Saturday, October 22, 2011


as in "in the neighborhood"

(There really is no relationship between CIRCA[1] the restaurant and Cirque du Soleil other than the word root is the same. I chose this song/music off EweToob as I have been to this particular show, Alegría[2], before ~ Thanks, Cindy and Greg! ~ it may have been one of the first ones I ever went to.)

I wanted to try a new restaurant for breakfast and have passed CIRCA (on the corner of Chestnut and Fillmore) in the Marina many times and finally got around to going there. This place is definitely a "Brunch" kinda place, with lots of mirrors and hanging glass chandelier thingys, and red/burgundy-toned woodwork/chairs/stuff (it could have been mahogany or cherry wood for all I know, Norm).

Their "Brunch" menu isn't really that extensive, but there were a few things on there that I knew I would like. I ended up going with apple cobbler french toast ~ cinnamon-ginger crème anglaise[3]; and a side order of home fries and a glass of orange juice. On my way to the restaurant I had stopped at Peet's Coffee and Tea® and got their seasonal special, Pumpkin Spice Latte[4].

The French toast was okay, but doesn't compare in any way to Baker Street Bistro's Pain Perdu, nor was I really expecting it to. It had lots of fresh, diced apples and little crunchy "cobbler" bits on top of some kinda French bread or brioche (whatever that means). One minor complaint: the crème anglaise ~ I really couldn't discern the cinnamon or ginger in it; however, there was lots of cinnamon in the French toast batter already. The homefries were very good ~ crispy, but not greasy (again, as always, "greasy" is not necessarily a bad thing, just as long the "greasy" part isn't porky-based). The Peet's® latte was good as far as flavoured lattes goes, but I am not normally a latte kinda-guy; I just wanted to try something different and it is that time of year.

CIRCA only has as condimentary supplementation Tabasco® (just the standard red). No worries, as I had come equipped with a few from my own collection: Oaxacan[5] Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!), Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!); I went with some Oaxacan Hot Sauce on the homefries.

This is the newest addiction… er, addition to my hot sauce collection. I just picked up the bottle the other night at Hot Sauce and Panko after sampling some of the different ones they have. Now this was not too hot (even though it is made with habanero chili peppers), but has lots of flavour. CaJohns is the same company that makes Holy Jolokia![6], which is truly wholly (holy?) hotter; that may be my next purchase there. So as not to waste the Sylvia's® that I had also brought, I loaned both bottles to a nearby table and they really seemed to like the
Sylvia's® much better than any plain ol' Tabasco®; they said the Oaxacan was just a bit too hot for them (it really isn't that hot, though).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: apple cobbler french toast ~ 6.4; Peet's® Pumpkin Spice Latte ~ 6.6; Oaxacan Hot Sauce ~ 6.8

[1] Completely useless, boring, cunning linguist pointer of the day,
το πρώτο/primus/la première:

"Circa"/"circus"/"cirque" all come from the Latin word "circus", Max, which in turn is borrowed from the Greek word "
κίρκος (kirkos)", James Tiberius, meaning "ring" or "circle". Which just goes to prove the old adage, "When in Rome, do as the Greeks do."
[2] Completely useless, boring, cunning linguist pointer of the day, la segunda parta:

"Alegría" simply means "joy" in Spanish, Regis.

[3] Completely useless, boring, cunning linguist pointer of the day (and a little culinaristic, too), la troisième partie:

"Crème anglaise" just means "English cream" in French. This may have been one of the only times the stingy Frenchies ever attributed anything tasty and food-related to the "stupid kaniggits" or les Britanniques porc-chiens.

[4] Completely useless, boring, cunning linguist pointer of the day, parte la quarta:
"Latte" is simply the Italiano word for "milk". So any of you snooty 'mericano touristas traveling to Rome be very careful when ordering coffee from the local barista.

[5] Completely useless, boring, cunning linguist pointer of the day, me declaro el quinto:

"Oaxaca" is actually pronounced as "wa-HAH-ka"; Oaxaca is one of the 31 States of Mexico; it comes from the Nahuatl word "Huaxyacac". However, when most 'mericans see this word they usually butcher it by pronouncing it as "oh-AXE-a-ka"; and I know this as that was exactly how I pronounced it the first time I ever saw it. 

The first time I ever saw this word was when I was going through ESS NCO Academy (which is some kinda useless PME/"Professional Military Education" thing; hey, it was a free trip back to the States from Germany) in Goodfellow AFB, TX, back in 1985. One of my classmates was named Manny Oaxaca. On the very first day of class, one of the instructors was doing roll-call and came across Manny's name and, of course, ultimately stumbled in pronouncing it correctly. Manny (probably more than used to people mispronouncing his surname) told him: "It's pronounced just like it looks!"

I was later stationed with Manny at Offutt AFB in Ohmygawd, NE later that same year. Interestingly enough, I was just recently contacted by Manny through this very 'blog. He located me when he was looking for information on our mutual friend, Gary Burgess, that had passed away (see 'blog-entry from September 11th, 2011). Apparently the information I had linked in my 'blog was one of the easiest to find during a web-search. Manny now just lives about a hundred miles from me in the Sacramento area. We really need to get together one of these days for a toast to lost comrades.

(¡Hola, Mannycito!)

[6] The Bhut Jolokia chili pepper (or ghost pepper) is one of the hottest chili peppers in the World. Treat this fiery devil with the utmost respect!


  1. You didn't pick up any panko when you were at Hot Sauce and Panko, didja?

  2. I just assume there was panko in the vegetarian "wings" that I had ordered from them that night. They were actually very good and with a side of spicy slaw, it all came up to about $6.00, not bad for dinner (and it actually was too much to eat, so I had leftover the next night that I finished up with a Mediterranean bean salad).