Sunday, January 29, 2012


I headed over to the Castro this morning (Ha! I actually found a good parking spot on Beaver Street just off Noe. I love the irony of parking on this street whenever I am in this neighborhood.) and was planning on having breakfast again at Café Floré (see 'blog-entry from November 14th, 2010) with a fellow Boston Red Sox fan; however, something must have come up as he never met me there. I had arrived about a half hour before 10:00am (the decided upon time we were supposed to meet there), and walked around the neighborhood checking out other places that looked good for breakfast/"Brunch", just in case Café Floré was packed (it really wasn't at that early an hour on Sunday morning) and we needed a fall-back plan. I happened across Tangerine[1] just a block away and perused their menu; they had a few very interesting items on the menu and I made a mental note (okay, I know the more Politically Correct term is "psychotic reminder") to check it out on another weekend. After waiting at Café Floré for about a half hour and my breakfast partner never showed, I decided I would just check out a new place, so, Tangerine it was.

This is an interesting enough place; it is a semi-large space with seating for about 50-60 (plus four seats at the bar/counter, where I sat this morning). If you are wondering what I was wondering, "Why Tangerine?", per Richard (who I think is the owner), tangerines are considered a symbol of good fortune/luck in China. And unlike Pomelo (see 'blog-entry from May 7th, 2011), they do actually incorporate tangerines into some of their dishes.

As I stated before, there were several really interesting things on their "Brunch" menu: e.g. Zucchini Latke, Potato Latke, Hawaiian Omelet, among others (check out their menu for the details, I am sure to go back to try one of their latke dishes). But I just had to try the Macaroni & Corn Pancakes ~ topped with sharp Cheddar cheese, (2) fried eggs, sautéed leek, and oyster mushroom; served with organic greens; and I ordered a side of roasted potatoes (just because I am not that big of a fan of salad stuff for breakfast).

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this dish, but it sounded just strange enough that I knew I would love it. It was exactly what you might think it to be: macaroni and cheese with lots of fresh corn kernels in it, made into flattened "pancakes" and grilled on both sides, and then topped with the eggs, leeks, and mushrooms. This was all surrounded with a little puréed[2] spinach sauce; which was a pretty simple idea in itself, but went perfectly with the whole megillah[3], Mr. Peebles. If I cooked, I would so steal this idea; it was so simple in its sublimity that it was simply sublime (or subtangerine, even).

This was an instant favourite of mine, and I will be sure to go back to Tangerine in the future to try it and other of their cool-sounding breakfast stuff. Much like my "discoveries" of the Chayote Benedict at Q and the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes at Eats, I will be sure to rave-on about this dish, Mr. Holley.

Tangerine has both Tabasco® (the standard red) and Sriracha hot sauce as their condimentary supplemented. I used some Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce on top of the eggs (Thanks agains, Amys!) and Sylvia's Restaurant®[4] Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce on the potatoes (Thanks again, Sean!).

Wild Parrots of San Francisco update:

Sightings in this part of the City aren't really that unusual as I think there is a flock of them that roosts in Dolores Park in the Mission. I happened to see one pair flying overhead on Market Street when I was walking around.

Moral of the day:
When life hands you tangerines, make tangerine-ade… and Macaroni & Corn Pancakes!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Macaroni & Corn Pancakes ~ 7.5

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-etymological/culinary pointer of the day, number one:

Tangerines are closely related to mandarin oranges and have been cultivated in China for over 3,000 years. The word "tangerine" was originally an adjective meaning "of or pertaining to, or native of Tangier (a seaport in Morocco)"; Tangier was the seaport where tangerines were imported to Britain.

Clementines, like tangerines, are also related to mandarin oranges, and are almost always seedless. And the truly interesting thing is that they get their nomenclature from the American author, Mark Twain, as he was said to be a very big fan of this sweet, miniature, orange.

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/culinary pointer of the day, numero deux:

"Purée" comes from French; it is the noun use of the feminine past participle of "purer", meaning "to strain, (literally) to make pure".

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, number three:

(I may have pointed this one out before, but, tough, my 'blog, my rules.)

"Megillah" is simply the Hebrew word for "scroll". It comes into English through Yiddish, and as with any Yinglish word origin, I defer to Mr. Leo Rosten's "The Joys of Yiddish" for an expert explanation:

Pronounced meh-GILL-eh, to rhyme with "guerilla". Hebrew: 'scroll'.
1. Megillah usually describes the Book of Esther, which is read in the synagogue during Purim holiday; also the Book of Ruth. (There are five megillahs in all.)
2. Anything very long, prolix; a rigmarole. The Book of Esther wanders through a crushing concatenation of detail, and the devout sit through the long, long reading after a day of fasting.
3. In popular parlance: Anything complicated, boring, overly extended, fouled up. 'He'll put you to sleep with that megillah.' 'Don't give me a megillah' means 'Spare me the full, dull details.'"

