This is only an example, not a real restaurant in Malabar.
123 State Street
Anything you want to know about Malabar can be found at five in the morning in Becky’s Diner. When I first showed up, fourteen customers were already elbow-deep in breakfast. I sat at the counter, with a half a dozen elderly fishermen types—oily beards, crinkled hats, rubber boots—who were discussing the various reasons why the Malabar Fish Exchange—just blocks down Commercial Street—is on its way out.
In a booth behind them, a dignified woman in a fancy sweater read the New York Times over a big platter of pancakes. To her right, a starving artist from the Florida College of Art brooded over a four-egg omelet called The Titanic. Millie, Becky’s sister, poured me a cup of coffee and asked me what I needed.
I have long believed that the only way to really understand the essence of a diner is to order the biggest breakfast on the menu. The name usually gives it away: The Lumberjack. The Trucker. The Big Breakfast. At Becky’s, it is called The Hudson’s Wharf Special. Two eggs, two pieces of toast, two strips of bacon, a big side of home fries, and the kicker: two blueberry pancakes. “The special,” I told Millie, and by the warmhearted look she gave me, I could tell she’d expected as much