PACOIMA POWERHOUSE FOR ALL THINGS BREAKFAST & LUNCH
You have to love a good neighborhood go-to spot. I’d say “greasy spoon” but some people might take that the wrong way. And when a local fave becomes a destination place, then you know they’re doing something right. That’s what has happened to Pacoima’s Myke Café, a favorite for breakfast and burgers that has people coming from all over the valley and beyond.
Chef Rafael Andrade specializes in gourmet pancakes—actually, he specializes in any kind of food that is daring, oversized and damn delicious. His red velvet pancakes have been featured all over television. But let’s skip ahead to Chef’s burgers and in particular his Bro Snicker Burger. When I first heard about this bad boy beast, I thought, bite sized Snickers and bacon inside the patty, topped with cheddar cheese, two more strips of bacon, lettuce, green apple, and honey habañero aioli, that just doesn’t sound right. It’s got to be a gimmick and there’s no way it can taste good. So during our recent visit to Myke’s Café, I reluctantly gave it a bite and boy did I eat my words.
I have to give it up to the Bro Snicker Burger as it’s easily one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time. The mix of spiciness, saltiness and sweetness really comes through and it leaves you wanting more. And it also has a lot of customers eating their fair share of crow.
“I started playing with it and my first thought was bacon, you have to have bacon," Chef Rafael recalls. "I don't care what you say, bacon is good with everything. So I put bacon and chocolate inside the patty and then I put bacon outside and tried it and it was good. Then I added cheddar and then green apple popped into my mind. You get a little sour with the caramel. I'm all about flavor but I still wasn't satisfied. Then I wanted sweetness but with a hint of spice and I came up with a habañero sauce with a little bit of honey. I played with that for at least a month. I wanted the honey taste right away and then at the end to have a kick. And finally I got it."
A San Fernando Valley breakfast institution, no visit to Myke’s Café is complete without pancakes. While the red velvet pancakes are the most popular, Chef’s favorite is the
Berrylemonicious—raspberries in buttermilk pancakes topped with lemon curd. They’re so tasty! The hotcakes are big so they’re perfect to share if you want to order more menu items.
Likewise, the Spice Girl, made with Ibarra chocolate blended with spices and topped with chocolate sauce, is perfect pancake for chocolate lovers. It has that wonderful Mexican hot chocolate flavor. It’s a little different and slightly unusual but I like that when venturing out.
Another fantastic breakfast option is the Huevos Con Mole served with two corn tortillas with beans layered in the middle, two eggs any style, mole sauce, Cotija cheese, cilantro, and your choice of hash brown or country potatoes. If you like Mexican food for breakfast, it doesn’t get any better than this first rate, savory entrée. I was tempted to order another plate it was so good.
Mole fans will also want to check out the Mole Burger—a fine mix of mole, mayo, lettuce, crispy Monterrey and cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and avocado. Extremely flavorful, this was the burger I was looking forward to try but it did pale a little in comparison to the Bro Snicker Burger. But then again, what wouldn’t?
While weekend brunch can be a madhouse at Myke’s Café, get there early or wait in line, but you can always order to pickup. Or go for lunch (breakfast is served all day) once the morning rush has passed. Either way, be prepared to leave full, happy and plotting your next return to work your way down their fun menu.
Myke’s Café is located at 13171 Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima. Open daily 7am to 4pm. Call 818-890-4815.
Story by Jose Martinez
Photos by Mark Duttweiler