Doodle counterpart? Not quite, but how about some ramen with your eggs?

Ikes inside

One of my favorite breakfast spots/greasy spoons ever has to still be New Haven’s late Yankee Doodle (a Yale landmark, which the University sadly couldn’t save). Whenever I move to a new city (or sometimes even when I visit one), a part of me is still looking for its counterpart. When I arrived at Art’s in the heart of San Francisco’s Sunset district, I thought I could have at long last found it.

From first glance, Art’s had the right level of greasiness, a single row of counter-top seats, a large-open griddle, and it came at the recommendation of a fellow Elm City transplant and former Doodle lover.

Unfortunately, Art’s didn’t quite live up to my Doodle-esque expectations, but I did have an enjoyable (and maybe more importantly) reasonably priced breakfast. After the fact, my friend told me that I should have ordered something called a “hash-brown sandwich,” which I’m pretty certain I saw someone nearby eating, but didn’t know what I was looking at the time.

Ikes food

I did get some of the interestingly shaped “potato-stix” type hashbrowns, the same patty that I now know is often used to make a delicious sounding sandwich. However, the corned beef hash I ordered left a little something to be desired (it consisted more of potatoes than much actual corned beef.)

For a quick, cheap breakfast, Art’s was perfect and held me over for my exploration of Dolore’s Park when I headed to the Mission after filling up.

On an interesting (and somewhat funny side-note, at least to me). Art’s is owned and operated by a Korean family, who serve not only traditional breakfast fare Ramen 2 (eggs and bacon etc.), but also Ramen. I never would have know this, had I not noticed the Asian gentleman seated next to me get served a steaming hot bowl of noodle-filled soup with his coffee. I don’t know whether this would be my idea of the ideal meal at 11am on a weekday, but hey, I probably shouldn’t knock it until I’ve tried it.

Birthday Brunching at Q

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On my second breakfast trip to Clement Street, my crew passed by Q Brunch, deciding that it was a little much for what they were looking for at the time (really just bagels and coffee). However, I looked over the menu and decided it was worth a visit.

Luckily on Sunday, my breakfast companion, who was in town to celebrate her birthday (a celebration she recounted as one of her best ever) was down to try it. Unlike some other birthday brunchers, who were downing Mimosa’s and Bloody Mary’s at 10am, we were past celebrating and onto recovering by that point.

After my less than stellar hash at Art’s, I was hesitant to try it at Q, but I wanted to give hash on the West Coast a second chance. I’m certainly glad that I did. Image

Rather than the hash that tasted more like extra salty and crispy potato strings the last time, what I was served instead contained a plentiful helping of large chunks of well-cooked corned beef. Also, the poached eggs were perfectly cooked (actually the first time my breakfast date had ever actually had poached eggs).

As usual, the breakfast potatoes weren’t really distinguishable from the hash; however, they mixed in nicely enough. Even though the hash wasn’t as crispy as I’ve come to enjoy, the meat was great and the potatoes were what I’ve gotten used to. Overall, I’d definitely give Q Brunch another go around. Image

“Rosebud…”

After trekking to Davis Square for the second freezing morning in a row for an early physical therapy appointment, I decided to treat myself to some breakfast. I knew of a few good spots around Somerville, but none of them in the heart of Davis. Fortunately, smart phones and Yelp exist. After quickly scanning several independent online sources for “best diner,” and “best breakfast” in the immediate area, I concluded that the Rosebud Diner was the way to go.

 As soon as I came around the corner, I liked what I saw- your classic, lunch-car look.

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The atmosphere and feel inside matched perfectly. The small establishment was complete with a long counter-top, several cozy booths, an old fashioned mechanical cash-register, and interestingly a fully stocked bar. This feature piqued my curiosity about what the late-night scene, fueled by booze and perhaps music would look like.

 With my choice of seats, I situated myself at the counter along with a few other mid-morning patrons. The friendly (and elderly) waitress promptly brought over a tall glass of ice water and a weak coffee (but it was certainly warm and that was all that mattered to me given the outside temperature).

 In the quick online search I had done, the only menu item I saw highly touted was the corned beef hash- so my decision was simple. I go through phases of really enjoying hash; however, I had taken a hiatus after being served one of the largest football-sized orders I had ever seen at the 4th Street Deli in Philadelphia.

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I literally felt like I had eaten as much as I could possibly devour, and my boss still took the rest home to feed her dog for the next week.

 With my hash, I got poached eggs, as I try to order things that I can’t or don’t typically make for myself at home (even though I do own an egg poacher, which is hidden somewhere in my kitchen closet).

 The hash came with the typical side fare- toast (which I almost never eat), and homefries (one of the staples to any breakfast I eat, and high on my list for a repeat visit).

 The home fries were good. They certainly weren’t the best I’ve ever had, but they were well seasoned and decently crisp. The hash also wasn’t my favorite, but it had a good balance of salty and sweet and I’d certainly order it again.

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Despite the mostly empty scene I came across today, I gathered that one would find a very different one on a weekend morning, or perhaps even earlier on a weekday. Shortly after I got my food, a group of four girls (likely from Tufts) came in and hovered near the doorway waiting to be told where to sit, presumably because this was the routine they had come to expect on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

“Girls, grab any booth you’d like. We sit wherever we’d like to during the week.” The sole waitress politely shouted from the other end of counter, while tending to someone else.

The old fashioned experience was nicely rounded out when the waitress attempted to swipe a credit card unsuccessfully several times before she gave in and profusely apologized for having to send it’s owner back out into the cold to find an ATM. Luckily I happened to have some cash on me (an increasingly rare occurrence these days.) Interestingly, she didn’t seem too apologetic when she warned the young woman, “cash only today ladies.”

 All in all, some might argue in favor of the more “gourmet” breakfast food that you may find at the likes of my recently visited City Girl Café or the South End’s Masa; however, for me, when it comes to breakfast, I want a diner and the Rosebud certainly ranks up there.