Sunday, February 27, 2011

Joanie’s Happy Days Diner

Because "Arnold's Drive-In" was already taken and you really don't want to piss off Mr. Miyagi

(Again no official website is available. This is the third place in the last two weeks that I ate at that does not have a website. Hmmm? I am seeing a business opportunity here for someone… else that has any real ambition.)

I was planning on having breakfast at Hollywood Grill Cafe this morning over in Fisherman's Wharf*, as it has popped up on a few "Best of " breakfast places in San Francisco lists (which I am happy to see usually include Dottie's TRUE BLUE CAFE, Ella's, Chloe's, and several other of my favourites) and I thought it à propos what with the Academy Awards going on tonight; however, after getting over there I was disappointed to find out that it is closed for renovations/expansion. Looks like I will have to venture back over there in another few months. (See, if these little places had an actual website to check beforehand, I would have known this!)

There really is Slim Pickens, Mr. Louis Burton Lindley, Jr., for breakfast places on Fisherman's Wharf. Touristas have to eat, too… don't they? So, I had to walk around a bit to find something decent. (On my way to finding a place to eat I heard and then saw 2-3 Wild Parrots of San Francisco flying overhead, which is always a nice sign.)

I ended up going to Joanie's** Happy Days Diner, located at the end of Columbus Avenue. They also have a location in Burlingame on Broadway. I had the California*** Omelette ~ Avocado, mushrooms, bell peppers, and 'merican cheese (which I had substituted for Monterey, Jack!). "All omelettes are served with your choice of hash browns, or country style potatoes, buttered toast and jelly. Choice of toast: White, whole wheat, rye, sliced sourdough, or English muffin." I went with the "countrified" potatoes (which are just another name for home fries; it is very unusual for places to have both kinds of breakfast potatoes on the menu) and sourdough toast. I also had a large glass of orange juice and a cuppa coffee.

The omelette only had the cheese and sliced avocado on the top of it, not wrapped inside. I thought this kinda strange. It was good enough, though, and there were plenty of mushrooms and green bell peppers throughout it. The countrified potatoes were good and a very large portion to boot, generously topped with chopped, fresh green onions (if you like your boots topped with green onions, that is). However, the nicest thing I can say about the coffee was that it was black and hot. I added some maple syrup that was on the table to it, it helped a little. Afterward, I felt it "necessary" to stop in at Peet's® (the one located in the Boudin Bakery gift shop); I had a cuppa what they had a-brewin', which was Major Dickason's Blend® ~ always a pretty decent cuppa.

As condimentary (this is not a real word, but I Jabberwockied "condiments" and "complimentary") supplements they offer both Tabasco® (the standard red) and Cholula® only, so I went with some Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks again, Amy!) on the omelette and some HP® Brown Sauce on the countrified potatoes, and some fresh cracked pepper from my portable McCormick® grinder on both.

While sitting there waiting for my meal, I had (what I thought was) a good idea for a Diner-special omelette: the Cheeseburger Omelette ~ Ground beef, tomatoes, onions, 'merican cheese, and most of all sliced Pickles! (But no lettuce, as that would just be foolish.) Maybe with some French fries inside, too? I actually had a similar pizza (well, no French fries were on it, but that doesn't sound half-bad either) two years ago at a great place called Mark Anthony's in Onset Village (Onset Village is a census-designated place in the town of Wareham, MA ~ the Gateway to Cape Cod); Mark Anthony's makes a great pizza (probably one of the best in the area) and this combination (well, without the ground beef for me) really works.

As it is always such a pain to find decent parking (I did find a free/safe spot three blocks away from the main drag on Fisherman's Wharf), I doubt that I'll be going back any time soon… please don't tell the Fonz!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: California Omelette (rated with the Countrified Potatoes) ~ 6.2; Peet's® Major Dickason's Blend® ~ 6.9

*(Fisherman's Wharf, for those of you that have never been to San Francisco, or are completely clueless, is a neighborhood in San Francisco that is basically a tourista destination, and due to which I hardly ever get over that way. I just want to point out that it is "Fisherman's Wharf" ~ singular possessive, not "Fishermen's Wharf". I guess it was just a solitary fisherman that opened up the first gift shop in this area.)

**(Why "Joanie's" you ask? Well, even if you didn't ask, I'm telling you anyway.

I assumed that it probably had something to do with the owners not wanting to be sued by that fargin' bastage Richie Cunningham, but it was actually a much simpler explanation: Joanie is the name of the owner.

