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Dog-Friendly Dining: Pup's choice in South Park

Grant's has small-town charm and a solid deli, if you've got time

With or without the bacon, let's tell our doctors we ate a healthy breakfast.
With or without the bacon, let's tell our doctors we ate a healthy breakfast.
Place

Grant's Coffee Room

2953 Beech Street, San Diego

South Park easily claims the title of my dog's favorite neighborhood. It's home to her favorite dog park, pet shop and bar (Hamilton's, naturally). It's also where to find her favorite mid-walk water dish – the large metal bowl that sits outside the door to Grant's Marketplace. This makes it convenient enough for me to stop in for a sandwich from the small grocer's deli counter.

A dog-friendly patio in a dog-friendly neighborhood.

So far as delis go, there's nothing too remarkable going on here: Dietz and Watson meats, assorted side salads, a choice of breads, etc. You get daily specials, some tasty looking pastries and a crispy slice of pickle. A cooler filled with specialty sodas washes it down with something different every time, if you care to be adventurous with your beverages. Every neighborhood deserves this sort of even-money sandwich option.

Don't forget about the pickle.

What really makes Grant's worth a visit is South Park's small-town charm; sit outside for awhile and a friend will pass by – or at least a friendly passer-by. Or at the very least a steady stream of relaxed and limber smiling souls coming out of the nearby Ginseng Yoga studio. Even my dog runs into people she knows here.

There's plenty of indoor seating, but there's rarely a reason not to eat outdoors, even without the pooch in tow. There's no table service, but the counter staff never fails to be friendly, despite an awkwardly situated shop that disrupts this vibe during rushes, as circulating customers struggle to get in and out around others impatiently waiting for their to-go orders.

Puppies love drinking water out of a giant metal bowl.

While it's convenient enough that a number of local residents do grab their food on the go, more should learn to call ahead, or at least find a seat and stop hovering. Nothing about Grant's suggests it's a fast food joint, and it's really at its best when you've got time to leisurely sit on the wrap-around patio and enjoy your time. This holds especially true if your lifestyle affords a little late-morning, sit-with-a-coffee-and watch-the-world-go-by time. In other words, my dog's third favorite meal: breakfast.

It's tough to make a bad egg, sausage, and cheese on a bagel, and Grant's performs competently with this type of typical breakfast offering. However, due to the lack of a visible menu board and counter case filled with quiches, a number of people probably never notice the deli's best creation: the Rosemary Avocado Smash. It's basically a couple of slices of toasted rosemary olive oil bread, slathered with spread avocado, topped by salt, pepper and basil leaves, served open-face. Sliced tomato is optional (though it should be mandatory) and determined carnivores will also want to get it with bacon.

It's not something I'd ever wake up craving, but seeing as avocado's the original superfood, it turns out to provide a satisfying start to the day. Which is fortunate, because if my dog had her way I'd be here a lot more often, and probably never get much done.

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With or without the bacon, let's tell our doctors we ate a healthy breakfast.
With or without the bacon, let's tell our doctors we ate a healthy breakfast.
Place

Grant's Coffee Room

2953 Beech Street, San Diego

South Park easily claims the title of my dog's favorite neighborhood. It's home to her favorite dog park, pet shop and bar (Hamilton's, naturally). It's also where to find her favorite mid-walk water dish – the large metal bowl that sits outside the door to Grant's Marketplace. This makes it convenient enough for me to stop in for a sandwich from the small grocer's deli counter.

A dog-friendly patio in a dog-friendly neighborhood.

So far as delis go, there's nothing too remarkable going on here: Dietz and Watson meats, assorted side salads, a choice of breads, etc. You get daily specials, some tasty looking pastries and a crispy slice of pickle. A cooler filled with specialty sodas washes it down with something different every time, if you care to be adventurous with your beverages. Every neighborhood deserves this sort of even-money sandwich option.

Don't forget about the pickle.

What really makes Grant's worth a visit is South Park's small-town charm; sit outside for awhile and a friend will pass by – or at least a friendly passer-by. Or at the very least a steady stream of relaxed and limber smiling souls coming out of the nearby Ginseng Yoga studio. Even my dog runs into people she knows here.

There's plenty of indoor seating, but there's rarely a reason not to eat outdoors, even without the pooch in tow. There's no table service, but the counter staff never fails to be friendly, despite an awkwardly situated shop that disrupts this vibe during rushes, as circulating customers struggle to get in and out around others impatiently waiting for their to-go orders.

Puppies love drinking water out of a giant metal bowl.

While it's convenient enough that a number of local residents do grab their food on the go, more should learn to call ahead, or at least find a seat and stop hovering. Nothing about Grant's suggests it's a fast food joint, and it's really at its best when you've got time to leisurely sit on the wrap-around patio and enjoy your time. This holds especially true if your lifestyle affords a little late-morning, sit-with-a-coffee-and watch-the-world-go-by time. In other words, my dog's third favorite meal: breakfast.

It's tough to make a bad egg, sausage, and cheese on a bagel, and Grant's performs competently with this type of typical breakfast offering. However, due to the lack of a visible menu board and counter case filled with quiches, a number of people probably never notice the deli's best creation: the Rosemary Avocado Smash. It's basically a couple of slices of toasted rosemary olive oil bread, slathered with spread avocado, topped by salt, pepper and basil leaves, served open-face. Sliced tomato is optional (though it should be mandatory) and determined carnivores will also want to get it with bacon.

It's not something I'd ever wake up craving, but seeing as avocado's the original superfood, it turns out to provide a satisfying start to the day. Which is fortunate, because if my dog had her way I'd be here a lot more often, and probably never get much done.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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