Best of 2001: Best Pork Chop Breakfast North Of Mission Valley

Wagon Wheel
427 West Mission Avenue
(at Centre City Parkway), Escondido
760-745-3227

It's a stone and dark wood place with a white wagon wheel nailed on the front and a sign saying "Good Food Since 1953." The interior's a cozy, heavy-timbered room, filled with longhorn trophies and deer heads. Ask for Kalina. She's from Macedonia. Her Macedonian family opened up this place nearly half a century ago. She'll tell you, and she's right, that the pork chop breakfast will last you all day. "Macedonians have big appetites. And in Macedonia, we know about pork. We give it flavor," she says. The pork chops come with two eggs, potatoes, and toast -- and very satisfying cross-hatch burn marks from the grilling they've just gotten. They have a smoky-burned taste, but it doesn't kill the basic flavor. Add some ketchup, stab some home fries and onions. There's plenty.

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