Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dottie’s True blue café

Proud* Sunday #4


So, I completed my "Month of Sundays" this morning at Dottie's True blue café. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it (and I was the right idiot for the job). I got there a little before they opened and actually got a good, legal parking spot right on Geary Street at the corner of Shannon** Alley.

Waiting in front of me in line was a family from Denmark. I know absolutely nothing about Denmark other than the capital is Copenhagen, Hamlet and Hans Christian Anderson were from there, and that they like to wear those funny wooden shoes. I did learn a neat trick from them, though: When one of the local panhandlers came up to them and asked for change, the father said in impeccably enunciated English: "I am sorry, but I do not speak any English." What can you say to that?

For breakfast this morning, I simply went with one of my stalwart selections (which is now part of their daily printed menu): Black Bean Cakes ~ with two eggs over medium, home fries, and grilled jalapeño-cornbread. I also had a large glass of grapefruit*** juice and a cuppa coffee.

I have had this dish many times before and know it to be a great choice if there is nothing really exciting on the specials board; as a matter of fact, this was the same dish that Jim Turner (an old Air Force buddy of mine from Berlin-town) had when he came to visit last year (see 'blog-entry from July 25th, 2010). There were actually some great choices on the specials board today (both the frittata and strata looked tasty), I just wanted to finish out the "Month" with a known positive note (because I have had sooooo many bad meals at Dottie's). This comes with a nice portion of fresh pico de gallo and dollop of sour cream on top of the cakes. These are sorta like a vegetarian-style "sausage" patty, only made with black beans and rice, which make them a lot healthier than any made with dead-decaying porky products, Arnold.

As for condimentary supplementation, I am more than familiar with what
Dottie's has to offer, so I went with some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (which is almost at an end… sniff, sniff) on the home fries (Thanks once again, Amy!).

"Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls; it's a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world, except for…"
Dottie's, Do-Do-Do-Dottie's!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Black Bean Cakes ~ 7.1

*(This weekend the 41st Annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade is being held. 

 Whether you are LGBT or just as "straight as Derek J*ter"... Equality is something that should be for All, not just the Majority. Celebrate diversity.
Both of the EweToob links above, paired together, are meant to reflect this.

And in case any of you D*mn Y*nkees fans reading this want to comment on my Derek J*ter slur… Seriously?! The dude's "girlfriends" put Brian Wilson's facial hair to shame… not that there's anything wrong with that!)

**(My niece, Shannon, is riding in the 2-Day MS Boston to P-Town Bike thingy this weekend, so I found this very à propos. 

Shannon raised over $1,500 for this worthwhile charity. Great job, Sheesha!)
***(Useless horticultural pointer of the day: 

Grapefruit grow in orchards and not on vines, and really aren't used in the making of wine of any sort. They are a citrus fruit ~ and actually a berry. They are a hybrid of the pomelo or shaddock.

As Dorothy Parker was wont to point out: "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.")

Saturday, June 25, 2011

St. Francis Fountain

San Francisco's Oldest Ice Cream Parlor ~ Since 1918


St. Francis Fountain, over on 24th Street in the Mission, is a true diner-dive in every good sense of the word(s) and a great place for breakfast. It has been in operation at the same location (give or take a few years) since 1918. I just don't know why they call it "St. Francis" Fountain, what does he have to do with San Francisco or ice cream?

Now, this is not the greatest of neighborhoods, but it's still a relatively safe area if you stay along "Main Street" Mission District (24th Street). I suppose Mission Street is the real "Main Street", but I really like the choices of restaurants and shops along 24th Street to get the full "sabor" of the Mission. St. Francis Fountain is just across the street and down a half block from Casa Sanchez*, another "Main Street" mainstay.

I sat at the counter to get the full dinerific-effect; they have several old wooden booths that you can sit at, too. Speaking of booths, Kal-El, they even have a cool old phone booth, with an actual rotary dial ("Sorry ~ Temporarily Out of Service") phone inside.

There are tons of good choices on the menu for both Vegetarians and Vegans. I went with the Veggie Mess ~ eggs scrambled w/spuds, vegan chorizo** & mushrooms, topped w/cheese, tomatoes, sour cream & cilantro; choice of toast or baked good (my choice: homemade biscuit); and a cuppa Peerless® Coffee to round it all out.