[4] I am getting to the bottom of my bottle, and am not sure if I have ever linked this information before about Sylvia's Restaurant in New York City/Harlem:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Baker Street Bistro

"Elementary, my dear Ratson!"

(Yes, that is Shane MacGowan[1] ~ no relation that he or I will admit ~ of the Pogues[2] fame singing along with the boyos. )

Je suis retorné à Baker Street Bistro pour mon petit-déjeuner ce matin (see last 'blog-entry from December 24th, 2011). I sat outside on the sidewalk patio area; the Sun was out and shining, and I was wearing a jacket and a sweatshirt so I thought I'd chance it (I was the only idiot outside at first, but other people decided it was worth the fresh air, too; it was). You really have to get the fresh air and Sun while you can in the wintertime here. I even ended up taking off my coat after about five minutes as it was more than comfortable with the Sun directly on me.

For a change I decided on not ordering the Pain Perdu ~ which I have stated many, many times in the past is not only THE BEST French Toast in San Francisco or California, but might very well be le Pain Perdu SUPRÊME dans le Monde. You are more than welcome to prove me wrong; however, as I have stated before here, my 'blog, my rules. If you would like to test me, please send me a First Class aeroplane ticket on the next direct Concorde flight to Paris, along with prepaid hotel reservations at the Paris Hilton (the hotel chain, not the skanky heiress, please). Instead, I went with my second favourite dish on their "Brunch" menu: Oeufs Baker Street Bistro ~ two poached eggs, perched on top of ratatouille and English muffins (muffins anglais?), topped with a tomato sauce (in place of the standard Hollandaise sauce/sauce hollandaise). Egg dishes are served with a side of mixed greens and home fries. I completed (complemented) the meal with a cuppa "mighty fine coffee", Agent Cooper.

The tasty ratatouille is simply made with zucchini, red and green bell peppers, and eggplant and some nice herbs and spices (herbes de Provence, peut-être?). As the French version of poached eggs usually are a bit on the undercooked side, I dripped some of the runny egg yolk on my sweatshirt; I am such a slob[3]. (The French also like their oeufs brouillés a bit on the very soft side, not something I am too fond of, though.)

Baker Street Bistro seulement has Tabasco® for condimentary supplementation. I came prepared with a few of my own collection: Sweet Heat Hot Sauce just a little on one of the poached eggs (well, on the tomato sauce), and some Cherry Republic® KaBOB’s Kick’en Hot Sauce on the potatoes (Thanks again bothly, Greg and Cindy!).

Pay it forward/annoy the patrons story of the day:
Unbeknownst to them, I bought the coffee (two cappuccinos, one regular cuppa), tea (one cuppa), and Mimosa (just one glass) drinks for a table of complete strangers (incomplete unknown persons are on their own) that had ordered two plates of Pain Perdu. This wasn't just on my (totally unsolicited and vociferous) recommendation, as one of the guys at the table also said they were very good and had tried them before, but I did explain to them what "Pain Perdu" meant. One of the women knew that it translated as "Lost Bread", but was not sure why it was called such. And for their listening to the blathering of a doddering idiot, I rewarded them with free drinks. I made sure to tell our excellent server, Chantal[4], to not let them know until I had left, but to make sure to tell them they should give her an extra big tip in exchange.

Moral of the story: If you are stupid enough to listen to me, you have to pay your dues. (Well, in retrospect, I suppose I paid their dues.)

Wild Parrots of San Francisco update:
I saw and heard about two dozen of my fine-feathered friends in the tall Eucalyptus trees in the little dog park off the Lombard Street gate in the Presidio. I also saw several of them flying overhead while I was eating.

I have had the Oeufs Baker Street Bistro before a few times at Baker Street Bistro and knew it was worth coming back for on its own merits; unfortunately, I usually come back for le Pain Perdu ultimes, which isn't really a bad excuse. (Now if someone can just tell me why they are called "Oeufs Baker Street Bistro".)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Oeufs Baker Street Bistro ~ 7.4

[1] This is an alternate spelling of the same family name as mine (and also "Macgowan", I have been told). I have been informed by some actual Irishmen that it is a preferred spelling even. However, who are you gonna believe, a famous Irish drunk like Shane or sober, upstanding 'merican citizens like myself and Rose?!

Actually, McGowan/MacGowan/Macgowan are all from the same Irish/Scottish family surname; so, take your pick. When asked the age old quandary: "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" I will usually reply with: "The rooster, of course."

