Monday, February 22, 2010

Cafe 21- Adams Ave

My sister came into town this weekend for the wedding of our old friends.  To continue the reunion theme, I squirreled together a reunion between my sister and her ex boyfriend from a long time ago since he and I still remained friends.  I guess that I'm a romantic at heart so I couldnt resist trying to do a little matchmaking of the rekindling of an old flame.  He suggested that we meet at a cool brunch spot Cafe 21.  Here is a link to their site: Cafe 21

Its located in a little strip mall next to a liquor store.  My friend who lived in Oregon for a spell said that it reminded him of the kind of cafes you would see over there.  Small, local, cool dishes, fresh ingredients, etc.  There is kind of a zen vibe in the eatery and I would say an eclectic mix of patrons.  The place could probably fit about 30 folks at a time although that is a wild guess since I didnt bother to count tables/ chairs.  There is also a cool wooden table outside that is kind of a gliding bench set.  I didnt trust my stomach to be able to endure a constant swinging motion. 

It was all of our first time eating here.  I was able to snag a parking spot by serendipitous luck and also by asserting my right of way.  After much consternation, we were able to choose our pickings.  Im not a coffee person but my sis and friend were thrilled with the house coffee.  Free refills apparently.  We were told by the guy I believe is the owner of the place that the coffee was organic Costa Rican blend.  They drank it black with a tad bit of sugar and had refills as well.  Our server Gregorio was fun and helpful.  I thought that it took awhile to get our orders, but then I reconsidered my qualms since its made to order.  We ordered the Salmon Benedict, Sausage omelet and Mushroom omelets respectively. 

Here is the Salmon Benedict which is a weekend special item.  The presentation is lovely and plates are a bit rustic-cool looking. The bread that accompanies all breakfast items is apparently locally baked in Escondido and a mix between white and wheat.  Hearty bread I would say, but was very good.  The salmon was flaked into large chunks in the patty below the egg.  It is mixed with a potato blend that almost tastes like mashed potato with chunks of potatoes inside.  The flower is apparently edible but just tastes like flowers.  The hollandaise sauce was a more liquid version but still tasty.  Sister really liked her dish. 

Here is an up close of the benny.  I just cant handle runny yolks so I wouldnt want to order this dish on my own but would recommend to anyone who likes eggs benedict overall. 

Here is what my sausage omelet looks like.  Its cool because they cook them to order in an individual griddle pan that gets started on the range and finishes setting up in the oven.  Not low calorie fare by any means but sometimes you need something that will just bliss you out.  Its served on this cool marbley round platter that adds to the ambience of your order.  All omelets come with a choice of side: potato pancake, fresh fruit, salad or grilled proscuitto.  Potato pancake seemed to have some cheese mixed into the potatoes...extra indulgent, I would have preferred home potatoes or roasted taters with rosemary or chives.  The omelet was good.  Very filling and actually I only ended up eating half.  Good amount of tomatoes and sausage chunks.  The only other bad part is that they dont have condiments on the table and you have to ask for them like a whiny customer. 

Just in case you wanted to see it up close.  Doesnt it remind you of a pan pizza?  That is my first thought. 

Here is the way that the hub area of the restaurant looked like.  There is the counter where the orders come out of.  They have an extensive selection of coffees and teas.  On the counter, they have a platter of fresh baked cookies that we didnt have the room to try out.  Apparently they are shortbread cookies with a fruit jam in the middle and topped with shredded coconut on top.  The server said that they might consider making a few without coconuts next time.  Well...since you twisted my arm!

Everyone was friendly here from the owner to the servers.  Portions are sizable and you will not leave hungry.  Not gigantor like some other restaurants mind you but I was able to take home half of my omelet after surmising that I couldnt finish another bite.  I recommend that you have everyone order something different and play the sharing game...

xxoo kiddos


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about our place. I am the owner and my name is Alex. Please introduce yourself next time you visit us and i will make sure you get a cookie for later (even if you will have full stomach).

    P.S. Our bread is made in the house daily as almost everything else

    It was very pleasant to read a feedback from our customer in such a beautiful manner. We appreciate that

  2. Alex-
    nice to make your acquaintance. sorry about the error in the source of your bread btw...either way it was very good. Hope to see you soon =)

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