Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Cheesecake Factory®

San Mateo, CA

Road-trip breakfast/"Brunch" to
the Cheesecake Factory® at their newest restaurant in San Mateo at the Hillsdale Shopping Center. I went with a small group of thirteen other people. We got there just as they were opening and the place is big enough that they were able to seat all fourteen of us pretty quickly and all at one table. This location just opened last week and this was the first Sunday that they were open for "Sunday Brunch" (so it was a good thing we went today and not on Saturday).

This was the first time I have ever eaten at the Cheesecake Factory and I was surprised at the amount of things that they offer for breakfast/"Brunch". There were enough of us that we got a chance to order a bunch of different meals with no duplications: Luke got Factory Huevos Rancheros (off the "Eggs & Omelettes" menu); Zaria had Crab Hash (off the "Sunday Brunch" menu); Steve had Baja Chicken Hash (off the "Sunday Brunch Menu"); David had Bourbon Street Omelette (off the "Eggs & Omelettes" menu); Eva had the French Toast (just the standard version and not the Napoleon[1], which I was leaning toward, off the "Sunday Brunch" menu); Miss Paris had the Mini Egg Breakfast (off the "Eggs & Omelettes" menu); Jeannette and Jon both ordered sandwiches (off the standard menu) ~ I didn't catch what Jeannette ordered, but Jon had the Portobello Mushroom burger; I didn't note what was ordered at the other end of the table (sorry, but the list was getting long and my memory isn't quite… what was I saying?); and I had a California Omelette (off the "Eggs & Omelettes" menu).


I liked my omelette well enough (it came with toast and hash browns ~ I asked for no toast, as I was trying to save room for cheesecake); it was chock full o' fresh ingredients (always a plus): Avocado, Mushrooms, Green Onion, Tomato, Garlic and Shallots, Sour Cream, Jack Cheddar and Swiss Cheese. Luke liked his huevos (that sounds kinda Freudian), but said they don't compare to the version at Buck's of Woodside[2]. Zaria said she liked her meal, but it could have had more crab meat in it. Steve said he really liked his meal (and if I was a dead, decaying foul fowl eater, I probably would have liked this, too, as it looked pretty decent), but I have never known Steve to not clean his plate completely. David also said he liked his omelette, but that it was a little "greasy" (I chalk that up to the Andouille sausage). The major complaint came from Eva; she said that her French Toast seemed under-cooked/soggy in the middle (well, it was not Baker Street Bistro, after all).

The Cheesecake Factory offers as condimentary supplements just ketchup and Tabasco® (the standard red). Knowing that there would be a pretty good crowd of us, I came well equipped this morning with four from my own collection: Trees Can't Dance ~ African Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Cindy and Greg!); Sylvia's Restaurant® ~ Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!); Blair's Sudden Death Sauce® (Thanks a lot, ~ sarcasm ~ Mom!); and Benito's Original Naranja (Thanks, me!). I used the Benito's on my hash browns and some Sylvia's on the omelette. Jon tried both the
Benito's and Trees Can't Dance; he said he liked the Trees Can't Dance the best. I did get a number of people at the table to try the Blair's (even Miss Paris bravely tried a tiny amount, and poor Luke tried some unwittingly ~ sorry); the general consensus was that it was extremely, stupidly hot (I also used a little on my omelette ~ very sparingly, of course); I have a feeling that I will be "enjoying" that small bottle for another five years or more.

All in all, it was a fun road-trip breakfast. I am just disappointed with myself as I was fully planning on getting a piece of cheesecake for dessert ~ and I even had the Key Lime all picked out ~ but I really wasn't hungry enough
("You flew all the way to Vienna and they were out of Apfelstrudel[3], so you just had a cuppa coffee instead?"). I am not accustomed to ordering dessert with breakfast normally. On the bright side, no one else was hungry enough to order any cheesecake, either.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: California Omelette ~ 6.5; (I didn't actually poll the rest of the table for their GBS scores, as I would have had to explain the intricacies to each and every person; plus, I would have had to try and remember everyone's ratings)

[1] Completely useless, boring cunning linguist pointer of the day, la première partie (and even a bit of a culinary lesson):

Interestingly enough, this style of layered dessert (or in this case, French Toast) is usually called "Mille-feuille" in French, which means "a thousand sheets". The alternate name "Napoleon" doesn't really refer to the French Emperor, but comes from "napolitain", the French adjective for the city of Naples; it may just have been altered in association with ol' Boney-part.

