April 9 2012 05:57 PM

Longboarder Café has mediocre scrambles, tasty machaca

Photo by Jenny Montgomery

This is no original or profound thought, but life is all about managing expectations. It's also about realizing that, for some reason, most people have really low standards when it comes to breakfast restaurants. "Beware overhyped eggs" might be the next phrase I embroider on a pillow for my future Etsy shop. But I'll get to breakfast shortly.

My column is evolving—you may have noticed the new name, "North Fork." Every other week, I'll be focusing on the food scene in the northern portion of our fair county, from Solana Beach to Rainbow and all points in between. There's farmland and foodies galore up here, and places worth investigating as well as avoiding. I'll be your guide.

Which brings me back to expectation management. The Longboarder Café occupies a bustling corner of Oceanside (400 Mission Ave.), serving hearty plates of all your breakfast favorites. I received a couple enthusiastic "This place is great" sort of recommendations, so I thought I'd check it out and see if their spin on scrambles got my taste buds riled up.

Not so much. Look, the food is decent and plentiful, but I think the bar's been set so low by diner-style breakfast places that any kitchen that decently salts a potato or doesn't burn your egg now qualifies to many people as "amazing."

On a recent visit to The Longboarder, I opted for the Hawaiian scramble, hoping to get that salty soy-and-sausage flavor that makes certain foods from the islands so yummy. The veggies and eggs were hot and fresh but uninspiring—I preferred filling up on the sweet and tasty wedge of grilled Hawaiian bread that came on the side.

Without fail, I always have order envy when dining with my husband. This time, Mr. Fork ordered the chicken machaca, a shredded pile of moist and zesty bird with creamy black beans and plenty of cheese. Don't bother with a scramble you could replicate at home—get the machaca. I snuck in a few bites when he abandoned his plate to hold our new baby. Delish.

We were decadently eating brunch on a weekday (this must be what it's like to be the 1-percent!) and the restaurant was reasonably busy, but not overly so. Yet, the service was at best cordial and at worst frustrating. I needed to warm up some breast milk, so I asked for a cup of hot water. "May I have a cup of hot water?" I said. The answer from my server was, "For?" But imagine a tone of slightly annoyed confusion. Maybe she wanted to make sure I didn't need tea or lemon, but the attitude was indicative of an overall lack of polish.

If you find yourself in Oceanside and need to fill your belly with breakfast vittles, you'll find some tasty options on The Longboarder menu. Me? I'm going to keep searching.

Write to jennym@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com. Follow Jenny on Twitter @jennymontyinsd.


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