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New Breakfast spots in Monterey? Huevos Rancheros?

susancinsf Aug 2, 2007 06:34 AM

I'm as likely as anyone to chime in with Monterey suggestions on this board, but now I'd like some help....I am often diving when in Monterey, which means a very early start and breakfast might be a pastry or even (don't tell anyone) the number one at McDonalds...When I have had time for breakfast LouLou's has been a favorite in the past.

However, I anticipate some time for a real breakfast this weekend, and our last time at LouLou's the food wasn't as good, and even though we got there fairly early the only seats available were at the (uncomfortable) counter. So, am looking for new alternatives. I would prefer Monterey proper or Seaside (given the location of our motel) over Pacific Grove. Carmel is probably further than we want to drive before eating.

Did a search. Jaweino mentioned Old Monterey Cafe several times, but apparently they are quite crowded on weekends, and small besides. I am *not* a fan of having to wait in line for breakfast, nor do I want to have to get up early. Breakfast Club in Seaside has been mentioned, and they do have a nice menu overall, but I was a bit (and perhaps unfairly?) turned off by their description of huevos rancheros being served on flour tortillas...

Speaking of huevos rancheros, I'd love to find a spot that serves good ones in Monterey.
Any feedback on the above spots, or on other locations, especially if they serve huevos rancheros? I'd love any suggestions, and am willing to try something new in the hopes of being able to pass it along if anyone else is looking for breakfast options in Monterey off the beaten path...

Huevos or no, I am looking for suggestions for a full breakfast, not a pastry/coffee type of place.

Thanks for any help; will report back!

  1. susancinsf Aug 4, 2007 05:28 PM

    I am planning to do a full report on my Monterey eating, which is going very well so far, but it may take a few days and the internet is dicey where we are staying, so in the meantime I just had to say, THANKS to Ed for the Tico's rec. It was great. Really great. Exceeded my high expectations: both the huevos rancheros and eggs benedict were as good as I can recall tasting in recent years. and yes, outstanding potatoes. and no wait at all at 9:30 this am.

    I'd go back tomorrow if I wasn't diving. May still go back tomorrow for a late lunch on my way home. and given its out of the way location, I never would have known of this place if not for CH.

    Thanks again! Full report in a few days....gotta go: off to Ambrosia :-)

    ps: both the rasberry dessert and the peach cobbler on the menu last night at Passionfish were outstanding. anyone reading this and going in the next day or two: don't miss these if they are on the menu!

    3 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf
      s
      sweetnspicy Aug 4, 2007 11:10 PM

      Looking forward to your report. If you have a chance, go to Pavels Bakery in PG get their olive sun-dried tomato bread. It has got to be one if not the best bread I have had. It's on Forest Ave. not quite a block up from Lighthouse.

      1. re: susancinsf
        Ed Dibble Aug 6, 2007 09:35 AM

        You're very welcome. Anything I can do to steer people to Tico's. It is amazingly good. He is now open for Fri and Sat dinners, but I ran out of time and there is no beer/wine. But it would be interesting to see what he can do with a major meal.

        The raspberry desert at PF has been one of my favorites for years - so simple, so good.

        Looking forward to your report.

        ed

        1. re: Ed Dibble
          w
          woodfam Oct 1, 2007 10:34 AM

          The local military does "working breakfasts" every week so between our two offices, my husband and I have tried about every place in the area. Although we tend ot avoid smaller restaraunts, where a military crowd cramps the locals' style, we have some universal favorites. First Awakenings in PG is probably number one. They don't offer hashbrowns on the menu but if you ask nicely, the chef will accomodate. The Breakfast Club in Seaside is also a favorite but we try to stick to Monterey and Pacific Grove. Another good one in PG is Breaker's Cafe on Forest Ave, but they're a little on the pricey side.
          Again, we do working breakfasts so I have no idea how crowed these places get on weekends.
          If you're looking for a great, laid back lunch, we would have volunteered to move back here for a Compagnos sandwich alone. Compagnos is a family-owned deli on the corner of Prescott and Taylor. The line at lunch during the week is wrapped around the building but they're primary business is the millitary base and we're a M-F operation here. Sat and Sun should be a calm and quiet time to visit.

      2. t
        tnilsson Aug 2, 2007 01:59 PM

        You are kind of asking for the impossible: a really good breakfast restaurant that is not crowded late on weekend mornings. You really should try the Old Monterey Cafe. It is not all that small and it is worth the wait (when there is one). There is also a good little cafe in Pacific Grove (I don't recall the name, but it is on the ocean side of Lighthouse near 17th or Forrest) with crab omlettes, Red's donuts etc.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tnilsson
          susancinsf Aug 2, 2007 03:45 PM

          Thanks, but to clarify: I don't eat late morning: I am talking about eating breakfast around nine. I have seen posts on other forums that the lines at Old Monterey Cafe start at seven am which is what I mean by getting up early (and I have seen crowds there myself when driving by though I am not sure what the hour was)....but in any event, It isn't impossible in SF, where some of my favorite great breakfast spots have no wait at all, even at nine on weekends, while places that are no better have waits of over an hour. So, I am really hoping for a similar phenomenon in Monterey (I am not a believer in the theory that the most crowded places are always the best)...so I don't want to wait if there are indeed any good places without the wait. Perhaps Tico's is that place?

