Saturday, March 31, 2012

Seal Rock Inn Restaurant

Survival of the craziest?

(I am not really that big of a fan of Seal, but he does have one very hot wife… and don't blame me, I thought this was gonna be a Patsy Cline EweToob video.)

It was a little too gloomy and rainy this morning to venture any place further away for breakfast, so I simply went with an old nearby fall-back, Seal Rock Inn Restaurant (see last 'blog-entry from February 12th, 2011) in the Richmond District, almost all the way to Ocean Beach (I was actually headed to the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House, but this place comes up first on my way and I was hungry). The enclosed "outdoor" patio area is covered by a canvas roof (it is a permanent one, not retractable) and you could hear the rain pattering away while eating. I never really gave it much thought, but there is an actual hotel/"Inn" involved with the restaurant (hence the name "Seal Rock Inn" Restaurant, nu?[1]), as witnessed by a full house of touristas/inn-dwellers there this morning.

Seal Rock Inn Restaurant (Does anyone else think that name is a tad bit long? From here on out, I will just refer to them as SRIR.) is particularly known for its "International Omelettes". I usually just get their Greek Omelette #1 or #2, which happen to be very good and two of my favourites of theirs; however, I noticed a new one on the menu since my last visit: Sophia's Omelette ~ Feta cheese, olives (black), onions (white), tomatoes (red), and spinach (green); served with hash brown (Okay, score another one for der FührGates and his spell-checker Nazis. SRIR has this as two separate words on their menu, but strangely enough, they have brown as a singular word. Wonder what Billy-boy and his Braunhemden would have to say about that.), toast (chose sourdough again) and jelly. I also had a cuppa house coffee.

I am calling this their "Greek Omelette #3". This was a very good omelette. It was made with lots of Feta and spinach (which was in the egg portion of the omelette, not inside with the other ingredients); however, they also only use the sliced, canned black olives (see last week's 'blog-entry) ~ this would be a huge winner if it had real Kalamata olives in it (and, as stated in the past, the owners are actually Greek, so I don't know why they don't).

For condimentary supplementation, SRIR only offers Tabasco®. One last time, I used (up) some Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Sean! That is one dead soldier now.[2]) on the hash brown (there really was more than one, though) and some Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the omelette. 

I asked my server who "Sophia" is, and was told that she is the owner's newest daughter-in-law. This was a very good omelette choice, Stingo.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Sophia's Omelette ~ 6.6

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

"Nu" (ну
) simply means "well"/"well now" in Russkij.

For some clarification, according to Leo Rosten's "The Joys of Yiddish":

"Pronounced noo, to rhyme with 'coo', but with various intonations and meanings…

'Nu' is a remarkably versatile interjection, interrogation, expletive.

Nu is the word most frequently used (aside from 'oy' and the articles) in speaking Yiddish. And with good reason: Nu is the verbal equivalent of a sigh, a frown, a grin, a grunt, a sneer. It is an expression of amusement or recognition or uncertainty or disapproval. It can be used fondly, acidly, tritely, belligerently.

Nu is a qualification, an emphasizer, an interrogation, a caster of doubt, an arrow of ire. It can convey pride, deliver scorn, demand response."

[2] It is highly unnecessary to send me a replacement, Sean. I still have about fifteen bottles of hot sauce to use in my refrigerator; this includes the stupid Blair's After Death that you gave me last year for my birthday and the utterly ridiculous "Son of Smart Arse" Sauce that Greg and Cindy gave me for Christmas last year, both of which I will probably not get a chance to use up this Millennium.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Olympic Flame Cafe

Πρωινό στο Geary, Έβδομο Μέρος

(No official website)

555 Geary Street (Maybe this should be another Thai restaurant, hahaha![1])

Phonicular contact: (415) 885-0984

(I may have linked "Never On Sunday" here in the past, but tough! You try to find a decent Greeky song/video on EweToob! As for the song from the Law Firm of Simon, Simon, Simon, Simon, and Garfunkel, I am also running out of versions of "On the Street Where You Live" and other "Street" related songs, what can I say?)

In continuing my epic breakfastary Odyssey along Geary Street/Boulevard, Mr. Simpson, this morning I ate at Olympic Flame Cafe, which is located on the corner of Geary Street and Allée Shannon[2]. This is a little diner-looking place; they only have counter seats and booths ~ nice! Most of the clientele all seemed to be regulars as both the cook, Louie, (whom I assumed to be the owner, and hopefully was Greek, as I greeted him with a hearty "Γ
ειά σου!" when I entered) and the waitress greeted many of them by name as they walked in.

