Wednesday, March 15, 2006

M's Cafe

There's a place on 9th Avenue in San Francisco's Inner Sunset district that I dream of once in a while. These reveries are usually prompted by a crappy $12 yuppie "brunch special" in the East Village, or by my frequent visits to Cafe Reme (truly a good, solid greasy spoon, with lovely old ladies giving you affectionate smartassery; but the food's a little shitty & the prices are still a little high) in Washington Heights. Actually, hold on. Let's stick on Cafe Reme for a second. How does one pronounce Reme? Nobody seems to know. Ream? Remay? Remeh? The waitresses are befuddled as well. The original Monsignor Reme departed years ago, leaving neither oral history nor a pronunciation guide.

Anyway, M's Cafe is a small, unassuming place promising "Traditional American and Irish breakfasts," advertised by a wooden sign with a crudely painted hamburger. It is owned & operated by an extremely friendly Chinese couple, often with assistance from one of their kids. The thrift-store decor seems arbitrary (but may in fact constitute an elaborate symbology detailing plans for an underground postal system, or a dirty joke, or the human genome): a picture of Pope John Paul II, a photograph of a bowl of fruit, an architectural plan for a house. The plastic flowers have drops of glue on their petals to simulate dew.

And listen: for $3.55, you can get the "M's Special": Two eggs any style. Sausage, ham, or bacon. Home fries. And a cup of coffee. And a glass of orange juice. AND a stack of pancakes or french toast. For $2.75, you can get all of the above minus the home fries. And-- the astonishing thing-- it's all pretty good. If you are so inclined, get a burger: they're big and tasty, and the cheeseburgers are $2.