[2] I really need to make another road-trip down to Buck's and do a 'blog-entry about it. They really do make an excellent Huevos Rancheros; it compares to some of the best ones I have ever had in la Misión.

[3] Completely useless, boring cunning linguist pointer of the day, der zweite Teil (and yet still another culinary/dessert lesson):

"Apfelstrudel" comes from the German combined form of "Apfel", meaning "apple" (gee, that is a stretch), and "Strudel", which comes from the Middle High German meaning "whirlpool" or "eddy". Maybe it has something to do with the "swirling" pastry form. Just don't ask me to explain "Schlagsahne".

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Bistro (Restaurant) @ Cliff House

Goodnight, Geary Blvd… good morning, Popovers(!)!

Once again I headed westward, Ho(race) and ate at the Bistro (Restaurant) @ Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from June 13th, 2011 ~ I like that date). Much like Dottie's True blue café and Baker Street Bistro, I have eaten at this place so many times that I am running out of photos to use as an opener. Today, however, I happened to look up and noticed that their light fixtures (chandeliers even) have a compass design on them, and they are actually pointed in the correct direction. So, there's that.

It was a pretty gloomy/foggy morning at Ocean Beach today. (Fog in San Francisco? Who ever heard of such a silly thing?) I did see several pelicans[1] flying in formation outside past the windows and a few surfers braving Ocean Beach.

Today's wall of autographed[2] Hollywoodland stars (and others) photos:

(Picture 1, top to bottom)

???; ???
??? (my most trusty server, Chris, thought that this might be Walter Pidgeon, but I am not sure that is correct); ???
Irene Dunn/Dunne; ?Irving? ?Sinclair? (that is what the signature looks like, but I have no idea who that is)
Neil Sedaka (hence the "and others"); (a very youngish) Marion Robert Morrison (Ha! This guy has a girl's first name, Kerry.)

(Picture 2, top to bottom)

Spencer Tracy; (Marga)Rita (Carmen Cansino) Hayworth
(you got some 'splainin' to do) Lucille Esmeralda McGillicuddy; Leo Carillo ("Ohhh, Ceesco!")[3]
Tommy & Dick Smothers; Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler ~ better known as Harvey Korman (my faithful server, Chris, correctly identified this one for me; I don't think I have really ever seen a Hedy Lamarr movie)

I am throwing this out there once again: anyone that can fill in any of the ??? with the correct names will be treated to all the Popovers(!) you can eat… my treat, or maybe even a breakfast at Dottie's True blue café.

I once again had the Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ Scrambled Eggs, Ham (substituted this for 'shrooms; thanks, Chris, for the suggestion), Potatoes, Green Onions, & Cheddar Cheese with Grilled Sourdough Crostini; with a side of fresh fruits. I also had a cuppa very good coffee today (their coffee is generally pretty good, but today's brew was even better than normal) and, of course, their most excellent Popovers(!) ~ two before/with the meal and two to take home with (¡Muchas gracias, Israel! I happened to mention to one of the servers that I really like the Popovers(!) and he forced me to take an additional two home with me; for which, I was sure to "reverse complain" to the Maître d'-lâdy at the entrance).

I like this scrambled mess as it already incorporates the potatoes in the dish; however, I was still tempted to order a side order of sautéed red potatoes ~ you can never have enough carbohydrates. Today's side of Fall fresh fruits (mostly the same as the Summer fresh fruits): cantaloupe, watermelon, honey dew, grapes, and strawberry.

For condimentary supplementation, I used some HP® (Brown) Sauce and Trees Can't Dance ~ African Hot Sauce (Thanks, Greg and Cindy!); a little Brown Sauce on some of the more exposed potatoes and some of the African Hot Sauce on the rest of the mess.

Right behind the Cliff House, overlooking the ocean, is Camera Obscura and Holograph Gallery[4]. I have never been inside, but always liked how the building was shaped like a large box camera. Sorry, Jean Luc, these guys beat the Enterprise to the idea by many years.

