Sunday, July 24, 2011


Even Jim Rockford would approve, Bret

I have been meaning to check out Maverick* ever since the
Boston Red Sox were in town last year and I heard of this place from a fellow Boston Red Sox fan (Hey, Jesse!). Maverick is owned and operated by Scott Youkilis, who is the brother of Boston Red Sox Superstar 3rd Baseman, Kevin Youkilis… Yooooouk!

Maverick is located over in the Mission on 17th Street (between Mission and Valencia). The restaurant has a rather small dining area for the really nice place it is: one table that seats seven, two 2-seaters, and another seven 4-seaters, or so. Due to its size, it seems that reservations are usually the norm even for an early "Sunday Brunch"; however, I got there just as they were opening and was glad that I was not treated to any embarrassing "Do you have a reservation?" or "Just one?" questions and was seated right away.

There is not a very large selection of things on their "Brunch" menu (and, rest assured, this is a prototypical "Brunch" place) for vegetarians, but I suppose you could always order some of the other items without the bacon** and dead, decaying animal flesh items. They offer a Pecan Crusted French Toast that looked very interesting, but I ordered the Spring Vegetable Omelet ~ Sugar snap and English peas/fromage blanc/frisee***/levain**** croutons. I also had a side of home fries (which do not come with the dishes), a cuppa De La Paz Coffee, and a small bottle of San Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water*****.

This was a very good omelette (à la française ~ fluffy and simple) with lots of fresh peas, both sugar snap and English (which are known as "mangetout" ~ meaning "eat all" ~ in Englandia and Frenchyland), and even a few Fava beans (which were not on the menu) thrown on top along with the frisée and croutons. I made sure to point out to my server that it is actually Summer now, even if it doesn't quite seem that way yet here. My friendly server, Ångel, patiently put up with my stupidity and answered all my annoying questions to the best of his knowledge, and all with a smile, too.

I had come prepared with a few bottles of hot sauces from my own collection, but was very pleased to find out that their condimentary supplementation was specially made for their restaurant: Youk's Hot Sauce. I used a little on the home fries only. It was not quite as picante as my Big Papi ~ En Fuego Hot Sauces, but still pretty darn tasty. It is made with two different kinds of chiles: 80% red jalapeños and 20% Santa Fe chile; and, unlike plain ol' Tabasco®, this is not overly salty and vinegary and has a much thicker viscosity. It is locally produced with chiles that are also grown locally (well, Hollister, but that is about as close as you will get to the Bay Area for farmlands).

While driving home, I actually saw 4-6 Wild Parrots of San Francisco flying overhead on Geary Boulevard. I have never seen them this far west in the City before. I suppose it is only a short time before they have infested all of Golden Gate Park, too. Damn mangy, colourful pigeons!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Spring Vegetable Omelet ~ 7.0; De La Paz Coffee ~ 6.7; Youk's Hot Sauce ~ 6.9; Yooooouk! ~ .281 (2011), .293 (Lifetime)

*(Stupid, useless etymological pointer of the day:

The word "maverick" came into use in 'merican English from a 19th Century Texas cattleman named Samuel Maverick, who left his calves unbranded. It has gradually come to mean an "intellectual/artist", "individualist/free thinker", or "unorthodox".)

**(Bacon on the menu, Glen? I thought Yooooouk! was Jewish?! Maybe this is the "unorthodox" meaning of "Maverick".)

***(I think the correct spelling is actually "frisée". Frisée is also called "curly endive" and is a leafy vegetable of the daisy family. Frisée is also a culinary technique where greens are lightly wilted with oil.

No extra charge for that culinary etymological pointer… besides, I stole it from Wikipedia.)

****(I have no idea what a "levain" crouton is, possibly just some sort of sourdough bread crouton. Or maybe it is just some kinda pseudo-Greek/Romanian Jewish/Cincinnati bakery thingy.)

*****(Completely useless, boring Greek/not Romanian cunning linguist story of the day:

When I lived in Athens, they used to sell bottles of mineral water from the seaside town of Loutraki/
Λουτράκι at a lot of the nicer restaurants and ταβέρνες. This was usually a better tasting alternative to the local tap water. It was a little more expensive than the tap water that was provided for free, but well worth it; you could also buy it at a lot of the local markets.

