Friday, July 3, 2015

Mimi’s Cafe

A breakfastary roadtrip:
San Mateo, CA

Place: Mimi's Cafe
Location: 2208 Bridgepointe Parkway, San Mateo 
(in the Bridgepointe Shopping Center)
Hours: open 7:00am every day (maybe a little later tomorrow and on other holidays, though)
Meal: Potato Cake Eggs Benedict ~ hickory-smoked bacon, spinach, tomatoes, poached eggs, and Hollandaise, with mixed fruit (instead of potatoes); and a cuppa (and one refilla) whatever the house Coffee was

(Yeah, well, it was a bit overcast and cloudy ~ and it even rained for a few seconds along 280 ~ on the way down to San Mateo early this morning, so I just figured these would be sufficient EweToobular juxtaselections.  I am pretty sure that I have posted that little Robbie Zimmerman cover once before, but I like it, so tough!)

The other day on defacedbook, an old Air Force
buddy (Hey, Karl!) happened to mention that he was having dinner at a local Tucson restaurant called Mimi's Cafe[1]. It turns out that Mimi's Cafe is a chain of restaurants and there are even a few in the Bay Area. As I am wont to do (i.e. Nosey Parker that I am), I had to check out their menu to see what they offered breakfastarily; I liked the looks of their Breakfast Menu and decided I would have to get down there one of these days. Today happened to be one of these days.

I was not familiar with this particular family-style restaurant chain. I think they are mostly located in the southwestern and southern States. They could be considered something like a Frenchified bistro version of Applebee's, I suppose. The closest chapter to San Francisco happens to be located in a shopping centre/strip mall place on the demarcation line of San Mateo and Foster City. This was a very large place with seating for at least 100-150 people. There is even an outdoor patio seating area; plus, another covered/enclosed fresh-air patio area. Inside there are lots of maroon vinyl-covered booths, which are large enough for four to six people each; that way, most everyone can enjoy the whole booth experience other than just ol' Abie Lincoln.

By the décor, I assumed that the place may have originally been an old Mexican chain restaurant (on the lines of Chevy's, etc). However, according to my friendly, knowledgeable waitress/server-lady, Nancy, they have been at this same location for seventeen years now (shows you how often I get down to that part of San Mateo-Foster City) and are still in the original building that was built specifically for their chain.

As I stated above, I liked the looks of their Breakfast Menu and there were a few other good ideas that caught my eye (both of them, actually): Orange Crème French Toast (brioche Pain Perdu toast with orange marmalade cream cheese; comes with two eggs served any style [I like mine of the chicken-style], mixed fruit, and your choice of hickory-smoked bacon, pork or turkey sausage, or hickory-smoked ham; I don't really expect I‘ll be getting back there for another seventeen years or so, but if I ever do, this will definitely be my choice); Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles (with strawberry-rhubarb butter; comes with two eggs, mixed fruit, and your choice of hickory-smoked bacon, pork or turkey sausage, or hickory-smoked ham; this also sounded very interesting); Egg White & Veggie Omelet (open-faced three egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and goat cheese, with mixed fruit [instead of potatoes]; I expect this would be somewhat frittata-style); and because they are a Frenchified bistro kinda joint, they also offer several different Crêpes (and I was happy to see that they use the correct cîrcûmflêxêd "ê" in the spelling, too).

This was a very decent take on your standard Eggs Benedict dish. I particularly like the use of potato cakes as the base (potato cakes are wayyyy better than those faux English crumpets that Mr. Thomas puts out). And, for the originality of which, I am giving them an extra 0.1 on the Glen Bacon Scale. Of course, I ordered this dish without any of that hickory-smoked dead, decaying porky junk (I am trying to cut down on my hickory smoking). I even substituted a side of herbed roasted potatoes (instead of mixed fruit); there is no such thing as too many carbohydrates as far as I am concerned. 

The house Coffee was nothing much of which to speak; just your typical diner-quality stuff. The refilla seemed a little better than the first cuppa, but that may have been due to a new potta being served or I just may have become used to the mediocriocity of the flavour by then. I really didn't feel it necessary to ask for a second refilla, though.

Upon request, Mimi's Cafe has to offer Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) and Cholula® Hot Sauce (Original). I used some of my own Hot Licks® Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on top of the Hollandaise and both eggs and some Fairhope Favorites, Inc. Moonshine Hot Sauce XXX (Thanks, Phyllis!) on the potatoes. Nancy was pretty hot sauce-savvy herself and we talked for a bit about hot sauces (the place was still pretty empty that early in the morning and she could waste her time humouring me).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Potato Cake Eggs Benedict ~ 6.4


1. While they state on their web-site that they are a "French-Inspired" restaurant, and they seem to have no problem with the correct accented spellings of "crème" and "crepês", for some reason, they don't want to use l'accent aigu ("é") in the "Café" part of their name. I just found that rather strangé.

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