Saturday, June 30, 2012


"Jai Guru Deva. Om."[1]

(Sure I could have chosen the Beatles original version of this song, but I kinda like this cover by a second-generation of Rock-and/or-Rollers. Plus, the kid on the end really reminds me of John Lennon… Who knew John had a kid named "Rufus"?)

I went back to breakfast at UNIVERSAL cafe (see 'blog-entry from March 19th, 2011) this morning. They are located on 19th Street (between Bryant and Florida Streets) in the no-name neighborhood between the Mission and Potrero Hill (maybe it should be called MUNI Gulch or Bay Guardian Hill). Of note, they have the word "café" in their name sans accent aigu, which is strange as I would kinda expect a fancy "brunchified" place such as this to use the Frenchy way of spelling it. I sat outside this morning on the sidewalk patio; the Sun was out, but it was still a little overcast and a bit breezy, though.

As they are really a "Brunch" place in all senses of the word, their weekend menus change from week to week depending on seasonal availability of fresh ingredients. This can sometimes be a good thing or a bad thing for vegetarian choices. The last time I was there, they had many excellent things from which to choose; this week I was really limited to just one or two items. The french toast with apricot sauce, fresh raspberries and crème fraiche chantilly cream. (Again, of note: for some reason they have "crème" avec accent grave, but don't have "fraîche" with the little hat-thingy on the "î".) I really didn't feel like French toast again, Mrs. Huneycutt, so I ordered the soft scrambled eggs with cherry tomatoes, farmer's cheese with soft herbs (those rock-hard herbs are a terrible additive); toast, lettuces. I also had a side order of garlic-herb (they didn't specify if these were of the "soft" or "hard" variety) potatoes and a cuppa coffee.

The scrambled eggs were good, but nothing really special; I can make scrambled eggs (with or without soft or hard herbs, even). There were lots of sweet cherry tomatoes in it, which was nice; however, this might have been a bit more interesting with some summer corn as an additional ingredient.

The side order was a huge plate/bowl or roasted potatoes, which is always very good.

The coffee was from Equator (which while not quite "across the universe", is "across the Earth") Coffees & Teas. I have had this brand before and it usually is very good. This was prepared good and strong (not sure what blend/roast it was) and it ended up being a bottomless cuppa (no, really, there was a small crack in my cup and it kept leaking onto the saucer and table and they kept having to refill it for me).

UNIVERSAL cafe offers for condimentary supplementation both Tabasco® (the standard red) and Cholula®. I went with some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys!) on the eggs, and some Oaxacan Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the potatoes. They also have mini-pepper grinders on all of the tables so I didn't need to use my own McCormick® pepper grinder that I usually bring with me (Thanks for the great idea, anyhow, Dave!).

"Coffee is flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup…"

Glen Bacon Scale Ratingsoft scrambled eggs ~ 6.0

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

"Jai Guru Deva. Om." is a Sanskrit mantra and translates loosely into English as "All glory to Guru Dev(a)./I give thanks to Guru Dev(a)./Glory to the shining remover of darkness./Mmm-mmm, good Chicken Tikka Masala."*

And to think, for years, I thought the Beatles were singing "Jack Ruby gave love."

*(That last part was just a joke, as everyone knows that John, Paul, and George were vegetarians by this time. "Om." actually translates as "Mmm-mmm, tasty dal and onion kulcha.")

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Caffé Union

I am very proud of my Uova di Paradiso!
(No double-entendre meant… well, not much.)

(No official website available.)

1830 Union Street (between Octavia and Laguna Streets)

Phonicular contact: (415) 673-4119

(Happy SF Pride Celebration! I completely forgot that this weekend was the
SF Pride Celebration. Today is the annual parade down Market Street and then the Celebration at the Civic Center; if you have to go anywhere south of Market Street or anywhere downtown today, I suggest you wait until tomorrow, unless you happen to look really good in a pair of leather chaps… and not much else.)

