Brandon Hernández 9 a.m., Dec. 4
Although I live in Pacific Beach I admit I don't really hang out there much. I usually end up spending time in South Park or North Park to see bands or check out events and what not. Maybe that's why I've been going to Cafe 976 (in PB) for a while - It has more of a South Park vibe than a PB vibe. There's always people doing homework there too, and at least one archetypal entrepreneur making an important business deal on his cell in the patio.
Today it was lightly sprinkling so most patrons were inside. We ate on the porch, shielded from the elements.
The menu states that the restaurant exists within a 100-year-old house, which is why they can only prepare scrambled eggs (or egg whites) in the kitchen. Many moons ago, Cafe 976 was actually a dusty ol' antique shop. In any case, despite the egg-style limitation, they make some mean sandwiches - my favorite being the portobello mushroom sandwich.
For $8.75 this juicy, vegetarian, mushroom sammy always starts my day off on the right foot. Inside my choice of sourdough bread, resides a perfect blend of spinach, melted mozzarella, onion, jalapeño mayo, mushrooms, and red bell peppers. The texture of the ingredients, flavors, physical temperature, and lightly crunchy bread are all in culinary harmony. It also comes with a salad, and I always get the feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette on the side - for maximum salad control.
My partner and I split the sandwich and added a side of potatoes to the meal for $2.50. This was what my half of a $12 meal looked like. This, plus a large coffee, left me feeling motivated and satisfied.
They have decent coffee, tons of tea, a great breakfast menu, bagels, desserts, free internet, and of course a non-bro-vibe.
976 Felspar Street (corner of Fespar & Cass St.)