Monday, May 30, 2011

Just For You cafe

How do you (mis)pronounce the Capital of Louisiana*?

(No real reason for the Little Feat** songs other than I like them and felt like including them with today's 'blog-entry. I have actually been from Tucson, AZ, to Tucumcari, NM, and I've been to Tehachapi, CA; I have never been to Tonopah ~ neither the one in AZ, nor the one in NV ~ though.)

Trekked it on over to Dogpatch this morning for another stellar breakfast at Just For You cafe. (See 'blog-entry from January 3rd, 2011 for my last visit.) This is really a great place for breakfast, Mister Spock.

My main problem this morning was once again having to decide which of their breakfasts to choose from. I had their most-excellent Huevos Rancheros the last time I was there, and the time before that I had their Omelette of the Decade. The Greek Scramble ~ with Feta cheese, onion, spinach, tomato, and real
Καλαμάτα olives looked to be a tasty one, too. However, I settled on the Greg's Scramble ~ 3 eggs scrambled with spinach, onions, garlic, and topped with Parmesan cheese; with mushrooms and zucchini (the veggie version). This is served with home fries or grits (or fresh fruit for an additional charge) and choice of homebaked bread/toast: white, whole wheat, cinnamon***-raisin, biscuits, cornbread, scone, or English muffin.

I mainly went with the Greg's because I knew my North Yorkshire host would probably hate the addition of mushrooms in an egg dish bearing his name (I think he's okay with zucchini, though). I chose the (homebaked) cinnamon-raisin toast and was not disappointed; this was chock full o' raisins and smelled greatly of the barky spice. As usual, I opted for the home fries over grits (or fresh fruit). The scramble had lots of fresh spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini in it. I would also like to point out that this was covered with lots of REAL shredded Parmesan, not that fake Parmesan powder stuff that comes in a can.

I also had to have a good cuppa their N'Orleans-style house coffee (that is with chicory), which is an "imported" blend from Louisiana ~ Community Coffee®. I must have had 3-4 cups of the stuff. I will probably be racing like a piss-horse all day and may not be able to get to sleep until later tonight…

Now, for complimentary supplementation I knew that they have one of the better collections available, but I still brought a few of my own just for the heck of it. I ended up using some of their El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce ~ Salsa Kutbil-ik de Chile Habanero on the scramble, and some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks again, Amy!) on the home fries.

"Round up the usual suspects…":

Dogpatch… the final frontier. Who knew?!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greg's Scramble ~ 7.0

*(I actually got the guy sitting next to me at the counter today with this old one. I asked him if the Capital of Louisiana is pronounced "New OR-leans", "New Or-LEANS", "N'Arlins", or even "N'Or-leeON". He said his grandfather was from Louisiana and that it is definitely "N'Arlins"!

He was very disappointed when I informed him it is actually "Baton Rouge"… supply your own pronunciation of that one, though.)

**(I once made a cuts-tape of all Little Feat covers. I called it "Tiny Shoos".)

***(Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Cinnamon" comes to English from the Greek word "
kinnámōmon", which is taken from the Phoenician word akin to the Hebrew word "qinnāmōn".)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Red Door Cafe

Across Franklin & Bush Streets…

(They play some pretty cool music here. The original Bobby Womack 70's classic "Across 110th Street" was playing at one point. I just like this "cover" version with Bobby and Los Lobos better.)

(No web-site available, and somehow I really don't think they care.)


Avoid this "establishment" at all costs ~ even if it is free. I know that I will never darken their door ~ even a deeper burgundy or maroon ~ again.  If a "straight" or "Yuppie" restaurant ever attempted to exclude customers in this way, you can be sure that the ACLU would be on them faster than you can say "blue-haired tranny Nazi". The food was good, but not that good. If you would like a list of at least ten places in San Francisco that have better French toast ~ and all bitchy attitude-free ~ just ask me.

For an explanation, please see my 'blog-entry from August 26th, 2012:

Mick Jagger had it right.)

I had heard some pretty good things about Red Door Cafe (I am not sure if that is avec ou sans accent aigu; it wasn't designated on their menu, nor on their sign above the entrance) and finally got around to going there for breakfast this morning. They are located somewhere in the no-man's land over on the corner of Bush and Franklin Streets, near all the old car dealerships on Van Ness (which is somewhat triangulated between the Western Addition, Pacific Heights, and Nob Hill neighborhoods).

It is pretty easy to locate along Bush Street as there really aren't many other places around there to eat and there is normally a line waiting on the sidewalk to get in. That is because this is one of the tinier places I have been to for breakfast in a long time. They only have five tables of two seats and one table of four seats… and that is it! Someone came in while I was eating and kiddingly asked for a party of sixteen to be seated. So, be prepared for a bit of a wait. I got there just before they opened this morning and was lucky enough to be seated with the first group of diners (breakfasters?).

Their menu is mainly a Cuban-inspired one with a French twist. They have many good things on their standard menu for a vegetarian; plus, they have a few other items on their specials menu that looked pretty tasty, too.

