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North Park's Hidden (Breakfast) Treasure

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?

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

The young Governator

Lucky has signed photos on the wall from famous people, like “To Lucky. Happiness. Debbie Reynolds.”

Image

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.

Image

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.”

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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?

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

The young Governator

Lucky has signed photos on the wall from famous people, like “To Lucky. Happiness. Debbie Reynolds.”

Image

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.

Image

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.”

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Comments
2

Writing an article about it kinda defeats the whole hidden treasure aspect. Love this place but I fear popularity could ruin the homey vibe there (many of those regulars are also the ones helping bus the counter). Last time I was in some family came in and got all huffy since its not the best place if you are in a hurry. If you feel compelled to go there just be cool, relax and enjoy. Thanks!

Aug. 9, 2011

Sounds fascinating and just great. Wish I didn't live forty miles or so away. And it would be a wonderful thing if we had such spots in No County.

Aug. 9, 2011

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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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