As I have eaten here many, many times, what more can be said about this place? Yada, yada, yada… Popovers(!).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ 6.8; Today's crummy ocean view ~ 5.5; Popovers(!) ~ 8.2

[1] Stupid, completely random cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Pelican" comes from the Greek word
"πελεκυς" (pronounced "pelekys") which means "axe", probably referring to the bird's large axe-shaped beak.

If you don't believe me, just ask Dr. Doolittle, he can corroborate my story… like hell-'e-can!

[2] Secondarily stupid, completely random cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Autograph" comes from the Greek word "
αυτόγραφο" (avtographo); "αὐτός" meaning "car" and "γράφω" meaning "to drive haphazardly down the road" (and normally on the wrong side of the street) ~ hence the connection to Hollywoodland Blvd. and Wine.

I don't make this stuff up... well, much.

[3] Extra added EweToob-y link just for "sheets and greens":

[4] Additional Camera Obscura information (unbeknownst to them) courtesy of the friendly folk at Wikipedia:,_California%29

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It’s Tops (Fountain) Coffee Shop

"The Original S.F. Diner Since 1935"

I drive past this place about 3-4 times a week and finally figured it was about time to check out It's Tops (Fountain) Coffee Shop. They are located right on Market Street on the corner where the Octavia Boulevard on-ramp to 101 is. Right outside the window you can see all the historic trolley/street cars[1] running by along the tracks.

There is definitely an olde-tymey feel to the place. The walls and ceiling are completely covered with wood paneling (on their website, they state "knotty pine", but I wouldn't know "knotty pine" from "Nottinghamshire Sherwood Forest oak"). The walls are covered with old coffee shop/diner memorabilia and tins signs/advertisements. I sat at one of the round, burgundy vinyl covered counter seats; there are twelve counter seats and about eight booths total. There are those little juke box selection thingys all along the counter, which are probably just for show (I asked my server and she said they don't actually work, but the website highlights them); whatever, the house stereo was playing 50's and 60's music mainly the whole time I was there. The waitresses wear old diner-style uniforms: pink and black, very cute.

They offer a pretty varied breakfast menu (as well as the whole diner/burger-joint stuff), which is available all day long. As they say their hot cakes are "awesome" (not a term that was probably used to describe food back in 1935), I had to order something from that portion of the menu. I ordered banana-p'nut butter buttermilk hot cakes ~ with housemade (that is what it says on the menu; I wonder if they are tapping maple trees in the back yard to do so) maple syrup and butter. Plus I had a side order of home-fried potatoes and a cuppa coffee.

This normally comes with three pancakes, but I asked them to make me two only ~ "A man's got to know his limitations, Harry!" ~ as I knew there was no way I was going to be able to finish all three pancakes and a side of potatoes. The hot cakes were good, but nothing really exciting ~ just good buttermilk pancakes with peanut butter and bananas; pancakes. The coffee was typical diner-ish coffee: hot, black, tasteless; but I really wasn't expecting anything else (unlike last Saturday's Minor coffee-snob rant of the day). Now the home-fried potatoes were very good ~ made in thin slices and not cubes/chunks; so they were almost a cross between hashbrowns and regular home fries; I really liked these.

As for condimentary supplements, they only have Tabasco® and Tapatío®. So I used some of my own Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Monster Double Medium Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) and Sylvia's Restaurant® ~ Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) on the home-fried potatoes ~ half and half.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: banana-p'nut butter hot cakes ~ 6.4; home-fried potatoes ~ 6.7

[1] These are not to be confused with "where little cable cars climb half-way to the stars". Several years back, the San Francisco Municipal Railway bought a fleet of historic trolley/street cars from different cities all over the world: Milan, Philadelphia, N'Orleans (sorry, "Desire" was not one of them), etc.; and had the wheel bases re-worked to fit along the existing rails along Market Street.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Baker Street Bistro

"Let them eat Pain Perdu!"

(I figured something classic and something newer, which should be a classic in another 25-30 years.)

It has only been a few months since my last breakfast at Baker Street Bistro (see 'blog-entry from June 11th, 2011), but I felt it necessary to stop by there again for a really good breakfast al fresco (I wonder what the French equivalent to that phrase is, or even the Italian) before the Fall/Winter sets in and we are forced to dine indoors. It was a bit chilly when I first sat down outside, but le Soleil popped over the roofs of the houses across the street while I was eating and it warmed up tout de suite.