Their menu is exactly what you might expect from a little, local diner ~ nothing really extravagant, but they did have many breakfast choices. You know what they say, "When in Greece, do as the Romans do and order the…" Greek Special Omelette ~ mushrooms, Feta cheese, and olives; served with country potatoes (they didn't specify which country, though) and toast (I chose sourdough again,
Ζορμπά). I also had a cuppa καφέ (just not a cuppa καφές ελληνικός ).

This was a strange combination of ingredients. When I think of Greece (which I do often), I usually don't picture μανιτάρια. Spinach, Feta, Kalamata Olives, sure, but not mushrooms. (There used to be a pretty decent pizza joint in "My Little Town" of Σούρμενα called The Red Mushrooms ~ Κόκκινο Μανιτάρια, though.) However, it all worked somewhat, and there was a good amount of Feta in it, which is always a plus. But I think this would have been 100% better with real Kalamata Olives and not the standard sliced canned ones; and, perhaps, some Greek herbs and spices.

Olympic Flame Cafe only has Tapatío® as its condimentary supplements. Once again I used some Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Sean!) on the country potatoes and a little Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Monster Double Medium Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) on the omelette.

Next up on Geary Street: Moulin Restaurant
(Which should be the last place on Geary Street proper, the next closest breakfast joint would be another mile or so west on what will now be Geary Boulevard.)

Καλή όρεξη!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greek Special Omelette ~ 5.55

[1] I don't know if I have ranted here before on my complete and utter dislike of all the stupid, useless Intro-nety jargon: "LOL", "ROFLMAO", "OK", etc. The first time I saw "LOL", as a novice to message boards, I thought someone was commenting about me being a "Loser On Line"; it took me several months to determine that they weren't just big fans of butter in Minnesota, either. I even tried Google Translate on "ROFLMAO", thinking it might be some Italiano cursing of which I was not familiar. I still have no idea just what the heck "OK" is supposed to mean.

To counteract all of this stupidity, I will usually post "555" back to the person. The number "5" in Thai is pronounced "ha". Let them figure it out, buncha Losers On Line!

That can be the stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day.

Bonjour, Shannon!

Why a Frenchy street name in San Francisco, you ask?

Shannon Alley is just two blocks long; it only goes from Post to O'Farrell.

Sorry, Cam, the closest foreign street name I could find in San Francisco to your name was Dummkopfstraße.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


… see ya… there for "Brunch"!

(The first two songs were actually playing on the house stereo while I was eating breakfast, and in that order, just not consecutively, I think there were a few songs between them. As this morning was a pretty dismal, rainy day, I asked my server if this was a weather theme; I half expected "Here Comes the Sun" to play next. The Bill Withers song is one of the best ~ but little heralded ~ songs to come out of the 70's. The third song by McKinley Morganfield[1] is self-explanatory if you keep reading where I went for coffee this morning.)

I have been meaning to get to Andalu (I am really not quite sure what the name means, perhaps it is a reference to the Andalucía[2] region of Spain; I asked my very friendly and helpful server, but she didn't know either) ~ over in the Mission, on the corner of 16th and Guerrero ~ ever since last year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 11 (see 'blog-entry from October 1st, 2011). Andalu runs a food wagon at the local festivals and the food is really much better than your run-of-the-mill corndog (if a mill ran corndogs, that is) or veggie-burger; not many restaurants also have roach-coaches at festivals, so I was intrigued to try their actual restaurant food.

Andalu is basically a hipster tapas joint at night and definitely a "Brunch" place (due to the atmosphere, location, and time that they open on Saturdays and Sundays ~ 10:30am is a little later than I normally go out to eat breakfast). They have very high 20-foot ceilings and orange velvet(?)[3] curtains hanging down all around (covering the walls mostly and not the windows), and they also have a balcony/mezzanine[4], which they use for private parties or overflow when they fill up (and by the looks of the crowd that was there this morning, that is every day). The old brick building is probably from the turn of the 20th Century and looks like it may have once been an old pharmacy from the ornate, gilded overhang out front.

Their "Brunch" menu isn't that extensive, but they do offer a number of interesting sounding egg dishes (scrambles and Benedicts ~ if I ever go back and order the Benedict, I definitely would have it with the Cambazola fondue, which is a mixture of Camembert and Gorgonzola cheeses!), French toast (or the Spanish equivalent), varieties of waffles, and salads and such. I ordered the Ultimate Veggie Scramble ~ Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms, Tomato, Spinach, Onions; served with toast and choice of Hashbrowns (Ha! They have it as one word, Herr Billgates!) or Polenta Fries. I also ordered a glass of Raspberry-Lemonade.

