La Loma in Melbourne also has several types of hot dogs on the menu
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When choosing a restaurant to visit at the last minute, you can get frustrated. . . or a rough diamond.
The latter was the case with the La Loma Coney Island restaurant, which replaced the Old Village on Aurora Road in Melbourne, a place with enormous potential as well as current quality. Now painted in bright colors, the place – a restaurant that has been around for decades – is nothing like its predecessor, having undergone a thorough cleaning and refurbishment.
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Murals that echo “God Bless America” decorate the walls, Old Glory salutes from every table, and what doesn’t express patriotism and faith speaks loudly of togetherness. It has a large dining room, and the service is fast and efficient, worthy of a first class restaurant.
The menu is thick and extensive, and it’s understandable that the “Coney Island” in the name derives not so much from the Brooklyn resort town as from the (usually Midwestern) hot dog that bears its name, because La Loma has its share of hot dogs. We will be back for some, especially if you have the Cincinnati-style coney or New Jersey all the way to La Loma, but this visit was for breakfast.
There it has pages worth too, and they include Greek and Tex-Mex style variants. We opted for scrambled eggs with cheese, hash browns and a cookie ($7.99); a spinach and feta cheese omelet with oatmeal ($8.99); and a French Mini ($4.99), preceded by an order of pita with tzatziki ($1.99).
The pita was delicious: warm and served with a small plastic cup of respectable tzatziki: a good start, but not as good as the coffee ($2.25), which was worthy of any coffee at twice the area price. Good coffee comes from a clean coffee maker and machine, and it clearly does. That alone is worth a return, and the La Loma mugs were pretty cool too.
The spinach and feta omelette drew praise from our colleague, who loved that it was warm, not too thick or chewy, and full of cheese and veggies; she called it one of the best omelettes of its kind in the region. The English muffin that came with it was nicely toasted, as requested. It happens too rarely.
The French Mini also received a positive review, with a piece of French toast cut in half, a few bits of bacon and scrambled, golden eggs: just enough food. The drink was half and half iced tea, and again, La Loma got it. Everything was delivered as requested, to diner’s satisfaction.
The cheesy scrambled eggs were met with a little less joy, because in this case, “soft cooked” meant a watery touch and not very hot. Yes, I should have asked for the cheese to be cut into the eggs while cooking, as this is a restaurant that simply flop a slice on it: my fault.
The hash browns were warmer than the eggs, and dry; but the sausages and the cookie, okay.
Real butter came with it, which always brings a smile, and no one blinked when hot tea was ordered. And did I say the service was excellent? It was.
So what we got here was a restaurant we will return to, not for a review, but because we liked it.
No, it’s not smart and cute, trendy and creative. No, he doesn’t give the best presentation in the world. But everything about La Loma is so earnest and decent that it calls you, a diamond in the rough. We’ll see each other there.
Restaurant La Loma Coney Island
Address: 1180 Aurora Road, Melbourne
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
On line: facebook.com/LaLomaCIRestaurant
Other: Breakfast and lunch specials
About our restaurant reviews
The restaurants are rated on a five-star system by FLORIDA TODAY’s reviewer. Reviews are the opinion of the reviewer and take into account the quality of the restaurant’s food, ambience and service. The ratings reflect the quality of what a restaurant can reasonably expect to find. To receive a rating of less than three stars, a restaurant must be tried twice and prove poor each time. Each examiner’s visit is unannounced and paid for by FLORIDA TODAY.
Five stars: Excellent. A rare establishment where we would be proud to take the most demanding guests.
Four stars: Very good. Worth going out of your way. The food, atmosphere and service are always top notch.
Three stars: Good. A pretty good place with satisfying food and service.
Two stars: Fair. Although there is nothing special about this establishment, it will do in a pinch.
One star: Not recommended. Do not bother.
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