Monday, May 28, 2012

Just For You Cafe

Luke's Diner would be proud of this place, Li'l Abner.

(As I really couldn't locate a decent Memorial Day song on EweToob, I went in another direction. Here's a little known Cliff Clavin Factoid: The original title of this song was "Give Peas a Chance".[1] John Lennon was commissioned by the British Agriculture Board to do a song to get people to try and eat a bit healthier; despite what Tony Blair said, everyone knows that the National Dish of England is Fish 'n' Chips.)

I four-footed it way over to Dogpatch this morning to have another Memorial Day breakfast (I happened to notice that I went there last year on this day, too) at Just For You Cafe (see last 'blog-entry from December 27th, 2011). I was sure glad that I had left my mobular device at home today, as I would hate to have wasted a perfectly good cuppa coffee on it (see above sign for stupid reference). There is one question I would still like to find out one of these days: "Who is 'Mabel'?"

As it is a holiday weekend, they still had their Weekend "Brunch" specials available. I had to try Nery's Vegetable Hash Omelet! (They added the exclamation point, not me.) ~ A fluffy omelet filled with butternut squash, roasted white onions, red and green bell peppers, sage, parsley (apparently, Rosemary didn't get the memo in thyme), and Sonoma goat cheese. Choice of bread (which is fresh-baked on the premises; I chose the cinnamon-raisin toast again). I also had a cuppa their damn fine N'Orleans-style chicory coffee.

The focus here was on the butternut squash (which I had forgotten was one of the ingredients and was wondering why the sweet potatoes had a strange texture and flavour, until it dawned on me) and the goat cheese. I think that turnips, rutabagas, or parsnips might have been a nice addition, and would have added a nice spicy bite to it, too; however, most 'mericans can't tell a rutabaga from a "Norwegian" turnip (that is a little humour that only my British readers might get), and probably think that "Rudy Bega" was John Travolta's little brother in "Pulp Fiction".

Like Dottie's True blue café, Just For You Cafe offers a pretty decent selection of condimentary supplementation: two types of Tabasco® (standard red and green Jalapeño); Tapatío®; Cholula®; Crystal®; a Sriracha-style hot sauce; and sometimes a few other brands. I went with a little Cholula® (Thanks, Adrienne!) on the omelette (butter was fine on the toast). Cholula®[2] is probably one of the better mass-produced/readily-available bottles of hot sauces; it is made with a nice blend of both Arbol and Piquin chili peppers, plus it has some nice spices added to the ingredients.

I don't know who this Nery guy is, either, but he can feed me this hashish omelette any weekend.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingNery's Vegetable Hash Omelet ~ 7.0; Coffee ~ 6.9

[1] I also have a 75-year-old orange bridge that I can let you have for a song.

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-historical/pseudo-geographical pointer of the day:

"Cholula" is named after the 2,500-year-old city of Cholula, Puebla (the oldest still-inhabited city in Mexico). The name "Cholula" is derived from Nahuatl toponym "Chollollan", meaning "the place of the retreat".

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

This is the fourth year running that I have posted these two links together.

The article was written by Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona*, U.S. Air Force (Retired). Rick is a well-known Military and Middle East analyst. He was also a former member of my old Air Force squadron back in Athens, Greece (6916th ESS); he was stationed there a few years before I got there, and I have never had the pleasure of actually meeting him in person.

The "Green Fields of France" is sung by the Boston (technically, Quincy) Irish-American Punk Rock band Dropkick Murphys ~ best known for their Red Sox anthem "Tessie". I have never met them in person, either.

The truly sad thing is that all of the people we are honouring on this holiday cannot be here to celebrate with us.

Have a safe and "rememorable" Memorial Day, everyone.

*(Thanks once again this year for the loaner, Rocco.)

Dottie’s True blue café

"What a difference a breakfast makes…"

(Just a little Sunday morning jazz with breakfast, Ladies.)

As it is another holiday weekend, I figured special measures needed to be taken, so I "did the needful"[1] and went back to Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from April 1st, 2012) once again this morning for a specially measured holiday weekend breakfast. Parking in this neighborhood early on a Sunday morning is pretty easy, it's just a bit iffy wherever you park. Dottie's rooftop deck is still not open yet (well, seeing as it's on the roof and in the open air, technically it is always "open"; they just haven't seen fit to open it to the public for dining yet). I also found out this morning that their bakery is located downstairs/in the basement of the building; I didn't ask for a tour, but I can only assume it's much more spacious than the cramped kitchen/bakery at their old location.

