What's up with the Big Kitchen (San Diego)?
We had breakfast at the Big Kitchen yesterday ... first time in about 2 years. Food was ok but not as good as I remembered. But more important, the service was dreadful. Terrible. They weren't THAT busy, in fact by the time we left the rush was totally over. One breakfast arrived stone cold and another only barely warm. We had to ask for salsa. We had to ask twice for our toast, on order didn't arrive until after we were finished, in fact, after they had delivered the check! Our coffee was refilled frequently, but our water never was. Did we hit a bad day, or has this place gone downhill?
I think you must have gone there on a bad day. I have always had great food and service at the BK. Give it another try.
Many San Diegans love this place. It is most certainly a local tourist attraction. But everytime I talk to someone else about it, I get the feeling that they compliment it more for the fact that it was an excuse to take a side trip to visit South Park. Which is nice, it's good to drive out to other little neighborhoods.
I live just a few blocks away from it, so I don't get to have that "let's try something in a different neighborhood" perspective. I've been there more than my fair share. The owner Judy is a very nice host, which can't be stressed enough. She really is great. But overall the food is just not very good. The preparation, the presentation, etc. And yes, the coffee there is just flat awful. Really really bad. And I wish that I could say something nice about the service, but apart from Judy, there's not much to write home about. Believe me, I'm as liberal as they come, but even I don't always want to order breakfast from a tatted up waiter who doesn't look like he's showered that day. Junk chic is fine, but it's not for everyone. And then you look at the old mis-matched silverware and how oddly dirty that back patio is and you start worrying about the whole cleanliness issue. Not to mention the fact that the place STILL only takes cash, which will never stop being absurd.
But that's just my .02 cents. My faves for breakfast include Cafe 222 downtown, Influx in Golden Hill, and Honey's up in Encinitas. Zanzibar downtown gets honorable mention, but the service there is waaaaay too slow. Still a nice experience and the food is good though.
I love the Big Kitchen! My boyfriend and I actually go there every Saturday (Saturday is a way better day to go out for breakfast in San Diego, I think- not as busy!) for our eggs, potatoes and toast. It's become kind of a ritual...anyways. I can see how your experience would be upsetting. Every once and a while, Big Kitchen has an off day. They can be quite busy at times, although it sounds like your visit wasn't too busy. But also, they don't work to the same old tune. That's what I love about the Big Kitchen. You should give them another shot! But I'm obviously a bit biased. : )
Big Kitchen reminds me of Cheers. Sure there are better bars with better beer and better drinks but there is something comforting about going to the same place that hasn't changed in decades and yes, everyone knows your name. The food is fine, the service is fine, the prices are fine -- nothing earth shattering but never a letdown. Something to be said about the status quo -- especially those mornings when nursing a hangover. Besides, they have a frakin Opus the Penguin out front and, well, "Bloom County" rules!
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