Joanie is actually from Cambodia/File:Cambodia5-trans.png, which I am told is a suburb of Milwaukee.)

***(Because the Wisconsin Omelette wasn't on the menu.

I had to explain this joke to the owner. "Happy Days" took place in Wisconsin, Joanie.)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chloe♥s Cafe

Sunshine and cold… but no snow!

(still no website available)

I went back to
Chloe♥s Cafe, in outer Noe Valley, for my first visit this year (see last 'blog-entry from September 19th, 2010). Chloe♥s is currently out of my "Breakfast Rotation", but is still a great "Spring Training Try-out". (Baseball is getting ready to start again, Spring Training officially got under way yesterday. Go Red Sox and Giants!) As there is seating for only 20 inside and just another 8-10 seats outside on the sidewalk (weather permitting, or whether permitting), there was a bit of a wait to get in this morning. The forecast yesterday actually called for chances of SNOW in San Francisco; that never panned out, but it was still pretty cold this morning even with the Sun out, though.

As usual, I forewent their basic menu and had the Special scramble: two scrambled eggs (hence the "scramble" part of the special) with mushroom, basil, roasted red bell peppers, and Mozzarella cheese served with a cup of fruit or home fries and a choice of toast. I chose the home fries (because they are very good and I can make my own cup of fruit at home) and Whole Wheat Walnut Bread/Toast for a change, and had a cuppa the house coffee.

There was lots of fresh basil chiffonade* (and this is a good thing, Emeril) in the scramble. The roasted red peppers were a nice combination with the Mozzarella/Italiano-themed scramble. I think this might have been even better substituting sun-dried tomatoes instead (a Scrambled Margherita, forse?). The whole wheat walnut toast was good, but just not as good as the White Rosemary Bread/Toast that I always get (which probably would have paired better with the whole Italiano scramble idea).

I used some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce ~ which was very good once again ~ (Thanks, Amy-monster!) on the home fried potatoes (which were of the red variety) and some fresh cracked pepper from my portable McCormick's® grinder on both the scramble and potatoes.

I just noticed today that Chloe♥s does not offer any kind of "omelettes" on their menu. They are probably like me and figure "scrambles" are just easier to make.
However, there is still no Chloe to be found on the premises…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Special Scramble ~ 6.9; Whole wheat walnut toast ~ 6.7

*(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Chiffonade" is just a fancy-shmancy cooking term that means to finely cut into long, thin strips. It is not a piece of furniture with drawers and a place to hang clothes; I looked it up. "Chiffon" en français means "rag" referring to the fabric-like strips that result from this technique. To chiffonade simply means to turn into rag-like strips.

I learned this word from watching many hours of the Food Network on TeeVee. I think they just like to use these big words to make us feel culinarily inadequate. Bite me, Rachel Ray… no really, I would like for Rachel Ray or Giada De Laurentiis to actually nibble on me a little. I am sure I would taste great with a liberal dose of PAFFPS.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Irving Street (original location)

(Man, I miss those claymation California grape guys.)

(This alternate take is just for the pure bizarro duo of crack 'ho Amy Winehouse and Paul Weller, from the old British Punk Rock/Mod Revival group the Jam. I always liked Paul, but Amy is still a wasted piece of trash.)

The CREPEVINE* is a small chain of crêpe restaurants
(maybe that should be called a crêpevineyard?) located throughout the Bay Area. They have nine locations now, including Savor (see September 5th, 2010 'blog-entry) on 24th Street in Noe Valley (which seems a little bit more upscale than the rest of their more low-key/neighborhoody shops). I had breakfast at their original location on Irving Street; according to the knowledgeable server (we talked a little about hot sauces/salsas; she was a fellow "corny-sewer" of the spicy stuff), they have been here now for the last 18 years or so.

I got there pretty early this morning and found a great (read: safe and free) parking spot over in Golden Gate Park (just two blocks away), and as the Sun was a-shinin' again this morning, it was a pleasant walk there and back. I also chose the safest seat in the restaurant: there was a table full of five University of California Police officers eating at the table next to mine (the UC San Francisco campus is just up the street a few blocks). Only in California would you find cops hanging out in a crêpe place instead of a doughnut joint.