This was a heaping pile o' spuds, covered with lots of gooey, melty, cheesy goodness… what's not to like? Plus, there was no chintzing*** on the chorizo, chica. It was an awful lot of food and I really couldn't finish all of it. The only thing I can think of that might have made this even a little tastier would have been a nice fresh pico de gallo instead of just chopped tomatoes.

The only condimentary supplementation that I saw on the counter and tables was Tapatío®; so I used some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce on the pile (Thanks again, Amy!).

They were mainly playing old 60's Girl Group music on the house stereo while I was there; hence, the above EweToob link. Tracey Ullman also did a nice cover of that song which was a minor hit in the 80's when I was living in (West) Berlin.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggie Mess ~ 7.0

*(Casa S
anchez is a just a local taquería, but they have their tortilla chips and salsas for sale in most Bay Area supermarkets. They really are very good chips.

At one time, they had a promotion that offered free burritos for life ~ up to one a day, I believe ~ to anyone that would get a tattoo of their cartoon logo "Jimmy the Cornman". All you had to do was present your tattoo before ordering… this was a bit of a mistake, as some people ended up getting the tattoo in rather private places.)

**(For those uniformed, chorizo ~ or chouriço in Portuguese: 

I just assume the Vegan variety is made from certified Vegan pigs.)

***(Semi-etymological/completely boring, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Chintz" is actually a printed, patterned cotton fabric, with glazed finish; or, a painted or stained Indian calico. It comes from Sanskrit "citra" meaning "gaily-colored".

"Chintzy" has come to be used as a term meaning "cheap"/"vulgar" or "stingy"/"miserly".

However, I guess it is more correct to say that the participants in tomorrow's 41st Annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade will all be wearing
chintzy clothing ~ according to the original Sanskrit meaning.)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dottie’s True blue café

Happy Father’s Day! (Sunday the Third)

"Folks who have no vices have very few virtues" ~ Abe Lincoln*

(Cliff Clavinism "Little Known Fact" of the day:
This song was written by David Gates, not about a lost love of his, but about his father that had passed away.)

This was the third Sunday in a row that I headed over to Dottie's True blue café (see 'blog-entry from June 12th, 2011). I actually "slept in" today and didn't get to
Dottie's until almost 8:00am, and, as such, had to wait about 45 minutes outside for the next (second) seating of the morning. Luckily the weather was great; the Sun was out and shining and it hadn't even started to "heat up" to the 70° or so that it should hit today. I can't wait until June 21st when Summer truly starts and we only have another two more months of fog until it really heats up…

The following photo is just a short set of "rules" that
Dottie's has posted to inform the crowd while waiting to enter/eat.

"Learn it. Know it. Live it, Spicoli."

For a change (and for your change), there was an actual street performer (not just the normal indigenous populace hanging around) entertaining the folks waiting patiently outside. He wasn't that bad, either. I thought that he did a pretty decent acoustic rendition of "On Broadway", Mr. Benson.

I ordered off the Specials Board again: Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, Scallion, and Fresh Mozzarella Frittata ~ with Toast and Potatoes. I also ordered a large glass of grapefruit juice and a cuppa coffee.

It was great as always. There were lots of green asparagusy goodness in it ~ easily asparagus in every fork-full/bite.

For condimentary supplements I went with what Dottie's had to offer on the counter: Tabasco® Chipotle on the potatoes and a little Frank's® RedHot® Chile 'n Lime on the frittata.

Okay, what else can I say that I haven't already said about
Dottie's many times over? Go there to eat; it's the best breakfast place in San Francisco for your money; get there early; wait and enjoy.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Frittata ~ 7.5

*(This was a refrigerator magnet quote on
Dottie's refrigerator. While Abe isn't technically "the Father of America", he was a father and I am pretty sure he ate breakfast once in a while.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

IHOP Restaurant®

Ut Jentaculum Libertas*

(Picture provided for those of you that have never seen an IHOP® before.)


I made my annual breakfast trek over to IHOP Restaurant
® (the one over on Lombard Street in the Marina/Cow Hollow) for my free** birthday breakfast (see last 'blog-entry from June 20th, 2010). It may not be Dottié's Trué blué café, but it is still a free meal (and pretty decent for the pri¢e, Ray). IHOP® has a new corporate slogan/deal that they are calling "Pancake Revolution ~ Pancakes to the People" (right on?); somehow, I don't quite think this is what John Lennon (or even bad Vlad Lenin) had in mind (hence the above Beatles video/song from EweToob.)

