For Kyle and I, The Omelet Station is one of these places. Located in the middle of touristy Cocoa Beach on Highway A1A, it's not in an area we really frequent. It always seemed when we were driving by we were on our way to meet friends for dinner, or we'd just eaten. This weekend, however, we came across an ad, and decided we'd put off trying it for far too long. We headed to charmingly touristy Cocoa Beach to have ourselves a late weekend breakfast.
A1A runs along the ocean, and the Cocoa Beach area is home to hotels, souvenir shops and the world famous surfer mecca, Ron John's Surf Shop. The Omelet Station is tucked between hotels, and is maybe 50 yards from the ocean. There's a hotel behind the restaurant, so you can't see the water from inside, but the windows look out to the street, and passing clusters of beach-bound surfers reminds you of its proximity.
And to prove this point, while I was taking a picture of the sign, a passing surfer (who probably thought I was a weird tourist) stopped and posed next to the sign for me. Thanks, friendly surfer!
As the name suggests, The Omelet Station is mostly a breakfast place, and it's nothing fancy- just a casual local breakfast joint. They do have a lunch menu, but I'm a sucker for breakfast at places like this, and honestly, mostly ignored the non-breakfast menu. They have lots of omelets, including build-your-own and specialities (currently one of the specials is the Barack "Obama-let"- an egg white omelet with spinach and feta.)
I was torn between several options, including the gingerbread waffles, the sweet potato pancakes, the beach-style eggs benedict (crab, sauteed with spinach and garlic, on top of a toasted english muffin with poached eggs and topped with hollandaise sauce.) There was also an intriguing side item called "grilled stickies", which we assume was grilled cinnamon buns. I wanted to get some based on the name alone. (I didn't wind up getting one, but there's always next time!)
I ultimately settled on the Southern Risin', a cornmeal dusted tilapia fillet, served with grits, eggs and toast. I chose rye toast and eggs over easy. I'll admit, it wasn't very photogenic, but it was sure good! I like to cut up my eggs and mix them with the grits, then sprinkle the whole thing with a fair amount of hot sauce. An ideal bite was a bit of fish, a bit of egg and a bit of grits all together.The fish was nicely seasoned and not over-cooked or dry, and the grits were soft, but not mushy and gluey, and still had individual grains. The toast was nice and crisp at the edges, and was very buttery. (I don't often butter my toast at home, but it sure is hard to beat toast with crispy edges and a soft, buttery middle... yum.)
I also got a cup of coffee, which was nice and strong- just like I like it, and tasted freshly brewed. (I worked at a coffee-shop, and have become a bit of a coffee snob, I'll admit.) i was very pleased that it was served with a small carafe of half and half, not a little dish of plastic containers of non-dairy creamer.
Kyle ordered banana and peanut butter stuffed french toast, which took a much prettier picture than my fish 'n' grits. It was a huge serving! He let me taste it, and it was rich- almost like dessert. It looked like they made a peanut butter and banana sandwich on thick Texas toast, dipped the whole thing in french toast custard, then cooked it. Kyle only got part-way through it, but was happy to take home the extra toast and my leftover grits to have for lunch this week.
As for the restaurant itself, it's housed in an old Perkins, and still retains that sort of bland atmosphere. There were paintings on the wall by local artists, as well as some beautiful surfboards, but the interior really just looked like a re-decorated Perkins. The Omelet Station is still young, though (just over a year old), so it may gather character as it ages. It was very clean, and the staff was pleasant.
Kyle and I agreed that the Omelet Station was worth the short drive to Cocoa Beach, and will definitely be back.
If you happen to take a beach vacation, and find yourself needing a post-surf nosh, be sure to hit The Omelet Station. Let me know how you like the grilled stickies!
You can find the Omelet Station at 5590 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931.