The perfect breakfast scene.
Nick's Deli on Seal Beach
So apparently, I've visited the home of the "breakfast burrito" in California, and I didn't even realize it until after the fact.
And this is the breakfast burrito in question... Is it the best?
SoCal peeps definitely love their breakfast burritos. Ever since I could remember my first BB at Lily's on Zuma Beach (a haunt for Pepperdine kids), the fascination with handheld, fastfood fare was too good to be understood. To be able to feed oneself with one hand while driving/texting/studying/surfing/tanning with the other is a trademark of the quintessential Californian, and I've had my fair share of Brekkie Burritos.
Don't be fooled, Nick's is no Dwell-designed deli. It's quite typical, with checkered floors, stacks of edible decor, and chillers and up-rights fridges to keep the meats and drinks cool. I was not wowed from the get-go
I was, however, intrigued by the myriad of deli offerings on the wall, each hand-written and color-coded, as if an OC (obsessive compulsive) realized he was in the OC (Orange County).The options seemed mouth-watering, and each wrap or deli or burrito sounded better than the next.
Another thing that perked up my visit to Nick's was the warmth and friendliness of the staff, from cook to server to cashier. Regulars are called on a first name basis, service is swift, and people seem to just... trust everyone! It's not unusual for diners to "eat first, pay later" even if it's a pay-first counter. I guess the sun and the beach just makes everyone happier and chiller.
Coffee is self-service, and the selection is actually pretty decent. I am not much of a coffee junkie, so I passed on the java.
The chiller is filled with very many condiments, cheeses, and salads that you can take to-go, or eat in.
You can opt to eat by the main area, outside, or at this nice sun-room that overlooks a garden. It was way to sunny out for my aunt who protects her skin like any Asian lady should do, so we propped our hungry bums down the barstools.Orangina, so I doubled up for the trip back.
I figured, I'm at a deli - let me get a Reuben. It was nothing fantastic, but my disclaimer would be that I was spoiled as a semi-native New Yorker with the likes of Stage Deli, Katz and Carnegie Deli. Even with the Reuben at Malibu Kitchen, this seemed anemic. I do remember enjoying the sauerkraut that came with. Hey, what did I know? This was my first time!
My aunt ordered the BLT, which was thick slabs of bacon atop crispy iceberg lettuce and slices of tomatoes. You can order your bread to your preference.
They were easy on the filling, but it was a pretty tasty BLT. Nothing soggy, everything hot and crispy and very fresh. A good rendition of the classic.
My aunt aka. my (and all my friends) second mother while living in California, and ToT having an early morning bite on our breakfast sandwiches.
But the motherlode of them all was THE Breakfast Burrito. Much adoration has been written on this combination of chorizo, bacon, eggs, potatoes, mild salsa all wrapped on a warm tortilla. It was perfect. Not too big in size to give you indigestion, not too salty to keep you bloated for weeks, but was tasty through each and every bite. Some people might want a heftier BB, but my Asian stomach found this one just right.
It's hard to explain to people how delectable a breakfast burrito or sandwich is as an early morning meal, but if you are like me, whose commute to school/work on the freeways 10, 405, or 101 can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours, you'll want to pick up your breakfast in one neatly packaged wrap to 'grab &go'. This was exceptional. Not elegant, not messy. Just right.
And if you've got leftovers, don't forget to leave some for the birds by the beach, they are always happy for crumbs.
Nick's Deli on Facebook 223 Main St
Seal Beach, CA 90740
Seal Beach, CA 90740