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, uimhir a haon:

The Pogues took their name from the Irish/Celtic/Gaelic phrase "Póg mo thóin!", which is basically pronounced as "pogue ma hone", and means "Kiss my arse!". They had to drop the "Mahone" part of their original band name when the BBC finally figured out what they were trying to get across. Ha! What a buncha

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, nummer zwei:

I am not sure what the French translation of "slob" is, but when we were growing up, my father would always call us kids "Schlumpe" whenever we spilled something or made a mess. "Schlumpe/Schlampe" both mean "slattern" in German (however, I think the latter word has a bit more derogatory meaning, as in "bitch/slut").

There was another word he used to call us all the time, but I have no idea what the spelling might be and really can't find any equivalent in Google Translate. It sounded like "stoopnangle" or "schtupnägel". He never really spelled it out for us. It basically meant "fool" or "idiot". Any of you Herm Linguists out there are more than welcome to comment on this one for me; maybe I will even spring for some verloren Brot if you are ever in the neighborhood.

Why an Irishman from Cambridge, Massachusetts was using German phrases, I never really understood. I don't believe my father grew up in a German area of town.

[4] I don't remember where exactly Chantal said she was from, but I know she speaks French and had explained to me the last time that I ate there that when you ask for the check/bill you say "L'addition, s'il vous plaît." (You can count that as the stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numéro trois.) She really is one of the best servers I have encountered in my breakfastary outings and has waited on me many, many times there (and put up with all of my stupidity, too, I might add).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Breakfast International

Ontbyt, Mëngjes, إفطار, նախաճաշ, Gosaria,早餐, Snídaně, Morgenmad, Ontbijt, Almusal, Aamiainen, Petit Déjeuner, Frühstück, Πρωινό, ארוחת בוקר, नाश्ता, Reggeli, Bricfeasta, Prima Colazione, 朝食, 아침 식사, Prandium, Frokost, Śniadanie, Café da Manhã, Завтрак, Desayuno, Frukost, อาหารเช้า, Ăn sáng, Brecwast…

(However, I am not so sure that I really would want kippers[1] for breakfast, mommy dear, mommy dear.)


- n
1.a. the first meal of the day
b. (as modifier): breakfast cereal; a breakfast room
2. the food at this meal
3. (in the Caribbean) a midday meal

- vb
4. To eat or supply with a breakfast

[C15: from break + fast]

I have had breakfast in a few different ferren countries in my travels and was just wondering what exactly other people ate to "break their hunger". (Or is that supposed to mean "to quickly break" something?) Everyone knows about "French Toast", "Belgian Waffles", "Swedish Pancakes", and "Canadian Bacon"; however, what else do they eat in these strange and ferren lands for (respectively) petit déjeuner, ontbijt/petit déjuener (again)/frühstück (take your pick, the stupid Belgians can't even decide on which neighboring language they want to steal), frukost, and breakfast, eh?

I actually lived in Greece (
Ελλάδα) for three and a half years, but really couldn't tell you what they ate every morning. I would assume it is some kind of baked goods/pastries (don't get me started on all the good stuff that they have to offer in the baked goods department) and maybe some Greek yoghurt (just not any τζατζίκι, please, Pam), along with some strong coffee. I can't believe that I never once really ate a breakfast out while I was there, or maybe if I did, I just went to some 'mericanized place that catered to stupid touristas.

I know of what a "Full English Breakfast"[2] entails (and "entrails" may very well be one of the ingredients in their "breakfast puddings"; don't let the intriguing names like "black pudding" or "white pudding" fool you ~ this is not a chocolate or vanilla choice, believe me): tea with milk (but more and more places are going to coffee instead), some kinda juice, two eggs (fried/over easy/scrambled), bacon (large, thick slices ~ more like slices of ham, not the wimpy 'merican strips), sausage (one or two of the normal link style), black pudding (and/or white pudding in Ireland and Scotland), mushrooms (grilled or sautéed), baked beans (yes, baked beans), hash browns, toast (with different types of jams or marmalades), and half a grilled tomato. Now this is more food than a normal person should be able to eat at one sitting and it also should be a full week's ration of any sane person's dead decaying animal flesh. There is also the healthier (but not really much lighter) British breakfast of simple oatmeal/porridge (some like it hot, some like it cold). Plus, where would we 'mericans be today without that breakfastary staple "English Muffins"?