Here is some exciting news:
Dottie's is now open for business at a second location in Scottsdale, AZ, so anyone traveling that-a-way, stop on by for a great breakfastary experience (well, it's operated by Kurt's brother, so I can only hope the culinary expertise runs in the family). I know it's a bit of a journey from Tucson to Scottsdale, but those of you living in the Tucson area (I will not name any names, Karl) should really try to get up there for a weekend breakfast or lunch.

As always, there was some great old Jazz/Blues music playing on the house stereo while I was there (well, I suppose they play the same music if I am there or not, I just can't confirm this). I was glad to see that they brought this old picture over with them from their Jones Street location:

Now, I understand the Billie and Sarah pictures (Billie Crystal is from New York City where lots of great jazz singers came from, and Sarah Palin can really belt out them Alaska Blues), but I wouldn't really categorize Dinah Shore as a "Great Lady of Jazz"… maybe she finally embraced her African-American heritage.

I am happy to see that the Specials Board once again had the most excellent Zucchini Cakes on it this week. I pushed them on some stupid, unsuspecting touristas (well, they were leaning towards that choice, anyway, I just tipped them over completely). I probably would have had this great dish again if I hadn't had it the last time I was there, and my breakfast yesterday morning was very similar with the poached eggs and green squash thingy (which I hear was the original title of that classic children's book by Theodore Geisel, Cassy).

I opted for another one off the Specials Board: Avocado, Tomato, Corn, Jalapeño, Scallion, & Feta Frittata; served with toast and (home-fried) potatoes. I subsidized this with a large glass of grapefruit juice and a cuppa good commando-style[2] coffee.

Now, I don't know what's not to like in this one: avocado ~ good; corn ~ good; Feta ~ good; and I am happy to announce that these were all in large amounts… because everything counts (in larger amounts), Mr. Gahan. Lots of fresh ingredients is always a good thing.

I didn't sit at the counter (with a stage front seat) this morning and I was a little disappointed to find that the salt and pepper shakers on most of the regular tables are just plain ol' salt and pepper shakers, nothing quirky or kitschy like they used to have at the old place on all the tables.

As I have stated many times in the past, Dottie's offers a pretty decent selection of condimentary supplements: three types of Tabasco® (standard red, green Jalapeño, and Chipotle); Tapatío®; and Frank's® Red Hot® Chile 'n Lime. This might not seem like a such big deal, but most places will just have one or two choices, and not usually three different flavours of one brand plus a few other brands. I used some of the Chipotle (Thanks, Kurt!) on the potatoes , and just a little of the Frank's® (Thanks again, Kurt!) on the frittata to give it just a little more perk.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingATCJS&F Frittata Special ~ 7.4

[1] Not really a stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, more of a confusing English-Hindi translational thingy:

Like a lot of 'merican businesses today, the company that I work for has outsourced most of their accounting functions and some of its customer service functions to India. We generally communicate with them back and forth via electronic messages (colloquially known as "e-mails" by those of  us in the know). There is one particular phrasing that those in India use when replying back to us and requesting something to be done on our end: “"Please do the needful".

I am not sure where they learned this particular wording. Technically, I suppose it can be considered correct English, but it looks very strange in print. We all just assume they mean "Please do what is necessary to get this done". It's just a pretty humourous way of stating it.

[2] That would be a "bottomless" cuppa.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


"Eating reflection from a dream…"

(Today's EweToob selection brought to you by the colour tangerine. For some reason, it won't let me link the actual video here as it has done for the past few weeks. What do you want for nuthin'? Rubber biscuits?)

I went back to Tangerine (see last 'blog-entry from January 29th, 2012) this morning for breakfast (and this time it was my planned destination, Eric). They are located on the corner of 16th and Sanchez[1] Streets in the Castro. I ate al fresco this morning (and mostly da solo, as I was the only al stupido enough to sit outside at one of the several tables on the sidewalk, as it was still a bit cool and shady yet).

After having their unbelievably good (but completely idiotic sounding) Macaroni & Corn Pancakes the last time I was there, I knew I had to get back there again to try some of their other equally-as-interesting sounding (and idiotic) breakfast dishes. There are several omelettes that I would like to try: e.g. Artichoke & Roasted Pepper Omelet, Shitake[2] & Asparagus Omelet, and Sweet Corn & Sauté Leek Omelet; as well as Coconut Pancakes with Ginger Syrup ~ that has to be good. I specifically went back today to get Zucchini Latke[3] ~ Home-made scallion-potato pancakes with 2 poached eggs, choices of bacon, spinach, or smoked salmon, topped with a spicy hollandaise sauce; served with organic greens (which is just a fancy name for plain ol' salad stuff). I also ordered a side of roasted potatoes (because a main dish made mostly from potatoes is never enough carbohydrates) and a large glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice (but they do not offer tangerine juice, for some reason; I asked).

