Don't know where the Soul Food part of the cafe's name came from. When I walked into this spot on the corner of Fulton and Divisidero I suppose I imagined I'd hear Carla Thomas wailing away on the radio, and see a stand-in for Aretha Franklin at the grill cookin' a mess of grits and greens and hog maws while a George Jefferson lookalike cannily played the cash register like a piano in a St. Louis speakeasy.
But the folks at Eddie's Soul Food Cafe are of Asian heritage. Perhaps it's Asian soul food they offer, (Seoul food?) or more likely, it's just an old sign on the window from an earlier era of sixties cultural and ethnic pride.
Whatever its ethnicity, I ordered ham and eggs and potatoes and rye toast and coffee. Cindy got a glass of water and a short stack of pancakes. Allie just ordered a cup of coffee. We weren't really in a mood for a lot of happy chit chat that morning, as my wife and I were leaving San Francisco in just a few minutes, and this would be our last opportunity to see and hear and hold our dear eldest daughter, at least for a while.
We tried to keep it light, but you know how that goes. it was just pretty quiet.
My eggs were fine and the service was super speedy and the meal was inexpensive. I only wish we had discovered Eddie's five days previously. Cindy's pancakes were light and fluffy, yet she did not feel like finishing them.
I took a few snaps inside the restaurant as the seconds ticked by, heralding our moment of parting. Eddie's has a nice little collection of hand drawn celebrity portraits, perhaps done by the local clientele (Joan Crawford was a standout, though I doubt she ever dined here, under any circumstance, in any incarnation, in any phase of her life, ever).
One minor annoyance occurred at this point, so I will need to vent for a moment here (and I hope you read this, young man).
I was attempting to focus on the portraits, which were across the room, high on a far wall, and to do so without a flash, so as not to disturb the other customers. As I lifted the camera to look through the camera's viewfinder, in my peripheral vision I noticed a couple of young men in the booth to my left (out of frame). One of these chaps was trying to be clever insomuch as he kept pretending to scratch the side of his head closest to me, repeatedly, with an extended middle finger while innocently perusing the menu, like the Monk's waitress in "Seinfeld" did to the George Costanza character so famously. The finger was meant for me. I guessed in his tiny little mind he thought I was trying to take a surreptitious photo of a real, live, San Francisco male couple, or whatever. And by golly would I ever get a shock when I finally saw the photos when I got back home to Eggstain, Ohio! So I set him straight by telling him I was trying to get a shot of Joan Crawford, not him, and to please get over himself.
Allie was incensed by this guy and shot him a few eye daggers. As for me, on the way out, I paused by his table, leaned over (did he actually flinch?) and whispered in his ear..."That was very rude".
I'd give Eddie's Five out of Five for food and Service. But lose a star for customer behavior affecting family parting moment.
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