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A rose by any other name is no daisy?


Einstein recognized of all things are relative, but I say Sambo’s ain’t no Denny’s ain’t no Perry’s.  ‘What?’  Okay, so family style dining isn’t rocket science.  Good food, friendly service priced fair and maybe you’ll do okay.


Sambo’s dropped off the face of the earth due to pejorative nomenclature leading to Denny’s buying many hundreds of locations.  Now Denny’s could be found to have trouble with their service issues… but that’s another story (Did Denny’s deal a deadly hand? ).  At least one Denny’s became Perry’s.


Perry’s Cafe at 475 N. Magnolia in El Cajon has done well by f

Perry's Cafe in El Cajon

amily dining.  I’ve done Perry’s for over 20 years and after eating breakfast at Perry’s maybe 240 times, I say I’ve only been disappointed once in the food and never in the service.  A man named Costas owned the El Cajon and Loma Portal locations when I first met Perry’s.  Costas (spelled phonetically) began as the manager at Sambo’s Loma Portal.  He bought out the Sambo’s people long ago and ran both locations for decades.


Costas gave rise to success in family dining.  Costas had only ‘hot babes’ serving in short shorts.  My wife wasn’t thrilled with the staff uniforms, but we continued frequenting theEl Cajonlocation because it was simply the best at what they did.    You could be in and out in 20 minutes every time, and the doggy bag would serve you at least one more meal.


This formula spawned at least three other clones and without going into the history, they are Janet’s  (Which Janet’s is this?) and Janet’s Montana Cafe ( Janet’s Montana Cafe is far more than just a cafe.), with the third being the current Perry’s inEl Cajon.


Costas retired back in the 90s and his wife continued operating both locations.  She and her daughter continue in the Loma Portal location, with the same Costas formula… but Joel Garcia, began working for the Loma Portal location in 1981 as a line cook.  He and his wife Roseira bought out Mrs. Costas in theEl Cajonlocation in 2002 and they’ve kept the same Costas formula for success.  The ‘hot babes in short shorts’ haven’t been part of the scene for years but most of the other components are the same.


Go to PERRY’S inEl Cajonfor breakfast or lunch.  You’ll be happy if you do.

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