Sunday, October 23, 2011

Nob Hill Grille

Love hurts, but breakfast is painless…

(The first song was playing on the house stereo while I was eating. I just threw in the second one as it reminded of the first.)

I specifically went back to Nob Hill[1] Grille (see last 'blog-entry from June 12th, 2010) in the Nob Hill neighborhood (and I know this because just across the street is Nob Hill Liquors, and in the same area are Nob Hill Nails, Nob Hill Smoke Shop, and Nob Hill Hardware ~ where you can get Nob Hill door-nobs, I guess) so that I could compare their French toast to what I had yesterday. I have had their French toast in the past and remembered that it was very good.

Nob Hill Grille really isn't a very large space, but they have made do with what is available; it even stretches into what used to be the space next-door/downhill. There are only seven counter seats; three tables for two up front; one sidewalk table for two (weather permitting); and in the back room, five tables of four, and one table for two.

I looked over their menu, but ended up ordering what I initially went there for: french toast ~ vanilla brioche[2] bread topped with berries and crème anglaise. I also had a side order of sweet potato fries (with chipotle aioli[3]) and a glass of orange juice.

The French toast was made with two extremely thick slices of bread/brioche (at least 1-1 ½ inch thick). And from what I could tell, this was made with an authentique crème anglaise (in England, this is just called "cream", of course) ~ as opposed to yesterday's version, which seemed more like plain ol' whipped cream (crème whippée?) to me, which it may very well have been; today's version was more like I expected, a custardy version with flecks of real vanilla bean in it. Unfortunately there were seulement fraises, which was a little disappointing; I was expecting a mélange of different types of berries: raspberries, blackberries, or even some blueberries.
The sweet potato fries (and especially the chipotle aioli) were also very good ~ the aioli was not too spicy, but had a very nice flavour.

Nob Hill Grille offers for condimentary supplements Tabasco® (both Chipotle and the standard red) and Huy Fong Foods Inc.
® Sriracha Hot Sauce. I skipped both of those and just stuck with the fresh aioli on the sweet potato fries and some fresh ground pepper from grinders that are on each table and on the counter.

Again, this French toast doesn't compare to Baker Street Bistro's Pain Perdu, but it was still very good and better than yesterday's breakfast (and don't get me wrong, I liked that one, too, as it was also very good).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: French Toast ~ 6.8; Sweet Potato Fries (with chipotle aioli) ~ 6.8

[1] Nob Hill is one of the original, official "Seven Hills of San Francisco", the other six being: Mount Davidson, Mount Sutro, Rincon Hill, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, Twin Peaks, and Karen Hill.

(I just threw that last one in to see if anyone was paying attention. Karen actually lives in Athens, Greece, so she is really a "
λόφος", not a "hill".)

Nob Hill is an affluent district, home to many of the city's upper class families as well as a large yuppie population, and a growing Chinese immigrant population from a slowly encroaching Chinatown to the east. Sometimes it is sarcastically referred to as "Snob Hill" (in fact, "nob" is a slang term meaning "wealthy and distinguished person", possibly influenced by the word "nabob", and thus similar in meaning to "snob").

[2] Completely useless, boring, cunning linguist pointer of the day, la première partie:

"Brioche" comes from the French "brier" which means "to knead the dough" (and with the state of the economy lately we all really "brier").

Just yesterday I was wondering what exactly brioche was, so thanks to our friends at Wikipedia here is some information:

[3] Completely useless, boring, cunning linguist pointer of the day deuxièmement:

"Aioli" comes from two French words: "ai" meaning "garlic" and "oli" meaning "that Norwegian guy next door".

If you don't believe me, you can look it up yourself, Cassy.

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