A Drive North — Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe, an appreciation and review

Smokey's Lake Wohlford Cafe.
Insiders view of the cafe bar and gr

Insiders view of the cafe bar and gr

Thought I’d get out my East County posting “rut” and still stay within San Diego County, which is about 4,200-square-miles.

I had a long story about how we got here, but will leave that for another time. Let’s just say “The Mister” and I drove through Escondido to Valley Center, picked up some meat by the side of the road, still $35, and then stopped at Bates Nut Farm where we bought some candy and nuts.

We proceeded to Lake Wohlford, a few miles south. We stopped by Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe. It’s been here since 1947. New owners bought it in 2006.

Right across the street from Lake Wohlford at a turn in the winding road. You might miss it if you are driving too fast.

You can sit inside as the regulars do at the bar. There are bait and tackle, fishing licenses and other accoutrement sold here starting at about 5:30 a.m. daily (to the left when you walk in the door).

Food starts being served at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m., depending on the time of year. Patrons were watching “The Princess Bride” on the flat screen. Breakfast is served until 1 p.m. here.

I found my perfect selection from the menu. Yes.  Smokey’s, the home of  the “Famous Catfish Dinner.” Catfish is available as a meat choice on the breakfast plate ($7.75). Rye Toast, two perfectly breaded and fried catfish loins, house made tartar sauce, home fries, two perfectly poached eggs and some really good coffee ($1.50).

Looking at the lake.

Looking at the lake.

This was the perfect breakfast for me. Everything was just right. The eggs were perfectly poached and drained — a little thing which I notice about poached eggs — the thick slices of rye toast, the just right home fries; and that catfish, crispy cornmeal coating over a fresh and flaky catfish…mmm.

The “All You Can Eat” catfish meal is $13.75, after 4 p.m. Friday. The Mister and I decided to share the chalkboard special soup of the day, bacon/potato/cheese ($3.50). Not overly creamy, i.e., no ‘film’ left on the inside of your mouth with each bite and not thickened with flour; wonderfully flavored with carrot and onion and potato and some cheese…just right.

The Mister ordered the chalkboard special open faced meatloaf sandwich ($6.50). The thick slice of toasted sourdough had mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion and the slice of bread under the two thick meatloaf slices was toasted.

Oh the meatloaf. It was fresh ground beef and pork, had tomatoes and carrot and some onion in it and the gravy was nicely flavored and not salty. So nice and homemade. The Mister ordered iced tea (also $1.50) and it is a good, strong brew.

Known for the catfish platter.

Known for the catfish platter.

It is pretty large inside, with this view of the lake and a pool table.The prices are well worth the home made meals.

If you are in North County East this is the place to eat mmmm! Yes. The pot of coffee is more expensive than a domestic beer. Yes. I ate catfish for breakfast.

Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe is at 25484 Lake Wohlford Road. It’s website is http://www.lakewohlfordcafe.com. For more from our mmm-yoso!!! blog, visit http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/.