Loutraki is located along the Peloponnese coast about an hour and a half from Athens. It is known for its therapeutic spas and natural spring water. They have some very nice beaches there, too. We used to head that way once in a while in the Summer as it was relatively free of stupid 'merican touristas and servicemen.

One day we were eating lunch at a local
ταβέρνα in Loutraki and my friend, whom I will just call "Jordan" to preserve his innocence, asked the waiter if we could have μπουκάλι Λουτράκι νερό/"a bottle of Loutraki water" ~ which was one of the few phrases we knew fluently ~ instead of the bottle of tap water that they provided. The waiter answered in perfect English that this was "Λουτράκι νερό". "Jordan" assumed that he really hadn't understood the question and explained to him in English that we wanted the "mineral water" that comes in bottles, not plain tap water. The waiter just laughed and said "It's all Λουτράκι νερό" and the mineral water is what comes out of every tap in town.

From then on, we used to come prepared whenever we visited Loutraki with many empty vessels to get our own free
Λουτράκι νερό.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011


(A Q-tie two-fer for Saturday)

Breakfast was at Q Restaurant once again this morning (see 'blog-entry from April 16th, 2011 for last visit). It was very crowded this morning when they first opened up; apparently Eats (see 'blog-entry from last week) was closed today due to a family emergency and most of their overflow headed up the street to Q instead. Because of which, I got stuck seated at a boring table with some kind of Plexiglas layered design tableau.

They always have some very interesting choices on their Specials menu. Today they offered Fried Green Tomato Benedict and Black Bean Corn Cake Benedict, both of which I have had before and knew were good; however, I just ordered off the standard Brunch menu and got the Grilled Corn, Peppers, Cilantro, and White Cheddar Scramble ~ which included… well, everything that was stated; and it came with a side of homefries and toast. I also had a House Lemonade to drink.

This was a good choice and was made with two kinds of peppers: red (Bell) and green (Pasilla). It also had lots of fresh, roasted corn, always a good thing. This was no Chayote Benedict (see 'blog-rave-entry from July 31st, 2010), but it was still a good choice and I am glad I got to try something different. I was going to go with the Fried Green Tomato Benedict again, otherwise; I even talked someone at the next table into this one, she said she really enjoyed it, too (I did not ask her for a Glen Bacon Scale Rating on it, though).

Q actually has a decent enough selection of condimentary supplementation: Tapatío®, Castillo® Salsa Habanero, and Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce; but I used some of my own again: El Yucateco Chipotle on the scramble and some Trees Can't Dance ~ Belizean Habanero Sauce (Thanks, Cindy and Greg!) on the homefries.

As is their custom, with the check they brought out Tootsie Roll® in place of mints (2 minis, the plain ol' cocoa-flavored type).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Scramble ~ 6.8

Monday, July 18, 2011


(Sunday, July 17th, 2011)

No thufferin' netheththary

(Still no official web-site available)

Ate at Eats again (see 'blog-entry from April 10th, 2011 for last visit) on Sunday morning.

They have added a few nice egg dishes to their printed menu (they have been tinkering with the printed menu since they opened last year). I went there planning on getting the Caprese Scramble ~ heirloom tomatoes, pesto, fresh mozzarella, parmesan; but I happened to notice something else new on the menu: Succotash* Polenta & Poached Eggs ~ cherry tomatoes, asparagus, corn, portabella** over corn polenta***, fresh basil, parmesan (this also included peas, but it wasn't printed on the menu). This dish does not come with any sides (potatoes or toast), so I made sure to get a side order of their most Excellent!
Roasted Home Potatoes (with all the great roasted cloves of garlic), as this is one of the main reasons I added Eats to my regular rotation. I also had from their juice bar a Refresher ~ cucumber, pineapple, romaine, lime.

