Sunday, August 19, 2007

Clarke's, Mountain View

Burger and malt place that also does breakfasts

Because we live near Castro Street in Mountain View, we go to a lot of restaurants there, but we found that when we wanted to go to Sunday brunch, we usually went further away: Hobee's, Stacks, Country Gourmet, Original Pancake House (reviews forthcoming). Walking down to the Mountain View Farmer's Market a couple Sundays ago, we decided to see if there was a good place for Sunday brunch along Castro, which has been built up recently with a lot of good new restaurants.

The list is surprisingly short. Zucca offers a couple brunch entrees, Le Boulanger offers some egg sandwiches, as does Posh Bagel. We got to El Camino without anything really jumping out at us. Then Mark said, "Isn't Clarke's just around that corner?" We remembered that the one in Los Altos (which has a curious message that they are "no longer available" through served breakfast, so we walked that extra half block. As we got closer, we saw indeed that the sign said, "Breakfast served," so we walked in.

The criteria for a Sunday brunch place is that they have pancakes and omelettes/scrambles--not too much to ask. Clarke's, which we'd remembered as a small single-room place with terrific shakes (basically a burger/malt counter with a few plastic tables) actually has a great brunch menu. We got blueberry pancakes, a cheesy scramble, and one of their "house" cinnamon rolls (with an "orange twist"). Not only that, but they have a sun room and an outdoor patio in addition to the small room we both remembered. We sat out there until our food was ready, then went and fetched it from the counter. It's nice being able to sit out in the sun and relax on a Sunday morning, very different from some of the Sunday brunch places that are packed with families and full of noise.

The scramble was eggs, onions, peppers, seasoned potatoes, and lots of cheese. Very yummy, even if I ended up setting a big lump of cheese aside. The blueberry pancakes were good too, if not spectacular. Only the cinnamon roll was a bit of a disappointment. We'd both expected a little more gooey cinnamon--spoiled by Cinnabon--and by the time I got to eat it, it had cooled down somewhat. Good icing, though, and good bread, so overall it was fine, and you could definitely taste the trace of orange in it. The meal was reasonable overall--about what you'd expect for brunch.

We still have a couple places to explore, but Clarke's has definitely added itself to our list of brunch places.

Oh, and I hear they do good burgers and malts, too.

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