Sunday, June 9, 2013

Breakfast in Heaven..

I suppose today's title could either refer to the kind of breakfast one would receive in heaven (I hope it's like this one) OR the place one has breakfast being like heaven (I hope heaven is like Morro Bay (or Cambria, or Cayucos, etc ). Well I hit the double jackpot in this instance. I had one of the best breakfasts I've ever had, in one of my favorite places.

My eldest daughter and I took a heat escaping trip to the central coast yesterday, with the only real plan being to eat at Frankie and Lola's Front Street Cafe in Morro Bay. I'd seen it over the course of several trips taken to the area, but never had a chance to eat there before.

We breezed into town (because that is how one arrives in Morro Bay), at around 930 Saturday morning, drove past F & L's and found it packed to the gills with hungry patrons. (Good sign btw) We decided to do some beachcombing and let the crowd wind down a bit.

After about an hour of walking and splashing about, we dusted and dried off, and went back to the restaurant to find it a little less full than before, so we went in and were greeted and seated in no time at all. Drink orders were taken immediately and in no time our food orders were taken. I had the Fried Green Tomato Benedict (with hot cocoa to drink..such a luxury when its 108 back home!), and my daughter had the "Leroy Browns", fried potato chunks with bacon, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and green onions with homemade salsa on the side.

Our breakfast came within a reasonable amount of time, and all I can say is every little aspect was exactly right and delicious! Mine had a layer of perfect creamy grits on the bottom, topped with two perfectly fried green tomatoes, two poached eggs, and a generous amount of the best hollandaise sauce I've ever had.. hands down (When I spoke to one of the owners at the register, she joked that she married her husband for his hollandaise..I can believe it!)
And a word about the fried potatoes that came on the side of my breakfast, and were the star feature of my daughter's.. they LOOKED like they were overfried, and would be hard.. oh no.. forget about that..they were shatteringly crisp on the outside, and literally melted in your mouth on the inside.. I don't know what voodoo they used to make these potatoes, but I hope it never changes! And a word about that side salsa from my daughter's breakfast.. I come from a valley full of excellent homemade salsa's and have even won a salsa contest (not bad for a gringo) of my own; and I can tell you, F & L's salsa was excellent!

Service throughout the meal was attentive, without being intrusive. I would recommend Frankie and Lola's to anyone and will definitely be back to sample their other offerings (that dessert list looked pretty darn good!)

Frankie and Lola's Front Street Cafe
1154 Front Street
Morro Bay, CA
Hours: Breakfast 630 AM to 1130 AM
Lunch 1130 AM to 230 PM
Dinner 5PM to 8 PM Thurs thru Sat.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Local Food Bonanza

Sorry no pics, but I honestly thought I was done blogging.. I was tired of having to photograph stuff before I ate it, tired of having to remember ever little detail and then write about it. It was getting to be more like work, than a hobby. But there are some places and some foods that need to be written about at the very least. Because they are too good to be kept to myself. I still champion local businesses and think the really outstanding ones need recognition. And since we've been blessed with being able to eat out ALOT lately, here is a recap of the three places we've enjoyed just in the last 24 hours.

Hunan. Most of you know and love this place. They are blessed with an extraordinary head chef in Chef Liu, winner of the prestigious Bocuse D'or! (if you don't know what this is and you call yourself a foodie..shame on you, look it up).

The original location at Cedar Tree Village is undergoing remodeling and will be open again June 15th. In the meantime, you can enjoy the West Herndon location, between Clovis and Sunnyside. They have two menus, one with standard "American-Chinese" fare, and the other with more "exotic" and authentic things.

We enjoyed some delicious bao tze steamed buns with ground pork, onions, and a steamed chinese beerock. Another fave were the "dumplings in homemade sauce" which were moist, a little sweet, savory, spicy, and yummy. We started with Westlake minced beef soup, full of finely chopped beef, minced water chestnuts, egg whites, tofu, and perfumed with cilantro. We also had eggplant in a spicy sweet garlic sauce, mongolian lamb, garlic pork, and the showpiece of the evening, a whole striped bass cooked in black bean sauce.. which we picked clean!

The next morning, I had chance to stop in at Cafe Corazon, tempted by the Croque Madame and their wonderful coffee. If you've never been here, you MUST go, but have some time to take there, because while it is beyond awesome, this is NOT fast food. Everything is made from scratch, and all that milling, grinding, roasting, and baking takes TIME. And every minute is worth it. I was rewarded with a delicious breakfast sandwich on home baked bread, with the best applewood smoked ham, cheese, and mustard, topped with a chevre mornay sauce and a perfectly sunnyside up egg. Knife and fork food for sure..and topped off with their amazing coffee, it was the perfect breakfast. They also have freshly baked pastries like you can't get anywhere else in town. Major NOM spot. In the Tower district.

For lunch, again, perfect timing and a hankering led me to Keith's Boxcar Cafe once again. I don't know how they do it, but I hope they keep doing it for a long long time. I only came for the smoked bread pudding, not normally being a fan of smoked turkey sandwiches.. I let my husband get that.. well ..first off.. the bread pudding was like nothing I'd ever had before.. the subtle smoke flavor added so much depth to the rich dessert..not too sweet, just exactly right. So I said.. "ok..honey, let me try a bite of your sandwich" (which he was enjoying quite a bit..) it was a smoked turkey club..I good could it be? REALLY GOOD as a matter of fact! One of the best sandwiches I've ever had joke.. every element was more than just right, it was the best of the best.

So there we are, 3 fantastic local meals in less than 24 hours. Anyone who can't find something to eat in this town just isn't trying very hard or doesn't like great food.