Monday, July 16, 2007

Brandon's Diner- Far far away.

Brandon’s is a sweet little place out in Rancho Cucamonga (just try saying that word without smiling). Located discreetly in a strip mall, it might be easy to miss if it weren’t for the usual scads of people found there during the day. Don’t worry though, turn over is quick here due to its ample seating and full staff.

A few weeks ago, my diner companion, Antoinette, and I hit Brandon’s on a Sunday at about 11am. We were worried when the night before Antoinette had seen fire and smoke coming from the general location of Brandon’s. Did one of the few diners in the area burn down? As we pulled in to the parking lot we passed first the partially charred remains of a paper store (a likely culprit and/or truly unfortunate victim of the fire), bakery (again a likely culprit), and a massage therapy office. Luckily Brandon’s was safe. We soon learned that the fire had started at the massage office when a relaxation candle had been left burning.

There were several parties hanging out around the front of the diner and a few waiting patiently at the entrance. We saw that several seats at the counter remained opened, so we breezed through the line of people and sat there. Grabbing our menus from their holders at the edge of the counter, we got down to work. The large amount of diner comfort favorites and a great selection of Mexican breakfasts can be almost overwhelming. Sitting there at the counter, we were treated to a parade of dishes making their way out of the kitchen. Several times, we stopped each other mid-sentence with “Look at that!” One in particular we discovered was the strawberry lemonade which looked more like a desert than a drink. I was amazed at a gravy boat of peach compote being delivered to a nearby table. We also were able to see that unfortunately the muffins come from packages and that they put a lot of ice in their drinks. It’s that great crushed ice, though, that reminds me of Taco Treat in my home town.

The menu claimed that their plate sized flap jacks were famous. This made my decision easy. I am a fame whore. Antoinette ordered the Cinnamon French Toast breakfast. A refreshingly unconventional thing to note about Brandon’s is that they allow you to “opt” out of elements of their breakfast combos and will accordingly adjust the price. Say you want the Two Eggs and Sausage combo. It comes with potatoes and toast. Don’t need the toast? Tell them to hold the toast and they’ll hold the toast and the price of it off the bill. It seems an easier and cheaper system than ordering a la carte.

Our food came out quickly even with the throng of people populating the place. I counted no less than five servers for a place roughly half the size of House of Pies.

Antoinette especially loved the french toast. It was like a cinnamon bun with frosting cooked into the center of the bread. After reading the original posting, she insisted I gush more about how amazing it was. She REALLY liked this french toast.

I especially like the home fries, chopped up and buttery flavored rather than being greasy, although they could have used a bit of seasoning to make them really stand out. The eggs, we both ordered scrambled, were moist, but not wet, in the middle. They were browned nicely on the tops and bottoms.

My flapjack was what makes an American style flapjack what it is: extremely large. This made buttering the bottom jack a bit of a problem. I slathered the butter on the top and poked holes with my fork into to the two layers hoping the butter would seep through. I then poured a generous helping of syrup all around. Brandon’s famous flapjacks didn’t necessarily blow me away, but they were good—nice and light.

For those of you who do not know, flapjacks in England are more like a large cookie. In the states they are a larger than normal pancake and seek to be a bit crispier and less like a dough pillow. This usually staves off the “pancake regret” I mentioned in an earlier review.

You may never find yourself all the way out in Racho Cucamonga, but if you do, come check out Brandon's. If you are on your way out to Vegas or on your back, it's not too far off the freeway, just take the Carnelian exit and head down to Baseline.

Final notes: Even though they grind their own beans at Brandon's, I did find the coffee a bit weak. They also have their liquor license so feel free to booze up while here.

Price: $6-$10

Food: Good.

Service: Good. (A note behind the counter reads "Don't forget- Customers Come First"

Pie: Apple. (and churros!)

8609 Baseline Rd.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
(909) 989-2256 Fax: (909) 944-9806.


Anonymous said...

Love your review of Brandon's. Very helpful and you sound like a nice guy too.

Anonymous said...

Although I have never eaten personally at this Brandon's Diner location, I just wanted to get the word out to NEVER eat at the new Brandon's Diner located in Moreno Valley. This morning I not only found a hair in my menu, I found a long black hair in my french toast. When I brought it to the OWNER's (Maria) attention, she insited on charging me anyway's for this 'fine hair delicacy' and letting me know that 'she didn't care'. I and my wife have spent over $95 there this month alone and will now NEVER go back. I encourage you to do the same - please tell a friend.

smith said...

Brandon's Diner at 24626 Sunnymead Blvd, Moreno Valley. This is one of the best Restaurant's to eat at. The people where very nice.Not only was the "weather perfect" but the total experience was exquisite. Our group had the breakfast(at lunch), the breast chicken and the homefrys , all were flavorful, fresh and superb!

Lindsey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lindsey said...

As I was Googling Brandon's to find out what time they closed, I came upon your review.

I was thrilled when I saw you mention Taco Treat. I hope you are talking about the birthday place of the THEE Taco Treat, Great Falls, MT.

I too am from this land of the Taco Treat deliciousness! :) Rock on for the Taco Treat...I remember when the Taco Treat near Great Falls High replaced their ice machine...damn them! :)

Brandon's in Rancho is by the best out of them all...

Mike Tanner said...

It's true, I am from Great Falls. My parents and I still reminisce about it.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Sara said...

I just happened to come across your blog while searching for good diners in the Inland Empire. I tried out Brandon's Diner (the Riverside location) and was pleasantly surprised. We went for lunch and you truly get much more than you pay for! I was nervous based off the physical appearance of Brandon's, but the food was great. I think of myself as a diner buff, especially when it comes to diner fries, and really enjoy reading your blog!

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