Once again, I parked over by the Lombard gate of the Presidio and saw about 12 of the
Wild Parrots of San Francisco flying overhead and heard dozens (hundreds?) more in the tall eucalyptus trees where they roost. Now, granted, Wild Parrots are better than mangy ol' pigeons any day; however, the Wild Parrots population is rapidly growing in San Francisco; I just wonder how long it is before they are considered pests, too.

This was truly an "International" breakfast this morning as there were a German couple at the next table over and an Australialand gent (whom I called a New Zealander by accident; oops, sorry, mate!) two tables away; plus my server, Angelica, was from Guatemala.

The free breakfast deal calls for either the Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity®, Mr. Penniman, or one of equal or lesser value. I opted for the new ("for a limited time, at participating restaurants") Double Cheese Tortilla Scramble ~ basically scrambled eggs with lots of cheese (two types: yellow and white ~ they don't really specify what kind), corn tortilla chips, and a salsa of some kind; and I made it a combo with pancakes and hashbrowns. I also had a large glass of orange juice. I knew that their coffee was just black and hot, so I had a cuppa Peet's® House Blend (also a freebie from a leftover Christmas gift certificate) afterward at the shop on Chestnut a few blocks away.

This was no Chava's Chilaquiles by any means, but it really wasn't that bad; the real pleasant surprise was the salsa ~ muy sabroso, but not too picante.

IHOP® offers as condimentary supplementation: Tabasco® (the standard red) and Cholula
®. I actually had brought some of my own hot sauces and went with a little Roland's® Piri Piri with Lemon on the hashbrowns, and some blueberry syrup on the pancakes.

Free food and coffee, what's not to like?

Carpe syrupum!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: (free) Double Cheese Tortilla Scramble ~ 6.2; (free) Peet's
® House Blend ~ 6.5

*(Completely random, stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

The Latin motto of one of my old Air Force Squadron, 6916th Electronic Security Squadron ~ Home of the Prodded Professionals, was "Ut Fiat Libertas", which means "Freedom Through Vigilance" ~ or something close enough to that. This was always jokingly translated as: "One Free Fiat". What else can you expect from a bunch of cunning linguists?!

So, I suppose the title to today's 'blog-entry loosely translates as: "Freedom through breakfast", "From breakfast, liberty/freedom", "Ah, breakfast, that is freedom"… or even "One Free Breakfast". Feel free to supply your own translation, Coach O'Neil.)

**(Well, up to $8.99; however, even with the large orange juice, I still got out of there for just $1.02, but don't worry, I tipped Angelica as if it were the entire $10.01.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Breakfast at Tiffany's

"(Audrey Hepburn*) was a delicate flower." ~ George Costanza

(no website available)

I had read several on-line reviews of Breakfast at Tiffany's (and it only makes sense for me to check out a place named after my 'blog) and people either seem to absolutely love this place or cold-bloodedly hate it… count me among the former numbers now, Truman. Breakfast at Tiffany's is a completely unassuming "Mom & Pop" (literally) diner-joint located over in the Portola neighborhood of San Francisco, over on San Bruno Avenue (just a block from the Silver Ave exit off Highway 101). Unlike many other female-named restaurants (e.g. Dottie's, Ella's, Chloe's, Bettys, etc.), there is an actual "Tiffany" associated with this restaurant; she is the goddaughter of the owner/chief cook/bottle washer/"Pop". According to "Mom", they opened 34 years ago and have been at same location the entire time.

They have several Audrey Hepburn photos and posters adorning the walls. I asked "Pop" and he said that people started giving them to them and they put them up. (Them's a lot of "thems" in that thar' sentence.)

They have a pretty decent daily menu and several items on the specials board above the stoves:

I went off the printed menu and ordered the Veggie Omelet ~ Spinach, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Onions, Bell Peppers, Avocado, & Cheese (I chose Swiss, 'cause there was no Belgium cheese offered); with Sourdough toast, and a cuppa coffee. All breakfast dishes come with a side order of hashbrowns, and I "upgraded" mine to the Stella: Cheddar & Jack cheese, Green Chili (Ortega chiles), Tomatoes, served with Salsa & Sour cream.

