Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eats

"When the 'Dog' looks in the mirror, he sees 'God', but when 'Mom' and 'Dad' look in the mirror, they only see 'Mom' and 'Dad'." 
~ Michael Fremer



(Still no official web-site.)


Place: Eats  
Location: 50 Clement Street (on the corner of 2nd Avenue); phonicular contact: (415) 751-8000
Hours: open Monday-Sunday at 8:00am (closed all other days of the week)
Meal: Hummus and Egg (v) ~ roasted red bell pepper hummus, tomatoes, hardboiled egg, cucumber salad, parsley, olives, served with rye toast ~ Humma-licious! (that is how they have it on their menu, but it is pretty accurate); a side of Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes; and a large (12 oz.) glass of Refresher ~ cucumber, pineapple, romaine 





(I am using these two EweToob videos to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing. For the record, I was against it, not for it.

I know that I could have used Dave Loggins' original version of the first song, but David Allan Coe has the distinction of singing "the perfect Country-and-Western song" ~ written by Steve Goodman and John Prine ~ and I like his singing better.)


I am still working my way through my Breakfastary Starting Rotation and went back to Eats (see last 'blog-entry from January 26th, 2014) today. This morning must have been "Kids Eat Free" day, as I was surrounded by families with all sizes of the little brats. Okay, that probably makes me sound a bit W.C. Fields-ish, but I am mainly stating this to point out that Eats is a very family-friendly joint. (Good save, Tuukka?) I did find it necessary to kick a puppy or two on the way back to my car, though.

After eating at Eats several times a year for the past few years, I really thought that I had about exhausted all of the (v) items on their menu, but there are still a few other dishes that I haven't tried yet: Two Tofu Tacos (try saying that ten times fast ~ zucchini, bell peppers, Hungarian peppers, corn, pico de gallo, cabbage slaw, avocado, beans ~ probably black or pinto, grilled tortillas, potatoes or salad; and they don't list it, but due to the name of the dish, I would assume there is also some tofu in this, too); Spinach Tomato Feta Scramble; Spinach Portabella Feta Benedict; or Vegetarian Egg Sandwich (Has anyone every seen a carnivorous egg before? ~ arugula, Cheddar, tomatoes, spicy aioli, over easy egg, avocado, cornmeal ciabatta, potatoes or salad). All of which gives me a good reason to go back again later in the year… as well as for the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes with all their golden garlicy goodness.




I really liked the simplicity of this dish. It all worked very well for me. The hummus paired nicely with the cucumber salad as a topping for the rye toast. At first, I didn't think there was going to be quite enough of the rye toast (there were just two slices, cut into thirds) to use up all the hummus and junk, but it worked out to be exactly the right amount (especially if you are like me and like to pile the hummus pretty high). The tomatoes were either halved cherry or grape (the joke here being that while cherries are not botanical berries, both grapes and tomatoes are). I did not notice any olives (or olives) anywhere on the plate and think they may have forgotten these; this would be a big shame if they used actual Kalamata olives.

Today's garlicocity rating for the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes: just two cloves; however, one was an extra large clove, so I can consider it as three total.

The Refresher was very verdantly vile looking, but it really was pretty good tasting; however, I think it could have used just a bit of fresh-squeezed lime juice in it to give it a bit of a pop. (This is not really that unusual, as I think fresh-squeezed lime juice goes great with fresh watermelon or cantaloupe drinks, too).

For condimentary supplements, Eats has (Eats have?) the San Francisco Triumvirate of Hot Sauces (or S.F.T.o.H.S. for short people): Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (the standard red); Tapatío®; and Cholula® Hot Sauce. As usual, I brought a few of my own hot sauces with me again and used a little (well, a little too much ~ I was a bit heavy-handed when I poured it; it's not as hot as an habanero salsa, but it still is pretty darn picante) Nando's® Extra Hot (see, that should have been a warning to me right there) Peri-Peri Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) all over the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes and just a few drops (I knew better with this one) of Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks again, Kerry!) on the hardboiled egg slices.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Hummus and Egg ~ 6.8; Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes ~ 7.5  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baker Street Bistro

"Bare feet are better than holes in your shoes… " ~ Linda Lewis



http://www.bakerstreetbistro.com/


Place: Baker Street Bistro  
Location: 2953 Baker Street[1] (at Lombard Street)
Hours: open at 9:00am for "Brunch" on Saturday & Sunday (it should be noted that it states this time right at the top of their home page on their web-site and on the hours of operation sign in their window; however, it actually says on the "Brunch" page of their menu on their web-site, "Join us for brunch Saturdays & Sundays from 9:30am to 2:30pm.")
Meal: Oeufs[2] Baker Street Bistro ~ ratatouille, poached eggs, English muffin, tomato sauce ~ served with home fries & mixed greens; and a cuppa good, strong Coffee




(Sometimes you actually get pretty lucky with these EweToobular juxtaselections. I was very surprised to find a Good Rats video there. My first introduction to these guys was way back in 1978 ~ Space-bo, Gospodin Traulshchik!)