However, I skipped most everything on the menu(s) as I mainly came here to check out the French Toast Josephine ~ Delicious Ginger, Cinnamon Dipped French Toast with Powdered Sugar, Shaved Almonds (or maybe they were just prepubescent), and a Hint of Seduction*. I had it with added banana, and they even threw in a slice of mango and some berries (blue-, rasp-, and straw-) without my even asking for them. I also had a cuppa their House Coffee ~ which is from a good local roastery, Capricorn Coffee ~ in a "Smiley-face" mug at that.


Now, this was good French toast, but it really doesn't compare to the Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro; and I really didn't expect it to, as that is an unfair comparison to most eggy-bread dishes. This also wasn't as good as the coconutty French toast I had last Summer at Neighborhood Restaurant & Bakery (see 'blog-entry from July 10th, 2010), but I would recommend checking it out if you are a French toast aficionado (sorry, I don't know how to say that in either French or Spanish). I had expected the banana (singular and whole) to have been sliced and sautéed (à la the most excellent Bananas Foster French Toast that they used to serve at the now-defunct Merchant's Way restaurant in downtown Wareham, MA), but I did find out that I really liked this flavour combination: Maple, Mango, and Mint ~ this is the real 3M (those miners up in Minnesota be damned).

I was kinda surprised to find out that they do not offer any side orders of any kind of potato dishes: no home fried, no hash browns, no home baked, no house potatoes, nor home fried-hash browns, even. So there was no need for any complimentary supplementation on my part. However, I did bring a few hot sauces from my collection just in case. I ended up loaning some of the Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks again, Amy!) to the couple at the next table because they had egg dishes.

The one thing that I am still trying to figure out is why they named the place "Red Door Cafe"… must have something to do with communism or Castro.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: French Toast Josephine ~ 6.3

*(I asked if I could have a "Soupçon of Temptation" instead, but they strictly enforced the "No Substitutions" rule with me… fargin' bastages!)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Remembrances

Try as I might, I just can't seem to get a darn video embedded (sorry, JT), so you will just have to click on the EweToob link, open up another tab, and then click on the article by Rick Francona*.

Listen to the song while reading the article. The combination of both is very poignant; at least I think so.

*(Thanks again this year for the loaner, Rocco.)


The one on Main Street Noe Valley

I went to Fresca* (the one on 24th Street, in the heart of Noe Valley) for desayuno this morning, and, surprisingly enough, they were actually open at 10:00am just as they state on their web-site. Even if they had not been open when promised, there are several other nice places from which to choose in this neighborhood if I needed any fall-backs.

Fresca is a mini-chain of Peruvian restaurants in San Francisco. As they state on their awnings/signs: Nouveau Peruvian Cuisine. (¿Por qué no "Nueva Cocina Peruana"? No lo sé.) They have locations in West Portal, Fillmore, and Noe Valley. They are all good restaurants and in nice, upscale neighborhoods, but I think the restaurant in Noe Valley is probably the nicest of the Fresca locations. It is in a nice, large, open space. After breakfast, I spoke with the owner and he told me that they have a new place called Pasion over on 9th and Irving in the Sunset; he said that Pasion is actually the nicest of all their restaurants.

I really liked the interesting centerpiece that they had on all the tables. It had a whole tangerine in with the flowers (some kinda purple and yellow ones); pretty cool.

There aren't that many vegetarian breakfast dishes from which to choose, but the Omelet de la huerta** ~ mushrooms, spinach, onions, bell peppers, aji amarillo chiles, tomatoes, corn, and Feta cheese ~ looked very good, as some of those ingredients are some of my favourite fruits. All of their omelettes are served with fresh fruit or sweet potato fries ~ with lime scented sea salt; I chose the fries, never a very tough choice for me. From their "Brunch" cocktail menu I also had a glass of Peruvian sparkle made with Pisco***, Triple Sec, Midori®****, pineapple juice, and cava.

I had gotten to Noe Valley a little before 10:00am, so I stopped at Bernie's ~ A Local Coffee Shop ~ right across the street from Fresca for a decent enough cuppa coffee. Bernie's is in the old space that housed Tully's for years (and Spinelli's prior to that before Tully's bought them out).

This was served as an open-faced omelette with all the ingredients piled on top. There were lots of fresh ingredients included in it. I especially liked the extra large kernels of corn (picture the size you get with corn-nuts).

The sweet potato fries were a HUGE pile o' taters and it was served with two types of dipping sauces: a green mint and habanero pesto, and a reddish rocoto aioli. Both were muy sabrosa, but I liked the mint-habanero one the best.

The cocktail was very strong (it did include four types of liquor/alcohol), but it was good. I would have liked this better with a little less Midori®, plus a little more pineapple juice and cava (whatever that heck that is ~ ain't that some kinda large guinea pig from South America?).

