I can rise early in the morning if I need to. I’m long past the days of being droggy when I wake up. I know everyone else says groggy, but droggy is worse. It’s like being drugged and groggy you’re so out of it. It’s easy waking up, stumbling around looking for shoes or my first tender cigarette of the day. I don’t actually smoke but the phrase “my first tender cigarette” just popped into my head and I wanted to use it. Nobody wants to wake up earlier than they have to though.
Co-worker Erin proposed getting together for breakfast to occupy her time between yoga class and work. I think she just wanted to be featured in a Dinerwood update as she is routinely mentioned on my personal blog. This all meant getting up extra early and trekking downtown while the sun was still rising. I took a preemptive shower the night before to cut down on the wake up time. Even at 7:30am in this town traffic sucks.
Erin and I decided on The Pantry for breakfast.
I neglected to get a picture of the sign so I've swiped this from the Pantry website. I thank them for it.
The Pantry’s slogan is “Always open, always a customer”. I would add to that “that one customer is always a drunk.” The Pantry is one of those places that I think you really need to be drunk to fully enjoy. Any place that gives you a little bowl of coleslaw when you sit at the counter is clearly a place for drunks. “Free coleslaw? *hic-cup* I loves it!” [It’s like the White Horse on Western where they give out free hot dogs. Why!] Although we didn't get any this time, I can say the coleslaw at the Pantry is pretty decent.
I work on the north end of downtown where the skyscrapers and art installations dwell- The clean and shiny downtown Los Angeles. The Pantry is at the other end- The homeless and brown recluse spider bitten downtown Los Angeles. It’s been there since 1924. Okay, not THERE there, they moved to this location in 1950. You can still visit the original location every time you use the nearby freeway on-ramp. The Pantry, like any good diner, holds to an older time. Forminca table tops, sweet globe light fixtures and a bird cage cashier. Until I had been to The Pantry, I thought that only existed in Robert Altman’s Popeye. Erin recalled that when she was a kid, that space used to be a cigar stand and her father would always get a stinky cigar each time they ate there.
Erin beat me there by a few minutes. When I sat down she noted that the waiter had delivered her coffee right away without even asking if she wanted any. She did of course but that is some gumption on Mr. Waiter man's part. He was also very flirtatious with her. That elderly diner waiter was nothing but gumption. I also ordered the coffee which I can honestly describe as having a robust flavor.
Perusing the walls where the menu is detailed-that’s right no actual menus for your hands, only for your eyes. We settled on some easy breakfast fare. I got the pancakes, two eggs and potatoes. Despite all the breakfasts I’ve been eating since I started the reviews, I don’t think I have ordered pancakes once. The food arrived right away which was nice for a breakfast rush. Unfortunately, butter did not arrive until about 5 minutes later. This left my pancakes wanting with only syrup to wear. When it did arrive we were treated to those ice cold pats of Darigold brand butter spread, which doesn’t spread because they are ice cold. Erin's toast was cold and burnt so there was little a bit of butter spread could do for her.
The late Mitch Hedberg observed that pancakes always seem like a good idea, but halfway through the first one you’ve had enough. My potatoes were bland and basically room temperature. My eggs were the only decent thing about my breakfast. But you know what? If I had been drunk I wouldn't have cared. So go drunk is my advice.
They do offer apple pie as well as an assortment of cakes. One time I was there they had a peach cobbler that was delicious. That was a special so don't count on it being there.
Price: $4-$15 (our breakfasts together totalled only 11 dollars)
Food: Not good.
877 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (213) 972-9279