Bart Mendoza 5 a.m., Dec. 8
Empire House "urban eatery" is braving the charming location (172 University Ave) that's been the doom of many restaurants before it. (In reverse order, Big Easy, Better Half, Talus all briefly bloomed and died there.) The fare is American comfort food with a twist or two, emphasizing "small plates," burgers (including both sliders and a mock-meat "Zen burger"), franks, street-style tacos, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast dishes for affordable prices. They're open seven days, with lunch through dinner on weekdays, breakfast through dinner on weekends. Check out the menu at empirehousesd.com.
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