In addition to the above-mentioned, most-excellent
salsas para papas, they have a condimentary supplementation of salsa rocoto ~ con sabor delicioso y un poquito fuego. I used some (well, a lot) on the omelette, plus I added the rest to the aioli. At 50,000-250,000 Scoville heat units, the rocoto chile is located on the Scoville Scale somewhere between the tabasco chile and the habanero chile.

Now I have no idea what a desayuno típico del Perú would consist of (¿Carnes de llama, papas, y frijoles de Lima, tal vez?); I don't even know how to pronounce Machu Pichu***** correctly; but I liked what I had all the same, Señor Pizarro.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Omelet
de la huerta ~ 6.7; Peruvian Sparkle ~ 6.6; Bernie's Coffee ~ 6.4

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

Fresca" simply means "fresh" in Spanish. This is not a reference to that horrid dietetic Squirt® wannabe soda produced by the Coca-Cola Company.)

**(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,
la segunda parte:

Huerta" means "kitchen garden" in Spanish. I just assumed that "huerta" meant "kitchen sink", as not only did it include all of the above ingredients, but they snuck in some carrots, peas, zucchini, cauliflower, and even one piece of the vile weed.)

***("What is
Pisco?", you ask. Let Wikipedia inform you:

They did all the work already, I am just "borrowing" it for your edification.)

****(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, 3

"Midori" in Japanese means "green". It is also a brand of melon-flavoured liqueur from Suntory.

*****(Here is a little Mach Pichu information, also "borrowed" from our friends at Wikipedia: )

Sunday, May 22, 2011


On Washington Square*
(This song has nothing whatsoever to do with Mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting drunk, darlin'… Tuesday just happens to be the 70th Birthday of some guy named Robert Allen Zimmerman, and this is one of my favourite songs of his ~ I just prefer this version over his actual singing.)

I had another prima colazione eccezionale at Mamas on Washington Square this morning (see 'blog-entry from August 1st, 2010 for my last visit). They have a great location right across the corner from Washington Square Park (hence their complete name), and it is located just down the street from iconic Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill and next door to Saints Peter and Paul Church. (This is the historic Catholic church where Dom DiMaggio's less-talented older brother, ?George?, ?Jimmy?, ?John?, got married to Marilyn Monroe; well, they actually were married near-by in a civil ceremony, but had their wedding photos taken on the steps of the church.) Which is why Mama
s is another popular word-of-mouth tourista destination much like Dottie's and Brenda's, so get there early to beat the long line/wait.

I had gotten there early enough this morning and lucked-out and parked right down the block on Washington Square for a change. I actually got there early enough before they opened up to be seated with the first wave of diners. (They open exactly at 8:00am, just like they state on their website. Now what are the odds of a professional restaurant-type establishment actually opening when they say they do?) Their ordering and seating procedures are a little different than most places. You have to wait in line once you are in and order at the counter; they then will not seat you until there is an empty table available.

While I was waiting in line before they opened, I spotted only about three of the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill flying over Washington Square, by George! As the days get longer, the Parrots are probably getting up earlier and have already headed to other parts of the City for the day. They have to make their living pleasing all the touristas in various parts of the City, after all. After breakfast, I walked around Washington Square, but didn't see any more of them hanging out in the tall pine trees. I have witnessed them eating pinoli for their own prima colazione in the past.

It is always tough to choose between their excellent selection of French toasts (pane tostato alla franchese?) or their "Momelettes" and other egg dishes. I would go here more often if it were easier to find a parking spot and not always so crowded. As it is, I just make the pilgrimage once or twice a year (and usually on a quiet Sunday).

I selected the Momelette Northern Italian ~ Pancetta (Italian Cured Bacon [skipped it, Signore Valletta]), Mushrooms, Garlic Jack Cheese, Fresh Basil, & Tomatoes, with sourdough baguette toast and a decent cuppa coffee. I made sure to use some of their excellent, fresh raspberry jam on the toast. They serve Peerless Coffee & Tea® and do a very good job of brewing it (I think I had 2-½ cups in all).

I really liked this Momelette; it was kinda like a Pizza Margherita** omelette, but with mushrooms. It was made with lots of fresh basil and tomatoes in it. Fresh basil makes all the difference; a pinch of dried basil is okay in a pinch, but nothing beats fresh leaves of basil, Mr. Rathbone.

s condimentary supplements are just Tabasco® (both the standard red and green Jalapeño). So I used some of my Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Amy!) on top of the omelette, which I also shared with (read: forced on) two other tables surrounding me, and even the restaurant manager (owner?) tried a spoonful of it; it really has a lot of flavour and just the right amount of heat.

