Benicia - Mike & Gayle's Cafe
The burgers are reasonably priced, the patio is pretty with a nice view of the Carquinez Straight and there's a nice small selection of draft beers and bottled micro-brews for. Coffee is from the local Benicia roaster, Duvall and is served in generous mugs. .
For $3.39 I had the 1/4 burger which came on a good squishy soft bun, topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles and thinly sliced red onion. Nothing amazing but nicely done and good for the price.
Can’t comment on the coffee. I got there three minutes before closing so they gave me what was left in the pot and didn’t charge me. It tasted like end of the day coffee.
They have a small but nice beer list for $2.50 - $4 that include beers like Firestone Double Barrel Ale (draft), bottled micro brews like Jumping Cow and Oregon Honey Beer, imports like Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse and plain old American beer like Bud.
There seems to be a small Greek influence with dishes like a Greek Gyro, but it is mainly burgers and sandwiches. There is a tri-tip dip “with au jus” There’s a garden burger and black bean burger for vegetarians. There is even a vegetarian Benedict for breakfast.
Some of the breakfast dishes …
- Hashbrown Supreme … hashbrowns mixed with ham, mushroom, bell pepper, and tomatoes and onion topped with poached eggs and melted cheddar cheese.
- French Toast stuffed with cream cheese and topped with seasonal fruit.
- Homemade Biscuits and Gravy
- Mickey Mouse Pancake (for those under 12)
- Homemade Corned Beef Hash
- Homemade Country Pork Sausage
- Morning Thunder Espresso milk shake
This seems to be part of Shoreline Restaurant. There is a lovely outdoor patio with green umbrella-shaded tables, a bubbling fountain, old bathtub planters overflowing with flowers, deep blue walls with intense pink bouganvailia and a nice view of the Carquinez Straight and the bridge.
Mike Ioakimedes owned the Washington House Café once.
It was very pleasant and totally worth $3.39.
Who else has tried the restaurant?
Mike & Gayle's
800 Southampton Road, Benicia, CA 94510
Mike and Gayle's is owned by the same people who own the Shoreline. They share the kitchen but have separate menus. M&G faces the street and the Shoreline faces the water. M&G's has a funky soda fountain feel to it, with 70s era album covers on the wall. M&G serve great breakfasts, and terrific sandwiches and burgers for lunch. It's relaxed and friendly and you can eat in their patio and listen to live jazz on friday nights and weekends.
The Shoreline is more "restauranty" and has a nice view of the river and Carquinez Straits bridge.
Both places serve high quality, unpretentious American fare but also share the flakey service. I don't think I've ever been to either place when someone hasn't complained about not getting served, or getting the wrong order, or something. I recommend either place for good food but be patient and be prepared for a screw-up.