Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
Crazy over bread sticks again
Bread sticks are like lovers: you think you're through, then you taste them again, for the first time
I have always been disappointed by bread sticks. I mean they look so tempting, but when you bite in they're usually doughy, maybe a little cheesy, but just not very tasty.
And carbs? That's what you're eating: pure carbs.
Only reason I came into here, O's American Kitchen (3030 Plaza Bonita Road, #1106, National City, in Westfield Plaza Bonita mall, 619-472-2701), was that the danged 705 bus came to the end of the line here. Half an hour to wait to get on with my life.
This was the first place where I could get a cawfee while I waited. Then I see that breadsticks is basically what they're about. Oh yeah. This used to be Pat & Oscar's. Buttery breadsticks.
So now I'm curious. Plus, outside, they have this poster. "Who says our famous breadsticks can't be topped?" And it lists four flavors. Bacon cheddar, pepperoni cheddar, four cheeses and jalapeño cheddar. Four sticks for $3.99.
"I'll take the bacon cheddar," I tell the gal, Brittnay. Coffee costs $1.29. Deal. I pay $5.76 with tax.
So now I'm sitting at a window table, so I can check when my bus comes, wondering why I bought those damned bread sticks. I mean, come on, we've passed the era of cakey doughy stuff in our diets, haven't we? Why eat what you know ain't good? Or not as good as salads and açai, anyway...
Actually I do see that O's has a huge menu of salads and healthy-looking stuff on its menu as well, even if these bread sticks were what launched them.
But you know how the best arguments can suddenly turn to, like dust?
...brings my sticks, hot and steaming and golden and crackling with side skirts of melted cheddar and spattered with meaty chunks all over like it's just come through a bacon storm.
And guess what? With frequent slurps of joe this turns out to be a cheese-driven dream. It's crispy-chewy. Bacon adds the necessary tang. And to dip the bread stick itself into the coffee (it fits perfectly)... this is one small dip for man, one giant leap for taste buds.
And I can't believe how filling just one of the sticks is.
I take the rest to go. And the best news is next morning I heat them up, Carla slices them, jams in some ham and pepperoni leftovers, along with big smears of mayonnaise, and Houston, we have lift-off of Breakfast Fantasy #1! What a total bacony, cheesy, pepperoni dream.
"Right, that's it," I say, as we lean back, sated, exhausted. "Three days of nuts and twigs."
"Yeah, right," says Carla. "These guys open weekends?"
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