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Food & Drink

Best New Restaurant (Inexpensive) 

Blue Jay Cafe

919 Divisadero (at McAllister), 447-6066

We wish we lived near this friendly neighborhood spot, which offers generous portions of Southern-accented home cooking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at gentle prices, in a funky setting with a large U-shaped counter and a row of tables. For breakfast you can get inventive scrambles or omelets, as well as buttermilk griddlecakes, French toast with bananas, and superb biscuits (which you must not miss), on their own or in the Blue Jay biscuit sandwich, with eggs, cheese, and bacon. Lunch features soup, big fresh salads, and sandwiches such as the fried catfish po' boy with chipotle aioli and the pulled barbecue pork with cheddar and coleslaw. Dinner includes bacon-wrapped meatloaf in a sausage gravy and pork chops with glazed yams and homemade apple chutney. At brunch, lunch, or dinner you can (and should) order Blue Jay's impeccable fried chicken, priced by the piece (from 75 cents for a wing to $2.50 for a breast) or served as a dinner plate; it's delicate and juicy under a crisp crust.

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