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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sundried Tomato Cafe - San Juan Capistrano

31781 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA

Alternate Location:
361 Forest Avenue
Laguna Beach, CA

Coming Soon to San Clemente

My wife and I stopped in San Juan Capistrano last weekend on the way back from San Diego. We were fully intending to have brunch at Ramos House Café. We hadn’t been there for a while, but we remembered it fondly. We walked up to the Ramos House Café and looked at the menu. The first thing I noticed was that their price for brunch had gone up again. The price is now $35 per person and includes one beverage, one small appetizer and one entrée. If you want dessert it is $7-$10 extra. Most of the entrees also just seemed to be scrambled eggs with a few toppings thrown in. My wife and I discussed it for a minute and decided our money would be better spent elsewhere.

We walked back across the train tracks and made a right on Camino Capistrano. The first restaurant we saw was called Sundried Tomato Café. They had a large banner that proclaimed they were now serving breakfast. “Perfect,” I said. We went into the restaurant and were immediately seated at a nice table on their outside patio. Since it was 1:30 PM on a Sunday, we were given both a breakfast and a lunch menu.

We were both in the mood for breakfast, so we just looked at the breakfast menu. I immediately spotted something called “Wild Mushroom Lasagna ($13.00 I think).” It was made with layers of wild mushroom, tomatoes and red potatoes. I decided that I would order this with a side of their Mustard Pepper Bacon ($4.00). My wife decided to order Eggs Benedict ($13.00). We both ordered a cup of coffee to go with our meal ($3.00 each).

After a few minutes the waiter brought us a breadbasket and our coffee. The breadbasket was filled with slices of baguette and then topped off with a couple of pine nut cinnamon rolls. The coffee our waiter poured was good but had a lot of coffee grounds in it. The cinnamon rolls seemed to be made out of puff pastry and were very light. They were ok, but I wasn’t crazy about them.

Then came the bad news. They were out of Wild Mushroom Lasagna. I was devastated. I really wanted to try this dish. It took me forever to find something else to eat. Not because they didn’t have anything good, but because my mind was already set on eating the wild mushroom lasagna. After looking over the menu a few times I finally decided to keep my side of Mustard Pepper Bacon and also order a cup of Sundried Tomato Soup ($5.00) and an order of Mini Filet of Beef Tacos ($12.00).

Our waiter apologized and said that he would rush our order. He kept his word and we received our food a few minutes later. My wife’s Eggs Benedict looked delicious. The hollandaise sauce looked a little watery to me but she said it was pretty good. She added a little lemon juice to it and said that it was perfect. She really enjoyed her entire meal.

I looked at my bacon and noticed that it looked really shiny. I was expecting this bacon to be completely savory with lots of black pepper and mustard. Instead, it was very sweet. It must have actually been “Honey” Mustard Pepper Bacon. They really should have stated that on the menu. It kind of reminded me of a Honeybaked ham. It was pretty good though considering I’m not a big fan of sweet bacon.

The Sundried Tomato soup had a much lighter color than I expected. I expected it to be as red as sundried tomatoes. The soup was made with cream and gorgonzola cheese. It was pretty good but I felt it could have had a stronger tomato flavor.

The steak tacos were served with blueberry radish salsa and goat cheese. The saltiness of the steak combined with the sweetness of the blueberries and the creaminess of the goat cheese was absolutely fantastic. The squiggle of hot sauce they put on the plate was actually pretty spicy and really tasted good with the tacos.

Overall I really enjoyed eating at this place. Eating on their outdoor patio was really peaceful and the food was pretty good. I would definitely eat here again if I were in the area. I’m looking forward to trying a lot more of their lunch and dinner items.

Sundried Tomato Café on Urbanspoon


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