Before we took a tour of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, we just had to stop for breakfast. It was just after 9 and we’d been up for five hours.
(Click on the image for a larger version)
Right opposite the yellow legs in fishnets and red high heels, sticking out of an upstairs window, is the Pork Street Cafe. It’s small with just half a dozen tables and 14 stools at the L-shaped counter. Every table was occupied so we grabbed two stools at the counter.
It’s a busy and bustling place. The noise level was high but it’s a happy chatter. There was no oatmeal on the menu, gosh darn, so I chose the granola with mixed fruit and yogurt . Granola, for my English friends and especially Sue in Taunton, is a bit like a cluster of mueseli but darker in color and sweeter. Tom ordered the chorizo special. We could hardly hear our server. We thought she was asking Tom whether he wanted ‘soap’ or biscuits. After she repeated herself a couple of times, we realized she was saying ‘toast’.
From our vantage point at the counter, we had a good view of all the work going on behind it. Our server got a bowl; removed fresh strawberries and blueberries out of the fridge; chopped a banana; added yogurt and, finally, a sprinkling of granola on top. Voila, my breakfast was ready. The short order cooks were busy cooking hash browns and eggs on the grill. With three servers and two cooks, there was not much room behind the counter but they co-ordinated perfectly.
On one wall there were 14 posters for the Haight Ashbury annual street fair. The event has been held since 1978 but the earliest one on display was dated 1979. The only other decoration in the place was a large and, I’m guessing , ceramic pig on top of the stainless steel hood over the grill. It’s obviously been up there some time because it looked a bit grubby and greasy.
Overlooking the cafe is a balcony or minstrel’s gallery with a bright pink
balustrade. At the back of the gallery were two doors and I thought they might be offices but I found out later what they were.
My breakfast was good. You can’t do much to ruin granola and yogurt after all. The fruit was fresh so that was a bonus. Tom enjoyed his chorizo special, one of the best for some time.
My trip to the restroom was an adventure. They are up a rickety, paint splattered staircase. I walked through an archway to the left and there I was on the balcony, looking down onto the customers eating breakfast and with a birds eye view of the hard work going on behind the counter. There was only one restroom and it was pretty unspectacular. I’ve been in many worse but loads that were far superior. The one thing which caught my attention and made me giggle was the soap – or should I say the soap dispenser. It was in a huge plastic container and the liquid inside was bright pink (to match the balustrade outside I guess). The label on the side indicated it could be used for dishes and hands!
The Pork Stree Cafe is certainly worth a visit if you are in the Haight Ashbury area for both its food and novelty value.
February 01 2009 09:41 am | Breakfast Log