Caligula Would Have Brunched 

The Acropolis Knows What Boys Want

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I STILL HARBOR the romantic notion, however hopeless, that somewhere, in one of our 50-plus metro-area strip clubs—which are required to offer food if they provide alcohol—there will be a kitchen that serves edibles beyond powdered chicken fingers, fried string cheese, and ammoniated shrimp. The standard scenario is a Sysco dump 'n' fry—and while something unique like Casa Diablo's vegan snacks or the Russian-tinged bill of fare at Union Jacks occasionally comes along, by and large the food is about as inspired as the dancers. If a basket of onion rings was physically capable of texting its boyfriend from the corner of the stage for three songs, at most of these places, it no doubt would.

The Acropolis Steakhouse (8325 SE McLoughlin), a Rose City institution and one of the few gentlemen's clubs to open daily at 7 am (except for Sunday when they open at 11 am) with a full revue and menu, goes well beyond the standard grudgingly offered Fryolator flotsam. A Greek-themed menu of steaks, souvlakia, lemon-herb chicken, salad bar, and ribs also includes a startlingly cheap 11-item breakfast section. If you are looking for greasy diner basics done surprisingly well for about half of what you'd pay in a place where the only tits are the people waiting in line, this is something of a revelation.

Their legendary steaks can be quite good, and though many of the cuts are marinated, the textures of mine were choice tender. The $7 steak and eggs is a thick eight-ounce sirloin cooked to order (medium-rare with a warm, rosy center, in this case) with two eggs (over-medium and jiggly), toast, and a six-inch square of iconic diner hash browns (the cook, clearly a disciple of Joël Robuchon, seems to use a 2:1 potato-to-butter ratio). The chicken-fried steak with gravy, hash browns, and eggs ($6) is good in all the ways this nasty little schnitzel should be, and the ham-bacon-or-sausage breakfast gyro, at only $3, is an eight-inch meat omelet on thick pita with cheese. It is ugly, and hot, and big.

I find the dark, uncrowded breakfast ambience genial and calming, and the dancers' mellow morning playlists soothing. Nurse a bad head with a cheap cocktail, or simply energize yourself with the one-dollar coffee and free refills. Simply beware the $4.95 ATM fee, which is more than a plate of their sweet, chewy sourdough French toast or syrup-thirsty waffles.

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