Cafe Lucca in Orange is a nice 19 minute bike ride from my shithole of an apartment in the heart of sanTana. When I have time or when I really need a good Americano I go there instead of going to the AV‘s Gypsy Den.
The Gypsy Den wins out for convenience sake. I live three blocks and one alley away from the GD, so when I need to just get down to business and get some work done I hop on The Beast, cycle the two minutes to the GD, and, just as quickly, am served my coffee by Sandrine, Christine, or that one chick that lives in the LB.
And frankly, the GD is home: I first ventured into sanTana during my first year at UCI because of the GD’s open-mic night. That night I met Jack and a handful of other people (some still around)–including that one guy that seems to identify galling behavior with free speech. (Naturally, he does have the right to sound like a jackass.) That night my wife-from-another-life and I hung out in sTa until the sun came up. A couple years later I found myself drinking a brown-bagged flasche o’ something hard on one of those promenade benches until the wee hours of the morn with the ever salacious and usually notorious LGFats–a dude (not “the dude,” but a dude) that would eventually become one of my core partners in crime. (This was all years ago when I was a snot-faced wreck who couldn’t tell his arsch from a hole in the ground.)
Memories aside, this is where the competition stops. In terms of service, Lucca wins out: all servers here are extremely competent, whereas (in my experience) only half of the GD servers are competent… “no one home” comes to mind when I think of the other half at the GD.
Espresso: I can’t get a good shot or Americano at the GD even if I pulled it myself. I think that this is due to their machine, they must not service it consistently enough because their espresso never has creme. Lucca offers up nothing but smooth tasting, awesomely pulled shots–complete with the requisite creme.
But digression gets the best of me, back to the best white man’s burrito around.
Listed on their breakfast menu not as a burrito but as a scramble, the Garden Scramble boasts this description: 3 farm fresh eggs, tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms, spinach, jack and cheddar cheese, atop country potatoes. (Served with 7 grain toast.) $8
I ask for the Garden Scramble, made with only two eggs, and in burrito form. What results is a veg-head’s wet dream. It’s served with their house-made salsa that varies slightly according to which brown dude is manning the grill that morning. When it’s the guy with the bomb-ass, elvis-esque hair, the red salsa rocks a consistency similar to that of chimichurri. I like to mix this with the Cholula (bottles at every table) and spoon it onto each burrito bite along with sour cream (served alongside as well).
This definitely isn’t your taco-truck burrito (claims regarding “authenticity” may now ensue), but for whitelandia Orange, this is the best white man’s breakfast burrito around.
Oh and GD’s beer and wine selection trembles in comparison to Lucca’s.
106 North Glassell Street
*Breakfast served until 11am, lunch until 5pm, dinner thereafter.