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.)

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