Not too long ago, a shy 'hound asked me whether I ever ate at "regular places". Perhaps the American neoclassical Canteen fits the bill, except that the high quality of my meal makes this sliver of a restaurant a stand out and far from regular. It was fun to sit at the counter where I could watch the faces of my neighbors and also hear the comments from the tables behind me from tourists staying in the hotel. They were surprised and delighted to start the day with such an unexpectedly delicious meal.
From the description of the Chupacabra breakfast on the menu, I was expecting the chorizo to be scrambled with the eggs. Instead the bits of housemade spicy sausage studded and flavored the base of soupy black beans. The soft and luscious eggs cooked with plenty of butter floated on a raft of sauteed red and yellow sweet peppers that were somewhat underseasoned. A fresh, cold salsa of avocado, cucumber, cilantro, and floral Mexican limes added a crowning flavor punch against the earthiness of the beans.
To drink, I tried the Mexican hot chocolate, after spotting the box of Ibarra on the shelf. It was made with steamed milk and served in a big cafe au lait mug.
My waitress said that it's now possible to reserve a booth at lunch or dinner time. The counter seats remain open for walk-ins.
817 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
Breakfast: Monday - Saturday, 7am - 11am
Sunday Brunch: 8am - 3pm
Lunch: Wednesday - Saturday, 11am - 2pm
Dinner: Wednesday - Saturday, 6pm - 10pm