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Fill your croissant at Cardamom

Goat cheese, scallion, spinach, turkey, cream cheese, jalapeño...

Crispy, flaky, and coated with sesame seeds: the goat cheese with scallions and basil croissant
Crispy, flaky, and coated with sesame seeds: the goat cheese with scallions and basil croissant
Place

Cardamom Café and Bakery

2977 Upas Street, San Diego

Living in North Park a few years back, I got into the habit of picking up a turkey croissant from a local restaurant on my way to go surfing. At the time, the newly opened Cardamom would run out of their croissants early in the day, so my morning visits to the beach were my best shot at enjoying them. But even at 9 a.m. I sometimes left empty handed.

Cardamom serves a lengthy menu of breakfast and lunch dishes for those looking for a sit-down experience, and its sidewalk patio proves a terrific spot to run into neighbors and catch up with friends. But I love passing through for the stuffed croissants, when I can get them.

Ask for your croissant heated up

They make more of them these days — and not just of the turkey asiago I originally craved — but they do still run out on busy mornings. So I’ve tried a few alternatives: goat cheese with basil and scallion, spinach and blue cheese, and the turkey/cream cheese/jalapeño.

Asiago’s a pungent cheese, adding a beautiful umami to the turkey filling of the flaky pastry surrounding it, so branching out seemed a little deflating at first. To wit, the blue cheese is even more pungent, therefore used sparingly, so with the wilted spinach it winds up leaving a hollow space in the croissant’s center. It’s delicious, and a decent source of iron, just a tad less substantial.

Heavier is the turkey jalapeño and cream cheese, a slightly spicy sandwich with the ingredients playing well together.

Croissants, cookies, and more

My new favorite is the goat cheese, scallions, and basil. Despite its gorgeous sesame seed crust, I was leery at first to bail on the satisfying presence of turkey or the healthful allure of spinach. But this croissant has what makes the idea of a pastry so appealing: lightness, playful textures, and distinct yet morning-friendly flavors. The basil and goat cheese tang deviates a bit from most traditional breakfast items, in a good way, and the sesame wraps it up nicely.

More than anything the flaky dough makes this, and all the sweet or savory croissants, a great grab-and-go option.

Cardamom doesn’t have the slick new digs of neighbors Underbelly, Influx, and Modern Times and lacks the hip factor of newer breakfast spots that have opened nearby in North Park. But we don’t live in a fresh out-of-the-oven culture anymore, so any neighborhood with an active bakery turning out daily bread and croissants like this should count itself lucky.

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Crispy, flaky, and coated with sesame seeds: the goat cheese with scallions and basil croissant
Crispy, flaky, and coated with sesame seeds: the goat cheese with scallions and basil croissant
Place

Cardamom Café and Bakery

2977 Upas Street, San Diego

Living in North Park a few years back, I got into the habit of picking up a turkey croissant from a local restaurant on my way to go surfing. At the time, the newly opened Cardamom would run out of their croissants early in the day, so my morning visits to the beach were my best shot at enjoying them. But even at 9 a.m. I sometimes left empty handed.

Cardamom serves a lengthy menu of breakfast and lunch dishes for those looking for a sit-down experience, and its sidewalk patio proves a terrific spot to run into neighbors and catch up with friends. But I love passing through for the stuffed croissants, when I can get them.

Ask for your croissant heated up

They make more of them these days — and not just of the turkey asiago I originally craved — but they do still run out on busy mornings. So I’ve tried a few alternatives: goat cheese with basil and scallion, spinach and blue cheese, and the turkey/cream cheese/jalapeño.

Asiago’s a pungent cheese, adding a beautiful umami to the turkey filling of the flaky pastry surrounding it, so branching out seemed a little deflating at first. To wit, the blue cheese is even more pungent, therefore used sparingly, so with the wilted spinach it winds up leaving a hollow space in the croissant’s center. It’s delicious, and a decent source of iron, just a tad less substantial.

Heavier is the turkey jalapeño and cream cheese, a slightly spicy sandwich with the ingredients playing well together.

Croissants, cookies, and more

My new favorite is the goat cheese, scallions, and basil. Despite its gorgeous sesame seed crust, I was leery at first to bail on the satisfying presence of turkey or the healthful allure of spinach. But this croissant has what makes the idea of a pastry so appealing: lightness, playful textures, and distinct yet morning-friendly flavors. The basil and goat cheese tang deviates a bit from most traditional breakfast items, in a good way, and the sesame wraps it up nicely.

More than anything the flaky dough makes this, and all the sweet or savory croissants, a great grab-and-go option.

Cardamom doesn’t have the slick new digs of neighbors Underbelly, Influx, and Modern Times and lacks the hip factor of newer breakfast spots that have opened nearby in North Park. But we don’t live in a fresh out-of-the-oven culture anymore, so any neighborhood with an active bakery turning out daily bread and croissants like this should count itself lucky.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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