LBPOST – Long treasured for its tidy streets with well-kept homes and its historic district designation, Cal Heights is a wonderful neighborhood that before now did not have a great breakfast and lunch place. That’s changed with the very welcome addition of The Blackbird Café to the culinary scene.
The Blackbird Café is a small place only open for breakfast or lunch (both are always served). It’s the kind of place Long Beach needs more of: an independently owned restaurant that serves good food with a point of view. They describe their food as new American – actually I think it is traditional American food, with a twist.
Their eggs benedict is a case in point – they offer the traditional version with ham and hollandaise on English muffins and three twists on that recipe: one with a Latin flair that replaces the muffins with sopes and the ham with chorizo (Dos Cablleros), another with spinach, tomato and avocado (Egg Flower) and a final version with shrimp (Eggs Neptune). All are delicious – my favorites are the original and the Dos Caballeros.
Sometimes, the twist is a clever name. The Peanut Buttah Honey features two enormous “Fat Elvis Pancakes” with honey, peanut butter and bananas. It’s too much food for a normal person, but maybe the King could finish this dish in his prime. The Virginia Country Club – is a very good turkey, bacon and cheddar sandwich named for the neighborhood only a few blocks away. Lunch and breakfast specials are always available on the blackboards in the restaurant (and on Facebook and twitter too).
Little things make this place special. For one, they make their potato chips in house from scratch and serve them with a rosemary-garlic aioli. Delicious! Don’t waste time with fries here; the chips are the way to go. Other small things like: homemade croutons add a crunch and deep flavors to salads and good strong French-roast coffee.
The café is a very warm and friendly environment with art from local artists on the wall and very friendly and attentive servers. Hopefully I have given you an idea about why Long Beach needs more places like this one – but until one opens by you, take a trip to the Blackbird Café.