Sunday, April 29, 2012

Eats


I wonder if Thomas Pynchon is a kale fan, too.



(No official website, still.)

50 Clement Street

Phonicular contact:
(415) 751-8000




(The first EweToob video/song is pretty self-explanatory; it's not my favourite Blondie tune, but you try finding a song with "Eat" in the title, Mr. Yankovic. The second video/song is just because I heard this on the radio on my way home after breakfast, and I like the duet between Mark Knopfler/Geordie Dixon[1] and James Taylor/Charlie Mason.)


Ate at Eats again this morning (see last 'blog-entry from January 14th, 2012). It's early in the Baseball-y Season and I am working my way through my Starting Line-up still.

I have already tried many of the breakfastary dishes on their menu, but I will not be averse in retrying some of them again. There are still a few of the "sweet" variety that I may have to check out (Ms. Gannon, please take note.): Waffle Berries & Cream and Cream Cheese Stuffed Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut French Toast, which is not on the printed menu yet, just on their specials board. I settled on Spicy Tomato Skillet ~ kale, sautéed onions, potatoes, bell peppers, sunny up eggs (their cutesy term, not mine ~ I would never submit to the use any vernacular; I ain't an idjit, after all), Parmesan, and grilled bread (that is basically "toast" for you illiterati). I also had to order a side o' Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes (I don't care that there were already potatoes in the main dish, have you ever heard me rave about this side dish?!). I also had a cuppa coffee and a large glass of Refresher ~ cucumber, pineapple, romaine[2], lime.




Now this was not exactly what I was expecting from what I read on the menu; it was served in a mini cast iron skillet with the eggs laid on top (they placed the eggs on top of the mess, they didn't have actual poultry sitting on the skillet atop the stove; that would just be foolish) and it was all a kind of a vegetable stew with croutons[3] on top also. The sauce seemed to be a tomato-based one, and it wasn't really that "spicy", but it did have a nice enough flavour. It was made with lots of kale (which I was very happy to see was one of the more prevalent ingredients), two colours of bell peppers: red and green, and lots of layers of red potatoes.

Today there were only 6-7 cloves of garlic in the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes, which I made sure to put to good use on my grilled bread.

Eats has brand new coffee mugs; they are red with white lettering (the old ones were white with red lettering), same logo and style.

Eats has a pretty decent variety of condimentary supplements from which to choose: Tabasco® (standard red); Cholula®; and Tapatío®. I was well aware of this, but had brought a few of my own anyway, and used some Cherry Republic® KaBob's Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy!) on the skillet and a little Oaxacan Hot Sauce (Thanks, me!) on the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes. I like that they have fresh pepper grinders on each table, which makes taking my McCormick® Peppercorn Grinder with me a bit superfluous (Thanks for the idea anyway, Flukwheat!).

If you are a kale fan like me (and I think they should rename the dish Spicy Kale with some tomato and other junk in it Skillet), this is a great starter to any day; plus, it never hurts to have the extra carbohydrates from the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes.


Glen Bacon Scale RatingSpicy Kale with some tomato and other junk in it Skillet ~ 7.0; Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes ~ 7.5; Refresher ~ 6.9


[1] This isn't a stupid useless cunning linguist pointer, it's more of a stupid, useless historical/personal/shameless friend promotion pointer:


Did you know that the Mason-Dixon Line is actually a right angle? I guess it just sounds better than the Mason-Dixon Orthogonal.


Now, I brought that point up mainly to reference the name "Dixon". I have a very old friend (well, I have known him for a very long time, and he is also almost as old as I am) named Jack Dixon that has just had his second historical novel published: Jerusalem Falls.

http://jack-dixon.blogspot.com/


It is currently only available as an e-book (and only through Amazon on their Kindle, I believe), but should be out soon in paperback form. I am holding out for the printed version (and hopefully a hardcover one), as I really hate e-readers. Books are a tactile pleasure for me. Until they can make a paper e-reader where you can actually feel and smell the pages, I will stick with my current habits, thank you very much.

Just to let you know, I am not a Luddite or Amish or anything; however, both of my parents were Shakers.

Also, coincidentally enough, Jack happens to be from Philadelphia, Mr. Mason (he may or may not be of Geordie descent, though).

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day, numéro un:
 

"Romaine" simply comes from French, it is the feminine form of "Romain", which is French for "Roman". It is not named after John Stamos' ex-wife.

