market is one of my favorite hangouts. Due to their large menu it took me two or three visits before I realized it was vegetarian, but I wanted to let you know on the front end. The restaurant's decor is European with a slightly modern edge. This is the type of place that will make you want to find a newspaper, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a while. In addition to the inside eating area there is a secluded side patio and additional seating in the front, perfect if you are bringing a four-legged furry friend with you.
Their coffee and tea selections are first rate and I love that the beverages are served in large ceramic cups instead of flimsy paper ones. For breakfast I highly recommend either the oatmeal topped with brown sugar, cranberries and walnuts, or the scrambled eggs with leeks and parsley. The scrambled eggs have been perfectly cooked every time I've ordered them.
For lunch, although Zinc offers a selection of soups and sandwiches, I would recommend wandering over to the Market to sample the selections of the day. Each time I go in, I am amazed by the endless plates of colorful vegetable salads, entrées and rice concoctions, each one delicious than the next. I will tell you that I am crazy about the roasted Brussels sprout salad. Yes, I said it, the Brussels sprout salad. Don't tell my mother, I'd never live it down. If you are in a hurry you can buy the salads "to go" by the pound.
In addition to the salads, Zinc's Market offers for sale a large selection of cheese, wines and freshly made granola. And the large bookcase that lines the back wall of Market is filled with a great selection of gourmet cookbooks, cutting boards, glassware and some beautiful kitchen knick-knacks.
Finally, I couldn't end without mentioning the pastries and cakes. You shouldn't leave Zinc without sampling a few. Hint: The sea salt caramels are melt in your mouth delicious.
Zinc Cafe and Market is located in Corona del Mar, California on Pacific Coast Highway, next to the Quiet Woman. Parking is limited and sometimes frustrating so bring your patience with you, or be prepared to walk a block or two.