Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Best Breakfast in SLO

SpotlightHaley Hansen1 Comment

Welcome to San Luis Obispo! It's time for breakfast, so we're going to skip the small talk and get right to it.

Sally Loo's Wholesome Cafe

This cafe was one of the very first I tried in SLO when I moved here for college. My mom and I shared two of the scones - if you could get me to eat and enjoy a scone during that rigid-eating time in my life, you were doing something right. Sally Loo's, you got it right. Walking into this space feels like walking into both a home and a restaurant at the same time. Pick up a menu for the items always served, but don't miss the specials board - that's where you'll find some of the most delectable dishes in town. If the definition for hand-crafted could be told through food, it would be a Sally Loo's special. 

I ordered the Big Al's Avo Toast special this time, after much contemplation over that versus a burrito, and now I know - if I'm ever stuck between a special here and a regular menu item, I should probably go with the special because 1) it's only offered for a limited time and 2) DANG it's good. The avocado toast was piled high with... well, avocado - there will be no skimping on this creamy favorite toast-topper. And because I was in a treat-myself/why-not mindset, I added the optional smoked salmon on the side. I'm still here actually, at Sally Loo's typing this up (because this is a study-friendly spot!) and I'm tempted to never leave, so that I can order something for lunch later and keep absorbing the light-hearted, community-centered atmosphere. It's one of a kind here and you will regret absolutely nothing about coming here and ordering anything on the menu. 

Best Breakfast in SLO

If you aren't in the mood for avocado toast or come when the specials menu has changed, my other recommendations include the Breakfast burrito (veggie for me), the San Louie Bagel, and anything from the bakery case - it's all made in house! And don't forget to grab some coffee, too, while you watch the barista craft your drink. It's just cool to watch, and the drinks here beat those at some of the other coffee shops in town (that good!). 

Louisa's Place

My first thought when walking into Louisa's: "my dad would love it here." And he does! During my freshman year, I brought my parents here for breakfast, not knowing at the time that it was voted one of the best breakfast spots in all of SLO county. To this day (three years later) I hear locals talk about Louisa's with more genuine adoration than many restaurants I've visited. Each weekend, when I'm outside walking or riding my bike during the quiet mornings, I see locals perched inside Louisa's at the counter reading the paper, sipping some coffee, and digging their fork into omelettes and pancakes and breakfast burritos I can smell from outside. And then I drool. 

We ordered omelettes - Vegetable Medley for me and Guacamole & Bacon for my friend. Of course, we both chose the homemade biscuits (did you hear that? homemade biscuits) on the side and could not stop talking about them alllllllll day. The omelettes were large, but large and delicious! Omelettes are a breakfast dish I always appreciate because I just can't make them well enough at home, and Louisa's made them beyond well enough to convince me that I don't need to learn how to make them - I'll just head down to Louisa's when the craving hits. And as for the homemade biscuit... it is a must. An absolute must. 

This is a spot I would take my dad. Diners are his favorite - those people I see when I pass by on weekend mornings would be my dad everyday at Louisa's Place if he lived nearby. The portions are big, so come hungry, with friends, and/or ready to bring home leftovers. Don't expect green juices and refined-sugar-free paleo breakfast pastries here - come for home-cooked meals made with real food and served in an atmosphere that feels like a home away from home. 

Mint + Craft

This is a relatively new spot in downtown SLO, quaintly nestled in between between a couple of my favorite stores on Monterey Street. Since the day it opened, it's been calling my name and drawing in several other customers, too. Mint + Craft screams downtown SLO... in a really good way. If you're feeling like a light, vegetable-forward breakfast Mint + Craft is your spot!

Grace and I spontaneously chose this for breakfast one day and could not wait to get our hands on some toast, which seems to be the focus of their breakfast menu. And, like, I'm cool with that. We walked in and ordered at the counter immediately, but if we hadn't been so hungry, we probably would've spent some time browsing the shelves stocked with anything and everything that could distract me (again, in a really good way) - from cookbooks to homemade jams and jellies to cute linens to artisan chocolates. Oh, and if you aren't looking to sit down and eat, you can head over to the refrigerated section for packaged wraps and salads, bottles of juice and kombucha and even wine and beer! Or, grab something sweet from the bakery case - might I suggest the lemon bars or caramel brownies or giant chocolate chip cookies? 

Anyway, onto our breakfast - The Obispo for Grace and The SLO Market for me! We ordered and chose a table outside, and our food came in under five minutes, which was good on their end because, my goodness, were we hungry. First things first - the flavors. So many of them, and they all worked together to make an incredibly tasty and unique slice of toast. Grace certainly enjoyed hers, too. She's picky about her bacon and wants it exxxxtra crispy, and they delivered to her liking. We recommend both! One more thing - Grace ordered a cup of coffee, for which they offer free refills, and she grabbed another cup to go because it was so darn delicious. 