Their menu not only includes crêpes, but omelettes, scrambles, "Benedictions", pancakes, and French toast. So, even if you don't like crêpes (and why wouldn't you like crêpes, ya commie bastage?), there are plenty of other breakfast choices, as well as several sandwiches, pastas, and salads choices. I had the California Crêpe ~ Avocado, bell peppers, tomatoes, sautéed onions, and cheddar, topped with salsa fresca and sour cream (spicy chipotle salsa optional ~ definitely go for the option!). As noted: "All savory crêpes are served with house potatoes & mixed greens with vinaigrette." I asked them to skip the greens and they rewarded me with more ~ lots ~ of the house potatoes/home fries. Nice!

I also had a good cuppa Peerless Coffee®. This was made extra strong (also nice), not like a lot of other places that never seem to get it quite right; because of which, there was no need to get another cup at a "real" coffee joint after breakfast.

(Oops! I had already taken a bite before remembering to get a "money shot" photo of my breakfast.)

The crêpe was stuffed with lots of fresh ingredients, and I was glad to see that there was no scrimping on the avocado like a lot of places tend to do (this is California, not Omiehaw, NE, after all). There was probably at least ½ to a whole avocado in it, which is always nice as avocados are one of my favourite breakfast fruits (and, yes, Sean, avocados are a fruit ~ I have even had the ice cream to prove it). The house potatoes/home fries were very good (plus there was a ton of them, too). The real surprise of the meal was their chipotle salsa; it was great with lots of flavour and much more fuego than normal from a chipotle style salsa.

They actually have a pretty nice selections of bottled hot sauces from which to choose: four types of Tabasco® (the standard red; green jalapeño; a chipotle one; and a garlic version); Cholula®; and Crystal®. I had even come prepared with two from my own collection: Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce; and Trees Can't Dance ~ Belizean Habanero Sauce. However, due to the flavour of CREPEVINE's own chipotle salsa, there was really no need to add any of these to either the potatoes or the crêpe. (Sorry, Amy and Greg & Cindy.) I also found it pretty cool that they have bottles of 100% Pure Maple Syrup on every table (this may seem like a little thing, but just see what is offered at most places).

So, if you go, get the damned crêpes and be sure to "option" a side of their "keeler" chipotle salsa. 

And tell 'em, Marvin sent you…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: California Crêpe ~ 6.6; Chipotle Salsa ~ 7.0

*(My only minor quibblê with thêir namê would bê that thêy do not usê thê littlê "e-hat" thingy ~ which is actually callêd a "circumflex" ~ in thê word "crêpe" anywhêrê on thê mênu. What arê wê, a buncha Francophobês hêrê? I nêver mêt a Frankiê I didn't likê.

At least their corporate name is much more appetizing than Squat & Gobble ~ see November 28th, 2010 'blog-entry. Well, at least there is no derogatory definitions for it found in Urban Dictionary… yet.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

La Cucina of Union Street

"It's a big enough umbrella, but it's always me that ends up getting wet… "
~ Abraham Lincoln(?)

(I like Sting's hat, but the video is kinda lame for its day. By the way, that is not Sting in the above photo, that would just be my buddy Luigi wearing my Wareham Gatemen cap.)

(There is no website available, which just shows you how unimposing and unassuming this great little place really is.)

I finally made it back to Union Street for breakfast after a long break (see May 1st, 2010 entry, Rose's Café). Parking in this neighborhood is always a problem, and that it was raining pretty steadily (if not that lightly) made me worry about finding a decent close parking spot. I ended up finding a legal spot just two blocks uphill* (no problem getting down to Union Street, just a little exercise after breakfast). There are many great places to eat at on this upscale street with all the historic Victorian houses along it; I need to get back again soon.
I went to La Cucina** of Union Street this morning. It is right on Union Street in the Marina/Cow Hollow neighborhood. I think they specify "of Union Street" as there are other establishments in the Bay Area named "La Cucina" (some restaurants, some fancy-shmancy kitchen supply stores); they are not a chain of local restaurants. I was the first person to arrive for breakfast this morning and had my choice of tables at which to sit. I asked if I could sit outside in one of the two sidewalk tables they had set out (it was still raining pretty hard), and the lady (probably the owner) said without missing a beat, "Sure, but it will have to be self-service." They also have a great backyard Patio-Porch deck thingy (this is the actual technical term for it, I don't make this stuff up); it has seating for about 16 people (when it's not raining).

