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RJ’s Cafe in Dana Point

We love to go out for breakfast. There’s something really nice about rolling out of bed, throwing on a sweatsuit and running shoes and having someone else pour your coffee and bring you a hot, steaming plate of eggs, pancakes, waffles…or all of the above.

Recently in our neck of the woods, the local paper posted the “Best of” list for Dana Point. We love the Harbor House (Gina is our favorite waitress there!) and go there often, but when HH turned up second for morning meals, we decided to go investigate the number one, which is RJ’s Cafe located at 25001 Dana Point Harbor Drive in the Dana Marine Village, just across the street from the Harbor. Still relatively new to SoCal, we keep discovering places that we’ve passed hundreds of times and just never took the time to stop in.

RJ, the colorful owner, is full of personality and genuinely likes to make sure that everything is just the way you like it. He stops by every table, chatting with the “regulars” a little longer, but still being inobtrusive. He floats in and out of the restaurant, dressed in one of his signature Hawaiian shirts, smiling, shaking hands, stopping to tell a joke. The service is excellent. We were there on a beautiful Saturday morning and only waited a few minutes. As busy as our waitress was, she stopped by the table frequently to make sure our coffee was topped off and we had everything we needed.

We were impressed with some of the creative breakfasts that were available. One can still get the ordinary eggs (a friend had them over easy, which is tough to accomplish when the orders are overflowing) and they arrived perfect, along with fresh toast which wasn’t drowned in butter, but just right,  crisp bacon and hash browns that didn’t look like they were made from yesterday’s baked potatoes.

My Mexican Scramble was superbly yummy, a wonderful blend of eggs,  jalapeños, diced ham and both jack and cheddar cheese. Served with warm tortillas, it was too much for me to finish.

Other not run-of-the-mill morning fare included omelets named after local venues, including the Doheny omelet, which boasts cream cheese, spinach, tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms; the Point, comprised of corned beef hash, jack and cheddar cheeses and the Strands, featuring bacon, spinach, onions and cream cheese.

The list doesn’t stop there. Even more interesting are what I would call the “alphabet omelets” including the TSA, for turkey, swiss cheese and avocado, HCM: ham, cheese and mushrooms and MCA, mushrooms, cheese and avocado.

Apple-stuffed French Toast, Eggs Milanese and the Feta Avocado Scramble also were quite tempting. Pancake varieties included both banana and blueberry as well as the traditional and buttermilk kinds.

RJ’s is also open for lunch and having looked that menu over, we are anxious to go back to try some of his specialities for the mid-day meal as well.

RJ’s Cafe, 25001 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Suite F 120, Dana Point Phone: 949.218.5757, Fax: 949.481.3191.

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