I can only think of two words to describe this one: "Wow!" and "Wow!" Now this wasn't quite as great as the Macaroni & Corn Pancakes, but it was still great. That is a rather unfair assessment, though; as that is like saying which of the Marx Brothers were the funniest (everyone knows that was Gummo, of course). This was basically a large potato pancake with eggs on top à la Oeufs Benedict. The "spicy hollandaise sauce" really wasn't; or it may have been, but after all of the stupid condimentary supplementation (see below) I added, who could tell. This came with at least a ton of spinach piled on top (okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration; there really was only 1,999 pounds of it on the plate), which is always a good thing with me. It was made with lots of julienned[4] zucchini and shredded potatoes; I can't be sure, but they may also include some kind of noodles in their latke recipe, at least I thought I saw some in there. Like the Macaroni & Corn Pancakes, there is a  ring of puréed spinach around the plate again; even more spinach-y goodness still, Elzie.

As for the orange juice, it was actually fresh-squeezed, and not just out of a bottle labeled "fresh-squeezed", as it was still frothy when they brought it to me.

Before heading over to Tangerine, I stopped at Castro Coffee Company and had a cuppa Organic Road Warrior (which they state is the "Dark Roast #2" of the day, Mel). This is only a few blocks away from the restaurant, right on "Main Street" of the Castro (Castro Street, between Market and 18th Streets); just two doors down from the historical Castro Theater. Like Bettys, they also offer a Jamaica Blue Mountain, at $45.00/pound. However, they have an even more expensive coffee, Kopi Luak, at $695.00/pound (that is not a typo; but after seeing the price I coulda used a good Type-O transfusion); I think "Kopi Luak" means "You have to be f*ckin' kiddin' me!" in Malay (you can consider that a stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, or not); for $695.00/pound, it's cheaper to fly to Sumatra and just grow your own beans to roast.

As for condimentary supplementation, Tangerine only offers Tabasco® (just the standard red). I brought a few of my own collection and went with some Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the latke, Oaxacan Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the potatoes, and a little Blair's Sudden Death Sauce with Ginseng[5] (Thanks a lot, mom! See, Cindy, you are not the only sadist in your gift-giving.) on the salad (I really just added 2-3 small drops at most, but it was still pretty darn nookular; it didn't make much difference as I wasn't planning on eating all of it, anyway; it was just stupid ol' greens).

Even if I hadn't tried the Macaroni & Corn Pancakes on my first visit, I am sure that I would have come back to try more of their food, anyway, after today's meal.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating Zucchini Latke ~ 7.45; Castro Coffee Company, Organic Road Warrior ~ 6.4

[1] Just who was this Sánchez guy you ask, Jonathan?

The street was named for Antonio Sánchez, a one-time commandante of the San Francisco Presidio. His family once owned a 15,000 acre ranch running from today's South San Francisco to Burlingame (for any of you out-of-towners, that is basically from San Francisco southward, past the airport, and then some).

But, I bet he never pitched a No-No (and a 28-Batter Game at that) in his life.

[2] This is how they had it (mis)spelled on their menu. I have mentioned before that the correct spelling/transliteration should be "Shiitake". You'd think a place that specifies that they are a "Pacific Rim Restaurant" would get the correct spelling/transliteration for a Japanese word. Luckily, no GBS points are ever taken off for spelling.

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day,
номер один (или номер два), Mr. Gravas:
"Latke" comes from Yiddish, from Russian "латка
" meaning "pastry", literally "patch".

Extra added bonus information from our friendly friends at Wikipedia:

I wonder what a breakfast with Freddie Blassie would have been like?

(Now it is letting me link an actual video here. Go figger.)

[4] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinary pointer of the day, numéro deux (ou numéro trois):

"Julienne" comes from French, probably in reference to the proper name of Jules, Julien, or Julienne, Mr. Lennon.

[5] As if adding ginseng to this devilry is going to make it any less deadly. "Hey, look, it has ginseng in it. It must be healthy and good for ya!" The two main problems with this hot sauce is that it is an oil-based one and it is made with extract of peppers; so, not only does it have extra added heat, it will stick to your tongue with the oil ~ you can't rinse this stuff off easily with a quick sip/gallon of water. They should rename this evil stuff Blair's Witch Project Sauce.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Bistro Restaurant @ Cliff House

Breakfast on Geary, finally Finale

(I really wanted to finish up this series with a local version of "On The Street Where You Live", but, try as I might, I still could not find a version of the song on EweToob sung by a true San Franciscan… like Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra.)