Having lived in Germany for two years (and traveled there a few additional times while living and holidaying in Europe), I am pretty familiar with what ein typisches Frühstück[3] is: lots of different types of sliced breads and various rolls (Brötchen), several types of sliced cheese (Käse), sliced meats, eggs of some kind (generally one hard boiled egg ~ ge
kochtes Ei ~ or some scrambled eggs ~ Rührei), jams and butter, and lastly (but by no means leastly) a small, personal pot of coffee (ein Kännchen Kaffee). This was a breakfast that I had many times (aber ohne all die toten verwesenden Fleisch von Tieren) am Ku'damm in Berlin and whenever I traveled to "mainland Germany" and stayed at "Bed & Breakfast" joints (Gästehäusern). You could usually have tea (Tee) or hot chocolate (heiße Schokolade) substituted for the coffee if you were so inclined (that would be a 90° incline for me though).

I can talk about a good desayuno mexicano, but only from a local San Franciscan/Mission District point of view. I don't ever remember having any breakfasts on my few forays into Ciudad Juarez (across the border from El Paso, Texas) or Ciudad Acuña (across the Rio from Del Rio, Texas); however, if you want to know where to buy cheap blankets, Tequila, and switchblades, I know just the places.

My brother Kerry lived in Thailand for about five years or so, and I think he said that breakfasts there usually consisted of rice (lots of rice) and fish. Granted, he lived in the boonies, in a poor village, and I really doubt they had any IHOP's there from which to choose.

Some of my other favourite cuisines are Italian, Burmese, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, and Ethiopian/Eritrean; however, I really have no idea what they would consider a typical morning repast. I have had a breakfast pizza before (well, it was actually for dinner and it was in England, not Italy); this was basically a standard Pizza Margherita with a raw egg dropped on top, in the middle, during the last few minutes that the pizza is baking.

I guess no matter how you say it (or spell it), it's all good.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Breakfast ~ 8.5

[1] Somewhat of a stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Kippers" stand for "kippered herrings". A "kipper" is a whole herring, that has been split from tail to head, gutted, salted or pickled, and cold smoked. 

The English word "kipper" comes from Old English "cypera" ("male salmon"), perhaps related to "coper" ("reddish-brown metal", see "copper"), on resemblance of colour. Another theory connects it to "kip", the name for the sharp, hooked lower jaw of the male salmon in breeding season, from Middle English "kippen" ("to snatch, tug, pull").

Greg and Cindy, take note: similarly, the English word "kipe" denotes a basket used to catch fish.

[2] See 'blog-entry from January 1st, 2011 for more information.

[3] See 'blog-entry from August 13th, 2011 for more information.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dottie’s True blue café

New location, same ol' great food

(Still no official website. They are now relocated at 28 6th Street, just a half block off Market Street; phonicular info: 415-885-2767.)

(Not really sure what kinda jam Edward Ellington was talking about, but Dottie's True blue café has an excellent Chipotle Pepper Jelly that they make themselves. The reason for this particular EweToob link is that Dottie's was playing some old live Duke radio programs on the house stereo.)

The big news this weekend (well, after the NFL Championship games) is that Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from September 11th, 2011) has finally reopened at their new (technically) South of Market Street location (hence, I am writing about it; otherwise, I would have gone elsewhere for breakfast this morning). One nice thing about the new location, it was very easy to find a parking space (legal and somewhat safe) right on the corner of 6th and Market Streets. I had gotten there so early that I was actually the very first person to arrive in the morning and had to wait about ten minutes before they opened their doors/gates (7:30am everyday).

I am very impressed with the actual location/building (the neighborhood, not so much; it's basically a little of the same as the Tenderloin). It is in an old 1910 brick building (love the styling and architecture); it has a much larger seating capacity than before (probably 2-3 times larger); and there is a second floor outdoor patio (currently not open; hopefully by the Summer) that seats another 20 or more people. What this means for local diners (or breakfasters) and touristas alike is that there shouldn't really be that much need to have to wait outside on the sidewalk any more. Yeah, I know, the "free impromptu street performances" were sometimes a bit fun, but you can only hand out so much change to the indigenous populace. Dottie's now has a large enough anteroom (where you can get a cuppa while you wait, even) to stay warm and dry on the worst of days (like this morning, ferinstance).

Another major plus for the new place, they now have restrooms right on the premises. In the past, the restroom (singular, I believe) was next door, inside the lobby of a residence hotel. Not so sure this old tin sign advertisement was put in the right place, though (more than likely it was, and it was juxtaposed[1] for the humour aspect).

Dottie's no longer has the cool teapot and coffeepot chandeliers that they used to have; I suppose the older building kind of warranted keeping the older looking light fixtures that were already in place. Luckily, they still have some of their old snow globes collection on the front counter, as I had schlepped[2] a small one as a souvenir all the way from Wien ~ a Stephansdom (Saint Stephen’s Cathedral) winter scene. Dottie's did keep the tradition of all the kitschy salt-and-pepper shakers, too; and in keeping with the winter/holiday theme still, my pair today were a set of snowmen on a little red sleigh.