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day, numéro deux:

The word "crouton" is derived from the French "croûton", which is the diminutive of  "croûte", meaning "crust".

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mel’s drive-in


Breakfast on Geary, 1oth Part


 
http://www.melsdrive-in.com/



 
Continuing my ever westward journey along Geary Boulevard/Street, I had breakfast at Mel's drive-in again (see last 'blog-entry from May 29th, 2010). This was Mel's drive-in, honey[1], not Mel's Diner, so I wasn't expecting Alice or Flo to be waiting on me; besides, Alice doesn't live here any more, Martin.

Mel's drive-in is a mini-chain of restaurants/nostalgia-styled diners in California; four in Northern California and four in Southern California (Sorry, Mr. Lucas, there isn't one in Modesto any more; it's probably a d*mn St*rbucks by now, anyway). The original Mel's restaurant opened in San Francisco in 1947 on Lombard Street (Yeah, yeah, yeah... "The crookedest street in America… west of Pennsylvania Avenue."), but had closed by 1972. The current chain was re-established in 1985 by one of Mel's sons.

I really like the fact that they are open 24 hours on the weekend. Plus they have their own private parking lots (the location on Geary Boulevard is a lot larger and easier to access than the new location on Lombard), which is always a very good thing in the crowded city.

Mel's offers a good selection of items on their breakfast menu (which I think are available at all hours of operation). They also have a weekend "Brunch" specials menu that has several non-diner-esque choices. I ordered Tortilla[2] Scramble ~ strips of fried corn tortillas, green chilies[3] scrambled with eggs and Monterey Jack cheese, served with grilled potatoes (SPICY). I also forewent ("forewent"? Who says "forewent" now-a-days?) my usual cuppa coffee and had a glass of
Vanilla Coca-Cola® (made with real artificial vanilla-flavoured syrup, of course).




Now this is not your typical diner fare, but this is California, after all. This was basically a version of chilaquiles (this ain't as good as Chava's or SanJalisco®, but it ain't bad for a diner, drive-in, or even a dive, Guy); slices of corn tortillas fried and then added to a mess o' scrambled eggs and other stuff. It really was not that "SPICY", but there were a lot of green chillies (Ortega or Anaheim, probably) in it. It also had a good amount of onions and tomatoes in it, which weren't stated on the menu, but really add to the dish.

The Vanilla Coke® was good, too, and had the ubiquitous maraschino[4] cherry floating on top. I am not quite sure what ingredients are used to preserve these cherries (an old friend of mine always used to call them "formaldehyde cherries"), but there is an apocryphal story about Napoleon (Monsieur Bonaparte, not Dynamite) and these cherries. Apparently he was a big fan of these little delicacies and ate them all the time. The story goes that years after he had been dead, they performed an autopsy on him and found some undigested maraschino cherries in his stomach. I don't know how true any of that is, but there is a variety of cherry named "Napoleon".

Mel's drive-in just has Tabasco® for its condimentary supplementation. It really didn't matter, as once again I had come well prepared and used a little Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the scramble and a little Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Original Mild on the potatoes (the condimentary mojo really didn't seem to help out the Boston Red Sox much last weekend, but I blame that on their crummy Bullpen, not my choice of hot sauce).

The only thing missing from the whole experience was seeing a white '56 T-bird slowly driving by, piloted by a beautiful blonde mouthing "I love you!" to me (of course, if she were the original owner, I really don't think I'd be wasting an entire night chasing after her, Mr. Dreyfuss).





Next up on Geary Boulevard: Lou's Cafe (re-chicken)


Glen Bacon Scale RatingTortilla Scramble ~ 6.6; Vanilla Coke® ~ 6.5


[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist and pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day, number one:
Variations of the word "Mel/Meli" are the words in many foreign languages for "honey", dear.
Catalan: mel
Esperanto: mielo
French: miel
Galician: mel

Greek: μέλι
Haitian Creole: siwo myèl
Irish: mil
Italiano: miele
Latin: melle
Portuguese: mel
Spanish: miel
Welsh: mêl

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist and pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day, número dos:

Simply enough, "tortilla" means "little torta" or "little cake" in Spanish.