I probably should have eaten at Mama
s two weeks ago on that other holiday that shares the same day as Single Loser's Day…

"Ah, but I was so much fuller then,
I'm hungrier than that now… "

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Northern Italian Momelette ~ 7.2; the songs of Robert Zimmerman ~ 7.9 (I am rating this on the content, not Bob's actual singing)

*(Here's a little known fact, Cliff:

Interestingly enough, this was actually named after the great Italian statesman, Giorgio Lavaggiotoni, not after the First President of the United States. How else can you explain why there is a statue of another 'merican President, Benjamin Franklin, in the park and not one of "the Father of Liberty"? I don't make up this stuff, folk. )

**(A classic Pizza Margherita happens to be one of my favourite takes on my favouritest of foods. )

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cafe For All Seasons

Breakfast and a haircut… six bits*, Sir Thomas
(give or take $29.25)

(No restaurant web-site available.)

I headed over to West Portal this morning fully intending on checking out Fresca, a Peruvian restaurant which looks to have a pretty interesting breakfast/"Brunch" menu; however, when I got over there they told me they did not open until 11:00am for "Brunch". They really need to update their on-line information as it shows that they open at 10:00am. When I got home, I checked with their other two locations (one on Fillmore Street and one on 24th Street) and they both stated that they are open on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00am for "Brunch", so I might be checking out one of those locations in the future.

As I was already in the neighborhood (and had a legal, free parking spot, and didn't really feel like driving elsewhere, and was already hungry), I decided I might as well eat at another restaurant there. The line was out the door at Squat & Gobble (see 'blog-entry from March 5th, 2011) just across the street, so I walked down to the next block and ate at Cafe For All Seasons (as far as I can tell the "Cafe" is sans accent aigu on their window and menu logos).

Cafe For All Seasons has a decent enough menu from which to choose for breakfast. There were a few omelette choices I could have gone with ("with which I could have gone" sounds a bit ~ and not the 12.5¢ type ~ hokey), but I decided on the Waffle of the Day ~ Special Orange Buttermilk Waffle with sliced bananas, fresh strawberry (sic ~ singular) topped with whipped cream and served with a side of pure maple syrup. I also had a side order of pan fried potatoes (that would simply be the "home fried" variety, Mrs. Huneycutt) and a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice (without any bananas or even a singular strawberry in it).

This was a very large Belgian Waffle** piled high with lots of fruit and whipped cream. Now I didn't re-form all of the strawberry pieces that were on top, but I am sure there were at least two or three entire strawberries there, not just a single strawberry. I think some Mandarin oranges, pineapples, and bananas might have been a better taste combination… ooh, and maybe some toasted Macamadamia nuts, too. Breakfast came with a complimentary mini cinnamon muffin (the orange juice was almost complimentary, too, as they didn't put it on my bill, but I pointed it out to them and made sure to pay for it).

It really was an awful lot of food ~ I probably shouldn't have ordered the extra side order of potatoes… "A man's got to know his limitations", Inspector Callahan ~ but I really love me some potatoes for breakfast, no matter what else I have already ordered.

As I was expecting to eat at Fresca, I had already stopped at Peet's Coffee & Tea®, which is just two doors down. I had a cuppa their House Blend.

Cafe For All Seasons only offers Tabasco® (and just the standard red) for condimentary supplementation, so I used some of my own El Yucateco® Chipotle sauce (a mere 3,400 Scoville heat units ~ which is Gringo hot, but really is just more flavour than heat) on the potatoes. This is a very tasty addition to anyone's hot sauce collection. El Yucateco® has several other nice flavoured hot sauces. Their XXXtra Hot Sauce ~ Salsa Kutbil-li de Chile Habanero is one of the best bottles (both in flavour and Scoville heat) you will find.

After breakfast I went to Supercuts for a haircut, hence the stupid, sub-par sub-titular joke above.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Special Orange Buttermilk Waffle ~ 6.4; Peet's® House Blend ~ 6.8

*(Here is a little "bit" of info on the etymology of "bits": )

**(Porquois gaufres belges? You might ask. Didn't they already have their culinary plate filled with their little sprouts from Brussels?

And don't even get me started on that whole mayonnaise atrocity that they put on their frjtz, Jean-Claude!)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Americana Grill

100th Running of Bay-to-Beer!

Today was the Running of the 100th Bay-to-Beer!* ~ the World's largest and craziest footrace/walk/media event. I am wearing my 2001 Bay-to-Beer! t-shirt (see photo above) ~ from the 90th Running of
Bay-to-Beer! ~ and a Guinness® (which is absolutely the BEST Beer in the World; there are no arguments here ~ my 'blog, my rules!) baseball cap to commemorate it. As this "race" virtually/literally cuts the City in two and makes getting anywhere before noon nearly impossible, I decided to stay locally (but eat globally).

I started out at Simple Pleas
ures Cafe for a really decent cuppa local coffee and a global pastry (some kinda Viennese Linzer torte thingy ~ shortbread with raspberry jam) on my way to Golden Gate Park to watch some of the early morning madness.

