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Golden Coffee’s Aggressive Plainness is a Comfort to the Soul

Updated: May 05, 2014 12:43
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Golden Coffee

Set down on a rather picturesque corner of the Tendernob, the interior of Golden Coffee is slightly less than that; the dingy, anemic salmon pink walls are completely bare of decoration, .  The large, square space is dominated by a bracket-shaped bar whose vertical line abuts the entrance.  Within that bracket the all-purpose front-of-the-house worker buzzes around taking orders, filling coffee, and communicating with the two cooks manning the pancake and waffle griddles, fryers and grills.

The American diner is a paragon of sameness, for which I give blessings.  Golden Coffee doesn’t disappoint in this aspect; a wave of comforting familiarity swept through me as I sat myself at one of the cushioned swivel chairs and was immediately furnished with a cup of coffee in a small enamel mug.  Like a lot of old diners around the city, it’s been bought up by an Asian family (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese being by my estimation the most common nationalities to do so).  The daughter runs the front, husband and wife run the kitchen (thoroughly visible from the front).   The prices most likely haven’t risen by more than .05 percent in the past twenty years; I don’t fuck around when it comes to my diner repast and even after ordering a waffle, four link sausages, two fried eggs and hash browns, my tab came to about ten dollars.  The one odd wrinkle made upon the smooth facade of diner-related conformity at Golden Coffee is the existence of a small menu of Chinese dishes available from 11am to 3pm, after which they close up shop.

Golden Coffee’s dusty plainness is so aggressively un-romantic that I was surprised to see the young, hip and hungover clientele lining the counters you see at joints with a little more polish and gimcrackery.  I can’t really bitch, seeing as I number among said demographic, but still, I can’t help but hope that’s not a trend on the uptick.


Golden Coffee

901 Sutter St.,


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Fatt Mink

Fatt Mink

I was born into a family of bookworms and staunch pinkos in downtown San Jose, California.
I lived in San Francisco from 2002-2016, during which time I studied music and Italian at S.F State and worked as a waiter and bartender in restaurants and bars both foul and divine; I credit my considerable experience in the industry with birthing my eternal burnin' love for food and booze, still a driving force in my life. I lived in Rome for 8 months in 2016 and then moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, where I currently write for a newspaper and play music.