Sunday, April 3, 2011


"The One with the Grilled Asparagus, Spring Onion, Fresh Peas, Thyme, and Gouda."*

For today's early morning comestibles, I went back to Ella's, which, strangely enough, is still located in Laurel Heights (see last 'blog entry of January 9th, 2011). As it was a quiet Sunday morning, I actually found a parking spot only a block away, and I got there early enough to be seated with the first wave of impatient diners. 

For a change, I sat at the counter overlooking the stoves** and preparation area, where you get to watch all the action (and can keep an eye on the shifty cookstaff to make sure they don't spit in your food or anything). They have three different counter seating areas, the other two are overlooking the bar and overlooking the bakery area (where I normally like to sit and watch il Maestro della Panificazione working).

They do not have a set Weekend Brunch/Breakfast menu; it changes every weekend and always has interesting and fresh, seasonal things to try. Once again, I went with the Potato Scramble ~ with grilled asparagus, spring onions, fresh peas, thyme, and Gouda (and two eggs added into the mess). I did choose a different toast from my customary honey oat raisin toast; I had the sourdough rye for a change, which was served with their own homemade (or restaurant-made) orange marmalade, Lady (today's version was made with seasonal blood oranges). I also had a glass of my habitual Ginger Orange Juice Punch ~ also made with blood oranges; I don't think that they really add any extra flavour, but it just makes for a really cool looking drink.

The scramble was excellent (as always); I knew I'd like it as it had one of my favourite fruits, asparagus, in it (Stinky pee be damned, Nancy!). Now, I can't tell thyme from parsley or sage, Rosemary, but I really liked the entire flavour combination. The sourdough rye was a nice alternative to the honey oat raisin and paired well with the tasty marmalade.

Ella's house coffee is good enough, but I stopped at Peet's® (the one over in Laurel Village) before having to wait in line and got a cuppa Sumatra blend (I hear this blend is "untouched by human hands"; the coffee beans are hand-picked by local orangutans***).*GroceryTab*na*Explore_nav

I knew that for condimentary supplementation they only offer Tabasco® (both the standard red and the green Jalapeño), so I once again went with a little Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce on half of the mess and a little Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot ~ Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Sean!) on the other half.

So, when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, meet me for a counter seat at Ella's, Meneer van Rijn, and I'll be sure to be there for you… (fade-out on clapping hands)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Potato Scramble ~ 7.3; Ginger Orange Juice Punch ~ 7.2; Peet's® Sumatra ~ 7.0

*(The TeeVee show Friends always used to name their episodes as "The One with…" or "The One Where…", etc. I remember reading a review of Ella's once where they described the crowd waiting outside to get in as "a casting call for extras on Friends". That pretty much describes the clientele at this place.)

**(Completely useless culinary pointer of the day:

I had been trying to remember the name for the professional broilers that are above the stoves in most restaurants. I asked my most knowledgeable server and she reminded me that they are called "Salamanders".

And a bonus completely useless legend-… wait for it… -ary pointer of the day:

"Modern electric or gas salamanders take their name from the earlier salamander, an iron disc on a handle which is heated and placed over a dish to brown it, which in turn is named after the legendary Salamander, an amphibian that was mythically believed to be immune to fire." ~ from Wikipedia, again )

***(Completely useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

The word "orangutan" comes from the Malay words "orang" ~ meaning "man" ~ and "(h)utan" ~ meaning "forest"; and thus you have the term "cheap labour coffee-picker"“.)

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