The avocado Benedict has a hollandaise sauce made with burnt caramel. The sauce is also on the sea-salted potatoes.
When a restaurant has “Chocolate Bar” in its name people assume that the place is just a sweet shop or a candy store.
2145 Fern Street, San Diego
Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro in South Park
In the case of Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro in South Park, that’s an unfair assumption.
The menu features plenty of sweet dishes — pancakes, cinnamon rolls, 11 different variations of hot chocolate — but also a lot of savory items that are worth, well, savoring. And a lot of these items also use chocolate or cocoa in some capacity.
The bloody mary is made with a cocoa-infused spirit.
I started brunch with the Barley Spirit Bloody Mary ($10) which mixes cocoa-infused booze with a very juicy, almost fruity (in a good way) tomato juice mix. It was fruity and full-flavored — like I had bitten into a fresh tomato. The bleu cheese-stuffed olive garnish was appreciated.
Eclipse has 11 types of drinking chocolate including one infused with orange peel vanilla. This one has a shot of espresso.
My wife, the designated driver, ordered some Drinking Chocolate infused with orange peel vanilla ($5.50) with a shot of espresso added (50 cents extra). It was rich. Very rich. And smooth. Very smooth. It was definitely a step above hot chocolates I’ve had before.
For breakfast, I ordered the avocado Benedict ($12) served on thick toast with a chile burnt caramel hollandaise, and a side order of sea salted potatoes ($9), which were also served with the hollandaise, and some maple muscovado-glazed bacon.
The chocolate bar for people who just want some coffee or hot chocolate.
Yes, the hollandaise had caramel in it, but it wasn’t a sugar bomb. I was impressed with how balanced the dish was. I would have liked my toast a bit crisper, but that’s hard to do with toast as thick as this was.
The potatoes were okay at first bite, but took off into the stratosphere when I added some of the sea salt provided on the side. It truly was a missing link, seemingly adding other components like crispiness to the dish. I know that isn’t possible. I’m just trying to explain how the addition of the salt made the dish pop.
The parmesan and tomato quiche with a side of potatoes.
My wife split the potatoes with me, and also ordered the parmesan and tomato quiche ($12). It, too, had the caramel hollandaise, but, again, the dish was balanced to emphasize the blend of eggs, tomato and Parmesan.
In baseball, a good trade is one that helps both teams. When dining, it’s good when both people are happy with their dish. My wife and I both tried each other’s dish and were happy with the one we had ordered.
Eclipse has a large variety of truffles for sale.
Although there are lots of dessert and sweet options available (like blueberry lemon French toast), we instead chose to get a box of housemade truffles on the way out. We ate them at home and had a great time with our kids cutting them up and sampling the flavors.
Eclipse is not just a place I’d brunch again, but a place where I would definitely take out-of-towners. It hits the sweet spot, even with savory items.