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Ken Leighton 2:37 p.m., Jan. 28
Thank goodness for Jan.
Carla's old flatmate is across from Florida for a couple of weeks. I'm mostly sitting watching a tennis match as these two have at it. Gabfest! Who had whose boyfriend. Who stole whose blouse. Who did the most cooking.
So Carla had to get Jan to Coronado, because it was one of their prime playgrounds. "If it's not too much, I'll pay for brunch," says Jan.
Only thing is, the place she chooses is Vigilucci's (1300 Orange Avenue, 619-522-0946). I wait while she looks at the sidewalk menu. Wait for her to ulp, and say "Why don't we try the Nite and Day instead," but she doesn't.
Instead she asks the guy playing host down here (It's an upstairs place in the old Marie Callender's) on the sidewalk if they have breakfast still.
"And do you have vegetarian omelets?"
Great. Looks like we sealed the deal. But expensive? For sure looks like it.
"How come we never go here?" mutters Carla.
"You have to ask?" I say.
Two minutes later we're sitting on a balcony surrounded by bits of sculpture...
...and actual growing grape leaves.
Love the big heavy knives and forks, cream linen napkins, and waiters hovering like a swarm of hornets.
So we get coffee ($2.50 each) and then Jan orders "omelette ai vegetali," with tomatoes, onions, feta and a "champagne cream sauce," plus potatoes au gratin ($14).
Yowser wowser. But Jan doesn't seem to be fazed. So Carla asks for the Capicolla eggs Benedict (two poached eggs, Capicolla ham, muffin, hollandaise sauce, potatoes au gratin, fresh fruit, also $14).
I'm about to follow suit when I see they have a burger. Yes. Burger, for brunch.
"Hamburger di carne e formaggio." Gosh, when they put it like that... We're talking half pound patty of prime, with cheddar, the usual fixin's, plus Thousand Island and fries or fruit. I go fruit. Costs $11. Cheap compared to the gals' meals.
And you know what? It tastes really good this time of day. Specially with the different slices of melons and pineapple stacked like books on one side of the plate.
Favorite part for both of the ladies - apart from the purple orchids on the corner of their plates - is the spuds au gratin. "Cheesy inside, crispy outside," says Jan.
"That and the Capicolla," says Carla. "What a combination."
But actually it's just the atmosphere up here. Really Italian, with stone, grape leaves, outside fireplace (for winter), balustrade, and you look out straight into the canopy of trees.
Cool. And a great li'l sea breeze that actually does keep things cool. Guess some places you can have it both ways.
"Jan," says. Carla. "I don't want you to go back."