As Andalu really doesn't open until I usually have been awake for several hours already, I headed over to the Mission a bit early and stopped at Muddy Waters Coffee House, where I had a very strong cuppa; it was good enough, but had a bit of a burned flavour to it. I have been there many times before and knew the coffee to be pretty decent, so I will chalk up today's cuppa as just a bad batch.

"Brunch" comes with four fresh (mine were still piping hot, Peter) donut holes, dusted with cinnamon-sugar. These were very good and more than enough for me (the guy at the next table offered me his four as he said he needs to watch his carbohydrate intake, but I really couldn't have eaten another four and finished my meal). You can order these as an appetizer, too, and they would come with a thick cuppa Castilian Hot Chocolate for dipping them in.

There was lots of fresh, baby spinach leaves and brined (not marinated) artichoke hearts
in the scramble (I know, as a vegetarian, I should not really be eating anything made with hearts, but I also love ears of corn and heads of lettuce and cabbage). For my choices, I chose sourdough toast and Polenta Fries. The Polenta Fries were an "excellent" choice as they really were; crispy/crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

The Raspberry-Lemonade was not really on the menu as a non-alcoholic drink (they probably don't get too many Mormonians going there for either "Brunch Libations" or tapas, Brigham), but my server had them make one without the Vodka for me; it seemed to have been made from fresh raspberries. They even added some fresh-mulled mint, which really was a nice addition and perked it up even more. My server said they should name the drink after me; I told her that no one would want to buy something called "Lame-ass Lemonade", though.

Andalu has just Tabasco® for condimentary supplementation. I kinda figured on that and used some Sylvia'’s Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) on the Polenta Fries and some Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the scramble. I shared some of the PAFFPS with the guy at the next table, he also agreed that it was very good.

Seeing as I have never really been to Spain proper other than one week in Tenerife, Canary Islands (and, even then, we spent most of the time in a British resort hotel) and an all-night layover in Madrid/Torrejón Air Base (where we played Uno all night long) on my way to Saudi Arabia, I still don't know what a desayuno español auténtica entails.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Ultimate Veggie Scramble (especially with the inclusion of the Polenta Fries) ~ 7.0; Raspberry-Lemonade ~ 6.8; Muddy Waters Coffee House coffee ~ 6.4

[1] Here is some more information on Muddy Waters courtesy of (stolen from) our friends at Wikipedia:

How many 'merican music legends can say they had both a Rock-and/or-Roll band and a Rock-and/or-Roll Magazine named after one of their songs?

[2] Andalucía is located in the southern part of Spain:

[3] Not that I could ever really tell the difference between velvet or corduroy*, Mr. Reed.

Stupid, useless cunning linguist and pseudo-fabrician pointer du jour, numéro un:

"Velvet" comes from Old French "veluotte", from "velu" meaning "hairy", from Vulgar Latin "villutus" (unattested), from Latin "villus" meaning "shaggy hair".

*Which leads us to the stupid, useless cunning linguist and pseudo-textilian pointer du jour, numéro deux:

"Corduroy" is of American English origin, probably from "cord" plus obsolete 17th Century "duroy", a coarse, woolen fabric made in England. Folk etymology is from "corde du roi", "the king's cord", but this is not attested in French, where the term for cloth was "velours à côtes".

[4] Ha! Fooled you! I'll bet you were expecting another "stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer", weren't you? Look it up your damned self, fainéant!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grand Cafe Brasserie & Bar

Breakfast on Geary, Chapter 6

(The U2 video/song goes along with both the Saint Patrick's Day weekend and my "on the street where you live" theme; the other two are just some more great traditional Celtic crooners. Again, Mr. Kipe, if you have a problem with either songs #2 or #3, I may have too think twice about freeloading off of you during the Christmas Holidays; plus, I only know of song #3 as it was included on my pre-loaded iPod that was a gift from some very nice people in North Yorkshire.)