Encore en fois je suis retourné à Baker Street Bistro (see last 'blog-entry from January 4th, 2014). I sat inside again this morning, as it was still a bit overcast and cool outside (the only people braving the weather outside in the sidewalk café portion were the same couple that I have seen there a few times now, but they had no choice as they had their large Standard Poodle[3] with them again).

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude
Having once again parked over by the Presidio's Lombard Gate, I saw a few of the fine-feathered pests way up in the treetops there. I was expecting to hear a lot more of their inane chattering, but I think that most of the local company had already taken off for work this morning. 

It is interesting to note (well, it is to me) that I ate at Baker Street Bistro exactly one year ago and ordered the same meal as I did this morning. I had the Pain Perdu on my last two visits there, and, as I always say, even if they didn't have the Best French Toast in San Francisco, the Oeufs Baker Street is still worth a return visit on its own accord. This play on Eggs Benedict is right up there in taste and originality with last week's breakfast at Dottie’s True blue café.




You can see (even from my crummy photographic efforts) that this dish is far from achromous. Ratatouille is normally made with eggplant[4] (a botanical berry, of course), zucchini[5] (botanically a fruit, but not a berry), tomatoes (also botanical berries) and bell peppers (more botanical berries), but they don't use any eggplant in the mess at Baker Street Bistro. I guess that this is sorta "less 'rata' and more 'touille'...". But you know what the French say, "À bien tomatôt!"

As always, the Coffee was very good and strong, and I was plied with many a refill.

Baker Street Bistro only offers for condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (the standard red). I used some of my own Dave's Gourmet® Ginger Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, Jim!) on the homefries and a little Serious Food… Silly Prices Chunky Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on just one of the poached eggs to mix in with the tomato sauce and the egg yolk.

I actually picked up a brand new stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer today. Whenever Chantal would bring the plates of food to the tables, she would do so with a flourish and state, "Et voilà!". So, after hearing this a few times with each of the customers being served before me, and when she finally brought my meal to me, utilizing my best Tony Schloss analytical skills[6], I ratiocinated[7] that this must be the French equivalent of "Bon Appétit!"

And as sheer luck would have it, Dr. Watson, this was another great early morning breakfastary repast. "Et voilà!" to everyone! 


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Oeufs Bakers Street Bistro ~ 7.4 


1. For any of you Holmesophiles (and everyone knows that San Francisco is full of that kind of person; you know what they say, "One out of three guys in San Francisco is a 'Holmesophile'. So, if you look to your left and to your right and don't see one, that must mean you are a bit 'Baker Street Irregular' yourself."), if you were wondering where 221B, Baker Street might be located in San Francisco (if there was such an actual address here), I think that would be way over where the Panhandle ends by the San Francisco branch of the California DMV, between Fell and Oak Streets.

2. Additional stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro un:

"Oeufs" simply means "eggs" in French. However, the similar French word "oeuvre" that we have adopted into English to mean "the body of work produced by an artist" originally comes from the Latin word "opera" (which is the plural of "opus", meaning "work", not "penguin"); and everyone knows that you can't make an opera without cracking a few opus.

3. This is something that I never knew, the dog breed of Poodle is believed to have originated in Germany, not France.  

Additional stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer des Tages, Nummer zwei:

"Poodle" was originally known in German as "Pudelhund"; "Pudel" (which is a cognate with the English word "puddle") is derived from the Low German verb meaning "to splash about". 

4. Additional stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro trois:

"Eggplant" in French is "aubergine" (and not "oeufplante"); it is also known as "aubergine" in Great Britain, too, but everyone knows that those idiots needs to learn them some correct English.

5. Additional stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro quatre:

"Zucchini" in French is "courgette"; again, for some reason, the stupid British call this fruit "courgette". I always thought they hated everything French. 

6. These two stories really show what it takes to be a professional "cunning linguist".*

There once was a Russkij 208 stationed in Berlin (let's just call him "Anthony Castle" for our story purposes) that really knew how to figure out any unknown German words when confronted with them.