          1. re: tnilsson
            j
            jaweino Aug 2, 2007 05:07 PM

            I think you're talking about Toasties. It's very good for breakfast. It's one of my favorite places. I have to admit that I haven't had the huevos rancheros either there or at The Breakfast Club, but I like both. If given my choice, I think I'd go with Toasties. Also I've never been to either at 9:00 on a weekend. Toasties is pretty large, so the line moves quickly when there is one. I just got an email from Tarpy's that they are now doing a Sunday Brunch. I know nothing about it.

          2. s
            sweetnspicy Aug 2, 2007 11:45 AM

            Last time I was in LouLous I felt the food was sub-par as well. French toast was soggy.
            I would suggest Ann Kelly's on the Lake across from the warf and I've always enjoyed everything there. I've never had their huevos but everything has been nice and tasty.
            There is Wild Plum cafe mainly a lunch spot they have a skillett scrambles for breakfast but it might fall into more of a pastry/coffee type place.
            Trailside Cafe on Wave St. stay away during busy months. The service lacks, but food is above average.
            http://www.annkellys.com
            www.trailsidecafe.com
            www.themenupage.com/thewildplum.html

            3 Replies
            1. re: sweetnspicy
              susancinsf Aug 2, 2007 03:46 PM

              thanks. I have enjoyed trailside cafe for lunch, but you are correct about the service; it was not as good as the food!

              1. re: susancinsf
                s
                sweetnspicy Aug 2, 2007 04:03 PM

                Sorry, about the link for Ann Kelly's I didn't realize it was not up yet.

                1. re: susancinsf
                  susancinsf Jan 26, 2008 08:15 PM

                  I just wanted to bump this up to mention that hubby and I had a late lunch at Trailside Cafe very recently, and this time both the food and the service were very good to excellent! I had a daily special of a delicious lentil and sausage soup, and a half of a turkey sandwich, and the service was friendly, helpful and efficient. If they can keep that up this will be one of the better alternatives for those who are interested in lunch spots walking distance from the aquarium (it is about a half block from the main city parking lot for the aquarium).

                  -----
                  Trailside Cafe
                  550 Wave St, Monterey, CA 93940

              2. s
                svL Aug 2, 2007 10:24 AM

                Couple of weeks ago, while in Salinas for the rodeo, I had excellent huevos rancheros at First Awakenings in downtown Salinas. I'm no expert in huevos, but these were the best I've ever had.

                FA is a popular breakfast restaurant with branches in Salinas and Monterey. I was somewhat surprised by how good the huevos were, because, to me, FA is a somewhat gringo kind of place, but I guess their kitchen (at least in Salinas) is manned by Mexicans who know what they are doing.

                1. Ed Dibble Aug 2, 2007 09:27 AM

                  Tico's is still going and still good. I had two meals there again this visit to the peninsula. The mushroom omelette is wonderful. And the breakfast potatoes are outstanding. Eggs Benedict are great. He has a wonderful touch with hollandaise.

                  I can't remember if he does heuvos rancheros or not as I didn't take a pic of his regular menu, but the weekend special menu does list breakfast enchiladas, so heuvos rancheros are probably on the regular menu. Nonetheless, it would be hard for me to order a breakfast that didn't include his potatoes.

                  Take the Marina Del Monte exit to Reservation road, take a right and drive a few blocks. It is in a stripmall just to the west of a large Korean BBQ. (330 Res. Road).
                  Highly recommended.

                  ed

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Ed Dibble
                    susancinsf Aug 2, 2007 03:51 PM

                    Thank you, clearly it is time to try Tico's! Hubby would be happy to order Eggs Benedict rather than huevos rancheros, but it would be great if we could do both.....Can't believe that I didn't remember your prior post, since I said I would keep it in mind for occaisons like this! :-)

                    So to address the issue discussed below: do you think I can expect big crowds and waits at nine am? I am hoping not, Marina being a bit off the tourist track....

                    I also appreciate the mention of First Awakenings before. Have eaten there, but it has been a long, long time, and I have to admit that I wasn't impressed. OTOH, I didn't order huevos rancheros, so it might be worth finding out if the Monterey location is as good as Salinas.....

                    1. re: susancinsf
                      Ed Dibble Aug 3, 2007 09:44 AM

                      I have never seen a crowd and line at Tico's, but 9 am is earlier than I show up almost anywhere when on vacation. But as you point out, Marina is not packed with tourists. I get the impression that locals are the only customers at Tico's (well, except for me, I guess; but I consider myself an honarary local) Phone # is (831) 582-2509.

                      ed

                      1. re: Ed Dibble
                        Melanie Wong Aug 3, 2007 11:59 AM

                        There is a farmers market on sunday mornings in Marina that may have some impact on breakfast crowds.

                        -----
                        First Awakenings
                        171 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901

                        Tico's Breakfast & Lunch
                        330 Reservation Rd, Marina, CA 93933

                  2. toodie jane Aug 2, 2007 09:18 AM

                    I recalled seeing this post. Despite planning to, still haven't made it, but it sounds fabulous.

                    http://www.chowhound.com./topics/313747

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