Last year around this time, several of the food bloggers I follow compiled their top ten meal lists for the year. I knew it was something I wanted to try this year. It was fun reminiscing over all the meals I’ve had this year, though it was hard selecting my top ten. Here they are:

10. Snooze A.M. Eatery

It’s only been opened a short while in San Diego, but I’ve already dined there twice and love it. Solid food and a super friendly staff makes this place one of my favorites for brunch. I especially adore the eggs benedict variations and different pancake offerings.  Full post can be found here.

9. Coop’s BBQ

My experience with bbq is pretty limited, but Coop’s is the best bbq I’ve tasted to date. The meat is smoked all the way through, and manages to stay moist and tender too. I can’t get enough of the brisket, ribs, and red beans and rice. Full post can be found here.

8. Kyochon

I’ve always loved wings and like them as crispy as possible. After discovering Kyochon wings, it’s hard to eat anything else. The wings are fried twice, creating an amazingly thin and crispy skin like no other. The soy garlic taste is also quite addicting. I think I’ve eaten a couple hundred of these this year. Full post can be found here.

What’s better than munching on a strip of bacon? How about munching on a strip of bacon embedded in a fluffy pancake?

I wish I could tell you I came up with this myself. But I didn’t. I found the idea here. One look and I knew I had to make it. It fits perfectly with my obsession for creative breakfast treats and my love for bacon and pancakes.

Sometimes new loves come from unexpected places. Recently I was invited to try out Robeks’ new smoothie bowls.

Robeks is a franchise that specializes in juices and smoothies. In September, Robeks launched smoothie bowls, created by Dennis Sato, who is actually right here in San Diego, owning the Mira Mesa location. I got a chance to meet him in his store and talk about his creation. Smoothie bowls take the flavors and ingredients from Robeks’ smoothie drinks and turn them into a creamy, cold frozen yogurt-like treat. It sounds pretty simple, but the taste is quite amazing.

Dennis was going into his store one cold winter day when he saw a lot of customers hanging out at a frozen yogurt shop nearby. The cold weather usually slows down business at his smoothie store, so he was curious to note that people would still gather for frozen yogurt on a cold day. Then right after, he happened to come across an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Science Behind Why We Love Ice Cream,” which talked about why people crave the creamy sensation of ice cream products.

From there, he got to experimenting, and came up with the smoothie bowl. The smoothie bowl uses all the ingredients used in the smoothies but with a special formula. First, Dennis had me try a basic smoothie. I chose a mahalo mango. The smoothies here are made with juices and flash frozen fruit. The drink was tasty but basically just tasted like a smoothie. Nothing really special.

Next he created a smoothie bowl with the same flavors. One bite and I was in love. It was all the flavors of the smoothie but intensified. I enjoyed it so much more than the smoothie. I’m a big lover of frozen yogurt to begin with, but what I really loved about this was the natural fruit taste as opposed to the very artificial flavors used at frozen yogurt shops. The creamy texture was very enjoyable as well and there were still little bits of mango inside too.