I may or may not have used the above weather-worn signage as a 'blog-header before; it really doesn't matter as I like it. As I have eaten here several times in the past few years and have made many 'blog-entries about it already, (much like all my visits to Dottie's True blue café) I am running out of things to take pictures of (and I know it should be written grammatically correctly as "I am running out of things of which to photograph" or such, as it is improper to end a sentence a preposition with; however, anyone that would like to correct my grammar can either: 1) talk to grampar about it, 2) start your own stupid 'blog, or 3) off screw).

I parked over by the Presidio's Lombard Street Gate again, near the small grove of eucalyptus trees, and could only see about 3-4 Wild Parrots of San Francisco at the very top of one of the trees. This is a terrible shot, but hopefully you get the idea.

As I just had their Pain Perdu plus excellent on my last visit, I went with Oeufs Baker Street Bistro ~ ratatouille, poached eggs, English muffins[1], tomato sauce; served with home fries and mixed greens. I also had a goood cuppa their house coffee (well, several refills, too, to be exact) to round out the breakfast.

The Oeufs were très bons as always. As I have stated in the past, I am not that big of a fan of greens for breakfast (What, am I some kinda stupid vegetarian or rabbit or something?), so I asked my server to skip those; she suggested they would add more potatoes instead ~ "no salad, extra potatoes" ~ you can never have too many underground tubular fruits... nice!

For condimentary supplementation I used some of my own Trees Can't Dance ~ African Hot Sauce on the Oeufs (Thanks again, Cindy and Greg!) and a little Benito's ~ Original Naranja (Thanks, Brian!) on the potatoes.

The only thing I can think of that might make this a plus savoureaux meal would be to use home-made (restaurant-made) English muffins instead of plain ol' Thomas'® (nooks and crannies notwithstanding); it really matters not, as this is still my second favourite breakfast dish here ~ nothing really compares to their Pain Perdu, after all.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Oeufs Baker Street Bistro ~ 7.4

[1] I am pretty sure that the correct term en français is les muffins des porc-chiens kaniggits anglais.

This can not really be counted as a stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, as it is a generally known fact, especially if you are a fan of Le Cirque Volant de Monté Pythón.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dottie's True blue café

(I like this cover version by the Red Paintings. The eerie use of stringed instruments really adds to the effect. Thanks, Sean!)

A somber[1] Sunday morning breakfast at Dottie’s True blue café (see 'blog-entries from every Sunday in June 2011).

Once again, I forewent the printed menu in favour of the specials board. There were several good choices (as always), I went with the Roasted Grape Tomato, Spinach, Kalamata Olive, Pesto, and Feta Frittata ~ with toast and potatoes. I also had a cuppa coffee and a large glass of grapefruit juice.

I really liked this frittata. The grape tomatoes were small enough that they were whole in this dish; they really added a fresh and sweet pop to it. I am always a sucker for most dishes that include spinach, Kalamata olives, or Feta; that this one included all of those Hellenic memories made it all the more tasty. 

Dottie's has a pretty decent selection of condimentary supplements and I used a little Tabasco® Chipotle on the frittata and some Frank's® RedHot® Chile 'n Lime ("I use that sh*t on everything!") on the potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: RgtSKoP&F Frittata ~ 7.4; True Blue Memories, Family, and Friends ~ 10.0

1. Not only is today the anniversary of September 11th, 2001, but I just found out this morning that an old Air Force buddy (and brother in Marxhood) passed away earlier this week.

I had just recently reconnected with Gary Burgess through the funny pages of defacedbook and learned that he had been suffering from kidney failures; he finally lost his long battle after more than ten years.

I had known Gary my entire Air Force career (and I use the word "career" lightly). I first met him way back in 1978 with my first assignment at the Defense Language Institute/Presidio of Monterey, when I was taking Basic Russkij. Then, Gary was the first friendly face I saw when I arrived at my first real tour of duty at the 6916th Electronic Security Squadron ("Home of the Proud Professionals", Ut Fiat Libertas), Hellenikon AB (Athens, Greece). When I went back to Montereyski for Intermediate Russkij in 1982-1983, who else was there but Gary; he was taking Basic Spanish at the time. After serving a tour (more like a 2-year party/vacation) in (West) Berlin, I finished my Air Force time at Offutt AFB, Omaha, NE; well, guess who was the first person I ran into that I knew ~ Gary and I ended up renting a house off-base in Bellevue. The last time I actually saw Gary was in November 1986, he was taking Intermediate Spanish back in Monterey and I had just moved to San Francisco; we got together for a weekend just before he PCS-ed to Panama.

