The fog rolled in yet rested in Carpinteria. We were foolish to not stop for breakfast in Ventura. As soon as my family and I drove into Ventura, California, we saw the Amtrak train famous for the views of California. My son had never ridden an Amtrak train, especially one so grand as the Pacific Surfliner that rides the waves along the coast from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. My son jumped on the Surfliner in Ventura and rode with his mother up to Santa Barbara, where I drove to pick them up. But we had to return to Las Vegas for Super Bowl Weekend, so we turned quickly south without breakfast in Santa Barbara. My son was famished. Hungry, he asked repeatedly for me to pull the car over, so we turned west on Linden Avenue in Carpinteria. The beach resort town of Carpinteria was gorgeous, magical, still covered in fog, you could feel mist from the waves hitting your face, and the restaurant near the ocean that we pulled over to eat at was called Esau’s Cafe. There were people standing outside, eating at new tables set up outside, because every local seemed to want to eat breakfast at Esau’s Cafe each Sunday morning. Since then, we have returned to Carpinteria many times just because of the great dining experience was engaged in at Esau’s Cafe. Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with fresh baked biscuits, muffins, seafood tacos with fried fillets of fish, my son had the grilled calamari steak sandwich with a combination of hot onion rings and french fries – his first calamari steak ever. The platters around us were impressive with waffles, pancake layers fluffy thick inches off each plate, and as I took a tour of our colorful surroundings inside the restaurant a large bake pan had high, thick biscuits cooling right next to the over, which I cannot get out of my mind as I write these words, because the biscuits smelled golden brown with butter, milk, flour, and yeast prepared to perfection. I wanted to return to order a dish off the menu using the biscuits, because the oven pan made them appear so delicious. The beach is a temptation. The small town is nearly hidden. I would have never stopped in Carpinteria unless my son ordered me to out of a desperation for hunger. Nor would I have found Linden Avenue, the location for Esau’s Cafe. The walls are painted bright colors with surf boards and menus written out with colorful chalk. Nothing is saturated as you have in a fast food diner off the freeway with plastic wrapped egg sandwiches slapped with processed ham. Homemade dishes. Home cooked breakfast crafted by proud chefs. Even the cooks and staff walked around with confidence, because they were proud of the delicious dishes they were serving. The beach was relaxing. By the time we finished our first meal, the fog had burned off giving way to the sun. My son collected sea shells on the sand of the beach right next door to Esau’s Cafe. My wife walked in the waves with her pants getting wet after taking off her socks and shoes. Our family returned to Carpinteria the very next week after driving seven hours from Las Vegas, Nevada, because the temptation of Esau’s Cafe after waking up in Las Vegas was too great to resist the drive to find a resort hotel to sleep in so that we could dine at Esau’s Cafe for another Sunday morning of searching for sea shells polished by the ocean waves next to the restaurant that continues to bring us back to Linden Avenue each time we need to engage in an exodus out of Nevada’s dry climate. Dine at Esau’s Cafe if you travel to Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Malibu, you have to eat at this Esau restaurant even if you have to take the Amtrak train. The Pacific Surfliner Amtrak train stops two minutes away by foot from Esau’s Cafe. I tell you this because you can feel like your on a second honeymoon by stopping in to eat and stay the night in Carpinteria from San Diego to Santa Barbara. That is what I may do this weekend now that I remember by writing about the breakfast adventure.
507 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013