There are a lot of options when it comes to breakfast in North County, so it’s nice to see when someone does something a little different. The Breakfast Club Diner in Oceanside is owned and operated by Perry Roumbos, who is 100 percent Greek and that heritage shows on the menu with many Greek influences.The Athenian Skillet consists of eggs, hash browns, and diced gyro meat, spinach, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and feta cheese. The same dish is available wrapped in a burrito. I tried the skillet and really enjoyed the Greek touches. I’ll be coming back for that dish alone. Another Greek-influenced breakfast dish is the Athenian omelette with diced gyro meat, fresh chopped spinach, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. Other skillet standouts include the California with tomatoes, onions, peppers, broccoli and mushrooms topped with cheddar cheese and avocado and the Country Boy with diced country fried steak and homemade biscuit topped with country gravy.
There are a plethora of breakfast options at the Breakfast Club. I counted more than 20 varieties of pancakes, waffles and French toast and all of them are made from scratch with fresh, homemade toppings.
Or how about an 8-ounce tri-tip and eggs or corned beef hash and eggs, or a moist chicken breast? And of course all the classics are included as well. Everything is under $10 with the exception of the tri-tip, which comes in at $10.99.
Feel like lunch for breakfast? Not a problem with close to 20 sandwich and burger options. I had a classic Rueben with corned beef smothered in sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. I don’t know what it is about a good Rueben but it really hits the spot sometimes.
The Philly Cheesesteak looked great and the ultimate BC Burger was a hearty one at half a pound. All the burgers and sandwiches are priced under $9, which is a heck of a value as the portions are substantial.
It’s a throwback to the 1980s at the Breakfast Club with memorabilia adorning the walls ranging from vintage skateboarding posters to sports posters featuring the decade’s pop culture and sports icons such as Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. Neon colored surfboards, skateboards and snowboards are mixed in with album covers movie posters from the era.
A large surf mural covers an entire wall and has the “Back to the Future” DeLorean car sailing over the beach. Huge stained glass images of Madonna, Slash from Guns N Roses and Billy Idol along with ‘80s music videos complete the throwback vibe.
It’s interesting seeing young kids react to this stuff like it was prehistoric. I guess growing up during that time myself, I never thought about it as something that would become a restaurant theme, but it seems to work and resonate with customers.
Proprietor Perry Roumbos started in the restaurant business at age 12 as a dishwasher at his parents’ restaurant the Golden Ox in El Monte. He strayed away from the business for a while to earn a degree in architecture but decided to return to the family business. He has opened several successful restaurants since then.
He remembered weekend surf trips down to Oceanside in the 1980s and always wanted to open his own place in the area. That dream came true with The Breakfast Club, which occupies the space of the former Longboarder Café at Pier View Way and Coast Highway.
He runs the restaurant with his wife Vicky, a former teacher who helps Perry out as a manager and waitress. She comes from a restaurant background, as her family owned a Greek eatery in Vancouver, British Columbia. They have a 4-year-old daughter and the breakfast and lunch hours enable them to have family time during the evening.
The Breakfast Club Diner California, or BCDC as it is officially called, is located at 228 N. Coast Highway in Oceanside and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find them online at thebreakfastclubdiner.com, on Facebook or call them at (760) 720-3124 for carry out orders.
Lick the Plate can now be heard on KPRi, 102.1 FM Monday-Friday during the 7pm hour.
David Boylan is founder of Artichoke Creative and Artichoke Apparel, an Encinitas based marketing firm and clothing line. Reach him at email@example.com or (858) 395-6905.