Walter Mencken 2:27 p.m., June 18
Everything changes, right?
Not Mr. Lucky. Or his prices.
Like, 85 cents for coffee? One egg with hash browns, toast, butter, and strawberry jam, $2.75?
Three eggs with three bacon, or three sausages or a hamburger patty, plus hash browns and toast, $3.60?
Or – top dollar – Denver omelet, $4.10?
Lucky's modest exterior
For the last 35 years, Lucky’s Golden Phenix (3804 Grim Avenue, at North Park Way, 619-297-2760) has been a hidden treasure people only seem to discover when they go to the North Park post office, which is kitty corner to his place.
The menu hasn't changed in decades. Why would it?
It has a UU-shaped double counter which kinda makes you talk with everybody facing you and has regulars who’ve been coming in every day for decades. Now, the cool crowd seems to be discovering Mr. Lucky.
My bacon and cheese omelet, with hash browns, muffin, coffee? "Make it five dollars."
Mind you, maybe they always did: they say Arnold Schwarzenegger would come in when he was training at Stern’s Gym, which is a block away.
The young Governator
Lucky has signed photos on the wall from famous people, like “To Lucky. Happiness. Debbie Reynolds.”
Just so you know: no sweeteners, just sugar for your coffee. No credit cards, just cash, and no written orders. Mr. Lucky, who was born in Canton, China, carries everything in his head. And he closes at midday, Monday to Saturday.
American food, Chinese knick-knacks
And when you ask for the check?
Mostly he’ll say “gimme five dollars.” Max, $5.50.
And if you only have a credit or debit card?
He’ll say “Pay me next time.”