Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bravo Cafe

Just say the words “Bravo Cafe” to anybody who knows Jamul, and you’re certain to see them smile — and if they’re hungry, they may start drooling. In Jamul, if you want a home-cooked meal or a treat, the Bravo Cafe is where you go…

Bravo Cafe is owned by Manoli (and I hope I didn’t mangle the spelling of his name!) and his wife Rosio, helped out by their kids (especially his daughter Esmeralda) and several employees. It’s located at the intersection of State 94 and Steele Canyon Road, right across the road from the Ranch Feed Store (and kitty-corner from the 7-11). Manoli is smiling (in disbelief as I took his picture <smile>) in the middle photo, and his whole family (minus the latest addition) is in the painting on the right hanging on the Bravo Cafe’s wall. Debi and I stop here several times a week, for huge and delicious salads, outrageously good sandwiches (including several unusual ones), smoothies, and the soups that Manoli is justly famous for locally. My favorite soups are his lemon chicken (I’m drooling now!) and albondigas — followed closely by lentil. Yum!

Jim Barnick and I stopped in this morning for a little breakfast — I had one of Manoli’s unique (and huge!) BLTs with fresh orange juice, and Jim had a bacon breakfast bagel. Just plain excellent!

Manoli and his entire family are the epitome of the warm, friendly folks you generally find out here in Jamul. They greet everyone with a smile, and most of the locals by name (I’m “Mr. Tom” to them, far more respect than I get from most people!). The food they prepare and serve certainly isn’t pretentious or fancy. It’s like home-cooking: fresh, just-plain-good food with very generous servings. Just to give you an idea: they serve many of their sandwiches with a fork, and you need it — because the sandwich is so over-stuffed that good things fall all over your plate as you eat it!

As usual, click on the photos for a larger view…


  1. In the old blog, Anonymous said:
    You are so wonderful. What a nice thing to do for these folks. And I must remind you, the acorn does not fall too far from the tree. I refer to the total importance of food to your being.

  2. In the old blog, Anonymous said:
    Awesome food, great prices, what else could you ask for?