I was very excited to see that they had their most excellent Zucchini Cakes (topped with poached eggs and a spicy Marinara sauce ~ think Eggs Benedicto) on their weekend special board! This is not only one of Kurt's most inspired and tasty inventions, it is probably one of my favourite dishes at Dottie's, which would make it one of my favouritest breakfasts anywhere. Alas, it was not to be… I was informed that they were all out of them already this weekend. (See, this is how good they are ~ Dottie's had just reopened on Friday morning and they were already sold-out of this item!)

Luckily, there were several good fall-backs on the specials board (and their standard menu, too). So I went with the Frittata ~ avocado, tomato, corn, jalapeño, scallions, and Feta, served with toast and home fried potatoes. I also ordered a large glass of grapefruit juice and a cuppa ~ well, more like a cuppa and a halfa (or two), as they kept coming around with more refills (less refills would be useless).

The frittata was a very good choice (okay, it wasn't as good as the Zucchini Cakes would have been, but sometimes you just have to settle for the likes of Uma Thurman when Nicole Kidman is otherwise engaged); I was not disappointed in it whatsoever. It had lots of good stuff in it, tons of fresh avocado and corn (two favourites of mine). It was huge, too; I did finish it, but may not eat again all day (well, until the NFL games start).

Dottie's has one of the better condimentary supplements selections around: Tabasco® (standard red, Chipotle, and Jalapeño), Tapatío®, Frank's® RedHot Chile 'n Lime, and a few others. However, I had brought a few of my own and used Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) on the frittata (just a little for extra flavour, as there was already enough good stuff in it to suffice) and some Benito's Original Naranja (Thanks, Brian!) on the potatoes.

My one minor complaint about the new place is that the counter seats are now further away from the stoves/open cooking area and you really can't see Kurt working his magic at the grill; that was always half the fun, getting to see "the show".

Once again, as I stated in my very first review two years ago here:
"Anyone coming to San Francisco, or even those locals that might read this, do yourself a flavour and go to Dottie's for the real San Francisco Treat (Rice-A-Roni® be damned)."

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Frittata ~ 7.2

[1] Stupid, useless etymological pointer of the day:

"Juxtapose" is not Red Neck-ese for "to have an idea", as in "Hey, Zeke, juxtapose you and I won the lottree; we'd be thousandeers!" It actually means "to place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast"; the verb is a back formation from the noun "juxtaposition", which comes from the Latin root "juxtā" (meaning "next to") and the French word "position" (meaning "look it up if you really need to").

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Schlep" is slang for "to carry, lug". It comes from the Yiddish "schlepn" (to pull, drag), which comes from the Middle High German dialect "schleppen"… yada, yada, yada.

Whenever I have a question regarding a Yiddish word, I break out my one true, trusty lexicon of Yinglish: "The Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten. Mr. Rosten has this alternately spelled as "shlep", and I quote:

"Pronounced shlep, to rhyme with 'hep'… From the German: schleppen: 'to drag'.

1. To drag, pull, or lag behind. 'Don't shlep all those packages; let the store deliver them.' 'Pick up your feet; don't shlep.' 'They shlepped me all the way out to see their house.'"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Q Restaurant and Wine Bar

Quintessential[1] Quality Quisine

(Suzi Q may neither have been the most talented bassist, nor the best female Rock-and/or-Roll singer in the 70's, but, damn, she was one of the qutest! My apologies to the Boss on that last video, but her mullet was always better than your long, greasy locks… not to mention her leather catsuits.)

This morning I went back to Q Restaurant and Wine Bar (see last 'blog-entry from September 5th, 2011) over on Clement Street. I was happy to see that the rain we have had for the past few days has let up (for now, at least) and I didn't have to slog over there soaking wet; it was actually pretty sunny this morning, if not a bit windy. Once again, I sat at the "Wooly Willy" table; however, also once again, I forgot to bring a strong magnet with me to play with it.

