I’ve been ordering “Doc’s Delight” at Rick & Ann’s Restaurant for the better part of two decades. You get a perfectly crisp and tender waffle, two chicken apple sausages and two eggs any style. My style is poached hard. Sometimes I order a buttered bagel too to smash against the bright yellow yolks. Well, every single time. Because I’ve never met a carbohydrate I didn’t like.
I don’t know who Doc is or why waffles delighted him, but he is my culinary soulmate. Rick and Ann—the owners’ actual names—opened their eponymous restaurant in 1989. They are part of what I like to think of as a triumvirate of the best places to brunch in the East Bay. The other members include the recently rechristened Oceanview Diner and La Note, which specializes in Frenchified fare.
Over the years, I’ve recommended all three of their exceptional brunches to everyone I know, bringing visiting members of my family and out of town guests. Rick & Ann’s, in particular, does not make a bad dish. From eggs to waffles to hashes and pancakes, I’ve never not finished everything on my plate.
Like every other Bay Area weekend breakfast or brunch spot, the queue to get in can be long and daunting (sometimes it’s a solid 20 minutes, sometimes it’s 45+). Rick & Ann’s though is ideally and idyllically located across from—what’s known colloquially—as the Claremont Hotel. In addition to several outdoor benches, there’s a Peet’s Coffee next door. And if you’re feeling peckish, Fournée Bakery is right on the corner. Some might say that snacking on a pain au chocolat or a currant scone before waffles and pancakes is terribly overindulgent. Some would be sad and sorry to have missed out on all of the above.
Rick & Ann’s Restaurant, 2922 Domingo Ave, Berkeley. 510.649.8538. rickandanns.com