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist and pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day, número tres:

They had this spelled as "chilies" on the menu; however, there are several accepted spellings of these picante peppers, Peter. It can be spelled as either "chili/chilies", "chilli/chillies", or "chile/chiles". The word comes from Spanish "chile", which comes from Nahuatl "chilli".

[4] Stupid, useless cunning linguist and pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day, numero quattro:

The word "Maraschino" comes from Italian and refers to the marasca cherry of Croatian origin and the maraschino liqueur made from it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lucky Penny Coffee Shop



Breakfast on Geary, Number nine... number nine... number nine...
 


(No official web-site)

2670 Geary Boulevard

Phonicular contact: (415) 921-0836




(As today is Earth Day, I really wanted to link the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song "Mother Earth (Provides for Me)", but stupid EweToob didn't have it. Sorry. Hope these songs will do instead. I have no idea why Al & Peg Bundy pop up at the beginning of the Waterboys video. Be good to your Mother, Earth.)


(Am I in Stars Hollow, Rory? This is my kinda place! )


When I first started my "Breakfast on Geary" series, I really expected there to be many more restaurants to eat at for breakfast. Geary Street/Boulevard runs about 6.5 Miles East-West (or West-East, depending on which direction you are heading) across San Francisco; and there are probably over a hundred restaurants along it, but not that many that are actually open for breakfast. However, here I am at about the half-way west point (or half-way Annapolis) and I think I can count on one hand the number of restaurants left to try (even less, if my name were Ronnie Lott).

I went back to Lucky Penny Coffee Shop (see last 'blog-entry from October 1st, 2011) for today's breakfast. It is on the corner of Geary (Boulevard) and Masonic (Avenue), in the Laurel Heights/Western Addition/Inner Richmond triangulated area, right above the Geary Boulevard tunnel. If you are wondering why I have the restaurant name spelled as "Shop" with just the "S" in bold lettering, it is not a typo, this is because the last time I was there it was still dark out and the "hop" lights were out. Of course, this lame joke makes no sense in the light of day, but I can assure you, it really killed with Barnabas Collins and his group.

This morning I had a Spinach Omelette ~ chopped spinach and Jack cheese; served with hash browns (they also have it as two words on their menu; looks like I am losing my battle with the Spell-check Nazis at Microsoft®) and toast. They specify that you can order "3 buttermilk pancakes for substitution instead of hash browns and toast", which is a nice choice.





This was a decent enough, diner-style omelette. It was made with just (chopped) frozen spinach, but at least the omelette was very large and it was loaded with a lot of the green stuff. I stuck with the hashbrowns (Sorry, I prefer this as one word, Billy-boy; my 'blog, my rules!) and toast instead of the pancakes substitution and had English muffins as my toastery choice.

Remembering that Lucky Penny doesn't really offer anything more than the typical dinerish coffee (even if they have "Coffee Shop", or "Coffee Shop", in their name), I stopped beforehand for a cuppa coffee at Royal Ground Coffee (the one that is just a few blocks away; there are actually two shops on Geary Boulevard, by the way). Royal Ground Coffee is a mini-chain of coffee houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. This may have been a slightly better choice than ordering coffee at
Lucky Penny, but probably not by much; it was actually pretty disappointing for a place that specializes in coffee.





 
Lucky Penny only offers Tabasco® as its condimentary supplements. I came well prepared and used a little Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the omelette and a little Cholula® on the hashbrowns.

Next up on Geary Boulevard: Mel's drive-in (redux)


Glen Bacon Scale RatingSpinach Omelette ~ 5.7; Royal Grounds Coffee ~ 5.9

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baker Street Bistro


Petit-déjuener à le frais, Signor Alberto Fresco.


 


(Man, that Jimmy Fallon guy has seen better days, the late night hours are taking their toll on him and make him look thirty years older than he really is; but he is still pretty talented. By the way, support Farm Aid and have a great Earth Day.)


I went back to Baker Street Bistro (see last 'blog-entry from January 28th, 2012) for mon petit-déjuener. I sat outside on their sidewalk patio as it was an unbelievably nice morning for April ~ Mother Earth provides for me ~ and just in time for Earth Day, too!

Baker Street Bistro offers a pretty nice line-up for breakfast. I have never had their Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame (both contain the dead, decaying little piggy flesh), but I would think they would be nice choices. They also offer several interesting versions of Eggs Benedict (I have had both Oeufs Baker Street Bistro and Oeufs Florentine and liked them). Plus, for the truly adventurous at heart, there is Moules Poulette, mussels in a cream sauce.

