Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Dipsea Café

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

(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.



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.

 [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.,_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:

[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").

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