Story A:

One time while our linguistic hero was getting his first tattoo at a local parlour, the tattooist had a large German Shepherd (strangely enough, this breed actually originated in France**) with him in the studio. Whenever the dog would stand up, the tattoo artist would command "Platz!" and the dog would then either sit or lie down. After this happened several times, "Herr Castle" turned to his other friend (whom we will just call "Doug DePraved" for this story) that was also getting a tattoo and said, "Hey! That dog's name must be 'Platz'…”

Story B:

"Kleine Anthony" had it all figured out how to order "a small Beer" at die Kneipen when he was getting a little full. In most pubs in Berlin, you could usually order a Beer in either 0.2 liter or 0.5 liter sizes (and for the really stout of thirst, you could order a full liter boot, too). The expression for "one more Beer" in German is "einmal Bier" ("einmal" basically means "once" in German, I will let you determine what the second word in that articulation means). Unfortunately, "Herr Castle" mistook this to be three words: "ein mal Bier". Using all the cunning linguistic analytical prowess at his disposal (he knew his German numbers pretty well and he and "Bier" went way back), he decided that "mal" must mean "small". I just hope he never received "a bad Beer" in a French restaurant when ordering like this.

*(As these events actually occurred about thirty years ago now, I can neither confirm nor deny their veracity.)
**(Nah, not really! But I bet someone actually bought that stupid joke.)

7. Look it up, Mr. Porter.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dottie’s True blue café

"every cloud
has its silver 
lining but it is 
sometimes a little 
difficult to get it to 
the mint"
~ archy the cockroach[1] (Don Marquis)



http://dotties.biz/


Place: Dottie's True blue café  
Location: 28th Sixth Street (on the corner of Stevenson Street)
Hours: open for breakfast every day of the week at 7:30am (except for Tuesday and Wednesday when they are closed)
Meal: Zucchini Cakes ~ topped with poached eggs & spicy Marinara, fruit, & potatoes; and a cuppa Coffee




(Today's EweToobular juxtaselections are mainly because Dottie's True blue café normally has old 1930's and 1940's songs playing on the house stereo.)


It's no big secret that I am a major ideologue of Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from January 19th, 2014). So, in keeping with my Breakfastary Rotation workout, I went back there this morning. I arrived there bright and early (because dark and late would never work for breakfast) and really only had a five to ten minute wait before they opened the doors this morning. I was seated with the first horde of hungry diners (I was actually the fifth person in line). I had parked just a few (safe) steps away on Sixth Street again this morning (if you get over there before 8:00am, there are usually lots of free, legal parking spots nearby and in not too sketchy areas).

On the front counter (and right next to where I was sitting, so I made sure to play with all of them), there are several snow-globes that people have given to Kurt from all over the World. I saw one from the Sundance Film Festival and one with the Acropolis (now, the person that gave that one must be a Francis Ford Coppola fan). This is just a small sample of their collection; they used to have more displayed at their old location (where there was a lot less space to do so, too).




There were a few other decent options listed among the daily Chalkboard Specials: Avocado, Tomato, Jalapeño, Scallion, Corn, & Feta Frittata (I was not exactly sure what ingredients this might include, so I skipped it this morning); Banana-Raspberry Rice Flour Pancakes (I have never had those and really have to try them one of these days; by the way, bananas are an actual botanical berry, but raspberries are not); or Sweet Potato, Caramelized Red Onion, & Gruyere Tart (I have actually had this one before and know it's another winner).




Sure, I just had the Zucchini Cakes two visits previously, but they really are one of my favourite selections at Dottie's and I wanted to make sure I had them at least once this year while they are available. (These honestly should be added to their standard daily menu.) While waiting in line, I talked the unsuspecting couple from Dee-troit in front of me into ordering the Zucchini Cakes, too (where I used my stupid Uova Benedetto joke/explanation on them ~ mainly because I don't know the Italiano word for "zucchini").

