I once worked graveyard at a newspaper in my hometown of Toledo, Ohio, far longer than I care to remember. It's not that the hours were that bad; it's just that the paper sucks kangaroo snot and always has, and Toledo isn't a city so much as a theme park with a city-jail motif. The shift itself was fine—we'd buck the mainstream as we headed for a neighborhood bar every 8 a.m., gleefully enduring the avalanche of angry glances and middle fingers from the poor saps who'd face the next eight hours dreaming about their place in line.
But that's the thing. Many, many people work (and play) very, very odd hours—and Mission Beach's Café Joie understands that. These folks have the good sense to serve breakfast until 6 p.m., in plenty of time for you to start your topsy-turvy day (don't go all crazy; lunch and dinner are available, too). If you've got a fair appetite on, the traditional English breakfast—three eggs accompanied by tomato, mushroom, bacon and toast—is a mere $7.50.
Lighter fare like yogurt, honey and granola comes at a lighter price ($4.95). But you're well-advised to show up super-hungry—the colossally wonderful smoked salmon scramble, at $7.25, is the bargain of the century, and we're not even eight years into it. The eatery wasn't redone on the inside all that long ago. Free wi-fi rounds out the many newer amenities; if you want some privacy, there's a cute isolated seating area.
Joie is the French word for “joy,” which is pretty much where we were an hour or so after quittin' time in Toledo. You can pick some up for yourself over at 3233 Mission Blvd. between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day (Fridays through Sundays until 9); the number is 858-488-5900. It won't beat 8 a.m. in a bar, but the up side is you're not living in Toledo.