PICTURED: Swedish pancake with berry preserves. Photo by N. Lackey Shaffer
By Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer
Eggs ’n’ Things
92 Daily Drive, Camarillo, 805-987-4497
2955 Cochran St., Simi Valley, 805-527-0055
1542 Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, 805-497-1711
4020 E. Main St., #B72, Ventura, 805-642-3190
I’ve walked past Eggs ’n’ Things dozens of times without stopping in. The local chain, begun in Camarillo in 1974 and now in four locations across Ventura County (plus one in Valencia), just always seemed to be on my “one of these days” lists and never quite got checked off.
That changed recently when I was out running errands with the fam, the hangries hit and the Ventura restaurant (on East Main Street, in the same shopping plaza as Bed Bath & Beyond) was able to seat us right away. We cozied up in a roomy booth and set our sights on breakfast.
A few things surprised me right off the bat. Despite a fairly nondescript entrance, the space is pretty big! And even though it wasn’t yet 9 a.m., the place was already abuzz. It has a classic American diner feel: vinyl booths, tables, waitstaff balancing large trays of biscuits, eggs and waffles while they bustle from customer to customer. Comfortable and unpretentious.
The same could be said of the menu. All the standards with lots of options to enjoy them: traditional French toast plus macadamia nut and cinnamon role versions; multigrain, blueberry, banana or strawberry pancakes; oodles of omelettes and scrambles; a handful of Mexican breakfast favorites (burritos, chile verde, huevos rancheros). Lots of things to whet the appetite for sure! (Lunch is available as well, with a wide array of sandwiches, burgers and salads.)
The not-so-common specialty of the house: the Swedish pancakes, which were the first thing we ordered with our coffee and hot chocolate. A plate with three large crepes quickly arrived for us to share, and they were just as delicious as they sounded on the menu. Delicate as flannel, lightly sweet and buttery, served with berry preserves. I don’t regret ordering them, but word to the wise: A single small Swedish pancake is included with every breakfast dish, so you don’t need to place a separate order to enjoy them.
For breakfast proper, we had two sweet and two savory orders — and despite one small hiccup with a delayed order, everything came out quickly, served by unfailingly friendly staff.
For Kid the First: a Belgian waffle with strawberries. Big and fluffy, beautifully decorated with fresh fruit and a generous amount of cream; very tasty. The cinnamon role French toast (ordered by his brother) was impressive: thick slices of cinnamon role battered and fried to a lovely golden brown and topped with scoops of whipped butter and a dusting of powdered sugar. Good flavor, but awfully sweet (go figure) — the traditional version might be preferable.
My husband and I both ordered chile verde breakfasts — his as an omelette, mine as huevos rancheros. Both were fantastic. The chile verde had a very fresh, somewhat citrusy taste, with hunks of tomatillo in the sauce. The pork was simmered to tender perfection, creating a rich gravy that was as wonderful with my poached eggs as it was folded into an omelette. A delicious, hardy dish that will stick to your ribs and get your day off to a great start. Save room for the fantastic O’Brien potatoes with plenty of fresh bell peppers and onions — or go for the crispy hash browns, which need some seasoning but are otherwise very good. The biscuits are respectable as well.
Despite the fairly large portions, we left nothing unconsumed. Maybe we were exceptionally hungry. Or maybe we just couldn’t get enough of the exceptionally good things Eggs ’n’ Things was serving up.