The "race" must have started earlier than normal, as I got to the park at/before 8:00am and there was no trace of the "elite" runners (read: Kenyans out on a short Sunday Marathon training jog and some others wannabes) just thousands of crazy "other" runners. Unfortunately, the elite runners had probably finished over a half-hour prior. Apparently they are starting the race at 7:00am now-a-days. The weather was mostly clear/sunny, but still a bit chilly; it drizzled a little while I was watching, but not even enough to penetrate the overhanging Eucalyptus trees that I was lurking under (the more grammatically correct "under which I was lurking" sounds a little too creepy), so I stuck around for a while over by the American Bison paddock to watch some of the fun anyway.

After watching for about half an hour or so, I headed over to Americ
ana Grill on Balboa (just four blocks uphill) for breakfast. Now this is a very interesting little neighborhood place. Their menu reads: "Italian and Vietnamese food"?! That is a pretty interesting and worldly combination. The restaurant is owned and operated by a Vietnamese family. I asked my waitress what a typical Vietnamese breakfast would consist of (I have no idea how to even try to reword that phrase so that it reads grammatically correct; so it will have to remain ending in a predisposition), and she said that it is normally a big bowl of phở **. As if to prove her point, the very next diner actually ordered that; plus, the restaurant family later sat down to their breakfast break with large bowls of it, too.

They have a pretty decent breakfast menu, and as soup (and particularly a largely beef-broth based one) is not really my idea of breakfast, I ordered the Provencal*** Omelet*** ~ mixed vegetables and cheese; served with hash browns and wheat toast. I also ordered a large glass of orange juice.

The omelette was made with carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini, the vile weed(!), and probably Mozzarella cheese (in keeping with the Italian theme; I have no idea what a Vietnamese cheese would be); all the vegetables were fresh and there were lots and lots of them in the overstuffed omelette (or omelet). The large glass of orange juice was actually a HUGE glass; it must have been 20-24 ounces minimum.

They offer for condimentary supplementation both Tabasco® (the standard red) and Sriracha*** hot sauce. Even though I had come prepared with a few from my own collection, I went with some of the Sriracha on the hash browns. You know what they say, "When in Rome, do as they do in
Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh!"

While I was waiting for my meal to be served, "Little Lion Man" by Mumford & Sons was playing on the radio ("Americana" Top 40); however, this was an alternate/watered-down version where the lyrics are "I really MESSED it up this time…". "Little Lion Man" and the entire Sigh No More CD happened to be my favourite new group music from 2010. I really hate it when they have to change or bowdlerize songs to appease the gentile/general public… that's just totally f@cked-up!!!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Provencal Omelet ~ 6.2; Bay-to-Beer! ~ 7.9

*(AKA: officially ~ Bay-to-Breakers; unofficially ~ Bay-to-Buffalo; or alternatively life-styled ~ Gay-to-Breakers… and everyone knows that running and healthy living are the real threats to "traditional" marriages as we know them today, Buffalo Billy!)

**(Phở is a Vietnamese noodle soup; this seems to be their National Dish, much like "Chicken Tikka Massala" is the National Dish of England.

Some Vietnamese restaurants do make vegetarian versions of this, too, but they are usually pretty hard to find. It does not look like Americana Grill does a vegetarian version, either.)

Việt Nam used to be a French Colony for many years, I was very surprised that they did not go with the more Frenchified spelling of "Provençal" and "Omelette".)

***(Sriracha is a Thai style sweet-hot sauce. It is pretty ubiquitous in San Francisco… and you can find it just about everywhere, even.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Delancey Street Restaurant

The Pros and Cons of a Decent Breakfast*

(If you ask me, Michael Stipe should have let his guitar player stick to playing the guitar. That guy will never have a career as a singer.)

For breakfast this morning, I ate at Delancey Street** Restaurant over on the corner of Embarcadero and Brannan, near AT&T Park (home of your 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants). Now this ain't yer typical Bowery dive neither, Mr. Terrence Aloysius Mahoney, as both the décor and their menu are pretty fancy; however, their prices do not reflect this at all ~ everything seems to be fairly priced stuff. And unlike last weekend's Single Loser's Day breakfast, they didn't harass me by asking if I had a "reservation" or ridicule me for being a "party of one". There is more than enough ample seating in this restaurant, anyway.

With every breakfast they serve fresh-made bagel chips (whole, thinly sliced round chips, not little bits and pieces either) and bread basket with butter. Simple, but nice.

They have many different items on their menu that I could easily have chosen, but I went with Greg's Omelette ~ mushrooms, cream cheese, chives, garlic, & herbs. (Now this is a really minor grammatical point, but I was very impressed that they actually used the additional comma after "garlic" and before the ampersand in the description. Many places would just omit it and figure most people would not notice it; I always do.) All omelettes are served with home fried potatoes and toast, I skipped the toast as I also ordered a side of Potato Latkes*** ~ with sour cream and applesauce. I rounded out the meal with a decent cuppa Mr. Espresso® coffee.

The reason I chose the Greg's Omelette is that is the name of my annual Christmas Holiday host in North Yorkshire, England. The real joke is that I am pretty sure Mr. Greg Omelette would never make an omelette with mushrooms (or fresh tomatoes) in it, but this was a decent combination with the cream cheese, chives, and herbs.