In addition to their "Standard" Hashbrowns, they have three different "Upgrades" (their actual term, not mine) from which to choose: Dela, Stella, and Stella by Starlite (the Works). Now any place that does something different and interesting with my favourite tubular fruit, the potato, is okay by me. This was really a meal unto itself ~ a huge pile of hashbrowns ~ and worth a return trip just for that. Don't get me wrong, the omelette was very good, too ~ lots of fresh spinach (Always a good thing, Martha.) and probably an entire half of an avocado (a whole half?) in it.

Available for condimentary supplements are: Tabasco® (standard red), Crystal®, and Cholula®; however, I again brought some of my new Big Papi ~ En Fuego Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Kerry!). I went with some of the Monster Double Medium Hot on the omelette only, the salsa that came with the hashbrowns was pretty tasty already. (I asked if they made their own salsa fresh and was very surprised to be told that it actually came from a "can"… "Get a rope!"... It really was very good for coming from a can, and seemed like it had roasted tomatoes and chiles in it.)

Breakfast at Tiffany's is exactly the kind of joint and reason that I started this 'blog-thingy for in the first place. If it were a little closer and had better area parking, I am sure it would make "my rotation".

There were no diamonds for breakfast, Holly, just some damn fine hashbrowns! (And I promise you will not get any pink-eye from eating there, Remy.)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggie Omelet ~ 6.9; Stella Hashbrowns ~ 7.7 (actually, they were more like a 7.5, but I liked that they opened in '77, and thought this appropriate)

*(For those of you born after 1980, here is a little information on "la fleur délicate de la Belgique/die zarte Blume von Belgien":

Think of her as an older version of Natalie Portman.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Bistro Restaurant @ Cliff House

Happy Popovers(!) Day

I hadn't been to the Bistro Restaurant @ Cliff House in several months (see 'blog-entry from January 29th, 2011) and figured what better way to spend my birthday breakfast than enjoying some historic, World-Class Popovers(!); plus, the rest of the food is pretty decent.

I say "historic" as the above plaque states this to be so. I say "World-Class" because people come from all over the planet just to eat their most excellent Popovers(!). The table next to me was full of a German tourist family* and the table next to them had a family of Dutch tourists. I know this because one of the family members was taking a picture of the other three, so I asked them if they would like me to take a picture of the entire table. I noticed an accent and asked them where they were from and they told me the Netherlands (which is somewhere right next to Holland, I am pretty sure). I asked them to say "kaas" when I took their photo (they got that cheesy joke, at least).

For breakfast, I once again ordered the Sautéed** Vegetable Scramble ~ Scrambled Eggs, Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Scallions, Button Mushrooms, & Melted Goat Cheese. Actually, I tried tricking my trusty server ~ who I have known from several years of visiting there ~ into bringing me a Greek Omelette. They used to make the best Greek Omelette (with authentic Kalamata olives and Feta), but took it off the menu several years back; which really is a pity, too, as it was almost as good as the Popovers(!).

I also had a cuppa the house coffee, and, of course, the reason for the whole visit: the oft- and afore-mentioned Popovers(!); there were only three today in the basket (and I "forced" myself to finish them all).

Today's side of fresh fruit: honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, and strawberries. Well, strawberry ~ singular, not that it would matter to me if they had rocks on the side of the plate, just as long as they keep serving their Popovers(!), I will always be coming back for more.

For condimentary supplementation today, I wanted to try out some more of my Big Papi ~ En Fuego Hot Sauce that I had just received this weekend (Thanks again, Kerry!). I used a little of the Original Mild on the scramble and some Off The Wall Triple Hot on the potatoes. I could taste the differences in both of these better today. I liked them both.

On the wall next to/above my table today were these Hollywoodland photos:

(Picture 1, top to bottom)

??? (I recognize the face, but don't know what to do with the name); Richard Greene
???; Irving Berlin
Penny Singleton ("Blondie Bumstead"); Arthur Lake ("Dagwood Bumstead")

(Picture 2, top to bottom)

(a very young) Robert Shaw(?); Robert Conrad
Michael Douglas; Jackie Cooper
Herb Caen (a local San Francisco Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist); ??? (this one is killing me that I can't name/recognize her; neither could my trusty server who had supplied me with Richard Greene's name above and a few other names in the past)
Linda Darnell; some guy that lives in my neighborhood (and really brings down the property values, mind you) trying to do his best Groucho Marx impression

