Friday, July 29, 2022

Eating Around the World - 2022 "Challenge" [July - Breakfast]

I came up with a fun "challenge" for the hubby and I to tackle in 2022. You see, we try and limit our eating out to once a week (because I'm frugal like that ;)). With that said, we tend to stick to our tried-and-true favorites (you gotta make the most of those dining-out experiences, right?!). Well, that means we usually eat at the same two restaurants. Hear me out, I am NOT complaining, but I thought it might be a fun "challenge" for the year to try a new place once a month. To take the idea one step further, I thought we could try a different cuisine every month - that way we aren't just trying a new Mexican restaurant every month (because, let's be real, I can never turn down great chips and salsa ;)). Here's how it went:

[Originally this was going to be a single post, but blog readers said they preferred monthly, so ask and you shall receive.] 

January - Indian

February - Korean

March - Pizza

May - Mexican

June - Sandwiches

July - Breakfast

Let me start off by saying breakfast is normally not my jam. I have never been a breakfast food lover. I don't have a huge sweet tooth, so things like pancakes, french toast or waffles have never been a huge draw. I am usually fine grabbing a bar of some sort of calling it a day meal. The hubby, on the other hand, loves breakfast food. He would happily eat breakfast for dinner (or any meal) and be in heaven. As per usual, I jumped on Yelp to see nearby spots to give a try.


We came across Start Fresh Cafe and thought we'd pop in on one of the only days this month we had available. When the reviews mentioned the "small time diner vibe" I was picturing it in a different spot, but once the hubby and I jumped in the car to head down we both realized where we were going. We drive by all the time {and comment about the "holiday pies" they're always advertising... not sure which holiday ;)} and although it usually looks hoppin', have never gone before now.

By the time we were leaving the sun was popping through the marine layer.

It was definitely a diner vibe, with a counter that felt like it was right out of the 70s (obviously there is NOTHING wrong with that, just thought using the decade might help you visualize the interior). We opted to sit inside (since the pandemic they have added outdoor seating {more of an open sided tent situated in their parking lot}, like most of the restaurants in SoCal who could afford to do so) since it was still a little gray and chilled when we arrived (around 8am on a Saturday).

Note the sign in the upper left corner...
"We don't have wifi. Please talk to each other and pretend it's 1980."

All of the employees we came in contact with seemed super friendly and welcoming. It also seemed like there were quite a few "regulars". I always smile when I hear people ordering "the usual". Oceanside isn't a 'small town' persay (the population from 2020 says it's over 175,000 people), but I like that there are still places where folks feel at home.

Love me some good chalk art!

When you walk in, there are a few cabinets of their fresh pies/ loaves/ muffins/ etc. Of course, the hubby, who has a MAJOR sweet tooth, started drooling almost immediately ;) I wasn't sure if we would get out without a pie in tow.

Couldn't get a great picture due to the reflection in the glass, but you get the idea...

We sat down and had a look over the menu (which was rather large). I knew I could rule out the sweet breakfast stuff (like pancakes, french toast, waffles, etc), so that did make the menu a bit more manageable. I was left with mostly egg meals - scrambles and omelettes. I normally don't eat eggs, but that was sort of what I was left with, so I decided on a veggie omelette (spinach, mushrooms, onions and avocado) with a side of fruit. (It also came with a bread option, but that's way too much for me, so I asked the hubby if he'd want any of the choices and picked the homemade biscuit right away.)

Definitely appreciated all of the avo and the lack of honeydew melon in the fruit cup!

I know, I know, it's strange, but I have a "texture thing"
and I don't like biscuits because of that... 

The hubby went with a breakfast sandwich (without the meat of course) on a croissant and a side of hashbrowns. {I don't like croissants or hashbrowns either... I know, I'm probably pretty weird ;)... Like I said, breakfast food isn't my fave.} 

I remembered seeing folks mentioning the cinnamon rolls on the reviews. I thought I'd see if the hubby would prefer one (and maybe I'd have a few bites) rather than a pie and he decided on that (but did say afterwards that had we not gotten the cinnamon roll he definitely would've ordered a piece of pie and it "might have" made it home to go with his lunch). 

I've never seen butter on a cinnamon roll... but I guess I don't order them... like ever...

The food was all good (although I think my omelette had sat on the counter for a while because it wasn't very warm and we had originally asked that the cinnamon roll come out before our meals but either the waitress forgot or the kitchen was 'just that fast' ). When I asked the hubby, he said he would give the place five stars. He loved the vibe and enjoyed everything he ate (along with the standard drip coffee). Although everything was fine, I told him that I wasn't sure I'd come back. Again, there was nothing wrong with the restaurant or the food, but if we only eat out once a week, I would prefer eating out a lunch or dinner at a place I really enjoyed. I could see us coming back if people were in town or if friends really wanted to do breakfast, but other than that I don't really see me picking a breakfast spot to eat out in general at (especially since I'm normally up 3+ hours before the hubby and don't prefer to wait that long before I eat).

When was the last time you tried a new-to-you restaurant?

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