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May 10, 2009 12:33 PM

Breakfast at Camino

Finally got to Camino for breakfast this morning (Mothers' Day). Despite the crowds due to the day, the breakfast was super. Loved my PERFECT poached egg with grilled asparagus and pork belly. Stole some really nice french toast from my son. The duck fat roast potatoes and pork sausage with herbs were excellent. The sausage serving seemed especially generous for $5. I had a great cocktail (think Bloody Mary w/ gin rather than vodka) and the dudes enjoyed house made lemonade. Only caveat here is that the drinks are small, though they pack a punch in the flavor department. With the grilled bread and sweet condiments the total was around $66 for three before tip. I thought this was reasonable for the quality of the food.

I think you can walk in on most Saturdays, but they say it's getting quite busy on Sunday mornings. Regardless, Camino is now at the top of my list for great East Bay breakfasts where you can book a table instead waiting outside for an hour+. The previous safe bet was Eccolo, but I found the food more flavorful (and a bit less expensive) at Camino.

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  1. Huh, first I've heard they were doing brunch. Sat. & Sun. 10-2. Nice option.

    Sea Salt takes reservations too.

    3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I still need to try breakfast there, though I'm happy at Sea Salt at all other times of the day.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Reminds me of the Millbrae Pancake House - great little place.

      2. Any other recent reports on the brunch at Camino? I've been hesitant to go for dinner just because I'm on a tighter budget recently, but the brunch prices seem more reasonable, so I'm thinking about going tomorrow.

        I assume the menu varies from week to week, but are there any standard items that stand out? The duck fat potatoes? Anyone had the homemade doughnuts?

        Just thinking about trying a new breakfast place. Corso and Pican are other possibilities--restaurants I like where I haven't been for their brunch yet. Pican seems a bit pricy.

        3 Replies
        1. re: abstractpoet

          The Duck fat potatoes are quite good. The sausage is really good. The homemade doughnuts are pretty good, definitely worth ordering at least once but not something I would order time and again (the fries and sausage on the other hand...). The wood oven baked egg is quite good. Get two of them. Also the basket of grilled bread is good and something to munch on and use to clean up the egg.

          1. re: abstractpoet

            I don't know if these are still being served, but Camino had sweet and savory plates with small tastes of several different rotating items and, with grilled bread, these were delicious. There was an herb jam which I would like to have again.

            1. re: neu

              Yeah, I think these are still on the menu. I would like to try this at some point, especially if going with a somewhat larger group.

          2. So I did end up going to Camino for brunch this morning (a Saturday) and enjoyed it very much. Hardly anyone there at quarter after 10:00, so having that beautiful space almost all to ourselves felt really luxurious.

            My wife and I decided to share several small plates. We ordered the grilled sausages ($5), the duck fat roasted potatoes ($5), two wood-oven baked eggs with cream and herbs ($5), and the homemade doughnuts with fresh strawberries and raspberries ($6).

            Everything was delicious, but the standouts were the potatoes (how can you go wrong with duck fat?) and the eggs--preferably the one drenched in the delicious, yolky juices of the other.

            The doughnuts were OK, but I probably wouldn't order them again. The beignets at T-Rex (among others) are better, and I thought it was weird eating doughnuts with fresh fruit. Would have much rather had these with some nice homemade jam. We also should have asked them to bring this out either before or after the savory dishes--the doughnuts just ended up sitting on the table until we'd finished everything else. Maybe they would have tasted better piping hot.

            I had a skillfully prepared Blue Bottle cappuccino, and my wife had a cup of pretty tasty Four Barrel drip coffee.

            My wife commented on how the food was much more rustic than she had been expecting, which, for us, was definitely a good thing. I enjoyed the change of pace of this small-plate / a la carte style of breakfast--it makes it really easy to share, and you can try a bunch of different things. This would be a fantastic place to come for brunch with a big group, especially with those long tables.

            Total bill was only $30 before tip. We were fully sated, but not stuffed (as is often the case with brunch places). Obviously, we would have paid more if we'd ordered different things, but nevertheless, this is a very good deal for this caliber of food. I'm not really sure why the brunch option here doesn't get more buzz. We'll definitely be back.

            1 Reply
            1. re: abstractpoet

              Thanks for the tip, abstractpoet!

              Upon reading your post, we went to try the brunch this morning and it was well worth it. We walked in around 1:00PM and were seated prompty. Altogether, the two of us ordered the two types of eggs - poached and wood-oven baked, the duck fat roasted potatoes, and the butter lettuce salad with beets and herbs, coupled with cups of Four Barrel coffee. They grind the coffee using this antique Enterprise Manufacturing Co. grinder (found on eBay) and the Clever Coffee Dripper from Sweet Maria's. The coffee today was Four Barrel's Guatemala Fina el Injerto Bourbon - a light start with a strong chocolate flavor, delicious.

              My only advice would be to try the wood-oven baked egg last if you can. That was my first dish out, and it was so flavorful that at first, I couldn't taste the duck fat in the subsequent potato dish. I ended up dumping the poached egg, once it came out, back into the empty baked egg dish to sop up more of the delicious cream sauce.

              We'll definitely be back as well!

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Good to hear that things were full. We went the second day they did the brunch and it was definitely pretty sparsely attended. Went last weekend and it was easy to tell that folks were starting to warm up to the place and come in for brunch. We usualy go on the earlier side (and you can get reservations so we've done that too).

                3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

                1. re: skwid

                  It's been full every time we've gone there recently, so it's a good idea to make a reservation.