I forewent all of the former and had Pain Perdu ~ Two slices of cinnamon French Toast, fresh fruit, strawberry coulis[1], & crème fraîche. I also ordered a side of home fries (they have this as two words on the menu ~ score one for Monsieur Gates and company) and a cuppa great coffee.




Yada, yada, yada[2]… What else can I say that I haven't already said many times about cette version la plus excellente de Pain Perdu? C'est tout simplement le meilleur Pain Perdu I have ever had. The strawberry coulis (which was somehow missing from the plate this morning) and crème fraîche only add to its greatness, as well as the orange-infused maple syrup that comes with it; however, even sans les extras, this is still one of the best ever, not only in San Francisco, but very possibly this side of l’océan Atlantique.

Today's fresh fruit (fruits frais du jour): grapes (raisins), oranges (oranges), cantaloupe (cantaloup), watermelon (pastèque), pineapples (ananas), and (et) apples (pommes).

As it is still the start of the new Baseball season and the Boston Red Sox are struggling of late ("struggling" is just a nice euphemism for "total suckfest", of course), for condimentary supplementation I used a little of my own BIG PAPI En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Original Mild (Thanks, Kerry!) on the potatoes; hopefully this will bring a little hot sauce mojo for the home team.

Whenever I am in this neighborhood I always like to check out the Wild Parrots of San Francisco that roost in the Presidio. I heard about a dozen this morning, but only saw 4-5 high up in the Eucalyptus trees near the Lombard Gate. Okay, this is a pretty crappy (guano-y?) photo, but they are all pretty high off the ground.




Et voila[3]! Bon appétit!


Glen Bacon Scale RatingPain Perdu ~ 8.1 (I took .1 off the normal rating due to the missing strawberry couils, but it's still one of the best French Toasts with or without any extra fancy-shmancy accoutrement); Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5


[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer du jour, numéro un:

A "coulis" is a sauce made with puréed vegetables or fruit and used as a base or garnish. The word literally means "puréed" in French and comes from Old French "couleis", from Vulgar Latin "colāticus", from Latin "colātus", past participle of "colāre" meaning "to strain".

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

As discussed by Leonard Alfred Schneider, PhD - Linguistics, Hahvahd University:

 
"Yada-yada-yada comes from Hebrew, from the Ancient Aramaic word for 'that which shall not be mentioned and glossed over nonchalantly, you anti-dentite bastard'!"*

[3] Of course, the voila is not as cool an instrument as the cello, with all due respect to Rob Paravonian:



 

*(Nah, I'm just kidding here, Jerry. Once again, never believe anything you read on the Intro-Net, especially if it is written by me. If you want to verify anything here, you can always do your own research on the World Wild Webs yourself.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Outerlands

"There is nothing wrong with your 'Brunch'. Do not attempt to adjust the menu… "



http://outerlandssf.com/


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CtjhWhw2I8


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaNt9-QkiHI



At the suggestion of a co-worker (Thanks, Lori!) I decided to check out a relatively new, but very popular and trendy (read: "hipster doofus chic") place way out in the "outer lands" of the Sunset District. The aptly-named Outerlands is right along the N-Judah Muni line and about five blocks from Ocean Beach. They only have eight tables (ranging from 2-5 persons seating) and three window-counter seats; plus, six "out(erland)side" tables on the sidewalk (weather permitting). Now I am the last person that can ever complain about long lines and waiting times as I do it often enough when I eat at Dottie's True blue café. This place is much the same, there was already a semi-full sign-in sheet and many people waiting patiently when I got there (twenty minutes before they opened); and I noticed that the sign-in sheet went to Page Two even before they had started seating the first group. Luckily, I was seated with the first wave of diners; I got one of the window-counter seats (one of the benefits of dining alone; no matter how "So Lonely" it may seem, Gordon).

The walls are just plain, unadorned wood. The interior is like you are eating at a cabin near the beach. They have this really cool Winnie-the-Pooh hole as their office space, which must be reached by climbing up a ladder and then parting a curtain; they have to sit on cushions on the floor, as the ceiling is not tall enough to stand up in or to accommodate a chair to sit on.