Once again, as the signatures were either too faded or too high up on the wall to read, anyone that can fill in the ??? holes with the correct names will be treated to all the Popovers(!) you can eat… at my treat. I might even spring for breakfast, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Sautéed Vegetable Scramble ~ 6.8; Popovers(!) ~ 8.2

*(I later ran into the same German family on the North Side of the Golden Gate Bridge ~ I walked the entire span, back-and-forth, this morning to work off the big breakfast and as a cheap birthday event. I asked the father "
Wie geht's?" and "Wie war Frühstück?". To paraphrase Steven Wright: "It's a small bridge, but I wouldn't want to paint it.") 
**(I don't get it. They have this spelled correctly on the menu avec un accent aigu, yet they have the name of the place with the redundantly named The Bistro "Restaurant" name. Just doesn't make any sense to me.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dottié’s Trué blué café

Sunday #2

(Well, sometimes on a Sunday, Μελίνα.)

As promised, this was the second consecutive Sunday in a row* (because one Sunday in a row would not be considered "consecutive", or even "in a row") that I had breakfast at Dottié's Trué blué café (see 'blog-entry from June 5th, 2011). Lady Ella was once again playing on the stereo when I sat down at the counter. Today's choice of kitschy salt 'n' peppa shaker: little houses (see above photo).

There are a few other breakfast joints in the immediate area along Geary Street (and all within a few blocks of the Theatre District and Down
town): Olympic Cafe (I have eaten there a few times in the past), Grand Cafe (inside the Hotel Monaco; never eaten there), The Original Perfect Hamburger** (I have eaten there, a long time ago, though); but none really compare to Dottié's.

There were some good specials on the board today. Plus, I was all set to "suffer through" my fall-back choice of Black Bean Cakes off their new standard menu if I absolutely had to. I ended up going with the Roasted red pepper, Kalamata olive, Scallion, Spinach, Pesto, & Parmesan Frittata ~ with toast and potatoes. I also had a cuppa coffee.

Now I could go into a lengthy explanation of how good this was and why I liked it, but that might take several years and cost thousands of lives. Let's just say if this had included any asparagus in it, I may just have married it ~ Traditional Marriages be damned, Mr. Bradford!

Not to be outdone by our snot-nosed little brother (name withheld for familial harmony), my next older brother, Kerry, had sent me some condimentary supplementation, too. I received in the mail yesterday a 4-Pack of Big Papi ~ En Fuego*** Hot Sauce (Thanks a lot, Kerry!!!****). These range from Original Mild to Grand
Slam XXXtra Hot. I tried a little of each on my pile of potatoes. They all packed a bit o' heat as one of their main ingredients is the chile habanero (sorry, not "habañero", Mr. Underwood). Like yesterday's nose-numbing hot sauce, the Grand Slam includes capsaicin extract; knowing this, I went lightly with it today; it wasn't quite as hot as the Blair's After Death Sauce with liquid fire, but I can see this one lasting a very long time, too.

Big Papi is the real name of a MLB player from República Dominicana also known as David Américo Ortiz Arias; he currently plays half a game at the "Designated Hitter" position with the Boston Red Sox. Big Papi has had a major resurgence from the past few seasons of Piss-Poor Performance (hey, that is not my opinion, that is the actual technical term used by MLB; these Sabermetrics terms get trickier and trickier every year); I think this is due to his Off-Season training regiment with Alex Rodriguez' cousin…

How many times must I state this?
Dottié's is simply the best ~ eat there or be stupid!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: RrpKoSSP&P Frittata ~ 7.6; Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauces ~ 7.0; Big Papi ~ .325 (2011), .283 (Lifetime)

*(See: Department of Redundancy Department)

**(Also known as "The Original Perfect Crime-burger". About 15 years ago there was a Double-Homicide at this place. I don't remember the specifics, but I think that one disgruntled kitchen worker came back after his shift was over and shot and killed a couple of his co-workers. I don't know whether it had anything to do with the quality of the burgers or not.

If you ask me, all hamburgers are murder, anyway.)

