Mama’s on Washington Square had an hour wait, so we “settled” for a half-hour line outside Dottie’s True Blue Café. Settled isn’t really the right word, since Dottie’s is a great breakfast spot in its own right. It’s just in a less desirable location, situated in the heart of The Tenderloin. According to our waitress, the café has existed for 18 years, and Kurt Abney has been chef-owner for the past 15. Considering that Abney makes every bite of food with help from just one assistant, it’s amazing that he’s been able to keep up the torrid pace. If there were ever a short-order cook-off, I’d put my money on Abney.
The walls feature photos of Dorothy Dandridge and a thermometer that reads, “Dr. Barber’s Horse Liniment: Also Good for Mules and Jackasses.” Old music plays over the speakers. Abney is clearly a traditionalist.
Near the entrance is a massive pastry case, which Abney dubbed “Dottie’s Own Bakery.” All of Dottie’s breads, pastries, muffins and scones are made in-house, from Abney’s recipes. By the way, there’s no Dottie, and never has been; it’s just an old-fashioned name designed to evoke simpler times.
A dry erase board listed the day’s specials.
We had a very good experience at Dottie’s. Next time, it might not be a given that Mama’s will be the first San Francisco breakfast place that comes to mind.
UPDATE: Now located at 28 6th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
July 16, 2022 at 9:39 PM
What happened to Kurt Abney? I gave known him for years and I can not find him anymore? Is he alive?
July 17, 2022 at 10:01 PM
Erran, Is this him? If so, Kurt posted semi-regularly on Instagram last year. Looks like he’s enjoying retirement. Hopefully that’s the case. https://www.instagram.com/abneykurt/?hl=en