To continue my breakfastary journey along Geary Street/Boulevard I ate at Grand Cafe Brasserie[1] & Bar (which is located on the corner of Geary and Taylor Streets, next to Hotel Monaco; I am not sure of the relationship to the hotel, but there is an adjoining inner door). Their web-site states that they "are a modern French brasserie", but why they wouldn't include the accent aigu on the word "Café", je ne sais pas. They have classical music playing on the house stereo, very high ceilings, large columns (sorry, I can't tell a Doric from an Ionic from a Corinthian, Paul), and large chandeliers[2] in their "gilded Barbary Coast ballroom". If this place didn't open as early as they do (8:00am on Saturdays and Sundays) ~ more than likely to accommodate the tourista/hôtel crowd, it would probably be way too fancy for the likes of this paysan, Marie Antoinette; they actually use cloth napkins and tablecloths.

Both the French Toast (heirloom apples, cinnamon, and huckleberry sauce… but why not Pain Perdu, Frank?) and scrambled eggs and asparagus
tartine[3] looked really good on their "Brunch" menu. Now, normally any dish with asparagus is going to be my first choice; however, I just had a huge Chinese dinner the other night that was chock full of fresh asparagus, so I went with Herbed Goat Cheese & Spinach Omelet (again, why not "Omelette"?) ~ Herb roasted potatoes, mixed greens, choice of toast. I also had a glass of orange juice and a cuppa coffee.

There was lots of fresh sautéed spinach in this. I am not sure who this Herbert guy is, but I liked his goat cheese and potatoes. I had sourdough bread as my choice of toast, but skipped the mixed greens. The coffee was Peerless Coffee & Tea® Organic ~ Balthazar Blend; it was made perfectly and very strong. I happened to mention this to my server (whose name I did not get, sorry, Mrs. Huneycutt; besides, he was more my nephew Alan's type than yourn), who happened to be a fellow coffee-snob, and he actually brought me out a packet of the coffee to use at home.

Grand Cafe only offers Tabasco® as their condimentary supplements. I had come fully prepared and used some (getting near the last of it, too) Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) on the potatoes and some Benito's Original Naranja (Thanks, me!) on the omelette.

Next up on Geary Street: Olympic (Flame) Cafe (aussi sans l'accent aigu, but they are a Greeky place so this can be overlooked)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Herbed Goat Cheese & Spinach Omelet ~ 6.5

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numéro un:

"Brasserie" is not the French word for where the ladies secretly get their undies, Victoria; it literally means "brewery". It comes from the French root word "brasser", which means "to brew".

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

"Chandelier" is the French word literally meaning "something to hold candles", Mr. Bing.

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

"Tartine" is a fancy French open-faced sandwich. It is simplement the diminutive of "tarte" (a small pie).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Garden House Cafe

Happy Very Holy Person Patricius Day[1]!

(No official web-site.)

3117 Clement Street

phonicular contact: (415) 668-1640,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1366&bih=639&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=garden+house+cafe&fb=1&gl=us&hq=garden+house+cafe&hnear=0x80859a6d00690021:0x4a501367f076adff,San+Francisco,+CA&cid=18176808500880137965

(I just wanted to include some traditional Irish music in honour of the holiday. Sorry, you may need Google Translate to understand the garbled singing of Shane MacGowan; and you gotta love that he's smoking and drinking the entire time while this is being filmed.)

I really didn't have time or the appetite for a full breakfast (neither a Full Irish nor a Full English even, Monty ~ see 'blog-entries from January 26th, 2012 and January 1st, 2011) as I am having lunch later this (early) afternoon at a Mexican restaurant in San Mateo ("A man's got to know his limitations", Clint) and really didn't think I would be able to eat that much this morning and still have room for a decent lunch. So I simply had a quick breakfast at one of the closer coffee shops in my neighborhood, Garden House Cafe, which is just a block away from my apartment on Clement Street. It's a nice enough little place, and I like being able to just walk over there to get a fresh cuppa once in a while. You would think their coffee would be better than it is; however, it's usually kinda weak, but generally still better than the swill I can make at home (except for when I make some Bettys or Peet's®, of course). The truly fun part about this place is that they actually have a "garden" patio that you can enjoy your drinks and food on, "whether" permitting…

Garden House Cafe really only has your typical café menu and offers croissant or bagel sandwiches, pastries, and such. As they were fresh outta the "such" this morning, I simply got an egg and cheese (which was probably cheddar) bagel sandwich and a small cuppa Fog Lifter (a medium-dark roast blend) coffee. I also had a tangerine that I already had at home.

(Sorry, no picture of my breakfast this morning. It was a bagel with scrambled eggs and cheese, use your imagination.)

