In almost six months of dining at Mrs Rigby's more often than an unemployed man should, I've come to love their food, service, and prices from ten years ago. There's no air conditioning, so the place gets uncomfortably warm on sunny days, but other than that my only complaint is that they were closed today.

Their parking lot hasn't been repaved probably since the 1940s, so it's degraded to dips, bumps, and in some areas just plain gravel, so they're having it repaved. Tragically, that means there's no dining at the diner today.

Breakfast pangs were powerful this morning, though, so I went to a different place I'd heard good things about.

♦ ♦ ♦

Young's Restaurant is located between Seattle's west and south sides, in an area known as White Center, or as the locals call it more accurately, White Trash Center. The restaurant is better than the neighborhood, though.

First impression: It's a nicer place than Mrs Rigby's, aesthetically. There's a beautiful mural of seagulls flying in the dining room, which is more hygienic than actual seagulls flying in the dining room. There are "drawing room" style chairs in the waiting area, for folks to sit in when the place is too busy to get a table. 

Google says Young's is too busy for me after about 9:AM, so I came early, when they first opened the doors, at 8:AM.

It's mostly a Chinese restaurant, serving Buddha's Delight, chicken chow yuk and all, but they also brag about a long list of American style breakfasts and burgers.

"Party of one?" asked the bizarrely young waitress (as I get older, everyone everywhere seems bizarrely young).

I hate parties but she got the 'one' part right, so I said, "Yup," and she told me to sit anywhere. I took a mini-booth, which seemed extra mini and somewhat cramped, but that's my fault, not theirs — I'm a fat dude so I had to push the table back.

And instantly, here's the first thing I liked about Young's: You don't have to wait for someone to bring you a menu. It's right there, under a sheet of glass on every tabletop.

I took a gander at the prices, though, and cursed under my breath. Google had promised that Young's was affordable, but some of the recent reviewers mentioned that the restaurant had been sold, and the new ownership had jacked up the prices by a couple of dollars on everything. Holy overpriced omelets, Batman!

The cheapest thing on the menu was the allegedly "Perfect Breakfast," for $15.95. That's too much.

Instead of stomping out of the place, though, I read the small print, and saw that Young's Perfect Breakfast includes two eggs, two strips of bacon, two hunks of sausage, two flapjacks — and coffee and orange juice. $15.95 would be all-expenses paid, plus tax and tip, of course, but that's not much more than Mrs Rigby's, so I ordered what they call the Perfect Breakfast.

Honestly, I was kinda excited about the orange juice. I do love a good glass of OJ, but never order it with breakfast 'cuz it's so expensive. Included in the price, though? Ya got me.

Guess it takes a while to make a breakfast that's perfect, so they say, but twenty minutes later it was there, and it looked good, with portions that weren't meager.

The bacon was ever-so-slightly dryer than I'd prefer, but different folks like bacon done different. In my opinion, the only way to screw up bacon is by burning it, and this wasn't burnt, just crunchy and delicious.

The sausage was link style, fine in both flavor and doneness.

The eggs were over-easy, as I'd requested, and the easiest over-easy imaginable. They must've been pulled from the pan at just the moment the whites solidified, or perhaps a moment earlier. These were the softest, juiciest over-easy eggs ever — "perfect" over-easy, I'd say (though usually I'd order over-hard and I dunno what overcame me to say over-easy).

Pancakes can be tricky in a restaurant. It all depends on the mix, doesn't it? Bob's Diner in Madison and Mrs Rigby's in Seattle make pancakes from scratch, and they're fabulous. Young's cakes weren't quite as good, but I don't think they took the easy way out with generic Bisquick like I always did, when I made hotcakes years ago as a treat for my Mrs.

And while the menu didn't mention it, the upper of my two pancakes was Mickey Mouse style, with ears. I chuckled and started breakfast by making Mickey deaf.

