I had breakfast at Market Street Cafe located in the horror that is restuarant row. I was thinking this was probably the best the area had to offer and then passed by Grandpa Allen's where the lot was packed ... on a weekday.
Grandpa Allen's Family Restaurant and Pie Shop is your average breakfast joint, but just a cut above because of the atmosphere and food.
At 9:30 am on a weekday the joint was jumping.
The food was standard, no surprises. I had Tod's Special omlette with Italian sausage, olives, mushrooms and cheddar cheese with rye bread as my toast selection.
The omlette was the type that mixes the ingrediant in the egg, sort of like a frittata. The mushrooms were fresh, the sausage was pleasantly spiced with fennel.
I had the fresh fruit cup rather than potatoes. It was the best I've had in the area. There were sweet fuji apples, half a banana, the cantelope and honeydew had some taste to them. Edible compared to the many tasteless, hard and decaying fruit cups I've had in the area.
The coffee wasn't fancy, but the cup was always filled. I splurged and had the banana cream pie (takeout). Real whipped cream, nice banana pudding with chunks of banana. Again, a slight cut above the rest of the area.
The real charm of this restaurant is in the service. They mean it when they say family.
There are cups of crayons for children. The resulting artwork is pinned to a cork board.
The waitresses (most middle aged) knew most of the customers and their life stories. So it was like going to a social where waitresses chatted with customers and customers chatted with each other.
Saturday was one of the waitresses birthday and signes were pinned to the door announcing the event. One table burst into an early version of "happy birthday" for Sheree.
Seems the restaurant appeals to all ages and ethnicities. There were tables of Latinos, Asians, Moms, retirees, students ... a nice mix.
My waitress, with the sequined Santa earrings took my pie box back because she forgot to write "happy holidays" on it.
Standard coffee shop decor with counter seats and some outdoor tables.
There's lunch and dinner ... standard coffee shop stuff. One block down from restaurant row on 950 W. San Marcos Blvd. Hrs are MON 5:30 am - 3 pm. Tues - Friday 5:30 am - 8 pm. Sat - Sun 7 am - 3pm.
On a scale of 1 to 10, a solid 7. My favorite breakfast area in North County still remains Beach break cafe in Oceanside which is a 9.5.