Moulin Rouge Restaurant
We were walking to the Asian Art Museum when our stomachs told us that we needed to eat breakfast. We spotted Moulin Rouge near the corner of Geary and Larkin, which was advertising a host of breakfast options on a chalkboard outside the restaurant. Because we were pretty hungry, and it didn’t look like there were a lot of options nearby, we went in.
The restaurant proudly advertises itself as “open since 1978.” It’s not hard to guess that it’s been open that long, because the restaurant’s décor doesn’t look like it’s been updated since it opened. If you can visualize a medieval theme with various Toulouse-Lautrec posters on the walls, then you know what the Moulin Rouge’s interior looks like. The small tables and the overall cramped feel to the dining areas also detracted from the ambience.
While the décor and the ambience left the impression that the food would be subpar, the food actually turned out to be decent. We had the two pancake plate ($3.99) and the eggs and sausage plate ($5.50). Both dishes were not memorable, but they were well prepared and tasty.
What was memorable was the service. The entire restaurant is run by one family: a mother, a father, and a son. All three are some of the friendliest people we’d ever met. They came by our table several times to make sure that everything was okay. They even made special accommodations for the two-year-old that was in our party (not an easy thing to do, given the size of the restaurant). The great service went a long way to offsetting the restaurant’s other limitations.
Would we go back to the Moulin Rouge for breakfast? Well, we wouldn’t make a special trip to the place. But, if we were ever in the neighborhood, we’d have no problem stopping in for breakfast once again.
Your description of this place is spot on. My daughter and I were in San Francisco the past four days, and, on Tuesday, we had headed out to Dottie's, only to find it closed. We were headed west, so we just walked, knowing we'd find something along the way. It was raining lightly, and something about this little place called our name. Ambiance, no, but we were warmly greeted by an older gentleman and shown a table. He must have read our minds because he came back quickly with two cups and a coffee pot. Oh, heaven! Now, I know breakfast isn't difficult to whip up, but I'm pretty fussy about my bacon and eggs. Burn my toast, forget my jam, but I want my eggs over easy, whites set, yolks runny, and my bacon crispy without being burned. All I specified was "over easy with crispy bacon", and by golly, the lady doing the cooking (I assume it was his wife) got it right. And my toast wasn't burned. And I got jam! Service was wonderful (coffee refills were plentiful), and, while paying, I struck up a conversation with the lady. I told her she was one of the few who seemed to know how to make bacon and eggs, and she replied she's been doing the cooking in this location for 31 years. My daughter and I were full, warm, and happy (and caffeinated), and, when we got outside, she said, "this place was like a beacon on an otherwise dismal morning." And the day just got better after that.
Thanks phee for your other report which pointed me to this one and Moulin Rouge. This sounds like the type of place we enjoy for brekky wherever we are -- will definitely check it out next trip. I saw on another thread that they had good shreddy hash browns in 2004, a bit of a holy grail for me -- can anyone comment on the state of spuds at MR circa 2009?