Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Breakfast in Dogpatch

Dogpatch is far from the usual tourist haunts. In fact, most locals never visit this part of San Francisco. Nestled between Potrero Hill and the southern waterfront, Dogpatch long was home to businesses servicing the port and its workers. Today this is changing. The port has long been in decline. Reasonable rents (by San Francisco standards) and sunny skies are luring new residents into the area. Now, the new Third Street Muni Metro (T Line) makes it easier to travel between Dogpatch and downtown.

I'd read about the tasty breakfasts at the Just for You Cafe so decided to head their yesterday. I knew I'd like the place when I saw the sign in the window, "We reserve the right to pour coffee on your cell phone." The decor is minimalist -- just some San Francisco-themed posters covering the walls.

But the food is quite good. I enjoy a Hangtown Fry, and Just for You makes a tasty one. For those of you unfamiliar with this Northern California delicacy, a Hangtown Fry is eggs scrambled with oysters, bacon, and onion.

This concoction supposedly got its name during the Gold Rush. Prospectors who wanted to show off their new-found wealth would order delicacies at restaurants. Oysters were not too common in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and, thus, were quite pricey. What better way to tell the world that you had struck it rich than to order an omelet with oysters. Hangtown was one of the principal towns in the central Mother Lode. Miners would come into town to buy supplies, have some fun, and show off any earnings. If you've not heard of Hangtown, it's now known as Placerville. The genteel citizens changed the name of their home town many years ago as they thought that naming the town after the nearby gold (placers), rather than their penchant for hanging folks, would be better PR.

But back to the Just for You Cafe. Beignets are a specialty of the house. We didn't have one on our visit, but they looked tasty. The menu also includes Mexican-influenced breakfasts such as a huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos, many egg dishes, and an assortment of pancakes.

Just for You is also open for lunch, so you could eat here and then walk to see the Giants play in China Basin.

The cafe is located at 732 22nd Street, just east of Third Street. The Dogpatch Muni Metro stop is at 20th Street. Just for You is open from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 8:00 a.m. on weekends. We walked right in yesterday, but expect to wait on weekends.

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