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Restaurants & Bars 4

The Eagle Cafe - Pier 39

Stanley Stephan | Mar 24, 200303:51 PM

The Eagle Cafe - Pier 39

There IS a restaurant in San Francisco with a spectacular view, great food and reasonable prices. Going to the Eagle Café was like visiting an old friend who is as warm and down to earth as ever yet has matured gracefully.

The Eagle has kept it’s good coffee house food at reasonable prices while slightly updating the lunch menu with a few healthy dishes, there is a seafood salad with grilled salmon, crab and shrimp on greens. It is the highest priced item on the menu at $12.95.

The huge breakfasts are in the 6.95 to 7.95 range. They include impressive buttermilk pancakes, blueberry pancakes and jumbo French toast.

There were excellent looking fresh fruit cups, one was half a papaya filled with honeydew, cat elope, grapes, pineapple and strawberries.

There’s the usual egg dishes with ham, bacon, sausage, home made corned beef hash (excellent) and polish sausage. Omelets include ham, home made chili and cheese, Denver, veggie, mushroom and the chef’s special which seems to have a little of everything.

There were eggs Benedict with a delicious looking home made hollandaise sauce.

I had the mixed grill which included sausage, bacon, eggs, corned beef hash, and hash brown potatoes. I really wanted the corned beef hash, but my current diet limit’s the carbs, so I thought I could sample a little of the hash and eat the protein items. Wow, the hash was a revelation. Mainly chopped great corned beef with just a hint of potato, I was able to eat it all. The flat square of hash was grilled with a beautiful golden crust the outside. The only negative was there was some unidentified seasoning in the corned beef that I don’t care for. I remember this from long ago. Breakfast has not changed at the Eagle.

It was a tribute to my will power that I only sampled the home fries. They were everything home fries should be. Not too crispy, but golden cubes of potato with grilled onions and green peppers. Perhaps a touch of paprika and just the right amount of grease. But as excellent as they were, I’ve lost 20 pounds and potatoes and bread are not on my diet. The seagulls in the Marina fought greedily over the potatoes and sourdough toast.

Lunch averages about 9 - 10 dollars topping out at 12.95 for the salmon.

The roast beef and excellent meatloaf with mash potatoes are still on the menu. There’s a grilled crab melt on sourdough and a crab salad sandwich.

The usual burgers including a patty melt. Burgers and sandwiches served with your choice of green salad, fries or cole slaw.

There’s a French dip beef and a delicious sounding grilled turkey with bacon and cheese on sourdough. There are plain turkey sandwiches and turkey clubs in addition to tuna, tuna melts, polish sausage and grilled chicken.

There’s also clam chowder and home made chili ($5.95). Other salads include green, cobb and ceaser.

Entrees (if you can call them that in this type of joint) include charbroiled salmon, grilled prawns, fish and chips, beer battered prawns. There’s a number of pastas. Angle hair pasta with grilled salmon or basil and tomatoes. Linguini with chicken breast and fresh herbs in a light cream sauce. Penne pasta with fresh vegetables in tomato cream.

The coffee is still the old time waterfront coffee with an edge. This is definitely the leaded stuff and you can fill up as many times as you like.

You place your order and pick it up yourself. No tip necessary.

There were some decadent looking desserts ala Max’s big desserts, but they were not Max’s. Chocolate cake, cheesecake, and a wicked six in high strawberry shortcake.

The view is of the best of the Bay. With a peak a boo view of the Golden Gate bridge. The ships of fisherman’s wharf, Sausalito, Mt Tam, Angel Island and Alcatraz. Seagulls circle round drifting along on the breezes. There are picnic benches outside where you can view the sea lions at the end of the pier and hear them barking. It’s fun eavesdropping on visitors from all over the world.

There’s also a full bar that I’m told serves generous drinks.

It was a picture perfect day. The sky was blue with a stray fluffy white cloud here and there. I later walked off breakfast at Crissy Field where the only thing that filled the sky was colorful kites. And for an hour, I forgot what a dangerous world we are now in. Life seemed normal. The only person in a uniform was a park ranger on a horse. Dogs frolicked in the surf. I will carefully fold up the memory of this morning and put it in my pocket to take out on they darker days that may like ahead.

The Eagle validates parking. I will be back on Friday for dinner and give and update. The relaxing escape from life’s uncertainties and the sheer beauty of the view at the Eagle were more than worth the ten bucks I spent for breakfast. I will not leave my heart in San Francisco, but do everything to keep it and me here. This is was the bay area is all about.



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