Saturday, November 19, 2011


Sorry, I didn't opt for the waffles or sprouts, Mademoiselle Audrey Kathleen Ruston.

Tom Waits for no man.

(Once again there really is no connection between these Tom Waits songs and today's ontbijt/petit-déjeuner/Früstück[1]; and I have nothing against Mr. Waits excellent original versions, it is just that I was listening the other day to a mix-CD that my brother ~ Thanks, Kerry! ~ had made for me a few years ago with all Tom Waits covers, which he named "Lite Waits". I really wanted to include the Los Lobos version of "Jockey Full of Bourbon", but couldn't find it on stupid EweToob. That's okay, I like John Hammond's[2] version, too ~ which is off his "Wicked Grin" CD, dedicated entirely to Tom Waits s
ongs ~ plus, I saw him perform live in San Francisco during the tour of that CD and Tom Waits even got up on stage and sang/performed a few with him.)

Breakfasted this morning at Frjtz[3], the one on Hayes Street (coincidentally enough in Hayes Valley[4]). (Hey, CJ!) Frjtz has two locations in San Francisco, this one and another in the Mis
sion. There used to be another location in Ghirardelli Square, but that one closed several years ago now; it's a shame, too, as that had a great northern view overlooking Aquatic Park. The Hayes Street location is the original one, but it moved next door into a larger space a few years back; the original space was pretty small, but it did have a backyard open-air patio that was fun to eat in when the weather was nice (like this morning).

It's an interesting joint that specializes in crêpes and the eponymous "frjtz", which are served à le mode de la Belgique in a tall glass sundae cup. You just order at the counter and they bring the food to you. Frjtz has a real cool décor with several Batman/Super Heroes terrariums and other fun artwork. (Howdy, Cassy!)

They also offer Belgian waffles and Belgian mussels (Monsieur Van Damme) on the menu, too. For some reason, the Hayes Street location only offers scrambles and pancakes for brunch but the Valencia Street location has both scrambles and omelettes, as well as other egg dishes and pancakes. The scramble dishes at the Hayes Street location are all named after Greek and Roman philosophers and poets (I don't even want to venture to guess what the secret ingredients are in the Sappho ~ but I'm sure the cunning linguist in me would love to find out); whereas, the Valencia Street location has all the scramble/omelette dishes named after World-Class museums.

I have had several of their crêpes in the past (and they were always good) and didn't feel like waffles, so I ordered the Ovid Scramble ~ Veggie salami, yellow corn, black beans, roasted red bell peppers, cilantro, and Mozzarella cheese; served with toasted baguette slices (which I skipped); and a side order of small frjtz (which comes with one complimentary dipping sauce, but I got an additional one. One dip is usually enough for a small order of fries, but what is the fun in that?). Before stopping at the restaurant, I went to the little outdoor coffee stand on Octavia Boulevard, across the street from Patricia's Green (the little playground/dog park between Hayes and Fell): Ritual Coffee and had a fresh drippa cuppa the El Ciprés roast/blend.

The first question I asked myself was "Quid Ovid?", was Ovid some kinda Roman erotic vegetarian? I got over it in time to enjoy my scramble. I am pretty sure that Ovid never really ate an egg dish with either corn or roasted red peppers in it, though. I expected the veggie salami to be in round slices, but it was actually in ½" chunks; either way, it was pretty tasty.

These may not be "THE" best French fries in the World, but they are easily one of the best in San Francisco, which are aided by the many choices of dipping sauces (available in ketchup-based, mustard-based, and mayonnaise-based; just to name a few of the more interesting flavours: Artichoke white-truffle ketchup, Creamy wasabi mayo, and Strawberry mustard) and that really puts them over the top. I chose the Spicy yogurt peanut (because I was misinformed that it's National Peanut Butter Day[5] and I had to honour that major holiday in some way) and Habanero cranberry ketchup.

In addition to their numerous Dipping Sauces, Frjtz also offers as condimentary supplementation Cholula® and those McCormick® Peppercorn Grinders; I really didn't need any extra flavours for my frjtz, but I did use some of my own Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce on the scramble (Thanks agains, Amys!).

It was really a little early for it, but I really shoulda gotten a Stella Artois® to complement the meal, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Ovid Scramble ~ 6.8; Frjtz (with dips figured in) ~ 7.7; Ritual Coffee, El Ciprés ~ 6.7

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, nummer een/numéro un/Nummer eins:

The official languages of Belgium are Dutch (also known as Belgian Dutch/Flemish), French, and German, which must make the traffic signs very hard to understand for stupid 'merican touristas who have trouble enough trying to understand what the locals in London are saying. This is to say nothing of the other regional languages spoken in Belgium: Walloon and Picard, Jean-Luc.

[2] John Hammond is a very cool guy. John has graciously allowed a friend of mine to include some of his music in EweToob videos of his drawings that he has there:

Thank, John! Thanks, Skip!
John Hammond comes from Rock-and/or-Roll and Blues pedigree as his father was John H. Hammond II, the legendary music producer who produced the first records of both Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, as well as the last recordings of Blues legend Eddie James "Son" House, Jr.

[3] J can't fjnd an exact translatjon for what "Frjtz" means, but the best J can fjgure for a stupjd, useless cunnjng ljngujst pojnter, stront/merde/Scheiße*:
"Frjtz" (pronounced "freets") may just be a regional dialectal way of saying "French fries" in Belgium. The word for "French fries" in Dutch is "friet"; in French it is "pommes (de terre) frites"; and in German it is "Pommes frites" ("borrowed" directly from their neighbor to the west, probably while enjoying a free meal on the Champs-Élysées in the early 1940's), which the Germans usually just shorten to "Pommes".

*(That would be "number two" in Dutch/French/German for any of you following along this far.)

[4] Interestingly enough, Hayes Street/Valley was not named after our esteemed 19th President of the United States (yeah, right, I challenge anyone to tell me who his Vice President was) nor even after Isaac (of "Shaft" theme song-fame and "Chef" on South Park).

[5] Sorry, Lisa, a quick Intro-Net search showed that there are conflicting dates of when this holiday actually is, but none of them are today:
January 24th, 2011 ~ National Peanut Butter Day (per Punchbowl, whoever they are supposed to be)
March 2011 ~ National Peanut Month (according to Holiday Insights)
March 1st, 2011 ~ National Peanut Butter Lover's Day (again per Punchbowl)
April 11th, 2011 ~ Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (Atlanta, GA)
September 13th, 2011 ~ Peanut Day (per Days of the Year)
November 10th, 2011 ~ National Peanut Butter Day (per CNN)

How can such an important event be so confusing? That Christ guy never gets his birthday mixed up with Kwanzaa or Hanukkah and he wasn't even 'merican!


  1. For some reason I HATE this place... it looks so pretentious and pompous, and the french fries in a glass... ugh! Plus the dipping sauces... smarmy! I hate them.

  2. Penny:

    No. It's neither pretentious, nor pompous. It's Batman, dammit! It's very cool.

    When they first opened up back in the 90's at the place next door, it was pretty much a dive and run down. When they finally moved to their current location a few years back, they just upgraded to where you didn't have to worry about where you had to sit.

    Plus, the whole point of Belgian French fries are the multitude of dipping sauces. Otherwise, it's just McVan Damme's...