Photo by Rommel Conclara / The Skyline View

The Grilled Chicken Sandwich and the Famous Monte Cristo Sandwich at Mama’s in the North Beach District.

1701 Stockton St
San Francisco
Price: $10-$15 per person

San Francisco is celebrated for its diversity and I take advantage of this through the food. My recent food adventure takes me to the North Beach district. North Beach is famous for its nightlife. Broadway is full of the trendiest bars and strip clubs.

However, during the day, North Beach is known for the rich Italian culture. Granted I don’t normally make it out to North Beach during the day but I had to after hearing so much about Mama’s.

I’ve been told that Mama’s is the best place in San Francisco for breakfast or brunch. I’m not a big breakfast or brunch guy. I’m more than happy with a Denver omelet and some waffles. I didn’t think this was going to be a big deal. I have never been more wrong in my life.

Mama’s is located on the corner of Washington Square. First and foremost, be ready to wait. Thanks to the tremendous reviews on Yelp, Zagat, and Urbanspoon, Mama’s have become a local and tourist attraction. I spent about 20 minutes waiting outside and that’s the first part.

The second comes once you get inside. It then turns into a cafeteria-style line where you wait to place your order and to be seated. All in all, the total wait time took about 30 minutes.

As I waited for my food, I couldn’t help but look around and feel the Italian family atmosphere. Photographs from decades past and classic advertisement posters are posted all over the tidy restaurant.

The restaurant is a little small, so the walking space can be tight especially while you are waiting to be seated. The workers were all friendly. Everyone from the busboy, to the waitress, and the hostess greeted and welcomed me.

I was accompanied by my girlfriend, so we had the opportunity to try both the breakfast and brunch menus. I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich and she ordered the famous Monte Cristo sandwich. The server noticed we were new to Mama’s so he suggested we have the Mama’s grilled potatoes as a side.

The potatoes accompanied the meals perfectly. The chicken sandwich came in two portions about just under 12 inches in length. Everything was amazing from the first bite.

I had a wonderful crunch sensation from the egg bun into a clean taste of everything from the chicken, to the melted mozzarella, and the rest of the condiments. The chicken sandwich was nothing compared to the Monte Cristo sandwich.

The Mote Cristo is basically a ham, turkey, and cheese baked into French toast. I was skeptical to try it but it was one of the best things I ever ate in my life. It was so good that I actually got upset!

I kept saying, “are you serious?” I was upset because it’s been 27 years before I even heard about this sandwich. I got more upset when we finished our meal because I wanted more.

I am also inclined to offer some quick notes about dining. Please be courteous to the people who are waiting. I am not suggesting that you scarf down your food but save a majority of your conversation for outside.

We didn’t spend a lot of time talking because of the food but there was another couple next to us talking up a storm, even after they were done eating. Take the conversation outside to beautiful Washington Square and take in the sights.

Also, Mama’s does not take checks or credit cards so be sure to have your debit card or cash on hand. Finally, I suggest that going to Mama’s on a regular weekday would be much better than any holiday or weekend.

Upon finishing our meals, we were more than satisfied. Mama’s definitely lived up to and surpassed all expectations.

This article has been edited to include the price and address for the above location. 2/28/2013 9:33 p.m.