Today's cup (small bowl, whatever) of side fruits were: blueberries (an actual botanical berry), strawberries (not an actual botanical berry), blackberries (also not an actual botanical berry), cantaloupe (an actual botanical berry), and watermelon (and, as strange as it may seem, an actual botanical berry, too).[2]

Even knowing full well (Has anyone ever known anything "half-cistern"?) that Dottie's has one of the better offerings of condimentary supplements (Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce ~ the standard red, green jalapeño, and Chipotle; Tapatío®; and Frank's® RedHot® Chile 'n Lime), I still used some of my own Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) ~ just a small amount ~ on top of the eggs to both complement and compliment the spicy Marinara sauce; I also used a decent amount of Born to Hula presents Devon Allman's Chipotle Blues (Thanks, Kerry!) on the potatoes ~ potatoes and chipotle really are a great flavour combination. The guy sitting next to me at the counter this morning had ordered something that came with grilled chili-cheddar cornbread and pepper jelly. I noticed that he poured what was left of the jelly all over his homefries, too. That sounds like a great idea and I will have to try that at home one of these days as I actually have a jar of Dottie's Own Chipotle Pepper Jelly (Sweet Heat! ~ It's Hot and Cool!) in my refrigerator. 


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Zucchini Cakes ~ 7.6 


1. In keeping with the whole early 20th Century (musical) theme, I used this quote from the archy and mehitabel newspaper column by Don Marquis. For those of you who are not familiar with his writing, here is some extra-added information from our friendly friends at Wikipedia:


2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointers of the day:

(Just because I haven't spammed anyone with any of these for the past few 'blog-entries, I am including these this morning. So there!)

"Fruit/fruits" in Italiano is "frutta" (yeah, that is a real tough one for someone without any linguistic talents).

"Blueberry/Blueberries" in Italiano is "mirtillo/mirtilli". I think it is the same word used for "bilberry" and "huckleberry", Mr. Butler.

"Strawberry/Strawberries" in Italiano is "fragola/fragole".

"Blackberry/Blackberries" in Italiano is "mora/more".

"Cantaloupe" in Italiano is "cantalupo" (another stretch for the linguistically-challenged).

"Watermelon" in Italiano is "anguria".

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ella’s

"The one with the potato scramble with grilled squash, spinach, pine nuts, and lemon herb goat cheese."



http://www.ellassanfrancisco.com/


Place: Ella's 
Location: 500 Presidio Avenue (at California Street)
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Friday at 7:00am; open for "Brunch" Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am
Meal: potato scramble with grilled squash, spinach, pine nuts, and lemon herb goat cheese ~ added eggs; and a glass of ginger orange juice punch





As this week marks the start of a brand new Baseball Season, I figured it was time to eat again at some of the restaurants in my Breakfastary Rotation. On the mound this morning was Ella's (see last 'blog-entry from January 11th, 2014). 

GO RED SOX!!! (Your 2013 World Champs)

GO GIANTS!!! (Your 2012 World Champs)

There were really only a few other choices on this weekend's "Brunch" menu (which changes every weekend and usually highlights what is seasonally available) for stupid vegetarians: lemon hazelnut ricotta pancakes (but I just had those on my last visit); ella's florentine (fried cornmeal, spinach, poached eggs, oven roasted tomatoes, and a pesto hollandaise); or folded omelette with ham, apple, jalapeño, and cheddar (which I would have ordered less the dead piggy parts, of course).




Today's potato scramble (and I opted for the "add eggs" option) was another interesting combination; all of the flavours worked well together. Spinach is always a winner as an ingredient; the lemon herb goat cheese was very good; and there were a lot of pine nuts. My toast choice was honey oat raisin, which I ate with some of their fresh homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) black raspberry jam. 

Ella's only offers Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (both the standard red and the green jalapeño) for condimentary supplementation. I went with some of my own Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) on part of the heap of potatoes and some Pickapeppa Sauce (Thanks, Amy!) on another part of the heap of potahtoes.

By the way, I also like tomatoes and tomahtoes, so there is no need to call anything off.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: potato scramble ~ 6.7 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

the Dipsea Café

A Breakfastary Roadtrip:
Mill Valley, Marin County, CA



http://www.dipseacafe.com/


Place: the Dipsea Café
Location: 200 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, Marin County, CA
Hours: open for breakfast at 7:00am every day of the week
Meal: Greek Omelette ~ Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, and oregano (served with home fries, homemade buttermilk biscuit or toast and homemade jam); a side of Τζατζικι
(because it was on the menu and because I could); and a large glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice





(The reason for the first EweToobular juxtaselection is because I heard it on the radio this morning on my way Way-Up-North; plus, it is Sunday still in most places. Brandi Carlile is the anti-American Idol ~ she actually is a talented singer-songwriter in her own right and didn't need any fake help from either Simon Scowls or the FAUX TeeVee network. The second video is because cousins Steven and John are both of Greek descent; additionally, it's a good song.)


