Ming’s Coffee Shop
54 2nd St
(between Jessie St & Stevenson St)
A narrow hole in the wall that you could easily miss if you weren’t paying attention. Even with their signboard outside, the entry is really non-descript. I’ve gone here a few times on the advice of my co-workers and the first experience was great, the next few were hit or miss.
What Ming’s is great for:
- Rainy weekday wonton noodle soup run if you work in SoMa. Financial District employees have easier access to Chinatown dives and this is close enough. For about $5.95, you get a decent portion of soup, egg noodles, wontons, and the meat of your choice. I liked the spicy beef wonton noodle soup (thanks, VT!). Another time my chicken order came with the noodles a tad al dente, though I think I was being too picky — this ain’t no ramen house!
- Lunch specials. If you like cheap greasy Chinese food, you can select from a bunch of options in the cafeteria line. $4.95 for 1 selection with a side of rice, or $5.95 for 2 selections. This line moves fast. It doesn’t look too healthy, but you’re not here for that, are you?
What Ming’s could do better (from a GrubGirl perspective):
- Faster service on anything else on the menu. They’ve got others things on the menu like Singapore Style Curry Egg Noodles, which took a long wait to get. Lesson learned? Don’t go off the conveyor belt.
- Â Bigger breakfasts (for the same price). For under $3, I ordered a Grilled Cheese with Ham sandwich. I was expecting more quantity from a dive. I got something I could’ve made at home: 2 slices of toasted white bread, melted slice of processed cheese, a coupla slices of sandwich meat. Grrrrr.
- Cool it on the MSG. You better have easy access to a water source afterwards because the side effects will hit ya pretty soon after the first bite hits your innards.
Despite all that, I do appreciate their greasy-spoon atmosphere wedged into between other yuppier eating establishments. I do think a venture into any Lee’s Sandwiches chain could warrant better cafeteria-style Chinese food but if you’re looking for some greasy wonton noodle soup on a chilly day, their stuff does hit the spot.