I have one friend that constantly describes Davis as the pits of hell, so I had to finally go see for myself. Whatever kind of social purgatory going to school in a rural area must feel like, I gotta say they're lucky to have a place like Cafe Bernardo around.
Half our party had the eggs Bernardo, which was basically eggs benedict on a slice of artisan bread instead of English muffins. The bread was good, but I tend not to be a fan of big crusty loaves with slightly chewy dough. This bread wasn't quite sourdough, but it was getting too close for my comfort. The eggs were wonderfully fresh with dark golden yolks and fresh hollandaise. I've had eggs benedict three times this year (as in the second half of 2005, NOT January 2006!), which is more than in the last twenty-four years of my life combined. This was as good as the eggs benedict at Washington Square Bar and Grill, but still didn't beat out the crabs benedict or even spinach benedict at Mama's on Washington Square. I really do need to taste Canteen's version sometime, but don't know if I can eat any more eggs benedict for months.
I don't know what I was thinking when I convinced myself to get a side salad with my meal. Thai salad just sounded so good. Instead of noodles mixed with greens, however, I got cold noodles on a slice of butter lettuce. Maybe I read the description on the menu incorrectly. But I think when you call something a salad and it's really more of a noodle dish, you need to make it really clear. For example "thin egg noodles tossed with shredded red cabbage, carrots, and peanut sauce, on a bed of butter leaf lettuce." Is that so hard? Anyway, the noodles were good. Not overcooked or oversauced. A few more leaves of lettuce would have been nice.
A few sugar fiends in our party ordered amaretto French toast. One of them got slices of toast over a foot long each. It was intimidating. It looked great with the sliced almonds sprinkled on top, but I never got to try a bite because I had way too much food of my own.
Most of us ordered the eggs or French toast, but there was also one spinach salad and a salmon sandwich at the table. The salad, in vinaigrette with apples, walnuts, and Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese, was exceptionally tangy. I liked it, though some did not. I didn't try the salmon BLT, but the center of the salmon looked medium rare and juicy.
Coffee was LavAzza, aka: Italy's Favorite Coffee). My latte came in a large bowl and was lightly flavored with adequately foamed milk. Enjoyable, but not life changing. I contend you can't go far wrong with LavAzza. At the couple places I've tried, LavAzza is far superior to Illy, which is far more ubiquitous in San Francisco.
As a brunch restaurant, Bernardo would definitely be able to go toe to toe with the best in San Francisco. Photos linked below.
234 D Street
Davis, CA 95616