Wednesday, January 23, 2013

California breakfast

Hubby’s "vacation day" breakfast this morning at McElroy’s Harbor House in Biloxi, Mississippi, was mostly Southern with eggs, grits and toast. Southern is usually synonymous with salt, which I crave, but now must limit. 

I still miss the biscuits and the cup of grits served up at McElroy’s. It is as near perfection as any I have encountered. Today I enjoyed the more geographically generic oatmeal.

Even Husband Walter with his consistently low blood pressure now usually eliminates biscuits from his breakfast choices. His problem wasn’t the salt, but indigestion. Age does affect eating habits.

Geography does, too. On a day well into our October West Coast trip, breakfast was a chocolate pop tart from the complimentary snack basket in our suite along with hot tea and coffee. We were at Shelter Cove during the slow season in which the few eateries at the remote seaside community opened on weekends only.
My first ever pop tart

Once we were fortified by the make-do breakfast, the high tide and a problem with my Bioness footdrop system thwarted our intent to explore the shore and tide pools. Walking is so much more doable when the Bioness is zapping the nerves and muscles of my left leg in all the right places. Hubby performed a successful adjustment on the Bioness, and it was time to brave the Shelter Cove Road.

We departed the coast in search of a “real” breakfast. That pop tart hadn’t lasted long! We wound up in Garbersville, California.
Eel River Café
There we joined a crowd at Eel River Café.  It was 11 a.m., and we were ready to tank up on breakfast for lunch. The cafe was a long-standing community gathering place. It offered generous portions of both food and conversation. Size of booths in the small establishment were generous, too.
Super-sized booth

There was also a black and white cow theme throughout the interior. With the tight spaces and customers coming and going, I wasn't confident I could keep my balance for a safe look at the cafe's collection of black and white cow items. 

A fellow diner gave me an up close glimpse of one smile-inducing item. She brought a black-and-white cow-patterned hand-held vacuum cleaner over to show her husband in the booth adjacent to ours.
Cow monitors café activity from the ceiling.

Our waitress Shirley delivered menus that boasted a wide variety of breakfast choices, including “The Southern Breakfast.”

“Were grits included with that Southern breakfast?” we inquired. Shirley had never heard of grits. I assume that “southern” referred to Southern California.
Shirley looks after us in Eel River Cafe.

Customers ranged from older and middle-aged adults, both local and passing through, to young adults, some in uniforms and on a lunch break from work and others with knit caps, backpacks and occasionally an impressive set of dreadlocks. Garbersville seemed to be a launching point for hiking expeditions and other recreational pursuits in the Eel River region.  
Shirley shares recommendations for touring the giant redwoods.

An amiable Shirley also volunteered to snap this photo of the well-fed couple below.
Hubby and me.

Visiting well-known sights is a pleasure, but simple slices of life of individuals and communities exhibiting unselfconscious exuberance is also among the joys of travel. For me, Eel River Café definitely served up a satisfying California breakfast and a tasty side of good memories.


  1. This is a great post. I'm glad you are enjoying your trip. Here's to making more great breakfast memories.

  2. I think I may have eaten at that restaurant or one similar to it in Garberville. My folks used to camp up that direction and we would often stop on our way to eat a late breakfast.
    I love that picture of you and your Hubby.
    I am enjoying your vacation memories so much. Have a great day and I would love to eat some more "real" grits.
    Hubby and I had some in New Orleans, in the French Quarter, at a hole in the wall called Mama's. I thought they were pretty good.

  3. This is a wonderful picture of the two of you! My Phil has very low blood pressure, too! It runs 100/60. So glad you are having a good time and seeing fun things!

  4. I eat either muesli (raw oats with fruit, nuts and seeds) or cooked porridge for breakfast all the time, from choice. No point in going out to breakfast for me. Husband will have the ‘full English’ (sausage, bacon, egg, tomato, fried bread and beans) if we are staying at a hotel, otherwise it’s been muesli for him too for 50 years.

    We try not to overeat, not just for the waistline but also to keep stomachs quiet.

    You two really are a very handsome couple!

  5. gotta love a friendly helpful waitress and that cafe sounds like one i would love to see. i love cows all things cows... hubby had never eaten grits until he married me, now he is a fan and we have it for dinner sometimes with cheese in it. not all restaurants know how to cook it properly

  6. You look so beautiful in that photo. Love your hair! When I am with my hubby, I tend to eat well, but when alone, I am too lazy to fix myself anything.

  7. What? No grits? How can one have a southern breakfast without grits? :)

    I love "cow decor", so I would have enjoyed this cafe!

    Great photo of you and Walter!

  8. I struggle with my weight constantly, and even half a kilo is a big loss these days. But keeping busy with vacation days is a good way to be active and enjoy life. Every Blessing from Freda at Dalamory.