I expected a busy breakfast scene at 9 o'clock on Monday morning at Lola's, the noveaux diner on Yale and 11th in the Heights, but there were very few customers. "Breakfast Lola," the first item on the morning menu, costs $8.95 and comes with two locally raised eggs, applewood bacon, or natural-casing sausage, house potatoes, cheese grits or hash, and sourdough or wheat toast. There is no waitstaff at Lola's; you order at the counter. I asked the counterman if it was a locally made sausage. "I have no idea," he replied in a tone that made it clear he wasn't going to go ask anyone about it. He processed my credit card and gave me a receipt—there was no spot for gratuity. Which explains the attitude. You can't expect much in the way of service when you aren't tipping.
I opted for poached eggs and cheese grits with bacon. It was a pleasant, if slightly flawed, breakfast. The poached eggs and cheese grits came in separate bowls. The cheese grits were plain yellow grits with grated cheese on top, rather than a seasoned bowl of grits. I spooned them onto my plate and attempted to put the eggs on top. But the eggs were sitting in a pool of water, so I had to figure out some way to drain them. I managed to fumble the eggs onto the picnic table where I was sitting and had to chase the slippery devils around the tabletop with a spoon trying not to break the yolks. (After reading Michael Pollan's "Some of My Best Friends Are Germs," in the NYT mag Sunday, I was not worried about contamination.) When I finally got the eggs in place and cut into them, I discovered the yolks were closer to well done than I prefer.
Next time I order "Breakfast Lola," I will either specify "lightly" poached eggs and ask the kitchen to drain them before sending them out--or switch to "over-easy."