I ventured back over to Cow Hollow again this morning and had breakfast at Caffé[1] Union. Coincidentally enough, they are located on Union Street (or Caffé Street, possibly) in Cow Hollow, along the restaurant/fancy-shmancy shop row between Van Ness and Fillmore. (Unfortunately, they don't offer freebie breakfasts on your birthday month, Rudy or Angela.)

Wild Parrots of San Francisco interlude/update:

While walking back to my car after breakfast, I heard a few of the little parrots flying overhead (you can't miss their distinctive chattering), but didn't see any when I looked up.

Caffé Union has a pretty decent breakfastary menu and if I didn't have French toast three times last week, I might have opted for the very tempting Grand Marnier Sourdough French Toast. They also have several other egg dishes and omelette choices. However, the most interesting item on the menu was Eggs of Paradise ~ two poached eggs in fresh homemade Tomato sauce with grilled French bread. I also ordered a side of Potato Herb Pancake and a cuppa coffee.

This was a very, very good choice (I would have said "eggsellent", but I hate those cutesy, made-up words). As simple-sounding as this all was, it really worked (to call this dish "simple" is not meant as an insult, I mean it as "simple" as in "simply sublime"). Their red gravy/tomato sauce was very tasty and any nonna would be proud to serve this on a plate of macaroni. There was lots of fresh basil chiffonade (Now this is an actual culinary term, not a cutesy, made-up word, but the "jeenyuses" at Microsoft Works Word Processor don't recognize it. Hey, Billy-boy, you may want to think about having Emeril or Rachel Ray do some spell-checking for you guys.) piled on top of the poached eggs. The toasted/grilled French bread was drizzled with extra virgin olive oil (Yes, I can tell the difference, Rachel), with no need for any extra butter, and these were great to dip into and soak up all of the remaining red gravy. I spoke with the owner/chef(?) and he said that this was the one egg dish that his dad used to make at home all the time; it is sorta their signature egg dish now.

As for the Potato Herb Pancake, I was expecting this to be of the shredded potato-style/German Kartoffelpuffer; however, it was more like a standard pancake ~ probably made with potato flour ~ with several herbs in the batter. It was good, but I like the Kartoffelpuffer version better. It was served with some puréed applesauce on the side; this may have been a homemade applesauce, but, again, I would have preferred a more chunky style of apple compote or Apfelmus.

Their house coffee is from America's Best Coffee Roasting Company. This was a good enough cuppa; however, nothing better than I can make at home. They are a small, local coffee roastery (okay, this is one of those cutesy, made-up words) out of Oakland, CA. I think that they might want to start with the claim "Oakland's Best" or "San Francisco Bay's Best" first and work their way up to the lofty "America's" title.

Caffé Union has as condimentary supplements: Tabasco® (the standard red), Tapatio®, and Cholula® (which is a pretty nice selection for most places). I had come prepared with a few from my own collection, but neither the eggs in red gravy nor the Potato Herb Pancake needed any additional spicy flavouring. (So there will be no unnecessary "gratitudes" expressed here to any of you bastages that have provided me with any of my hot sauces.)

As good as this breakfast was (and I will be going back again), I was a little disappointed that it was made with plain ol' chicken eggs, though; with the "Paradise" moniker, I was expecting two ostrich or emu eggs, at least.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingUova di Paradiso ~ 7.3; Potato Herb Pancake  ~ 6.2

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer (and my own Microsoft Nazi Spell-checker) of the day:

"Caffé" (con l'accento acuto) is not the correct Italian spelling of this word; it should be "Caffè" (con l'accento grave). This word simply means "coffee" in Italian, and has come to be used as a "small restaurant or coffeehouse" much the same as the word "café" (avec accent aigu, bien sûr) has come to be used in French.

Both "caffè" and "café" come from the Arabic word for coffee, "
" (pronounced  just like it looks).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

IHOP Restaurant®

"I will have the annual freebie Mr. Smith, Ms. Paolantonio, Fresh 'N Mr. Penniman® World Famous Pancake Combo."

