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John O' Groats? Great Breaakfasts in SF Valley?

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Bob Shapiro Jan 25, 2001 04:21 AM

I hear T-Bow's House of Eggs in Canoga Park is awful now, and I am looking for a great breakfat place to take my kids on weekends! We area looking for casual breakfast, with Eggs-Pancakes etc...

Any good leads in San Fernando Valley or anyine have feedback about John O'Groats on Pico Blvd?

I appreciate any info I can get!

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    david dixon RE: Bob Shapiro Jan 25, 2001 02:47 PM

    bob - sorry to say that i don't know of any great breakfast spots in the sfvalley. john o'groats has some pretty good blueberry pancakes but i've only been once, and it was during lunch. the pancakes were not good enough for me to crave them but if i lived closer i would try the place again for breakfast.

    david

    4 Replies
    1. re: david dixon
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      Jane Tunks RE: david dixon Jan 25, 2001 03:33 PM

      Jinky's (on Ventura) is swooned over by many. I have never been there, so I can't vouch for it. Can anyone else?

      1. re: Jane Tunks
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        Bob Brooks RE: Jane Tunks Jan 25, 2001 07:03 PM

        I have never eaten at Jinky's either but I am very impressed by the endless number of people waiting to get in to a place that only serves breakfast and lunch.

        I hope a fellow chowhounder can tell us why it is worth waiting for what looks to be the better part of an hour in order to get a table.

        1. re: Bob Brooks
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          Andie RE: Bob Brooks Jan 29, 2001 02:44 PM

          Breakfast and brunch are my special mission and I am progressively working my way through suggestions from the Chowhound board that were previously unfamiliar to me. I've been to John O'Groats several times, pre-dating my discovery of Chowhound. So far, I judge it to be better than any breakfast spot I have tried as a result of board recommendations. The only breakfast experience that has bettered it, to date, has been Campanile's weekend brunch, where the French toast was the best I have EVER had, anywhere in the world.
          I cannot highly recommend the John O'Groats pancakes, but that is simply because I have yet to find any American pancakes that are anywhere near as good as homemade or those I've had in other countries. I don't know why but American pancakes always seem to be huge, bland, lifeless slabs whose makers seem to expect you to be impressed by size, as though they are admitting they cannot make a pancake that tastes good but by golly they can give you a lot of it. So, O'Groats pancakes are probably better than others but still not anything great in my book. Last couple of times I've had their very good waffles, topped with mixed fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana), butter, and syrup. The notable thing about O'Groats, to me, is the professionalism of the entire operation, from the quick, efficient, and polite attention to and seating of those waiting in line on weekend mornings through to the cleanliness of the restaurant, the politeness and professionalism of waitstaff and the exceptional quality of the food itself. A waffle with fruit sounds like maybe no big deal, but everything about it is fresh and top quality--I don't know where they get their berries but they're perfect, prime, sweet, and better than anything I've found retail. O'Groats is family-owned and run and they obviously take a pride rarely found these days in caring about every aspect of what they do. On the savoury side of the menu, although I've never tried them, they're also famous for their baking-powder biscuits and smoked pork chops.
          Other good breakfast spots I've enjoyed are Café Montana in Brentwood, and the Rose Café in Venice, which is child-friendly but best experienced on a warm summer's morning on their lovely garden patio.
          From the posts about Jinky's, I look forward to trying it soon, and will add the address here for anyone else who was similarly inspired by the recommendations.

          John O'Groats
          10516 W Pico Blvd
          West LA
          (310) 204-0692

          Café Montana
          1534 Montana Ave
          Santa Monica
          (310) 829-3990

          The Rose Café
          220 Rose Ave
          Venice
          (310) 399-0711

          Jinky's Café
          14120 Ventura Blvd, Ste A-B
          Sherman Oaks
          (818) 981-2250

        2. re: Jane Tunks
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          Hoc RE: Jane Tunks Jan 27, 2001 02:59 PM

          I never pass up a chance to eat at Jinky's. Whenever I am in the Valley in the morning, I make a special trip. They have some very good and creative breakfasts. Pumpkin pancakes are always good. They had conflake-encrusted French Toast that was good, as well. But my favorites have been their coconut-crusted french toast with fresh blueberries, they have a scramble that consists of eggs scrambled with Jodi Maroni's sausage, tortilla strips, peppers, and southwestern spices, served with sour cream and green pea guacamole that I absolutely love. You will never go wrong with Jinky's.

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        elisha RE: Bob Shapiro Jan 26, 2001 02:40 AM

        I like o'groat's. it's not inspired, but it is good. the eggs benedict is my fav. with lox. but breakfast potatoes are ok. sandwiches are good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: elisha
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          Donna RE: elisha Feb 1, 2001 12:56 AM

          O'Groats is overrated. Jack Sprat's, just down the street has much better omelettes, french toast and belgian waffles and you don't have to wait!

          1. re: Donna
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            Pepper RE: Donna Feb 3, 2001 10:33 AM

            I kind of love John O' Groats at breakfast, especially for the smoked pork chops, the ultra-creamy Irish oatmeal, and the baking-powder biscuits, which still have just a vibrating hint of a bitter edge and make the preserves taste just divine. Good coffee, blueberry pancakes, fresh-squeezed juice--what more could you want from breakfast?

            Except for slightly shorter lines.

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