The burrito sits steaming on its plate at Casita Linda Mexican Restaurant. Like a bomb-squad technician, the curious diner wants to know how this thing ticks, and cuts an intricate window in the fresh tortilla casing. Tender beans, rice, and pico de gallo nestle in tangles of shredded chicken. It could have been carnitas, asada, or tender al pastor. The staccato snap of fajitas against the scalding onyx surface of the skillet interrupts the quiet and draws eyes to the menu. In minutes, the kitchen erupts with individual tacos and chipotle-infused enchiladas crowded with fistfuls of pork and beef. Plates clatter onto tables, and the comfortable silence of a meal in full swing fills the eatery as the sun beats down outside upon the red-clay tiled roof.
The black-and-white checkered floors, the silver lunch counter, and an impressive collection of movie paraphernalia give City Diner a decidedly 1950s vibe. The 66 varieties of milkshakes—a nod to Route 66—are just thick, creamy icing on the cake.
At Holder's Country Inn, pancakes for dinner is always an option?and the pancakes come in a variety of styles, too, from chocolate-infused to blueberry-topped. The restaurant serves its breakfast plates all day, a selection that also includes omelets, golden waffles, and corned-beef hash. For lunch and dinner, though, diners can choose from traditional options as well, including new york steak, pasta, and sandwiches such as the turkey avocado melt.
Located near San Jose State University, Peanuts is routinely crowded with college kids craving a hearty breakfast. Bring cash (they don’t take credit here) and order a breakfast omelet or a cheeseburger from the menu above the grill. Then find a seat and dig in.