Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

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

Eating with Ghosts

Just think: a hundred years ago, ladies of the night would be sitting on this balcony, calling "Woohoo!" to the cowboys sauntering by on the boardwalk.

That's the legend, anyway. Talking about The Mission SoMa ("South of Market"), the breakfast-lunch place in the old wooden building at 13th and J (1250 J, 619-232-7662). This place has been around since -- get this -- 1870. Was Rosario Hall. Named after the niece of Pio Pico, last Mexican governor of Alta California.

Ana, who constantly refills your $2 coffee

City fathers used to meet upstairs before they got a city hall. Then it became a, uh, rooming house for the next 100 years, with the Lemon Beer Brewery making beer right here on the first floor, back when this dusty town was still at the end of the road to nowhere.

Here at 13th and J, we're still in the middle of nowhere...

...meaning East Village is still expanding this-away, but the "Village" thing hasn't happened yet, even though the new main library's going up at a rate of knots just fifty yards away.

And yet, it's late morning and this place is full...of middle class business people and a funky crowd of young entrepreneurial guys and gals talking about social networking and Apple's new Pages app and teachers talking about how to handle 9/11 discussions in class.

Breakfast, or is it lunch? crowd

And they all seem to be eating luscious, lavish plates of breakfast stuff. Like, Cathy, at the next table over, is into the French Toast ($7.95, $9.95 with two scrambled eggs and bacon).

Cathy

Luis, guy she's here with, has Mission Rosemary (basically potatoes, eggs, bread, $6.75).

Luis

Next table, two guys from New York, Felton Dunn and Mark Gordon, are having roast beef hash and eggs ($8.95) and chicken apple sausage and eggs ($8.95).

Felton

Mark

Me, I order the same as Felton.

My roast beef hash and eggs

"You get way more food here than you would back home," says Felton. "Plus, there's something spiritual about this place."

Well, if that means ghosts from the building's history, yes. Sitting on the balcony, watching the world go by...

Rebecca and Ari eat blueberry pancakes and eggs and potatoes outside

...sipping my endless refill coffee, I swear you feel them hovering around you.

My only wish? That this could also be a rip-roaring beer hall again. Crowded Friday nights on this balcony? Could almost bring those wild cowboy days back.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Swimmer who braved French river bails during Imperial Beach stunt

In-Seine, But Not Crazy
Next Article

Comic-Con stymied by San Diego hotel room prices

But city wants to raise hotel taxes – not a help

Just think: a hundred years ago, ladies of the night would be sitting on this balcony, calling "Woohoo!" to the cowboys sauntering by on the boardwalk.

That's the legend, anyway. Talking about The Mission SoMa ("South of Market"), the breakfast-lunch place in the old wooden building at 13th and J (1250 J, 619-232-7662). This place has been around since -- get this -- 1870. Was Rosario Hall. Named after the niece of Pio Pico, last Mexican governor of Alta California.

Ana, who constantly refills your $2 coffee

City fathers used to meet upstairs before they got a city hall. Then it became a, uh, rooming house for the next 100 years, with the Lemon Beer Brewery making beer right here on the first floor, back when this dusty town was still at the end of the road to nowhere.

Here at 13th and J, we're still in the middle of nowhere...

...meaning East Village is still expanding this-away, but the "Village" thing hasn't happened yet, even though the new main library's going up at a rate of knots just fifty yards away.

And yet, it's late morning and this place is full...of middle class business people and a funky crowd of young entrepreneurial guys and gals talking about social networking and Apple's new Pages app and teachers talking about how to handle 9/11 discussions in class.

Breakfast, or is it lunch? crowd

And they all seem to be eating luscious, lavish plates of breakfast stuff. Like, Cathy, at the next table over, is into the French Toast ($7.95, $9.95 with two scrambled eggs and bacon).

Cathy

Luis, guy she's here with, has Mission Rosemary (basically potatoes, eggs, bread, $6.75).

Luis

Next table, two guys from New York, Felton Dunn and Mark Gordon, are having roast beef hash and eggs ($8.95) and chicken apple sausage and eggs ($8.95).

Felton

Mark

Me, I order the same as Felton.

My roast beef hash and eggs

"You get way more food here than you would back home," says Felton. "Plus, there's something spiritual about this place."

Well, if that means ghosts from the building's history, yes. Sitting on the balcony, watching the world go by...

Rebecca and Ari eat blueberry pancakes and eggs and potatoes outside

...sipping my endless refill coffee, I swear you feel them hovering around you.

My only wish? That this could also be a rip-roaring beer hall again. Crowded Friday nights on this balcony? Could almost bring those wild cowboy days back.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Best of 2000: Best Open-24-Hours-A-Day Restaurant

Next Article

A little night muesli: Swami’s La Mesa

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.