Big Sky Cafe 

It's time to introduce you to a favorite since my year in college here - Big Sky Cafe in downtown SLO. Most of my meals here have been for lunch or dinner, with the occasional happy hour/appetizer hangout with friends, so after looking at their breakfast menu and holding their food and service in high regards, I knew this was a must. We spent a fair amount of time reading through the menu because everything - e v e r y t h i n g - sounds good. Eventually, I went with the Greek Spinach, Feta, Mushroom & Tomato Omelette. 

Oh my word. It was unbelievable. Served with breakfast potatoes and sauteed peppers and onions, this plate filled me to the brim, so I was glad I came extra hungry, especially for the complimentary basket of cornbread as an appetizer (ask for some to-go!). 

Best Breakfast in SLO

Big Sky Cafe doesn't skimp on anything. Flavors are abundant, freshness is impossible to miss, and seasonal, local produce are a main component of each dish, so they're clearly speaking my language here. This is a place I can bring anyone - when Mom and Dad come into town, we come here for drinks and a food we know will be delicious and service that welcomes them into town. When my friends and I can't decide where to eat, Big Sky offers a variety of options to satisfy each of our cravings - whole-grain pancakes or shakshuka, omelette or beignets, breakfast burrito or crab cakes benedict. 

Lido at Dolphin Bay

And last but most certainly not least, take this recommendation as encouragement to treat yo'self. Lido at Dolphin Bay (yes, I brought Grace again because she is my partner in all things, especially eating, if you haven't noticed) is everything I want for brunch and then some more. We have a friend who works here and suggested we come in, and he definitely knows what she and I like when it comes to food - most importantly brunch - so we trust him. A Sunday morning at Lido is a stunning view of the ocean + friendly, welcoming service that makes you feel like royalty + food that might very well be my ideal definition of brunch - and by that I mean kinda' healthy, kinda' not, and completely whole-platedly delightful. 

Grace and I ordered two plates and split each one - eggs scrambled with spinach and white cheddar and served with sweet potato fries (which we asked for instead of the home fries) and a half-order of the thickest, fluffiest French toast I've ever tasted. Bottomless mimosas were most certainly involved here, too. Duh. We left feeling like princesses more happily satisfied than we can ever remember, and not just because of the mimosas. 

Best Breakfast in SLO

I will, without a single doubt, be back to Lido for more. Like I said before, it's a place treat-yourself-kind-of-place, so plan accordingly. Most importantly, enjoy every minute and every bite because this is a special restaurant with unmatched service, unbeatable food, and a breath-taking view. 

And that's a wrap (or should I said breakfast burrito? or should I not because maybe that would have been a weird joke?) for my favorite breakfast spots in SLO! As you may have noticed, I prioritize restaurants and cafes that emphasize local food and community, and offer some nutritious options as well as some... well, some other more (let's just say) "fun" foods. I hope you have the chance to try each of these places, and when you do, tell them Haley sent you :) happy eating!

Central Coast Meats

SpotlightHaley Hansen1 Comment

I first connected with Central Coast Meats over Instagram when they filmed a behind-the-scenes cooking demo of one of the best looking burgers I've ever laid my hungry eyes on at one of the best local cafes here in SLO. Naturally, I just had to check their page out, but I didn't find what I expected to find. Rather than a handful of other juicy burgers, I saw people I just knew I could trust. People I wanted to barbecue with and hang out with and get to know because the transparency allowed me that opportunity. 

When I sat down to talk with Kyle, one of the company's founders, he emphasized that transparency is one of the key areas where Central Coast Meats saw a potential for improvement within the industry and is now utilizing that necessity to set an example for other farms. All the middle-men between the farmer/producer and you and me, the consumers, make transparency a little difficult these days. Central Coast Meats values transparency in every step of the process - from their pasture to your porch. 

Central Coast Meats

What is it?

Central Coast Meats is a team of young farmers who have spent their lives in and around the agricultural industry, watching farmers in the area, learning how to do it themselves, and now running their own business here, as the name says, on the Central Coast. On a 6,000 acre ranch, known as Avenales Ranch east of Santa Margarita, they are working to transparently define "local", "grass-fed", "organic", "free range", "pasture raised", and "sustainably raised". And they're doing a dang good job at it by offering:

  • 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef
  • pasture-raised pork
  • pasture-raised chicken
  • all of which are born and raised on the Central Coast of California
Central Coast Meats

Why Central Coast Meats?

These guys care about every step of the process and, most of all, us as consumers. After years of watching the farming methods of generations before them, they courageously and confidently stepped aside to pave their own path, one that cares for the animal from start to finish + prioritizes the consumers' health + supports both the local and large-scale environments. 

