Saturday, October 8, 2011

Primo Patio Cafe

"a taste of the tropics"[1]

I have eaten at Primo Patio Cafe for lunch, when I used to work just a few blocks away, and for dinner before San Francisco Giants (still the reigning World Series Champs, by the way! ~ and it's just another 122 Days before the Giants season starts again) games, but this is the first time I have ever had breakfast there. They are located on Townsend, just a few blocks away from SBC Park. They have been in the same location for about 18 years now.

This is a kinda small space squeezed in between two other buildings, hence the "Patio Cafe" and not just "Cafe". It is always nice to eat breakfast in the fresh air (weather permitting ~ today it permitted), and the only seating space they have is in their patio (I did ask and they said for the Winter they rent a tent to cover the open space). Anyone know how you say "dining al fresco" in Spanish?

[No extra charge for this little bit of breakfast-y Taoism of Winnie-the-Pooh.]

Primo Patio have several good things from which to choose on the breakfast portion of the menu. I was leaning toward the simple Scooter (which I assumed was some sorta Caribbean-style Egg-a-Muffin thingy), but ended up going with Huevos Verdes ~ Two poached eggs on a corn tortilla, Jack & Cheddar cheese, fresh tomatillo[2] salsa. Served with Caribbean potatoes and black beans. I also had a (large) cuppa coffee and a Guava[3] Mimosa[4].

I am very glad I went with this choice. It was very tasty; kinda a Huevos Rancheros-meets-Eggs Benedict-with a Caribbean twist. It was served on a crispy (fried) corn tortilla; I was expecting just a standard (un-fried) corn tortilla, so this was a nice surprise ~ this was very tasty and an interesting combination with the poached eggs and tomatillo salsa. I liked that it came with a side of black beans ~ mucho goodo. (The first time I ever had black beans was many years ago in Miami at a Cuban restaurant, paired with some rice and fried plantains[5]. I really liked them, and they are one of my favourite legume-y fruits now.) My only minor complaint was that the Caribbean potatoes were not really crispy enough for my liking; they did have a nice enough flavour, though. The Mimosa was pretty decent and I give it extra points for originality; however, it wasn't as if they used fresh-squeezed guava juice in it; I am pretty sure it was just from a can.

For condimentary supplementation, Primo Patio makes their own fresh salsa (a red version); so I did not need to use any of my own today (I did come prepared with three different ones from my collection). The salsa roja was very nice, not too spicy, so I used it up on the eggs, beans, and potatoes. Their tomatillo salsa was also very good.

I probably should have also gotten a side order of plantains, carbohydrates be damned!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Huevos Verdes ~ 6.8; Guava Mimosa ~ 6.3

[1] This is their slogan on the menu, but I swear I tasted a little bit of Caribbean Sea salt in the salsa… and maybe just a touch o' da ganja, too, mon!

[2] The tomatillo is a distant cousin of the tomato (they are both members of the Nightshade family) and also indigenous to "the New World".

Useless, boring cunning linguist punto número uno:

Both "tomatillo" and "tomato" have the same word root and come from the Nahuatl word "tomatl", which the Spanish borrowed as "tomate".

[3] Guava is also native to the Western Hemisphere ~ Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.

Useless, boring cunning linguist punto número dos:

"Guava" comes from the Arawak word "guayabo", which the Spanish borrowed as "guayaba".

[4] I am not sure why the drink is called a "Mimosa" as it isn't made from the Mimosa plant, but I am sure the damned Spanish can be blamed for this stolen word somehow. I am pretty sure that it was not named after that old Cuban Chicago White Sox Left Fielder, though.

[5] Plantains are a tropical plant/fruit of the banana family.

Useless, boring cunning linguist punto número tres:

"Plantain" comes from the Latin word "platanus" ~ meaning "plane/flat", which the Spanish borrowed as "plátano".

Useless, boring cunning linguist conclusion of the day:

The damned Spanish need to quit borrowing so many words from other languages and use some of their own.

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