For decades now, Sears has served one of San Francisco’s defining meals: eighteen ethereal Swedish pancakes with plenty of whipped butter and warm maple syrup and (optional) lingonberries.
The little pancakes are incredibly popular – the kitchen says it makes 11,000 every day – but Sears French toast deserves attention, too. It is made of sourdough bread, soaked in eggs and cream until the texture verges on that of junket, but retains a vague bready chew and the tang of ancient yeast, delectably complemented by Sears’ strawberry preserves.
And there is more: excellent smoked ham or sausage for side dishes and truly fresh fruit cup for hors d’oeuvre. There are pecan waffles; banana nut bread; big baked apples; Swedish coffee cake; and omelets with crisp hash brown potatoes. In addition, there are square-meals lunches and some fine desserts including strawberry shortcake and an autumn-only apple dumpling to die for. But it’s breakfast that has been Sears’ glory since 1938, and the reason people line up on Powell Street every morning well before the place opens at seven.