Half Moon Bay/Princeton-by-the-Sea, CA
(It's always a fantabulous morning for Beer and Pizza, Van. And, yeah, the second EweToob video is another total corn-bally song, but it is Father's Day, so deal with it.)
Because the San Francisco 2013 Marathon was going on this morning and it basically cuts off half of the city from traffic, I figured this morning was as good an excuse to make a mini-road trip to Half Moon Bay Brewing Company Restaurant & Brew Pub (which is just way too long and shall be abbreviated as HMBBCR&BP for the rest of the 'blog-entry). Half Moon Bay is about a "half"-hour drive due south of San Francisco along the scenic, coastal Highway 1. HMBBCR&BP is actually located in Princeton-by-the-Sea, but who would want to drink Beer from "Princeton-by-the-Sea Brewing Company"? Both Half Moon Bay and Princeton-by-the-Sea have a nice Cape Cod-ish quality to them; with lots of good places to eat and some nice tourist shops; plus, they happen to be right along the ocean, too (hence the whole "Half Moon Bay" and "Princeton-by-the-Sea" nomenclatures). I have eaten lunch and dinner there a few times in the past, but this morning was the first time I had breakfast there.
I sat outside in the large open-air patio area. There is seating for 60-70 people easily outside and it is a very dog-friendly place to eat (there were several dogs with their human escorts there this morning). They open at 9:00am on the weekends for what I am happy to see they call "Breakfast" on their menu. It was still a bit foggy and chilly this morning when I arrived there about a "half"-hour after they opened, but that was actually "half" the fun. I had a sweatshirt on and a light jacket and I was glad I thought to bring both. They do have many of those stupid gas space heaters (you know the kind that look like streetlamps) all around the area, but I never like sitting underneath them. I figure if I wanted to be warm and comfortable, I could always have chosen to sit inside.
HMBBCR&BP's "Breakfast" menu has several interesting things on it, to include: Crab Cake Eggs Benedict (for those of you that like eating dead, decaying marine insects); Traditional Eggs Benedict (for those of you that don't like eating dead, decaying marine insects, but aren't averse to eating dead, decaying porky products); Breakfast Pizza; Breakfast Burrito; Breakfast Fajitas; Vegetarian Frittata; Chocolate Porter French Toast; Strawberry & Banana Foster Pancakes (Can you name which one of those fruits is an actual berry?); and a few other items. The French toast, pancakes, and Pizza sounded the most interesting to me, and I finally decided on the Breakfast Pizza ~ Housemade Beer focaccia (Which the jeenyuses of the Microsoft Spellchecker Nazis do not recognize as a real word. Seriously, Billy-boy?! Did you write your spellchecker software program back in the 70's?) bread topped with country potatoes, eggs, cheese, marinara, and a choice of bacon, sausage, or linguiça (The Spell-Check Brown Shirts also don't recognize this word. I think der Führer-Gates and his boys need to acknowledge that both Italy and Portugal are real countries and have given many words of food origin to the English language.). I also had a cuppa the house coffee.
Now, seeing as part of the HMBBCR&BP name is "Brewing Company" and "Brew Pub", a trip there without partaking in a nice malty, hopped-up beverage would be a total waste (unless your name happens to be Joseph H. Smith or Brigham Young). They have several good Beers from which to choose. They even have Beer-pairing suggestions on the menu. They suggested the Mavericks® Big Break Ale with the Pizza; however, I have had and knew I really like the Mavericks® Amber Ale and stuck with that one. (Hey, it was after Noon somewhere.)
This was a great concept with everything breakfastary on top of a Pizza. Seeing as I had a cuppa coffee with the meal, and the Pizza already had potatoes on it, if they could just figure out some way to incorporate both Ice Cream and Chocolate in the mess, that would be the ultimately complete and perfect meal for me. This wasn't really a very large Pizza, but it was still enough for me; someone with a larger appetite would probably want to order another side dish. I had my eggs over medium (and, of course, skipped any of the porcine meat products offered), but you can get the eggs done any way you want. I figured that poached eggs might be a little too soggy for a Pizza topping, but that would have been my choice otherwise. I have had better Pizza before (with better crust and sauce), but this was still a great idea. The crust was very thin and crispy; however, I was picturing that with the "focaccia" crust that it would be more of a Chicago deep-dish or Sicilian thick-crust style. There were also lots of red and green bell peppers in the mix, I just assume that they are part of the standard country potatoes ingredients.
HMBBCR&BP just has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) as a condimentary supplement. As usual, I had come prepared and used some of my own Dave’s Gourmet® Ginger Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, Jim!) and some El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on different slices of the Pizza.
Pizza + Beer + breakfast?!? Now what could beat that?
Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Breakfast Pizza ~ 6.7; Mavericks® Amber Ale ~ 7.0
1. a. Half Moon Bay is a small coastal city in San Mateo County located about twenty-five miles south of San Francisco and forty-five miles north of Santa Cruz.
b. Princeton-by-the-Sea is an unincorporated community located about one mile north of Half Moon Bay.
2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day:
"Focaccia" comes from Italian from Late Latin "focacia" (neuter plural), derivative of Latin "focus" (meaning "hearth, place for baking"). In ancient Rome, "panis focacius" was a flat bread baked on the hearth.
3. Mavericks is a surfing location in Northern California. It is located about two miles from shore just north of Princeton-by-the-Sea. There is an annual winter surfing contest held there.
Per Wikipedia, the name "Mavericks" came from:
"In early March 1961, three surfers, Alex Matienzo, Jim Thompson, and Dick Knottmeyer, decided to try the distant waves off Pillar Point. With them was a white-haired German Shepherd named Maverick, owned by Matienzo's roommate. Maverick was used to swimming out with his owner, or with Matienzo, while they were out surfing.
The trio left Maverick on shore, but he swam out and caught up with them. Finding the conditions unsafe for the dog, Matienzo tied him up before rejoining the others. The riders had limited success that day, surfing overhead peaks about 1/4 mile from shore, just along the rocks that are visible from shore. They deemed the bigger outside waves too dangerous.
They decided to name the surfing location after Maverick, who seemed to have gotten the most out of the experience. It became known simply as 'Mavericks'."
None of this has anything to do with Kevin Youkilis' brother's restaurant named "Maverick", though (see 'blog-entry from July 24th, 2011).