Now this is the strange part of the breakfast: I requested to have the sandwich on a cinnamon-raisin bagel. That was not the strange part; the lady behind the counter didn't bat an eye and said that was her favourite, too. It actually was a pretty tasty combination, savory-sweet.

I really didn't bother to ask what they had for condimentary supplementation, but, once again, I did use a little Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the eggs in the bagel. Seriously, don't knock it until you have tried it. I left my tangerine as it was, though, as putting any hot sauce on it would have been plain silly.

Tiocfaidh ár lá!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Egg & Cheese Bagel Sandwich ~ 5.7; Fog Lifter ~ 6.2; Tangerine ~ 6.5

[1] Just a few myth debunkers about "Saint" "Patrick":

a) Depending on whom you ask, his name was either:

Patricius (the official Latin name, which most religiosos would probably have gone by back in the 4th and 5th Century A.D.D.); Qatrikias (Primitive Irish); Cothraige or Coithrige (Old Irish); Pátraic (Middle Irish); Pádraig (Irish); Patric (Old Welsh); Padric (Middle Welsh); Padrig (Welsh); Patric (Old English). So, take your pick, or paig…

b) He is not an actual "Saint" in the Catholic Church as he has never been canonized by a Pope. However, the Catholic Church does recognize "Saint Patrick's Day" as a Catholic holiday; go figger.

c) There never were any snakes in Ireland that needed to be driven out (ceptin' maybe some local politicians and lawyers). I suppose I can claim to be the Patron Saint of New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland, and Antarctica by stating I drove all the (nonexistent) slithering reptiles from those lands.

d) He was not even Irish; he was born in what is probably now Wales.

If you have a problem with any of these facts, take it up with Wikipedia… or Cliff Clavin.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

La Scene Café & Bar

Breakfast on Geary, Part V

(I would just like to see what that cynical music critic from North Yorkshire would have to say about this particular EweToob video.)

Continuing my breakfastary venture ever westward along the street where I live, Professor Higgins, I ate at La Scene Café & Bar (on the corner of Geary and Taylor Streets, hence the above CCR song) this morning. They are mainly the house restaurant for the adjoining Warwick Regis Hotel, but do welcome anyone off the street (and believe me, the place was basically empty this morning for breakfast except for me and a lady from Texas). I have just one minor cunning linguist quibble (une chicane mineure d'un linguiste ruse): if they are going to use the accent aigu (the Frenchified way) in the word "Café" (not to mention the use of the feminine article "La" in their name), I think they should have spelled their name correctly as "La Scène" ~ avec accent grave.

Back in the late 80's to early 90's this restaurant space used to be called Regina's. The regal name had nothing to do with the hotel's name "Regis"; it just happened to be the owner's name. I know this, as I actually new Regina. Regina was a very good friend of an old Air Force buddy of mine, Abu/Al Johnson; Abu was the Manager of the restaurant (and possible part-owner, I was never quite sure what the exact story was there). I remember spending my very first Christmas in San Francisco with Abu, Regina, and her family at their house on Nob Hill/Russian Hill area (the food was fabulous of course).

The walls of La Scene are covered with sketches of actors and musicians that had probably acted/played in one of the nearby theatres. Some of the pictures are even autographed; I saw signatures from Olympia Dukakis, Kathleen Turner, Petula Clark, Judd Hirsch, and both Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar together on one. This is not quite the line-up like at the Cliff House, but it is still a nice touch (however, not touché). The wall nearest where I was sitting had these three sketches (none of which were autographed, though): Mae West, "Diamond Lil", 1928; C. Aubrey Smith[1], "The Bachelor Father", 1929; and Everett Marshall[2], "The Student Prince", 1942.

The breakfast menu is a bit minimalistic, they do have a few interesting items; however, I finally wanted to go back to my poor-taste joke from Pinecrest Diner (see 'blog-entry from February 19th, 2012) so I ordered the Traditional Eggs Benedict ~ two poached eggs with Canadian bacon (skipped it, Glen) on a toasted English muffin topped with Hollandaise sauce; accompanied by your choice of red creamer potatoes, fruit, or cottage cheese, and toast. I also had a cuppa the house coffee (whatever it was).

The Traditional Eggs Benedict (Well, how "Traditional" is it really without the dead, decaying porcine flesh?) was decent enough, but nothing much special ~ it was a nice Hollandaise sauce. I opted for the potatoes (Really?! Fruit or cottage cheese otherwise as a breakfastary side?! What am I, some kinda fat housewife from the 60's pretending to watch my calories?) as always. My server warned me before I ordered about their house coffee (she wasn't sure what brand it was, she was going to check for me, but it really wasn't necessary; now if it had been a very robust, tasty blend, I would have liked to have noted it) being a little on the weak and bland side; she was absolutely (or absolument) correct.

