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Dottie's True Blue Cafe (restaurant review for TERRASEEK www.terraseek.com)
By Robin Dorman (ebluegoose.com)
Cheesy, a little kitschy, an homage to the thirties with tight shots on the tables of such glamour pusses as Garbo, Harlow, Dietrich, Davis, and Crawford, Dottie's is the only true blue heavenly place in the grimy Tenderloin for sublime breakfasts, a chapel for pancake pilgrims. There are regular visits from actors and actresses in town and customers at first glance may look at each other and wonder, "what would Liza Minelli be doing in a joint like this?" That is until you taste the food and something happens. You are in the presence of the unavoidably authentic. The breads, pastries, muffins, scones, pancakes, and whatever else owner-chef Kurt Abney and baker Sala felt like putting in their whimsical oven that morning is all freshly baked, made from scratch. This must be what it's like to be in food paradise, you think, breathless. And all the little extras: the chipotle chile jelly is homemade to go with the cornbread and when there is extra fruit they'll make preserves as well. Even the mayo is freshly whipped up. Try the deeply delicious black bean cakes and eggs, grilled cornbread and home fries, topped with sour cream and salsa; the fresh raspberry cornmeal pancakes with pure maple syrup, or the smoked chicken apple sausage and eggs, grilled cornbread, and potatoes. A Dottie devotee still has not gotten over Dottie's famous pancakes of whole wheat buttermilk, exquisitely spiced with ginger and cinnamon.