Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunny's Family Restaurant: Underdogs, not undercooked.

You'll have to forgive the less than stellar pictures on this one. #1DC Antoinette and I went out for breakfast with my parents and we forgot our digital camera. These were taken with my fifty dollar Wal-Mart phone...and they are horrible.

My parents are antique dealers and will often come down to Southern California to visit us and go to different flea markets. This past Saturday, we all went to the Golden West Flea Market in Huntington Beach. Across the street was a quaint looking place called Sunny's Family Restaurant.

After spending several hours at the flea market and finding some neat treasures, we finally headed over to Sunny's for breakfast. The first thing I noticed while walking in, was a dry-erase board asking us to compare them both in taste and cost to places like IHOP and Coco's. Sunny's had something to prove. Inside, it was a very warm and friendly place with three distinct dining rooms. One of them was assuredly a smoking section back in the day when restaurants had those. I have no idea what the third section would have been for.

Interestingly, the walls were decorated with a real hodge-podge of different framed images. One wall had all Superman pictures while another was dedicated to Mohammad Ali. There were also a large number of random movie stills. One was of the kids from Harry Potter. I have no idea what the connection was, except maybe the owner just likes movies.

The manager sat us at a table and within a handful of minutes three different waiters asked if we wanted anything to drink and/or to make sure someone had taken our drink order.
We all ordered the coffee and agreed that it was above average. All of the servers were downright festive. They all had smiles and easy-going manners that didn't seem forced. There was a team spirit there.

The first thing that I saw when I opened the menu was the Butterscotch pancakes. My eyes and stomach fell in love and no matter how much I scoured the rest of the menu, I could not seriously consider ordering anything else. Although the menu didn't specify, our waiter did explain that even with the specialty pancakes you can get the combo (which includes eggs and sausage AND bacon) for less than two dollars more.

We also noticed a particularly amusing menu item: Hooker fries. Named after the Union general who captured New Orleans? Hooker fries are french fries covered in melted cheese, bacon and other toppings. I think they may have gotten their name from the fact they will F*** your arteries up.

Antoinette, feeling a bit under the weather, inquired about the soup of the day. Our waiter informed us that at this location (there are two Sunny's Family Restaurants, both in Huntington Beach) they only ever have vegetable soup, but that it is made fresh daily.

My mom ordered the cinnamon roll french toast combo with eggs and a ham steak. She had never had cinnamon roll french toast and her mind was blown by the concept. I've had it before at other places (Brandon's Diner, for instance) and often the problem with it is that it is incredibly sweet. Sunny's wasn't overly sweet and I appreciated that. The ham steak was juicy and surprisingly huge.

My butterscotch pancakes did not disappoint. They were simple enough, just the butterscotch baking chips poured into the batter. For the most part they were melted throughout but occasionally I'd find a few chips that had escaped the heat by huddling inside the delicious fluffiness of the pancake.

The picture of my eggs and pork sausage didn't turn out, unfortunately. The sausage I found overly greasy but the bacon was quite good. My scrambled eggs were a little too wet but otherwise good.

My dad ordered the Chef's Special Cake: three buttermilk pancakes, two eggs, two sausage and two pieces of bacon. He agreed with me about the sausage.

Antoinette ordered the chicken quesadilla and a piece of corn bread, a refreshing break from the parade of traditional breakfasts the rest of us chose. The quesadilla had flavorful peppers but could have used more chicken. The cornbread was wonderful--moist and cakey, with just a hint of sweetness.

Sunny's was a friendly and enjoyable eating experience. We all liked the food but would agree that it wasn't mind-blowing. There was an underdog energy to Sunny's--they were really trying hard to compete. As the dry-erase board out front asked us to, we compared it to a Coco's or an IHOP and hands down Sunny's was cheaper and better than your typical chain. On its own merits, it was just a good place to eat. I'm sure the next time my parents come down to go to the nearby flea market, we'll be eating at Sunny's.

Food: Good.
Service: Friendly.
Price: $6-$10
Pie: Not at this location. They do have lots of ice cream desserts.

7148 Edinger Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 841-9934

1 comment:

Paul said...

Next time you're in Huntington Beach, you should try Sugar Shack Cafe. Keppler's Special is the best. It doesn't really qualify as a diner, but oh well.