11:15 a.m. Saturday: Best Way to Get a Table at Mama's Royal Cafe on a Weekend 

Bring Five Friends

The best East Bay breakfast locales attract diners like lemmings to a cliff. You discover a new place and, before you know it, the word gets out and you're waiting in line for a table before the sun's even up. But weekends are for sleeping in as much as anything else, and jumping out of bed to beat the early birds surely violates the very spirit of weekendness. Soon you find yourself frequenting second-rate establishments just to avoid the hour-long wait. Well, there's no reason to compromise. Mama's, a longstanding breakfast hot spot famous for its urban chic, funky waitresses, and excellent morning fare, takes reservations for parties of six or more. Yes, you can actually call ahead, put your name in, and have a table waiting for you when you arrive. Steel yourself, however, for the jealous gaze of other patrons, as you stroll lazily past the crowd at eleven-something. Sure, the strategy requires some advance planning and assumes you have friends. But, for Mama's unbeatable huevos rancheros, it would be worth grabbing almost anyone -- casual carpool-style -- just to secure that reservation.


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