Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sears Fine Food

Sears Fine Food
Famous breakfast in San Francisco near Union Square

Sears is famous for little pancakes and long lines. It's located on Powell Street just north of Union Square, open for breakfast at 6:30 am. Their signature dish is 18 little Swedish pancakes with maple syrup--real maple syrup, not the fake kind, and you can buy it in little souvenir bottles if you want. Supposedly residents and tourists line up along the sidewalk to get in for breakfast.

We got there at 8:30 and walked right up to get seated. Of course, we had to try the signature pancakes. Our usual breakfast strategy is to split an egg dish and a pancake dish, so we went that route with a Joanie's Special Omelet (chicken apple sausage, green onions, cheddar cheese) to complement the tiny pancakes, along with a side of bacon.

The pancakes are tiny, real silver dollar pancakes. They're pretty good, yeah, and the omelet was also quite good, as were the hash browned potatoes. The only real disappointment was the bacon, which was a little chewy for our tastes. Everything else was great, and the little pancakes were not just yummy, but fun.

The history of the diner is great to experience, too, even though it's been renovated since 1938. The staff are always busy during breakfast but are quite friendly as they dodge between the small tables. It's a great place to people-watch, too, as the tables are all so close together that you almost can't help but do it. We enjoyed the father and young daughter at the adjacent table, the pictures on the walls, and the story of the diner on the menu.

By the time we left, at 9:30, the line was out the door even in the light rain. So the lesson is, show up early, enjoy your meal, and get going with the rest of your day. The flip side is that there are a bunch of places to have breakfast around Union Square, so it's hard to say that Sears is a place we'll go back to. But great food, quick service, picturesque diner, landmark was definitely worth doing once.

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