Food Stuff

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

The short order cook is an under-appreciated exemplar of human achievement. Take George Karyszyn, owner of North Sac’s Uptown Café, who commands the grill beginning at 4:30 on weekday mornings. You can observe this kitchen veteran from the counter stools. Amid the clatter and sizzle, George performs a ballet of pivots, flips and turns as the orders flow in. Breakfast moves into lunch, and George is bobbing and weaving, one eye on the tickets, heroically juggling a hundred details. Uptown Café brings in a loyal clientele who appreciate George’s heaping portions of home cooking, with daily specials such as roast turkey, sirloin tips and chicken Parmesan. George keeps up the frenetic pace until closing at 3 p.m. On Sunday, his day off, he comes in to knock off a few chores. Where does he get the energy? “Hey,” says George, “if you don’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t be in the business.” 1121 Del Paso Blvd., 649-2233.