It has been years since I had a meal at the “Old Townhouse.” I am not sure why we stopped going there, but I am sure it had nothing to do with the food. I think more restaurants opened in the area and we started going to some of them.
The place, on Sunday, was packed, and there was a line waiting to get in when we left. Irene and I arrived at 9:50am and got the last vacant table. I was amused to see that the booth we sat in probably had the same cushions it had 20 years ago; first I sank into the seat; then I moved more to the middle of the seat and had to sit on a hump in order to reach my food. A little re-upholstery would be nice!
Their breakfast menu is extensive – eggs, biscuits and gravy, omelets, south of the border specialties, sides, and beverages. Their lunch menu is almost as extensive with cold and/or hot sandwiches, salads, soups, beverages, etc.
After looking over the menu, Irene ordered a #5 from the menu. It consisted of scrambled eggs and two large hotcakes. The cost was $4. I ordered the breakfast burrito – scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage (I chose the bacon) – hash browns and cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla. The cost was $5.50 Surprisingly enough the coffee was $1.85 a cup, and although refilled constantly, it seemed a little high for the size cup we were served.
Our waitress, Ramona, was very good and concerned until the end of our meal. She asked me if I wanted a box to take home the rest of my meal and I said “yes.” However, she forgot to bring it to me and I had to ask again.
Irene said that her pancakes and eggs were very good, but the eggs should have been hotter. She said the top was cool – but the bottom was hot. The pancakes were large and airy.
The breakfast burrito was interesting. It was served hot with a side of salsa. The innards were good – eggs, bacon cooked crisp, hash browns that were crispy, and melted cheese. The flour tortilla was soft and pliant – at first – but as the time wore on the tortilla became tough and impossible to cut. Hence, I asked for a box to take home more than ¾ of the burrito. After I received the box, Ramona brought me a lid to put on the salsa container.
There were several signs on the walls that were fun to read; one sign said “free beer tomorrow” – but of course when you would come in “tomorrow” for your free beer the “tomorrow” would be just that – manana!
Our total bill was $16.10, which was a surprise to us, since Irene’s meal was only $4 and mine was only $5.50. That is why we checked the price of the coffee and found that our two cups totaled $3.70. It still seemed like a lot for what we ordered, and we left a $3 tip.
When I went up to the cashier – the owner, I presume – he was busy talking to a man sitting at the counter and writing up a charge card for someone else. He almost ignored me until I said I wanted to pay for the meal. He wasn’t rude, per se; just not interested. I decided to hand him my OB Rag card on which I had written that he had just been reviewed. At that point he started to be more friendly but I was already walking away from the counter.
Would we go back? Maybe. There are several other breakfast restaurants in the general area. I have been trying to eat at all of them as a comparison to what is available in Ocean Beach. There was nothing wrong with the food – although I would not order a breakfast burrito again – and I would make sure it was piping hot or send it back. Over all, the teacher in me would give it a B-.