1720 South Grand Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Father's Day is a little rough on married couples. You have to make time to see both dads, and that usually involves some sort of a compromise. Luckily, Katie's family is pretty flexible about when they get a chance to see us. They pretty much allow my family to make plans, and then we work around them to make sure we get to see Katie's family. This year, my parents were doing something later in the afternoon, so that left Father's Day morning open to spend with my dad. Since they live in Yorba Linda, we always try to meet somewhere in the middle, and this time it just so happened that we met at Cowgirls Cafe in Santa Ana.
I found this place, as I usually do, on Yelp, and it was highly rated, and fit our criteria of being near the mid point for all of us. I'm not sure of the history of this restaurant, but it's been in business for over ten years. Located just south of Edinger, in a heavy industrial area, the restaurant has a classic diner vibe. It kind of felt like a retro Denny's, with a western tinge to it. The booths were comfortable, there was a tiny six seat, old school counter, along with plenty of cowboy pictures hanging on the wall, with a special emphasis on John Wayne. Also of note, a wall of license plates covering one wall, right above the counter seats.
We were a little worried this place was going to be packed, with it being Father's Day and all, but we got right in at 8:30. The menu here is dominated by American breakfast classics, with five items offered for those of you that would prefer a Mexican slant on your first meal of the day. They also have a whole page of their menu dedicated to lunch items, but be advised that they close by 3 on most days, and by 2 pm on the weekends. As usual I showed up here knowing already what I wanted to have, so I waited for my parents to make up their minds, and then waited patiently for our food to arrive. This is how our Father's day went down at Cowgirls Cafe.
Even though it was Father's Day, it's still ladies first, so we'll check out Katie's choice, this Breakfast Burrito ($7.65). This was listed on the front of the menu, under specials. This double wrapped breakfast burrito came filled with egg, sausage, onion, green chilies, cheese, and ranchero sauce, which Katie opted to have on the side. She called this a solid breakfast burrito which was easy to handle, and she liked it, but, was not wowed by it. This also came with a side of hash browns, which she enjoyed.
Also listed on the front of the menu, under the specials was this Breakfast Croissant ($7.45) that my my mom took down. Two eggs divided between each half of a croissant, then topped with bacon, cheese, and usually tomato, but my mom decided she did not want the tomato. My mom loves breakfast sandwiches, and even though this was a pretty simple one, she enjoyed it. The croissant was fresh, and was a nice deviation form the usual breakfast sandwiches she usually orders. Instead of the hash browns that usually come with this, she opted for a bowl of fresh fruit, which she shared with the rest of us.
Now the man of the hour on this Father's Day, my dad's meal was the Cowgirl Omelette ($9.95). This three egg omelette was filled with cheddar cheese, bacon, tomato, mushroom, and topped with plenty of avocado. Even though this was three eggs, my dad had no problem finishing this meal. He called this, "a solid meal, and a great way to start the day." I guess it was a trend on this morning, my dad also wanted to forgo the potatoes that come with this, and had the cottage cheese instead. I'm not a fan of this option, but it was his day, so I held my tongue.
I'm not really big on surprises, so I almost always check out menus before we leave the house, so I knew I'd be having this Country Skillet ($9.95) on this morning. I'm a big fan of skillet breakfasts, and this was a very good and hearty one. The base was of course diced potatoes, and is then topped with three eggs, cubed sausage, bacon, cheddar cheese, and country gravy. The cheese and bacon kind of was pushed to the background here, but there was also enough to keep me interested. The gravy was pretty solid, with plenty of flavor, and a nice smooth texture. I also was a big fan of the sausage used here. Potatoes could have been cut up a little more, but still a good, stick to your ribs kind of meal. This also came with toast, which was nicely toasted and buttered well.
Yes, I had enough with just the skillet, but I like to have sweet to go along with my savory for the first meal of the day, so Two Hotcakes ($3.45) were brought out for us also. These were some pretty tasty cakes. They were lighter than others, and still retained their flavor, a very delicate balance to achieve.
The food at Cowgirls Cafe is not going to blow you away with its creativity, but if you are in the mood for an honest and solid first meal of the day, then you may want to head over here. Service was spot on this morning, as they were very intent on keeping glasses full, checking on us regularly, and turning over tables, so they could seat everyone waiting at the front door. The staff did all of this in a nice, relaxed way, which was much appreciated by all. My dad summed it up best, when he commented, "This is the kind of breakfast spot that we need in Yorba Linda." He's right, and I'm not just saying that because this was Father's Day. Every neighborhood deserves a good breakfast spot, a place where you can sit down with your neighbors, have a cup of coffee, and chow down on some legit breakfast foods. For the people of southeast Santa Ana, this is your place. For the rest of us, it's a great spot to visit if you are in the area.
Out of five horses, (because all cowgirls need a horse to get around), five being best to zero being worst, Cowgirls Cafe gets 3 solid horses.
For more information about Cowgirls Cafe, head over to their website here: http://www.cowgirlscafesa.com/home.html