Pete’s Steakhouse, also known as Pete’s Café, is a diner-esque space tucked into the center of a block that features the Cheeky Monk, Martha’s Beauty Supply, a panaderia (Mexican Bakery) and a Rent-a-Center. The typical incongruous commercial uses that makes Colfax such a unique strip of concrete and asphalt.
Pete’s is likely best known for the sign in its window…EAT HERE OR WE WILL BOTH STARVE! With this admonition in mind, it is a treat to walk into a small space filled with formica tables, immediately hear the sizzle of breakfast on the griddle, which is within 5 feet of the door, and give yourself over to the family that has been serving breakfast, with an emphasis on protein, at this location for more than 3 decades.
In true diner form, the water arrives fast and while one is asked if they would like coffee, the answer is assumed to be yes. The coffee has likely not changed since opening day. It is served in a classic 8oz mug and saucer combo, and a bit watery, unaffected by the march of venti sizes and increasing strength that have become the hallmark of modern coffee.
While the coffee may be small, the breakfast portions are immense, $5 will get you huevos rancheros or a gyro omelet, as well as other innumerable “specials,” all of which come with hash browns. The hash browns, which are normally not something worth mentioning and normally arrive in a large bag, frozen and stamped with Sysco on the side, are fresh made. As in, whole potatoes are ground up in the rear of the restaurant and then transported 30 feet to become part of that morning’s breakfast menu.
The huevos were good, not great, but if you need your sinuses cleared they will do the trick. Made with ground beef, instead of pork, they carry a spicy kick that will make you appreciate the attention paid to the level of your water glass. The gyro omelet was a solid performer, exactly as one would suspect a combination of eggs and gyro to be. The pita and side of tzatziki was a pleasant surprise.
If you are seeking a breakfast spot in which to be seen, skip Pete’s. If you are looking for trendy selection, a la Snooze, skip Pete’s. If you are looking for a solid blue collar meal, at blue collar wages, cooked and served in a warm environment by the men and women who own the place, then go to Pete’s.