***(I am pretty sure that this means in Español dominicano: "If you walk Youk or Adrian, you must pitch to me!")

****(There is no sarcasm of note today. I can still feel my nose after trying all of these.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Baker Street Bistro

A little Pain Perdu… and a little "pain" pour moi

To kick off my Birthday Weekend Breakfast Spree, it should be no surprise that I headed to Baker Street Bistro (see 'blog-entry from April 9th, 2011 for my last visit), which is one of my favourite breakfast joints. It should also be no surprise that I had their most excellent Pain Perdu. I also had a side order of the home fries (I really need to try their French fries one of these days; I noticed that they serve them in a little paper cone thingy inside a sundae glass) and a cuppa coffee.

I won't even bother describing again how good this breakfast truly is (you can see a few of my past raves on this dish); you really need to experience this for yourself. The fresh fruit today was: red grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, and oranges.

I knew that their complimentary supplementation was simply Tabasco® (and the standard red only), so I went with some Blair's
After Death Sauce with liquid fire on the home fries ~ brand new to my collection (Thanks a lot, Sean!!!*).

"Ingredients: Habañero (sic)** Peppers, Vinegar, Cayeññe*** Peppers, Salt, Garlic, Natural Flavor****, Chipotle Peppers, Corn Starch, Lime Juice Concentrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Onion, Herbs, Spices"

Additionally, I also used some of my McCormick® Black Peppercorn Grinder (thanks go to Herr Flukwheat for this great little idea) as it seems that the French (as well as the Englanders) prefer the finely powdered pepper type. Not me, I like to see the bits of freshly cracked pepper on everything (well, except on my Pain Perdu, but I have been known to use some on cantaloupe and watermelon in the past).

When I was parking my car alongside the Presidio (over by the Lombard Street gate entrance) I heard and saw several dozen of the Wild Parrots of San Francisco in the tall eucalyptus trees where they roost. They were really squawking up a storm this morning and could still be heard a block away as I headed over to eat.

"Pain Perdu, please, Mr. Izzard." (You really have to watch the silly little EweToob link at the top of this entry to get this joke. And if you haven't viewed the video, why not?!)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pain Perdu ~ 8.2; Blair's
After Death Sauce ~ 50,000 Scoville Units, 6.5 Glen Bacon Scale Units

*(This is to be read in a very sarcastic tone.

I received a birthday swag package from my brother Sean yesterday. It was a very "deadly" themed birthday gift:
Blair's After Death Sauce
The Walking Dead ~ "The Complete First Season" DVD
The Decemberists ~ "The King is Dead" CD

I really didn't get the whole birthday gift theme joke, though.

Blair's After Death Sauce is rated at 50,000 Scoville Heat Units; that would make it about 10 times hotter than the normal Tabasco® product. I only used 5-6 large drops/splashes and it was still ridiculously hot ~ this stuff is to be used sparingly. The flavour is basically overpowered by the heat, but it really does have a nice aroma ~ just don't inhale too deeply or you may never need a nasal spray again. I have had hotter hot sauces, but not in quite some time. I bet just one drop of this stuff would have killed poor Poppie on contact, Jerry.

Another cool thing about Blair's bottles of hot sauces is that they all come with a little skull on a key chain; so, I am using that as a zipper pull on my "European Carry-all" bag thingy.

This bottle will last me for a very long time… I am afraid.)

**(They have this misspelled as "Habañero" on their label; much like my misconception in the past where I had assumed that "Habañero", like "Jalapeño", had the little "ñ" thingy in it.)

***(They didn't really misspell this one, I just liked the idiocy.)

****(By "Natural Flavor", I am assuming this means the pepper extract/capsaicin. This is the stuff that gives pepper spray its kick, just don't spray it on your potatoes.)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dottie’s True blue café

A month of Sundays*

(Some Ella Fitzgerald** was playing on the stereo when I first sat down and I thought it would go nicely here.)

There is no real secret that this is my favourite breakfast joint, not just in San Francisco, but in all of America, and just possibly in the entire World (however, if I lived in North Yorkshire year-round, I might have a tough choice between here and Bettys). So for the month of June (which happens to be my birth month), I am dedicating my Sunday breakfasts to Dottie's True blue café (see 'blog-entry from March 13th, 2011 for my last visit).

