Eggs and bacon on a ‘mission’

by Kelly Callas

Courtesy of The Mission
Courtesy of The Mission

The Mission is more than a restaurant: It is a concept. Simple yet inspired, the idea is to strip away the pretentiousness of La Jolla-style a.m. dining while maintaining a competitive level of sophistication and quality with health awareness. This establishment is focused on delivering generous portions of elegant, casual fare with fresh ingredients and prices any college student could love.

One example among the many palatable options is the Mission French Toast, an inspired plate of freshly baked cinnamon bread with berry purèe. This customer favorite is made in-house and promisingly affordable at $7.95 per plate.

Although The Mission has three locations (Mission Beach, North Park and downtown), the Mission Beach restaurant was the first to evolve out of a Bohemian-style coffee shop in 1995 and has been a local favorite ever since. Owners Deborah Helm and Tomas Fitzpatrick and Chef Fay Nakanishi came together in this transformation with a collective goal: Create “a café specializing in simple, healthy, tasty food with a whimsical edge and a focus on artful presentation at an affordable price.”

After partaking in the restaurant’s edible treats, it becomes clear this goal has been met. Often packed with loyal customers, The Mission offers breakfast and lunch daily with endlessly satisfying choices. Those craving a plate of warm pancakes will not be disappointed once they are served a stack of three with fresh fruit cooked into the batter. District manager Jody Ritacco suggests the Granola Banana Pancakes, only $6.75, complete with toasted grains, almonds and bananas (extra delightful with chocolate chips).

Those with a hankering for a more traditional meal may want to try the Chicken Apple Sausage & Eggs. For $8.95, this plate is far from ordinary. Another customer favorite, it includes lightly sautéed Aidells gourmet chicken sausage with crispy rosemary potatoes, scrambled eggs and fresh-grilled rosemary bread.

By building long-term relationships with quality vendors and maintaining high standards on its menu, The Mission has been able to produce an ever-pleasing level of consistency at all three properties. Go to the restaurant in Mission Beach and one can expect the same flavor quality in North Park or downtown. It’s that simple.

“We care about the product,” Ritacco said. “We use quality ingredients.”

It also appeals to many tastes by offering a number of vegetarian options such as its Soy Chorizo & Eggs and its Zen Breakfast, a major crowd pleaser that includes egg whites, braised tofu, brown rice and grilled vegetables, reflective of Nakanishi’s Japanese influence. Plans are also underway to include more menu items that cater to guests with vegan or gluten-free needs.

It’s time to separate from the College Area and explore the flavors of the “conscientious cuisine” that make The Mission so remarkable. To learn more about this worthy dining experience, see a full menu on its website or just stop by the Mission Beach location from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Mission
3795 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, 92109