The home fried potatoes are made with lots of green and red peppers, and red onions. These were perfectly cooked and absolutely greaseless (well, "greasy" is not always such a bad thing) and I just assumed that they were baked/roasted in the oven. I mentioned this to one of the servers and he checked in the kitchen and told me that they were in fact deep-fried. They must do a great job of letting them drip before serving them.

I know what you're thinking (and you should be ashamed of yourselves!), "Home fried potatoes AND potato pancakes?". So I happen to like potatoes, plus I skipped the extra carbohydrates in the toast (well, I did have some bagel chips and bread before the meal came). The Latkes were very good; however, here is my only minor critique with the entire meal: these were served with plain ol' applesauce (like something straight out of a jar), and I feel these would have been soooo much better with a home-made/fresh, chunky style applesauce (or even a German-style Apfelmus).

For their condimentary supplements they only have Tabasco® (and just the standard red). I had brought a few of my own collection just in case and used some Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce on the omelette (Thanks again, Amy!) and some Sylvia's Restaurant Kickin' Hot ~ Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Sean!) on the home fried potatoes; but on the Latkes, I just stuck with the sour cream and applesauce.

Glen Bacon**** Scale Rating: Greg's Omelette ~ 6.7; Potato Latkes ~ 6.6

*(Their actual corporate slogan is "An Ethnic American Bistro" ~ which beats "A Snooty French Joint" any day ~ but I prefer mine. Somehow, I doubt they will ever want to "steal" it, though.)

**(Delancey Street Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides residential rehabilitation services and vocational training for substance abusers and convicted criminals. I am not sure where the "Delancey Street" name comes from, but it does not seem to have anything to do with the street of the same name in New York City's Bowery neighborhood. I think the group was started locally in San Francisco by that great humanitarian and philosopher, Thayer Buttfore.)

***(In case you were wondering, these were not invented by Andy Kaufman's character on Taxi. Latkes are a type of Jewish potato pancake similar to German Kartoffelpuffer. )

****(At dinner this week, it was pointed out to me that my way of rating things ~ the highly scientific and not at all biased Glen "Bacon" Scale ~ is a bit ironic as I am a vegetarian, but still very appropriate with the whole breakfast subject. I really had never even thought about that. Thanks, Christopher!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Happy Single Losers Day!

Okay, I know that today is "Mother's Day" (it's also my niece's birthday ~ Happy Birthday, Shannon! ~ I was gonna say "Happy Birthday, Sheesha!", but didn't want to embarrass her on the World Wild Intro-Net), but I have proclaimed today to now be called "Single Losers Day"!

I don't care what everyone else says, the most discriminated minority in America are Single Losers. African-Americans have NAACP, there are many LGBT* equality groups, the Jewish have B'nai B'rith, the Italians have the Cosa Nostra, and the Radical Right has FOX News; but there are no organizations dedicated to the equality of Single Losers. Think about it, who is more ostracized in a crowd than a Single Loser? Have you ever gone out to eat all by yourself to some snooty, high-falutin' restaurant and been asked with a sneer by the maître d' "Do you have a reservation?" Seriously? For one Single Loser?! I always answer with "Yeah, I have one reservation… I heard the food here sucks, but I decided to eat here anyways."

I am not an animal! I am just a Single Loser looking for a place to eat.

Single Losers should be pitied and paid more attention to. If we all ever decided to organize… well, I guess we wouldn't really be "single" anymore. Okay, idiotic rant over… for now.

Anyway, I had breakfast today at Home over on Market Street in the Castro. They actually have a sign in their window that says "Best Brunch in San Francisco". I don't know how they came up with that claim, but "Best Brunch" to me is like saying you are the prettiest one of "The Golden Girls".

And… guess what? I was actually asked when I got there just as they were opening for "Brunch": "Do you have a reservation?" The place is huge and was completely empty! They were "nice enough" to seat me at the bar. I know what you are thinking, "but it is that other completely made-up holiday and many families probably did have reservations for 'Brunch' today". Well… wrong!!! The entire time that I was there the place was maybe half-full (or half-empty). This is what I am talking about Single Losers!

Meh?! Their "Brunch" selection wasn't really that extensive, nor exotic. It is just the prototypical "Brunch" place: cloth napkins; fancy, over-priced drinks; etc.

I had the Bourbon** Spiked Brioche French Toast ~ Toasted Pecan Mascarpone***, Maple Syrup and a side o' Breakfast potatoes (that would be the home fried/house potatoes-style, Mrs. Huneycutt). To drink, I had a Home Fizz ~ Orange, Cranberry, Pineapple juice, Ginger Ale, with a splash of lime, and also a cuppa coffee.

