Restaurants & Bars 4

In Search Of Breakfast

lil mikey | Feb 4, 2006 11:49 AM

The last time I was at BBQ Unlimited #2 for dinner, they were proudly displaying a sign that said “Open 9 am to 9 pm.”

What a total score! I could go back and have a nice congee breakfast.

Wrong.

They were in fact open at 9:30, but I was informed that the chef doesn’t get there until 10:30. HUH? Why open a restaurant if there’s no chef?

So off I went, and decided to try BBQ King downtown. A few days earlier I noticed a sign that has recently popped up that says “Breakfast.”

It’s a very young group working at the BBQ King. Half of them look like they’re gang members, and the other half seem to be standing around talking among themselves. Not a very customer-friendly crew. In fact just getting the attention of someone to take my order was a chore.

I looked at the menu, which has the normal stuff: eggs with meat, like bacon, burger patty, etc. or pancakes and other non-egg dishes. I ordered the eggs with burger patty, thinking it would be barbecued as the place is in fact BBQ King.

Despite being the only customer, though, I waited a full 35 minutes for the meal…long enough to actually go back to the counter and ask if they in fact serve breakfast. I was informed that it “was done,” and then proceeded to wait another 5 minutes to have it delivered to the table. I could have cooked the whole thing at home in 5 minutes.

Anyway, the food: After the wait, I was pretty pissed off, and didn’t really want to like the food. Happily, though, it was pretty good.

The eggs were cooked perfectly (over medium in my case).

The burger was not barbecued, but rather grilled, and was very overcooked. But they had mixed some Worcestershire sauce into the patty, so it was a little easier to swallow.

The potatoes weren’t the fries advertised on the menu, but rather the nice cubed potatoes that they fry-up with parsley. These were actually pretty tasty, as there was a pretty good crust to them and the insides were quite tender. I suspect they used the potatoes they were going to make the potato salad with.

And the toast was in fact not toast but grilled bread. It had kind of a weird texture. But by this time I was full, so I didn’t really eat too much of the “toast.”

The above, with a small bottled water was $6.45…a fair price.

A few days later, I was again on the prowl for breakfast. Obviously, I had crossed-off the above places, but still wanted to find a good breakfast place.

I had seen balloons outside La Esquinita one Sunday morning, so I decided to see if they were open for breakfast during the week…they were.

What a different experience than the other two places. First, the man and lady behind the counter were totally nice, and obviously happy to have me as a customer. They were very gracious, as I’ve always found at this place, and gladly took my order in my best Gringo Spanish.

The huevos rancheros are served not with a red sauce, but rather a green-yellow brothy sauce that has onions in it. It’s not hot, but they bring you a good-sized bowl of red hot sauce and a large portion of sour cream on the side.

It comes with beans and rice. The beans were creamy, as I like them, and they crumble some white cheese over the top. The rice was your standard Spanish rice. It was hot and fresh. And the whole thing comes with a basket of tortillas. I really enjoyed it.

This breakfast, with a bottle of orange juice, was $6.00.

Barbecue Unlimited #2
4808 Melrose (at Harvard)
East Hollywood

Original Texas Barbecue King
867 W Cesar E. Chavez (at Figueroa)
Downtown
(213) 437-0881

La Esquinita
1261 West Sunset Boulevard (by Dodger Stadium)
Echo Park
(213) 482-1645

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