In addition to their standard decent breakfast/"Brunch" menu, they had several good choices on today's Brunch Specials from which to choose, of note:

  • Fried Green Tomato Benedict; I have had this before and it is one of my favourites of theirs (it isn’t quite as good as their Chayote Benedict, but that was something special breakfastarily altogether and one of the main reasons that I moved Q up into my Starting Rotation)
  • Black Bean Corn Cake Benedict; I have also had this one before, and it is a very good choice, too
  • Chilaquiles; I have never had their version of this desayuno mexicano, but would like to try it someday
  • and Susio's Rico Suave French Toast; this looked very tempting "Cream Cheese and Strawberry Stuffed French White Baguette with Strawberry Compote and Caramelized Walnuts"; I almost went with that one

However, instead I ordered off the Brunch Specials menu: Hippy Heaven (No Eggs) ~ Tofu Scrambled in Olive Oil with Light Curry Spices, (Red &) Green Onion, Mushrooms, Pepper, Tomatoes, and Spinach[2], with Homefries and Buttered Toast. I also had a glass of ½-Orange, ½-Apple, ½-Cranberry juice (just to mess with their minds), and I had brought in with me a cuppa Blue Danube[3] Coffee House coffee (from down the street).

The curry spices used in the tofu scramble were actually pretty spicy; I really was not expecting that, but it was all very good. It was made with roasted red peppers, red and green onions (they didn't list the red ones in the menu, but I was happy to see them in the scramble), and lots of fresh spinach (this was really one of the deciding factors in my choice this morning; I really just wanted an excuse to tie-in Spinach/Popeye/Bruce Ozella ~ see below). As this meal had no added milk products in it, it was suitable for both Vegetarians and Vegans alike. (Those damn Vegans! They really piss me off with all of their "No Eggs", "No Cheese", etc. crap, and their stupid Secret Handshakes[4]!) I told one of the servers that this really could have used some bacon in it (actually, I think the addition of roasted cauliflower or maybe even some edamame in the scramble would have been great).

Q has a pretty good selection of condimentary supplementation: Tabasco® (the standard red), Tapatío®, Castillo® Salsa Habanero, and Original "Louisiana" Brand. I was aware of what they had, but had come with a few from my own collection and I used a little Cherry Republic KaBob's Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Greg and Cindy!) on the scramble and some (well, a lot really) Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the potatoes. PAFFPS is really a mighty fine hot sauce! I talked one of the servers/bartenders/(manager guy?) into trying some, too (Mrs. Huneycutt, please note, I did get his name… Adam, or something… but forgot it pretty quickly; now if he was the hot ginger female waitress that was working there, I am sure I would have remembered his/her name); he also said it was very flavourful.

With the bill today came two Tootsie Roll® Midgees® (the basic cocoa/chocolate ones), which is always nice.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Hippy Heaven ~ 6.8; Bruce Ozella's Popeye artwork ~ 8.5 (probably even higher when I get my copy of the new comic book)

[1] Stupid, useless etymological pointer of the day:

This word has nothing to do the enticing aroma of five sisters, it simply comes from the Latin word roots "quinta" (fifth) and "essentia" (essence). Apparently, in ancient and medieval philosophy, the "fifth essence" was "pure essence, substance of which the heavenly bodies are composed" (right after Earth, Wind, Fire, and Maurice White).

[2] I really wanted to get a meal that included spinach this morning so as to segue into this cool information:

An old friend of mine, probably one of my oldest in the World, is going to be the artist for a new Popeye comic book that is due out in April. This is the dream of a lifetime for Bruce as he has been a huge Popeye fan since he was a kid. He happens to be a very talented artist/cartoonist, too.

I know that I am looking forward to purchasing a copy (or ten) of my own when it comes out. (What?! We have been friends for over 45 years, and I have to buy my own copy?!! What kinda cheapskate is this guy?!!!)

Congratulations and good luck, Bruce! (I expect some cool swag, though!)

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

As I discovered on my recent trip to Vienna (Wien) last month, the Danube River is actually called the Donau in Austria (and it's called the Duna in Hungary; someone is wrong somewhere, Ahnold). Hence, the Blue Danube in German/Austrian would be "der blauen Donau" (who really cares what it is in Hungarian, Milos).

[4] Of course, as everyone knows, a "Vegan Handshake" is made with Soy or Almond Milk only.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Daily Grill

Breakfast on Geary, Part 1

(Now there may be better versions of this song, but Nat King Cole's dulcet tones along with pictures of "the delicate flower" really can't be beat, Professor Higgins.)

Geary Street/Boulevard is a major transverse (and I don't mean a song by RuPaul[1]) thoroughfare in San Francisco. Beginning at Market Street across from Lotta's Fountain (see 'blog-entry from April 18th, 2010) and heading due west towards the Pacific Ocean, ending at 48th Avenue and Sutro Heights Park. Geary Street (and strangely enough, Geary Boulevard) was named after John W. Geary, the first Mayor of San Francisco after California became a U.S. State. It is one of the longest streets in San Francisco (maybe second only to Mission Street in length) and it happens to be the street upon which I live. It is called Geary Street from Downtown, through the Tenderloin, and once it crosses Van Ness Avenue it turns into Geary Boulevard, on into Japantown and through the Richmond District. 