The French toast was good; it just wasn't anywhere near as good as Baker Street Bistro's Pain Perdu (see 'blog-raves from April 17th, 2010, and January 22nd, 2011). Just in case you think this is an unfair comparison (Newsflash: Bea Arthur is nowhere as pretty as Marilyn Monroe), it wasn't even nearly as good as Neighborhood Restaurant & Bakery (see 'blog-entry from July 10, 2010). Hey, they claim they are "the Best Brunch in San Francisco", not me. I guess, they meant "the Best Brunch in San Francisco… located on the corner of Market/14th/and Church Streets". The brioche does make for a nice base and I did like the toasted pecan mascarpone whip thing; however, I think this would have been even better with hazelnuts or almonds in place of the pecans, and maybe a little citrus zest (orange or lemon) added to it… oh, and how about some cinnamon or allspice, too. I was also a little disappointed that I really couldn't taste any of the "Bourbon Spiked" part of the mixture (maybe the chef takes a shot of Kentucky corn sqeezin's before preparing this).

The Fizz was okay ~ nice combo and flavour, but nothing really special that I couldn't "cook" up at home myself. I order a similar drink at bars when I don't feel like drinking any alcoholic beverages: "½-orange juice, ½-pineapple juice, and ½-ginger ale". It always gets a strange look from bartenders and they almost always say: "But that's three halves.", to which I reply: "That's okay, just serve it in a big glass!" (Okay, maybe I am starting to see why I am still a Single Loser.)

For condimentary supplementation they offer both Tabasco® (just the standard red) and Cholula®. So I went with some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce on the potatoes (Thanks again, Amy!), but I left the French toast un-spiked/un-spiced.

Home may not have been exactly "… where I want to be…", "… but I guess I'm already there…"; so it will have to do for today ~ being as it is such a big holiday and all, let's just not be naïve about it.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Bourbon Spiked Brioche French Toast ~ 6.5; Home Fizz ~ 6.3

*(By the way, this does not stand for "Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, and Tomato" sandwich. I asked my nephew and he confirmed it for me. Hey, Alan!… oops, I hope I haven't outed him on the Intro-Net in front of all his Gay friends.)

**(As I can't tell a Bourbon from a Scotch Whisky or Irish Whiskey, here is some additional information on Bourbon: )

***(Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese that is used in many dessert dishes, namely Tiramisu: 

Seriously, who knew there was a ""?!)

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Destination Known: Noe Valley

(Think globally, eat locally.)

(I didn't take that many photos this morning, so I figured I'd fill in with a few more videos from EweToob instead.)

This morning, I revisited pomelo (see 'blog-entry from September 18th, 2010) way over on the end of Church Street in Noe Valley. If this place were a bit closer and opened earlier than 10:00am on the weekends, I would surely eat there more often. They have a great "globally-inspired" menu from which to choose. Both the makena (Maui) and lupa (Siena) looked really tempting. I have had the lupa before and know it is very good; it's basically a frittata with noodles and other great stuff in it. The makena is a nice version of French toast: "banana-stuffed mascarpone brioche french toast with roasted macadamias and warm coconut syrup"; now that sounds like it is worth another "trip" all the way back there (beats a six-hour flight to Hawai'i).

Today's freebie mini-muffin ~ strawberries and hazelnut. It was still warm and fresh out of the oven. I could have eaten a few more of those.

I like to live by the motto: When in Greece… do as the Romans do, so I had the noe valley (San Francisco) omelette (which is also available as a scramble) with green asparagus, cherry tomatoes, garden cress, chives, and parmesan, served with multigrain toast and choice of house potatoes or organic field greens (read: rabbit food). The noe valley changes seasonally and is usually a fresh and interesting combination. I also had a glass of herbal hibiscus* sangría** (non-alcoholic).

This was bursting with lots of good asparagus goodness; there were easily 3-4 spears or more in it. I am not really sure what "garden cress" is, though. Just two minor negative points: the cherry tomatoes were halved and seemed a bit too large for the omelette, I think these would have been better cut into quarters; and there might have been a little more Parmesan cheese in it. All in all, this was a nice flavour combination with all of the fresh ingredients.

The "sangría" was very tasty, with lots of noticeable cinnamon in it; there were just no fresh fruit slices in it, though. That kinda goes against what the whole sangría thing should be.

They offer a pretty decent selection of condimentary supplements: Tabasco® (both the green Jalapeño version and the Chipotle one) and Cholula®. I knew this beforehand, so I didn't even bother schlepping any of my own with me this morning. I used some of the Chipotle on the potatoes; I just left the omelette virgin (did I not mention all the asparagus goodness?).

So that it wasn't an entirely wasted trip "all the way" over to Church Street, after breakfast I walked down the street and went to a nearby German import store: picked me up some good Pumpernickel Schrotbrot (wholemeal bread), Berlin Style Frisch-Gurken, a six-pack of Malz Bier, and (pay special attention, Cindy and Greg) some pre-packaged, ready-made Rösti (see the Bettys 'blog-entry from December 15th, 2010 for a description of what this most excellent shredded potato dish is) ~ all I have to do is reheat it and brew me up a cuppa Bettys coffee and I'm back in Yorkshire Heaven.

