denica's in livermore....wait! what am i doing in livermore?
I know, I've said it before, but we do get out of the city every now and then to either run errands or find a big box store to shop at where we won't see anyone we know. Of course, when we do, I like to try out food spots I wouldn't normally have the opportunity to eat at. That's what kind of brings me and the SO all the way out here to Livermore (yes of the labs!). It is early enough in the day, like 10am on Tuesday morning (best not to ask), and we are hungry for breakfast food things. I will say this is the time where smartphones can come in handy. We know zip about this area, but a quick search for good-breakfast-Livermore brings up a spot that is only half a mile over from our current location. It's called Denica's. Lots of good ratings and says they do bakery things. Okay, well, I'll take the internets opinion this time as we map our way over.
It is in a strip mall! Ok, it's the burbs, everything is in a strip mall. From the looks outside, it seems to be a kind of generic looking little eatery. But then, they are probably locked into whatever style the developer built this little blob of buildings. From the looks of it, I'd say the style is early 90's sad with a Southwest color theme. We are looking past that since some hole in the strip mall wall spaces can be pretty good.
Of course you know, this bakery case is what catches my eye as soon as I walk in the door. Forget the fact they have a regular menu to choose from, I'm enthralled by the size of the cookies, muffins and pastries. They are 'fat America' size and yes, I've gotta get one of them. Though before I get too carried away, the SO reminds me we are here for breakfast. I managed to tear my eyes away from the case long enough to peruse their array of traditional (for California) options. Omelettes, scrambles, burritos, benedicts, etc. Without trying to put too much thought into what to try, I zero in on the James's Special Omelette and place my order at the register before finding a nice booth to droop into.
It's an omelette filled with bacon, sausage, linguica, mushrooms, green onions and cheddar cheese. Plus, I get to choose a side that isn't potatoes, fruit or tomatoes! This place also offers black beans and surprise! GRILLED VEGETABLES! Now that is a way to impress the occasional Atkins in me! I haven't been anywhere in SF that has offered me this option. (If there are any out there let me know!) Usually, it is just the 3 choices above you get. This was a mix of carrots, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Add in your choice of toast, English muffin, and it all comes to $12.99 plus tax. Not a bad price for what you get. The omelette is filled with plenty of meat and shrooms, though could have used more cheese. The veggies were nicely grilled and not too soft or too hard. Outside of the bread, I felt I was eating somewhat healthy.
This is a good, basic and hearty breakfast. It is the kind of breakfast you just want to nestle into some mornings. Comfort food for the belly as it were. No tricks or weird food combos. Just good food made to order.
But you didn't think I was going to leave here with just some eggs, bacon and veggies did you? HA! If you didn't think I wasn't going to get some giant baked good then you haven't read my blog much! Or at least get a clue from the cover photo.
And yes, true to form, I got the cinnamon roll. Though, this was a bit outside my wheelhouse as it is covered in a sugar glaze as opposed to the cream cheese icing I'm partial to. But for something this size, I just couldn't pass it up. For $5 you get this mammoth roll that was close to the size of a head of lettuce, kid you not. AND....they warm it up for ya'! It was soft, cinnamony, yeasty, fluffy and, you may find hard to believe, not as sugary sweet as you may think. There is a lot of bread going on here and not as much brown sugar inside. Thus you don't (I didn't) get as overwhelmed with the two types of sugar shock.
Both me and the SO really liked it. Would it have been better with my joyous cream cheese icing? Duh, yeah, most things are, but for this, what they do works really well and would definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. No guarantees you won't feel a sugar crash later and need a nap from your breakfast.
In one fell swoop I had a healthy breakfast and an unhealthy breakfast and both were pretty good. Denica's is one of those local joints you always want to have in your neighborhood as it serves fresh made food at prices that won't break your wallet, especially if you eat there several times a week. It's the kind of place I wish my 'hood had--yes, I'm looking at you SOMA/Mission Bay! And even if they hadn't had the great grilled veggie sides choice with my omelette, the larger than life sized cinnamon roll made it worth the stop here. Granted, when you are in Livermore, there seem to be any number of chains you can patronize, but when you can get fresh baked goods from Denica's, why would you. It almost makes me want to go out to Livermore again! Okay, maybe not, but it was still good.