Foodie on a mission: Claire’s on Cedros Avenue Design District

The latest visit to a restaurant that serves stacks on stacks on stacks of pancakes.

By Katelyn McCullough

Cedros Avenue is known to many as the design district within the Solana Beach area.

The appeal of Claire’s lies in the food, atmosphere and inviting space. Claire’s is a home that was transformed into a restaurant by owners Claire Allison and Terri Boley a few years ago. This simplicity is exactly what draws people in–that and the delicious food.

For starters, Claire’s is known among the locals and loyalists for its pancakes, in particular its Multigrain Clairecakes. These pancakes are very light in texture, but not lacking in flavor; they hit that comfort spot that everyone seeks when eating pancakes. Any flavor of pancakes is available in a short stack (2 pancakes) or a tall stack (3 pancakes), Pancakes can also serve as a substitute for a breakfast side. Other notables on the breakfast menu are the omelets. There are ready-made combinations offered or there is the option to customize your own creation. The omelets are always good because they are made with fresh ingredients and cooked to perfection: light, fluffy and filled to the brim with toppings.

Other breakfast items are the benedicts and southwestern combos, such as burritos, enchiladas and eggs. Along with the main entree the side options are salad, a fruit cup, herbed potatoes or tomatoes and a slice of toast. Say goodbye to flavorless gluten-free bread. At Claire’s the gluten free breads and pancakes are just as delicious if not better than those with gluten.

For lunch there is a plethora of salad choices and sandwiches, the favorites being the newly introduced quinoa and vegetable salad, or the roasted squash and wild grain salad. Sandwich options include anything from a pork loin sandwich to a fried green tomato sandwich or a falafel wrap with hummus. The lunch menu is great but the appetizer section is not to be ignored. Claire’s appetizer section contains some of the best items on the menu, such as the goat cheese and pear bruschetta or sweet potato fries with blue cheese sauce. The bruschetta is sweet but not overly so, in combination with the diced pears, apricots and cherries that coat the goat cheese. There is an explosion of flavors from the first bite and the bread is crispy enough to produce a significant crunch when bitten into.
Everyone should dine at Claire’s. Despite the bustling crowds the environment remains calm and comfortable. Unfortunately, they do not take reservations, but there is a waiting list available for those who call one hour ahead of time.

Parking may be difficult, but luckily there is the train lot directly across the street for those opting to take public transportation. In spite of its few cons, the food is delicious for about ten dollars a plate.

The last piece of advice I will give is to go to Claire’s immediately and tell others to go as well. The experience is not something to be missed.
Claire’s is open everyday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving breakfast all day and lunch starting from 11:30 a.m.