And it's always nice to take a little trip to Noe Valley without ever having to leave the City…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: noe valley omelette ~ 6.9; herbal hibiscus sangría ~ 6.8

*(Hibiscus tea is made from the Hibiscus flower. It is really good served either hot or iced. )

**(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:
Sangría" gets its name from its blood-red appearance; the word for "blood" in Spanish is "sangre".

Here is some additional
sangría information from our friends at Wikipedia: )

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rigolo Café

Family Friendly & Family Owned…

As a counter-point to yesterday's totally "Brunch"-ified meal at The Elite Cafe (as noted previously: sans accent aigu), I had a simple "breakfast" this morning at Rigolo* Café (avec accent aigu, Monsieur Hellequin). Rigolo Café is a completely unassuming (but "fun") place in the Laurel Village strip mall along California Street. They even have a cool play area inside for the little ones (so you can lock 'em in while you enjoy your meal in peace).

The counter persons/servers all wear les uniformes traditionnels like those of NFL Referees (or the standard-issue prison garb in old Three Stooges shorts), thick black and white horizontal lines (vertical lines would be more slimming) on their jerseys (of which I was informed that these are actually imported from France). The walls are adorned with fun designs and some local artwork for sale. Plus, above you, there are these cool chandeliers and black and white parapluies, both of which I was also told are imported from France, aussi.

For petit-déjeuner, Rigalo Café offers la gamme complète des Œufs** Bénédictines, Mr. Ziffel: Smoked Salmon, Jambon de Bayonne (Ham; sorry, Arnold!), and Florentine (Spinach); plus many other œuf dishes and even a Pain Perdu, which may need a secondary visit to check out their version of this dish. I had the Forager's Jardinière*** (avec accent grave, Monsieurs Wilson) Scramble ~ Baby spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and Gruyère**** (aussi avec accent grave, Monsieur Love); served with fresh-baked organic sprouted 8-grain (now if that ain't a mouthful…) toast, plus a choice of one side: organic (again with the organic?) mesclun greens; provincial herb-roasted potatoes; fresh fruit; smokey***** (sic) bacon or Aidells sausage. This is also available as an "omelette" (correctement dans la version française, unlike The Elite Cafe ~ see yesterday's 'blog-entry) if you would rather. I also had a cuppa Equator Coffees & Teas ~ French (what else?) Roast.

This combination of fresh ingredients was all very similar and just as good as my "Brunch" from The Elite Cafe yesterday morning, but at half the price and about twice the portion (and there were no fancy "cloth" napkins here ~ paper napkins all the way, and I even had to get up and get them myself). Unlike the Brie cheese in yesterday's "omelet", I felt that the Gruyère cheese seemed a better pairing with all these ingredients. The "choice of sides" really wasn't much of a "choice" for me, I can make my own salad and the porky products really weren't an option, so I went with the provincial herb-roasted potatoes, bien sûr.

For condimentary supplementation Rigalo Café only has Tabasco® (the standard red) for hot sauces; however, they do offer the omniprésent (and that's avec accent aigu, Le Elite Caf
é, s'il vous plaît) spread found in most European/French joints, nutella®******, to use on toast, etc.; I took full use of the hazelnutty-chocolatey goodness on one of my slices of toast, merci beaucoup. I also used some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce on the potatoes (Merci, Amie!), and some Trees Can't Dance ~ Belizean Habanero Sauce (Merci, aussi, Cindi et Grégoire!) on the scramble.

And, as "family-friendly" as this place claims to be, I was very disappointed that I didn't get to see any cheap-thrills breast-feeding going on again... so I took off my own shirt.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Al Jardine Scramble ~ 6.5; Equator French Roast ~ 6.5

*(Stupid useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, première partie:

I know this word sounds like it might actually come from Italiano, or even a Swiss cough drop; however, "Rigolo" en français simplement means "fun, funny" as an adjective; or "joker" as a noun. It comes from the noun "rigolade", meaning "fun".)

**(Stupid useless cunning linguist/etymological pointer of the day, deuxième partie:

The little "œ"
marriage symbol-thingy is actually called a "grapheme" or "ligature". For more information on this, see this "borrowed" link from Wikipedia )

***(Stupid useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, troisième partie:

"Jardinière" means "gardener" in French, Al. It comes from the noun "jardin" ~ "garden" and the verb "jardiner" ~ "to garden".)

****(Gruyère cheese is better known as "that fondue cheese": )

*****(Not quite a useless cunning linguist pointer, but just more of another useless etymological pointer:

They had this spelled as "smokey" on their menu. This is an acceptable spelling for the Bear or the State Troopers, but more correctly it probably should be "smoky" when used in this context. Unless the French actually like their bacon ursine or are cannibals; in which case, maybe I should have ordered this with a side of Fava beans and a nice glass of kee-yan-tee.)

*****(If you have never had nutella® before, shame on you! )