“Widow” get-together time again for Irene, Candy and myself. I have tried to eat at all of the restaurants in Ocean Beach proper, and find that I have reviewed most of them during the six years I have been writing for the OB Rag. There are still two that I want to visit, but found that neither of them are open at lunch time.
I have been to Swami’s in La Mesa and Encinitas. This time I decided it was time to try the one in my “own back yard.”
I have fond memories of Embers, and not so fond memories of its replacement, so went into this restaurant with a little excitement and trepidation. Some people told me it was good; others were not so nice.
We were greeted by Melissa, who turned out not to just the hostess but also our waitress. She was delightful; very helpful; very patient; and very good. We were asked if we wanted to eat inside or outside, and chose inside because there was a breeze blowing.
The inside of the restaurant has not changed much since it was Embers, and I had a nice feeling when we walked to a table that I had sat at before with my husband. We were handed the regular menu, and, for some reason, only one menu of the breakfast/lunch specials. We asked for two more and Melissa brought them to us quickly. (I also asked if there was a take-out menu which she also brought to me right away.)
The breakfast/lunch menu was very extensive. There were 17 (!) breakfast entrees, beginning at $10.95 and going to $13.95; there were eight different kinds of pancakes listed, including Ricotta Cheese pancakes; Orange Raspberry pancakes; Berry Bliss which was a combination of many berries; Blackberry/Banana pancakes; Pineapple Upside Down pancakes; Blue Corn pancakes, Sweet Potato pancakes and the one that Melissa recommended – Bacon and Cheese pancakes.
There was a Coconut Granola French Toast as well as a Stuffed French Toast. For those of you that need a gluten free diet there were gluten free pancakes, gluten free French toast, and gluten free waffles on the menu. They ranged from $8.95-$10.95.
Since we arrived at 11:45am, we were not sure if we wanted to have breakfast or lunch, so we looked at the lunch menu also. Remember, these are from the “special menu”, because there is a regular menu also.
The lunch menu had 15 items listed, beginning at $10.95 and going up to $13.95. There were Salmon Wraps, Shrimp Taco’s, Buffalo Burgers, Reuben Deluxe, New Jersey Devil, etc., on this menu. Irene was not sure if she was going to have the “Chicken Caesar Wrap” on the special menu or the one on the regular menu because there was a difference in the price. (The regular menu was less expensive.) But in checking the ingredients, they were not exactly the same. Both menus offered, with the meal, regular fries, yam fries, salad, fruit, or chips and salsa. Gluten Free bread was $1 more.
There is also a beverage menu, that had draft beers, ($6.50-$7.50); Wine by the Glass ($7.50-$9.); “Craft Cola’s” for $2.50; mineral water – $3.50; Fiji water – $2.50 and a variety of Kombucha ($6.).
After changing our minds several times about what to order, Irene had the Chicken Caesar Wrap off the regular menu. It consisted of a grilled chicken breast, Spanish rice and a Caesar Salad all wrapped up. The cost was $10.50. She ordered the fried yams as her side dish.
I ordered the Pastrami Wrap ($12.95) and asked that sauerkraut be added. This was done at no extra charge. It was very similar to the Reuben, but the meat was Pastrami instead of corned beef. I also ordered the fried yams.
Without exception, all of the meals were good. My pastrami was a little salty and stringy, but that is fairly typical of pastrami. Candy’s corned beef was tender and the sandwich bread (rye) very tasty. Irene’s sandwich was good, but messy. Melissa must have known that we would need extra napkins because she brought them to us without our asking for any more.
The restaurant was not particularly busy but there was plenty of help available if needed. Out meals were served by Melissa, and she frequently came back and asked if we needed anything.
I would also like to point out that there is a Happy Hour Menu from 4-7pm. The items on that menu are two prices – $6.95 or $7.95.
Although we asked for separate checks, the total bill was $38.14, which is not bad for the amount of food that we received. We each left a tip based on the price of our meal.
Would we go back? Yes. Without question. There are many other items on the menu we would like to try.
I want to mention two things: Melissa did not ask us if we wanted any dessert. I don’t know if we would have said yes or no, but we did go across the street to Baskin Robbins and had ice cream. Since the regular menu offers ice cream smoothies, ice cream may be an offering. There are no “desserts” , per se, listed on the regular menu.
There are a multitude of coffees available also. None of us had any, but they were very enticing lined up in canisters on a “coffee bar.”
It was a very enjoyable lunch (until we were rear-ended by a driver looking for her cell phone). We don’t think that will happen the next time – and there will be a next time.