With today's 'blog-entry, I conclude my "Breakfast on Geary" series. While the Bistro Restaurant @ Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from January 2nd, 2012) is not technically on Geary, if you followed the logical progression of Geary Street/Boulevard westward all the way to Ocean Beach, this is where you would finally end up. Surprisingly, this was only my 15th stop along the way; I was really expecting about twice that amount of places to eat breakfast, or at least into the twenties.

I wouldn't normally walk all the way to the Bistro Restaurant (it's about twenty blocks away), but it was a gorgeous sunny morning and I first walked to Golden Gate Park to catch some of the craziness known as Bay-to-Beer! (see photos below). I figure if 100,000 idiots and weirdos (in all manners of costume, and sometimes none at all) can run 12K on a Sunday morning, I am good for a two mile walk (round trip) for breakfast.

The Bistro Restaurant's breakfastary menu really isn't that extensive and I have already had most of the items a few times over. This morning I once again had Sautéed Vegetable Scramble ~ Scrambled Eggs, Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Scallions, Button Mushrooms, & Melted Goat Cheese; served with roasted potatoes and, of course, Popovers(!). I also had a large glass of orange juice with the meal. On my way to Golden Gate Park, I had stopped at Simple Pleasures Cafe and picked up a decent cuppa coffee to drink while watching the festivities pass me by; so I really didn't need to order another at the restaurant.

This was the same meal I had ordered the last time I was there, so you can re-read that 'blog-entry if you want. Today's fresh fruits were: cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew melon, strawberries, and grapes.

Knowing full well that the Bistro Restaurant just has Tabasco® (the standard red) for condimentary supplements, I came prepared and used a little of my own Oaxacan Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the scramble and a little Cholula® (Thanks again, me!) on the potatoes.

As I sat (or was seated) in one of the booths this morning (and not along the window-side overlooking the Pacific), I didn't have a wall of Hollywoodland photos above my table. So, I walked around the corner and took these pictures of local San Francisco Bay Area Sports and Rock-and/or-Roll figures:

(Picture 1, top to bottom)

Art Howe, Oakland AAA's; Greg Norman (okay, he's not a San Franciscan, but I was told he is a friend of the owner's; besides, isn't Australia just a little west of San Francisco?)
Ronnie Lott, San Francisco 49ers; Bill Walsh,
San Francisco 49ers
Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants; (from the 1961 MLB All-Star Game: back row, left to right) Harmon Killebrew, Minnesota Twins; Jim Gentile, Bal'more Orioles; Norm Cash and Rocky Colavito, Detroit Tigers; (front row) two of the bat-boys for the game

(Picture 2, top to bottom)

Grace Slick; Herb Caen
Carlos Santana (from the 1988 Haight Street Fair?)

As always the food was fine. Heck, they could serve me S.O.S. and as long as I get my helping of Popovers(!), I would never complain and still keep coming back for more.

101st Annual Bay-to-Beer!

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: If you saw this horde of crazies coming at you, would you stand still?

(Of course, the chicken had to wait for over two hours for a break in the traffic to do so… and by then the egg had already beaten her to the other side.)

Glen Bacon Scale RatingSautéed Vegetable Scramble ~ 6.7; Simple Pleasures Coffee ~ 7.0; Popovers(!) ~ 8.2; Bay-to-Beer! ~ 7.9

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Crepe House

I may be a Crêêp, but I ain't no Wêirdo!

(Sure it's a Radiohead song originally, but I just like Chrissie Hynde better than Thom Yorke... it's so f*cking special this way.)

My breakfastary destination this morning was The Crepe[1] House (and like a lot of local crêperies, they spell "crêpe/crêpes" sans the little hat thingy ~ which, as I have pointed out before, is technically called an "e-circumflex", I just prefer "little hat thingy" better). The Crepe House is a mini-chain crêpe joint in San Francisco; they have three locations throughout the City: Nob Hill, Hayes Valley, and the Mission. I went to the one on Gough Street in Hayes Valley today; I have been here a few times in the past (as well as their Nob Hill spot), but this was my first visit back in a couple of years.

I found out today that they are closing/leasing this specific location. I am not sure if the entire chain is going out of business or just this one shop in Hayes Valley. There is a "FOR LEASE Restaurant" sign on the side of the building. Anyone want to start a new business venture with an existing location?

