Charlie's Chili - Newport Beach
|Found this gem years ago when I received an Entertainment book for the holidays. We go here periodically when the craving is for some comfort and a stroll along the beach.|
Parking is a zoo, but expected, so not really a big deal. Especially when your driver has parking karma. It took all of five minutes to get a great spot and drop in an extra quarter. Glad DST kicked in, because sun was still high for 5 o'clock.
Charlie's is an institution. Laid back, seat yourself kind of vibe. A scattering of tables outside, with roomy booths inside. We beelined for one in the back. At first glance, yes, it appears to be pretty run down. Just take a closer look. Three flat screen monitors strategically placed, and even closed captioning on one. The stained glass light fixtures convey this homey chic that appeals. Even Jack commented the upholstery appeared in better condition than he remembered. This place is maintained. If you want uber fancy, cross the parking lot and go inside Oceanfront 21.
Breakfast is served ALL DAY. You know now why I'm so fond of Charlie. Usually, we start with zucchini sticks. It's a huge pile of deep fried happiness. Not this time. He wanted a cinnamon bun. It took over half a dinner platter and was warmed upon request. Not bad. Their menu covers a diner selection with burger, chili, seafood, and brekkie options.
I tried the Baja breakfast. A scramble of onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggs with salsa on the side. Flour tortillas included and my meal was complete. You have the option of spicy salsa and corn tortillas too. It was very good. Potatoes were chunky and onions had had a 'just chopped' crunch to them. I inhaled it without a second thought. Jack ordered the fisherman's platter (what he always gets), which came with breaded and deep fried shrimp, cod, scallops and (skin-still-on-them) fries. Came with his choice of chowder which was just fine.
As always, our server was consistently friendly and her timing was well-executed. The Muzak played new Sheryl Crow, one hit wonder Dido, and classic John Cougar Mellancamp.
Afterwards, we took in the salty air and casually looped around the sidewalks before heading back home. Impromptu outings like this are great. Avoiding most of Newport Boulevard and taking Superior up to the 55, priceless.
102 McFadden Place
Newport Beach, CA 92663