Once again I made it over to IHOP Restaurant® for my annual freebie breakfast (see last 'blog-entry from June 18th, 2011). This is a pretty sweet deal (pun intended) where IHOP® gives you a free breakfast on your birthday (it has to be used within the month of your birthday). Currently, they will comp you up to $9.69 for any meal of your choice, which is the price of their Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity®*[1].

I parked over by the Presidio Lombard Gate again and walked the 4-5 blocks to the restaurant. It's okay as this was a straight shot and not on the twisty-windy portion of Lombard Street.

Wild Parrots of San Francisco interlude/update:

I saw and heard about two dozen of my fine-feathered friends high up in the tall eucalyptus trees in that part of the Presidio. It looked like the conures were having a noisy morning dispute with a few large blackbirds. The smaller birds seemed to be winning the argument and had them vastly outnumbered, too.

In case I have never really specified about this particular variety of small parrot that are now feral in San Francisco. They are mostly Cherry-headed Conures or Blue-crowned Conures from Central and South America.

For breakfast I simply went with the special that was on my coupon: Rooty (that would be the Mr. Smith, aka Rudy, portion) Tooty (Ms. Paolantonio)
Fresh 'N Fruity (Little Richard, of course) ~ Two eggs, two bacon strips, two pork sausage links, and two buttermilk pancakes crowned with cool strawberry topping, warm blueberry or cinnamon apple compote and whipped topping. I also ordered a large glass of orange juice. Don't worry, just because the main meal was a "freebie", I made sure to tip my server, Gabi, accordingly… now what is 15% of $2.00 for the glass of juice?

I had this sans the dead, decaying porky products and they substituted hashbrowns for me at no extra charge (What is 0% of zero?). I had the eggs scrambled and went with the cinnamon apple compote pancakes. This was really nothing special (it's IHOP®, it is what you expect it to be); it was a good enough meal and it was very filling. Plus, you can't beat the price.

® only offers for condimentary supplementation Tabasco® (the standard red) and Cholula® (which is a pretty nice addition for an "International" restaurant chain). I came prepared and went with some HP® Guinness®[2] (Thanks, Cindy!) on the hashbrowns and some Serious Food… Silly Prices Mango Hot Sauce (Thanks also, Cindy!) on the eggs.

Now I suppose I could always get a free breakfast any time I want at IHOP® and call it the "Rooty Tooty Chewy 'N Screwy"; however, you really can't fail, Rudy, with an honest freebie meal and it beats drinking brew for breakfast any day…

A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop, a-lop-bam-boom!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:  
Rudy Tootie Fresh 'N Little Richard ~ 5.9

[1] They actually have this with an asterisk on the menu:


So I made sure to ask for my pancakes "well-done".

[2] I do not know how well this would go in coffee, Colin.

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

I am pretty sure that this is Italiano Siciliano dialect that is somewhat translated as: "If you steal my broom, you will be sleeping with the fishes, Fredo!"

Monday, June 18, 2012


(Chinese); شاي (Arabic); թեյ (Armenian); Te (Danish); Thee (Dutch); Teo (Esperanto); Thé (French); Tee (German); Tσάι (Greek); चाय (Hindi); Tea (Hungarian); Guinness® (Irish); (Italian); (Japanese); Chá (Portuguese); Ceai (Romanian); Чай (Russkij); (Spanish); ชา (Thai); Çay (Turkish); Trà (Vietnamese); Te (Welsh); and U (Polish)[1]

Stupid, useless etymological/cunning linguist pointer of the 'blog-entry:

The English word for "tea" comes from the Chinese word "", pronounced either "cha" or "teh", depending on which part of China you are from. It is a pretty universal word, and, as can be seen above, most other languages have a similar sounding word derived from it.

