Nick's Deli II Makes OC's Most Famous Breakfast Burrito

I guess I can talk about the other, non-breakfast-burrito entrées at Nick's Deli II. The hot pastrami sandwich, for instance, is a beautiful pile of meat buttressed between slabs of rye. The nachos are massive. The soda case is stocked with rarities. Um . . . there's salads and wings and stuff.

Ah, forget the charade. If you hear Nick's Deli, you think of the most famous breakfast burrito in Orange County, one with such a cult following that owner Nick Zampino opened this outpost just up Seal Beach/Los Alamitos Boulevard from the original Seal Beach stand some years back and still racks up lines. The mothership attracts the tourists and crazy Yelp kids who want to try the basic breakfast burrito; the Los Al spot is more of a neighborhood secret, one frequented mostly by locals who don't mind that the view from outside isn't Seal Beach's charming downtown, but rather a particularly ugly shopping plaza.

In fact, I hadn't visited Nick's Deli II until recently, given I kinda like a breakfast burrito with the beach. But Nick's Deli II deserves love, too, and it's all about that cylindrical. Although I don't think it's the best breakfast burrito in Orange County (that honor remains with Athenian Burgers II), it's nevertheless an epic one: gargantuan, a perfectly cooked tortilla stretched to its capacity holding in silky eggs, crunchy potatoes, bold chorizo, rivets of melted cheese and bacon bits judiciously tucked inside to add an umami blast when you need it most. The cooks wrap it twice, in two types of butcher paper, the better to ensure the burrito doesn't explode (although its construction is as sturdy as that of the Great Pyramid of Giza). It's as great in the morning as it is at lunch or at dinner to guard yourself from a night of boozing. Even the salsa, which ain't that hot, is just right for this star: piquant, relishy, genius.

Other burritos at Nick's also shine, grand ones such as those made with Italian sausage or a straightforward carnitas take. But if you're traveling all the way to Los Alamitos, might as well get the classic—not doing so is as dumb as the Angels signing Josh Hamilton.

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