Brunch at Fisherman's Restaurant - San Clemente
I seldom go to the beach, but it's knowing that I could, any time I wanted, which makes living in Southern California, and specifically Orange County, such a privilege.
We are within minutes of scenes like that you see above...okay, well, let's be realistic...it's more like a half an hour by car. And then there's parking. But still, it's possible, and once you make the commitment to actually make the trip, it can make the difference between a good weekend and a great weekend.
Better still, there's the Metrolink, which cruises down our coast on a pretty stretch of track straddling the glimmering Pacific Ocean. As soon as our train passed leafy San Juan Capistrano, we gazed out at it and its vastness, all the way down to our destination, the San Clemente Pier.
The train stops conveniently at the pier itself, whereupon it's a few steps to a few brunch options if you come on a weekend. Virtually a few feet from the train depot, there's a crepe place that people seem to love. But we ultimately took our meal at Fisherman's Restaurant, an eatery precariously held up above the surf by stilts.
If you think it looks like a tourist-y place, you'd be right; but that's not to say it wasn't good. The service is efficient like they've been doing this for years (they have) and before the meal, they give you a basket of warm muffins (cranberry, poppy, blueberry, and oatmeal raisin) and a thimble whipped butter to slather all over. Nothing, in my opinion, is more welcoming than a basket of warm muffins.
For my actual meal, I had something called a Seafood Boat ($13.25), which is quintessential brunch food if I ever saw one. A puff pastry shell is covered with bay shrimp and actual crab meat and engulfed in a layer of melted cheese.
I'm usually not a proponent of seafood with cheese, or even seafood for breakfast, but this I loved. And to eat it while looking out at the scene I so enjoyed on the trip over? Well, that's a better complement to the meal than the chilled glass of orange juice I had to wash it all down.
P.S. Metrolink is lamentably cutting down its service starting today (February 15, 2010) to a skeleton crew of trains.
611 Avenida Victoria
San Clemente, CA 92672-5301
THIS WEEK ON OC WEEKLY:
OC's Sexy & Romantic Restaurants