I have done a separate 'blog-entry on coffee before, so I felt it was about time to do one dedicated solely to tea(s). Half of the World drinks coffee, half of the World drinks tea, and the rest are all Mormons, Mitt.

According to our knowledgeable friends at Wikipedia:

"Tea plants are native to East and South Asia and probably originated around the point of confluence of the lands of northeast India, north Burma and southwest China. Although there are tales of tea's first use as a beverage, no one is sure of its exact origins. The first recorded drinking of tea is in China, with the earliest records of tea consumption dating back to the 10th century BC."

Somewhere along the line, the British adopted and perfected the art of drinking tea as not only a refreshment but as a ritualistic meal and time of day. "Tea time" in England does not refer to the time of day when Tiger Woods and his friends are practicing their trade. Even as I am typing up this 'blog-entry, I am enjoying one of England’s best tea manufacturers: Bettys/Taylors of Harrogate, Diamond Jubilee Tea ~ a blend of the finest Assam, Kenyan, and Rwandan teas. Bettys Café Tea Rooms are a small chain of the finest tearooms located in (North and West) Yorkshire. Taylors of Harrogate is the actual tea company. They both joined forces back in the 1960s.

Now I really couldn't tell an Assam from Kenyan or Rwandan teas (I guess you could say I don't know my Assam from a hole in the ground), but I do like all sorts of teas. I have had many other excellent styles/blends of tea in the past: Earl Grey; Herbal; Chamomile; Thai Iced Tea (which not only goes great with the spicy main dishes at a Thai Restaurant, but as a light dessert, too); and I have even had Tibetan tea, which is served with (salted) butter melted in it instead of cream/milk (it's worth trying… once, Dolly).

Bettys/Taylors make one of the best tasting teas that I have ever had (and seeing as this is my 'blog, that makes it one of the best in the World): Ceylon Blue Sapphire. As I have stated many times in the past, this tea is the Marilyn Monroe of teas and all others are Norma Jean Bakers in comparison.

For any of you jittery jerks out there who are trying to watch your caffeine intake, it is good to note that the caffeine content of most tea is 30-90mg per 8 oz cup (depending on the type and how long it is brewed); whereas, the caffeine content of coffee is 80-175mg per 8 oz cup (however, this jumps up to about 400mg per 8 oz serving if prepared as an espresso).

So, the next time you total your tea and your insurance company refuses to pay for a new cuppa, it will be on me…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Bettys/Taylors in general (and their food is every bit as good or better as their teas) ~ 7.5; Diamond Jubilee Tea ~ 7.5; Ceylon Blue Sapphire ~ 8.5

[1] Okay, maybe that was an awful lot of languages utilized just to get to a corny punch line.  The actual word for "tea" po polsku is "herbata" (they just pronounce it as "coffee"). And here is the stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer that goes with it: this word simply comes from the Latin "herba thea".

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brenda’s ~ French Soul Food

Do you think that Oedipus is a wreck on Father’s Day?

(I can only assume that the rainbow flag on the building is the State flag of Louisiana or maybe the City banner of New Orleans. Gee, there really must be an awful lot of Cajun and Creole restaurants in the Castro District.)

(Sure I could have gone with the more conventional Harry Chapin classic "Cat's Cradle", but that one is too ubiquitously played… and you hear it everywhere, Mr. Shawn Kemp, Sr.)

How do you say "serendipity" in French or Cajun?[1]

I was not really planning on having French toast again for breakfast this morning, as I just had some yesterday and earlier in the week on my birthday at Dottie's True blue café (Are you happy now, Mrs. Huneycutt, I went an entire weekend without having an omelette or main egg dish of some sort?); however, I went back to 
Brenda's ~ French Soul Food after a long delay (see last 'blog-entry from October 9th, 2011) and as I had just mentioned Bananas Foster[2] French Toast in yesterday's 'blog-entry the three chefs of Serendip must have heard me, as this was the weekend sweet entry on their Specials (an actual chalk)board.

