Coastal restaurants open for taste
by ADRIANE TILLMAN | Beach & Bay Press
Published - 05/29/09 - 12:08 PM | 2085 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brenda Hollis and her nephew Rory Hollis serve up gourmet sausages at Mad Dogs Cafe.  	ADRIANE TILLMAN | BEACH & BAY PRESS
Brenda Hollis and her nephew Rory Hollis serve up gourmet sausages at Mad Dogs Cafe. ADRIANE TILLMAN | BEACH & BAY PRESS
Twenty-seven restaurants along the coast of Pacific Beach will serve up a sample of their cuisine in a walking feast – also called the Coastal Restaurant Walk – on June 2 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Mad Dogs Café is one new eatery that will take advantage of the coastal walk to demonstrate its fare. Mad Dogs Café opened in mid-May to serve European-style sausages smothered with homemade sauces, nestled in a freshly baked baguette and served with a side of potato chips – sliced and fried on site.

Run by a former Londoner with a definitive accent who moved across the Atlantic in the ’80s, Mad Dogs Café serves an interesting mix of sausages for lunch and dinner and homemade crumpets, egg sandwiches and Blue Bridge Coffee, roasted in Coronado, in the morning. The red-walled café, half a block from the beach on Emerald Street, also slips in some summer treats: outdoor seating under umbrellas, fresh-squeezed orange juice and lemonade and a full case of Italian gelato.

Neither a pet store (listing agencies have misunderstood the business name) nor a hot dog stand, co-owner Brenda Hollis said the café aims to cater to the simple and more adventurous tastes. Habanera and Tequila sausages or lamb and apple sausages are among the frankfurter, bratwurst and weisswurst on the menu. The owners hope to rebrand Mad Dog as their café signature (sausage smothered with sauce in a baguette). Noel Coward coined the phrase when he sung about Mad Dogs and Englishmen going outside in the midday sun in the 1920’s, which was a critic on the imperialistic ignorance of Englishmen living overseas in their colonies.

Hollis formerly ran a fine dining restaurant in Pennsylvania and in San Marcos, as well as a few bakeries. She opened the café after a year of planning with her brother, Graham, an attorney in Hillcrest. Her son, nephew and niece have so far pitched in to help serve the food.

Business was slow the first week but customers are returning, Hollis said.

Hollis eventually plans to apply for a beer license.

“The food really lends itself to drinking beer,” she said. “The last thing we want is raucous drunk people. We just want to sell our sausages.”

The coastal walk will feature other eateries stretching from Diamond Street to the Catamaran Hotel and as far East as Sinbad’s Café on Garnet Avenue. The Bahia Belle will ferry guests from the Bahia Hotel across the bay and serve dessert to cement the evening.

Other participating restaurants include the Firehouse, Pacific Beach Shore Club, Pacific Beach Alehouse, Yogurtland, 710 Beach Club and Grill and Zanzibar.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit Discover PB’s cleanup projects as well as the Beach Area Community Court.

Tickets cost $20 and are available online at, at Gringo’s, 4474 Mission Blvd., and at Discover PB, 1503 Garnet Ave. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at Gringo’s. For more information call (858) 273-3303.

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