After looking over their menu (which had many selections that I know I would have liked) and their specials board, I went with one of their specials: Breakfast Tostada*** ~ which was made with two corn tortilla tostadas (picture a tostada sandwich) layered with black beans, salsa, cheddar cheese, avocado, and sour cream, with two eggs of your choice (I chose chicken eggs ~ over medium). I almost passed on this selection as it really sounded kinda boring. How does one say "serendipity" in Italiano?****

Not only was this an excellent choice, I think they should put it on their standard menu. It is made with fresh corn tortilla tostadas ~ not any store-bought, pre-made flat type shells. This was a very pleasant surprise as I was picturing the typical
Taco Bell®-ish flat, crunchy style of tortilla shells. That wouldn't have been so bad, but that was what I thought would make it "kinda boring". The homemade, fresh corn tortilla shells really make a world of difference and is what really sold me on this breakfast. This would have been great with either frijoles refritos or whole Pinto beans, but the frijoles negros really make it even better, also.

Not only was the tostada a great find, but their weekend version of hash browns are excellent (I asked the lady-owner and she said that they only make this version on the weekends, and there isn't even a name for them). They are not the typical shoestring shredded potatoes hash browns. They seemed a little finer shred; not quite "riced", but almost that consistency. Plus they add some Cheddar cheese to the mixture. I wasn't exactly sure if that was the case, but I checked with the lady-owner again and she confirmed this for me. My only complaint might have been that the portion was a little on the smallish side, and this would have bothered me if I ever possess a bigger appetite; as it was, I finished everything on my plate and was comfortably sated with what I had.

I also had a large glass of (real ~ I saw it being made) fresh-squeezed orange juice and a cuppa coffee (which was actually pretty good for a change at these little places).

They only offer both Tabasco® (the standard red version) and Tapatío®. I came equipped with a brand new hot sauce from my collection, Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce. (Thanks, Amy!) This paired very well with the Breakfast Tostada. La Cucina’s homemade salsa was pretty tasty on its own; adding some of the P.A.F.F.P.S. just added a lot to the flavours. It wasn't "blow the top off your head" hot, but it packed enough fuego to make any Fireman proud (probably equivalent to a Four-Alarm Fire, not quite a Five-Alarm Fire). You really can't beat excellent taste and a good charitable cause for breakfast.

After breakfast while wandering around doing some 'le vetrine (or escarparate), I saw a small group of about four to five Wild Parrots of San Francisco flying overhead (as usual, I heard them first and then looked up and saw them). This is always a good thing, too.

And as if a great new breakfast find weren't serendipitous enough, on the way back to my car (all the way back up two blocks ~ uphill, mind you) I found a $5.00 bill on the sidewalk getting all wet in the rain by itself. I made sure to give it a little shelter in my wallet… honestly!*****

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Breakfast Tostada ~ 7.2; Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce ~ 7.0

*(For those of you that have never been to San Francisco and are thinking "What a wimp. It's only two blocks uphill.", well, this part of town has some of the steepest inclines in the City and walking uphill two blocks is the equivalent of a good four to five blocks uphill in other places.)

**(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,
numero uno:

La Cucina" simply means "the kitchen" in Italiano. I suppose the family that owns the place is of Italian descent.)

***(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,
el número dos:

Tostada" literally means "toasted" en español, but it is usually made with fried corn tortillas in Mexican dishes. Most of the waitstaff and kitchen workers appeared to be Mexican, I am sure this is why the breakfast special was so good.)

****(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,
numero tre:

"Serendipity" in Italian is "
la serendiptà". I will never understand where they get all these great-sounding different words.)

*****(It does not need to be pointed out to me that Abe Lincoln's birthday was actually last Saturday. It is still Presidents Day weekend, so that's good enough for me. If you don't like it, you can just shoot me, Mr. Booth.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Batter Blaster™

Not quite sliced bread*, but not bad either

[This is a breakfast re-"hash" from an old note that I made on defacedbook prior to starting this 'blog. After this weekend's pancake excursion, I thought it was kinda à propos.]

Someone here in defacedbook-land (γειά σου, Dave Klein!) posted a link to this new product called Batter Blaster, which is basically pancake batter in an aerosol can (just like the whipped cream variety; however, I would not suggest trying to do "whip-its" with this one, or you will probably need the Heimlich maneuver).

As I am about as lazy as it comes and hate to cook at all (to me "cooking" means: 1. open can of soup, 2. heat soup in pan, and 3. eat soup from same pan ~ why dirty a bowl?!), this really appealed to me.

