Calm after the Storm

The Old Mountain Inn serves rib-sticking breakfasts like the ones grandma used to make

After a springtime rain in the mountains of Santa Cruz, the air is fresh, the damp earth reveals its aroma, and the weekend roads are relatively untraveled. A recent early morning drive took us to the quaint Old Mountain Inn for a filling breakfast.

A collection of live and silk plants adorn the interior while numerous skylights add light. I took time to appreciate the old photographs and the collection of doilies on the walls, some crocheted with an extremely fine hook, but all with such perfectly identical stitches.

Omelets ($7.95 to $8.95) include the usual suspects such as cheese, ham and cheese, plus more unusual choices such as a Salsa Relleno with green chilies or one with house-made chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

The Mountain Inn Omelet ($8.95) held mushrooms, bacon, salty ham and cheddar cheese. This was the puffiest omelet I've encountered in years; the puffiness typically achieved by beating the egg whites separately to create an airiness.

Omelets and egg breakfasts are served with thinly sliced, skin-on home-fried potatoes, and a generous choice of sides including toast, English muffin, hotcakes or biscuits and gravy. The Sunday Special Omelet also offered the option of fruit. The excellent biscuit was tender and airy, and the unusual gravy was thin and flavored with bacon rather than sausage.

From the griddle ($5.95 to $7.95) come buckwheat or house-made buttermilk pancakes which become Princess Cakes with the addition of almonds and raisins. In addition to French toast, also available are old-fashioned banana, blueberry, or chocolate chip cakes.

If you're in the mood for a baked potato ($8.95) you'll find one topped with scrambled eggs, green chilies, onions, tomatoes and cheese.

Some Special Breakfasts ($7.95 to $8.95) add choice of meat or fruit to the griddle selections, but also include corned beef hash and a country scramble served over biscuits with gravy and sausage.

I enjoyed the rich cheese blintzes ($7.95). Three paper-thin crêpes were filled with a smooth orange-flavored filling of cottage and cream cheese, and then folded into quarters. The thinly sliced side of bacon ($3.95) was quite meaty.

Old Mountain Inn, 13132 Central Ave., Boulder Creek, 338-2211. Open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., and on Sunday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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