This was my first trip back to Brenda's since they had opened up the other room next door for dining (I think they have had it open since late October-early November now). The "new" space more than doubles the capacity allowed; it is a little bit wider and there are many more tables than in the original space. Even though, there is still a bit of a wait to get in if you don't get there as soon as they open (I was there at 7:50am before they had opened yet and was third in line).

I really didn't want to order French toast again, but Brenda's doesn't have that many items on their "Brunch" menu (they call it "Brunch", but it’s really breakfast at 8:00am in the morning) for stupid vegetarians. So I went with the sweet offering off the Specials board: Bananas Foster French Toast ~ with warm butter rum sauce and whipped cream. I also had a side of hash potatoes (which really are more of a homefries chunky type, not the shredded hashbrowns version) and a cuppa mighty fine Community Coffee (N'Orleans-style with roasted chicory). I really need to try their Sweet Watermelon House Tea one of these days.

This was very good and I will order it again (just not if I have already had French toast twice in the same week) if it is available (I spoke with someone there and he told me this shows up often on their Specials board). It was a lot of food with three entire slices of French toast; however, I still think that the Merchants Way version was better (from memory, everything always tastes better). I probably would have made it with thinner slices of bananas not whole chunks; and if I ever did cook (and could figure out how to make that tasty Butter Rum sauce), I would do just that. I did discover an extra added taste treat by taking some of their homemade strawberry preserves and using it on a few of the slices. (There is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that I will ever attempt to make my own homemade preserves, so Brenda's has got me there.)

Brenda's has just Crystal® Hot Sauce for condimentary supplements; at least it's an original Loosianna brand. So I simply used some of my own Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the hash potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingBananas Foster French Toast ~ 7.4 (with their homemade strawberry preserves ~ 7.5)

[1] You shouldn't have asked.

Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

The word for "serendipity" in French is "sérendipité". 

For a change, they actually stole a word from English (which was in turn formed from a Persian fairy tale place name). I have mentioned this word origin before here in the past and am too lazy to write out the whole stupid story again. Besides, what is Wikipedia for?

I have no idea what "serendipity" would be in Cajun, though. There is no Google Translate for that dialect.

[2] If you were wondering just who the heck is this "Foster" guy is and why does he rate a dessert named for him, here is the answer from our good friends at Wikipedia:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mission Beach Cafe

There was nothing quite atrocious about this sublimely precocious breakfast, Mohandas!

(I mainly used the above subtitle and linked this silly EweToob video to tell a corn-ball joke that I heard this morning on Car Talk[1]. It's not always about the great food.)

I went to Mission Beach Cafe (I am going sans accent aigu here as they really don't specify which way to spell "café" on their menu or awnings), which is located on the corner of Guerrero[2] and 14th Streets in the Mission/Castro (you decide; it's right on the border of the two). I found it to be pretty easy parking early on a Saturday morning (I actually parked one block away as I found a spot on my way over there and figured "a single hand-held Aves is easily worth double the feathered creatures in a tree"; but when I got to the restaurant I saw that there were a few open spots closer by still). It's not a very large place; there are just six counter/window seats and 10-12 tables/booths that seat four.

Mission Beach Cafe is basically a "Brunch" place, not so much in décor or clientele, but in the actual menu offerings (and they even state it as "Weekend Brunch" on their menu). I would have gotten the MBC Scramble because it is printed as including asparagus; however, I was informed that as (fresh) asparagus is not in season, they have substituted zucchini in this instead. I like zucchini, just not as much as I love asparagus. So, I ordered Brioche[3] French Toast ~ market fruit, honey Mascarpone, Bourbon syrup. I also had a side of "brunch" potatoes and a cuppa Blue Bottle Coffee Co (Giant Steps blend?).

