The ABC burger: avocado, bacon, and cheese
701 Mission Avenue, Oceanside
Loud. That was the first thing that came to mind when I walked into Swami’s Café in Oceanside, so I grabbed a menu to peruse on the patio where I snagged a table with a sliver of ocean view.
I have been to the La Mesa location before — one of the multitude of restaurants owned by Jaime Osuna — and it has the same noisy atmosphere set amidst colorful murals and paintings, plenty of big booths, and tables inside and out.
Swami’s Café sidewalk seating
Swami’s menu board
The coffee bar
The açaí bowl, a beautiful concoction
Swami’s is famous for American and Californian-Mexican cuisine with an emphasis on vegetarian, but I was in the mood for a burger. I ordered the ABC burger topped with avocado, bacon, and cheese, knowing I would take half of the beast home to my husband. I also decided to be a little healthy, so I ordered the sweet potato fries.
When my daughter arrived she was excited about lunch. “Have you tried the açaí bowl?” she asked. “It’s the bomb.” I Googled açaí bowl on my phone.
The food was delivered quickly. My burger was so tall I had to disassemble it. The onion was sweet, a nice surprise, and the USDA choice beef was a peppery, hand-formed patty and grilled to order: medium and juicy.
The bacon was thick and was cooked just well enough that I could bite into it without turning into bacon bits all over the plate. There was a tad too much iceberg lettuce, so I removed a few layers, and the tomato was plentiful but the two slices added to the other veggies was a little over-the-top and I ended up removing one.
The sesame bun was grilled and large enough to accommodate the over-sized burger with the American cheese that I had requested. The sweet-potato fries looked to be hand-cut and were hot and crispy, making them some of the better fries I have tried. We ate them all. As I guessed, the burger was too large a portion for me to finish, so I boxed it up and took it home.
My daughter’s meal — the açaí bowl, “Swami’s style” — has a reputation for healing powers and was one of the most beautiful concoctions I have ever seen. I took a bite, and it tasted like a crunchy smoothie or decadent dessert. I had never tasted açaí, and the flavor was tart, much like a raspberry. Mixed with banana, house-made granola, bee pollen, and shredded coconut, it looked healthy and tasted sweet.
While the açaí bowl was good, I like a burger for lunch and Swami’s provides both.