Arts & Leisure

Mae’s Cafe is tasty 24 hours a day

MAE’S CAFE in Garden Grove is not just for truckers, honest (OC Tribune photo).

By Jim and Marilyn Tortolano

Nestled between the elegant Brodard Chateau and the cult-classic burger joint In-N-Out on Trask Avenue in Garden Grove is Mae’s Cafe. Modest-looking and moderate in price, this coffee shop in the shadow of the Garden Grove Freeway might easily be overlooked by some diners hoping for something more upscale, but on closer examination, Mae’s has its own unique charm.

It’s a restaurant that’s open 24 hours a day, all year long. Consequently, it caters to an audience of truckers, locals, late-night workers, early risers and more. We live about a half-mile from Mae’s and have for almost 10 years but never stepped inside until recently.

The interior is definitely Seventies-ish, with leather booths, a long counter with wooden swivel stools and faux Tiffany shade lamps. You’re clearly not in a cutting-edge eatery.

But you’re greeted warmly by an attentive and friendly server, who hands you a voluminous menu which covers nearly every tooth you might have, from salads and sweets to veggie treats. The breakfast menu is especially large, but so are the number of lunch and dinner offerings. There are nine steak choices, for example.

INSIDE MAE’S has a certain old school charm (OC Tribune photo).

You can get a roast turkey dinner any time of the year and even liver-and-onions, if you’re into that sort of thing. We tried several dishes, including salads and sandwiches, and all were fresh and delicious.

We especially recommend the soups. Jim’s was chicken soup, and was the best of its kind ever. It featured big chunks of savory chicken, not the little flecks you see in some versions of that comfort classic.

Among modestly-priced restaurants in the area, Mae’s has a lot to recommend it, even if you get hungry at 6 p.m. instead of 3 a.m.

Mae’s Cafe is located at 9062 Trask Ave. in Garden Grove. Open 24 hours daily. Phone: (714) 898-7044. Website: www.maes-cafe.com .

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