The real beauty of Dottie's is that it is just a short 4.8 miles straight down Geary Boulevard/Street from my apartment to get there; where I found a legal parking spot just a block away. The Sun was out and shining after raining most of the weekend, and even though I had arrived well before they opened, there was already a pretty decent line formed (Damned touristas!), but I still made it in with the "First Seating". I chose to sit at the counter, though, so that I could watch the shifty cook prepare my meal correctly. There was a nice Korean family (dad, mom, and little boy) seated next to me at the counter (okay, not all touristas are damnable).

"Hey, brother, can you spare a $20.00?"
This is pretty typical of any visit to Dottie's, while standing outside waiting for them to open, I was approached by a few of the indigenous "street performers". One young lady asked me for "some spare change", but when I looked in my wallet, I noticed that I only had $20.00 bills. I told her that I would catch her on my way out after I broke a $20.00. She then asked ~ ever so politely, mind you ~ if I could give her a $20.00. I laughed it off and told her I would give her a few $1.00's after breakfast. The kicker is that when I had finished later in the morning, she was nowhere to be found and probably had already left for better pecuniary climes.

Dottie's has a newly printed menu, and their logo has changed, too (see photo above). I asked Kurt if they had any of the old menus lying around that I could have as a souvenir; he said that he is pretty sure they were all thrown out, but would check to see if he still had any at home. Maybe I will get one next weekend and have it framed. They have incorporated their new menu with some old "Specials Board" stalwarts hard-coded on it now (for example a perennial*** favourite of mine: Black Bean Cakes). It is also interesting to point out that they now use an accent aigu in their name; in the past it was never clearly designated whether they were a "cafe" or "café": Dottié's Trué blué café.

Even so (after perusing the new menu just in case), I went with something off the Specials Board, I had Zucchini Cakes ~ topped with poached eggs & a spicy marinara sauce, with fruit & home fries. I also had a large glass of grapefruit juice and a cuppa coffee.

The Zucchini Cakes are a great take on an Eggs Benedict dish: two zucchini cake patties and a very tasty marinara sauce in place of English muffins and Hollandaise sauce. I asked Kurt where he came up with this idea and he said he just thought it up one day during the free time in the day (Dottie's is only open for breakfast and lunch). I told Kurt that he should rename this dish "Uova Benedetto"****, as it is a nice Italiano version of the standard "Eggs Benedict". You can see my 'blog-entry from 10/10/10 for additional ravings and descriptions on this unique and tasty dish. Today's fresh fruit cup consisted of: watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, and strawberries.

Present on the counter in front of me were the same Arizona souvenir salt & pepper shakers from my last visit.

I knew that Dottie's has one of the better complimentary supplementation available, so I didn't even bother bringing any additional hot sauces from my collection. I used some Tabasco® Chipotle on the home fries and just a little Frank's® Red Hot® ~ Chile 'n Lime on the Zucchini Cakes (which really didn't need any extra flavour as the marinara sauce was pretty darn tasty on it's own, I just liked the idea of the additional chile and lime).

Here is a picture of "The Usual Suspects", Bayim Söze:

While I was sitting there waiting to eat, I noticed cartons of jars of Dottie's Own Chipotle Pepper Jelly on top of one of their storage cabinets. Apparently these are packaged for sale to take home. I couldn't pass up this addition to my collection, so I bought one to take home with me. As stated right on the label: "Perfect on hot cornbread, toast, grilled chicken, shrimp sauté, grilled pork chops, and grilled tofu. A perfect companion with crackers and cheese for a very civilized Hors d’oeuvre." Heck, I am planning on using it tonight for a "Sweet Heat!" grilled cheese and jelly sandwich.

Ingredients: Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Green Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Jalapeños, Water, Chipotle Peppers (peppers, water, distilled vinegar, carrots, onions, sesame oil, salt, spices), Citrus Pectin, Monocalcium Phosphate.

You are never too young (or old) for Dot
tie's True blue café, Lady Ella!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Uova Benedetto ~ 7.77; Dottie's Own Chipotle Pepper Jelly ~ 7.1

*(That would be about 28-35 Sundays in Dog-years, of course.)

**(This is actually très à propos as I was just talking yesterday and today to some friends on defacedbook how I thought that Lady Ella was the best American female vocalist… EVER!)

***(Stupid, useless etymological pointer of the day:

"Perennial" as in "undying", "everlasting", or "enduring"; not some kinda flower you plant in the Springtime.)

