My daddy always said, “the best places to eat are those with all the work trucks parked outside. People who are working hard go where the food is good, plentiful and fairly priced. And that’s where life happens.” Years ago, I followed the trucks to the unassuming Shoreline Coffee Shop in Mill Valley—and I’ve been a regular ever since. In fact, the Shoreline has been a fixture in my life for so many years that by now, I count owner Santi Ojeda among my life friends.
The shoreline is a family place where I first taught my children their manners—the simple courtesies of “please” and “thank you.” Once when correcting my five year-old, I told him we didn’t scream in restaurants. He replied, “this isn’t a restaurant, it’s my home!”
The coffee shop has always been a second home to me. It’s where I come alone to read or work and eat. In graduate school, I took up residence in the back booth during the quiet hours, studied, drafted my masters thesis on a yellow table, and drank gallons of black coffee with plates of huevos rancheros. This is where I planned the Beyond Wonderful website, and wrote many of its recipes.
Everybody’s got their favorite dish at the Shoreline, from pancakes to cheeseburgers. Ask my daughter and she’ll tell you of a childhood filled with the best strawberry shortcake on the planet. But what make’s Santi’s place truly special is the menu of classic Mexican dishes from his native land—carne asada, chilaquiles, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, huevos Mexicana and a variety of fresh salsas.
Earlier this week, Santi and I got together to adapt his huevos rancheros recipe for the home cook. The red sauce—salsa roja—is perfection. Take a look. It’s easy, and I’ve created an illustrated, step-by-step “How-To” for assembling the dish. Just remember, the secret is using the freshest ingredients. Anything less compromises the flavor of this terrific Mexican breakfast and brunch classic.