There are spots that announce themselves loudly from blocks away, and then there are those that take a little bit of effort to discover. Lil’ Bits Café is certainly one of the latter.
Though the street address is writ quite large upon the side of the building that Lil’ Bits occupies at 7th and West Grand in Grover Beach, you still need to peek around the corner and past the parking lot to see the cafe’s entrance.
Once inside, you’ll see that Lil’ Bits is lil’ indeed. The eatery only has 10 counter seats and three tables in the front room and six tables in the back, so be prepared for a bit of a wait on busy weekend mornings.
Prior to its current incarnation, the location had been an existing restaurant that Lil’ Bits owners Jason and Jenna Goetz frequented. Both were working as bartenders at the time, but they kept their eye on the place, especially since Jason had owned and operated a successful breakfast and lunch spot in Yuba City before moving to the Central Coast.
The space became available, and “six weeks from the time we said ‘Let’s open a restaurant,’ we opened,” Jason said. That was about three years ago, and the flattop grill has seen little rest since.
“We really want to be known as ‘The Champions of Breakfast,’ ” said Jenna.
Anchoring that claim are the restaurant’s biscuits, which Jason considers the benchmark for a breakfast spot. As with most places, the biscuits typically co-star with gravy, but often on the weekends they’ll punch up the delectable Lil’ Bits riff on eggs Benedict: biscuits instead of English muffins and ham instead of Canadian bacon.
The rest of the breakfast menu (which is served all day) offers all manner of pancakes and French toast, omelets and scrambles, and eggs with breakfast meat combos.
Most of those plates also come with all-you-can-eat home fries, so you’re not likely to leave hungry. Try the Old Popeye scramble with spinach and mushrooms, the housemade corned beef hash, or the Grover Beach Train Wreck — home fries topped with two eggs, house-made chili, cheese, onions and bacon.
At lunch, the fresh, hand-formed burgers reign supreme because of their straightforward preparation. As Jason explained, “we form the meat into a ball, put it on the grill, press it to sear it, season it, flip it once, and that’s pretty much it.” The kitchen staff also grills the buns to get the crunch that’s essential to a good burger.
With such a time-honored technique, the Classic burger is a good choice, or you can opt for one kicked up with blue cheese or bacon, or stuffed with linguica. The rest of the lunch menu serves up items such as Cobb salads, club sandwiches, or the new Jenna’s crispy chicken wrap with egg, bacon, avocado, tomato, and both ranch and blue cheese dressing.
Though the Lil’ Bits menu is simple by design, the Goetzes give it a little extra oomph with several house-made items throughout. In addition to the chili and hash, the from-scratch items also include the salsa, chorizo and seasonal fruit jams.
“We just want to really play to our strengths,” Jason said. “We’re not looking to be chasing the latest trends. We want to do what we do well, and hopefully we’re doing it better than anybody else.”