This week’s restaurant: Brandon’s Diner, 8689 Base Line Road (at Carnelian), Rancho Cucamonga; also 870 E. Foothill (at Campus), Upland, and 10271 Magnolia, Riverside.
Brandon’s is a hugely popular breakfast spot, and maybe lunch and dinner spot too. For whatever reason I’d never been there. An online review at the Dinerwood site (an LA guy, he’s also reviewed BC Cafe) caught my eye a while back, so last Saturday, a friend and I went in for breakfast to the Rancho location in the Sunrize Center. Even at 10:30 there were five small groups waiting for a booth, but the wait wasn’t long.
Inside, Brandon’s is surprisingly old-school: tile floor, booths, a long counter with swivel seats and signs with regular daily specials. The kitchen is in the back, not behind the counter. They have the full complement of breakfast items as well as sandwiches, Mexican food and dinner plates, plus beer and wine.
I had the half French toast combo with two eggs and two sausages ($7.45); my friend had Polish sausage, two eggs, home fries and two French toast halves ($7.95).
The French toast was very good, thick and dusted with powdered sugar. They also have a French toast variety with the name Cinnamon Revolution, which seems to promise a spice insurrection in your mouth. (“Vive le Cinnamon Revolution!”)
The sausage links were plump, some of the best I’ve had. However, my over-medium eggs arrived over-easy.
My friend’s Polish sausage, split and grilled, was tasty, and the scrambled eggs very nice when flavored with the two (!) kinds of salsa brought to the table. However, she described her watery coffee as perhaps the worst she’s ever tasted. “This is like gas station coffee,” she said, before quickly deciding that even gas station joe is better.
So Brandon’s isn’t perfect. That said, we enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere, and also the people-watching.
The clientele was diverse — whites, blacks, Latinos — and included a Goth couple, the woman in white gloves, the man in Kiss-style platform boots, striped pants and a belt buckle that read “666.” Goths tend not to smile so it was hard to tell if they were enjoying themselves. They certainly livened the place up for everyone else.