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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Park Bench Cafe - Huntington Beach Central Park

(Photo Courtesy of
17732 Goldenwest Street
Huntington Beach, California, 92647

Open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday-Sunday

I recently visited the Park Bench Café in Huntington Beach Central Park for my dog’s birthday party. That’s right….I’ll admit it. I had a birthday party for my dog….. But let’s move on. The Park Bench Café is a 100% outdoor seating environment where dogs are more than welcome to dine with their owners. They even have a special dog menu with food items just for the dogs.

I actually visited this restaurant a couple weekends ago during the brutal heat. Even though it was close to 100 degrees in Irvine, it was a lot cooler in Huntington Beach Central Park. It was also full of giant bugs. The Park Bench Café has about 20 outdoor tables and almost every one of them has a dog at it. You will see all kinds of dogs here, big and small.

One of the first things I noticed about this restaurant was that even though they have created a place for dog lovers to come and bring their “furry family members,” they still treat them just like dogs. You can get a bowl of water for your dog, but don’t expect to get something clean. The bowls were all dirty and it doesn’t appear that they are even rinsed out after a dog uses them. The restaurant requests that you get water for your dog from a special dispenser that was full of leaves and dirt when I looked in it. Luckily, I brought my dogs portable water bowl and a bottle of water for it. (I swear I’m not crazy, I just love my dog.)

Anyway, on to the food. In addition to the “dog menu,” Park Bench Café serves your typical breakfast and lunch fare. Some of the items include omelettes, breakfast burritos, pancakes, salads, hot dogs, burgers and sandwiches. Most of us decided to order burgers ($8-$10), except for J who ordered a Monte Cristo Sandwich ($9.50). I also ordered a “Wrangler Roundup” ($2.75) for my dog. This was just cooked, ground turkey.

The burgers came with regular french fries, but you could substitute chili fries for $1.99 extra or onion rings for $1.25 extra. Drinks were $2.25 a pop. Most of our burgers looked the same, so I will just post a few of the pictures below.

(Wrangler Roundup)

(Cheeseburger with Chili Fries)

(Monte Cristo Sandwich, I don't know why the plate is so big)

(Western Burger with Onion Rings)

(Supreme Melt with Chili Fries)

(Blue Cheese Garden Burger with Fries)

Everyone seemed to agree that the food wasn’t that great. The burgers were bland and generic. I would have rather eaten at McDonalds. I’ve made better fries at home by opening a bag of frozen fries, dumping them on a baking sheet and sticking them in the oven. The food here was basically overpriced "snack bar" food. Their gimmick to bring people in is the dog menu, but I wasn’t even impressed with the meal my dog received. It was a fun experience to visit here once so my dog could order off the menu, but I don’t think I will return again.

Park Bench Cafe on Urbanspoon


DanGarion said...

I'm glad we never ended up going there after reading this. We had contemplated going there a couple times with our dog for breakfast, but I think it would be better just to go to the Filling Station. Even though they don't have food for your dog, they allow dogs out on their patio.

HotFudgeNubbins said...

thank you for reviewing this!
i've driven by so many times (usually after they were closed) and wondered about it.

Sometimes there's nothing like a big mac!

Chels B said...

I love this place. Lots of regulars that go there and hang out and everyone is friendly. The food is good, but the atmosphere is even better.

Chels B said...