I purchased a can at my local Safeway® and gave it a shot (or, as is more technically the case, a "blast"). Seeing as I don't think I have ever really made "homemade" pancakes by myself, I think they came out pretty good. They seemed lighter than some pancakes I have had; they are literally aerated which makes them a little fluffier. There is also the extra-added bonus that the spray nozzle makes it pretty easy to make Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes. And they were actually pretty tasty, but put enough butter and pure Maple syrup on anything and I would probably eat it, too.

Well, I used up the can after a few meals. It stated that it makes about 24 - 4" pancakes. I think I made only 10-12 pancakes with it. They must have meant 24 very thin 4" pancakes. They weren't that bad, but I probably won't be buying another can; it still entailed actually turning on my stove and cooking.

Now if these guys ever come up with "Pizza in a Can"or "Burrito in a Can", I will be their biggest fan and patron…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Batter Blaster ~ 6.0

*(And whoever came up with "sliced bread" as a benchmark for innovative bakery breakthroughs ? I mean it's not exactly E = mc
2 stuff, right?

Ever wonder what Brain Surgeons and Rocket Scientists say when something is so completely mind-bendingly simple?)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Millbrae Pancake House

Millbrae, CA (because if it were in San Bruno or Burlingame, the name would not make much sense)

Today's breakfast was a peninsular rode trip down to Millbrae Pancake House. It is located in Millbrae, CA right along El Camino Real* (for those of you not familiar with the San Francisco area, Millbrae is about 15 miles due south of San Francisco and it is the city that is due west of Highway 101 and the San Francisco International Airport). Millbrae Pancake House has been family-owned and operated since 1959 (I like that year for some reason). Joining me today for breakfast was one of my oldest San Francisco friends, Amy (and by that I don't mean that she is old, just that I have known her almost as long as I have lived in San Francisco, and unlike most people that you meet that say they are "from San Francisco", she actually was born and grew up here). (Hi, Amy!)

As the name of the restaurant implies, Millbrae Pancake House specializes in pancakes (and seeing as I already used the corny IPOO joke on my Seal Rock Inn Restaurant entry yesterday, I won't say that Millbrae Pancake House was originally known as International House of Other Pancakes ~ or IHOOP for short; besides I am sure that the NBA would take umbrage with this). This place is a very popular local joint with families on the weekends; luckily it is a very large place (about twice the size of your normal IHOP®).

There are several good pancake choices from which to choose (as choices that you can't choose aren't really very good choices now, are they?). I was thinking of going with either the German Pancakes or the Swedish Pancakes, both of which I have had there in the past and knew were good. I decided on the Swedish Pancakes ~ Three French crepes served with powdered sugar and lingonberry butter. I also wanted to compare these to the smaller version 18 silver dollar pancakes served at Sears Fine Food (see 'blog-entry from November 21st, 2010). I also had a side order of hash browns (What the heck do I really care about extra carbohydrates?) and a cuppa the house coffee.

The crepes/pancakes were very good and the portion pretty large. I would guess that this more than equaled the 18 silver dollar ones at Sears Fine Food. Their lingonberry butter was very good and they provide plenty of it; there was more than enough to go around on all three of the pancakes (I did use it all up, as there was no way I was wasting any). Their coffee was about what I expected it to be ~ on par with what I had at Seal Rock Inn Restaurant (because of which, I felt it necessary to get another decent cuppa at the Peet's® in San Mateo later in the day; they were offering both their House blend and Garuda blend ~ as I just had the House yesterday, I went for the Garuda today).

Amy went for one of their omelettes, the Florentine ~ Spinach, bacon bits and onion topped with sour cream. Now the really cool thing is that Millbrae Pancake House gives you the option** of substituting plain ol' boring toast with either two of the German Pancakes or Swedish Pancakes. Amy also chose the Swedish Pancakes as her side; she said the German Pancakes couldn't be as good as the ones her mom makes (don't ever argue with mom's home cooking!). Plus, all omelettes are served with hash browns; it was really an awful lot of food, I had to "force" myself to help Amy finish her pancakes. The omelette had lots of fresh spinach in it and the "bacon bits" were actually large chunks of bacon strips (Sean, you would have loved this one).

