We were super excited when we heard Early Bird had opened in Fullerton, so stoked that we went twice in a span of a week. We first visited for breakfast and found the space very pleasing, with its minimalistic design and one of my favorite colors — orange!
Our group of five ordered a good selection of menu items across the board enabling us to sample a nice variety of dishes featured.
I’m not a sweet breakfast person. In fact, I’m not a huge breakfast person — at least not western style ones — so you know I’ll never order pancakes or waffles. Surprisingly however, Griddle Cakes ($6.95) were perfectly fluffy and not toothy which, in my book are always the ideal pancakes. Served with fresh seasonal berries and home-made whipped cream, I actually took several bites of this.
On the topic of not liking sweet things, “The Dutch” Waffle ($6.95) completely blew me away. The crispy texture with blue berries and home-made whipped cream was SO delicious — not too sweet — was enough for me to eat more than my share. If I were to eat anything sweet, this would be it.
Chilaquiles Steak & Eggs ($13.95) were interesting because the fried tortillas in ancho chile sauce was strangely sweet which didn’t appeal to me at all. Even the queso fresco wasn’t able to balance out the sweetness. I did, however, love the flavor of the steak. If only I can have the steak paired with something else on the menu……
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for delicious low-carb items and Frank Floyd Benedict ($9.50) was right up my alley. Instead of an English muffin, a roasted portabella mushroom is used. It is then topped with spinach, smoked salmon, poached eggs and bearnaise sauce. Of course, they offer this with two slice of toast, but you can opt not to eat it.
Teemu’s Duck Confit Hash ($13.50) was quite tasty although I don’t like potatoes (except for fries and potato chips) and croutons which were interspersed with the duck and potatoes. I could just eat the duck confit on its own!
Open Faced Truffle Egg Sandwich ($9.95) was good but nothing special. I’ve made this at home, but this had country ham in the scrambled eggs. The eggs were nicely done, fluffy, and seasoned well.
Breakfast items are served until 11am and then a different lunch menu is served until closing. Pigs In The Fryer ($2.50) were similar to pigs in a blanket, and although I really liked the fact that they used home-made sausage, the batter coating the sausages were doughy and mushy. The accompanying maple-mustard sauce was good, but on the whole, it was just okay.
You can add a cup of soup to your meal for $2.95, so we took advantage of that by trying the soups. EB Clam Chowder (ordinarily $6.50) was more a corn chowder than clam chowder. The corn to clam ratio was substantially higher and I was only able to taste bits of clam here and there. I really enjoyed the soup, but it was somewhat misleading to call it a clam chowder.
Tomato Basil Soup (ordinarily $6) was nice and tart and not creamy, just the way I like.
Maxwell’s BLT ($8.95) comprised of pecan smoked bacon, tomato compote, iceberg lettuce and mayo. It wasn’t anything exciting, something I could have thrown together at home, and for almost $9, I wasn’t impressed. Yes, all sandwiches comes with a side of potato salad, quinoa salad or fries but I’d rather get a substantial sandwich without a side.
The Roasted Chicken Sandwich ($9.50) was again nothing exciting. We enjoyed the filling, but the sandwich itself just didn’t quite hit the spot. Maybe it was the bread, and maybe it was just it was assembled — with bibb lettuce, roasted peppers, provolone, country ham and whole grain mustard aioli. I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t do it for us.
I really enjoyed the Fried Chicken Salad ($9.95) — well, the fried chicken part of it anyway. The chicken was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, but the corn, arugula, radish, long beans tossed in a buttermilk-corn dressing was really boring. The addition of a poached egg (and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE poached eggs) was a bit weird on the salad, but I’d come back for the chicken. Wish it was served on its own as an entree.
So my conclusion of this newly opened cafe is go for breakfast and let the lunch ride out a little. I’m planning on visiting again in a few months and see what tweaks have been made on the lunch menu. I have great confidence that Chef Joseph Mahon will figure iron out the growing pains in no time.
1000B Bastanchurry Road
Fullerton, CA 92835