Cafe 222 - San Diego, CA: Bang in the center of the downtown's residential district is Terryl Gavre's much buzzed about Cafe 222. Over the years it has evolved from being just another breakfast, lunch cafe of all San Diego restaurants to being the preferred hangout and the cuppa and bite stop for the neighborhood and tourists.
Reviews: The biggest testimonial of Café 222 is the outpouring of positive reviews it has gathered over time. We were ushered towards the restaurant hearing all about it from Bobby Flay on the Food Network. The feedback on the café, the food, the service and the value on the pocket has always been good.
An Overview: When one really thinks about it, the best meals have always been at home in the pantry, being served home-style. This is the appeal of Café 222; a cute pantry atmosphere with décor of bright flowers and colors splashing on the pea green walls, sunny window frames lighting up the inside, cool chandelier lights with cups framing the light holds, basic seating and a homely atmosphere. Definitely a place you want to sit back with a newspaper or a crossword puzzle and eat your way through a big sized appetizing breakfast. Quaint and relaxing; quite the deadly combination to start your day with.
The Menu: Café 222 is no place for wimpy eaters. Memories of being told as a child to fill up on a good breakfast will come wafting back again. Generous portions of food and an extensive menu stripped of la-di-la fancy epitomizes this San Diego restaurant. The whole concept was food. And lots of it piled on friendly happy basic plates.
I started my order with Tamales and Eggs (Two pork tamales and two eggs topped with Mexican gravy served with griddled potatoes and toast) and my dining partner ordered The Mexican (Scrambled eggs with chilies, tomatoes, and cheddar topped with Mexican gravy, green onions, cheddar and sour cream, taters and toast on the side). The food didn't quite live up to the hype surrounding the place. To state it factually, it was good, but not great. But on the plus side, if you are looking for really fresh orange juice to perk up your day, look no further. Refreshing and with the right amount of sweetness, this made up for the dip in food expectation. The menu though was extensive, more so than other cafes offering breakfast/lunch. Varieties of eggs and bakes, in-house specialties, different types of scrambles and the famed pancakes and waffles topped with a selection of side orders completed the breakfast menu. The light lunch menu dove a little deeper with an array of salads.
The Seating: The seating was limited both on the inside and outside. Long queues on the weekends are a given. The café opens at 7 AM and closes at 1:45 PM with the lunch starting at 11:30 AM. And getting seats in between was all about luck. The atmosphere of the café oozed comfort and basics dressed up to look cute and homely. Café 222 spelt charming.
The Calculated Impression: For a lazy morning, some good conversation, and rolled-up-sleeve entertainment sprinkled with decent service; Café 222 is definitely on mark. Easy on the wallet and palate, this hip place is it. The food is average with potential to be great which knocks off points from and keeps it from getting a rating of bombastic.
What I liked: The atmosphere of the place, the cute, charming pantry feel, the home style service, food portions and value for money.
What I didn’t like: The food just didn’t live up to the hype.
Rating: Between Bombastic and Not
Café 222 in San Diego address and telephone: 222 Island Avenue
San Diego, CA- 92101
Phone: 619-236-9902 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 619-236-9902 end_of_the_skype_highlighting