On our way to the COPIA Taste of New Zealand wine tasting, my friend and I stopped off at the Alexis Baking Company on 3rd Street in Napa for brunch.
There was some slight confusion in the beginning. A sign at the counter facing the door told us to order at the counter. We waited there and no one helped us for awhile. It wasn't until we saw some locals going to the side counter and ordering that we realized there seemed to be 2 lines- the one at the front for to go/counter items, the one at the side for eat-in orders. We could be wrong though- maybe someone could comment on how it works there?
In any case, I ordered one of the specials, an omelette with asparagus, ham, & gruyere ($11.95). The omelette was tender, moist, and quite large. The ham was diced small to match the tiny asparagus. The asparagus was very fresh and on the whole, the flavors worked well together.
Sides that came with the omelette:
Breakfast potatoes that were perfect- well seasoned & cooked through without being mushy.
Choice of toast- I chose the English muffin. It was well toasted and buttered, but a little too dense for my tastes. It also had unsalted butter on it, so there wasn't much flavor. The only jams/jellies on the table were the prepacked individual servings, so I was disappointed not to see something of better quality on the table. Next time I'd like to try the toast- there are so many flavors of their homemade bread to choose from! (Cinnamon, asiago, walnut, etc...)
Cafe au lait ($2.25) was served in a large mug and was great. I saw a Mr. Espresso sign above the machine.
My friend had the breakfast sandwich that had green chile, cheese & egg on a cornmeal bun ($5.95). She raved about it but I didn't get a taste. The other special that day was cornmeal pancakes with strawberries & real maple syrup.
Service, once we figured out how to order, was great. They take down your name at the counter & come by often with coffee refills. Very small-town kind of feel, with a round communal table and local artists showcasing their work on the walls. Will definitely return to try their pastries & breads.
Thank you to Melanie Wong for her post/recommendation of ABC! (It was also ironic to go to COPIA afterward and hear her interview/recording at one of the exhibits upstairs.)
Onto COPIA & the Taste of New Zealand wine tasting:
As I am not well-versed in describing wines, I will give you my general impressions. I was quite impressed with the quality of the sauvignon blancs. I didn't have a pen with me to take notes (will next time), but I had a few that were quite crisp & many had notes of peach. Many were from the Malborough region although almost all of New Zealand was represented.
Bread, crackers & cheese were also served and the whole event was quite reasonable for $35. If you haven't been to COPIA, go check it out! The gardens are beautiful & informative & I believe they host the Napa Farmer's Market on Tuesdays & Saturdays. We also attended a free seminar on icings & ganaches- it was a little disappointing since it seemed more like a commercial for upcoming COPIA events than an actual informative seminar.