It's hard to wait.
Waiting for something huge and life-changing is harder than anything, because you don't know when it's going to happen. The love of your life, the perfect pair of boots that finally fit, getting a contract for your first book — these are dreams that might not come true. You spend your life trying to be patient, hoping they will arrive and not be a disappointment. That's a hard wait.
Waiting in line at the bank to ask about an error not in your favor, or on hold with the airlines and forced to listen to horrible tinkly music that sounds like “doo doo doo” instead of “The Girl from Ipanema,” or stuck in traffic because the football game let out and the freeway is jammed and you don't even understand that game? That just stinks.
But waiting in line for breakfast, when you can smell the sausage wafting over the heads of the 25 people in front of you? Man, that's brutal.
Especially when it's 8 am, in the Tenderloin district in San Francisco — not the most salubrious neighborhood in town — and you haven't eaten anything yet. And you peer inside, around the shoulders of people on their cell phones or guys talking about the upcoming Folsom Street Fair, and you see people already enjoying their breakfasts, hunched over their plates, eating bacon. Clearly, they are having a good meal.
(And wait! That table's empty! Somebody clean it off so we can get in!)
And the coffee. I smell coffee. Look at that espresso machine, ready for action. Four pots of coffee, dark and inviting.
Oh please, people at Dottie's True Blue Café. Won't you let us in?
The wait was worth it. (And it took far less time than the annoying bank line, in the end.) We ordered quickly — we had been studying the specials board, because someone told us to order whatever the specials of the day are — so we knew. We knew what we wanted.
So did our daughter, when my scramble arrived. That's her hand, reaching. The kid knows what she wants.
Who would not reach for this? It's a giant scramble with mushrooms and spinach, with…..get this…….
smoked whiskey fennel sausage.
Oh good god.
I found myself picking out the pieces of sausage so I could taste it by itself. Subtle, smokey, slightly sweet. This was sausage I wanted to eat every day.
In fact, my only complaint about my breakfast is that I wish the sausage had come in one big piece, on top of the scramble, like this.
(That's the owner and chef of Dottie's True Blue Cafe, who seems to cook every single meal himself. And you should have seen the egg delivery that rolled in while we sat there. Crate upon crate of fresh eggs. I don't even know how much pork they go through in this place!)
That's Danny's plate, a scramble with prosciutto, which he let our daughter and me eat too. (I couldn't share those thick slices of corbread toast with him, but he insists they are some of the best toast he has ever eaten.)
Prosciutto and eggs? What could be better?
(Well, perhaps the prosciutto ice cream we ate later that day. But that's for another time….)
After we ate here, we told friends in San Francisco about our breakfast. “Oh, that's one of the best places in the city.” We were so happy we stumbled on it.
But you? You should go here, deliberately, for the smoked whiskey fennel sausage alone.
Believe me, the wait is worth it.
Dottie's True Blue Café
522 Jones St
San Francisco, CA 94102