It took me a while to get to Urth Caffé, now doing business in the restored historic building on the west side of the Orange Plaza, but I made up for that by visiting twice in 10 days. Oh yes – try it once, you’ll come back again.
I had a breakfast date with my friend Irene, and I have to tell you that, in all my years in this area, I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to Old Towne at nine on a Monday morning. How pleasant this delightful area is at that time of day – peaceful, quiet, ahead of the browsers and tourists. And I had a choice of parking spots on the street, a feat in itself. Nor did we have to take our place in a long line of eager eaters.
So, experience No. 1: The menu is lengthy, and you must decide what to order before presenting yourself at the green marble counter for service. Hmmm … the French toast (stuffed or otherwise) beckons; huge sticky buns topped with a mass of pecans look awesome; any of the egg variations would fill the bill. But I’m such a pushover for bread pudding that I couldn’t resist a bowl of it with caramelized bananas and a little hot milk. There are a half dozen or so “bowls,” some of which will appeal to those who prefer a healthier start to their day. Coffee is a must, and delicious whether you have it plain, fancied up or espresso. Irene couldn’t get past the smoked salmon plate. Urth serves up a plate every bit as good as a deli offering, and sufficient to make a take-home encore bite.
Prices for breakfast items range from $2.50 to $16.35. Coffees and teas are not inexpensive at $2.35-$5.45, but are sure to hit the spot. There are two or three water stations around the restaurant where you’ll also find napkins and cutlery.
Part of the charm of Urth is its varied seating locations. The long narrow brick-walled room that borders the Plaza shares window-side tables with the order bar. An umbrella-sheltered alley way, on the Plaza side of the building, offers a quiet outdoor ambience. The room on the Chapman side of this corner is bright and cheerful, dominated by large windows, regular tables and a bar-style seating option that sports a glass-walled fire dancing in its center. There is also sidewalk seating along the Chapman frontage. Order and pay at the counter, take a number to your choice of table and you won’t wait long for your freshly prepared meal.
No. 2: Marilyn, Joyce and I went to Urth for lunch and shared our selections: a whole portabella mushroom, roasted peppers, grilled artichokes, arugula with pesto and almond cheese spread on a panini; avocado toast with tomatoes; and a d’lox pizza that offered herbed mascarpone, red onions, arugula, fennel and capers topped with generous swirls of smoked salmon (such an unusual combination, it had to be tried!). We were not disappointed. The luncheon menu includes sandwiches, pizzas, salads and entrees that cover Asian, south-of-the-border, Mediterranean and Italian dishes. Prices range from $10.25 to $20.15.
Along with the coffees, there are blended ice drinks, organic teas, bobas, natural sodas, juices and smoothies. There’s a mouth-watering array of bakery goods that will tempt you as you move through the order line, and will satisfy anyone’s desire for something sinfully caloried and delicious to accompany a drink.
Urth is open Sun.-Thurs. from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. until midnight. Call (949) 329-5755 for pre-order or take out; Urth also caters. Located at 100 W. Chapman Ave.
Happy eating. Tell them the Foothills Sentry sent you!