Has Joanne's (for breakfast) declined?
I posted the below note a week ago on the California Board but didn't get any responses. I'm reposting it here, since South SF is frequented by SF people a lot.
Until about two years ago, I've been going for breakfast to Joanne's in South San Francisco once in a while and it was always good. I recently went back and was disappointed.
It's still as popular as ever. And noisy as ever. But the prices have climbed to very-high levels for pretty standard breakfast plates. The food's still OK, but nine bucks for three eggs, home fries, salsa and a toast/bagel/muffin? On top of that, their coffee (which used to be quite good there) is now weak and as bad as the coffee shop chains on the freeway.
I ate there last week while waiting for my car to be serviced. It was the worst $10 I have ever spent on breakfast which is a meal I think is hard to screw up. I ordered a grapefruit juice and their canadian bacon and egg sandwich on grilled sourdough. I was told the grapefruit juice was ruby red and asked if that was OK. It was until it came to the table. It looked like Minute Maid pink lemonade and was so sugary it almost tasted like it too. If it's not fresh squeezed, that's OK ( although they were selling it at fresh squeezed prices) but at least go with the Ocean Spray. They had poured it out of a bottle from Treetop I noticed as I was walking out. Bad juice is a very poor beginning.
The sandwich was not that much better. The Canadian bacon was tough and leathery. I had assumed the eggs would be scrambled but they were fried. That was all right as well but the eggs were greasy and tasted off, like old grease. The grilled sourdough was floppy as a pancake and also had this old grease taste to it. The home fries were red potatoes cut into quarters and tossed around in yet more grease.
It was a thoroughly disgusting breakfast and at $10 +tip, a complete rip-off. Again, I think breakfast is one of the easiest meals to cook so when it's done poorly, it's exceptionally poor to me. If Joanne's had been a good place at one time, either they need to get new line cooks who know what they are doing or stop being so greedy and taking short cuts.
I've been going to Joannes off and on for years. I do believe after Joanne sold the place to the cooks that the attitude took a steep decline. The wait staff are rude, inattentive, and impatient. I don't like going there for breakfast because it's too expensive for what you get, unless you're ordering special pancakes which they usually do pretty well. My husband agrees their coffee is horrible.
I still enjoy the food they serve for lunch, but be prepared for a noisy, crowded experience. They recently opened for dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the dishes are all prepared carefully and are very fresh. I especially recommend their beef short ribs. Tender and flavorful, falling off the bone, served with tasty mashed potatoes and an asian cole slaw. No one is ever there at dinner time, a nice quiet time to enjoy their food.
And lastly, their breakfast potatoes never excited me either, always crunchy and flavorless!