I decided to do a little series of Breakfasts on Geary this year. There really aren't that many breakfast joints to hit along Geary, so it shouldn't really take me that long (if I hit one every other weekend or so). I have posted about a few of them already here (just click on the Geary Street/Boulevard Label link along the right side here to view more) and won't need to redo any of them (unless I really feel like it; my 'blog, my rules). There are a few good choices Downtown where Geary Street runs past Union Square and through the Theatre District, but, after that, through the Tenderloin… not really much of which to speak (or dare to try).

My first breakfast in this series was at Daily
Grill, which is right next door to (or part of) the Handlery Union Square Hotel and Lefty O'Doul's Restaurant & Piano Bar (see 'blog-entry from April 18th, 2010, again). Apparently, Daily Grill is a chain of restaurants in several cities in the U.S. This one happens to be a very nice, old place with lots of dark wood (mahogany?) and mirrors, and the walls are covered with old photos of San Francisco. They were playing old Jazz and Blues standards on the house stereo this morning: Tony Bennett, Lady Ella, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, etc. This is really too nice a place for the likes of me.

They have a pretty decent breakfast menu and there are several things that I could have tried. I ended up going with Spanish Scramble ~ Three eggs scrambled with red and green bell peppers, onion, black olives, and diced tomato; served with sliced avocado, Queso Fresco[2], and grilled jalapeño. Egg dishes are served with Breakfast Potatoes, seasoned sliced tomatoes, or fresh fruit (of course, I opted for the potatoes). I also had a cuppa coffee to round out the meal.

The scramble was huge and just full of fresh, chopped vegetables (however, the black olives were omitted somehow; this was no big deal as there were plenty of other junk in it to really notice). Now, I was not expecting, but was pleasantly surprised to see that a whole (and pretty large) grilled/roasted jalapeño on the side of the scramble; it was very tasty and not really all that hot. I probably could have eaten another one even (if you ever go, see if they will skip the avocado ~ and I am a big avocado fan, I just like this spicy option for a change ~ and substitute another jalapeño in its place). The Breakfast Potatoes were very good and chock full o' red and green bell peppers, as well as onions in the mix (and all were nicely charred/caramelized, too).

Daily Grill only has as condimentary supplements: Tabasco® (just the standard red); figuring on this, I brought some of my own and used a little Benito's Original Naranja on the potatoes (Thanks, me!) and a little Cherry Republic KaBob's Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Greg and Cindy!) on the scramble. For such a nice (read: ritzy) joint, I thought it funny that they only have those little packages of Smucker's® jams (the usual suspects, Mr. Söze: grape, strawberry, and orange marmalade) on the tables to use on your toast (this is a very minor quibble, I just think they could have at least real jars on the tables).

Next up on Geary: either David's Delicatessen or Max's on the Square (I am trying to be methodical and work my way westward, ho').

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Spanish Scramble ~ 6.5

[1] I am very happy to see that RuPaul is finally getting involved in Politics. This Texas Congressman has my vote for the Republican Primary this year. Nice to see you out of that dress for a change, ma'am!

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "But, Brian, you are not a registered Republicano!" and you would be Right (Get it "Right" ~ "Republican"? Ah, never mind!). However, in Californica, all non-denominational voters or Independents can vote in the Presidential Primaries; it's all pretty stupid, but what the heck. 

Truth be told, my "official" Political Party is the Rock-and-Roll Party… seriously. When I first moved to Californica, I had never voted before and finally decided it was about time to register to vote (this was during the Presidential Election of 1988 ~ sorry, Mike, we gave it a shot); so I registered to vote at some Democratic Party booth at a local street festival. I filled out the form where it stated "Political Party" with Rock-and-Roll Party. The poor schmuck signing all the people up looked at me and said, "You know you won’t be able to vote in the Primaries." (which was the case at the time), like I really cared which Leftist was chosen to represent them. The main problem with my political affiliation is that I can never seem to get Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty (or, better yet, Sheryl Crow) to get on the ballet. Think about it: What is more 'merican than good ol' Rock-and/or-Roll?!

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist (and pseudo-culinary) pointer of the day:

"Queso Fresco" simply means "fresh cheese" in Spanish. It is a type of creamy, soft, and mild unaged cheese, usually made from cow's or goat's milk. Think "cottage cheese with an Hispanic attitude".

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Sanchito recommends the Caprese[1] Scramble; so, if you know what's good for you, you had better order it... or you best go run and hide.

Phone: 415-751-8000

(Sorry, still no official website available.)