I will list all of the pluses of this dish first to get them out of the way before I really rip-into them:

1) it was made with three large, thickly-sliced (at least 2" each) bread ~ good!;
2) the "market fruit" today was a nice cranberry-apple compote ~ very good!!;
3) the honey Mascarpone ~ very, very good!!!; and
4) the Bourbon syrup ~ most excellent!!!!

Okay, I guess there really were no minuses… well, I suppose I could have gotten a little bit more of the most excellent tasting Bourbon syrup. I am sure that if I had asked they would have given me more, as the entire staff were very friendly and helpful. I think one of the people I spoke with may even have been one of the owners.

They make their "brunch" potatoes with
Yukon Gold potatoes. These were very good and just either roasted or homefries style.

In speaking with the staff this morning (well, I overheard someone saying it and neb-nose[4] that I am, Mr. Durkin, I had to ask), I found out that this will be the last few days that they will be serving Blue Bottle Coffee Co, as they feel that Blue Bottle Coffee Co have gotten too large for their tastes (pun intended); Blue Bottle Coffee Co is going global and now has a deal with Bloomingdale's. As soon as they use up the reserve of coffee that they now have, Mission Beach Cafe will start serving Flying Goat Coffee out of Healdsburg; which is still a local and small company. I don't know if I have ever enjoyed that particular brand, but always look forward to trying another good cuppa.

Mission Beach Cafe only offers Tapatío® for condimentary supplementation. I went with some of my own Cherry Republic® KaBOB'S Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy!) and a little One Stop Hot Shop 'Smart Arse' (Not really thanks, Cindy!, but I am working my way through the bottle as best I can.[5]) on the "brunch" potatoes (the most excellent Bourbon syrup was good enough for me on the French toast).

This version of French toast was equally as good as Neighborhood Restaurant & Bakery Coconut French Toast (see 'blog-entry for July 10th, 2010), but not quite as good as I remember the Bananas Foster French Toast at Merchants Way (which used to be in "downtown" Wareham, MA) used to be. Of course, it goes without saying, that it is not as good as Baker Street Bistro Pain Perdu, either, or else I would be bumping this tasty and creative meal right up into my Breakfastary Starting Rotation. But I will be going back to try more of their "Brunch" items, as well as have this one again.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingBrioche French Toast ~ 7.5

[1] Whenever I am driving on a Saturday morning, and if it is between the hours of 9:00am-11:00am PST, I am usually tuned to Car Talk "Click and Clack, The Tappit Brothers" on National Public Radio. This morning Tommy happened to tell the most dawg-awful, corn-ball joke… which I feel absolutely necessary to repeat here:

Mahatma Gandhi always walked around barefoot for which he developed extremely hard calluses on his feet. Because of his strange vegetarian diet, he ended up with weak bones and usually wreaked of bad breath. I guess you might say that he was a "super-calloused, fragile mystic, hexed by halitosis".

If you have any problems with that joke, please contact the below website; be sure to ask for Heywood Jabuzoff in their complaints department:

[2] This street was named in honour of Francisco Guerrero who was the Alcade (a municipal magistrate; basically Mayor) of Yerba Buena (modern day San Francisco) in 1836 and 1839.

I am not sure who 14th Street was named after.

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

"Brioche" is a type of French bread. It comes from the French word "brier" (meaning "to knead the dough"), from the Norman word "broyer" (meaning "to grind, pound"), from Germanic "brekan" (meaning "to break").

[4] Not really a stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, unless you consider Pittsburghese a foreign language (which I am sure many people from Cleveland and Philadelphia do):

"Neb-nose" (noun)/"nebby" (adjective) in Pittsburgh and parts of Western Pennsylvania means "a busybody"/"nosy, curious". Possible origin: derived from "neighborly", but since the connotation was negative, the pronunciation was distorted to indicate this.

Example: "Stop being so nebby, Lester J, and grab me one of dem der  Ahrn City Beers."

