34689 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
Now that I have been getting Sundays off from work with a little bit of regularity, I've become pretty lazy on the last day of the week, or the first day depending on how you look at it. We usually don't start moving around until 9 am and then we throw about ideas on what we are going to do with our day. Most of the time Katie goes to see her nephew and I get some work done on this restaurant blog. This particular weekend she had no plans with her family, so we decided to take a jaunt around Dana Point Harbor, and while down there, of course, get some breakfast. We tried Proud Mary's for the first time.
It's pretty amazing that this was our first time at Proud Mary's when you consider how often we have walked this picturesque harbor, and how long Proud Mary's has been around. Mary Merrill opened this place up in 1977 and then sold it to the Zdrakas family in 2005. After a 2007 fire destroyed the original restaurant, the family vowed to come back to the community that showed them so much support while they were closed, with a new and improved version of Proud Mary's. They enlarged their patio, taking advantage of the great year round Dana Point weather, they reimagined their dining room and added a banquet space with a new menu so they can hold special events at the restaurant.
We got here just before 11 on a very busy Sunday morning in Dana Point. We parked quite a ways away, but walking was part of the reason we came down here. Proud Mary's is situated between Turk's and the Wind and Sea Restaurant, right near where you catch the Catalina Express for your trip 26 miles across the sea. We had a close to 10-minute wait, which wasn't too bad, but it was a much longer wait for a table on their happening patio.
The breakfast menu at Mary's says that they only serve breakfast until noon, which has been a bone of contention among customers since the old Proud Mary's used to serve breakfast all day. The breakfast menu has all the items you would expect to see on it. There are breakfast sandwiches, egg dishes, breakfast burritos, griddled items, and a decent selection of combination plates. We couldn't wait to dig in and continue our walk after breakfast.
This good-looking California Scramble ($13) was Katie's selection. When this was placed in front of her, the colors just seemed to emanate from the plate. This scramble was made up of turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and avocado. This was a pretty good-sized portion, and one that Katie felt was good, but it didn't really pack the flavor punch she was expecting. Maybe some cheese on this would have helped push this up a notch.
I was also feeling the scramble vibe at Proud Mary's, where I ordered the Meaty Scramble ($12.50). I'm always in when I see the holy trinity of breakfast meats on one plate on a breakfast menu. This scramble included ham, bacon, and sausage, and was bound together with some cheddar cheese. I kind of had the same feelings about my breakfast as Katie had about hers, it was fine, but kind of average. The home fries were decent, but needed more seasoning and maybe a little more crunch to them. No, I'm not into wheat toast, but that's what came with this, and it didn't seem like they had any other bread options available.
As is my usual need when eating my first meal of the day, I need a sweet item to go along with my savory breakfast option. On this morning I tried this Short Stack of Pancakes ($7.50 with chocolate chips added). I was pretty impressed with these. Not too doughy, full of chocolatey goodness, and not dry either. A pretty impressive plate of pancakes. Still heavy, but I have kind of come to expect that from pancakes.
Proud Mary's ended up being a decent option for breakfast in Dana Point Harbor area. It's not as good as What A Dish Cafe, but it's not as bad as the overly hyped RJ's Cafe. Proud Mary's is kind of situated in the middle of the restaurants we've tried down there. Service was a little spotty during our stay, maybe because we were sitting in an out of the way corner of the restaurant which was easy to miss. We'd still come back here again if we can shake off the laziness that we always seem to have on Sundays.
Out of five Vulcans, (because everyone knows the CCR or Tina Turner version of the song Proud Mary, but you probably don't know that Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy also sang the song), five being best to zero being worst, Proud Mary's gets 3 Vulcans.
For more information about Proud Mary's, head to their website by clicking here: http://www.proudmarysdp.com/