I've been driving past the Kimmie's Coffee Cup down the street from the Fullerton Airport for years now, always promising myself to stop in and see whether it was worth reviewing. I always figured it was a one-off, a place for office drones to get their morning joe or for people to stuff themselves silly after a nightmare session at the nearby DMV. So imagine my surprise when I was recently driving through nowheresville Cypress, on the prowl for another restaurant, and saw a Kimmie's in a big shopping plaza. Another revelation came when the young waitress handed me the menu—there are now six locations, including one in Reno. And then the food: classic diner grub, the kind of stuff that soaks up booze-filled nights but doesn't drain your wallet. It's a place where retirees and blue-collar guys can rest for a bit and chat. Where the hell had I been all these years?
Not in Kimmie's world, obviously. Nearly all of them exist in cities that OC's food revolution forgot—Cypress, Brea, Placentia, places that don't have an onrush of foodies, but rather middle-class, middle-aged folks looking for comfort food. And the menus reflect such a state of mind, with an overview of Americana—hamburgers, waffles, omelets—and a sprinkling of Mexican dishes labeled “South of the Border” that play in retirement communities. The type of specials offered here are straight from an Iowa church group's cookbook: chicken à la king, Salisbury steak and Swedish meatballs, as well as a roasted turkey dinner that'll make you kick yourself for not ordering one to go on Thanksgiving.
None of this is to paint Kimmie's as backward—far from it. About the most hipster thing here are the Country Sliders: homemade biscuits, homemade sausage patties, eggs and cheese. But these are the best breakfast sandwiches in North OC—the biscuits impossibly fluffy yet firm, the sausage patties the right amount of juicy, the eggs and cheese delicious. Young chefs could only hope to achieve the down-home perfection Kimmie's has—and if you can succeed in nowheresville Cypress, you can succeed anywhere.