Feast: 9 breakfasts to go

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Metro Crepes
Photo by Arlene Romana

Going without breakfast can turn your brain into a fritzing light bulb that repeatedly buzzes: "Eat something ... zzz ... Eat something." But who wants to take the time for a real meal when you can press snooze another 10 times? Which is why, when in a rush, many of us settle for microwavable crap made from pasteurized American cheese and unpronounceable chemical substrates, or maybe a pastry and giant cup of coffee that steadily converts the cerebral cortex into a vapid hummingbird.

But it doesn't have to be like that.

For a hearty, quality alternative route to keeping your blood sugar up, try these handy local breakfast spots. They prepare eggs and bacon for a couple bucks and a few minutes of your time. All these brekkies travel well in a messenger bag without leaking, and they are available all day. (Take note, fast-food restaurants. As it turns out, breakfast time comes between waking and going to work — not just before 11 a.m.).

METRO CREPES

The fastest of the bunch is Metro Crepes in the Financial District. Inside the picturesque atrium of the Citigroup building, its little walk-up windows serve stuffed mini-pancakes in about the same time it takes to put cream and sugar in a cup of coffee. The Oakland Crepe, packed with egg, bacon, and cheese, is filling, yet light enough to avoid that big-breakfast food coma. And at $2.95 it won't cramp your finances, either.

1 Sansome, SF. (415) 217-7060, www.metrocrepes.com

BLUE DANUBE COFFEE HOUSE

The crispiest bacon in town might be on the open-faced breakfast bagel at the Blue Danube in the Richmond District. Crunchy slices sit on top of tomato, egg, and cheddar that's melted to perfection. The eggs are steamed, which keeps them from being too greasy and means that even when wrapped in a bulky box, the sandwich isn't too sloppy to throw in a bag.

306 Clement, SF. (415) 221-9041

HOUSE OF COFFEE

Although known for its many varieties of excellent java, the folks here should be famous for the delicious Irish breakfast roll — a fluffy sandwich roll accented with Irish sausage, bacon, cheese, and your choice of HP Sauce (a popular English and Irish condiment that tastes like bland A-1, and whose initials stand for "House of Parliament") or ketchup. The $5 sandwich doesn't come with egg, but it can be added for 75 cents — and the sucker's served all day.

1618 Noriega, SF. (415) 681-9363 www.coffeesf.com

COPPER KETTLE

You can also try a version of House of Coffee's specialty, minus cheese, at this comfy eatery. These rolls don't come with HP sauce either, but if you're feeling worldly, you can add it yourself — there's a bottle on each table of the homey restaurant.

2240 Taraval, SF. (415) 731-8818

POSH BAGEL

This Sunset District outpost of the chain store may be the second-fastest breakfast game in town. Yes, eggs are microwaved and bacon's precooked, but the resulting sandwiches are quick and tasty, if a tad oily.

742 Irving, SF. (415) 566-2761

KATZ BAGELS

At Katz's Lower Haight location, the egg-mit-bagel thing has been worked out to a science. Order tags with all the possible fixings wait for the hungry crowd, and cooks pump breakfast out like a well-greased pan. Their bagels are fluffy, chewy, fresh, and quick — plus, omelets are served in a matter of minutes. Try the wheat bagel, with its faint hint of cinnamon. I like these dedicated desayuno demigods who serve breakfast all day — but don't forget Katz ends its day at 2 p.m.

663 Haight, SF. (415) 863-1382

BOULANGE DE COLE

No matter where you live or work in the city, the Boulangeries are there for you.

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