Restaurant News & Reviews

Dining Out: Fresh food with flair

A co-worker recently boasted to me about the pancakes she enjoyed hot off the barbecue on the sunny patio of the Honeymoon Café. Wait, barbecued pancakes? Yes, and they’re delicious, she added.

Honeymoon Café in Pismo Beach has been owned by Tara Jones and Christi Rivera since late last year, and the two have been running the quaint café and espresso bar as conventionally — or unconventionally—as they like.

They regularly light up their outdoor barbecue on pleasant weekends, grilling up breakfasts and lunches so that they—and their diners —can savor Pismo’s picturesque surroundings.

The pair also uses local and organic products as often as possible and has a page-long list of Central Coast purveyors to prove it. They strive to be as green as possible, serving to-go boxes that look like paper but are actually made out of sugar cane so they biodegrade faster.

But unlike some eateries that serve up healthy cuisine that tastes a little too earthy, the food at Honeymoon Café is delicious and satisfying while packed with fresh ingredients.

The Everything But the Kitchen Sink salad ($9) comes close to its name with its abundant mix of greens, roasted bell peppers, basil, garbanzo beans, grilled onions, sautéed purple cauliflower, roasted fennel and spiced nuts. The colorful pile of vegetables nicely combines an array of textures and flavors that are enhanced by the café’s silky citrus vinaigrette.

The salad’s mix of grilled and fresh vegetables is also tast, y with cauliflower and onions adding a hint of smokiness.

The tofu street tacos ($7) are a trio of petite corn tortillas filled with lime-marinated tofu and topped with diced onions and chopped cilantro. The tofu is airy, and, although a bit light for some, the flavor is citrusy and fresh.

The veggie flatbread ($7) is topped with basil pesto, mozzarella, roasted portabella mushrooms, zucchini, onions and gold bell peppers. The topping of vegetables is generous, as is the oozing cheese and thick, warm pesto. The day’s salad was a side of bowtie pasta tossed in raspberry chipotle jelly—an eclectic combination both sweet and spicy.

The tuna panini ($7) features a blend of albacore tuna chunks, whole grain mustard, onions, relish, capers, and chopped celery served between two thick pieces of parmesan-encrusted focaccia.

Both the albacore filling and the bread are flavorful and delicious, although the combination is a little overwhelming for my taste. Perhaps simpler bread with the zesty tuna would be a nice substitution.

I returned on another day to sample Honeymoon’s filling breakfast burrito. A whole wheat tortilla is wrapped around scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, black beans, and potatoes moistened with crème fraiche, avocado and salsa verde.

Other delectable breakfast items include huevos rancheros, bagel sandwiches, and orange brioche French toast.

All of the café’s dishes are enjoyed best with a cup of the Honeymoon Café’s organic coffee or tea.

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