Ramos House - San Juan Capistrano
When you have a day to enjoy, take the train down to San Juan Capistrano. This place is directly across the railroad tracks from the train station. Have lunch at this place, take a walk around the town, go to the mission, relax a little, and then take the train back home… perfect.
There’s an eclectic menu, but it’s seemingly all good.
Flannel ragout with “poached fried eggs” is delicious. It's a beet salad base covered by poached eggs that are deep fried with a panko crust and a little hollandaise over the top. YUM.
While crab cakes are usually a disappointingly small amount of food, this is the opposite. It’s embarrassingly large. It’s a whole mound of food. The crab cakes are under a large layer of scrambled eggs with baked sweet potato shavings over the top. Taste is good. Too much food.
The fried chicken salad is seemingly healthy as the fried chicken isn’t greasy at all. The salad is mostly fresh spinach with a nice poppy-seed-like dressing. The fried chicken is breast meat, and ranges from too dry to almost too dry. It’s got a unique breading of cornmeal, with the small seed of the meal playing a prominent role.
And the beignets are wonderful. We had them as an appetizer, but they would be a perfect dessert.
This place is a gem. Eating outside is a pleasure, although it is literally alongside the railroad tracks. So every time a train goes by, it drowns out the conversation.
It takes a while to get seated, but once in, service is good.
31752 Los Rios Street (literally right across the tracks from the train station)
San Juan Capistrano
Ramos House Cafe
31752 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Since I grew up with trains around me, those train passings added more to the eclectic atmosphere.
Their restroom is cute; it's an actual outhouse done really nicely...with the walls decked out with photos of various other outhouses.
I enjoy Ramos more for their atmosphere than their food. But perhaps it's b/c I went there w/such high expectations....
We've never had a bad meal at Ramos in the several years we've been going. Granted, we don't go all the time because it's a little further South than I'd prefer, but I'd say we've been well over a dozen times since 2000'ish. The atmosphere may be one of the very best in all of Orange County. It's such a gem.
R. Jason Coulston