(June 26th, 2012 Update:
I was in Hayes Valley this afternoon for lunch and stopped by to see if they were still open. They were completely closed and looked like they had been for a few weeks now. They have a sign on the door stating that their other two locations ~ 1755 Polk Street/at Washington Street and 1132 Valencia Street/at 22nd Street ~ are still open for business.)

Tomorrow is the 101st running of San Francisco's very own elite and completely idiotic Bay-to
-Beer! (officially known as Bay-to-Breakers, unofficially knows as Bay-to-Buffalo, and alternatively life-styled known as Gay-to-Breakers ~ see previous 'blog-entries from May 15th, 2011 and May 16th, 2010 for more information). I only mention this as it will pass by just a block away from this crêperie, up and over the infamous Hayes Street Hill.

Not only do they have a large and varied selection of savoury crêpes, but they also offer a decent selection of omelettes, Belgian waffles, Huevos Rancheros, and Eggs Benedict/Florentine (for breakfast); sandwiches, pastas, and salads (for lunch/dinner); and dessert crêpes (for anytime). Their ordering procedure is like most crêperies and coffee shops: you order at the counter, pay for the meal first, they give you a number to take back to your table, and then they bring the food out to you when it's done (which makes it very hard to "chêw-and-scrêw" at these places). I chose the Mediterranean ~ Cheddar cheese, onions, tomatoes, black olives, Feta, roasted red peppers, avocado, artichokes (hearts), & pesto sauce; served with rosemary potatoes and baby mixed greens; I also had a cuppa coffee with the meal (and it was pretty decent, just no freebie refills).

I liked it all well enough. It was chock full o' stuff. Pluses: there were lots of avocado, roasted red pepper strips, and most of the other ingredients in it. Minuses: the artichoke hearts were the marinated kind ~ I feel this would have been better with the brined style; and the black olives were just the standard sliced, canned variety ~ as always, this would have been so much better with real Kalamata olives. Now this was a decent enough crêpe (and I never even attempt to make pancakes, let alone crêpes); however, my main minor quibble here (une quibble mineure ici) was the amount (or lack thereof) of Feta inside; they were pretty stingy with this one ingredient, and it is one of my favourites.

The rosemary potatoes were excellent, Mr. Parsleysagethyme ~ nice and crispy/crunchy slices. I skipped the stupid "baby mixed greens", baby. I can make that myself ~ open up a bag of pre-washed, mixed lettuces/greens, put on plate… et violins! A fresh-made salad! Big deal.

The Crepe House only has condimentary supplementation of Tabasco®, two flavours: the standard red and green Jalapeño. So I used a little of my own Cherry Republic® KaBOB's Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy!) on the potatoes and a little Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Original Medium (Thanks, Kerry! That now kills that bottle, too; the remaining two bottles of Off The Wall Triple Hot and Grand Slam XXXtra Hot! will last me a few years more, I am sure.) on the crêpe.

The Crepe House has an interesting collection of teapots over the counter and along the back wall. (Greg, don't worry, Cindy's collection outnumbers theirs by twofold at least.)

Glen Bacon Scale RatingMediterranean Crêpe ~ 6.4[2]

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

The French word "crêpe/crêpes" comes from Old French "crespe", which comes from Latin "crispa", the feminine of "crispus", meaning "curled, uneven, wrinkled".

As best as I can discern, this is the same word root used for the fabric made of silk, cotton, or other fiber. It is also the same word root for "crepe paper". (You can consider that an extra-added, at no charge, stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-haberdasherial pointer of the day.) 

However, the anglicized spelling of this word is just pure "crape".

[2] Now I am not being hypercritical (or hypocritical… or even Harpocritical) with my GBS Rating of today's meal. 6.4 is actually a very decent score.

Here is a quick GBS refresher:

6.5-7.0, worth a return trip ~ the equivalent in terms of females:  Marisa Tomei and Lindsay Lohan (back before she went crack-head, bat-shit crazy, of course);
7.1-7.5, definitely worth at least a few more return trips ~ think: Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, and Natalie Portman;
7.6-8.5, please invite me along ~ think: Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, and Marilyn Monroe;
8.6-10.0, say "Hi!" to Saint Peter for me, 'cause you must be dead and in Heaven

It is all highly scientific, of course.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lefty O’Doul’s Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge

Breakfast on Geary, Part 14

(The first two EweToob video links should be self-explanatory from the title; the last one is just in honor of Mother's Day ~ sung by a mother and daughter duet even.