The succotash was made with both white and yellow corn and lots of other fresh ingredients. You could even skip the poached eggs if you wanted to make this meal entirely Vegan (but I don't know why you would want to) and it would still be a stellar winner. It didn't hurt that it was chock full o' fresh asparagus, either (Sorry, Ms. Blankenship!). The Refresher was just that… the cucumber made this a very clean, refreshing drink with just an undertone of pineapple; ignore the colour, this is all about the flavour, though.

Before going to Eats, I grabbed a cuppa from Cumaica® ~ "Artesanos del café"; this is in the spot where Martha & Bros.® used to be on Clement Street. They have even kept the deep purple awning from before. The coffee was good, but I think I liked
Martha & Bros.® better.

Eats condimentary supplementation: Tabasco® (standard red), Cholula®, and Tapatío®. That is a pretty decent selection, but I had brought three of my own Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce and went with some Original Mild on the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes and Monster Double Medium Hot on the egg dish (Thanks, Kerry!).

If Eats keeps coming up with new, interesting, and tasty dishes, I may just have to stop going there… I can only make so many tough decision that early in the morning, Tweety.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Succotash Polenta & Poached Eggs ~ 7.5; Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes ~ 7.5; Cumaica® ~ 6.6

*(Stupid etymological and pseudo-cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Succotash" comes from the Narragansett/Algonquin word "msíckquatash", which simply means "ear of corn". It is a cooked vegetable dish usually made with corn and some form of shell beans ~ usually, Lima beans; however, there were no Lima beans in this one for some reason. Not everyone is a fan of that particular legume, but I like 'em. I have concocted my own version of a Japanese succotash using edamame in place of the Lima beans that works very well, too.)

**(I just found out that "portabella" is an acceptable spelling of the mushroom as well as "portabello" and "portobello", which I normally use.)

***(I always just assumed that "corn polenta" was a redundancy; however, polenta is a porridge that can be made from any grains, most noticeably barley or corn.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


"The One with the Grilled Fennel, Roasted Beets, Lemon Roasted Onions, and Havarti… and Amy."

(Well, Lady Ella, it is summertime, but you could never tell it from one of these foggy San Francisco Sunday mornings.)

Breakfast at Ella's again this morning (see 'blog-entry from April 3rd, 2011 for my last visit); this time with my friend Amy (Hey, Amy!). This was like my 100th visit there (well, give or take a few dozen), but the first time for Amy. She seemed to like it and is probably now another convert (Ella's is in my Breakfast Rotation and I go several times a year)… now Amy just needs to go to
Dottie's True blue café with me.

As always, their ever-changing weekend Brunch menu had many good, fresh choices from which to select. They had a nice garlic rosemary shrimp scramble with braised leeks, pea sprouts, cherry tomatoes, and asiago. I tried talking Amy into ordering that one as I am a big fan of the pea sprouts thingy, but she is not a big fan of the shrimp with eggs thingy. I suppose I could have ordered that one myself without the dead, decaying marine insects.

Amy ended up ordering the folded omelette with niman ranch bacon, avocado, c
ilantro, chipotle crema, and jack. I had the potato scramble with grilled fennel, roasted beets, lemon roasted onion, and havarti. We split an order of fresh baked pineapple upside-down cake. I did talk Amy into trying one of my stalwarts, the ginger orange juice punch (had one myself, too), for which she was very glad I did.

Amy's omelette looked very good and she liked it a lot; she did mention that they could have used a little more of the chipotle crema on it, though. I knew I was going to enjoy my potato scramble as it had some of my favourite ingredients in it: beets ~ good, fennel ~ good; as expected, it was another winner.

Amy was most impressed with the ginger orange juice punch (she rated it at a GBS 9.0) and Ella's fresh-baked goods (again GBS rated at 9.0 by Amy). We both ordered the honey oat raisin toast; whereas, we should have ordered two different types of toast so that we could have shared and compared the differences. The honey oat raisin is really the best ("It was like butter" per Amy), but all of their baked goods are always fresh and tasty. The large slice (chunk) of pineapple upside-down cake was even still warm when they brought it to our table.

