Thanks all. After talking it over, decided on Bette's. As I worked all night, getting there early enough not to have to wait was not a problem. As always, it was excellent. The poached eggs were perfect, the potatoes tasty, the scrambled eggs delicious, the chicken apple sausages hot, the blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup really yummy. The coffee kept coming the service was excellent. Can't go wrong with breakfast there. Fishsticks just don't excite me in the same way...
Went to the Log Cabin once, and I thought it was just okay. Nothing to write home about in terms of food or atmosphere in my opinion. Another place that hasn't been mentioned is Chester's, which is hidden away in a little complex above Shattuck by Vine (around the corner from Peet's). They have an upstairs patio, and a large selection of egg dishes, if you're in the mood.
Not Berk/Albany but Oakland Grill is pretty good. Near Jack London Sq. off Broadway. Very good breakfasts and nice enough staff. It's not "diner stylized" as Bette's and doesn't serve the east coast specialities, but I've never had a bad meal there. A slight Cali-hippie bend to it in style: clean, wood, casual (it would fit in perfectly in Santa Cruz), but the food is straightfoward.
We tried to go to Sam's once and had the cash issue. We love Sunnyside and Meal Ticket for breakfast. Going to Bette's can be nice if you go early enough to avoid the wait. Don't like Fat Apples at all. Have never understood why people stand in line for that place. Also not wild about Jimmy Beans.
I so agree about FatApples. I live a short walk away and would LOVE to love it but the food is so uninspired (except perhaps for the Dutch babies but they wouldn't satisfy me for breakfast). The potatoes at breakfast are a real disappointment and all of dinner pretty much is. I had an inedible vegetarian lasagna--totally tasteless and the meatloaf was like from a bad diner circa 1955, liverish and underseasoned. The only place in the area I hate worse is Walker's pies. A friend and I had an inedible meal there. We paid and left it on the table.
On my personal list ... 13 out of 20.
It was fine. I wasn't wowed by the fish sticks.
Everything on my list thru McDonald's I would not hesitate to recommend or go back to.
Giving a little thought to the local joints (in the area you defined ... Hidden City lies outside of those parameters ... this is my own rating. I didn't count places with limited breakfast only like just poached eggs... for example, Cafe Fanny or Gorilla.
McDonald's does have one full breakfast and it is just in there for reference on how much I really dislike Jimmy Bean's. Solano Grill I don't have the same loathing for, but it was only ok and unlikely that I'd go back.
Not sure if this helps you ... I like FatApples ... especially the Dutch Baby pancakes.
Putting a list together like this ... brrr ... it's sort of cold-hearted. I like alot of these places ... just some more than others.
1. Bette’s Oceanview Diner
But I always just order the soufflé pancake so there you go
2. Sunny Side Café
3. Kensington Bistro
4. 900 Grayson
6. Montero’s Café
7. Sconehenge Bakery & Café
9. Inn Kensington
11, Gilman Grill
12. Berkeley - Tomate Café
13. Sam's Log Cabin
14. Royal Café & Bakery
16, Meal Ticekt
Can’t find the post. Just didn’t like it all that much
18, Solano Grill
19, Jimmy Bean’s