(Okay, this may not be your typical breakfastary EweToob-y music video, but I have it on good authority that "Santeria" means "very tasty" in the Caprese dialect… well, that's my story and I'm stickin' with it.[2])

The last time I ate at Eats (see 'blog-entry from September 3rd, 2011) I mentioned that I really wanted to try their Caprese Scramble, but I was side-tracked by another breakfast dish instead. Today, I succumbed and finally had le uova strapazzate di Capri.

Now this just shows my keen powers of observations, my dear Watson. I have probably eaten at Eats several times since they have reopened (and remodeled) a few years back, but today was the first time I have ever sat at (or noticed) the counter-seating area overlooking the kitchen. There are only four seats in this area, but they all face the cooks (which is always handy so that you can keep an eye on them so they don't spit in your food). However, I have noticed this piece of artwork(?) before that is just above the counter. It is some kinda homage to Coca-Cola®, I suppose. It is fun to note that all of the bottles in it are Mexican Coke® bottles.

It also makes a pretty nice hat rack. (Go 49ers!)

se Scramble ~ (v) cherry tomatoes, pesto, fresh Mozzarella, and Parmesan (and not mentioned on the menu, but very key to the whole l'essenza di Capri, lots of fresh, chopped basil). Most egg dishes come with a side of toast (I went with sourdough) and a choice of Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes, (plain ol') mixed greens, or a (typical) fruit bowl. (Yeah, right! Like there really was ever going to be a choice for me.) I also had a large glass of Power "C" ~ Grapefruit, OJ, and Pineapple and a cuppa coffee.

I liked it. Fresh cherry tomato halves ~ good!; fresh, soft Mozzarella ~ very good!; fresh basil ~ very, very good! At first I thought they lied about the pesto as I didn't see any on/in the scramble itself, but it was just hidden under the large pile of basil. This was all a pretty simple meal and presentation, but it all worked very nicely.

The Power "C" was okay, but not really that impressive; it was all made from fresh-squeezed juices (well, I guess they process the pineapple juice, not squeeze it). I think this may have tasted a little better less the pineapple juice and maybe with some other citrus juice added instead (the grapefruit juice made it all a little too tart for the pineapple sweetness to overcome; maybe some fresh lime juice ~ but this would be going back to the extra sour flavours).

My side of Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes today "only" had three cloves of garlic in it (well, one was an extra large clove), so I "complained" to my server (by the way, his name was Andrew, Mrs. Huneycutt; you would have eaten him up with or without all the extra cloves of garlic) and he actually offered to get me some more. I told him that I was just kidding and that the last time I was there they gave me about ten extra cloves of garlic and I was tasting them all day long afterward (which is not really a bad thing).
°0o urp! o0°

I was almost tempted to go with the weekend special: Cream Cheese stuffed Apple-Walnut-Cinnamon French Toast; it looked very tempting and tasty, but I had put off the Caprese Scramble for a few visits already. Hopefully it will become a menu regular and I can try it on a subsequent visit (of which there will be more, as long as they don't mess with the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes).

Eats has as condimentary supplementation: Tabasco® (the standard red), Cholula®, and Tapatío® (I also happened to notice on a shelf in the kitchen a bottle of El Yucateco®; looks like the kitchen staff are keeping the good stuff from the rabble, Barney). I was familiar with what they had to offer, so I had brought some of my own: a good amount of Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes, and a little Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Sean!) on the scramble just to give it a little more pop, Babbo.

I have never been to l'isola di Capri (heck, I’ve only been to Italia proper a couple of times), but I would really like to get there some day. In lieu of that, I will just have to enjoy their salads and scrambles for now.

As for Eats, I am really glad that they kept their original name ~ it is simply sublime, Mr. Nowell.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Caprese Scramble ~ 7.0; Power "C" ~ 6.0; Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes ~ 7.5

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer, numero uno:

"Caprese" is the Italiano word referring to the island of Capri. The word "Capri" either comes from the Ancient Greek word "
κάπρος (kapros)" meaning "wild boar" or from the Latin word "caper/capra" meaning "goat". Take your pick.

Similar words that come from the same Latin root: Capricorn and caper (both the verb form "to skip or jump playfully" and also the noun "a prank or shenanigans").

Now why un'Insalata Caprese tipica includes Mozzarella di bufala and not Goats cheese is beyond me. And I wonder what it tasted like before 1492.

[2] Nah, I was just kidding. Everyone knows that "San Teria" is actually the Italiano name for "Saint Terry". 

Don't buy that one? Okay, stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer, numero dos:

"Santería" comes from the Spanish word for "saint", "sant", with a simple Latinesque ending "ia".