Just for You Bakery and Café, San Francisco

by Stevie on August 24, 2010

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welcome to Just for You

The web site for this super fun diner and breakfast hot-spot calls itself “Just for You Café” though my friends and I always call it Mabel’s. If you look at the upper left corner of the awning over the entrance, you can see “Mabel’s” written as clear as day. I’ve a good friend named Mabel so whenever I think of this place, I get warm thoughts of her, too. Strange how their site doesn’t really explain the Mabel sign?

Really, though, what’s in a name? This place is amazing no matter what you call it. Just for You is on 22nd Street off 3rd in Dogpatch. Apparently they used to be on 18th in Potrero Hill but moved to this larger location after it rocketed off into the stratosphere. If you ask me, the new spot is also too small. Be prepared to wait a while especially if you come for breakfast on a weekend morning.

Just for You is a New Orleans inspired diner offering “regular” diner-ish food like eggs served whatever way, coffee, oatmeal and pancakes with some Louisiana treats like the house made beignets as well as some fun California style stuff like the tofu-n-veggie stir fry.

Cooper's watching you!!

The eclectic menu goes well with the almost over-the-top kitschy décor. The walls are covered with exciting movie, food and random posters; deep sea fishing trophies and tongue-in-cheek warning signs for customers to remain on good behavior. My personal favorite is “We reserve the right to pour coffee on your cell phone.” I wonder if anyone ever tested that particular policy?

I’ll say right here that we’ve only ever eaten at “Mabel’s” for breakfast/brunch. I imagine that lunch proper and dinner must be good, too.

We went a couple weeks ago with some friends from Reno. Karen and Veronica came to the City for the weekend with their darling son, Cooper. He’s only 2 ½ so Just for You was perfect. It’s playful and its always loud and stimulating atmosphere offered plenty of distractions while we waited for our plates of beignets and pancakes.

Just for You beignets

Just for You oatmeal pancakes

Just for You interior with view of the fast paced open kitchen and classic diner bar

Just for You classic buttermilk pancakes

Everything comes piping hot from the open kitchen behind the old time diner bar fronted by a row of metal revolving stools with vinyl cushioned seats. The boy is so well bred! He remembered his parents’ instructions about hot foods and thoughtfully blew on his beignets to cool them a bit before tasting. Too bad the folks hadn’t thought to give the don’t-blow-on-things-covered-in-powdered-sugar exception to the rule as part of his education. Eh, well, live and learn. We didn’t care since we were slathering gallons of maple syrup over our hotcakes anyway. What’s a little more sugar?

I got the oatmeal pancakes with coffee and a large glass of grapefruit juice. I love oatmeal pancakes! I need to learn a recipe for these babies. Hegui stuck with the classic buttermilk ones. On other visits we’ve tried the whole range of egg dishes, the tofu-n-veggies stir-fry, you name it. The chef has even replaced eggs with tofu in some of the omelet plates for us before though I didn’t notice that on the menu this visit.

Hegui and Cooper bonding over a morning cup of Joe

Mabel’s Just for You is a good time and great food. If you haven’t been, they’ve just moved to the Outer Richmond. No! Only kidding! They’re still in Dogpatch. I just want the competition for a table to lighten up.

see the tiny sign in the upper left of the awning that says Mabel's?

Just for You is no place to check your apps!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

tasteofbeirut August 24, 2010 at 6:04 am

I love that cell phone warning! the beignets look mighty good to me!
and that photo of Hegui is great!

Stevie August 25, 2010 at 8:07 am


You’re totally right! The beignets are great and Hegui does look good, too.

Karen August 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Yes it was a great breakfast. Coop totally enjoyed the beignets and we enjoyed the great company. Can’t wait till our next visit! Kc

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