I am including two versions of the same song, as the Willie and Merle version is the most famous one and kind of a fun mini-movie; but Emmylou actually recorded her version before these two old geezers, and any chance to highlight a young, long-haired, still-brunette Emmylou is fine by me. Stupid, useless Cliff Clavin "little-known-fact" pointer of the day: that is Townes Van Zandt, the writer of the song, in the Willie and Merle video; he has two cameos, as one of the Federales and also as the guitar player in the diner.

"Happy Mother's Day!" to those of you who are. The rest of you can have a "Happy Pancho & Lefty Day!" for all I care.)

In extending my "Breakfast on Geary" series a little bit longer, I backtracked to the beginning of Geary Street and went back to Lefty O'Doul's Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge (and alternately: & Piano Bar) (see last 'blog-entry from April 18th, 2010). Lefty O'Doul's is the first real place that you come to along Geary Street/Boulevard that serves breakfast (not counting The Cheesecake Factory® that is at the top of Macy's® in the previous block, across the street from Union Square; 1) The Cheesecake Factory only opens at 10:00am or 11:00am, and 2) they "do Brunch"). This is a nice olde-timey Hofbrauhaus kinda place; the walls are festooned with lots of old Baseball photos and memorabilia (as well as several photos of Marilyn Monroe, one of her husbands was a Baseball player I think).

Francis Joseph "Lefty"[1] O'Doul was the original "kid from San Francisco" that made it big in Major League Baseball. Lefty was not only born in San Francisco, but he also died there; unlike some skinny, young local Italiano kid named Giuseppe DiMaggio, who was actually born in Martinez, CA and died in Hollywood (and the one in Florida, at that). (For those Boston Red Sox fans out there, "Joe" was Dom's less talented older brother; I have heard that he also may have played MLB for a while, these rumours can not be substantiated by any of my findings, though. Coincidentally, this "Joe" kid played for the
San Francisco Seals when Lefty was the Manager of that team; so we know where "Joe" stole all of his talent from.)

Lefty had a decent enough MLB career. He started out as a Relief Pitcher for some team in New York City (possibly Minor League), known as the Y*nkees, but was traded to a real MLB team, the Red Sox, in 1923. After developing a sore arm, Lefty was converted to an Outfielder where he had much better success as a hitter; batting as high as .398 in 1929 (1st in the National League) and .368 in 1932 (again 1st in NL). Not only did he play for the Red Sox and the Phillies, he is one of the few players to have played for the New York Giants, da bums from Brooklyn, and that other team from the Bronx. In honour of which, I wore my New York Giants cap and a pair of Boston Red Sox socks especially for the occasion this morning.

Lefty still holds the #3 spot (tied with Bill Terry) in MLB for number of Hits in one Season with 254 Hits (and is only behind George Sisler at #2 with 257 Hits, and some kid from Japan at #1 with 262 Hits). For some reason, Lefty is not in the MLB Hall of Fame; however, he is a member of the Japanese Hall of Fame. (But what do the Japanese really know about Baseball? They know less about Baseball than they do tea or rice.)

Lefty has the distinction of having a bridge named after him in San Francisco: the Lefty O'Doul Bridge. This is in keeping with honouring other Baseball figures: Willie Mays Plaza; (Willie) McCovey Cove (which passes under the Lefty O'Doul Bridge); and, of course, the Barry Bonds Federal Courtroom…

Now back to the breakfastary portion of this 'blog (it's supposed to be a 'blog about breakfasts, after all). Lefty O'Doul's offers a pretty basic breakfast menu. I was leaning towards the Apple Flapjacks (traditional flapjacks topped with apple chutney and a single side of apple-maple sausage); but I would have had to get it without the dead, decaying porky product, and probably have ordered a side of the home style potatoes. They also have on the menu a Plain Omelette. (What the heck is a “Plain Omelette”? Isn't that just scrambled eggs?) I ended up ordering the Spanish Omelette, served with home style potatoes and toast (I went with sourdough, another San Francisco original).

The omelette was really nothing much special (all the ingredients were piled on top, not inside of a "Plain Omelette" apparently); but none of that really matters, as how often can you have breakfast with a little (Baseball) history.

After ordering my cuppa, and already drinking some of it, I happened to notice a sign by the bar that stated: "We Proudly Brew St*rbucks Coffee" ~ which is not really all that laudable, as I am sure the motto of 1930's Deutschland was "We are proud to be members of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei!" (Yes, I did just compare St*rbucks to Nazi Germany… and, for that, I really must apologize to any surviving members of the Nazi Party. [Would you R.S.V.P. an invite to that party? And what kinda wine would you bring? Definitely not Manischewitz®.]) Of course, if I had seen the sign before ordering, I would just have stuck with a glass of orange juice instead. It's okay, though, I have been subjected to this Devil brew in the past and have lived to tell about it (nothing a little mouth-wash of Holy Water can't fix).