Three fun memories of Gary:

1) Things to know about Gary: he was passionate about Basketball and Backgammon and hated to lose in either.

a) I like watching Basketball as much as the next guy. I usually keep up on the NBA and will even watch most of the NCAA "March Madness". Gary took his Basketball obsession to another whole level, though. One spring Saturday afternoon, I remember catching him watching on TeeVee ~ the Texas Regional Girls High School Basketball tournament! When I asked him "WTF?", he just told me that was the only Basketball he could find that afternoon.

b) Gary was the fargin' bastage that taught me how to play Backgammon (it was during a weekend road-trip to San Francisco, must have been March or April 1978). The first game of Backgammon I ever played against him, I actually beat him. I chalk it up to "Beginner's Luck" and not to Gary going easy on me; he may have been playing easy with me, but he would never intentionally let anyone win, no matter what. There weren't too many games after that first one that I can say I actually beat him, but whenever I did, I was sure to revel in the victory.

Thanks for showing me how to play Backgammon, even if I usually lost.

2) When I first arrived at the 6916th, Gary told me not to "Sign in" with the Squadron right away and to take a few "extra" days off and head to the beaches of
Γλυφάδα. As this was in the summer (July 1979), there really couldn't have been a better way to play hooky. He told me that if anyone asked where I was, to tell them I had to attend a Judicial In-briefing (whatever that was supposed to be) or something… I really doubt they fell for it; how many people really have to attend five to ten Judicial In-briefings? Plus, why did I have a better tan than when I first showed up?
3) Gary was also the person who introduced me to a great Mexican breakfast place in Salinas, Rosit
a's Armory Cafe. We would go there from Montereyski on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a tasty repast (and usually for a much-needed hangover respite). ¡Muchas gracias, mi amigo!
Gary, if you do ever hook up with J.C. in Heaven and talk him into a game of Basketball or Backgammon, be careful, he cheats.

R.I.P. Gary Burgess; April 28th, 1957 - September 6th, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011


"The one with the curried cauliflower, shiitake, grilled red onion, cilantro, and Gouda."

(Because the first EweToob link wasn't the best quality, and you can never have too much of Lady Ella.)

When last we visited Ella's (see 'blog-entry from July 1oth, 2011 for last visit) in Laurel Heights, we were accompanied by the always pretty and friendly Miss Hartman ("Hey, Amy-monster!"). Today I went there all by myself, so I once again sat at the bakery counter to watch all the baked goods being made.

Before heading over to Ella's I stopped for a cuppa coffee at Cafe la Flore[1] over on Clement Street in the Richmond District (Warning: "Bad Coffee" rant about to start).

Minor coffee-snob rant of the day:

While this was not quite as bad as the extremely craptastic cuppa that I had at Caffe Capriccio (see 'blog-entry from April 17th, 2011), it still was not that good either for a "perfeshinal coffee-making-joint". I have been to this place several times in the past and the coffee is usually very good (or much better than it was today); so, I'll cut them some slack and just chalk it up (maybe that was the problem, someone put chalk in the coffee grounds?) to a bad brew day.

I kept reconsidering and really wanted to like the coffee, but kept downgrading it after each subsequent sip. This is kinda like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman ~ initially, upon first glance, they are about 6.5 each on the Glen Bacon Scale; however, after they open their mouths and with each successive, completely inane, mind-numbingly stupid vapidity uttered from their pretty lips, they go down… and down… and down (and not in a good way, Mr. Clinton).

Luckily I threw the cup away before it reached negative numbers. If I had known the coffee was going to be as bad as it was, I would have just waited and ordered a cuppa at Ella's, which offers a pretty decent cuppa, or I would have ordered a cuppa very good coffee at Peet's after breakfast, which is just down the street from Ella's.

Moral to the rant: If you are in the business of selling coffee, please make sure it is better than the swill I can make (badly) at home all by myself.

(No official website available.)

