Breakfast Nears Perfection at Wooden Spoon

And look at all the spoons on the walls. Decoration is back, baby!

House Hash at Wooden Spoon. Photo by Peter Lawrence Kane

Old Oakland cafe The Wooden Spoon has been gone for a couple of years now, but the former Aatxe space in the Swedish-American Hall filled the vacancy with a breakfast-and-lunch spot bearing a very similar name. Wooden Spoon, a project by the team behind Woodhouse Fish Co. and West of Pecos, has brought back ornament in the form of wooden spoons all over its dining rooms — and more importantly, it’s a paragon of breakfast-all-day excellence.

This is a superb menu, balancing fun treats like lemon-currant scones with smoothie bowls for the health brigade against deeply satisfying staples like a biscuit-and-gravy for the kind of people who sit back and sigh after eating, patting their stomachs. If you don’t adore it already, you’re going to learn to love mustard crème fraîche, which comes with the $12 House Hash (a poached egg with short ribs, potatoes, and pickled vegetables) as well as with the standalone side of potatoes.

For people who can’t escape a good benedict but who tire of smoked salmon and eggs norvegienne — this is a Swedish institution, after all — a $16 soft scramble made with Dungeness crab, bits of smoked bacon, mascarpone, and chives is your best bet. If you want to go full Nordic, there are Swedish Society pancakes with lingonberry jam and lemon.

Wash it back with a Bloody Mary that comes with a wooden spoon of its own — although it might be an oar for the carrot, cornichon, and celery garnish to paddle out. Alternately, there’s an unusual drink that resembles horchata, the Blackberry Bramble. Made with berries and yogurt plus gin, it’s got tang and bite in equal measure. Ha så kul!

Wooden Spoon, 2172 Market St., 415-946-3005 or

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