Sometimes, in this crazy busy world, one wants to return to a slower time. Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook indulged in just such a moment by returning to a place she had been years ago, on her very first business trip, Sears Fine Food in San Francisco. Mind you, as a left-handed red-head, the good old days have limited appeal for me. If I look too far back in time, the good old days are more like “burn her at the stake as a witch.”
But I digress. In the middle of a modern day business trip, I simply wanted a nice cup of coffee and a quick trip down memory lane. Sears was unchanged since my last visit, and seemingly unchanged in 50 years. As for the food, I’m sure San Francisco natives could easily name a dozen places that go local, modern, better, but on a drizzly morning at the beginning of the second part of a long trip, this was perfection in pancakes.
Sears is known for their small, Swedish pancakes. I ordered the “one of everything” type breakfast, which included eggs and a very respectable corned beef hash. (I miss NYC a whole lot in that regard: if you have recommendation for good corned beef hash, send ’em along. I’m listening.)
For those of you who have ever worked a large-scale trade show, you’ll appreciate that this is a “smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em” type situation. Yes, I ate all of that, slowly, sitting at the counter, only tipping my hand to modernity by Tweeting and photographing while I was doing it. Then I headed back into the crush of the Moscone Center, more able to face down the day’s work.
There is a reason people used to eat like that, to fortify themselves on occasion before pulling a long shift. And the joy of coffee in a proper cup instead of the faux Italian sizes we’ve all grown accustomed to cannot be overstated. Thank you Sears, it was Fine Food.
Are you a fan of retro diners, places unchanged by time? Share your story in the comments section below!
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Coming up tomorrow, it’s Tasting Tuesday: Bonnaroo Buzz by Request!