As always, Ella's weekend "Brunch" specials all looked very good (sans any of the dead, decaying horseflesh items, of course), I went with the potato scramble with curried cauliflower, shitakes[2] (sic), grilled red onions, cilantro, and gouda ~ with two eggs over medium laid on top; and chose the honey-oat-raisin toast (again), with some strawberry jam on one slice. I also had a glass of G
inger Orange Juice Punch.

Ella's potato scrambles always have interesting and tasty combinations. Now I would never have paired curried cauliflower with shiitake, but with the addition of the fresh cilantro (of which there was a lot, too; not just the standard sprinkling of some chopped-up bits, but entire leaves/sprigs throughout the scramble) it all worked out nicely. I am not normally a big fan of strawberry jam, but this was home-made (restaurant-made) and was pretty decent; not that the honey-oat-raisin toast really needed any extra flavour as it is one of my favourites, anyway.

As I was more than aware that Ella's offers as condimentary supplementation just "the usual suspects", Captain Renault, I went with some of my new Benito's Original Naranja on the entire mess (Thanks again, Brian!).

You can always be assured about one thing dining at Ella's, there will always be a hardy breakfast, Mr. Arthur Stanley Jefferson.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Potato Scramble ~ 7.0; Cafe la Flore coffee ~ 5.9

1. I was surprised that they didn't spell this as "Café" on their awning. I think the place is run and owned by a woman from France.

Stupid, completely useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, première partie:

"la Flore" en français just means "the flora"; and is spelled with a normal "e", not avec accent aigu.

2. This should actually be "shiitake", not "shitake" (which actually sounds like something one would get after eating too many bad shiitake); at least they didn't have the completely redundant, repetitious, supererogatory, and saying the same thing "mushrooms" after it. I pointed this out to my waiter-guy-type person and he agreed with me, but seeing as this is a weekend special for this weekend only, I really doubt that they will be reprinting any menus on my recommendation.

Secondary stupid, completely useless cunning linguist pointer of the day (and a reiteration from a previous 'blog-entry):

"Shiitake" is the combined Japanese word for "oak/tree" ("shii") and "mushroom" ("take"), Mr. Roboto.

Monday, September 5, 2011


(Sorry, I really couldn't find any good Labor Day Carols.)

I went back to Q restaurant & Wine Bar on Clement Street this morning (see 'blog-entry from July 23rd, 2011 for last visit). As it is now officially September (I hate those unofficial months), and this being "down-the-stretch" month for MLB, I want to make sure to utilize all of the Starters in my rotation before the playoffs begin. I once again sat at the "Wooly Willy" table, but there was still no magnet with which to decorate him; I really need to remember to bring a good, strong magnet with me the next time I go there.

There were a few good Labor Day Specials offered (which is just very fortuitous that it wasn't Memorial Day today): Horacio's Muy Delisioso Chilaquiles and Black Bean Corn Cake Benedict. I have had the Benedict special before (it was very good) and didn't really feel like Chilaquiles today, so I ordered off their standard "Brunch" menu: Make Your Own Omelette or Scramble ~ there is a list of about fifteen items from which to choose, you get to choose three ~ served with home fries and buttered toast. I went with Brian's Labor Day Special Scramble ~ smoked (red) onions, corn, and Cypress Grove[1] goat cheese. I also had a large glass of grapefruit juice.

Before they opened this morning, I stopped by Blue Danube Café/Coffee House (I wrote it like that as their menu says "Café", but their awning says "Coffee House") and got a cuppa House Blend. They offer both a House Blend and a French Roast, which is nice. The House Blend was decent enough. I don't know if they roast their own coffee or whose coffee they serve. I do know that they have been open since at least the late 80's when I first moved to San Francisco and are one of the older cafés/coffee houses in the Richmond.

This "Brian" guy is truly a genius as this was a very nice combination of ingredients, if I do say so myself. It was made with fresh roasted corn off the cob, Ty. The only problem is that I am trying to cut down on my smoked onion intake, and was down to a ½-pack a day. The Cypress Grove chèvre[2] was very good in here, too; creamy and smooth throughout the scramble. 

Q's condimentary supplementation are actually pretty diverse: Tabasco® (standard red), Tapatío®, Castillo® Salsa Habanero, and Original "Louisiana" Brand. I had come with a few of my own, though, and used some Tree's Can’t Dance ~ African Hot Sauce on the scramble (Thanks again, Greg & Cindy!) and also some of my newest Benito's Original Naranja on the home fries (Thanks again, Brian!).

