Mama Kat’s is the cat’s meow

Mama Kat's is where it's at.

One lovely and crazy hot Saturday morning, Jake, T and I were up in North County. We don’t really spend a whole heck of a lot of time in the northern parts of San Diego, but here we were. It was still breakfast hours though the time was creeping up and over noon and I figured it was high time to try out this spot called Mama Kat’s Restaurant and Pie Shop.


Mama Kat’s is over in a little strip mall not too far from the Fry’s Electronics in San Marcos. We parked right in front and saw a pretty good line of patrons hanging out in and around the restaurant. The host told me the wait was about 45 minutes. We didn’t have anything else to do that day and Jake said he didn’t care and I figured we’d wait it out.


It probably took a little longer than 45 minutes to get a table but once you’ve waited that long, you might as well just keep waiting, right?!


I peeked inside the restaurant to check out the place. It totally felt like an oversized family room. There are some vintage-ish signs but it’s not overly cluttered. It’s tasteful.

There’s countertop seating and also outdoor seating. I was happy we were inside that day since it was so warm out.


They also sell a few little goods here and there, like cute coffee mugs, candy, and cute matching salt & pepper shakers.


As well as jams and jellies.


There’s also cookies and brownies if you need a little extra sweet treat.


As well as handmade pies!


Mama Kat’s is pretty much a breakfast place through and through. About the only “lunchy” item is the chicken, which you can also get with waffles (mmm).


On their website I saw a lunch menu, but we weren’t offered the lunch menu that day (not that I cared).


I spied this sign while we were waiting.


I ordered one, oh yes I did. I got it in “hazelnut” flavor. The only sweetness in this cold brew was in the added whipped cream on it. I ate the whipped cream separately and saved a little to swirl into my creamy coffee. It didn’t actually have milk in so I’m not entirely sure why there’s a color difference here. I really enjoyed the taste of it – quite strong but also smooth with no bitterness.


We ordered one dish (the french toast below) and made it a combo, and then added on a few sides so the three of us could split everything. We got the eggs over easy. I only ate the egg white and let T have that messy yolky business.


My eyeballs honed in on these hash browns which looked so very, very, very much like the hash browns they used to serve at my beloved, defunct Keith’s. Could these possibly be the hash browns I’ve been searching for??


Oh. My. God. YESSSSS!

I could hardly believe it, but from the FIRST bite I knew these were the hash browns I’ve been searching for all these long years! The crust was perfectly crunchy… the inside was creamy and there was no hint of dryness. They were rich and buttery and PERFECT. They take the extra time to cook the hash browns properly and I’m so excited to have found them again! My very last bite of food was the hash brown so I could properly savor it. YUM.


[side of kielbasa / $5]

I wanted a little meatiness (extra meatiness) with our meal and instead of getting the usual old bacon (which, don’t get me wrong, is 100% delicious) I decided to spring for a side of kielbasa. You don’t see kielbasa all that often on a breakfast place. In hindsight this was an excellllllllent choice. They grilled both sides of the meat so it got a little extra crispiness. The kielbasa had a nice snap to it and the flavor was spot on.


[chicken fried steak / $7]

T wanted chicken fried steak so we figured we’d go a side order of that instead of getting a plate of it with more sides. This sucker was like a hubcap, it was so large and took up the whole plate!


Here’s a peek at the chicken fried steak. The steak was pounded out pretty thin. The coating on the steak had an interesting flavor on it – kind of an herb-like seasoned flavor. It didn’t totally seem like a chicken fried steak to me. Jake commented he thought it tasted more like a milanesa – something you’d find in a torta sandwich. It didn’t taste very traditional to me, which isn’t really a bad thing at all.


[cinnamon roll french toast combo / $10 + $3]

Jake was actually the one to spy this dish on the menu. This is not just french toast with cinnamon in it, my friends.


Oh no, no, no! This is an actual baked cinnamon roll… which is sliced in half… and then battered and grilled. WHAT. You get the fluffiness and the cinnamon goodness from the roll… plus the eggy batter which makes another crust all around it… and it’s like MAGIC. I loved this thing!


Mama Kat’s makes their own pies. This is the menu of the pies they had they day. Of course I had to get a slice! Dessert breakfast is totally thing! And I’m an adult. Adults can do what they want.


[slice of coconut pie / $4.50]

I poured over the list and while that chocolate peanut butter pie was sounding mighty good, I decided to do a different route and get the coconut pie. They give a hefty slice here! The coconut filling was really nice – you could taste little bits of coconut in the thick mixture and it was a nice amount of sweetness – not too sugary. The crust was the best part – it had lots of flaky bits! I commented that this tasted like a pie I would have made at home!

I also got two slices of pie to go for my folks – one strawberry rhubarb (for dad) and one pecan pie (for mom). The pecan pie was lovely; the strawberry rhubarb I didn’t taste.


Mama Kat’s had some really excellent food that was honestly totally worth the wait. Sometimes a place seems like a letdown after waiting for so long to eat the food there. But this was not the case at Mama Kat’s! I could see why people would wait around this scrumptious food – I can certainly say I wouldn’t mind waiting again for another bite of those perfect hash browns! Go here if you get the chance!

Mama Kat’s
950 W. San Marcos Blvd.
San Marcos, CA 92078


Mary Desjean with Jake.

Mary Desjean with Jake.

Mary Desjean and This Tasty Life:

This blog is a creative outlet for me and my need/desire to write. With a journalism degree in my back pocket, I wanted a fun way to express myself and got into food blogging one day when my friend, Alyssa and I started photographing all of the food we ate. By day, I am a front end web developer and in my off-time I like to bake, cook, and explore new foods! My boyfriend, Jake, is heavily featured in my posts. His kids sometimes make an appearance as well as my friends and co-workers. I write the way I talk, freely and openly with a bit of humor and snark. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in San Diego. You can email me at maryd at (remove the spaces). I accept proposals, advertising inquiries, product review and restaurant review inquiries and more. Just contact me and we can discuss it.

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