La Scene only had Tabasco® as their spicy, supplementary condimentation, but I had come completely prepared (or complètement préparé) with a few from my own collection. I went with a little (Ah, who am I kidding? I went with beaucoup.) Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the potatoes; some Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) on one of the eggs; and a little Cherry Republic® KaBOB's Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy and the music-hater!) on the other poached egg.

Next up on Geary Street: Grand Cafe (sans accent aigu, by the way)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Traditional Eggs Benedict ~ 6.0
(It really may have been just a 5.8 or 5.9, but I am giving it extra points for the atmosphere of the place and the extra-friendly young waitress ~ me and the other lady from Texas really taxed her with all of our stupid questions and stories about all the old actors, movies, and such on the walls; there was a sketch of a much younger Martin Sheen on one of the walls and the waitress said that he "looked familiar" ~ I had to explain to her that was because he was Charlie Sheen's dad… luckily I did not have to explain who Charlie Sheen was, though)

[1] Now I really had no clue who Sir Charles Aubrey Smith was, but his acting résumé (see, sans accents aigu, this word would just mean "to begin again/to continue") was actually pretty extensive:

 [2] Again, I was not really familiar with Everett Marshall, either; he seemed to have a bigger stage acting career than film career:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cinderella Bakery & Café

"This one's for all you fairy tale fans…"

(Finding a decent EweToob video/song to go along with today's breakfastary theme was about as difficult as finding a decent place to eat for breakfast along Balboa Street.)

Once upon a time (well, since 1953 or so) in the far away district of Richmond in the fairy kingdom (queendom?) of San Francisco there lived an authentic, homestyle Russian bakery called Cinderella Bakery & Café

I finally got around to bringing my car to the tyre shop to get the two new rear tyres (well, actually, I had the front tyres rotated to the back and the new ones are on the front now; this was per the recommendation of the tyre shop guys as I have front-wheel drive and most of the weight is in the front and those wear out quicker) that I had been planning on getting for the past three weeks. Of course, now I was back to trying to find a decent enough place (close by and somewhat quick as they said it would only take 45 minutes to do the job for me) for breakfast. I headed over to Balboa Street and really only knew of one option: so Cinderella Bakery & Café it was.

Why they ever chose the moniker "Cinderella", я
не хуя знаю. As best as I know, the Cinderella folk tale is of French origin, not Russian. If you had clicked on their official website link above, you would have seen an animated intro with matrëshka[1] dolls, which they use for their logo; however, there is no related story as to why the bakery is named as it is.

There is only a limited amount of items to get for breakfast other than pastries (from their local bakery) and bagels (which are actually from House of Bagels, see 'blog-entry from May 2nd, 2010) and such. I really have no idea what a
типичный русский завтрак actually consists of (Do they drink shots of Vodka this early in the morning?). I gave some thought to getting one of their piroshki or pirogi[2] (vegetarian piroshki choices: potato, mushroom, cabbage, or spinach and Feta; vegetarian pirogi choices: cabbage with butter and egg, or mushroom and clear noodles), but I just ended up going with Blinchiki[3] with Sweet Cheese, served with sour cream or raspberry jam (they actually provided both) on the side, and a cuppa Earl Grey[4] tea to drink.

There were only two blinchiki (think rolled-up crêpes, Russian-style); this was not really a lot to eat, but they were very good. I put just a small amount of sour cream on each, but made sure to use up all of the raspberry jam on both. The best way to describe "sweet cheese" is that it is a soft cheese very similar to cream cheese, I suppose.

The tea was a very strong cuppa, made with The Republic of Tea® "Earl Greyer" and went very well with the blinchiki.

I noticed after I had already eaten, that Cinderella Bakery offers a drink called "Kompot". They had a detailed explanation what kompot is on their menu board; basically, it's a fruit juice drink popular in Western Europe. I probably shoulda gotten one of them, too.

After breakfast, I also bought a small poppyseed roulette (interesting to note: Cinderella Bakery has this as one word; however, the spell-check Nazis at Microsoft® have a problem with "poppyseed" as one word, must be some resentment leftover from the cold, disappointing Leningrad Winter of 1944-1945) and a one-pound pack of Cherry Strudel (also available in raspberry and apricot); there are about twelve pieces of mini-strudel in a pack. I ended up giving the strudel to the guys at the tyre shop as an after-work bribe for a job well done (they really did get it done under 45-minutes).

