The first time I went to Swami’s Cafe was about 18 years ago when I first moved to Encinitas. I remember limited parking, limited outdoor seating and feeding my leftovers to the local birds. We were told Swami’s was an Encinitas icon and we had to go now that we were local “Encinidians”. We went. We loved it.
Coming back to Swami’s was like coming home again. Except I barely recognized it! Like when you come home from college for the first time to find out your room has been turned into a quilting room. All of the horse posters you tore out of thousands of magazines and collected for years and years are gone, just gone! Your treasures, memories and childhood dreams have been boxed up and sent to the attic so your mom’s fabrics and quilts have a place to lay. Well, it was kind of like that. But without the heart wrench. The sweet consignment store that used to be next door where I would sell old baby joggers and toddler clothes is no more. It has all been turned into indoor seating for this new, improved Swami’s! And the small, run-down deck has doubled in size with upscale tables and chairs. Now there is tons of well needed outdoor seating. The run-down, graffitied counter to order from is still around, so it hasn’t lost all of it’s charm. It’s ok, mom still loves us.
The first thing to get excited about is Swami’s extensive coffee bar.
And tea drinkers can rejoice, because you haven’t been over-looked!
Although there is a real menu, there’s plenty of great options on the white board.
I remember having my first-ever Acai Bowl at Swami’s all those years ago when I first came here. I was happy to see Debbie-the-acai-expert order one. I know she is a die hard Java Hut Hula Monkey Acai Bowl connoisseur but I hoped she liked this one too. She ordered hers with a side of peanut butter, just like she gets at JH. Swami’s is a huge portion with tons of fruit, but in Debbie’s heart, no one does it as good as Java Hut. She literally ducked her head in shame when she walked to her car later, parked across the street from JH. She was ridden with the guilt of a cheating lover.
I wasn’t able to get a good picture of my oldest’s order of “chilaquiles”, or as I like to call them “chicky lickys”, but they were only ok. Plentiful in portion but on the bland in taste. Not how I envision Chef Bobby Flay makes them.
The Green Omelet with spinach, asparagus, zucchini and feta was delicious. Plenty of perfectly ripened avocado on top. The salsa was tasty but very mild. Luckily they offer bottles of much hotter sauce to kick it up some notches. The potatoes were only ok. (I still dream of the potatoes at The 101 Diner. Nothing else compares.)
BP ordered a Black Egg Burrito. The “black” refers to the black beans, not in fact, black eggs. That would be weird. My enthusiastic Bottomless Pit of a son couldn’t have been more thrilled. “BEST breakfast burrito I’ve ever had!” he proclaimed while cleaning his plate, then mine, then his brother’s.
For a very long time, my oldest has been boasting about the elusive “Blueberry Shake” that Swami’s only serves from time to time, and isn’t on the menu. Over and over I have heard how it’s the most amazing thing ever, if you are lucky enough to get one. We were in luck, because Debbie was able to get one on this day. In my opinion it was way too sweet. But if that’s your thing, it’s a fine shake.
I was hoping to feed the cute chick-a-dees my left overs before they got BP’d. I have memories of being here long ago, all Snow White-like as these cute birds came to me, totally unafraid and grateful for my scraps. But now these signs are everywhere.
Swami’s Cafe in Encinitas has delicious food with huge portions. There are lots of unique and healthy options. But the reason to come here is definitely the LOCATION. This is an Encinitas institution. I have heard that they have 11 locations opened now in the San Diego area. How can they all be as good as this one? The 101 has the breeze and smell of the ocean from SWAMI’s beach across the street. The Self-Realization Center is right there, emitting peace and restful vibes.
The weird and quirky “Welcome to Encinitas” sign right across the street. These are the things that help make Swami’s Cafe so great!
I’m sure the other 10 locations are good, but come on, they aren’t really SWAMI’s. You need to be here, on the 101, across from SWAMI’s beach to really be here. This is home. Oh, and if you want to order the very secret blueberry shake, just ask for the “Blue Berry Blues”. If you forget the name, you can find it where we did. Right there, on their permanent menu under “Ice Cream Smoothies”.
Next week’s blog will be on Sunday, October 7th at 6:00pm