Ella's only offers as condimentary supplements Tabasco® (both the standard red and Jalapeño green) and Tapatío®. I used some Trees Can't Dance ~ African Hot Sauce on my scramble (Thanks, Greg and Cindy!), and Amy tried a little of that along with some Cholula® (which seemed about right with the whole chipotle crema thing).

We both agreed that fresh and interesting ingredients always make for the best meals. I just need to school Amy on the intricacies of the highly scientific Glen Bacon Scale.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Potato Scramble ~ 7.4; Folded Omelette ~ 9.0 (this was Amy's rating); Ginger Orange Juice Punch ~ 7.1

Saturday, July 9, 2011

the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant

Beer for breakfast?! Hmmm? Barley and wheat, water, and yeast… sounds like bread to me, William Claude!

I was not even aware that they offered breakfast at the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant, but was pleasantly surprised to find out that they do. The Beach Chalet is located in Golden Gate Park*, just across the Great Highway from Ocean Beach and around the corner from Queen Wilhelmina's Windmill.

The Beach Chalet is in an old, historic building (those "new, historic" buildings really aren't much to speak of yet, but just give them 100 years or so) that once housed changing rooms for beachgoers on Ocean Beach. There was once a city-run restaurant upstairs that is now where the Beach Chalet is. The first floor of the building currently houses the San Francisco's Visitors Center; there are many 1930's era murals and this very cool octopussy wood-carved stair railing going up to the restaurant.

The Beach Chalet's breakfast menu isn't that extensive, but there are several good things from which to choose. I ordered the Wild Mushroom Omelet ~ Wild Mushrooms (hence the name), Bloomsdale Spinach, Goat Cheese, Fine Herbs; served with Breakfast Potatoes and Sourdough Toast. I also had a cuppa their house coffee, which I was very pleased to find out was Simple Pleasures Coffee (see 'blog-entry from March 15th, 2010), keeping it very local.

Wild mushrooms, spinach, and Goat cheese is always a good combination. There were lots of fresh, wild mushrooms in the omelette, but there did not seem to be enough spinach and it appeared to me to be frozen, not fresh. I am not quite sure what a Bloomsdale spinach is supposed to be (Would Opus or Bill the Cat know?) and I forgot to ask what kinda "wild" mushrooms they were, or what kinda cheesy Goats, even.

The coffee was good, but the first cuppa was a little bit weak for my tastes; however, the 2nd and 3rd cuppa were excellent, probably from a fresher brew. I also really liked the breakfast potatoes ~ home fries-style with about ¾" cubed pieces; these seemed roasted, not grilled/fried, and there was lots of minced garlic (always a very good thing) in them.

For condimentary supplementation, the Beach Chalet offers Tabasco® (just standard red), Cholula®, and Tapatío®. However, I had come more than prepared with some from my own collection; I went with a little (the key word here is "little", as this stuff is muy picante) Big Papi ~ En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Off the Wall Triple Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) on the breakfast potatoes and some Trees Can't Dance ~ Belizean Habanero Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the omelette.

Not only is there the Beach Chalet, but the owners operate two other restaurants in the Bay Area: Park Chalet Garden Restaurant and Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill. Park Chalet is located right in back of the Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park; Lake Chalet is over in Oakland-land overlooking Lake Merritt. I have been to
Park Chalet many times, but still have yet to check out Lake Chalet. Park Chalet also does a full-spread Sunday Brunch; I haven't tried that one yet, either. A few years back, I did have a Breakfast Pizza ~ a wood-stove Pizza Margherita with an egg baked on top ~ at Park Chalet; I remember that it was very good.

Now, as stated right in
the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant's name, they brew their own Beer right on the premises and these are worth going there for alone. The food is all very good, but I can always find good food; go there for the food, come back… again and again… for the Beer. Now, it was way too early in the morning for me to partake in a pint (or three), and I don't want anyone to get the impression that I am an alcoholic or anything (I have never been to a meeting in my life!), but I was very tempted…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Wild Mushroom Omelette ~ 6.6; Simple Pleasures Coffee ~ 7.0 (well, cups #2 and #3)

*(Useless historical information for the day:

The dimensions of Golden Gate Park are very similar to Central Park in New York City. There is no mini-zoo in Golden Gate Park, but there is a Bison Paddock. Plus, there is both a World-Class fine arts museum, De Young Museum, and a natural history museum, California Academy of Science, which also houses both the Steinhart Aquarium and Morrison Planetarium. So, we have that going for us, which is nice.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sparky’s ~ 24 hour pizza & diner

Happy Birthday, 'merica! Happy Birthday, Uckpo*!

"24 hour pizza & diner"? Just two of the many reasons why 'merica (with a capital 'm) is the greatest land on Earth. Two more reasons (and the most important of all): Baseball and Rock-and/or-Roll!

Now what is more truly 'merican than a diner? So what better way to spend 4th of July breakfast than an All-'merican diner in the Castro**? Sparky's ~ 24 hour pizza & diner is located over on Church Street just around the corner from Market Street.

Sparky's offers all of your typical diner fare: greasy burgers and fries, meatloaf sandwiches, club sandwiches (both chicken and turkey), and mango and avocado salads… wellll, it is the Castro and San Francisco, after all. Besides being open 24 hours a day, they also deliver food between the hours of 11:00am-4:00am. Which is nice.

I had the Adriatic Omelette ~ Roasted red pepper, Feta, Mozzarella, and fresh basil. I also had them add some "Soysage" to it. "All 3-egg omelettes served with hash browns or home fries, a bagel, homemade muffin or toast or sub. Cottage cheese for toast and hash browns.” I chose the hash browns (Seriously? Who the heck would substitute Cottage cheese for potatoey goodness?!) and sourdough toast. I also had a glass of orange juice.

The omelette was chock full o' roasted red peppers and fresh basil chiffonade. The "Soysage" patty (which was basically diced up inside) was a good addition to the omelette (if I do say so myself ~ well, who else is going to say it for me?). Sparky's makes their hash browns with shredded carrots and green onions; I liked this ~ it wasn't exactly a German-style kartoffelpuffer, but it wasn't bad, either.

There was just one major minus/complaint: There was not enough (if any) Feta in it. There was plenty of gooey, melted Mozzarella, but I am not sure there was any Feta in it at all. Feta is always a major deciding factor with me when choosing. I probably would have chosen this omelette, anyway, but I was expecting some Feta. Oh, well.

Sparky's has as condimentary supplements both Tabasco® (just the standard red) and Tapatío®; so I used some Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Good to the last drop! ~ literally ~ I was pounding on the bottom to get every last bit out. Thanks once again, Amy! I would probably run out and try to get me a replacement bottle, but with all of the hot sauces I just received last month for my birthday, there is really no hurry to get another one… yet.) on the hash browns and some Big Papi ~ En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Monster Double Medium Hot on the omelette.

The food at Sparky's may not have been quite as good as at Home (see 'blog-entry from May 8th, 2011), but I didn't need to have a "reservation" to sit at the diner counter, either!

Three cheers for the Red, White, and Blue… and orange… and yellow… and green… and indigo… and violet, too!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Adriatic Omelette ~ 6.4

*(Useless cunning linguist pointer/boring old fogey story of the day:

In Russkij, the word for "sparks" is "

Not only is today the birthday of the United States of America, but it is also the birthday of an old Air Force buddy of mine, Charles David Sparks. We went through Basic Russian Training together at the Presidio of Monterey/Defense Language Institute… well, a verrrry long time ago.

While we were there, there was a pseudo-fraternity we had of Marx Brothers. It all started out as there were four members from my Basic Training Flight that got assigned to the Presidio of Monterey and to the same Basic Russian class: Dave Durkin, Glen Bacon ~ yes, the eponymous inventor of the "Glen Bacon Scale", Wayne Vernon, and myself. As we had already known each other from spending the past six weeks together in Lackluster AFB, TX, we hung out together when we first arrived in Montereyski. I am not sure how it came about that we started calling ourselves "the Marx Brothers" ~ there may have been alcohol involved, or it may have just been that my nickname in High School was "Harpo". So, Durkin was "Groucho", Glen was "Zeppo", Wayne was "Chico", and I was… well, "Harpo" still.
Anyway, as time went on ~ Language School training lasts anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the language being taught ~ we started gathering more "Marx Brothers" into our little "fraternity". There was Al Guinee ~ "Gummo"; ?Warren? Treadway ~ "Alpo"; Brent Smith ~ "Bozo"; Chuck Bunge ~ "Bungo"; Ed Drake ~ "Wo Bung Lo"; etc-o. As can be seen, the fraternity nicknames were all in the grande Marx Brothers tradition of ending in an "o"; Wayne even named his car "Ringo" ~ 'cause it was a VW "Beatle"; and Durkin's van was called "Gonzo".

Well, by the time Charles David Sparks was initiated into the fraternity ~ remember Mr. Sparks? He was the reason I started this stupid little story ~ we had run through many, many, many-o nicknames. Luckily, Charles David Sparks already had a very cool nickname: "Sparky", what else? So, his Marx Brothers name incorporated both his original nickname and the Russian word for sparks: "Искро".

One time we had a bunch of t-shirts made up with all of our Marx Brothers names on them. Unfortunately, the t-shirt shop did not have any Greek or Cyrillic letters to use, so we fudged it a little for Sparky's name and just used the capital letters "U", "C", "K", "P", and "O", which was close enough for Government work.

Now aren't you glad you stayed with me for that story?)

**(The Castro District, usually just called "the Castro", is a neighborhood in Eureka Valley in San Francisco. It is named after the street of the same name, which in turn was named after José Castro, a Californio leader of Mexican opposition to U.S. rule in California in the 19th century, and alcade of Alta California from 1835 to 1836.

I wonder how José felt about Same-Sex Marriage?)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunrise Restaurant

(Happy 235th Birthday, 'merica! You don't look a day over 234...)

What better way to spend Sunday on the 4th of July weekend than having desayuno patriótico at a Mexican restaurant? I had heard some good things about Sunrise Restaurant ~ over on El Camino de Real, distrito de la Misíon (24th Street, between South Van Ness and Folsom Street) ~ and finally got around to eating there. They aren't a very large place: just eight tables of four seats, and four tables of two seats (with probably room for 3-4 more tables if they felt like it). The walls are covered with some cool, local artwork (for sale, I assume).

My touchstone for desayunos mexicanos is normally Chilaquiles ~ just as for cucina italiana I usually order either eggplant parmesan/parmigiana di melanzane or gnocchi if unfamiliar with a new place ~ and I was glad to see it on the menu. I ordered this sin chorizo. I also had a cuppa café mexicano ~ which is just what I call a coffee with three sugars and two creams ~ made with Mr. Espresso® (¿®Senor Espresso?).

Now, much like tiramisù*, this dish is made differently by almost everyone ~ every family seems to have their own take on it. This was a very basic take on chilaquiles ~ just a mess o' corn tortilla chips, scrambled with eggs, queso fresco, crema, and a light salsa (which had a decent enough sabor, but was nothing especial). This was not even served with a side of frijoles refritos y arroz or warm, freshly-made corn tortillas; this was a bit of a disappointment. Both Chava's (see 'blog-entry from August 8th, 2010) and SanJalísco offer much better versions of this dish.

For condimentary supplementation there was solemente Tapatío® ~ this was pretty disappointing, too. Figuring that un restarante de comida mexicana auténtica in the Mission would have a seleccíon completa of hot sauces from which to choose, I didn't even bother bringing any of my own collection. Big mistake!

Well, this place didn't really knock my "socks"** off; it was all nice enough, but probably won't be worth a return visit.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Chilaquiles ~ 5.6

*(Useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, prima parte:
"Tira-mi-sù" literally means "pull me up/pick me up" in Italian.)

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

Back in the 90's, there used to be a local radio commercial here for a Spanish-English course and they would try to make it as easy for
gringos estúpidos as possible. They had one lesson where they said if you can spell "s-o-c-k-s" you can learn Spanish; as read phonetically en español it is "eso si que es", which sorta means "that's what it is".

I wonder what the MLB team from Boston means in Spanish…)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sweet Maple

Blues for Breakfast (boom-boom), Jazz for Lunch?

(No official web-site available.)

I went to breakfast much later today than I normally do (well, closer to lunch than "Brunch" even), as I had to wait this morning to have a new refrigerator delivered and the old (deceased) one taken away. Bye-bye, Sears Coldspot (circa 1955); hello, GE Hotpoint (circa 2011). It seems that there have been major changes in home refrigeration units in the past 56 years. Did you know that they now have separate doors for the "ice-box" compartment (and it can hold more than one pint-sized ice cream container comfortably) and the refrigerator section? I have no idea why a "refrigerator" is called a "Hotpoint" (corporate oxymoron?), though.

I ended up going to a new (for me and relatively new to San Francisco) place called Sweet Maple on Sutter Street, one block from Fillmore. I completely forgot that this weekend was the Fillmore Jazz Festival (and street fair) and had a bit of a problem finding legal parking nearby the restaurant. I lucked out after only driving around for about ten minutes (most of which was just crossing Fillmore and waiting for all the stupid, jaywalking festival-goers) and found a spot just two blocks away.

The Fillmore has always had a rich history of music in San Francisco: Blues, Jazz, and even that new-fangled Rock-and/or-Roll abomination; as pictured on this local mural of Blues and R&B legends: John Lee Hooker*, Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry, Riley B. "Blues Boy" King, William McKinley "Jazz" Gillum, Eleanora Fagan (Billie Holiday), Louis Jordan, Johnny Allen Hendrix (James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix), and even some white guy from Texas named Stephen Ray Vaughan (I have no idea why he is on there). How many others can you name?

et Maple has a pretty decent menu: several types of "Benedictions", omelettes, scrambles, and even "Morning Pizzas" from which to choose. I especially liked the sound (and looks) of the Morning Pizzas, which are made in a wood-burning oven. This may need another visit in the future (just not during any stupid street fairs). I ended up having the Marguerite Omelette ~ roasted tomato, basil, mushroom, white cheddar; served with herb roasted potato medley and toast (went with whole wheat); and a cuppa Equator Artisan Coffee of Marin.

I mainly ordered the Marguerite Omelette as it sounded as close to a pizza (Margherita) omelette as I could get. The roasted tomatoes and fresh basil were the key to this dish (and were the main decider in my ordering it). The roasted tomatoes really had a lot of flavour; I guess roasting tomatoes intensifies the flavour much the same as sun-drying them would. The herb roasted potato medley was made with red, white, and blue potatoes (That's the Spirit, Mr. Eisner!)… and orange (sweet) potatoes. You can "Add $1.50 for fruit instead of potato medley"; why you would want to, I don't know. It was all very good, but there was not enough of the herb roasted potato medley for my liking.

They offer for condimentary supplements simply Tabasco® ~ both the standard red and the Jal
apeño green, and, as is eponymously implied, pure maple syrup on all the tables and counter. Once again, I went with some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce on the potatoes (Thanks, Amy! ~ there may be only enough left for one more meal) and a little Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Original Mild on the omelette (Thanks, Kerry!). As I had to have something with "sweet maple" on it, I used some of the pure maple syrup on my buttered toast.

I suppose I should have checked out a little of the Jazz Festival after eating, but I really didn't want to have to put any more change in the meter and wanted to get back and re-stock my new refrigerated contraption.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Marguerite Omelette ~ 6.7; John Lee Hooker & Van Morrison duet ~ 8.5

*(John Lee Hooker is the Patron Saint of Blues in San Francisco. He had a club right on Fillmore ~ well, it's still there, but John Lee has been gone for several years now ~ called "John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom Room".

If you were lucky enough on some nights, you could catch John Lee joining in with whatever band happened to be playing that night. I also remember seeing John Lee perform at an Irish ~ yes, Irish ~ music festival back in 1999. What? You never heard of Black Irish? He even did a few songs with Van Morrison then, too.)