Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dick Church's Restaurant--We Went Here Because of the Name

Dick Church's is one of the oldest continuously run restaurants in Orange County. It has had a half dozen different names since it opened in '47 (editor's note: 47!) but has retained the Dick Church's name since 1972. Its previous name was "The Coffee Tree," which makes the Dick Church logo less confusing.

#1 Diner Companion Antoinette and I went down to Newport Beach to go on a whale-watching cruise (no whales but enough dolphins to make seeing dolphin playing in the ocean actually seem boring). Afterward, we stopped into Dick Church's in the mid-afternoon for a late lunch.

There was only one other table occupied at the time, a man in his mid-20s seated with two chatty elderly women. We couldn't decide if he was just an unfortunate grandson or an unlucky gigolo.

We both fell in love with the "grandpa's den" feel to the place: wood paneling, comfy chairs, black and white pictures on the wall...

...and the vintage cigarette machine hiding by the bathrooms.

Even though it was the afternoon, I really wanted to try the coffee. At a place like this, it's either really bad or really good. I thought it was just a little weak, but Antoinette loved it. She also liked the real cream brought to the table.

The menu is straight up American diner classics. There is a strong emphasis on breakfast and lunch, but they also offer a decent Family Restaurant dinner menu with things like steak and jumbo shrimp. They have great daily specials during the week (soup, burger and pie for only $8.25) but alas, nothing comparable on the weekends.

When the waitress came to take our order, I asked which sandwich she recommended--the Plantation sandwich (ham, Swiss and pineapple) or the Aspen (ham, turkey, bacon), since both sounded good. Without hesitation, she said the Aspen.

Antoinette ordered the Beefeater with tomato added. This was one of the best beefeaters we've ever had. Quality roast beef, not too greasy, and the cheese was melted perfectly. The fries were also pretty good. There was a decent amount of them, but I would have liked more.

I was surprised by the Aspen; I expected something more deli style. It was a more elaborate Club sandwich and not cut into fourths. Ham and turkey and bacon, 1000 Island dressing and tomato. It could have used a little bit more of the dressing, but otherwise was perfect.

The pie was good in a gross way. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but think of it like this: you can get a McDonald's hamburger or a gourmet one from someplace like Umami Burger. Sure, the gourmet one is going to be better, but sometimes the McDonald's one is just fine. That's how I felt about this pie. The filling was from a can, the crust was from God knows where, but I liked it. I like pie.

Food: Good.
Service: Friendly.
Price: $6-$10
Pie: Yes, but you can skip it.

Dick Church's Family Restaurant
2698 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

A relic of Dick Church's past. This is the side of the building facing a U-Haul rental place. When I went to take the picture, I walked onto the lot and gave the day laborers false hope. Suckers!


Bob Brock said...

I love Dick C's. They have a REAL Ruben Sandwich! AND a Monte Christo too!
The servers are wonderful, fast, friendly!

Bob Brock said...

I love Dick C's. They have a REAL Ruben Sandwich! AND a Monte Christo too!
The servers are wonderful, fast, friendly!