Doing nicely and setting some interesting trends, thank you.
Simone and Cecilia Scurzoni purchased To the Point, a well-known eatery on Voltaire near Catalina, in September. Former owner Adriana Johnson stayed on for a transition and has agreed to stay on to be the catering arm of the café and bakery.
The Scurzonis have food backgrounds and a love of cooking in common. They hail from the Northern Italy town of Reggio Emilia near Bologna. Simone fell in love with San Diego on vacations and decided To the Point would be a vehicle for their dream of a business of their own.
Their timing was propitious.
A chain coffee house nearby shut its doors without warning. Customers were in a panic. What to do?
Simone and Cecilia decided to open an hour earlier – at 7 a.m. – and to offer a half-price happy hour from 7 to 9 a.m. on all coffee drinks. Plus, with a touch of humor, placing a sandwich board out front with giant letters saying “Don’t Panic. We Have Coffee. Breakfast – Lunch.”
The innovations didn’t stop there. The couple started testing and rotating menu ideas in a refreshing blend of Italian (“We weren’t turning our back on our culture”), American (“Chef Bill Ganam who makes our inspirations possible is American”) and Mexican (“Many of our eight employees are Hispanic”). The Italian Pancetta Skillet with Italian bacon is soon to be joined by the Mexican skillet (with chips, salsa, cheddar cheese, two eggs sunny side up, tortilla and avocado) and the American (ham, eggs, bacon, potatoes, red pepper, onion and cheddar cheese).
The couple wanted local. Local vendors from as close as possible and as fresh as possible. Eggs? From a San Diego area ranch. Beer? From local craft brewers, including one in OB. Coffee? Locally roasted. Local favorites? How about fish tacos coming soon with grilled swordfish – not fried.
Simone and Cecilia wanted healthy, natural food. Everything is natural, never with preservatives. “We believe in simple recipes and healthy. We wanted to avoid greasy or deep-fried foods,” Simone said. “We want you to be able to taste every ingredient on your plate.”
Italian hospitality. “We think of our customers as our guests,” Cecilia said. To help them feel even more at home, we are adding historical photos to the walls – a Victorian couple on Sunset Cliffs, a Portuguese Festa, the Theosophical Society.”
The breakfast offerings include omelets, skillets, benedicts, waffles, pastry (try the Bomblone – doughnuts with filling) or quesadillas. Lunch-time fare includes favorite American sandwiches, bruschettas, salads that can be created to your specifications, and Taglieri on wooden cutting boards (deviled eggs or lox currently).
The bruschetta called Ocean Beach (Revisited) has a story behind it. It was very popular under the former ownership. The Scurzonis gave it a new twist with some of the ingredients turned into a relish so it is a baguette topped with cream cheese, tomato, cucumber relish, avocado and fresh thyme. Salmon can be added. “Best bruschetta I have ever tasted,” one diner was heard to say.
Vegan? “We have a couple of ideas we want to try out on vegan friends,” Simone said.
To the Point Café & Eatery
Where: 4161 Voltaire St.
Hours: Open all week, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Info: Tothepointsd.com, 619-226-6222