Not that I got to use any on my blinchiki, but I did notice that Cinderella Bakery has Tabasco® for condimentary supplementation on the counter/table with all of the coffee/tea basics.

Pay It Forward Weekend (continued, Part III):
Yet still again I stopped at Peet's Coffee & Tea® on Geary Boulevard and had a small cuppa Blend 101® before going to the tyre shop. Once again I plied the baristo with a fiver and explained what to do with it.

And I ate happily ever after… (well, until I finish the poppyseed roulette later this afternoon)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Blinchiki with Sweet Cheese ~ 6.6; Peet's® Blend 101® ~ 7.5

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,
номер один:

"Matrëshka" (or "Matryoshka", however you want to transliterate it ~ I prefer using the umlauted "ë", which is pronounced as "yo", Adrian, as that is the actual letter in the Cyrillic alphabet) comes from the Russkij word "
матрёшка" which means "little matron" (it is the diminutive form of the word "матрёна" meaning "matron", which comes from the basic word root "мать" meaning "mother"). Matrëshka dolls are simply those wooden Russian stacking/nesting dolls.

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day,
во вторую очередь:

Пирожки" ("piroshki" or "pirozhki") is the plural form of the Russian word "пирожок" ("pirozhok"); piroshki/pirozhki are baked or fried buns stuffed with a variety of fillings. "Pirozhok" is the diminutive form of the word "пирог" ("pirog"), which means "pie".

Пироги" ("pirogi") is the plural form of the word "pirog". Generally, Russian pirogi are pies made with puff pastry and have a sweet or savoury filling. (These are not to be confused with the Polish/East European "pierogi", which are more of a dumpling; those would be called "пельмени"/"pel'meni" or "вареники"/"vareniki" in Russian. Are we completely confused or hungry yet?)

Both words are already in the plural form, so "piroshkis" and "pirogis" would be incorrect.

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day,

"Blinchiki", or "
блинчики" in Russian, is the diminutive form of the word "blini" ("блины" in Russian). Blini (or blintz in Yiddish) are a thin pancake similar to a crêpe.

Again, both blinchiki and blini are already the plural forms, so "blinchikis" and "blinis" would be incorrect (I have no idea what the plural of "blintz" would be, though ~ "blintze"/"blintzen"/"blintzes"?).

[4] I may have covered this once here before, but in case I didn't, here is some Earl Grey info (courtesy of our friends at

The first time I ever drank Earl Grey tea I thought that it had gone bad as I didn't know that was how it was supposed to taste with the bergamot flavouring. It is now one of my favourite teas; especially when it is a good blend.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

David’s Delicatessen/Deli & Bistro

Breakfast on Geary, going 4th

474 Geary Street (at Taylor)

Phonicular contact: (415) 276-5950

(Okay this is the best video/music link I could think of to borrow from EweToob without disturbing some readers/listeners that happen to live in Sharow, Ripon, North Yorkshire, England ~ you know who you are without me having to get too specific. You try and find a good song about "delicatessens"[1] or "delis". I prefer the "original" Mott the Hoople version of this "cover" by David Bowie[2], so I included it also. I just couldn't figure out a the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" ~ no relation to Glen, by the way ~ link from Ian Hunter to "delicatessen".)

I must say that I went to David's Delicatessen/Deli & Bistro (the awning says "Delicatessen" and the menus say "Deli & Bistro", take your pick) with just a little apprehension (and a side order of trepidation) this morning as I had read many (many, many, many) horrible reviews of the place on yelp*. Now, normally I don't check out
yelp* before going to eat at a place; however, David's does not have a web-site to check out their menu and times, so I was just trying to find out when they open and if there were some decent choices for breakfast for me to decide on. But David's was next in line on my breakfastary trek down Geary Street/Boulevard and I really didn't feel like skipping it due to some (well... many, many, many, many) bad reviews. Plus, you needn't believe everything you read on the Intro-Net, Bertrand[3].