  • Because, like almost any other locally grown food, locally grown meat travels fewer miles to get to your doorstep (literally - CCM delivers!), thus eliminating the need for further preservation methods and guaranteeing a higher quality, fresher product. 
  • Because they clearly define what grass-fed means - their animals have more acres on which to roam and feed than my eyes can see in distance. And none of that food is processed with hormones, antibiotics, corn, GMO- or soy-containing feeds. 
Central Coast Meats

Where to buy?

This is a subscription-based monthly delivery sent directly to your doorstep, so head over to their website to give it a try and then subscribe if you like what you taste. 

I value local companies and feel so blessed to be surrounded by a community of farmers who all value nutrition and real food, and transparency and customer satisfaction. Central Coast Meats absolutely stands out not only here in San Luis Obispo, but throughout the country and I cannot - repeat: cannot - wait to keep showing them off to you guys because what they've got going here is exactly what the industry needs. 

Stay tuned for recipes to come!

Mammoth Bars

Spotlight, ProductsHaley Hansen1 Comment

This post is sponsored by Mammoth Bars. Everything stated is my own opinion. Thanks for supporting my blog and my active lifestyle! 

Today, I present to you the latest and greatest (and yes, I mean that) of bars entering my life - Mammoth Bars! Are you familiar? If you're not, then you're in the right place to learn some more about this nutrient-packed bar. 

Mammoth Bars - Spotlight

What is it? 

Mammoth Bar is a combination of a protein bar and an energy bar - it's creators have blended sprouted nuts, egg whites, and dried fruit into a snack that packs more than what most other options on store shelves can offer. These bars live up to their motto, "no weird stuff", by limiting ingredients (all organic) to only those which consumers of all lifestyles can pronounce and recognize. 

My opinion

Boy, have I had more than my fair share of protein bars, energy bars, and anything in between in my days. At this point, I have high expectations, and rightfully so. Just like I can't quite put into words my "type" when it comes to boys, I can't describe my ideal bar. However, I've been finding lately that, when the right one (aka my "type") comes along, I know it. 

Mammoth Bar is that bar. Mammoth Bar is the bar I couldn't put into words. 

In terms of taste, it's just sweet enough for my liking (and you know I have a an almost insatiable sweet tooth) - no added sugars, only dates. It's chewy, but not the rip-your-teeth-out type. It's rich and satisfying, with a variance of textures and flavors throughout. Most importantly, for me at least, it feels like a snack, not an entire meal. I prefer to listen to my own body instead of reading nutrition facts (aka counting calories, fat, carbs, etc.) when I'm giving something new a try, and body appreciates how Mammoth Bar fuels it. 

Why Mammoth Bar?

In conjunction with reasons stated above, I support Mammoth Bar because they're setting an example for other companies of all product varieties - stick to minimal ingredients, harvest them at their peak ripeness and let them shine with as little processing interference as possible. Mammoth Bars are hand-crafted and shipped out to buyers within days, at most. Knowing that someone put such care and time into the food I put into my body brings me comfort and confidence in that particular food's power - again, Mammoth Bar is setting an example, at least, an example I want to follow and one I hope other companies, restaurants, and producers begin to follow, as well. 

Where to buy?

  1. Online, here. You can make a one-time purchase using "hungryhaley" to receive 25% off your order, and you can then subscribe, if you'd like, to receive bars on a regular basis (which saves you 11% per shipment). 
  2. In select retail stores in Northern CA, the Bay Area specifically. 
  3. Nationwide in Peet's Coffee shops. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you give Mammoth Bars a try, and if you do, leave a comment below! I would love to hear your opinion. 

Mammoth Bars - Spotlight

Purity Coffee

Products, SpotlightHaley HansenComment

This post is sponsored by Purity Coffee. Everything stated is my own opinion. Thanks for supporting my blog and making the healthiest, most delicious coffee around town! 

Let this be the debut of my inner coffee-lover. I've been drinking the magic stuff for almost three years, but not until I discovered Purity Coffee did I really begin to educate myself more on the drink we all know and love! 

Purity Coffee

What is it? 

Coffee... duh. I'm not trying to sound like your favorite salesperson here, but Purity Coffee really isn't the same stuff as what's on most grocery store shelves nowadays. Their whole process - from harvesting to roasting to packing - ensures that buyers receive the healthiest version of coffee available. It's also:

  • organic: uses methods that recycle, conserve biodiversity, and balance local ecology. 
  • almost defect-free: "speciality coffee" is the highest standard of coffee, and therefore contains the fewest defects. 
  • mold-free: is frequently lab-tested to ensure no traces of mold and/or mycotoxins exist in the beans. 
  • sustainable: "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices that will last over the long term" (according to the website).
Purity Coffee

My opinion:

I'm no "coffee-snob", so I've never really been one to toss a cup of coffee because I didn't like the taste (that only happened once). A medium-dark roast is my go-to, simple as that. When a representative from Purity Coffee assured me I'd taste and feel the difference most just by drinking it, I felt unsure, but I went with it. 

