True Southern Food In The Land Of Salads
In California where I now live, it’s nearly impossible to get what nearly every restaurant serves in the South as a side dish: pork ‘n beans, really good potato salad, cole slaw. And for breakfast, biscuits and gravy.
Now I would not be a true Southerner if I did not try and look for these things here in California, even seek them out on occasion. And that brings me to today’s subject: biscuits and gravy.
Californians are too healthy to eat things like biscuits and gravy but I have identified a few places in my travels were you can find this Southern treat.
• WATERFRONT BAR & GRILL, SAN DIEGO
This is the oldest bar in San Diego, so old that it was literally once on the waterfront. Now it’s a half dozen blocks inland from San Diego Bay on the edge of Little Italy. And it has great food, especially its hearty breakfasts with – you guessed it – biscuits and gravy.
That’s a great thing to have on a Saturday or Sunday morning after a night out at the bars in the neighboring Gaslamp.
Address: 2044 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
• THE WILDHORSE CAFE, OFF HIGHWAY 101 IN KING CITY
The Wildhorse Cafe is an old-fashioned country diner off Highway 101 an hour south of Salinas near Monterey and Carmel. This is a rare find in California and its somewhat remote location gives it even more of a Southern feel.
You walk in and can sit at a counter or in a booth, there’s a little general store off to the side and the waitresses call you “hun.” Well, we’re stretching that last part a bit but you know from the second you open the door, this place just says to you “get something with gravy!”
And so, get the biscuits and country gravy, just like in the South. Like the Watefront Cafe, that gravy is also used for its excellent chicken fried steak, which is the pride of the menu at the Wildhorse.
Exit Wildhorse Road; it’s next to a Valero gas station.
Address: 50630 Mesa Verde Rd,, King City, CA 92930
• POLLY’S ON THE PIER, REDONDO BEACH (LOS ANGELES)
Polly’s is a tiny diner attached to an old wooden pier in the Redondo Beach area of Los Angeles.
It has the best view of any of the places featured in this post; sit outside in plastic chairs at a white round plastic table and you’ve got a view of the Pacific Ocean and King Harbor Marina.
This is a breakfast-first place and when you’re hungry – or are shaking off the cobwebs after partying in the South Bay the night before – then the thick, hearty gravy poured liberally over the biscuits is a true Southern-type treat. When you have this at Polly’s, you even slowly stand up and pat your belly, just as in the South.
Address: 233 N Harbor Dr, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
• THE LOCAL YOLK MANHATTAN BEACH (LOS ANGELES)
Just about three miles from Polly’s is another breakfast place in the South Bay. Known primarily for its big omelettes – the “Raiders Revenge” seems to contain everything they could find in the kitchen – you can opt for the biscuits and gravy as a side option.
Most people in California go for the toast, of course, but if you’re craving the gravy, at the Local Yolk, it’s as thick as a Southern accent.
Address: 3414 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266