Their "Brunch" menu really doesn't have an awful lot of choices (just six or seven items); however, what they do offer all sounded great and most can be made for stupid vegetarians with the omission of the dead, decaying animal flesh. To start, I went with a Beet and Farro[1] Salad ~ arugula, Parmesan, sherry vinaigrette. For my main meal I had the Dutch Pancake ~ baked in a cast iron pan; sweet ~ topped with spiced apples (and a caramel sauce); with added house-made ricotta. I also ordered a glass of Lemon Ginger Apple Cider and a cuppa Sightglass Coffee, Americano style.

http://sightglasscoffee.com/






I knew from the ingredients that I was going to love the salad. I was correct, as the salad was excellent: beets ~ very good; farro ~ very good; arugula ~ good; lots of shaved Parmesan cheese ~ very good! I still contend 'mericans don't eat enough beets. I love 'em.

The
Lemon Ginger Apple Cider (which can be ordered either hot or iced; I went with iced, as I had ordered the coffee for my hot drink) was very good, too. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but this was more cider-y than a lemonade-style drink.

Now as for the Dutch Pancakes ~ Wow! They are baked in the oven (I am not sure if it was a "Dutch Oven" or not, something smelled kinda funny... *sniff, sniff*) and were very fluffy/eggy; plus, the sliced green apples with the caramel sauce was perfect on top. This can be ordered as a "savoury" dish instead, which would have bacon in it for you porky-lovin' fools (I bet it would be very good with both the apples and caramel on top and the bacon inside). They warn you ahead of time that this dish can take up to twenty minutes to prepare, but I had barely finished my salad before the pancake was brought out, so the timing was perfect.

I really don't know what Outerlands offers as condimentary supplements as I didn't really order anything that required any; however, I had come prepared with a few of my own hot sauces just in case and thought about using some on the salad, but thought better of it after trying some of the salad. There was maple syrup provided to use on the pancake, though; I used a little bit, but the tasty caramel sauce really was enough.

The wait wasn't really as "out(er)landish" as I had expected and the food more than compensated for any time wasted. Would I go back there again, Mr. Sumner? Hell, yeah! And I really want to check out their dinner menu, too.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Beet and Farro Salad ~ 7.0; Dutch Pancake ~ 7.5; Lemon Ginger Apple Cider ~ 6.9


[1] Farro is simply whole wheat grains prepared with an Italiano twist:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farro


Sorry, no stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer on this word, as there isn't even a definition for it in dictionary.com.

Of course, this word is not to be confused with the card game "Faro", Mr. Zamudio.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHF558u6Q_8

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ella’s

"The one with the grilled asparagus, pea sprouts, roasted garlic, and Havarti."






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOvvJTv_E_w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04KQydlJ-qc&ob=av2e


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sShMA85pv8M



Seeing as Baseball season is finally upon us, I thought it was about time to revisit some of my Starting
Rotation so I went back to Ella's (see last 'blog-entry from January 8th, 2012) over in Laurel Heights, Norvell. I took a "window seat" at the counter that overlooks the bakery/kitchen area (no extra charge for the show, but I did make sure to tip the four guys working there a dollar apiece). There was even one dancing prep-guy: I saw him a-swayin' and a-boppin' to the beat of his own drummer while he was chopping up a heap o' potatoes; at first I had thought that he just really liked his job, but then I noticed that he had an MP3 earphone in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-SHHZ8xpV0&feature=fvsr


(Yes, I know Linda Ronstadt's version is better, but Mike was the writer and recorded it first. Besides, Mike was another musician that was also a fellow veteran of the Air Force: e.g. Glenn Miller, Johnny Cash, Harry Chapin, Ginger Baker[1], etc.)

Ella's really doesn't offer too many choices on their Weekend "Brunch" menu (I think there are only ten items from which to choose), but what they do offer are usually very interesting and always incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients. Most of the items can be made into stupid vegetarian dishes with the exclusion of the dead, decaying animal flesh without really altering the taste (that is, if you are a stupid vegetarian, like me). I cheated before I even headed over there this morning and checked out this weekend's menu and knew exactly what I was going to order: Potato Scramble ~ with grilled asparagus,
pea sprouts, roasted garlic, and Havarti (with two eggs added in to the mess). This comes with a choice of fresh baked bread/toast; once more, I went with the honey-oat-raisin toast. I also had a glass of Ginger Orange Juice Punch.




