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Parkside Café
43 Arenal Ave.
Stinson Beach, CA

Not a shore thing

What kind of stingy beach bum doesn't like to splash out on a breakfast burrito? Not me. When I found myself in Stinson in the morning, I got something to tide myself over.

Atmosphere: Casual and funky. You seat yourself at a free table after taking a look at the specials board. There is also patio seating.

Service: Okay. No refills offered on the coffee. No asking if I needed anything once I got my stuff. No recognition of how a dented pancake can be an off note. But to be fair, it's a casual, seat yourself where you want kinda café - so maybe you just gotta speak up when you want something.

Two blueberry pancakes, two scrambled eggs, chicken apple sausage (just under $11):

The pancakes are dented because the waiter carried it to the table with the plate of eggs and sausage on top. He obviously does not respect pancakes as much as I do.

The sausages were a disappointment. The texture of the grind of the meat was too fine and the chunks of apple didn't meld with the other flavors. I requested the eggs scrambled soft, but they came hard. They were still okay.

The pancakes were made by pouring the batter on the griddle, sprinkling the thawed berries on top and then flipping. Never seen it done this way before. I guess you don't have to dirty up an extra mixing bowl. What you do miss out on with this technique is the berries-IN-the-pancake flavor. The berries hold a lot of heat inside the pancake and have a burst of moisture and flavor that you lose here. But the real tragedy is they didn't come with real maple syrup (the price seems like it should too.)

Breakfast Burrito (around $10):
This delivers what it promises. A belly bomb of eggs, avocado, potato, sausage and ham with a oniony salsa of tomatoes, cilantro and hot sauce. This was good even though it had too many potatoes and not enough meat for yours truly.

Fine, but nothing to get excited about.


One carrot out of four

Not worth a special trip to eat here but the pancakes make an “impression”.

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