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Nothing like breakfast in the living room.

Except this is in the Living Room (2541 San Diego Avenue, Old Town, 619-325-4445, also in National City, Point Loma, El Cajon Boulevard near SDSU, Southwestern College, La Jolla).

And this is eight at night.

I swear, for all the historic places around Old Town, Living Room has made one of the best things out of a li’l old clapboard house that people have been living in since as far back as 1868.



Historic marker plaque


Living Room at night

That’s just a little after Judge Roy Bean (“The Law West of the Pecos”) was in town. In the jail right near here in the plaza. I’ve jes’ been looking at it.

He was in for dueling with a Scotsman. Almost killed him. Got two months.

Escaped by digging through the adobe walls with a knife that a lady admirer had brought him concealed in a tamale.

I swear. Right here. Only separation? Mebbe 160 years.

So I’m sitting out in the garden among fire pits and fountains and foliage, waiting for Martin to bring my poached eggs on wheat with fruit ($6.99) and cawfee ($1.90).




Nice solid coffee cups

I’d been to - and loved – the original on El Cajon Boulevard, but this is just as good.

They have about a couple dozen black wire mesh tables outside that make you wanna bring a couple of the books you never get time to read, plus your laptop, and settle back for the evening.


Just what a bunch of people are doing, now I look around.

“We have been here 11 years,” says Martin, when he brings my breakfast.


I think it’s so cool that they’ll make this brekky anytime, no grizzles about the cook being in dinner mode, whatever.


Only thing he won’t do at this time: waffles and pancakes.

And atmosphere? In the background you hear the jungle tom toms of two guys I met on Twigg, Mark and Marco.


Marco, Mark

They just get together and sing and pound bongos for the hell of it. And do it well.

Gives the whole area around the Campo Santo (the old cemetery) and the church of the Immaculate Conception (right across the road from here) a real exotic feel.

The poached eggs pass the Goldilocks and the Three Bears test. They’re not too hard, not too soft, just right. Nice and golden. Bread’s good rough stuff.

’Course what I should have asked for was a tamale.

In memory of Judge Roy Bean.

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Ruth Newell Dec. 31, 2011 @ 9:20 a.m.

And the fool should have known better than to face a Scotsman with a sword. Pshaw!


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