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HB Independent Review
Huntington Beach Independent - Serving Huntington Beach & Fountain Valley, California

Published Wednesday, December 16, 2009 10:14 PM PST

Restaurant Review: Sugar Shack’s breakfast worth the wait

By: John Reger

Of all the breakfast places in downtown Huntington Beach, Sugar Shack is probably the It has been family-owned since 1967, and Michelle Turner has kept the little café thriving with her deep association with the surfers. One publication once wrote, “There is a tradition in Huntington Beach that says that no one is a true surfer unless they have been to the Sugar Shack.”

The restaurant is next to two other places that serve breakfast, but on any day, even though the other places might have tables outside, people will wait until one becomes available at the Sugar Shack.

It is worth the wait.The food is simple yet flavorful, and there are a few surprises on the menu that shouldn’t be missed.

One of those is the surf, which is half coffee and half hot chocolate. It is a great way to spruce up a regular cup of coffee, and the whipped cream on top tasted like it was homemade.

Another is the cinnamon roll. The roll is not too sweet, which I like. It comes out warm and is not slathered in icing, so the amount of guilt is lessened when ordering it.

Though my guest was partial to the omelets, I usually look at the specials. The Michelle’s Special with grilled chicken breast, three egg whites scrambled with bell peppers, tomatoes and fruit is a fairly healthy way to start the morning, but I usually lean toward the breakfast special or the Keppler’s.

The breakfast special has two pancakes and an egg — though I swear, when scrambled, it looks like two — bacon or sausage. I like the bacon over the sausage. The sausage seems a little too cooked for my liking.

The Keppler’s is a delight, though. The three eggs scrambled on an English muffin with sliced avocado, tomato, bacon and hollandaise sauce is quite good. I like the hollandaise sauce, which is a little smoother than others I have tried.

My recent favorite special is the HSS. This is a grilled ham sandwich on sourdough bread with melted cheddar cheese and scrambled eggs.

One of the features of the restaurant that I really enjoy is that they don’t care if you alter your order. So I had American cheese instead of cheddar and asked for grilled onions. It made an already good sandwich even better. I am still trying to figure out how the scrambled eggs stay in the bread while you are eating it. I also liked the home-style spuds that are served with it. They are thin slices of potatoes deep fried and come out like chips. They were much more enjoyable than the hash browns.

The are 11 omelets, including the Main Street, which has avocado, mushrooms, onions, sprouts and cheese. The Popeye and cheese is a solid spinach omelet, and one I find interesting is the chili and cheese omelet.

The breakfast burritos are a meal in themselves but a bit pricey, with most of them nearly $8. Plus, if you want to add anything, from sour cream to mushrooms to avocado, it costs more.

I have had the pancakes and the French toast here and like both, though I am partial to the French toast.

It is lightly battered, and there are ample amounts of powered sugar on top and butter on the side. It was so good, I didn’t even need the syrup.

The patio fills up quickly, so a more relaxing option might be inside or in the back. Whenever I sit out front, I feel like I am being leered at by the people who are waiting for my table. I don’t blame them. With food this good, I would want to get to it as quickly as possible as well.

Sugar Shack Address: 213 ½ Main St., Huntington Beach Phone: (714) 536-0355 Website:

Cuisine: American
Specialty Dish>: Omelets
Alcohol Served: None
Family Friendly: Yes

>Credit Cards Accepted: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa
Rating: *** 1/2 out of four stars

JOHN REGER reviews local restaurants and may be contacted at or P.O. Box 2984, Seal Beach, CA 90740. 12/28/2009

Telephone (714) 536-0355