Food Blogging without Scrapple at Bette’s Oceanview Diner


Food Blogging without Scrapple at Bette’s Oceanview Diner

Tucked away on Fourth Street in Berkeley California lays Bette’s Oceanview Diner. Bette’s has no ocean view but if you are willing to notify your next of kin while you wait for awhile you can enjoy one of the best breakfasts in town. For any of my regular readers you know “breakfast food blogging” is a favourite subject of mine. When Bette’s Diner was on “Diners Drive- Ins and Dives” on the Food Network last week I decided to finally splurge my taste buds at Bette’s.

We were lucky to sit while we waited and nothing says the word diner like a huge piece of faux scrapple hanging over our heads. Scrapple is “everything but the oink” or made with “everything but the squeal”. It is typically made with entrails and internal organs which are boiled with any bones attached to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is kept, and cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned to the pot and seasoned, typically with sage. Needless to say scrapple has never ever been in my food group nor will it be.

Living with the ‘music man’ his first order of business was to check out the juke box and investigate the music choices. Putting his seal of approval on it I encouraged Steve to glance at the menu before we were seated. He can look at any menu for hours but I know exactly what he is going to pick. He will hum and haw with muzak playing in the background but in the end I am usually right with his food choice. All of a sudden loud commanding words filled the diner,

“We have seating availability!”

Who says the words “seating availability“? Did they have a staff meeting decades ago at Bette’s to discuss a substitution to the word “Next?”

The first thing I always do is check the jam or jelly like a Smucker’s taste tester. I suffer from celiac disease which translates to: no gluten, no flour and absolutely no fun! But I can still have jam on the side instead of bread products so I am a connoisseur. This jam was not as good as some establishments but it was as close to the taste of blueberry pie as you can get.

I ordered bacon eggs and home fries and they were just as good as they looked on the Food Network if not better. The bacon was the freshest and closest to perfect bacon I have ever eaten except in Canada. The home fries were crisp, soft inside and topped with caramelized onions.

Steve had a lox scramble with bagel and cream cheese. His plate does not look that appetizing as I threw all my sour cream and onions on his plate. It is always handy to have a dining partner that does not eat sour cream when one craves extra.


This is what it originally looked like.

Imagine if you will sitting in your grandmother’s kitchen as a child while she has a pan of scones baking in her oven. Warm flaky scones filled with fresh large blueberries and shreds of tangy lemon zest. The steam escapes as you split one in two and add dollops of fresh creamy butter. I wish I had “Smell-O-Vision” in this blog as you have never ever smelled a scone so fresh.

Two people sit in the corner holding hands and gaze loving into an iPad2. They ask the waiter to take their picture with the tablet while I stare at them with my mouth open. I had no idea those things could take pictures too! I started a conversation with them as we both leave the diner and find out that the woman is a blogger and her new online boyfriend is visiting from China.

As I depart a small dog tied to a tree looks at me with a begging gaze hoping I have some tidbits for him. My hands are empty of any edibles and I give him words of love instead. He listens to my words with eyes of emptiness wishing I had a chicken apple sausage instead.

I pop into “Bette’s To Go” to buy the ultimate black and white cookie for Steve. The female blogger is still taking pictures as we exit and I glance at Steve who is shaking his head. I look at him and say,

There are a lot of bloggers that take pictures in all kinds of places you know – it’s just not me!”

Another female patron leaving the diner nods her head in agreement as she quickly removes a camera from her purse and also begins to snap pictures.  I wonder if she has enjoyed Bette’s Scrapple and want to ask but she disappears quickly probably running to the nearest laptop to blog about the perfect breakfast – just as I am about to do.

Images and text by Linda Seccaspina 2011

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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