2698 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
We were fresh off our second 5k of the year and needed some nourishment after we had probably burned ten calories by leisurely walking 3 miles at the OC Fairgrounds. My sister, brother-in-law, and one of my nieces joined us for this race. After we collected our participation medals and gulped down some water, they left it up to me to find a place to get breakfast. I suggested the nearby Dick Church's
This was my first time ever at Dick Church's, which is incredible since I lived nearby for over ten years and because this place has been open for business since 1972. Even before that, this location has been a couple of different restaurants since 1948, which makes it one of the oldest continuously operating restaurant locations in OC.
Dick Church's sits at the corner of Fair Drive and Newport Boulevard, across the freeway from the OC Fairgrounds. It could best be described as a diner with vintage decor, which attracts a wide range of clientele. The wood paneling, orange upholstered furniture, and brightly colored walls bring to mind what I always wanted for my game room while growing up.
The breakfast and lunch menus at Dick's are pretty straightforward. Egg dishes, griddle items, and breakfast faves are available for people who enjoy the day's first meal. The lunch portion of the menu features sandwiches, salads, burgers, and small plates. Nothing on these menus is over $20, with most items hovering around the $15 mark. The dinner menu is a bit more extensive, with salmon, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, and steak available at just over $20.
When we arrived at Dick Church's at half past nine, we were met with about a ten-minute wait for a table, which was not too bad. We were seated in the roomy booth at the front of the restaurant, with a window looking out onto their makeshift front patio. Our server was friendly, taking our drink order and coming back promptly to see what we wanted for our meals. So let's see if Dick's was a good choice for our post-race meal.
My sister is not the biggest fan of breakfast foods, or maybe she was just trying to be a trendy millennial by getting this Avocado Toast ($11). The toasted sourdough was smeared with plenty of avocados mixed with garlic and perched atop some arugula and pickled red onion on the side. She enjoyed this tremendously. I have never really gotten the fascination with avocado toast. Yes, it's okay, but it's not over-the-top fantastic, and its upcharge is unreal. Maybe 20 cents to half a dollar for the bread, avocados are going for $2 in the markets, and the rest is profit. No wonder almost all restaurants have this on their menus. They make a killing on it.
Katie, of course, loves breakfast, and she selected the Westside Scramble ($15). Two scrambled eggs with bell peppers, bacon, ham, and sausage, then finished with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. The plate was rounded out by some hash browns and her preferred choice of toast for breakfast, rye bread. She felt this was a very well-done classic breakfast plate. She liked the crispiness of the hashbrowns and the unique marbled rye bread option.
People love a Monte Cristo ($14), and my brother-in-law Jarrod can be added to that list. This sandwich comprises two slices of french toast with ham, melted swiss cheese, and fresh preserves. The only problem was that they were out of their fresh preserves, so Jarrod had to settle for packets of Welch's strawberry jam. He enjoyed this sandwich nonetheless, as it had plenty of ham and cheese, and the french toast added to the richness of this sandwich. He splurged for the $1 upcharge to get sweet potato fries instead of regular fries. Monte Cristos are disappearing from menus across OC, so if you are a fan of this sandwich, bookmark this place as another spot where you can get this sandwich.
My niece Kaylie is not the world's biggest eater, but maybe she needed to refuel after our race. She selected this French Toast Combo ($14) to do just that. Two slices of french toast dusted with powdered sugar, two scrambled eggs, and two strips of bacon made up this plate. She ate most of this, and I was strategically seated beside her to sample what she did not finish. I found the french toast to be pretty good but heavy. The bacon was nice and crisp. A well-deserved breakfast plate after walking three miles.
When eating breakfast, I like to have a savory and sweet part to my first meal of the day. It's almost impossible to take a bad picture of Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs ($18). The beef was nicely breaded and topped with a slightly chunky and delicious sausage gravy. It was just tender enough and paired well with the breakfast potatoes. The Short Stack of Chocolate Chip Pancakes ($9) satisfied my sweetness requirement for breakfast. It might not look like it, but a good amount of chocolate chips were included here. I liked these pancakes better than the french toast, but I'm always more partial to pancakes over french toast.
We all left here very satisfied. No, this is not a destination-worthy breakfast spot, but if you are in the area and craving breakfast, it's worth your consideration to visit Dick Church's. The food was good, with the chicken fried steak and the Monte Cristo as highlights, and everything else was solid. However, what might have been even better than what we consumed here was the service we experienced. Our server was friendly and on top of things, even though she was pretty busy with numerous tables. I'm glad I finally made it to Dick Church's after all these years, and now it's off to our next race.
Out of five Plinko chips (because the same year this restaurant opened up, 1972, was also the year that The Price is Right premiered, and probably the most popular game on that show is Plinko), five being best to zero being worst, Dick Church's gets 3 Plinko chips.
For more information about Dick Church's, head to their website by clicking here: https://www.dickchurchs.com/