Provided with the check today were two Tootsie Roll® Midgees® (the standard cocoa-flavoured ones, again) in lieu[3] of boring ol' mints.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Brian's Labor Day Special Scramble ~ 6.7

1. Cypress Grove Chevre (and in case you are wondering, "Hey, Brian, where's l'accent grave on the first 'e' in 'chèvre'?", Cypress Grove excludes it in their spelling; you got a problem with that, you take it up with the goats) is a local Northern California award-winning maker of goat cheeses.

I thought this was kinda cute, they are actually located at 1330 Q Street.

2. First off, I can't believe that my stupid Microsoft® Works Word Processor spell-check thingy doesn't recognize the word "chèvre". Doesn't Bill Gates ever go out for la cuisine française?

Deuxiemement, here is the stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Chèvre" is simply the French word for "goat", and generally it is the term used to signify goat's milk cheese.

3. Hey, Billy-boy, "lieu" is a French word, too, how come your spell-check thingy had no problem with this word?!

Stupid Microsoft®, that merde really gets my chèvre

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blue Mermaid ~ Chowder House & Bar

Thanks to Christopher Wasnewsky's suggestion (and I finally got around to trying it only several months later, C.J.), I ate at Blu
e Mermaid ~ Chowder House & Bar this morning. One of the reasons I have been putting it off (no one likes an off-putting breakfast, after all) for so long is that it is located right smack-dab (ever been smacked by a left-handed dab?) on Fisherman's Wharf. As it was Sunday (metered parking is still enforced 24-hours a day directly around Fisherman's Wharf), I did luck out and found a parking space three blocks away over by Galileo High School[1].

Blue Mermaid is located in the Cannery at Del Monte Square[2], a historical, hundred year old brick building built right after the
1906 Earthquake. This restaurant is mainly a touristas destination, as it is part of the Argonaut Hotel (whether officially or not, as they share the same building), and due to it being situated right on Fisherman's Wharf.

The décor inside ('cause outside décor is usually called graffiti) is of a nautical/aquatic theme, as the name would imply. Even the restrooms had blue mermaid wallpaper (well, at least the Men's Room did; I didn't check out the Ladies' Room, they probably have manatee covered walls).

Now, I know what you're thinking (and just stop it right now): "Chow-dah! for breakfast?", but they actually offer a pretty good selection of breakfast/"Brunch" items. One of the more interesting and definitely a San Francisco/Fisherman's Wharf item was the Dungeness Crab[3] Omelette; I was never much of a boiled-alive, large marine insect fan even when I ate meat, so I am not so sure how well it would go in an omelette (I do know it's not Kosher, though, George). I ended up ordering the Spinach and Mushroom Omelette ~ mushrooms, spinach, and brie cheese; served with toast (chose sourdough) and house potatoes. I also had a cuppa the house coffee which was Mr. Espresso, a local roastery that I have had before and is generally very good and strong.

There was lots of fresh sautéed spinach in the omelette, and fresh makes all the difference. I would have liked a little more Brie in it, though. All in all, it was a good omelette; nothing too fancy, just well-made (much better'n any of the failed attempts I have ever made at an omelette) and filling.

Blue Mermaid offers as condimentary supplements only Tabasco® (and probably just the standard red). However, I came prepared as always ~ like the good Girl Scout Leader that I am (seriously, I really was a Brownie Leader for a very short time when I lived in Greece… damn background checks put an end to that, though) ~ and used some Sylvia's Restaurant® ~ Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce on the omelette (Thanks again, Sean!) and a brand new[4] one to my repertoire Benito's[5] Original Naranja[6] on the potatoes (Thanks, me!).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Spinach and Mushroom Omelette ~ 6.5; Benito's Original Naranja ~ 6.8

1. This is also know as the high school where both Dom DiMaggio's older brother (I think his name was John, or Jim, or Jeff; you know, the guy that was immortalized in that song by Simon and Garfunkel only because "Where have you gone, Ted Williams?" didn't have the right meter to it) and Orenthal James Simpson went.

