Lemonade is a popular fast casual, cafeteria-style restaurant chain originally from Los Angeles which opened its first San Diego location recently in Hillcrest (a second one is set to open inside UTC mall soon).

My brother and his girlfriend have been raving about Lemonade to me for years and so I was very excited to hear the news that they would be opening a location in San Diego. I have to confess, when my brother first told me it was a cafeteria-like setting, this made me wary. I don’t have many fond memories of cafeteria food. Once we stepped in though and saw all the offerings, I wanted to try nearly everything.

Once you enter, you stand in line and grab a tray, working your way through the prepared foods and ordering items as you move your way along the line. You’re first hit with the “Marketplace” which consists of dozens of salads and other cold dishes. This is one of their signature stations and definitely the most visually stunning. I rarely get excited about salads, but I found myself choosing 6 different ones.

This cold cucumber salad is a twist on the Chinese-style cucumber salad. It’s light, refreshing and easy to put together.

Since I’ve been obsessed lately with spiralizing vegetables, I decided to make a sesame cucumber noodle salad. The cucumbers are spiralized into long strands which are so fun to eat. I then seasoned the raw salad with flavors similar to my Smashed Chinese cucumber salad recipe, though I did change it up a bit to really emphasize that sesame flavor.

Spanish-style churros with chocolate, also referred to as churros con chocolate are easy to make in your own home. These churros are light, airy and crisp served with a thick, almost-pudding like hot chocolate.

During my trip to Barcelona, I fell in love with Spanish-style churros. Even though there were so many different restaurants and dishes I wanted to try on my much too short trip, I couldn’t resist having churros and chocolate every morning. Honestly, I think I could have eaten churros for every meal and have been completely content.

Our favorite churros came from Xurreria Banys Nous and I’ve tried my best to recreate their famous churros at home. While I can’t seem to quite get the exact texture, these are still pretty darn good. The best part is, the dough is so easy to make with only 5 simple ingredients. It comes together in minutes.