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).


  1. Milk came out of my nose at the Paris Hilton comment... and I wasn't even drinking milk.

  2. The return of the "money shot" - hooray!

    1. I don't know what that means. What are you referring to?