I was very grateful that the Sun was out again this morning and shining its best shining, because I made the long haul all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge once again this morning to eat at the Dipsea Café, (see previous 'blog-entry from April 7th, 2012 ~ almost two years ago now). Probably because the restaurant is located all the way up in Marin County and they open up bright and early every morning at 7:00am (and, hipster doofi, please note, "for breakfast", not "Brunch"), I wasn't the first customer of the day for a change; there were already several small families (and I was very happy to see neither a pork-pie hat, nor a cravat in the entire joint) with young children eating pancakes and such. (Kids, try the Mickey Dipsea or Pigs in a Blanket.)

The walls of the Dipsea Café are festooned with all these old tin advertisement signs and there are several "No Smoking" signs in various ferren languages, and they have a few cool old stoves and coolers hanging around the place, too.





(I can't actually read the top sign. I think that it might be in Greek or something and probably reads: "Y*nkees Go Home!" ~ which is just fine with this Red Sox Fan.)[1]




When getting a "Greek" omelette, it is always great to see authentic Kalamata olives being used, and there was a good amount in the omelette, too. Another important factor is that the Feta cheese should be in large chunks (in this case, they were at least ¼" or larger pieces) and in copious amounts; and not in any minuscule amount of Feta crumblies. The tomatoes were actually grilled/roasted, which really added another depth of flavour ~ Μπράβο! My one complaint about the omelette would be that there was a inordinate amount of pepperoncinis inside it; I am not exaggerating any here when I say that there may have been a quarter of a jar of the sliced variety inside.

Of course, I went for the homemade buttermilk biscuit choice. Who in their right mind would choose plain ol' toast when there is the option of a fresh, warm biscuit? There really is nothing better than fresh, warm homemade (even if the "home" is a diner/restaurant) biscuits… and with homemade jam! Today's homemade jam was strawberry

The orange juice was the actual fresh-squeezed stuff, made by one of those the Jetsons contraptions that cuts the oranges in half and then makes the juice all in one machine.

This was good Τζατζικι, but like a lot of places in the States, they go way too lightly on the garlic; they always seem to temper it for the stupid Αμερικανάκι[2]. After eating Τζατζικι, one should be able to part large crowds by just breathing on them. I am pretty sure that strong, correctly-made Τζατζικι is the main secret ingredient in the chemical weapons being employed in Syria currently… oh, wait, that can't actually be happening… Obama did declare a Red Line, after all.

For condimentary supplements, the Dipsea Café has just Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (both the standard red and the green jalapeño). I used some of my own Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on top of the omelette. This turned out to be a highly superfluous move, as the pepperoncinis already kinda spiced the thing up a bit, but I was not aware of that until after I had cut into the omelette. The Τζατζικι was added primarily, and very liberally, I might add (I really can't stand those stupid Republicans and their stingy, conservative use of condimentary supplementation), all over the home fries. Nothing beats the combination of Τζατζικι and potatoes!

As I had skipped any Coffee beverages with my meal this morning, I decided on doing the whole
διπλό Καφές Ελληνικός ~ μέτριος at home. I used some of my Bettys Christmas Coffee for this (which was already pre-ground for standard Coffee machines; ideally, you really should use a very fine grind of Coffee to make this, but as I always say: "When in San Francisco, do as the Greeks would never think of doing!"). I had to break out my highly-technical Greek Coffee Maker (it's a little one-piece aluminium deelie) and prepare it just like my native Greek friend, Tim Fitzsimmonsopoulos, taught me: you start by adding the ground Coffee into the water (and just a λίγο amount of ζάχαρη); bring it all to a boil once (making sure to take it off the heat as soon as the Coffee starts to bubble up, otherwise it will foam-up all over the place and make a big mess all over your stovetop… or so I have been told) and remove it from the heat for a few seconds; replace it on the heat and let it boil/bubble up another time; remove from heat again; and then let boil for one last time (that would be three times in all for anyone not keeping count)… and Voila! (Okay, I do not know the Greek word for "Voila!") ~ the perfect cuppa Καφές Ελληνικός. When drinking a Greek Coffee (or Turkish Coffee or Arabic Coffee), you have to be careful to let the grounds settle to the bottom of the cup first and then sip down only as far as the grounds will let you. Another native Greek friend of mine, Bob Worthingtonassis, used to drink the entire thing to the bottom, gritty sludge and all; he swore it was the best way to stay awake during a Mid-shift.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greek Omelette ~ 6.7 (this would easily have been a 7.0 or higher with a lighter hand on the pepperoncinis); Τζατζικι ~ 7.5


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, part the first:

a) Russkij = "Не Kурить", pronounced “Nee Kooreet”, and means just that "Do Not Smoke";
b) Deutsch = "Bitte Nicht Rauchen", pronounced "Bitta Neekt Rouken”, and again simply means "Please Do Not Smoke";

and extra-added bonusary:

c) Greek = "Απαγορεύεται το κάπνισμα" and loosely translates as "Y*nkees Go Home! And Smoke In Your Own D*mn Stadium!" (No, really, look it up yourself if you don't believe me.)

