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Burbank’s Riverside Cafe is an unexpected find

Posted By Karen Young On July 13, 2009 @ 5:59 pm In Budget Dining,Cuisine,Dinner,Eat,Food,Lunch,My Daily Find,Restaurants | No Comments

BY ANGELA FENTIMAangela-fentiman90N

Perched on the corner of Riverside Drive and Mariposa Street is a true Valley find. A fixture for more than 15 years in Burbank’s Rancho Equestrian district, Riverside Cafe serves up gourmet dishes that are unexpected from the exterior appearance of this charming restaurant that was once a neighborhood gas station.

The plastic patio furniture has the feel of a friend’s backyard. Friendly and familiar faces welcome you and invite you to choose your table. Seating inside the restaurant is limited, but a large, covered patio wraps around the building-the perfect opportunity to enjoy a beautiful Sunday morning in the Valley.

Harbor

Harbor Skins are a signature breakfast dish. Photo: Angela Fentiman

I ordered the harbor skins, a signature Riverside Cafe dish, with fruit on the side. My breakfast companion selected (with some direction from me) the French toast, chicken apple sausage and country potatoes.

Harbor skins are an amazing creation. Two potato skins, topped with (in order from the potato skins up) Ortega chilies, black forest ham, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, covering the ham and soaking into the potato skins when the yokes were broken. The chilies added a nice kick of flavor.

The seasonal fruit selection at Riverside Cafe is not your typical melon bowl. We were served fresh strawberries, bananas, grapes and apples.

My fellow diner’s breakfast was just as mouth-watering as mine. The French toast was made with two pieces of thick-cut La Brea Bakery bread and was topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar. A generous cup of slightly-warmed maple syrup was served on the side.

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Thick-cut La Brea Bakery bread is used in the French Toast. Photo: Angela Fentiman

The chicken apple sausage was nicely grilled and came with a side of Dijon mustard, creating a delicious sweet and savory flavor. Last, but certainly not least, the country potatoes did not disappoint-a fantastic mix of potatoes, seasoning, peppers and onions.

In the interest of maintaining journalistic integrity, I must disclose that I have become a regular at Riverside Cafe within the past year.

Aside from getting to eat amazing food, there are other perks that come with being a regular Riverside Cafe customer. These are getting to know the owners of Riverside Cafe, Paula and Michael Kidby and the other regulars. Picture “Cheers” with much better food.

The lunch and dinner menus at Riverside Cafe are just as scrumptious as the breakfast selections. The options are diverse for such a small place, ranging from salads and steaks, to seafood and gourmet baked potatoes. For a real treat, try one of the many specials Michael dreams up for dinner-they change each week.

Riverside Cafe is located at 1221 W Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA 91506-3111. It is closed Monday, open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Friday, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. ($8.95-$17.95) The phone number is 818.563.3567.

Angela Fentiman is a freelance writer and public relations professional who has represented clients across all sectors—nonprofit, government and business. She has a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) and a B.A. in communication. Angela can be contacted at angela.fentiman@gmail.com.

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