If it were just asparagus in the scramble, I might have opted for this dish anyway; however, with the inclusion of the pea sprouts I knew it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to 1) order this, and 2) enjoy it mightily. I was also happy to see that there were lots of both the asparagus and pea sprouts; not to mention that the roasted garlic was a nice sweet and savoury addition to the whole mess.

Before going to Ella's I stopped across the street to get a cuppa mighty fine joe[2] of Blue Bottle Coffee, Giant Steps blend. I drank most of it while waiting in line for Ella's to open, and brought the remainder in with me (they never seem to complain).

http://store.bluebottlecoffee.net/Detail.bok?no=3


Ella's has as condimentary supplementation just Tabasco® (both the standard red and green Jalapeño) and Tapatio®. Knowing very well what they had to offer from many visits there, I came prepared with some of my own collection and used some Serious Food… Silly Prices ~ Mango Hot Sauce[3] (Thanks, Cindy! This was newly opened and did not cause any heart palpitations like some of the other hot sauces you tried to poison me with… er, gave to me at Christmas.) and some Oaxacan Hot Sauce (Thanks, Manny![4]). Today's home-made (well, restaurant/bakery-made) jelly was a pretty decent strawberry jam.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Potato Scramble ~ 7.5; Blue Bottle Coffee Co. Giant Steps coffee ~ 7.0


[1] Only a few old hippies will get that joke.


[2] Here's a little-known fact, Mr. Clavin:


The Americanism "joe" as a slang term for coffee is a reference to Johann Sebastian Bach in honour of his "Coffee Cantata".*


[3] Unlike some of the more recent fiery hot sauces I was given at Christmas, this one was much more mellow and easily palatable without having to bring along an emergency supply of oxygen. The main ingredients are carrots, tomato sauce, habanero powder, and natural and artificial mango flavouring. I am sure that this one will not still be around the turn of the next millennium.


[4] Well, "Thanks, Me!" actually, but I am sure my old Air Force buddy, Manny Oaxaca, would get the joke.


*(Nah! Just kidding. You really have to check your sources before you believe everything you read on the Intro-Net.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Moulin (Vert?) Restaurant

Breakfast on Geary, Huitième Partie



(No official web-site)

887 Geary Street

Phonicular contact: (415) 928-0158


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOPmgkentZk

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQa7SvVCdZk

 
(You were expecting songs by José Ferrer or Zsa Zsa Gabor, perhaps?)


This morning's breakfast was my last stop on Geary Street in my breakfastary series of restaurants on the street where I live; all of the subsequent restaurants will now be on Geary Boulevard (at Gough Street, Geary turns into a four-to-six-lane boulevard until it hits its finale at 48th Avenue). Today's breakfast was at Moulin[1] (Vert?) Restaurant (The Breakfast Cafe) ~ this is actually what their menus and signs state; however, for some reason, it is sans l’accent aigu. Now, I used the colour caveat "(Vert?)" in their name as they used to be called Moulin Rouge Restaurant, but for some reason have changed their name and excised all of the "Rouge" from their signs and menus; they have even repainted the windmill on the front of the building to green. I don't know why they had to change the name, but I suspect it was either the evil doings of Baz Luhrmann… or Visine®.

Moulin (Vert?) Restaurant is a little Korean Mom & Pop place ~ literally, Mom does all the cooking and Pop takes the orders, serves, clears, and washes the dishes. There are just ten tables for two and two tables for four (and with my quick math skills, that means there are less than thirty seats ~ give or take a couple seats). They really are mainly a "Breakfast Cafe", but do serve lunch and dinner, too. They have a pretty extensive breakfast menu ~ lots of omelettes, pancakes, French toasts, and such. I had the Garden Omelette ~ Avocado, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, and bell peppers (it doesn't state it on the menu, but this also comes with cheese if you like); served with hashbrown (Ha! They have it as only one word on their menu, der Gates-führer!) potatoes and toast. I also ordered a large glass of orange juice. I normally would have ordered a cuppa coffee to go with the meal, but on my way to the restaurant, I passed a new coffee shop and figured I would check them out afterward (more on that error in judgement later).





