Hankering for a manly breakfast? Patrick’s Roadhouse has the manliest of them all. If you doubt that claim, consider that Patrick’s, a quaint little beachside joint, was a favorite of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was first getting pumped up–and putting away plenty of eggs and bacon along the way. According to legend, the place wasn’t even tough enough for Schwarzenegger at first. Arnold’s mother was visiting from Austria, and disapproved of the paltry meal she saw her boy wolfing down. Seeking to right the wrong, she busted into the restaurant’s kitchen and whipped up an appropriately massive breakfast for her massive son.
The bodybuilder, actor, and politician’s legacy looms large over Patrick’s Roadhouse. Now you and your buddies can swagger in, ask for a seat at Arnold’s chair — the custom-made one that could support his weight — and order his mama’s secret-recipe breakfast, now named The Governator. It’s a heaping helping of ham, bacon, cheese, and three scrambled eggs tossed with a smoky sauce (don’t ask what’s in it–that’s the secret). If you’re not training for the Mr. Universe title, however, you might not need quite that much food. Good thing the menu doesn’t lack for other options, with breakfast specialties, more than a dozen burgers, and every imaginable combination of eggs. Kick things up a notch and ask for a side — the extra-spicy Josesito’s Kick Arse Pico de Gallo is a particular favorite.
The Arnold stories get bandied about most frequently, but Patrick’s has plenty else to recommend it. Visiting the 40-year-old diner is an experience unto itself. En route, you’ll get a glistening beachfront view as you cruise down Pacific Coast Highway and arrive at the can’t-miss-it building, which is bright green and festooned with shamrocks. On the inside, the diner looks like an overstuffed antique shop. A patchwork of old royal portraits, nautical maps, harpoons, Christmas lights and dozens of tchotchkes adorn every inch of wall space. The big band jazz music drifting dreamily through the joint ties it all together.
Enjoy the view of the twinkling blue Pacific through the open patio doors as you scarf down a true breakfast of champions. After you’ve downed every last morsel, head for a walk along the beach — if you don’t get moving, you may fall asleep at your table. Or better yet, hop back in the car and head to Muscle Beach to pump it up Arnold-style. As you saunter out, slip your shades on, muster your best Schwarzenegger impression and toss out a meaningful “I’ll be back.” Because you most definitely will.