The cakes were a little stingy on the butter and syrup — two slabs of the former, and only a tiny thumb-size pitcher of the latter. The waitress volunteered that she'd bring more butter and syrup if I needed it, but let's be honest here. I really don't need more butter and syrup in my life, so I made do without any extra, and the pancakes were quite good.

The orange juice — what a treat! Pretty sure it had never been a concentrated can of sludge in the freezer. It was delicious, and it's the deciding factor that might bring me back to Young's next time Mrs Rigby's is closed.

Also, the menu promised that a "small glass" of juice was included with the Perfect Breakfast. OJ is expensive, so when it said "small" I was expecting a communion glass, but this was an 8- or 10-ounce glass of fresh-squeezed, which seemed generous. 

The coffee was good too. Not great like Mrs Rigby's usually is, but hey, some days Mrs Rigby's coffee is a bit too bitter. Young's cup of coffee comes on a saucer, proof that the place is swanky. On the downside, cream is in those little single-serve pouches, and they only gave me three. Also, they only came 'round around to pour refills every 15 minutes or so, which limits a coffeeholic's overconsumption.

There's music, and weirdly but not annoyingly, it's lounge music from the 1950s-'70s, but played at a discreet volume to discourage anyone from dancing or singing along.

The restaurant's two waitresses were swell, checking on me just often enough to make it clear they gave a damn, but not so often as to intrude on an old hermit's quiet breakfast alone.

Unlike Bob's and Mrs Rigby's, where it's cash only, Young's is part of the 21st Century. The waitress left a handheld device at my table, where I keyed in a credit card number and paid and tipped e-lec-tronically. Very high-tech.

Young's is closed on Mondays, but open 8AM-8PM every other day of the week. Mrs Rigby's, sadly, closes at 2:45, but now I know where to go for a not really perfect but pretty good breakfast in the late afternoon or evening.


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  1. I just got off the phone with a nice cardio nurse at the hospital, and I'm getting scheduled for the first of two or three procedures preparatory to the replacement of my aortic heart valve. My vascular system is kinda flaky, so they might have to open my chest again.

    I'm not going to do a fucking play by play out here, but since it's fairly rugged territory I decided to mention it. Chances of not making it are reasonably low, but on the occasion I didn't want you to think I walked out on you.

    The actual replacement is likely a couple of months away, but the first procedure is next week. I'd have to be a real pussy to check out at the first "count backward from your favorite prime number" encounter, but I like to take care of business and move on.

    NRA (no reply anticipated).


    1. I appreciate the heads-up, but I'll be pissed off if you check out before me, so please don't. You are in the running to be my very favorite person I've never met.

      If I knew anything about aortic heart vales or the vascular system, I would pepper you with info, but my only related expertise is in dealing with the medical world as a chronic patient, something you may already know about from direct experience.

      If not or if so, my unasked-for advice is to never just listen and do what they say; you *also* have to ask endless questions, and always advocate for yourself.

      It took several hospitalizations before my wife and I understood this, but the doctors aren't all brilliant, and sometimes they're overworked, and you might be the 31st patient they're seeing any given day. Always ask ask ask about anything you don't understand, and if there's anything important that *they* don't understand, explain it to them over and over until they see that it's important.

      Other than that, seriously my friend, hurry up and be well. 🖖

    2. Your advice and your kindness are appreciated beyond measure. I intend to fight it out on this front if it takes all fucking winter. I think Abraham Lincoln said that.



    3. John I hope everything goes well. :)

    4. Thanks Amy. The only thing that troubles me is that I'm running low on bad habits to quit.

      Thanks again.


  2. I will be following your case as I have been found to have an enlarged aorta, a leaky aorta valve, and arrhythmia, however i feel no symptoms of any of that, ersatz healthy...

  3. You have to trust somebody. The cardio docs I've dealt with have all been open and honest as far as I can tell. I'd believe them were I you. With the baby boomers hitting the hospital in huge waves, these guys don't have to drum up business. It's drumming up them.

    And I'll have them check my ersatz while they're in there. It could be a pint low.

    Seriously, I wish you the very best.



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