This was a huge three-egg omelette, chock full o' stuff; there must have been an entire avocado in it. Pop asked me what kind of cheese I would like in it, so I said Swiss cheese. (When in a French café kinda place owned by Koreans, why not?) My toast of choice was plain ol' sliced sourdough. Mom makes very good hashbrowns, crispy on both sides and still creamy on the inside. The meal came with an extra large sprig of parsley[2] ~ more like a small bush, actually; I ate most of it, too, as parsley is a natural breath-freshener, I think it has to do with the chlorophyll content or something.

As to be expected, Moulin (Vert?) Restaurant offers as condimentary supplements just Tabasco® (et simplement le rouge, Mr. Hucknall) and Tapatío®. I used up the last of my Benito's Original Naranja (Thanks, me!) on the hashbrowns and just four drops (and I truly mean just four tiny drops) of One Stop Hot Shop 'Smart Arse'® (Thanks a lot, Cindy!) on the omelette.

Minor Coffee Rant of the Day:

As stated before, I assumed that Moulin (Vert?) Restaurant would just have plain ol' diner-style coffee (black, hot dishwater) and figured that a new coffee joint that caters specifically to the art of coffee-making would be a much better bet, so I stopped by Jebena®[3] Coffee & Tea Co. on the way back to my car. They are only a block away from the restaurant, on the corner of Geary and Polk Streets.

You would think that a cuppa freshly-brewed (in the personal drip method) coffee would have to be better than any swill that I normally make at home, but you would be sorely mistaken. I can't understand how a professional joint would put out such a bland, tasteless offering. I have never had a cuppa the personal drips that was not rated at least a 6.5 on the Glen Bacon Scale. Perhaps it was just a bad roast/blend or the barista (What is the designator of this word to determine if the person is male or female? Baristo? Baristetta?) made it poorly, but it's all really a "mute" point (meaning "let's never speak of this again"), as I hardly ever frequent that neighborhood and probably won't be going again any time soon, anyway.

Rant over.





There is no relationship between the above wall mural and Moulin (Vert?) Restaurant (well, I don't think it was done by Monsieur Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec), I just saw it in an alley near where I had parked and thought it interesting.

Next up on Geary Boulevard: Lucky Penny Coffee Shop (revisited)


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Garden Omelette ~ 5.8; Jebena® ~ 5.5


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


"Moulin" in French means "windmill" or "mill"; technically, I guess, a "windmill" would be "moulin à vent".


[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-horticultural/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day, νούμερο δύο
:

The word "parsley" is a merger of the Old English "petersilie" (which is identical to the contemporary German word for parsley: "Petersilie") and the Old French "peresil", both derived from Medieval Latin "petrosilium", from Latin "petroselinum" the latinization of the Greek "πετροσέλινον
" (petroselinon), "parsley", from "πέτρα" (petra), "rock, stone", and "σέλινον" (selinon), "celery".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYQaD2CAi9A
 


I really hope that Parsley saved Rosemary in time…

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day, number three (try as I might, I could not find an on-line web translator that actually has Amharic as a choice of language, Haile Selassie would be very displeased):


A "jebena" is a container used to brew coffee in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Eastern Sudan.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Dipsea Café

Breakfastary Road Trip:
Mill Valley
[1], Marin County[2]





http://www.dipseacafe.com/


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AzpHvLWFUM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJhcGepfG04

(The first song/EweToob link should be pretty self-explanatory, if not, you can 'splain it yourself, Lucy. The second song is by some little-known Liverpudlian[3] lads; I have it under good authority that "Ob la di, ob la da" is Greek for "Have a very tasty breakfast!")


I have driven by The Dipsea[4] Café many times, as it can be seen just off the Highway 101 flyover between Sausalito and Strawberry Village in Marin, but I had never eaten there before. It was a pretty nice, sunny Spring morning today, so I figured this was a good excuse as any to traverse the Golden Gate Bridge[5] (for which, this stupid breakfast cost me an additional $6.00) and have a road trip breakfast up there. The Dipsea Café is a rather large, diner-ish place, which is very popular with local Marinites; it is a bit out of the way for touristas to search it out, unless they just happen to be heading to Muir Woods or Stinson Beach. There are really only 8-10 counter seats (hence why I really wouldn't consider this a "Diner", but more of an old-fashioned roadside family restaurant), but there had to be seating for at least 100 or more at tables and booths.