2. Additional Del Monte and
the Cannery info:

3. Dungeness crab info, for those of you who don't mind boiling-alive innocent, large marine insects and eating them:

4. There is a brand new (open for just one month now) mini-restaurant (they really just serve wings ~ I am pretty sure they are of the chicken variety and not from actual Bison, Jessica ~ and waffles) and hot sauce retailer in the Richmond District: Hot Sauce and Panko.

Not that I really needed any more hot sauces right now; with all the new ones that I received for my birthday two months ago, I have more than enough to last me the rest of the year (and, in the case of the stupid Blair's Death® sauces, possibly a lot longer). The beauty of this place is they offer 90+ different types of hot sauces for sale on their shelves (this includes the entire gamut of Tabasco® brand products, as well as all of the ones that Cholula® offers); plus, there are about 30 open bottles from which to sample. If anyone wants a great-tasting and absolutely lip-burningly, numbing experience, I suggest trying (just a few drops!) the Holy Jolokia, which is made from the fiery Ghost Pepper (but with no extra added capsaicin extract, unlike Blair's® or Dave's Insanity).

If nothing else, the Hot Sauce and Panko "official" web-site needs to be checked out, as it is very humourous:

You can also follow them on the funny pages of defacedbook.

5. Ingredients: Vermont-grown organic Habanero peppers (mainly of the orange cultivar), organic carrots (they don't state in which State these are grown), organic lime juice, extra virgin olive oil ("Yummo", Miss Ray?), orange and red bell peppers (they don't mention if these are "organic" or not), white onions (ditto on the unknown "organic" origins), garlic, distilled white vinegar (because "organic" orange vinegar would just be overkill).

This was sweet and hot, but not too hot, with a lot of nice tempered Habanero flavour. I was really surprised to find that there is no added sugar/cane syrup in the ingredients as it has a lot of sweetness to it; I suppose that is due to the added carrots and bell peppers ("organic" sweeteners or not).

6. Stupid useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Naranja" means "orange" en español, as in both the colour or citrus fruit.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Very nice choice, Chauncey!

(I checked again and there is still no website available, but they said they are working on one.)

(This song is à propos of nuthin' other than I like it and it happened to be playing on the house stereo while I was eating. I like Florence + the Machine, they/she remind/s me of a latter day Kate Bush.)

I had breakfast at Eats again (see last blog'-entry from July 17th, 2011). Simple name, good food. One of these days I really need to try one of their Make Your Own Mimosa specials, made with fresh squeezed juices; the Granny Smith Apple one sounds really good.

Last time I went to Eats, I meant to try the Caprese Scramble, but was sidetracked by another breakfast that caught my eye. It happened again today; so, next time I go I will have to try to remember to get the Caprese Scramble. Instead, I got the Gardener's Tofu Scramble (vegan) ~ chickpeas, corn, asparagus, basil, parsley, spring onions, tomato salsa. This comes with their most Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes and choice of toast (I chose multi-grain again for the best roasted garlic absorption). I also ordered from the Fresh Juice Bar a large glass of Detox ~ Carrot, Apple, Beet, Ginger.

I don't usually order Vegan dishes ~ I mean, what kinda idiot would voluntarily give up pizza and ice cream? ~ but this turned out to be a pretty good choice, Mr. Kosinski. It had lots of garbanzo beans/chickpeas*, asparagus, peas, and corn in it. This dish actually resembled scrambled eggs as they add curry (or at least turmeric and cumin) to the tofu to colour it yellowish. The Detox was a disgusting colour, but tasted very good. As always (and what keeps me back a'comin') the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes had lots of garlic cloves in it (I could smell the garlic as soon as I walked in the door).

Eats has as condimentary supplementation Tabasco® (standard red), Cholula®, and Tapatío®. I knew this ahead of time and used some of my own BIG PAPI EN FUEGO HOT SAUCE ~ Original Mild on the scramble and Monster Double Medium Hot on the potatoes (Thanks, Kerry!).

This breakfast was just the thing to get you through the dog days of Summer ~ or, in the case of San Francisco, to get you finally into the dog days of Summer, love.

"I like to watch…" people enjoying a good meal.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Gardener's Tofu Scramble ~ 6.8; Detox ~ 6.8; Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes ~ 7.5

*(You say "chickpeas" , I say "garbanzo beans"…

Whatever you call 'em, they are a mighty tasty legume.)