As condiments on the tables, they have two types of Tabasco®, the standard red and the green jalapeño version, and Tapatío®. I used some of the green stuff on my hash browns and Amy initially went with a little Tapatío® on her omelette and hash browns, then tried some of the green junk later on (she had never tried the jalapeño one before and liked it better than the normal red version).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Swedish Pancakes ~ 6.7; Peet's® Garuda Blend ~ 6.9; (Amy never really gave me a GBS Rating for her meal, but she did seem to like it a lot, too.)

*(Useless cunning linguist and historical pointer of the day:

El Camino Real in Spanish means "the Royal Road" or "the King's Highway"; it does not refer in any way to an "authentic Chevy coupe utility".

The original El Camino Real in California was the 600-mile trail connecting the 21 missions of Alta California; stretching from San Diego in the south to Sonoma in the north.)

**(Is there really a choice? Who would choose toast over pancakes, Eddie?

"I'll have 'Death', please.")

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Seal Rock Inn Restaurant

International Place of Omelettes*

Just like the last time I visited Seal Rock Inn Restaurant (see 'blog-entry from June 26th, 2010), today was a great morning for a little after-breakfast walk. Seal Rock Inn Restaurant is still located all the way at the end of Geary Boulevard/Point Lobos Avenue in the Richmond District just before you fall off the edge of the planet at Ocean Beach, Cristoforo.

This place is best known for its creative and vast selection of omelettes from which to choose ~ hence the silly reference above, under the title. However, don't even think of ordering the French Omelette (I am not sure if this is even a truly authentique omelette à la française, as I don't know if they actually make this with their tongues or not) or Swedish Omelette (made with little gummi fishes?) unless you are very adventurous. I have not even dared to try either one myself yet.

So, to be on the safe side, I went with one I have had several times before: the Greek Omelette No. 2 ~ Feta cheese with fresh spinach. As noted in the menu: "All Omelettes served with hash brown (sic), toast and jelly" (which is good, because toast all by itself would just be burnt bread). I had the rye bread toast, with little Smucker's® Strawberry Jam and Concord Grape Jelly packets ~ so you know it had to be good. This is a great omelette (if you like
σπανάκι ~ which, luckily, I do, Mr. Segar); it was completely stuffed with lots of fresh spinach and φέτα cheese. It is interesting to note that they also add chopped spinach into the egg mixture/batter itself for a complete Iron-overload. I like their Greek Omelette No. 1 better, but this is a very close No. 2.

I also had a cuppa the house blend coffee, which is Peerless Coffee & Teas®. As stated before, it's okay, but not really much better than the swill I make at home. The best I can say about it is that it was dark and hot and they kept filling up my cup (Old Borshch Belt joke: Old man No. 1: "The food here is terrible."; Old man No. 2: "Yeah, and in such small portions."). For which, I will probably be "forced" to get a decent cuppa at Peet's® later today to make up for this.

I am not so sure of what an αυθεντικό ελληνικό πρωινό would consist. I lived in Greece for 3½ years and don't really remember ever going out to breakfast the entire time there. Possibly yogurt and pastries with a good cuppa καφές ελληνικός, μέτριος? I did get to Η πλατεία της Γλυφάδας a few times for coffee and donuts at Jax Donuts in the morning, though.

Seal Rock Inn Restaurant just has ketchup and Tabasco® sauce on the tables so I finished up the last of my Trees Can't Dance ~ Tree Fire Sauce (Thanks one last time, Cindy and Greg!) on the "hash brown". The good news is that I still have two more flavours of Trees Can't Dance left.

As Seal Rock Inn Restaurant is right across the street from Sutro Heights** Park, after breakfast I took a little walk through there.*** Sutro Heights Park is one of the newer members of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA); part of the Sutro District, which also includes Cliff House and Sutro Baths (see 'blog-entry from January 29th, 2011).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greek Omelette No. 2 ~ 6.5

*(I heard that this was the original name of the restaurant, but they were sued by IHOP® for trademark infringements; however, IHOP® soon dropped the lawsuit after deciding that the embarrassing acronym was punishment enough.)

**(Whatever happened to "I" before "E", except after "C", or when it sounds like "ay" as in "neighbor" and "weigh"… or whenever it is just confusing enough to mess with us? Or maybe Emily Brontë's classic novel is supposed to be pronounced "Wuthering Hates"?)

***(Note to Jim Turner, 'blog-meister extraordinaire:

This should not be considered another cross-'blog entry as this little sojourn was no more than a ¾-mile walk through the park ~ literally ~ and the terrain was all pretty level. I think the altitude change would have been no more than 15-20 feet up one hill. I did not attempt any rock scrambles, either, as the omelette was scrambled just fine for my liking.

