Its true just about wherever you go that getting a recommendation for a great meal is the best option. We discovered this last week when the front desk agent at my in-laws hotel suggested we skip the "easy" breakfast option-Mel's-in favor of Home Plate. Its right across the street, he said, and for the money you'll get a much better meal.
I've never eaten at Mel's so I can't compare the two, but I am immediately a big fan of Home Plate. This small diner on Lombard felt every bit of the homey spot I love for a good meal to start my day. We were all starving when we arrived, so their free scone with entree order was a hit while we waited for our meals. Warm, fluffy and full (but not too full) of juicy raisins, they arrive with two jammy sauces--one fruity, the other honeyish. I really didn't need any sauce or butter though, as they tasted delicious on their own.
Since its crab season here in California I went for the California scramble, piled high with dungeness crab, plenty of avocado, and no cheese (its so hard to find cheese free items without requesting it, so I was happy to see they had several options created without it!) Their hash browns, while not quite at the level of Pork Store's, were crispy, crunchy, and piping hot, and perfect with a light sprinkling of salt.
The rest of my companions went for sweet dishes-french toast, waffles and a side of Home Plate's version of millionaire's bacon-a mainstay at two of our other favorite breakfast spots, Fred's Place in Sausalito and sister restaurant Sweet Maple in the city. There version was less sweet than the others I've tasted--its such a unique and rich dish (bacon cooked with honey and peppers) having it to share is about all I need. Besides I was too focused on my own plate to pay much attention to it!
Our service was also just right. Our waitress Sylvia was extra sweet with M., bringing her a little bowl of fruit and playing peekaboo with her when she had a few seconds. She was very careful when bringing things to the table to make sure hot things were out of reach as well, which I was extremely appreciative of.
I think I need to call that hotel clerk and thank him for the recommendation. We'll definitely return to Home Plate soon!