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Restaurants & Bars 5

Two Breakfast Options In Vallejo/American Canyon

JojoA | Oct 14, 2005 01:16 AM

I don't normally eat breakfast in this area since I work in SF, but with a week off from work, I've been able to sample a couple of potential destinations, one each in Vallejo and AmCan (this area is somewhat bereft of non-fast-food breakfast options in terms of sheer numbers alone...)

Canyon Cafe - I was surprised that I had never dropped by for a meal here considering how close I actually live to this restaurant. I believe Melanie has also posted on this restaurant in regards to their lunch offerings.

The interior architecture is definitely 1950's vintage - faux leather booths along the windows flank a row of wooden tables and chairs, while a long diner-type counter brackets the kitchen and food area. However, the vintage aspect of the place isn't played up in any way - that's just the way things are.

I figured this would be the type of place long-time locals would frequent and, sure enough, many of the customers and the waitstaff were on a first-name basis. However, the waitress who helped me, Trish, was incredibly nice and friendly and made a first-timer like me feel right at home. There were only two waitstaff there during my visit, but they did a pretty remarkable job of keeping things going, despite the number of people who dropped in to eat.

The breakfast menu is your standard collage of items you'd find at other places (eggs & omelets, pancakes & waffles, etc.) I settled on the three egg denver omelet ($7.95), which comes with your choice of cheese, toast, and either hash browns or breakfast potatoes. The hash browns are homemade; I asked them to make them crispy and they obliged, which made me happy.

The pancakes and waffles I saw go by on other orders were huge in size. A Napa News report said the pancakes had a nice buttermilk taste, but the waffles weren't anything special.

The food overall proved to be decent and solid, maybe a half-notch above the offerings at IHOP or similar chains, but nothing you'd go to extremes for. However, considering there's nothing else in the vicinity for breakfast except fast-food joints, the Canyon Cafe is definitely welcome.

Georgina's Cafe and Meeting Place - this place on Tennessee St. in Vallejo near Scotty's Donuts is easy to miss while driving by; somewhat hard to spot hand-painted signs on building walls are the only clue to its existence.

The interior explains the business name; it looks like the building used to house a community group or organization of some type. Many individual rooms with tables and chairs stand off to the side of the main dining area and kitchen, and I imagine quite a few groups and organizations hold their scheduled meetings here.

They recently revamped their menu to include standard breakfast cooked items like eggs, breakfast potatoes, etc. On my first visit, I tried two items off the revamped menu - the two egg & pancake special ($4.25 - 2 each of eggs, bacon slices, and pancakes) was something anyone at home could whip up, while the breakfast potatoes ($5.25) were chain quality in texture, and the herbs and spices that were promised in the mix were barely noticeable.

If you have to have eggs, you might be better off with their breakfast burritos, which come in a build-it-yourself version where you can include up to around 12 different items (each addition adds to the price), or various house-made combinations.

I noticed that many people who stopped by during my visit were going for the baked items, especially the scones. During a second visit, I concentrated on that.

They offer a total of four varieties of scones during any particular morning (the catering menu I picked up noted 25 different varieties of scones.) The cashier asked me if I ever had any of the scones before, and when I said I hadn't but had noticed that they seemed to be a popular item on a previous visit, she explained that the scones were sort of a hybrid, with the hard exterior of a scone but the tender, moist interior of a muffin. The four varieties they were offering that day (spicy pumpkin, butter rum raisin, blueberry lemon, and strawberry almond vanilla) were among their most popular. Also, all their baked goods sold that day are made onsite every morning beginning at 4 am.

After getting home and sampling all four varieties, I'd say this is definitely the breakfast item to get. All the scones were exactly as described; especially good were the spicy pumpkin (rich pumpkin flavor with a hint of spicy cinnamon) and the butter rum raisin (I only have the Life Savers butter rum candy, one of my childhood faves, to compare the taste to, but the taste of the scone was reminiscent of that, if not better.)

I also copped a sun-dried tomato and parmesan bagel after my first meal at Georgina's as pre-race grub for a running event in SF the next day. No, these won't stop the pining for a great bagel in the Bay Area, but they were still fresh and flavorful after one day of storage and they were quite large in size.

Canyon Cafe
3845 Broadway (Hwy 29)
American Canyon, CA
Open for breakfast at 6 am

Georgina's Cafe and Meeting Place
1515 Tennessee St.
Vallejo, CA
M-Sa: 6 am - 3 pm
Su: 7 am - 1 pm

Link: http://www.napanews.com/templates/ind...

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