If you noticed two slightly over weight middle aged men fighting over a red velvet cupcake in the parking lot of the Carson Ikea this past Sunday afternoon, one of them was me. I needed a work table. My friend suggested Ikea. I knew they had a small cafe that served Swedish meatballs and a .99 cent breakfast 'til 11am. We arrived at 11:05. It being Sunday I thought brunch before the task at hand was in order. We drove east on Avalon, ended up on Long Beach Blvd. and somehow found ourselves in front of Bake 'n Broil on Atlantic Ave. twelve minutes after leaving Ikea. Even with a waiting crowd we snagged two seats at the front counter after only fifteen minutes more.
A recent response to my post on Tracht's in Long Beach cited B'nB as a more desirable and affordable option and I can see his point. Forgoing alcoholic beverage and a sassy setting, B'nB more than competes on the home cooking front and with all due respect to newer places attempting everything from waffles to grits, this place sets a standard that should be observed.
I ordered the country breakfast with crisp succulent sausage and fluffy biscuits that retained their slight crunch under a spicy gravy that had us invoking the memory of Edna Lewis. My friend had the crispy well seasoned chicken fried steak and eggs. Both came with some of the best hash browns ever. Sliced slightly thick they achieved that balance of potato, crunch and, yes, grease that makes it impossible to stop eating them. Two glasses of orange juice, one coffee and that red velvet cupcake to go brought our total to $20.46 before tip.
Service was of the "Come Back to the 5 'n Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" school which means that our sweet young waitress aptly refilled my coffee, recommended the lush looking lemon lush pie while reviewing the previous night's antics with a young male diner who was clearly interested in more than just Sunday brunch. As for the cupcake, I'm immediately adding it to the ongoing red velvet post while the dizzying array of pies, cakes and glistening cinnamon rolls will have us returning soon. (Oh, got a great table for $40 at Ikea... except that you have to put it together yourself.)
Bake 'n Broil
3697 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA