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.)

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