Izzy's Cafe

A few weeks ago HH and I were out one Saturday morning on our weekly quest for that “something we can’t live without” at a slew of local garage sales. It starts with checking addresses on Craig’s List, then HH writes down map coordinates and numbers our route – it’s quite a process. Then there’s driving and the navigating, but that’s another story.

On one particular Saturday, the last stop was 1252 Broadway in El Cajon. I was surprised HH mapped out an El Cajon location but I thought it must have listed something really special to entice him, so I was game. As we drove through El Cajon, past Parkway Plaza and further out east, I could not imagine what had lured him this far off our normal well-beaten path! Then I noticed we weren’t in an actual residential area but a block of well-established, home-grown businesses and on the corner at 1252 Broadway – Izzy’s Café.

I was so surprised! HH said he remembered his friend telling him about it and thought it might be one of those mom and pop joints with a home-grown feel that we are always on the lookout for. Although it wasn’t much to look at from the outside, the parking lot was mostly full (always a good sign) and our adventure had begun.

We walked in to a full restaurant with the hustle and bustle of servers, comfy booths and tables, red gingham curtains, retro tin art on the walls, some old gas pumps and a hostess who welcomed us with a smile and seated us right away. The menu was extensive with traditional eggs and bacon, scrambles, four-egg omelets, country favorites, a frittata bar and (wait for it…) Mexican breakfasts. With that, our first meal at Izzy’s would be a test of Huevos Rancheros (would they be as good at Shirley’s?) and Carnitas Con Huevos for HH.

Izzy modeling the logo
As we waited for our breakfast, there was atmosphere, a lunch counter, folks from the area running into neighbors with enthusiastic “hellos”, servers greeting and hugging customers, and what had to be Izzy. After reading the story on the front of the menu about Blaine and Lorrie Sellers, and learning Lorrie’s middle name was Isabel after her grandmother, and Blaine calling her Izzy for fun (after Scrooge’s fiancée in A Christmas Carol) this woman who was very busy watching over everything but so approachable I asked her, and sure enough – Izzy.

HH really liked the Carnitas Con Huevos with a side of milk in a mason jar, and my Huevos Rancheros were good (although I still like Shirley’s a little better) – I was hooked. I told HH it was a good call getting us this far off our normal trail, and that we would have to return to try something else also so I could bring the camera next time.

The friendly folks at Izzy's
Two weeks later, we ended up back at Izzy’s again with poor planning on my part – no camera! Oh well, an opportunity to try something else. HH had the “Old Timer” with biscuits and gravy, eggs and sausage patties. I had Cinnamon Roll French Toast Combo, oh my! The French toast was delicious, and enough calories to last a week! But the most impressive thing about this meal, when HH ordered his glass of milk with the meal the server asked if he wanted it “in the freezer” for maximum chilled milk. We both really like our breakfast - hearty, delicious and so filling AND the server remembered the milk!

Then today, due to rain, we cancelled the garage saling portion of our Saturday morning and went straight to Izzy’s with camera in hand.

This time HH had Hot Cake Combo (and milk, of course), and I had Pete’s Burrito. We sat in the “new room” of the restaurant this time. It was fine, except that every time the door opened that cold winter wind of April came whippin’ through. Izzy helped with that and cranked up the heater.

As we waited for our breakfast, I sipped my warm coffee and HH had nothing to drink just waiting for the milk to be served with his meal. This led to at least three servers stopping by to ask if he needed something to drink. Believe it or not, this wasn’t annoying at all, to us it actually meant they were paying attention.

The real test this time was if they had peanut butter for HH’s hot cakes – yes! And the breakfast was served the milk, once again, ice cold from the freezer without even asking.

Izzy’s is a breakfast and lunch place, Monday through Saturday. They turn into Blaine’s Smoke House Bar-B-Que Thursday and Friday nights, we haven’t made it for this yet but we will! I’m looking forward to trying the blueberry pancakes, the biscuits and gravy and the Huevos Rancheros again. You never know, those Huevos Rancheros may grown on my and may turn out to be my favorite, or maybe I’ll find something else for my Izzy’s favorite. Hmm, seems like there’s at least a few more visits in store for us.

Hey! Maybe we’ll run into friends next time. Won’t that be nice!


  1. You two are tooooo funny! Great read. I'm lusting for one of everything AND the ice cold milk!