FARMER & THE SEAHORSE
ADDRESS: 10996 Torreyana Road, Suite 240, San Diego, CA 92121
Farmer & The Seahorse was another restaurant that I had stumbled across while doing some Yelp research in my hotel room for some possible places in the area to check out. It wasn’t until I realized that the restaurant was primarily open for only breakfast and lunch that the place fit right into my plan to check out before driving back home the day after the air show. They didn’t open until 9:30AM for weekend brunch, so I got a chance to relax at the hotel that morning before taking the drive over.
The restaurant itself is located within a high-end corporate collaboration building, with conference areas and other open spaces where companies could host events. In fact, you’ll drive past all of these biotech company buildings on your way over to the restaurant; it definitely felt slightly odd since the restaurant was juxtaposed against all of these other places that weren’t related to food at all. But I will say that once you park and start walking up to the restaurant, the space itself is really quite something.
Outdoor seating was plentiful, with umbrellas set up to provide shade from the morning sun. The overall outdoor décor felt very modern, with a mix between wood, stone, canvas, metal, and artificial turf elements. Inside, similar elements were utilized, along with a nice blend of color scheme between shades of green and blue to fit the theme of the restaurant’s namesake.
For brunch options, there were certainly quite a few things you could choose from. Fancy toast, eggs benedict, along with a medley of house specialties, such as chicken & waffles, French toast, and steak & eggs, to name a few. I’ve typically been an omelette person when it comes to eating out for breakfast, but I’ve been on a bit of a benedict kick lately. So this time around, I opted for the BAE Benedict (Bacon, Avocado, Eggs). As much as I wanted to try one of the fancy toast options (the smashed avocado or truffled mushroom sounded intriguing), I was concerned about possibly stuffing myself too much before my 3-hour drive up north.
The one thing that did strike me as a bit odd was my interaction with my waitress during the course of the meal. The first time she came up to the table, she didn’t introduce herself and just kind of stared at me until I started to ask some questions about the food. She did the same thing later on at the end of the meal when she stopped by and just slightly smiled, but still didn’t say anything until I asked for the bill. Honestly, it just created kind of a weird vibe.
It was pretty early in the brunch service, so there weren’t a lot of tables seated just yet. But I’m thinking that probably helped contribute to how I received my food lightning quick (it was probably no more than five to six minutes from when I ordered the food). There was certainly a nice contrast of colors across my entire plate, between the benedicts, potatoes, and the garnishes.
Both of the eggs were poached perfectly, with the yolk running down and washing over the rest of the ingredient stack when I split them open with a fork. The bacon and toasted English muffin provided a nice textural contrast from the avocado and eggs. Flavor-wise, the acidity from the Hollandaise sauce blended well with the savory bacon and smooth avocado. For the smashed fingerling potatoes, they were crisp on the outside, yet soft on the inside. They also seemed to be tossed and garnished with an oil mixture made with garlic and finely chopped parsley, which also helped to provide additional aromatic flavors with each bite.
Would I consider that a $23 plate of food though? I can’t say that I would. Given the portion size of the food as well as the lack of what I’d consider a premium ingredient (like lobster, steak, etc.), I’d say that probably should have been a $17 plate of food at most. In general, the food across the board does lean more on the expensive side. The house specialty entrées range from $14 – $27, not including a side dish (fries, smashed potatoes, salad, fruit), which would then tack on an additional $5 to that at minimum. From a quality of food perspective, everything did taste really great, and I think the other flavor combinations of items on the menu sound equally as intriguing. But with the restaurant being located in a more affluent area, I’d say be prepared to bust out some extra bills from the wallet if you do stop by here.
Let’s now take a look at the Farmer & The Seahorse Restaurant Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
** BAE Benedict **
Bacon and avocado on toasted English muffins, topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. Garnished with chives and paprika. Pictured with side of smashed fingerling potatoes.
And finally, here are my rankings for Farmer & The Seahorse:
Food: 4.5 / 5
There were an array of items on the menu that really caught my attention, with various flavor combinations sounding really interesting. The quality of the food itself was high, and all of the ingredients tasted really fresh and their flavors pronounced.
Atmosphere: 4.75 / 5
The décor of the restaurant was really nice, being able to have a modern theme to it along with numerous dining spaces arranged both indoors as well as on the outdoor patio. It definitely felt like a comfortable and relaxed setting to enjoy a Sunday brunch.
Service: 2.75 / 5
My interaction with my waitress unfortunately felt a bit impersonal, so I will say that did affect the impression of the meal. The quick speed of the kitchen on getting out my food did help to boost this rating though.
Price: 3 / 5
For just the food itself, I’d say that the pricing is pretty high. But then to factor in that you’re also paying for the atmosphere as well (not to mention with being located within an affluent area), just be mentally prepared for shelling out a bit extra for the meal.