Lefty O'Doul's has as condimentary supplements Miranda's Hot Sauce, two flavours: Jalapeño Verde and Garlic Rojo. These hot sauces weren't too bad; the Verde added some spice/flavour to the Spanish sauce and the Rojo went well with the potatoes; I also used a little of my own Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce ~ Original Medium (Thanks, Kerry!) on the potatoes (as a Red Sox complementary thing).

I wonder if Lefty ever had a teammate named "Pancho"…

Glen Bacon Scale RatingSpanish Omelette ~ 5.8; Lefty O'Doul Career BA ~ .349 (which happens to be the highest average for any player eligible for the MLB HoF and not enshrined)

[1] Strangely enough, "Lefty" both hit and threw right-handed*. He was given the nickname "Lefty" as a joke due to his heritage. It was a well-known fact that his actual family name was Odulovsky and his family had anglicized it when they first moved from Russia so that they would not be considered part of the Red fanaticism of the time.

*(And if you buy that one, I have the deed to another small bridge in San Francisco that I would be more than glad to sell you.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Q Restaurant and Wine Bar

(I couldn't think of any other "Q"ute EweToob music links. This will have to do for an 80's nostalgia trip.)

I went back to Q Restaurant and Wine Bar (see last 'blog-entry from January 21, 2012), which is in my Starting Rotation of breakfast places (and I am just happy to state that my Line-up is doing much better than the Boston Red Sox so far this season). I sat at the table with the large spider tableau once again. Above me there was this cool light made from a food grater (I have no idea how that stupid sports shout-out got in the background, though).

Q has plenty of good things to choose on their standard "Brunch" menu and they have several other items on a separate "Brunch Specials" menu, which changes weekly/seasonally. I was thinking about trying Susio's Rico Suave French Toast (Cream Cheese and Strawberry Stuffed French White Baguette with Strawberry Compote and Caramelized Walnuts) or Zucchinni[1] Vegetable Cake Benedict (which is brand new to their menu; this sounded pretty similar to the one that Dottie's True blue café offers, except they serve this with a standard Hollandaise sauce not a spicy Marinara sauce). I opted for Horacio's Muy Deliciouso[2] Chilaquiles ~ Tortilla Chips Baked with Tomatillo Salsa and Sharp Cheddar, Topped with Scrambled Eggs and Served with Black Beans, Salsa Fresca and Sour Cream. I also had a large glass of orange juice with the meal. As I had skipped coffee with breakfast this morning, I brewed up a nice cuppa Bettys Colombian Rio Magdalena and am enjoying it while typing this out.

This is not quite as good as Chava's or SanJalisco®, but it was a pretty decent version of the dish, too. Black beans are always a good side. Now I have discussed what chilaquiles are here a few times and don't really feel like having to go into detail again, so I am "borrowing" some information from our friendly friends at Wikipedia (please note, they already have a cunning linguist pointer about the word "chilaquiles", so I don‘t have to do that even):

Q has several options for condimentary supplementation; they had Tapatío® on most of the tables today, but I know they have a few others available, too. I used a little of my own One Stop Hot Shop "Son of Smart Arse" Sauce (Thanks! Cindy! This is the one that almost wiped out the entire staff at Eddie's Cafe on my last visit there; see 'blog-entry from January 7th, 2012.), and by a "little" I mean just three toothpick drops at that; it was more than enough to add a bit o' heat to the dish. Actually, the chilaquiles really didn't need any extra spice as the tomatillo salsa was pretty tasty on its own, but I want to try to use up more of this damnable stuff… at this rate, I should have the bottle emptied by Stardate 41153.7 (Note: that specific Stardate is actually a nod to today's restaurant’s name, Jean Luc).

Once again they brought me a mini Tootsie Roll® with the bill. Always, nice.

Non-breakfastary shameless promotion of an old
Air Force buddy's newest book:
(my 'blog, my rules, after all)

As I stated a few weeks back, Jack Dixon has written his second historical novel and it is now published and available in hardcover or paperback (it has been available for a while now as an e-reader, but I can't imagine any sensible person wanting to read anything worthwhile on a computer ~ and that includes this 'blog).

Jack and I were stationed together back in the early 80's in Athens, Greece at the 6916th Electronic Security Squadron (Home of the "Prodded Professionals", where everyone gets one free FIAT). Like me, Jack was also a cunning linguist, but he was only an Arabic linguist and never had as much to do back then as I did.