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, secondly:

Αμερικανάκι" is basically Greek slang for "stupid Y*nkees". The term "Αμερικανός" is the correct term for "stupid 'mericans".

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cassava

"When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are…"
~ Jim N.E. Cricket 



http://www.cassavasf.com/


Place: Cassava
Location: 3519 Balboa Street (at 36th Avenue; however, you will not find their address listed anywhere directly on their official web-site ~ that is just a terrible web-design; who doesn't at least put the address of a business on their official web-site?)
Hours: open for breakfast at 8:30am on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; open for "Brunch" at 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday
Meal: Japanese Breakfast ~ Koshihikari[1] rice, ichiban[2] dashi market veggie miso soup, sous vide[3] "onsen tamago"[4] poached egg, natto, wakame salad, and market vegetable pickle; and a cuppa Ritual Coffee Roasters Dukunde Kawa, Rwanda

http://www.ritualroasters.com/




(Today's EweToobular juxtaselection combines both Japan and [live in] San Francisco; plus, I always liked Graham Parker.)


I had breakfast this morning at Cassava, which is just five blocks away (making it one of the closest places to my apartment for breakfast or "Brunch"). Cassava had started out as a very small bakery two years ago (in a space that had housed an old barbershop many years ago) with just a few small tables ~ there was no real space for anyone to sit and enjoy breakfast (or "Brunch"). Last year, they extended into the space next door and more than doubled their space. While it is still a rather smallish joint, they now have ten two-seat tables, eight counter seats, and two to three sidewalk tables/benches. I had stopped by a few times since they originally opened, but just for Coffee and pastries only; this was my first actual breakfastary trip there.

I had to ask the counter-server lady, "Why 'Cassava'?". There were no obvious dishes on the menu that incorporated either cassava, manioc, or even any tapioca drinks (see 'blog-entry from March 13th, 2014 for an explanation). I was informed that the Japanese owner's name is "Yuka" (or close enough for government work) and she figured this was a cute way of naming the joint after herself. Okay, it kinda was.

Even though Cassava is really a bit of a hipster doofi hangout, there are lots of books for little kids to read and play with… and there were a lot little hipster doofi rugrats there early this morning (with their hipster doofi parental units, I suppose). (Can hipster doofi still be legally called "hipster doofi" once they have procreated? Don't they have to turn in their pork-pie hats, pretentious cravats, and hipster doofi union cards once they have squeezed out a puppy or two?)

Anyway, you order and pay at the counter, then they give you a number (well, an actual playing card ~ mine today was a 7 of Clubs… and I saw that there were plenty of higher/winning cards to give out still; what a rip-off!) and then they bring the food out to you (I am truly surprised that hipster doofi stand for such pedestrian tactics).

There really were only a few other possible ideas for "Brunch" for me: Liege Waffle[5] Plate (Liege waffle [whatever the heck that might be] with sugar crystal [again, ygiagam, on what that is supposed to mean], scrambled egg [sic - singular], house made preserve and thick cut bacon ~ which I would have skipped) or Breakfast Croissant (Black Forest ham, eggs [plural here], Vermont white Cheddar, tomatoes, arugula, on butter croissant ~ again, I would have 86-ed the dead, decaying porky flesh).



(In deference to the whole "Japanese" Breakfast theme this morning, I purposely added elements of bokeh to the above photo. Yeah, that's it.)


I really wasn't quite sure how to eat the "onsen tamago", so I just dropped it on top of the pile of Kawasaki rice. Natto is not really for everyone (it is a bit stinky and slimy), but I like it and it is one of my favourite makimono sushis. I just ended up dumping most of the natto in with the egg/rice mess, too; it all worked for me. Hopefully the dashi base was vegetarian (I asked the counter-server lady ahead of time and she said that it contained no katsuobushi, but that sounded kinda fishy to me). Why do so many places insist on using the term "veggie" when "vegetable" would make much more sense? They had no problem calling the other side dish "market vegetable pickle". Whatever. As best I could tell, today's "market veggies" were: kale (which is related to the vile weed, but so much tastier, of course), two different types of mushrooms, potatoes(?), and a few other "veggies". Of course, I always think that potato side dishes (of any kind) are better than plain ol' white rice (even if it is prepared specially by Koji Uehara) any day.