[See, I knew I could get the corn-ball joke in here somehow.])

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blue Jay Cafe

After doing my laundry earlier this morning (I wanted to get that out of the way early enough today to free up time for Super Bowl XLV this afternoon), I revisited Blue Jay Cafe (over on Divisadero, somewhat in the Western Addition; see my last post from May 31st, 2010). This is a pretty good place for breakfasts (well, technically they call it "Brunch" on their menu, but this is a pretty unassuming joint ~ reservations are not needed and they don't have fancy cloth napkins; so I let them slide on the whole "Brunch" wording); however, they do open a little late normally for my liking (they open at 10:00am on Saturdays and Sundays), but it worked out very nicely today.

On the weekends, they offer different drink specials for "Brunch". Today was a 2-for-1 Bloody Mary, which is made with Jinro Soju, as they only have a Beer and Wine License. As best as I can figure Soju is a Korean rice wine product (about 24% ABV) that can be used as a mixer in places where they don't have a Liquor License. I am not sure what it tastes like, but they seemed to be doing a good business selling them this morning (well, 2-for-1 always helps).

They have a pretty decent standard breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) menu, but I went with today's special off the board: Tomato, Spinach, and Feta Omelette (do I really need to list the ingredients?). All of their omelettes come with grits, a bowl of fruit, or spiced homefries, and choice of toast, BlueJay's corn muffin, or BlueJay's biscuit. I went with the spiced homefries and a BlueJay's biscuit. I also had a cuppa coffee and a glass of their fresh-made ½-Lemonade/½-Limeade.

There was lots of fresh spinach (not frozen) and lots of Feta (also not frozen) in the omelette, which is always a plus. The portions aren't really huge, but are just right for my appetite, where I was able to comfortably finish all on my plate for a change ~ I even ate the watermelon slice/garnish thing (if I still had been hungry, I would have ordered a side order of their Home made giant Biscuit with Mushroom Gravy; it sounded pretty decent). The regular homemade biscuit was good, but the spiced homefries were great ~ crispy, but not greasy at all; they must be baked, not cooked on the grille. The Lemon/Limeade was a little bit on the sweet side (but it was fresh-made and served in a large glass, not one of those tiny shot glasses); I added a bit of water to it to dilute it and then it was perfect.

They only have Crystal® hot sauce on the tables/counter, so I went with some of my own stash of HP® Brown Sauce and Trees Can't Dance ~ Tree Fire Sauce (Thanks yet again, Cindy and Greg!) on the potatoes. For those of you that have never been to Great Britannia, HP®
Brown Sauce is a condiment, very similar to A.1.® Steak Sauce, that is as ubiquitous there as ketchup or Tabasco® are here in 'merica. I like the HP® Brown Sauce much better than A.1.® ; I think it's the tamarind versus the raisin paste in the ingredients (either that or it's just that I am still boycotting all Kr*ft products).

They have a small backyard patio area that can seat about 8-10 people comfortably. I debated on sitting outside today as it was turning out to be a beautiful sunny day and the weather will reach about 70-75° today, but it was still a little early (and the patio never really gets any sunshine) so I opted for a seat at the counter instead. Maybe next time…

Oh, and…


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Omelette ~ 6.5; Lemon/Limeade ~ 6.7; Spiced Homefries ~ 6.8

Saturday, February 5, 2011


¡Desayuno, sí! ¡Béisbol, no!

When I got up this morning, I was pretty excited as I planned on having a nice desayuno típico mexicano at SanJalísco* (in the Mission District; see 'blog entry from June 19th, 2010) and then attending the San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2011 at AT&T Park. I was planning on getting my picture taken with the World Series Championship trophy. Were you aware that the San Francisco Giants were the 2010 World Champions? Well, apparently 100,000's of other fans had the exact same idea ~ to go to the Fan Fest, not to eat at SanJalísco ~ I had no problem getting seated and fed there (the secret of the San Francisco Giants winning it all must have been leaked by the D*mn D*dgers press).

