More Than Meets the Eye

By Lynn Lieu

Posted October 6, 2011 in Eats

From strip malls and dark alleys to lush gardens and sea-side seating, good eats are found virtually anywhere and everywhere. We’ve reviewed places hidden in between laundromats and water stores, behind trees and gardens and, hell, even in the most obvious places like casinos and shopping centers. All of which, for better or worse, were pretty predictable. Sure there’s the random mom-and-pop joint with the terrible exterior that turned out to be the best place to find a taco and surprised us. And, of course, there’s always that fine-dining restaurant that turned out to be worse than that one time when I was 8 and decided that my mom would love waffles topped with Fruity Pebbles, bananas, cheese and orange juice. But none of which, have thrown me for a loop more than Walter’s Restaurant in Claremont.

Walter’s is a sprawling establishment, spanning almost an entire block in the Claremont Village. From the outside, the place looks like anything from a fancy Italian eatery to a steakhouse to a pub—none of which alludes to what Walter’s has in store.

Entering the restaurant, Walter’s looks like a cross between a bistro of sorts and a sports bar with its yellow walls and flat screen TVs. To the left, where brunch is served, the walls change color and the ambience shifts to something more casual and even old fashioned. It’s an area you’d expect to see granny curtains, but there’s none. If you’re smart, you’d ask to dine outside. The front patio area is covered and seems almost cozy on a foggy morning. The back patio area, what I like to call the “garden area,” is decked with heat lamps and an array of plants and colors, by far the best seating in—er, outside the house.

Brunch is served every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A variety of food is laid out buffet-style along with an endless amount of mimosa ingredients for you to prepare to your liking—90 percent champagne, 10 percent OJ.

Walter’s offers the main components to breakfast for brunch: scrambled eggs, turkey bacon and sausage. While the bacon and sausage are cooked perfectly with next to no grease, the eggs fall a bit short in seasoning. For those leaning on the lunch side of things, also available is the most tender ribs and chicken, both of which fall off the bone with the slightest touch of your fork. The ribs are a bit hearty for the morning, but if you’re arriving closer to 1 p.m. this is a dish you won’t regret. The chicken is charbroiled and has a bit of a spicy aftertaste, but is light and flavorful. It’s perfect for something in between breakfast and lunch.

What’s different is that while, Walter’s seems like a typical champagne brunch joint, little things like a yogurt-based house dressing and dosa-like bread make you think differently. On its regular menu Walter’s features lamb sausages, Mexican omelettes, tandoori salmon and a variety of kabobs from ashraf to qeema to oriental, looking to India and a few other countries for inspiration.

From its assorted seating to its eclectic menu, Walter’s is a place where its cover is just as surprising as its pages.

Walter’s Restaurant, 310 N. Yale Ave., Claremont, (909) 624-2779; Mon-Thurs, 7AM-9PM. Fri, 7AM-10PM. Sat, 8AM-10PM. Sun, 8AM-9PM. AE, D, MC, V.


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