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.'"


  1. Shlep is my all time favorite word, and I will be shlepping to work tomorrow.

    Calling anything other than Rice-a-Roni® the San Francisco treat is BLASPHEMY!!!!

  2. I thought that Dianne Feinstein was the real San Francisco treat?!