On our way out of San Diego, we really wanted to hit a local spot for a good, filling breakfast. After some serious soul-searching (oops, I mean internet-searching) we decided on Cafe On Park after reading multiple rave reviews of their breakfasts. Although we arrived before 10:00 AM, there was already a wait:
Luckily it didn’t take long for my sister and I to be seated. The space was so cute and homey with lots of character sprinkled in, and I immediately got a sense that we’d made the right choice. It just felt like a place where the locals go, and many of the wait staff knew most of the customers by name (cue Cheers theme song here). Something about the place reminded me of Austin, Texas……….maybe it was this fashionably Southwestern-themed couple sitting at the counter:
Or the cute arrangement on each table- flower, salt, pepper, Tapatio (essential item):
Although I am definitely a savory breakfast person, my cravings were put into sweet mode after spying their list of cornmeal griddlecakes. I’m not even sure why, but the thought of crunchy cornmeal griddlecakes just appealed to me sooo much that I had my mind made up in about 90 seconds. That fact wouldn’t be such a big deal, but you don’t know my menu-reading/ordering habits. Yes, I’m the one who reads the menu up and down and inside out for about, hmmm….15 minutes, then finally decides on what to order, has a change of heart/regret/guilt/confusion over my original choice and then chases down the waiter to change my order. After 5 minutes, I have a second wave of doubt about the changed order, bemoan the fact that it’s too late to change back to my ORIGINAL order, all while driving my dining companions bonkers with my whining, then end up ultimately disappointed with my meal because it isn’t as good as what I had initially ordered. Yup- I’m THAT girl. You’re annoyed just reading about it, aren’t you?
Luckily my choice of Honey & Cornmeal Griddlecake and a side of turkey sausage left me with no sense of doubt, and my sister’s order of Savory Corn Pancake with Fresh Jalapenos, Onions & Cheddar Cheese with a side of bacon ensured that I could travel to the savory side of things if I needed to. We both found it odd that an order of griddlecake was just that- one griddlecake- but we just put our faith in Cafe on Park and waited for the goodies to arrive.
And now we know why it’s ONE griddlecake:
This behemoth griddlecake was bigger than my husband’s Oaxacan head, and we were so happy that we fought off the instinct to order more than one each. My sister’s had visible squares of cheddar and giant, thick-cut slices of raw jalapeno seared to the top of her griddlecake, while mine was golden brown and pleasantly sweet-smelling. I drizzled some maple syrup over it and the crunchy-yet-tender bite was exactly what I’d been hoping for. YUM! Sis, on the other hand, had to pull out the massive amounts of jalapeno – we both figured the “fresh jalapeno” and cheese would be diced/grated and mixed into the batter which would have made the distribution a bit more even, but that wasn’t the case here. I think it was too much of a good thing in bad proportions and made the cake almost indelibly spicy. Too bad- good concept, bad execution. Our bacon and turkey sausages were good, but we were too full of cornmeal griddlecake (we could both only finish half) that we left most of those too.
We agreed that we loved the menu and that we’d give it another go if we ever found ourselves in San Diego. I think if you’re a pepperhead, you’d love that savory griddlecake, but almost anyone would love the sweet version.
Cafe on Park
3138 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA
619 293 7275