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Mushroom Surprise

dining_fogbankBy night it’s billed as “Capitola’s funnest bar and grille” with Thursday Karaoke, live bands on Fridays and Saturdays and Sunday Pro Jams. But when the morning sun filters through its front doors, the Esplanade’s Fog Bank morphs into a family-friendly breakfast nook.

From the beautifully crafted bar draped with fishing nets, came a Bloody Mary ($5.25), heartily flecked with black pepper and horseradish in a slender Collins glass, complete with a spiced green bean and pimiento-stuffed olive. The morning brew was served with class in pedestaled glass Irish Coffee cups.

Choose from omelettes and house specialties ($6.25 to $7.95) served with soft, lightly seasoned home fries or a bowl of fruit. A Breakfast Burrito, stuffed with eggs, cheese and mushrooms and slathered with sour cream, guacamole and fresh salsa is more than a meal, as is the Eggs Benedict.

I began my own quest for the second best Eggs Benedict after falling for them at the Banff Springs Hotel in Calgary, Alberta. This fascination, apparently hereditary, has led my son and I to seek the perfectly toasted English muffin topped with the smokiest slice of Canadian bacon, perfectly swirled poached eggs pouring out their canary yolk, and a blanket of buttery Hollandaise with a hint of bright lemony tartness.

But this morning I took one for the team, so to speak, out of respect for my pork-abhorring friends and ordered the Fog Bank’s Vegetarian Benedict ($7.95). Two halves of an English muffin were topped with slices of warm tomato, quartered artichoke hearts and the most wonderful meaty sautéed mushrooms imaginable; more flavorful than any circle of lean bacon I had ever encountered. Poached eggs surrendered their sunny interiors and the glaze of Hollandaise was buttery indeed.


Fog Bank, 211 Esplanade, Capitola, 462-1881. Full bar. Serving breakfast 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. Serving lunch until 4 p.m. daily. Visit the-fogbank.com.

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