I headed over to AT&T Park after a hearty breakfast and found a (free and relatively safe) parking spot as close as I could, which was about ¾ mile away; no big deal, I figured I could walk off some of the food before waiting in the long lines for autographs and to get my picture with the trophy. I got there about an hour before they opened the doors ~ I figured "early enough to beat the crowds". I have been to the Fan Fest several times in the past, so I knew that there are usually long lines of fans there for the same purpose. However, there was no way that I was prepared for the unbelievably long line of people waiting this year. The line was at least a mile long (this is not an exaggeration, it really did wrap around outside the park for many blocks). I decided to walk to the end of the line as I was already there and figured I didn't have anything else planned for the day. After walking all the way to the end of the line (and seeing that thousands of more fans were still arriving), I decided to bag it; my mamácita didn't raise no tonto** (well, I can't speak for my other siblings, but I am pretty sure I don't fall into that category). Luckily for me, the breakfast was a very good one or my whole day (or weekend) would have seemed shot.

[Note to Jim Turner (author of 'blog extraordinaire Hawksbill Cabin): As I had to walk the entire mile or so to the end of the line and then all the way back, another ¾ mile to my car or more, I am counting this post as a cross-'blog hiking one (JT, please feel free to post it on your 'blog). I am pretty sure the altitude didn't change much from sea-level (well, seeing as the San Francisco Bay was visible from wherever I was walking, let's say it was bay-level) and it was a pretty easy hike there and back (no rock scrambles that I can remember; there were a couple of tricky steps in areas of poor or no sidewalk, though). No bottled water was even consumed during the entire journey.]

Anywayyy… SanJalísco offers some typical Mexican specials for the weekend breakfast crowd (none of which I can eat as they are not very vegetarian- nor kosher-friendly): Pozole de Puerco, Menudo, Birria de Chivo, and Caldo de Res; all of these seem to be pretty popular fare (don't ask me what they all entail… actually, I think "entails" are part of the main ingredients in most of them). They do have many good options for those of us that aren't into little dead piggy cuisine. Today I had Nopales con Huevos ~ Two large eggs scrambled with nopales***, onions, and tomatoes; which come con frijoles refritos y arroz, a small side salad, and fresh, warm, homemade corn tortillas. I also had a cuppa Café Mexicano ~ coffee with lots of azúcar and leche added generously to it (when I'm eating Mexican food is usually the only time I will ever add sugar or milk to my coffee).


There was lots of nopales in the scramble. I had specifically requested two of their tasty, fresh tortillas only, as I knew that three would be way too much food for me; they ended up giving me three tortillas, anyway. It really was a lot of food, as I figured it would be. I did finish all three of the corn tortillas (they are really way too good to waste). I told the owner/manager that because I finished all of their "stinkin' tortillas", he owed me a cerveza as I was planning on having two or three beers at the Fan Fest, but was now too full and would probably only be able to finish one beer. In protest, I did leave most of the side salad; who eats salad for breakfast? As an appetizer before the meal (because an appetizer at the end of the meal is called a dessert), they bring out a bowl of corn chips and some of their fresh, homemade "keeler" salsa (otherwise, they only offer Tapatío® on the tables as a hot sauce condiment); when the meal arrives, I usually like to make a nice chip-dip by mixing up the refried beans and rice, and some salsa.

So that the disappointing trip over to AT&T Park was not a complete bust, Dolly, I stopped by Philz Coffee**** One Cup At A Time (the one on 4th Street, which is just a block away). I had a Philharmonic today. It was very good, too.

SanJalísco: new name, new sign, new logo; same owners, same great food. As for the rest of the morning, you know what they say, sometimes the best laid plans of ratones y hombres, Jorge

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Nopales con Huevos ~ 6.8; Philharmonic ~ 7.2; San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2011 ~ 5.1

*(Good for them, they have actually trademarked their name. I think this was done just in case los hijos de puta at J*rritos decided to create a new line of their crappy sodas called "San Jalísco".

In case anyone is interested in more informacíon on the Mexican State of Jalísco, here is the Wikipedia link: )

**(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

Did you know that "Tonto" in Spanish actually means "fool"? Hmmm, I wonder if "Ke-mo sah-bee" really means "Kiss my shiny red ass, stupid white devil!" in Potawatomi.)

***(Nopales are simply a vegetable made from the pads of the prickly pear variety of cactus, or paddle cactus. They actually taste a lot like green beans, and appear very similar when they are sliced into green bean sized pieces. The fruit of the prickly pear are pretty darn tasty, too; I think they taste a little like a cross between a fig and strawberries.)

****(It is interesting to note that this name is also trademarked; probably just in case those bastages at St*rbucks decide to market a new line of coffeez.)