With a spacious deck fronted by a lacy ficus tree and a refreshing
glance of the Pacific Ocean, Heidelberg Pastry & Bistro has been
attracting a dedicated breakfast and lunch clientele for some 13
This is the popular creation of Ferdinand Littner, an executive
chef who designs the creative menus, pastries, cookies and breads,
and who last year launched Cafe Vienna in South Laguna.
Tangerine walls of the welcoming interior serve as a complementary
canvas for the continuing succession of paintings displayed by local
artists. The arrangement of abstract renderings by well-known
Provanovich glows with a riot of brilliant colors reflecting the
rainbow hues of the cafe's vintage California pottery.
Aside from the white cups containing coffees, lattes and teas,
bright shades of red, yellow, violet, blue color each of the bowls,
plates and saucers that frame delicious dining presentations. In
these come generously heaped arrangements of omelets, salads, soups,
sandwiches artistically designed to pique appetites. Commencing with
breakfast, which is served all day, the menu offers everything from
waffles, potato pancakes, muesli and fruits, to a variety of egg and
omelet presentations and a choice of bagels and croissants
complemented with salmon, veggies, blue cheese and ham. These are
priced from a nominal $1.95 for a bagel with cream cheese or butter
and home made jam to $8.95 for egg-white based omelets lavished with
spinach, cheese, sundried tomato and a slice of ripe avocado. Sides
of roasted potatoes, sausage, grilled cherry tomatoes, breads and an
egg or egg white, are $.95 to $2.50.
The lunch menu offers create-your-own-sandwich selections with a
choice of meats, cheeses, breads and half a dozen hot selections for
$6.25 to $7.95. These range from hot pastrami and turkey melt to
grilled cheese and a veggie burger, each served with a green salad or
hot roasted potatoes. For chilled sandwiches there's roast turkey,
white tuna, pastrami, black forest ham or Swiss, provolone, Monterey
jack and American cheeses filling baguettes, croissants, pumpernickel
and seven-grain breads. These are $5.95, $2 more for a hearty bowl of
soup, a Greek, Caesar or house salad and half a sandwich.
Topping a quartet or hot entrees at $8 to $12 comes wiener
schnitzel, Littner's Vienna version, breaded veal scallopini
accompanied with savory roasted potatoes, lingonberries and mixed
greens. Grilled chicken breast shows up several times, as a main
course sauced with fresh-sliced mushrooms, complemented with braised
red cabbage and roasted potatoes. Then again perched atop angel hair
pasta in a creamy garlic basil sauce. Plump ravioli are filled with
spinach and cheese enhanced with creamy tomato sauce.
Salads rate a special category. Starting at $5.25 for the house
arrangement going to $9.95 for pasta salads, each hefty portion is
heaped high, embellishments arranged attractively on top, as in a
whole sliced chicken breast seasoned with balsamic vinaigrette or
warm duck breast with gorgonzola cheese and raspberry vinaigrette.
Side orders, $1 to $3.25 include seven ounces of grilled chicken
breast, a scoop of tuna, extra feta cheese and half a sandwich.
Velvety potato leek soup stars among a trio of daily options for
$3.95. These steaming bowls are teamed with slices of pumpernickel
bread bubbling with melted cheese crisped with chopped onions.
Imported European beers and California wine are available, the
latter poured into sparkling stems. The mouth-watering entry display
of pastries and cookies baked early every morning in the immaculate
stainless steel kitchen is about all one needs to satisfy sweet
cravings, whether for breakfast or as a luscious lunch finale. Bon
Gorgonzola triangles, Asian shrimp skewers, chicken with peanut
sauce, roasted tomato bruschetta, crisp wontons plump with Chinese
chicken salad! These were "a few of our favorite things" prepared by
Laguna's A la Carte.
The event was at Diane deBilzan's Forest Avenue art gallery last
Saturday to celebrate the birthday/new collection of artist William
de Bilzan. A la Carte's Sue Chick, principal of the popular
restaurant-catering company on Coast Highway, followed all these
taste treats with a bountiful basket heaped with fresh melons and
berries. Count on gracious Lagunan Greg Rayes, ever at the ready, to
expedite your personal selections. Phone (949) 497-4927.
* GLORI FICKLING is a longtime Laguna Beach resident who has
written restaurant news and views columns since 1966. She may be reached at (949) 494-4710 or by e-mail at email@example.com.