Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Trip Down the Coast For Breakfast


RJ's Cafe
25001 Dana Point Harbor Dr.
Dana Point, CA 92629

Our winter this year in OC has been one of the mildest in a long time. There have been a few days of temperatures in the 50's and a few days of rain, but for the most part the weather has been great. Especially when you consider the record snow that the eastern part of the country has encountered.

Katie and I decided to take advantage of a nice February morning in the mid 60's, by walking the harbor in Dana Point. Exercise is great and everything , but of course I had alternative motives for doing this. It of course gave us a reason to try a breakfast spot, in a city where we have not been back to for almost a year, Dana Point. After reading the reviews of breakfast places in this seaside town, one place really grabbed our attention, RJ's Cafe.

RJ's is located in the shopping center across from Harpoon Henry's and The Brig. It is a shopping center with wood buildings, and RJ's is kind of hidden from street view. Just look for the crowd of people waiting for a table on weekends. We got to the restaurant at 10:30, and was told it was going to be a twenty minute wait. It was closer to 45 minutes, but the people watching made the time go by quicker than you would think.

RJ's has a nice outside patio that has about ten tables, but we were sat inside the bustling, somewhat cramped dining room. The dining room has about 20 tables, some of which are too close together. They do have more than enough people working here though. I counted at least six wait staff, taking orders, running food, and making sure things were running smoothly. It seemed to be a real team effort. The dining room had a pretty relaxed feel, even though the weekend breakfast rush was in full effect. The menu included almost everything you would expect on a breakfast menu, including some items that RJ's put their own spin on. Let's see what came to our table on this gorgeous southern California winter morning.



One of the items that most people on-line talked about most here was the Apple Cinnamon Stuffed French Toast ($8.25). This is made with French bread, stuffed with cream cheese, and topped with apples and cinnamon. It was then lightly dusted with powdered sugar. I am not the worlds biggest fan of cream cheese, but Katie really seemed to like this better than I did. When I have something like French toast, I want it to be sweet. The cream cheese cut the sweetness too much for me with this. I did like this a little better by adding some maple syrup to my half of it.



After almost four years of being together, sometimes Katie can still surprise me by what she orders. I can not remember another time that she has ordered an Eggs Benedict ($9.25), like she did here. This classic breakfast dish was made the traditional way. Katie was pretty pleased with this plate. She felt the egg was well done, the ham was nice and thick, and the hollandaise sauce was very flavorful. She liked that they were not skimpy with the sauce, so she could mix it into her home fried potatoes.



I am usually more partial to breakfast skillets, which they don't have at RJ's,  so I was relegated to having an omelette. The breakfast menu is very omelette focused here, with a whopping fifteen varieties of this breakfast staple. I eventually settled on the Hole In The Fence Omelette ($8.95). This unusual sounding omelette contained mushrooms, sausage, and jack and cheddar cheeses. This omelette was made with three eggs, and it was pretty tasty. Filled with lots of fillings that were cut in big hunks, this was a very stomach stuffing breakfast. The home fried potatoes could have been fried crisper, and maybe seasoned a little more than they were. A very good omelette though.

It is easy to see why so many people flock to RJ's for breakfasts. They give you a lot of food for the price. Very few of the items are over the double digit mark, and you will definitely leave RJ's very full. I would not hesitate to order any egg dish here, but I would probably forgo the stuffed french toast in favor of the blueberry pancakes on future visits. Even with the busy atmosphere here, our service was pretty good. Food was served promptly, the waitress kept things moving, and they did all this without making us feel rushed. This was a good place to replenish after our walk around the harbor.

Out of five pilgrims, (because Dana Point Harbor contains a replica of Richard Henry Dana's ship, The Pilgrim, which is used as a floating classroom by the the Ocean Institute), five being best to zero being worst, RJ's Cafe gets 3 pilgrims.

For more information about RJ's Cafe, click here: http://www.rjscafe.com/index.html

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