If you've never eaten Chuck's Weasel, it's one of Southern
California's great, beach dining pleasures you must experience. Chuck is the
owner of a restaurant called Chuck's Coffee Shop, and his Weasel is the
signature dish locals and tourists enjoy in a hometown cafe tucked down a small
street that runs directly in front of the Belmont Pool and ends at the beach
parking lot next to Belmont Shore beaches.
I've driven by Chuck's over 100 times, but always after the place
closes for the day (serves only breakfast and lunch). Lucky for me, a friend was
in town with a few hours to kill before catching a flight out of Long Beach
Airport, so I swung by the Hyatt Regency Long Beach to pick her up, and we
headed toward the Belmont Pier just before noon. As we passed the parking lot
looking for a free spot on the street, she caught a glimpse of big red letters
on a building, "CHUCK'S - HOME OF THE WEASEL - LOCALLY WORLD FAMOUS". Never one
to shy away from food, I agreed we should spend our brief hour together eating,
and that's exactly what we did!
We wrote our names on the sign-up list inside the busy cafe and waited
about 20 minutes for a table. Normally you'd be grumbling, but with a row of
lawn chairs strewn in the sunshine outside the cafe, and the beach tantalizingly
close, a mellow breeze and good vibes just made the time pass. We talked and
eavesdropped on the family next to us, getting together after a trip to Japan.
Oh the good times never end!
When seated inside, we decided we had to get a
Weasel...and maybe some French Toast...we'd order two dishes we could split so we could try them
"Where's Chuck?" my friend asked the girl serving us. "He's the one
with the shades and straw hat," she chimed back.
Barbara kept her eye trained on Chuck as he made his exit to the john.
She spotted him come out, and said in her loudest voice to catch his attention,
"Are YOU Chuck?"
Chuck sat down with us and told us about himself, his cafe, his Weasel,
and his recent trip to his son's wedding in Wyoming. "We partied till 5 the next
day," he said. I asked if it was a.m. or p.m., and he told me the wedding began
one afternoon and ended the next evening.
But what about Chuck's food and his Weasel? Very good! As for the
weasel, it isn't road kill, but a dish of two scrambled eggs
smothered in Chuck's chili recipe, then topped with fresh chopped onions and
shredded cheese. The puffy little potatoes served with it were simply
outrageous. Oval slices that looked like they'd been fried, were amazingly soft
and fresh, not showing any signs of oil. But sure to add a Mimosa to your Sunday and you've got a whopping meal to hold you over on
a flight from Long Beach to just about anywhere.