My vote for the best breakfast place in Napa goes to Alexis Baking Company and Café. And no less an eminence than actor and bon vivant Kyle MacLachlan shares this sentiment with me.
The handsome leading man MacLachlan is best known for his role as Special Agent Dale Cooper in the long ago David Lynch TV series “Twin Peaks” (a role he is reprising next year when Showtime brings it back to the air with new episodes), as well as such shows as “Portlandia, “Desperate Housewives” and “Sex and the City.” He also owns a winery in his native Washington and knows Napa Valley very well.
Last year he hosted an episode of “The Getaway,” an Esquire TV series, that was set in Napa Valley. One of the places he went to and recommended was the ABC Café, as it is also known.
One reason for its popularity is its casual, low-key vibe. This is not a grand Napa Valley epicurean experience, nor does it pretend to be. It’s a locals’ place, where residents and some wine country travelers go. On a recent Saturday morning when JK and I were there a jazz trio played Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things,” Bird and Dave Brubeck. That’s not epic, just tasty.
Also tasty were our dishes—the Eggs Benedict (a Saturday special, $16.95) and scrambled eggs with potatoes, cinnamon toast and Fra’ Mani sausage. Poached or scrambled eggs are an every day breakfast item at $10.95 plus $4.95 for the sausage. It’s comfort food, hearty and sincere. The ABC is a great way to start your day if you’re headed up valley for wine tasting, or as with MacLachlan who went there after a big night of dining and drinking, perfect for a morning-after meal with coffee.
MacLachlan probably did not have to linger long before shooting “The Getaway” episode there. Most people, however, may have to wait in line because it’s small place and the seating is limited. The breakfast and lunch menus are posted on the wall behind the counter. After ordering you may have to stand and wait a few minutes before a table clears and you can sit.
Its neighbors on this block of Third are a barber shop, liquor store and Nation’s burgers—as I say, this is not the epic Napa Valley of legend and lore. But it’s fun, and it’s an easy walk to the river from there, passing along the many pleasant boutiques, collectible shops, tasting rooms and restaurants of downtown Napa.
Kyle MacLachlan says he eats at ABC whenever he comes to the valley. That sounds about right. It’s a place you can comfortably go back to, just like the locals do.
Alexis Baking Company and Café, 1517 Third Street, Napa. Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat. 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. 707-258-1827. This article originally appeared at Wine Travel Adventure, rated by FlipKey by TripAdvisor a top Napa Valley blog for 2015.