crooked duck patio

The covered patio at the Crooked Duck adds seating and a special atmosphere.

Although the customers waiting to get into the Crooked Duck for weekend breakfast seems like a long-time Long Beach tradition, they’ll celebrate only their fourth anniversary in Sept. 4.

Originally open six days a week, they recently added Monday hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. — hours that had been reserved from top to bottom cleaning, which still happens.

“I’d rather be counting the money than counting the cars that passed through our parking lot when we were closed on Mondays,” Joey Rooney said. Rooney and his wife Shelly are the owners.

“Even though we clean every day, on Monday nights we still detail the place from top to bottom,” he added.

Rooney doesn’t have any expansion plans, but he bristles with enthusiasm and could teach successful restaurant management if he wanted to.

“The front of the house meets the back of the house where the customers are,” he said. “We succeed because of three things. First is recognition of our guests. Second, I pay top dollar for our ingredients. And third, our service and product is consistent.”

Part of consistency is having the same chef since the first day.

“I looked at 70 chefs, narrowed it to five and picked the guy who would stay with me,” Rooney said. “He understands consistency.”

About The Food

Breakfast is an important part of The Crooked Duck, but the rest of the menu has some appealing offerings, including of course, duck.

“We used to serve Duck a la Orange every Friday, but now we rotate some other duck dishes including a Duck Breast with Chipotle Cherry Reduction,” Rooney said.

The duck is prepared three days in advance, including brining, which makes it tender.

The menu includes burgers (starting at $7.95), pastas like Fettuccine Alfredo ($9.95), sandwiches, salads and more.

Breakfast best sellers included to the Corned Beef Hash ($9.95) Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs ($11.95) and Dos Huevos Rancheros ($8.95).

“We use a Pasilla Chile,“ Rooney said. “It gives a dark sauce that looks almost like a mole.”

Desserts including coconut cream pie, Key Lime Pie, carrot cake and brownies are prepared on site, as are the banana muffins. The muffins come with a Frangelico butter sauce and candied walnuts.

“When I walk one of those out, other customers say ‘I want one of those,’” Rooney said.

Happy Hour

Happy Hour is 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, with drink discounts and food specials like two sliders ($5), and Artichoke and Toasted Cashew dip for $6.

Legend Of The Crooked Duck

Growing up in Middle America, Rooney was told the story of the crooked duck. After a duck and a water skier collided, everyone assumed the duck was well, a dead duck.

Much to everyone’s surprise, it waddled up on shore with a crooked neck. That legend lives on at The Crooked Duck.

Parting Words

“For 22 years, I commuted to the Café 50 Diner in West L.A.,” Rooney said. “Now I’m honored to be part of the breakfast scene in Long Beach, which includes places like Schooner or Later, the Potholder, the Coffee Cup and Starling Diner.”

Important To Know

The Crooked Duck has beer and wine, and wine-based cocktails like mimosas and Bloody Marys.

There’s a kids’ menu with items ranging from $5 to $6.75.

The Crooked Duck opens at 8 a.m. seven days a week, closing at 3 p.m. on Mondays and serving dinner into the evening the rest of the week. Brunch is served until 3 on weekends.

The address is 5096 E. PCH. The phone is (562) 494-5118 and the website is www.thecrooked

duck.com. There’s a small parking lot.

Kurt comes to the Gazettes with 30 years experience in broadcasting and journalism. He has produced and/or directed hundreds of television programs, including news, sports, entertainment, election coverage, town meetings and telethons.

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