One of the great things about writing this column is that it gives me the opportunity to sample such a wide variety of eating establishments in North County. I personally need that mix to keep things real and not become a food snob, where everything I eat must meet some foodie criteria.
The Daily News Café, in the heart of downtown Carlsbad, is one of those casual eateries to stop in for breakfast or lunch to get a good solid meal at a reasonable price.
The breakfast and lunch crowd at the cafe is made up of a refreshing mix of just about every demographic. There are seniors, local worker bees, night shift restaurant workers just getting up and tourists coming up from the beach. It’s a bustling place for sure, with a nice outside patio and indoor dining area that always seems full.
It’s a great place to go with a couple of newspapers and some time on your hands while enjoying a leisurely meal. As much as I’ve become immersed in the digital age, there is something soothing about taking a step back, slowing down and actually reading a newspaper over a solid meal at a place like the Daily News Café, and what an appropriately named place at that.
Breakfast is served all day and they have a full selection of what they call “Omnipotent Omelettes.” I guess that’s referring to the quantity of the portions. Huevos Rancheros are an option, along with a breakfast burrito and eggs Benedict. Our server said the homemade cinnamon bread French toast was their signature breakfast item, and I already have a return trip planned to give that it try. Biscuits with country gravy are another hearty option and on the other end of the manly scale is a nice selection of crepes that comes with an enticing option of red potatoes. So, yes, they have just about every breakfast option covered here, and the only dish over $10 is the crab and shrimp crepes at $10.95.
The lunch options are almost overwhelming. Including specials, I counted over 40 dishes available. There is a chicken sandwich section, belly bomb burgers, south of the menu, serious salads and sandwich heaven. It all looked good except I’m not sure referring to the burgers as belly bombers is an enticing choice of menu copy. That’s just the marketing guy in me nitpicking, though.
They really are all over the map, providing something for everyone on the lunch menu. I don’t know how I missed the lobster roll, but I’m now very curious to see if they can pull that off.
I started with a solid cup of New England clam chowder, and then went for one of the daily specials — a grilled Rueben. I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of Rueben’s, having grown up around some serious delis. The Daily News Café version did not disappoint. It was a perfect mix of lean corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing served on grilled rye bread. This really is sandwich perfection and they nailed it. It came with a choice of sides and I went with the pasta salad.
There is a lot of lobster, crab and shrimp on the menu with the mermaid salad and a sandwich version of that as well.
The mermaid salad is the priciest dish on the lunch menu at $12.95. Everything else on the lunch menu is under $10. There is a full kid’s portion of the menu all priced below $4. What a great way to appeal to people with kids.
The Daily News Café has something for just about everyone on their menu which makes it a great place to consider when you are looking for a place to please everyone in a large group.
I have lunch meetings in Carlsbad on a regular basis and have found my new go-to lunch spot. I’ll be trying the breakfast, soon.
For more information, visit dailynewscafe.com.
Filed Under: Lick the Plate