They have several very good choices on the breakfast menu for stupid vegetarian-like people. Both the Vegetarian Frittata ~ mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, spinach[6], zucchini, and Jack cheese; and Greek Omelette ~ Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, and oregano; not to mention another typical Greek breakfast dish called Huevos Rancheros… you know, made famous by José Papadopoulos. (By the way, Eric, they do offer several variations of pancakes and waffles on the menu. Now even I could make pancakes if I really wanted. I would just need to get the pancake mixture, some milk, and eggs… and probably a pan. As for waffles, what are they, but just pancakes with a checkered past?)

I settled on (mainly because it looked to be the most interesting and I just had a version of a Greek Omelette last weekend) Eggs Zorba ~ two poached eggs over a bed of spinach, sliced tomatoes, Feta cheese, oregano, and olive oil; served with home fries (Note: They have this as two separate words on their menu, score one for the Gates Spell-check Nazis.), homemade (Ha! It is only one word on the menu, Billy-boy!) buttermilk (also one word) biscuit or toast and homemade (Still one word, Herr Gates.) jam. I also ordered a side of τζατζίκι/
tzatziki and a very decent cuppa coffee (Peerless® ~ very strong, the only way it should be made and served).




This smelled awesome when they placed it in front of me; and I was happy to find out that it tasted as good as it smelled and looked. This really is a good take on an egg and spinach dish. I got the eggs "over medium" instead of "poached"; they will do the eggs any way you ask really. This had lots of fresh sautéed (or baked) spinach in it; Mr. Bluto had better not mess with me today (and that moocher, Wimpy, can have a veggie burger on Tuesday for all I care). They were very good homefries (This is my preferred spelling, Gates, and you can bite me, with or without any extra added τζατζίκι!) made with red potatoes and perfectly crispy and crunchy (and a very large portion to boot). The large side order of τζατζίκι turned out to be a freebie, as they did not charge me for it on the λογαριασμός, William. Nice! They make their τζατζίκι with dill in it, which is not my favourite way, but free is always best-tasting.

As for condimentary supplementation, the aforementioned
τζατζίκι was specifically for my homefries, which I proceeded to dump on top of the pile; the homefries were very good on their own, but τζατζίκι makes even great things taste better. The Dipsea Café does offer two types of Tabasco® (the standard red and the green Jalapeño); however, I used just a skosh Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the eggs because I had brought it with me, and it tastes great. On the homemade (still one word, Bill) buttermilk (also one word, B.G.) biscuit I plied some of their homemade (HA!) blueberry jam; both were very tasty, and the biscuit was moist, not dry and crumbly like many I have had.

I met the owner, "John"/Γιάννης
, and made sure to rave about this dish to him. It really is a simple one, but sometimes the simplest things are the best. I know I will have to make another road trip up that way again; I also want to check out their lunch/dinner Greek items on the menu.

ΏΠΑ
!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F-v8OPJ7lU

 

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Eggs Zorba ~ 7.5; Τζατζίκι
~ 7.5


[1] Mill Valley is a small community located just a few miles north of San Francisco, it used to be a sleepy, little artist community back in the 50's and 60's, and was the hometown of B.J. Hunnicutt on the TeeVee show M*A*S*H.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mill_Valley


 [2] Marin County is the next county due north of the City and County of San Francisco. Marin is best known for its inventions of hot tubs and mountain bikes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marin_County,_California
 


[3] Liverpudlians not Scousers, mate. Herr Gates and his Spell-check Staff (SS for short) do not seem to recognize either of these as valid words ~ must be a buncha damned Man U fans!
 
Actually, I have no idea what "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" means, but I like the song and it's a fun, upbeat one for a Saturday morning, bra'!

 
[4] I have no idea exactly what a "Dipsea" is, but The Dipsea Café gets their name from the Dipsea Trail, which starts in Mill Valley and ends at Stinson Beach, passing through and over Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais along its way. There is also an annual race that runs along the trail:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipsea_Race
 


[5] Contrary to popular belief, the bridge itself is not golden in colour, that is just the name of the waterway below it, which is blue and not golden, either. You would be surprised how many touristas are actually disappointed by this fact. Here is another myth buster, Mr. Keaton: Seattle is not all painted "Emerald", either.

I have been told that the actual colour of the bridge is called "International Orange", but it is more of a brick red if you ask me. 
 
[6] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-horticultural pointer of the day:

 
The English word "spinach" is from Middle French "espinache" (French "épinard").