The Ritual Coffee Roasters was a very good cuppa. I think it was prepared as "single-drip", which is always nice, but there are no free refills that way unfortunately. I have had this local brand a few times before at other coffeeshops in town, but this was the first time that I had their Dukunde Kawa, Rwanda blend/roast.

I don't really know what Cassava might offer in the way of condimentary supplementation as I didn't bother to ask (it's basically a fancy-shmancy bakery/pastry joint, after all). I did use a little of my own Mama Africa's Zulu Sauces Chilli Mint (Thanks, Kerry!) on top of the egg/natto/rice mixture; it actually went very well.

While eating my breakfast with chopsticks was a lot of fun (it was very difficult to eat the miso soup with them, though), the close proximity of the restaurant was very handy, and this was a nice change from an ordinary breakfast (or "Brunch"), there really are not enough interesting or diverse items on the (very limited) menu to rate going back again for breakfast (or "Brunch"). I will probably just stop in for a pastry and Coffee once in a while.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Japanese Breakfast ~ 6.3; Ritual Coffee Roasters Dukunde Kawa, Rwanda ~ 6.9


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, 一番:

"Koshihikari" can be translated from Japanese as "the light of Koshi" (in reference to the old Koshi Province).

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, ナンバー2:

"Ichiban" means "first" in Japanese; it can also mean "the best" (as in "You are 'A'-number one, Joe-san") when used as an adjective. "Ichiban dashi" would just be the "basic first brewed dashi soup stock".

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numéro trois:

"Sous-vide" is French for "under vacuum". It is a method of slow-cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath. 

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, 数4:

"Tamago" simple means "egg" in Japanese.

Additional information from our friendly friends at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onsen_tamago

5. Actually, I looked it up, apparently a "Liège Waffle" is a specific style of Belgian waffle. Then why not just say "Belgian Waffle"?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Vile Weed

"He could do this. He'd survived boot camp. He'd survived combat and the harsh weather of Afghanistan. He could survive br*ccoli. Probably."
~ Shannon Stacey, Yours to Keep




When both the 41st President of these here United States of the U.S.A. and the most important character on the #1 TeeVee show from the 1990's agree that br*ccoli[1] is a "vile weed", you just know that it truly has to be some form of terrorist biochemical warfare, a Communist plot, or a Soup Nazi scheme.

The vile weed is part of the Brassicaceae (mustard/cabbage) family. Other (actually edible) cruciferous vegetables in the same family are: cauliflower, turnips, radishes, daikon[2]/white radish, kale, Brussels sprouts, br*ccolini, bok choy[3],  kai-lan/Chinese br*ccoli/Chinese kale, rutabagas/swedes/Swedish turnips, rapini[4]/br*ccoli raab, and collard greens ~ all of which I enjoy immensely. 

Unfortunately, I am more than resigned to the fact that the vile weed is present in many Asian dishes and will eat it if absolutely necessary; however, I won't go out of my way to specifically order it either (which is why I never order Br*ccoli Beef at a Chinese restaurant ~ and hopefully that will be the last mention of that offensive expletive from here on out; I do apologize to any of the more gentile readers out there). And, no matter what the circumstances, there is absolutely never any reason to ruin a perfectly good Pizza by adding the vile weed as one of the grilled vegetable toppings; that is just an unforgivable and blasphemous act.

When I was a kid, I used to sneak my helping of the vile weed to our dogs under the table; luckily, the dogs were stupid enough to think that any "people food" must be palatable. (Seriously, how picky can their tastes be? They like drinking from the toilet and lie around all day licking themselves, anyway.) I just hope that PETA isn't reading this 'blog-entry and that the Statue of Limitations[5] has expired for those offenses.


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numero uno:

"Br*ccoli" comes from Italian; it is the plural of "br*ccolo", which comes from "brocc(o)", meaning "sprout" or "spike", plus "-olo", a diminutive suffix. Hence, it basically means "little spike" (which is exactly what the vile weed tastes like, of course). 
(See also: "broach" or "brocade")

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, ナンバー2:

"Daikon"/"大根derives from the Japanese word and literally meaning "large root".

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, 第三:

"Bok choy"/"白菜" comes from Cantonese and literally means "white vegetable" (even though it is usually green). 