Go out and buy/order/download (well, I suppose if you order or download it, you really don't have to "go out") yourself a copy of
Jerusalem Falls today. I think the title refers to a little-known place where water flows over a vertical drop in the course of the Niagra River, not sure why that would be considered an historical novel, though, sounds more like a travelogue to me.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingHoracio's Muy Deliciouso Chilaquiles ~ 6.9

[1] Stupid, useless spelling error pointer:

They had this mispeld as "zucchinni" on the menu. The correct spelling should be "zucchini".

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/spelling error pointer,
número uno:
The correct spelling of "delicious" in Spanish is "delicioso". The Tori* didn't distract from the actual deliciocity of the dish in any way, though. 

*(Miss Spelling)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Joe’s Coffee Shop

Breakfast on Geary, Lucky 13

(No official website)

6134 Geary Blvd

Phonicular contact: (415) 668-9382

Technically, Joe's Coffee Shop (see last 'blog-entry from March 12th, 2011) would be the last stop along Geary Street/Boulevard in my "Breakfast on Geary" series as they are really the last place along Geary Boulevard in the Outer Richmond that does breakfasts; however, I have a few others (revisits/guest visits) still up my sleeve to prolong it a few more weekends. You are also getting a weekend breakfastary three-fer as I have today off from work (due to a vision problem… I just couldn't see myself going to work today).

Joe's Coffee Shop is basically an olde-timey breakfast-lunch diner. There are a few pluses to Joe's Coffee Shop: they open up very early (7:00am) and are just seven blocks from my apartment (even a lazy slob like me can do the fourteen blocks round-trip ~ including the last six blocks all uphill), making them the closest place for breakfast to me; albeit, this is only the second time I have eaten breakfast there, and I have probably only eaten there a half dozen times total in 26 years. I can't speak for their burgers, but the food that I have eaten there in the past has always been pretty good.

There are several things from which to choose on their breakfast menu: French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles, Omelettes, etc. This morning I had the Avocado[1] and Cheese Omelet (with fresh salsa) ~ served with hash browns (they have this as two words on their menu; obviously another local eatery on the Microsoft® payroll) and toast. I also had a large glass of orange juice.

The omelette was very fluffy, not flat like yesterday's version; but I felt there could have been a little more avocado in it, and the cheese was just your plain ol' 'merican cheese (the yellowish-orange type, not the off-white kind). The salsa is a fresh pico de gallo that is served on the side, and it was pretty decent, too. They have two types of breakfastary potatoes, but I forgot to order the homefries this time; the hashbrowns were very good, though, so it was of no matter. I went with sourdough toast as my side choice.

Much like Denny's Café yesterday, Joe's Coffee Shop offers for condimentary supplementation: Tabasco® (red); Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce; and Crystal® Hot Sauce (these seem to be the standard in the Outer Richmond with Asian-owned places). I used some of my own Serious Food… Silly Prices ~ Mango Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy! No really, this stuff is very palatable and won't cause heart palpitations.) on the omelette; and some Serious Food… Silly Prices ~ Sweet Heat Hot Sauce (Thanks also, Cindy! Again, no lawsuits will be filed today.) on the hashbrowns.

As I remembered from my last visit to Joe's Coffee Shop that their "coffee" was really not much to speak of (I suppose just calling it Joe's Shop might be a little confusing to some), so I stopped across the street on my way back home at Café ENCHANTE  (however, I really must point out that it is sans accent aigu on the "enchanté" for some reason; I was even told that the owner is French. Perhaps it is just hard to get the "é" capitalized in print). I had a very decent cuppa La Colombe Torrefaction Pacific Blend coffee (I have no idea what "Torrefaction" means, Ms. Spelling). 

(No official website for Café ENCHANTE, or Café ENCHANTÉ, even)

6157 Geary Boulevard

Phonicular contact: (415) 251-9136

Café ENCHANTE is pretty cool in that they have one of the rooms made up to look like an outdoor street café, with a running fountain and all.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingAvocado and Cheese Omelette ~ 5.9; La Colombe Torrefaction, Pacific Blend ~ 6.7

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-horticultural/pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day, número uno:

The word "avocado" comes from the Spanish "aguacate" which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word "ahuácatl" (meaning "testicle", a reference to the pear-shape of the fruit). Avocados were known by the Aztecs as "the fertility fruit". The Nahuatl word "ahuácatl" can be compounded with other words, as in "ahuacamoli", meaning "avocado soup or sauce", from which the Spanish word "guacamole" derives.