Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jouni's Cafe - Proud to be an American eatery.

Jouni's Cafe was recommended by a reader; yes, I have readers other than you. Unless you are the guy who recommended it--then I guess I just have you. Sooooo.....thanks!

Jouni's is another "far east" diner, located in Upland, far from the big city lights. It's not by a freeway so I can't recommend it for convenience as with Corky's. This is solidly "If you are out there and want to get something good to eat, go to Jouni's."

It does have a tangible lived-in feel to it. Similar in style to Corky's; however, you can tell that Jouni's has been around for awhile. We had a super friendly waitress who did her best to help us with the menu. It wasn't that the menu was difficult to understand, it was just pretty extensive and we had questions about recommendations. She seemed to struggle because, as she put it, "she doesn't really like food," but pushed on.

They are really proud of their omelettes and really like flags.

Looking at the menu, I knew without a doubt that I had to order the Brooklyn eggs: Eggs Benedict with pastrami taking over the role of "meat" for the aging yet still capable ham.

Add some tasty home-fries and you have a potential plate full of flavor joy.

It fully delivered. The hollandaise combined with the pastrami could have spelled a salty disaster and given me an instant case of gout. Luckily, the hollandaise was very rich and smooth while the pastrami was a good kind of fatty.

Number One Diner Companion Antoinette ordered the Adam's Eggs: two poached eggs on top of ham slices on top of a biscuit, served with gravy, which Antoinette opted to have on the side. The biscuit was incredibly good, so much so that she wished it had come with another one. The gravy, however, was a little thick.

The coffee at Jouni's was pretty good, but in a moment of insanity I added non-dairy creamer, otherwise known, "Aww shit, it's oil!"

Also, if you are looking for a reason to go to Jouni's Cafe, oddly an American tragedy provides an excellent reason.

If you are a cynical jerk you can at least say "Hey, free breakfast." But you're still a jerk!

Jouni's Cafe was a great experience. Good food, pleasant atmosphere and a feeling of home.

Food: Really good.
Service: Great.
Price 6-10
Pie: No but various kinds of cake-like dessert options.

Jouni's Cafe
930 Central Ave.
Upland, CA

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On the Road: In San Diego, AGAIN! Ricky's

I'm coming up to the one year anniversary of the first "On the Road" report, which featured two San Diego diners--one good, one bad. Now, as I ready myself for another trip down there, I am finally going to post a quickie review of another San Diego eatery that I hit some time ago.

Rickys! Apostrophe in there? I have no clue. Is it his restaurant or are there a bunch of Rickys all working together to form Devastator?

Diner pal Professor Nefarious and I hit Rickys completely by accident on one trip down to the SD. A wrong turn put us on Hotel Circle and our hunger made us stop.

The sign boasts a "world famous apple pancake." If I had a nickel for every joint that claimed to have a world-famous menu item, I could probably feed those starving children who can be fed on just thirty cents a day. I would then assume that those children would be asking the United Way workers "do you have any of those apple pancakes from Rickys?"

Rickys is a friendly place. Located around all those hotels, it keeps a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. A brightly colored sea-scape mural decorates one wall. The waitresses all wear cute aprons emblazoned with the Rickys chef logo. (Sorry no picture of the logo. It's a chef with a big mustache flipping a pancake. Imagine up!) Our waitress would not part with her apron, despite our attempts to bribe her.

Professor ordered the steak and eggs breakfast. He said the steak was a little bland, but the eggs were cooked right and the hash browns were crispy delicious.

I, of course, had to see what this apple pancake was all about.

This thing was huge. It was like a souffle-pancake-bread pudding-monstrosity of tasty. It was very heavy, but not in way that meant you would have to be rolled out in a wheelbarrow after eating it. (Although that does sound like fun.) I powered through, knowing leftovers wouldn't last the several hours they would be sitting in the car. I could not waste a bite.

The coffee at Rickys was also very good and had a smooth flavor.

I would recommend Rickys to anyone traveling through that area of San Diego. It's a safe bet for family trips and low impact dining.

Food: Good.
Service: Friendly.
Price: $7-11
Pie: Basics.

2181 Hotel Circle S.
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 291-4498‎