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Oct 12, 2006 08:15 PM

Mission Cafe--East Village/Downtown = AVOID

I am a real big fan of the food at Mission Cafe, which has a 4-5 locations--including one in the East Village area of Downtown. This particular location has been open for more than a year and a half, and I have avoided it for the past 4 or 5 months given the awful level of service that I have received here in the past but not encountered at their other locations. I wasn't that hungry today and decided to head over at lunch time to order their basic scrambled eggs, potato and toast breakfast. I will admit I am picky and have a Type A personality, but how the hell should it take 30 minutes for me to receive from the time I ordered scrambled eggs in an establishment that specializes in breakfast and is still serving breakfast?....what further infuriated me was (1) a customer who arrived at least 10 minutes after me ordered the same dish and received his plate before I received mine and (2) I brought this to the attention of my challenged waitress who replied, "it's not my fault"--sorry, dear, but they train employees at Jack in the Box to come up with better responses than you did.....again, this was a experience midweek--not the weekends--and the restaurant was between 1/2 and 3/4 full.

Bottom line, service is important to me (I realize this is not a fine dining experience, but I still expect better) and there are far too many options in downtown and/or far better managed Mission Cafes in other areas of San Diego than the one in East Village.

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  1. I completely agree with your assessment of the Mission downtown. We waited 15 mins. and then I asked the manager if we could sit in one of the several open booths. He said we had to wait because the kitchen was backed up. Is that a typical issue? Not being able to sit down because the kitchen is backed up. He acted like we were doing him a favor when we said we were going somewhere else.

    I kinda get the feeling the service doesn't really matter to them because breakfast is in such high demand on weekends in San Diego.

    I hope you have a better experience than we did.

    1. I've gotta disagree with both Stonedes and El Chevere. I've eaten at all the Missions, and particularly the East Village one last Tuesday. I've never had a bad experience (w/r/t either service or food quality), other than a long wait, which I believe goes with the territory. I consider the Mission restaurants more of a casual type of establishment. By that I mean that they are using superior ingredients and making a lot of stuff from scratch, so the food may take longer to arrive. When I go there, I make sure I'm not in a hurry, or I sit at the counter. If you're looking for a quicker breakfast spot, I'd recommend Marie's Cafe at University and 30th. The food is of lesser quality, but there's never a wait and it's still pretty good.

      As far as not being able to be seated, even though there are tables available, this is a "typical issue". When a lot of people show up at a restaurant at the same time, sometimes it's necessary to meter out the traffic so that the kitchen doesn't get overwhelmed. There is, after all, only a finite amount of grill space. So, seating everyone and having there orders flood the kitchen only compounds the problem. I wasn't there, but in that situation it sounds like you were actually "doing him (the manager) a favor by going somewhere else". But remember, he was doing you a favor, too, by basically being honest and saying, "Yes, I could seat you right away, but then your food would take a very long time to come out, so you might want to go somewhere else and give us a try another day". Myself, I would appreciate the candor.

      1. Hmm.

        I will have to respectfully disagree. I would hardly call any of the Missions a spot that uses superior ingredients. Actually, I've found their quality has been spiraling down for the last year or so, and the North Park location is downright shabby and unclean.

        My last three (yes, shame on ME) breakfasts have featured scrambled eggs that are similar to boiled and chilled yellow leather.

        Once a favorite, now I avoid it like the plague.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Fake Name

          I had breakfast at the Mission in North Park a couple of weeks ago. While the food was still pretty good - definitely no yellow leather eggs - the condition of the restaurant itself wasn't too good. Shabby, unclean and run-down pretty well describes it. That location could certianly use a little investment in the infrastructure. Interestingly enough, there was NO wait for a table..........