New breakfast spot serves it up for the college crowd
Chico, CA 95928
I heard a buzz around the energetic hive that is college town about a new eatery occupying the former Hurley’s, and wondered how it had escaped my notice. Behind Ray’s Liquor sits the nondescript breakfast (and lunch) joint known as The Breakfast Buzz. A breakfast place open until 2 p.m. seven days a week within walking distance of most housing on or near campus is a must—the hangover-heavy and champagne-ready usually don’t care about much but proximity.
I headed over for an early breakfast one Saturday with a friend before browsing the farmers market. The menu has all of the familiar diner-esque breakfast and lunch favorites: pancakes, omeletes, biscuits and gravy and breakfast burritos. As the country music twanged, I decided on the French toast ($5.95) made with Texas toast and added pecans for a small charge.
A generous portion of thick, fluffy French toast, topped with butter, pecans and syrup gave me plenty of energy to carry bags of heavy produce at the market. My friend ordered the egg breakfast, bacon and two eggs, served with home-fried potatoes and toast ($7.50). Unfortunately, his over-hard eggs arrived over-easy, and I regretted not having ordered my side of home-fried potatoes ($2.25) extra crispy, as he had. The potatoes were a little soft for my liking, having been boiled previously and then just fried lightly.
We split a Buzz Delight ($3.25), your choice of orange, apple or pineapple juice blended with lowfat frozen yogurt, and added banana for 50 cents. A small portion for the price, the smoothie was thin but good.
Curiously, almost every small extra has a charge. Substitute fruit for potatoes? Add $1. Extra salsa: 75 cents. Want jalapeños or tomatoes on your breakfast burrito? Add 75 cents each. By the time you’re done, it’s quite possible your breakfast burrito may cost $8.
I went back for lunch and sampled the grilled veggie sandwich ($6.95): American cheese, cream cheese, tomatoes and avocado on grilled rye bread. I chose a side of french fries, added some green peppers to the “veggie sandwich,” took up the waitress’ offer to sub cheddar for American and looked around the interior. Lots of light from the full-length windows and a long counter make up for the rather kitschy country kitchen décor, a la framed pictures of barnyard animals. I expected some type of bee theme, perhaps, based on the name, but alas, cows and pigs it was.
My sandwich arrived, but even my ravenous hunger didn’t make it very good. While grilled perfectly, bland veggies and a thick slice of cream cheese covered with melted cheddar do not a tasty sandwich make. The fries were good, and it was indeed a generous pile o’ potatoes.
Burgers and melts are also offered, with a hamburger going for $5.95 and a grilled cheese for $4.95. A B.L.T. will set you back $5.95, and ham sandwich, $6.25. The prices aren’t bad, but it seems you get what you pay for.
A true food critic never sugar-coats, and in this case, I won’t drench my disappointment in syrupy-sweet honey. The service is good, the atmosphere’s been done (and better) and the food is just all right.
I’ll be honest here: if you got buzzed last night, are fighting a wicked hangover and walking a block or two seems plausible (and you can chill with the country music), by all means make your way over to The Breakfast Buzz.