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Snooze, the latest addition to the block of Fifth Avenue between University and Washington in Hillcrest, calls itself "an AM eatery". And yes, they are open at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am on weekdays, which I rarely see willingly. The things I do for food.

I wasn't disappointed. From the funky, 50's retro look to the classic rock soundtrack to the friendly, energetic staff, Snooze provides a wake up call for even the grumpiest of early risers.

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The menu features Niman Ranch eggs and meat and organic Guatemalan coffee. I usually don't have much of a problem choosing what I want to eat, but I did pause to consider getting a Pancake Flight ($8.50, three different pancakes, your choice).

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Instead, I opted for the Breakfast Pot Pie ($8.50) and coffee ($2.50). It's a raft of flaky, light puff pastry, topped with a ladle of rosemary sausage gravy and an egg, your choice (I got mine sunny side up). On the side are hash browns, griddled crispy and molded into a tower, then browned again on one side. Nice job on those.

The puff pastry shattered into flakes at the touch of my fork, just the way it should. The gravy wasn't that gloppy, greasy stuff you often get, it looked and tasted just like good pot pie filling, with lots of rosemary and black pepper, along with carrots, celery, scallions and bits of sausage. The egg was great, a beautiful orange runny yolk and firm, tender white.

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I have to mention my server, Justin. It was busy, the place was full, but he managed to keep track of everyone and everything with incredible good cheer. I know that should always happen, but he did an exceptional job and it really added to the experience.

Snooze has five locations in Colorado, this is their first California spot.

Snooze

3940 Fifth Avenue

San Diego CA 92103

619.500.3344

Hours:

Mon-Fri 6:30 am - 2:30 pm

Sat-Sun 7:00 am - 2:30 pm

Street parking.

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