Meal Ticket

Meal Ticket is a nice-sized breakfast and lunch place, with good food and comfortable tables. It’s on the pricey side, running about $10 per person (with a drink). There’s usually a wait for a table, then a line to order food and pay up-front (make sure you bring cash or a check, no cards accepted). But after that the staff is very conscientious and sweet in making sure you’re in good shape.

The food is a mix of home-style usuals and fancy takes on standard fare; omelets and other eggs, burgers, rich soups, and sandwiches, usually with one nice spicy twist or another. The blackboard near the entrance has a lot more choices and specials. It was hard to pick, everything looked good. I did wish mightily for a kid’s menu (or at least a kid’s portion; my four year-old can’t eat two pancakes!).

People like the patio out back with a nice mix of sun and shade in the summer, and I like the cooper-top tables inside (and the quirky collection of asian artifacts and local painting on the walls). The artichoke omelette was a good mix of strong tastes, but a little heavy. The shrimp po’ boy was great — perfectly cooked and just the right amount of spiciness. The buckwheat pancakes were too moist for me (but my little girl liked them just fine). Our cappuccinos were just okay. The cranberry lemonade was delicious.

I really liked the lived-in feel and personality of the place, but the prices make it more of a choice for taking guests out than a regular, home-style favorite.

Meal Ticket

Menu, from, main dishes are $6-10

1235 San Pablo Ave (just north of Gilman, on the east side of the street)
Berkeley, CA 94706, 510-526-6325

Open Wednesday through Friday 7am-3pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-2pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays

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