It’s listed everywhere as Eddie’s Café, but I’ve always known it as Eddie’s Soul Food Café. I would definitely classify this as soul food, even with the gentrifying yuppies taking up all the booths.

Located at 800 Divisadero at Folsom in San Francisco, I spent almost every Sunday morning in this little breakfast place during my formative years. My family used to live in an apartment in the Western Addition. One morning, my dad, walking the dog and in search of an early morning grease fix, stumbled upon a corner diner with a menu taped to the window. “Bacon and Eggs,” he read. “Sausage Patty.” “Pork Chop with Hash Browns.” Quivering with delight, he rushed home and joyfully dragged my mother and I to the place where he had seen such wonderful things. “Tell me I’m not dreaming,” he cried, mouth watering and hands trembling. Thus, a family tradition was born.

My father was not, in fact, dreaming. Eddie’s serves yummy, home-cooked food at reasonable prices. (Look at me! I’m a Lyon’s commercial!) The breakfast platters are greasy, just like God meant for them to be. The eggs are always perfect and I’m quite fond of their hash browns. But forget the side dishes – we all know they’re just there to mop up the luscious juices flowing from the meat. And when I go into a diner (or any building, actually – I am the Anti-Vegetarian), I expect my meat to be juicy, flavorful, and abundant.

Eddie’s does not disappoint. I used to always get the sausage, either in link or patty form, and I can definitely vouch for the integrity of sausagekind at Eddie’s. Recently, however, I wanted to pretend I was more grown up and decided to try my dad’s usual order. My order of pork chops came nestled in a bed of hash browns and scrambled eggs. Not only were the chops absolutely divine, they were so succulent that they spread their spicy goodness to the rest of the platter. After cleaning my plate in about 10 seconds flat, I sipped my fresh-squeezed orange juice and sat back and concentrated on resisting the urge to unbutton my pants. Damn straight it’s soul food.

The atmosphere has been contaminated a little by the aforementioned yuppies, but it’s still a delightful place to have breakfast. Every available surface is covered with stickers from this local band or the other, and Eddie’s may possibly have the bumpin’-est jukebox in existence. Coffee and tea is served in selections from an eclectic collection of souvenir and novelty mugs.

And the service! Oh, the service! If you are used to dining at your local Denny's or your parents’ kitchen table, you will be fried to a crisp in the friendly glow of the staff at Eddie’s. The diner is owned and run by a Vietnamese family that spoils you as if you were their only grandchild. How good is this service? How about this: When we came back for a visit five years after moving to another part of the city, the server not only greeted my dad by name but brought him coffee in his favorite mug and remembered his favorite dish! Hot damn we used to eat there a lot!

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