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Dissapointing Breakfast at the Mission

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I have my former German Host Brother in town for a couple a weeks and have been showing him around.

He really loves american pancakes, which for some reason he has been unable to recreate in Berlin. So being in SD late this morning and the last place I can remember eating pancakes that were pretty good (blackberrry bannana) was at the Mission in OB a couple years back.

I am not a big pancake person so I ordered smth described as "Plato Verde" - over easy eggs with black beans and a sweet corn tamal topped with a salsa verde.

My buddy got the aforementioned pancakes with scrambled and bacon.

The place was packed at 11am and I started to notice something that got on my nerves. Our waiter - some blonde tan guy who played the typical incomptent 'whoa' character kept on munching down behind the coffee counter in plain view of customers. Having worked as a waiter -I know that this is a big No-no. Not to mention he brushed aside the poor single bus guy -who I even remember from my last visit and always made sure our coffees were full and taken care of - to pick up the check and not even help one bit.

My plate came out as if it was sitting on display in the window all morning - not a trace of residual heat from any cooking anytime soon. The tamal was split and freshly nuked.
I usually dont send things back but come on -who wants to eat cold food on a chilly morning?

The pancakes were meh....pretty bready and heavy...not like I remember. Too much as well.

When my plate came back out - everthing was nice and hot, but the metallic taste of the likely retort salsa verde overwhelmed everything. Tamal- again nuked - one of the worst tamales I have had but edible I guess. The Black Beans with sour cream were the only saving grace.

Maybe I should try out the one in NP.

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  1. A possible problem why your German Host Brother can't recreate the American pancakes in Berlin is the difference between american and german backing powder. They contain different ratios of sodium bicarbonate (which generates CO2 to make the fluffy american pancakes). I think he has to play a little bit around with different ratios of backing soda and backing powder to get the same amount of CO2 in Germany.

    1. Oh, poop! That stinks. I can't say I've ever had an experience that bad at a Mission (regardless of location), though I've had some spotty service before.

      Personally, I skip the pancakes at the Mission. I agree that they're kind of heavy and chewy, not to mention the fact that they give you twice the amount that a linebacker should eat ...

      BUT ... OH ... the French Toast is gooey and cinnamony, and while the portion is also quite large, I'll stuff myself silly on that stuff any day, given the chance (and the metabolism of a 12-year-old). I also love the Mission Croissant - eggs, cream cheese, scallions, tomatoes on a pretty decent croissant (although I find it always seems to end up kind of soggy at the one in Mission Beach ... downtown and NP are better, for some reason)

      The coffee is also good: strong and rich but not burned or bitter.

      1. Take him to the Crest Cafe or Hob Nob for pancakes.

        1. The atmosphere of the East Village location is the best IMO, it's not as hectic as the others. The service is a lot more "casual" than many restaurant, although I have thankfully not had my server eating while I waited. The rosemary potatoes at any of the Missions are the griddle potates I have ever had. There had been a couple of time where I just stopped in to pick up some potatoes to go.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bythenumbers

            I agree about the Mission site in the East Village. We never have to wait, the waiters are great and the food arrives quickly and still hot. We refuse to go to the NP site anymore. It is kind of run down and WAY too busy.

          2. I've never been terribly impressed with The Mission. If pancakes were what you're after, Original Pancake House is still the best.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Josh

              I'm a fan of The Mission, at least in North Park! Their breakfast quesadilla with perfectly melted cheese and bits of crispy maple smoked bacon and fresh salsa is fabulous! I like their french toast as well, and they have some sort of apple sausage that's good. But the quessadilla (that comes with great black beans and sour cream) is so wonderful I have a hard time trying other things on the menu! Their service, is pretty uneven, but the coffee is Calabria and that's in their favor!

              1. re: Josh

                I have to wholeheartedly agree. The last few times I ate there, it was pathetic. Cold COLD food, and the place was filthy. Raggy old booths, tables and countertops that were dirty and greasy. And I'm typically not the fussy type. But this was flat-out awful.

                yuk.

                1. re: Josh

                  Agreed. The Mission in NP has terrible service and it only gets worse as they get busier. Their food isn't worth the wait or the attitude. OPH or Perry's is a much better breakfast place, with OPH winning for pancakes specifically.

                2. The North Park branch is still pretty good, but the space is in need of a MAJOR overhaul. The last time I was there - right before Xmas - the place was dirty and shabby.

                  The pancakes at Cantina Panaderia in PB are really good, so are the ones at The Original Pancake House on Kearny Mesa.

                  1. Well, we tried the one out in North Park - hoping this locale would be better. Dont order the "Blackberry - bannana" pancakes here either. I almost laughed at the one slice of banana and blackberry in the middle of the pancake.

                    Maybe the other food is good but save your money if pancakes youre after.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: kare_raisu

                      I've never been a fan of the Mission for breakfast. I'm curious to see how the revamped Mission Too in La Jolla turns out when they reopen.

                      Lately we've been enjoying Cafe on Park - the crowds have moved on, but the food is still good. Frankly, for pancakes, IHOP ain't bad. The one in the Ikea/Costco shopping center in Mission Valley even has a patio with a fountain. OPH is also good quality - but I always feel a little overwhelmed by that place, everything is so rich and sweet.

                      1. re: Alice Q

                        RE: OPH, it depends on what you get. Anything sweet they serve is going to be very, very sweet - that's generally been my experience. For me, their best stuff is lighter. The Swedish pancakes, for example, or the potato pancakes. Both of those are much lighter and less rich than the rest of the menu.

                        1. re: Josh

                          I def agree on the Swedish and Potatoe pancakes - these are the only things I order there. & maybe the 49ers.

                          1. re: kare_raisu

                            Thanks for the tip guys - I may have to give it another shot. I wish there was one in a more convenient location - that's actually something we could use out here in the E. County - an Original Pancake House.

                    2. i was a regular at the mission in north park for a couple years and hate to say that i've given up on it. the food comes out cold, service is spotty, some plates are terribly underseasoned, some lack key ingredients (less bananas & strawberries on the pancakes), and the overall quality of food just doesn't taste the same. it's sad because it really was a unique and tasty place.

                      1. I can't tell from your posting which location you went to, as there's no Mission in OB. The closest is on Mission Blvd. in Mission Beach. If so, yeah, it's the worst. Too much "surfer attitude" from the employees (and customers).

                        1. My husband and I usually split a short stack of Apple and Cinnamon pancakes at the Eggery in Pacific Beach. They have several other combinations there, too that will tickle your palate. Their eggs benedict are good (order the West Coast Benedict with Avocado and substitute canadian bacon for the turkey breast...yum!). The huevos rancheros are delicious there too.

                          1. We recently moved to Pacific Beach, and I've yet to have a bad meal at the Mission in Mission Beach. Can't get enough of the french toast. Sometimes the service is terse, but I prefer that to chatty any day.