****(This would also be nice as it would honour some guy with the same last name that has his signature song about a cardiac transplantation in our fair city. It's the B-Side to the much more popular "Once Upon A Time", of course.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Slow Club

Ellas Otha Bates* knows breakfast?

(There is really no correlation between Slow Club and Bo Diddley. On my way over to breakfast this morning, my local old-fogies station KFOG was re-running one of their "10-at-10" shows from earlier this week and one of them happened to be a show of "Bo Diddley Beats" songs. I never even would have guessed that the the** Smiths song was of that ilk; but, after they played it and I heard it for probably the the*** ten thousandth time, I actually caught it.)

Slow Club is a pretty decent "industrial cocktail" joint in the area between Potrero Hill and the Mission (right across the street from the Potrero MUNI yard); I am not sure what the neighborhood is really designated. They offer some pretty good things for "Brunch". The place filled up fast early on a Saturday morning, even in spite of the nasty precipitation we had. Rain in Junuary? (I stole that term from Billy Equality Bradford on defacedbook. And everyone knows that inclement weather and "Brunch" are the real threats to traditional 'merican marriage!)

I like how they have their bathrooms marked as "Man" and "Woman" (both singular); so, ladies, no doubling up in there and talking about your cheapo dates behind their backs. I really liked their two very hot servers this morning: a red-head and a "burnette", T-Bone. This brings to mind the whole Ginger or Mary Ann debate (however, at my age even Mrs. Howell is starting to look good).

They don't have that many vegetarian dishes on their menu. Though, I liked the looks of the Frittata**** ~ baby spinach, king trumpet mushrooms, red onion, provolone, asparagus, & roasted red pepper relish, with home fries and greens. From their "Cocktails" menu, I ordered a Bicyclette ~ st. germain elderflower liqueur & sparkling wine, served with an orange twist. To make it a compleat breakfast, I also had a cuppa good, strong coffee; they serve Mr. Espresso coffee, which I have had before and knew to be a decent local roastery.

The "Frittata" is simply enough named, but it was very good with some great, fresh ingredients: lots of asparagus and spinach, baby. It was a correctly-made frittata: prepared on the stove, then finished in the oven (I asked my server who confirmed this ~ it was done in a standard oven, not with a "Salamander", the broiler thingy above the stove in some professional kitchens). Now, I am not sure what a "king trumpet mushroom"***** is, Satchmo, but I liked them, too. The roasted red pepper relish was very good, just not enough of it, in my opinion ("a little dab'll do ya", Mr. Bryl, but not me). The only thing I could think of that might have been a nice addition to the frittata would have been some fresh finocchio, Signore Geppetto.

I liked the cocktail well enough. I am not quite sure what St. Germain Elderflower liqueur is, but there didn't seem to be enough of it in my drink; the orange rind strip ~ simple as it sounds ~ really helped, though.

They offer as complimentary supplements Cholula® and Heinz® ketchup******. Once again, I went with some Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Amy!) on the home fries and just a little Trees Can't Dance ~ Belizean Habanero Sauce (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on the frittata.

You have to love a place that uses a Master Allen Stuart Konigsberg saying at the entrance window:

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Frittata (o Fritatta) ~ 7.2; Bicyclette ~ 6.5

*(That would be "Bo Diddley" to you, Mr. Squat.

How many other legendary Rhythm & Blues and Rock-and/or-Roll icons have a style of music/beat named after them?)

**(This is not a typo ~ or even a type AB-Negative ~ I just didn't know what the correct grammatical modifier would be when referencing a song by "the Smiths".)

***(That was an intentional typo, of "coarse".)

****(They have this spelled correctly as "Frittata" on both their printed menus and on their on-line menu; however, when the bill came, I noticed that they had it "mispeled" as "Fritatta". No big deal, I just wasn't sure that I was spelling it correctly to begin with.)

*****(For your edification or eating education: )

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

The word "ketchup" ~ or the less frequently used spelling "catsup" ~ comes from Chinese or Malay and means "fish sauce". In 'merica, ketchup/catsup is generally made from tomatoes; however, there are mushroom-, walnut-, and even banana-based versions, too.

Interestingly enough, as many 'blog-entries as I have done here, I think this may be my first reference to "ketchup". When it comes to 'merican condimentary supplementation, ketchup is okay; however, I think that salsas/hot sauces are mucho bettero. And don't even get me started on the highly superior
τζατζίκι with French fries, Don!)