I know I had eaten at David's many years ago for lunch or dinner, probably back when it was still owned by the actual David on the awning. I was wondering just how the place stayed in business if it was as horrid as some of the reviews I had read; then I noticed that the place was full of touristas. It is located smack-dab in the middle of the Theatre District and surrounded by hotels. There are really not that many choices in the neighborhood (especially now that Dottie's True blue café has moved further away from the area and Max's down the block has closed). Just down the counter from me (the main dining area is an oval diner-esque countertop; there are other tables and booths and a separate dining room for overflow, I suppose) there was a group of Israeli tourists, seated two seats from me was a Japanese tourist, and across the counter were two French tourists (one of them actually ordered the "French Toast", I wonder if she was just expecting to get some burned bread). Other than during theatre performances, I doubt that it gets a lot of repeat business from locals.

They actually have a decent enough breakfast menu. I was going to order the Potato Pancakes (and a side of eggs), but wasn't sure if that was going to be enough for me (or too much to eat). Plus, as I was walking in I happened to notice the dessert/pastry display and really wanted to try the Raspberry Macaroon. I had no room for anything after breakfast, but I did make sure to pick up one of the aforementioned macaroons, plus another Chocolate Macaroon (which I am enjoying right now as I write this ~ the secret ingredient is mocha cream added inside) and an Almond Bar (with cherries all through it and bottom-coated with chocolate, too). The Delicatessen Omelette sounded interesting, but my server told me it is made with both pastrami and corned beef. There is (are?) no Eggs Benedict on the menu, which I am not so sure I would have ordered, anyway (see 'blog-entry from February 19th, 2012 for the reference to that joke).

I ended up ordering Cheese & Mushroom Omelette ~ (Do I really need to list the ingredients?) served with hash browns (they have this as two words on the menu; they must be on Microsoft's® payroll), rye bread, Siberian Soldier's bread, egg twist (Challah[4]), Kaiser roll, white, or whole wheat bread; and a large glass of orange juice.

I went with Swiss cheese and rye bread toast as my choices. I really wanted to try the Siberian Soldier's bread (whatever that might be), but my server said that they were out of it; my server described it as a type of dark rye ("marble" rye, perhaps, from Schnitzer's?!). This was not the worst omelette I have ever had (that would be one of my own attempts, of course), it was just a simple omelette ~ not bad, not great ~ it did have lots of Swiss cheese in it, at least. Also on the plus side, the hashbrowns were extra crispy, just like I like them.

David's only offers Tapatío® for condimentary supplements. I came more than prepared this morning (after having to settle for the Tapatío® yesterday) and used a lot of Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the hashbrowns, and to the omelette I added some Sylvia's Restaurant® Kickin' Hot Hot Sauce (for that authentic New Yorkese feel, Sean).

Pay It Forward Weekend (continued):
Once again, I stopped at Peet's Coffee & Tea® on Geary Boulevard on my way downtown, Petula. This morning I just got a shotta espresso; however, I did add a few drops of Cholula® to it (which I had also brought with me). Now this may sound like a very strange thing (Have you read any of my other culinary quirks here?), but it was not something that I had thought up; this is something that one of the baristas/baristos had invented at that particular location ~ adding a few drops of hot sauce to a shot of espresso, and I think they called it a "Scorpion" or something like that ~ it really adds a bit of a bite and a jolt with the coffee. Plus, I got the shot in my favourite "Monkey dancing with Dog" motif[5] cup. For my "Pay It Forward" endeavour, I gave the baristo another fiver and explained again what to do with it.

I am very happy to say that despite all the yelpish warnings, I did not have to suffer through any Bubonic Plate Special or Ptomaine on the House

Next up on Geary Street: La Scene

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Cheese & Mushroom Omelette ~ 5.5; Peet's® Espresso Scorpion (with Cholula®) ~ 7.0; Chocolate Macaroon ~ 6.7

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day, Nummer eins:

"Delicatessen" is a loanword from German. "Delicatessen" is the plural form of "Delicatesse". In German, "Delicatesse" itself was a loanword from the French "délicatesse" meaning "delicacy, fine food". The root word derives from the Latin adjective "delicatus", meaning "giving pleasure, delightful, pleasing".

[2] How many people are aware that David Bowie's real name was David Jones? He had it changed in the 60's after deciding "Davy" or "Davie" Jones was not cutting it (pun completely intended with his new chosen last name) for him and it also caused confusion with the Monkees singer of the same name.

[3] "Even when the experts all agree, they may well be wrong." ~ Bertrand Russell

"If 50,000,000 people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." ~ Bertrand Russell

[4] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day,
מספר 2:

"Challah" or "hallah" simply comes from the Hebrew word
לחם" meaning "loaf of bread".

[5] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numéro trois:

"Motif" comes from the French word "motif" meaning "dominant idea, theme" (see: motive).