Dottie's True Blue Café, San Francisco
522 Jones St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(+1) (415) 885-2767
by Emma Ricano
I'm having difficulty tapping into my voice, said Yvette. What say you pay me a visit stateside and we'll go for another life changing breakfast? Yvette had been so inspired by our last meal together (see Cafe Boheme) that she'd packed in her marketing job to compete with Angelina Jolie on the American west coast audition circuit. It was quite a hike for a Saturday morning meet up but Yvette sounded less stable than the pound and I needed to get out of the house.
Head thick with jet lag, I struggled not to roll down the steep hill where Dottie's True Blue Café was located in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. Yvette exercised her range of flirtatious facial expressions to jump the queue and almost fainted when she came face to face with the Hollywood High Priestesses who had inspired them. Inside, every inch of wall and table surface was covered in images of Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Lana Turner circa 1950. This decade permeated everything from the vintage coffee machines to the waiters and waitresses who batted between open grill and table with the relaxed air of a less economically depressed age.
As Yvette paid homage by plastering her hair into a 1950s wave my jaws dripped at the stacks of banana loaves and fresh corn bread being whipped out of the oven by someone who looked liked the Fonz. My eyes popped at a glass case of honey oat scones, muffins and strawberry crumble cake and when I caught sight of the specials board promising such delights as fennel sausage, spinach and feta frittata, well, I damn near broke out into song. As so often happens in America, I was overwhelmed with choice and the accompanying anxiety that comes with missing out so I ordered "The Open Road", the biggest combination my jet lagged stomach could handle. I took a slug from my unlimited coffee mug and beheld a plate of Breakfast Nirvana: Eggs (sunny side up), bacon (crispy yet not dry), fried potatoes (some scallions, hold the ketchup) and two huge (massive, man-sized) cinnamon pancakes with maple syrup (gallons of). As I shoveled mouthfuls of egg, pancake, bacon and syrup my spirits lifted and my energy soared beyond all time zones. High on caffeine and America, I shed tears of joy. As I hoovered my plate clean I caught Yvette's astonished expression. Well, she said, I had no idea you were so adept at accessing your emotions. You'd be a hit on the audition circuit, in fact you should come and join me. If it means that I can breakfast like this everyday then I might just give it some thought. It could be a case of Emma Ricano by name, Emma Ricano by nature.