A perfect wake-up call
Henri and Colette hit up Scrambles for a late, tasty breakfast
Scrambles880 East Ave.
Chico, CA 95926
Henri woke well before noon the other morning planning to fix a tall Bloody and then find a restaurant that would still be serving breakfast. I was just licking the last of the juice off my green bean when Colette got home, returning from a date. She eyed my drink.
“I need one of those,” she said, falling into a chair at the table, “and a cup of strong coffee.”
By the time I set her drinks in front of her, she was out. Mr. Theo lay on the floor beside her.
I shut the lights, closed the blinds, scooped up a couple of movies off the floor, and headed for the door.
Colette looked up, groaned, “Where you going?”
“To return these movies and find some breakfast.”
Her head fell back into her arm. She mumbled something.
“What?” I asked.
I told her to get some sleep.
She said she should probably eat.
Good point. One should probably always eat. Basic Bourride philosophy 101.
She stood, slowly, and looked down at her drinks. “Just let me brush my hair,” she said. “Oh, and would you put those into some travel mugs?”
By the time we got to Hollywood Video, she had finished both her coffee and her Bloody Mary but still looked rather bedraggled. I got out to put the movies in the slot, and when I got back in the car, she pointed across the parking lot. “Look,” she said, then reading a banner flapping on the wall of a building, “ ‘Scrambles. Now open.’ “
Scrambles, which opened in November in a building that has housed several other restaurants, features a completely remodeled interior. It’s airy, colorful, high-ceilinged and quite modern, with a long, high counter with tall stools and one wall decorated with large abstract paintings—Jackson Pollack meets Pottery Barn meets Midwest café.
The breakfast menu includes classic American dishes: pancakes ($3.50 for three), organic oatmeal ($4) and steak and eggs ($9.95). But the restaurant’s specialty is the scrambles ($8.50): three eggs and three of among nearly 40 ingredients, from ham and turkey to Gorgonzola cheese, avocado, artichoke hearts and Ortega chilies. With the scramble you also get a side dish (potatoes, spinach, fresh fruit, among others) and fresh bread (including sprouted wheat, pumpernickel, bagels, croissants, or muffins). There’s also an espresso bar, serving lattes, mochas and other specialty coffees.
Scrambles’ lunch menu ($7-$9) features burgers, deli and grilled sandwiches, and a range of soups and salads. Burgers (including veggie burgers) come topped with your choice of eight cheeses (fontina, bleu) and a choice of fries, fruit, coleslaw, beans, soup, or salad bar. Sandwiches include pastrami, BLTs, reubens and French dips (with prime rib), and salads include Cobb, chef, stuffed tomatoes and avocados, and an all-you-can-eat salad bar.
Henri was famished, of course, and ordered a scramble with sausage, smoked cheddar and avocado, which came with lettuce topped with blueberries and sliced strawberries. One of the best breakfasts Henri has had in Chico. Colette had a short stack, with one egg over easy, and a side of bacon.
Our waitress was all charm, keeping our coffee cups and water glasses full, and at one point the owner even came over to see how we were faring. All in all, a wonderful way to start the day. Afterward, we drove back across the parking lot, and I picked up Pillow Talk, an old favorite, which Miss Marilyn and I spent the rest of the afternoon watching as Colette and Mr. Theo napped on the couch.