They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and nowhere is that more important than here in Babylon by the Bay. In fact, breakfast is so important that we often roll out of bed and, without even drawing a comb through our hair, put on whatever rumpled clothes we threw on the floor last night and head out in search of sustenance. Fortunately for the Muse and I, we have an abundance of great breakfast joints close at hand.
Golden Coffee — You know that diner that you always stumbled into after a long night of college drinking? A place so think with grease that you were afraid that the oven hoods might ignite at any moment? Well Golden Coffee is such a place. 14 stools, two cramped tables, and a short-order cook that serves up plates of eggs, hash, or pancakes with the speed of a Ferrari and the calm of a Zen Master. (The fact that he’s almost certainly named “Wong”…or something…no doubt helps with the latter.) Nothing fancy at Golden Coffee, just competent American breakfasts at prices that you haven’t seen in a decade or two–certainly not here in the second most expensive city in America.
Dottie’s True Blue — Dottie’s is unique. Dottie’s is an institution. Dottie’s is in a neighborhood that will make you cringe. Dottie’s, after 8:00 am, is so overrun with tourists you’ll wait an hour to get in, but don’t let that phase you. We locals don’t, and Dottie’s is definitely worth the wait. Ignore the menu. It’s irrelevant. The only thing you should pay attention to is the “specials” board at the back of the restaurant. And what specials! Omlettes filled with artichokes, trout, chard, and whatever else you can imagine; scrambles that will have your arteries hardening just by looking, and scones…and muffins…and breads, all fresh, all different, every day.
Frankly I love both Dottie’s and Golden Coffee but for different reasons. And consequently this Food Fight is a tie. If you’re in San Francisco’s ‘Tendernob’ (that’s halfway between Nob Hill and The Tenderloin) you owe your stomach a visit to Dottie’s and your wallet a whole bunch-o-visits to Golden Coffee.