Aaaaaaand she was certainly correct. It just tastes... cleaner, fresher, richer, more robust. The biggest difference I noticed was feeling way less bloated after drinking it, a side effect I always ignored after drinking other coffee. I'll be honest - the taste didn't convince me that this is a life-changing cup of coffee (like I said, not a coffee-snob over here), but I felt mentally and as a result physically better drinking it, knowing what is going into my body is pure (pun intended), boasting maximum health benefits and reaping no potential consequences. 

Purity Coffee

Why Purity?

I don't buy into the "coffee is bad for you" campaign. Sure, it can raise cortisol (aka stress hormone) levels, but that only becomes harmful when stress levels elsewhere in life are through the roof and sleep is not happening like it should. I've got my stress under control, for the most part, and I get enough sleep. I enjoy coffee. Up until recently, I've never seen it as a "superfood" or a "bad food"... until now. 

I researched Purity Coffee and had no idea that coffee beans have higher levels of antioxidants than my favorite fruits - berries! Say whaaaat? Think about how many Americans drink coffee regularly - quite a few, huh? A cup of coffee is much more convenient and sometimes easier to get our hands on than a cup of berries, aaaaaand it's packed with many more antioxidants! Purity Coffee has the highest antioxidant level of all coffees at a roast level that produces the lowest level of acrylamide. Some coffees compared may have a higher level of antioxidants, but they also had a higher level of acrylamide. 

HALLELUJAH.

Aside from providing the body with antioxidants, coffee has also been shown to boost physical and brain performance, as well as metabolism, and decrease the risk for depression.

Purity Coffee

Where to buy?

Online! When you checkout, be SURE to use "hungryhaley" to receive a discounted price on any order. Here, you can purchase by the bag or subscribe and receive a shipment size of your choice and frequency. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this information helpful in making your next coffee decision! 

Purity Coffee

NuttZo 7 Nut & Seed Butter

Haley HansenComment

Nut butter. It's one of those phrases I just love to say, mostly because it tends to bring about a sense of discomfort in some when repeated over and over, especially when paired with "uggghhhhh I LOVE nut butter!" (and don't even get me started on "nut milk" and "nut cheese"). 

Nuttzo 7 Nut & Seed Butter

I love nut butter. Let's be honest - you probably do, too. For as long as I can remember, I've been scooping spoonfuls of this creamy diet-staple on a daily basis. Whether slathered between two slices of bread in one of Mom's PB & J sandwiches with homemade strawberry jam, eaten straight out of the jar as an afternoon snack, drizzled (or dumped) atop a breakfast smoothie bowl, or even snuck into cookie dough for extra rich flavor, nut butters... 

... they make me happy when skies are gray (skies are currently very gray). They make me happy when skies are blue, too, though. Heck, the sky could even be a fiery orange or deep purple and, as long as I've got a jar of nut butter in hand, all is well to me. 

My latest obsession: NuttZo Nut Butters. 

What is it?

Sorry - excuse my sassiness. NuttZo is a redefined version of nut butters. It's not just almonds or peanuts. NuttZo has tapped the shoulder of my inner forgetful self and added in nuts and seeds with all the nutrients my body needs most: chia seeds, flax seeds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, and more. 

Um, thank youuuuuuuuu. #amen

My opinion: (3 versions)

1) One of the most unique, delicious nut butters I've ever had. 

2) The first I'll reach for in the nut butter aisle at the grocery store (this is saying A LOT). 

3) Absolutely worth every penny (I'll explain more below). 

Why NuttZo?

Because, if you're anything like me (busy, on-the-go, health-minded, nut-butter-loving), NuttZo speaks directly to you by combining all those essential, otherwise hard-to-find nutrients into a simple, delicious, complete-protein nut butter - peanut, almond, or chocolate! On their own, nuts and seeds are incomplete proteins, but when combined (whether in one meal or within a short period of time), become complete proteins for our bodies to more easily access and utilize. 

Need another reason to buy? Each purchase supports Project Left Behind - a non-profit that aims to "promote education, improved nutrition, and living conditions for orphans and neglected children around the world." Need I say more? 

Where to buy?

Find NuttZo at most health food grocery stores, some Costco locations, and online via their own website, Thrive Market (my favorite), and Amazon Marketplace

My favorite NuttZo uses:

1. Nut-butter-topped smoothies:

2. Nut-butter-filled breakfast sandwiches:

3. Nut-butter snacks:

Thank you for reading and enduring all my talk about how much I absolutely adore nut butter, especially the way NuttZo crafts it. As always, if you enjoyed this post, keep coming back for more! Leave a comment below with your suggestion for my next post, whether it be a recipe, workout, nutrition tip, or product review.