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?)

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