carlos.jpgIn my book, the perfect antidote to early morning activity (ie: a 3k “Fun” Run) has to be home fries and scrambled eggs. WIth a side of bacon and Diet Pepsi.

Now, before you go calling the food police, hear me out. Greasy spoon diners like Carlos’ Country Kitchen are like ice cream and D’Affinois: A sometimes treat when you’ve been very, very good. What could be better than huffing and puffing up a hill for charity at 8am on Sunday morning then rewarding yourself for all that hard work? And don’t say oatmeal.

For months now, BiteClubbers have been lauding the breakfast-time
merits of this red-checkered diner off College Avenue. Bordered by a
gas station, botanica and car-repair shops just past the 101
overpass, the neighborhood isn’t the most charming. There were some
health inspection issues that were corrected. But hey, it keeps out the
dilettantes and dabblers–though certainly not fans who pack the
parking lot ot overflow capacity.

You’ll either dig the
uncultivated low-brow vibe or you won’t. Booths are lumpy, service is
harried and brusque (but usually with a smile or two), the bacon is way
too salty and you may get a bit uncomfortable with waiting folks eyeing
your table hungrily.

It’s everything else that keeps people
coming back. Simple, straightforward fry-cookin’ that fills the belly.
BiteClub likes to keep it simple: Eggs, scrambled; homefries and toast.
Biscuits and gravy got a tentative thumbs up though they’re not nearly
as good as Bruno’s. Mickey Mouse pancakes always win a smile from the
tots. It’s also the personal touch of the owners who greet regulars by
name, watch over the kitchen and mingle through the dining area filling
glasses and inquiring about your meal.

The best breakfast
ever? Not by a mile. One of my favorite spots to spend a few minutes
catching up with my family over a pile of potatoes? You betcha.

Carlos Country Kitchen, 90 West College Ave., Santa Rosa,
(707) 569-9734

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