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numero quattro:

"Rapini" comes directly from Italian. "Rapa" in Italian means "turnip", and, in Italy, rapini is also known as "cime di rapa" (meaning "turnip tops").

5. Which is an actual well-known statue, much like the Statue of the Liberty, the Statue of the four Marx Brothers on Mount Rushmore (Chico and Zeppo look nothing like they did in the movies, but Groucho and Harpo are spot-on), and Rodin's famous "Statue of a Guy sitting on the john" (well, in French that would be "La Statue d'un Homme assis sur le jean").

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cafe Golo

"We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie." 
~ David Mamet, Boston Marriage



(No official web-site.)


Place: Cafe Golo
Location: 1602 Lombard Street (at Gough Street, of course)
Hours: open at 8:00am every day of the week
Meal: Breakfast Quesadilla ~ melted cheese with avocado, black bean and corn salsa in a flour tortilla; a side of Country Potatoes; and a glass of orange juice





(There is no correlation between today's breakfastary destination and these EweToobular juxtaselections; I just felt like linking "Every Time You Go Away" and "Lowdown".)


I went back to Cafe Golo (see last 'blog-entry from July 21st, 2013) for another fine breakfast this morning. Miss PB was just opening up (and on time, I might add, too) as I arrived this morning. I am thinking about adding Cafe Golo to my Breakfastary Rotation, but then I would have to make the hard decision on which restaurant to send back down to the Minors.

There are a few other good ideas (for stupid vegetarians) left on the menu that I have not yet tried: Golo Ranchero (corn tortillas topped with eggs, cheese, jalapeño pepper, salsa verde, and sour cream) and Spinach Scramble Omelet (spinach, mushrooms, cheese, and a few other items that I didn't write down; I was really intrigued by its ambiguous name ~ are you a "scramble" or are you an "omelette"? This is the 21st Century; come out of the food closet and show your true breakfastary colours); as well as Veggie Tater Scramble (country potatoes topped with sautéed onions, peppers, the vile weed, artichokes, mushrooms, zucchini, and cheese; which I had on my first visit there and wouldn't mind having again).

This morning's "pastry bites" (which are also known as "baked-goods crack" ~ see, they give you a "little taste of the good stuff" expecting you to be stupid enough to fall for it and purchase whole pieces of their fresh-baked goods. Well, you will never see me succumb to such pedestrian marketing tactics and buying one of their pastries… nope, I usually am a sucker for at least two or three pieces.) were: Kiwi-Cranberry Tart, Cranberry Scone, and Apple-Pear Tart. And, of course, I got some fresh-baked pastries to go(lo): a Sweet Potato Tart (one of my favourites of theirs) and a Mixed Fruit Tart (I was told that today's mixture included: pear, apple, apricot, and blueberries).



(I happened to notice that I am using B&W photos again for a visit to Cafe Golo ~ see previous 'blog-entry from August 26th, 2012. This was completely coincidental. Blame Tim Rice for the timing if you must.)


The Breakfast Quesadilla was very good, and the ingredients description that they have listed on the menu really don't do it justice. Of course, it also included scrambled eggs inside the quesadilla with lots of cheese to bind it all together nicely. The black bean and corn salsa is a great addition on its own, made with lots of onions and jalapeños in it. The Country Potatoes, made with both sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, is always a good side. This was definitely a carbo-overload for me this morning (I like to tell people that I do not adhere to the Paleo Diet; I have evolved a little bit and am on the Mesolithic Diet).

Cafe Golo offers for condimentary supplements Crystal® Louisiana’s Pure Hot Sauce and a few other hot sauces. I had come fully prepared with a couple of my own and used some Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) liberally all over the quesadilla and some Dave's Gourmet® Ginger Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, J.T.!) on the potatoes. The ginger-peach flavours went extremely well with the sweet potato-potato combination.

As I was leaving, Miss PB pointed out to me that in April or May, she and Jay will be opening up a new restaurant at 210 Jones Street (between Eddy and Turk Streets over in the Tenderloin, where Manor House Restaurant used to be). They do not have a name picked out yet for the new place. I suggested (in keeping with the whole Cafe Golo theme) maybe either Cafe Edjo (or Joed) or Cafe Tujo (or Jotu), none of which really seemed to be a hit with Miss PB. I also suggested the obvious: Cafe PB&J or PB&J Bistro. I will have to keep my eyes open for when it finally opens and check them out in early Summer.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Breakfast Quesadilla ~ 6.7