[5] Now I am not really complaining about a freebie gift. I love hot sauces of all heat ranges; however, this fiery stuff might be more palatable if your best friend is named Jack Paper, Jr., and you happen to live by the sea and frolic in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dottie’s True blue café

Sacré Bleu[1]

"I always feel like a traveler, going somewhere, toward some destination. If I sense that this destination doesn't in fact exist, that seems to me quite reasonable and very likely true." ~ Vincent Van Gogh; July 22, 1888


(Nuf ced, McGreevey?!)

I don't normally need an excuse to go to Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from May 27th, 2012) ~ (as I have stated many times in the past, it's not only one of my favourite breakfast places in San Francisco, it's one of my favourites in the World), but when it is in the middle of the week, I do like to fabricate one: so let's just call this "Flag Day Eve", and, you can be sure, I will celebrate it every year.

I checked out their Weekday Specials board as soon as I walked in; this is mostly the same as their Weekend Specials Board with maybe a few less items from which to choose. They had the exact same Frittata that I had two weeks ago (which is one of my favourites, so it can always be an option) and Raspberry Rice Flour Pancakes that looked tempting, too. However, the Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip French Toast with toasted pecans and pure Maple Syrup (because that slutty sticky stuff just don't cut it as a morning topping) looked too interesting to pass up. I also had a large glass of grapefruit juice and a side of home fries. (Which they have as two words on their menu. Glückwünsche, der Führ-Gates; you have conquered another land!)

I was trying to figure out how they were going to make this version of French toast; did they make the egg-batter with some canned pumpkin in the mixture and use it on regular bread and add chocolate chips on top? Mystery solved: these were simply (well, in theory, not in its genius sublimity) made from egg-battered (which beats spousal-abused) slices (four pieces) of Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip bread. It was all very good, too.

Sure, a side order of potatoes along with a bready breakfast may seem strange, but I can never get enough carbohydrates. Did you know that a potato provides almost as much Vitamin C as an orange of the same size? Somehow, I really doubt that "potato juice" will catch on as a breakfastary drink... unless you happen to live in Russia.

Dottie's has a good selection of condimentary supplementation (see "the Usual Suspects" photo at top of this 'blog-entry, but notice the complete lack of any vwg); I used a little Tabasco® Chipotle on the potatoes (Thanks, Kurt!).

I suppose, in keeping with my "bluish" theme, maybe I shoulda had for breakfast the Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes (off the standard printed menu) or the Bacon, Tomato, Scallion, & Bleu Cheese Scramble (off the Specials Board; sans the dead, decaying pig-flesh, of course, Glen).

Glen Bacon Scale RatingPumpkin-Chocolate Chip French Toast ~ 7.2

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

"Sacré bleu" is simply French for "sacred blue".

It just so happens that I was given a novel of the same name, written by Christopher Moore, for my birthday this year (Merci beaucoup, Cin
dy!) and just started reading it this morning.

For more information of the Frenchy curse-word, see the information "borrowed" from our friends at Wikipedia:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Curry-ketchup vs. Mayonnaise

"Friends don't let friends eat pommes mit mayo..."

(You try finding a good EweToob link about any kind of condimentary supplementation.)

The idea for this entire 'blog-entry started when I saw a picture of the Berlin Airlift Monument (nicknamed "die Gabel" or "die Hunger-Harke", meaning "the Fork" or "the Hunger-Rake") posted on defacedbook by a fellow Russkij cunning linguist (and also a former member of 6912th ESS, Marienfelde site). (Hallo, Herr Estes! Здравствуйте, Господин Эстес!

The reason for the nickname is that the monument resembles the little disposable forks (or vice-versa; "
Was kam zuerst, das Huhn oder das Ei?") used to eat French fries, and it got me to reminiscing about eating these potato delicacies late at night at the local street vendors known as an "Imbiss"[1]. There were two choices of condimentary supplementation offered with "pommes frites"[2] (pronounced "pumm fritz") or simply "pommes (pronounced "pummas"): the completely acceptable and palatable German-style curry-ketchup[3] or plain ol' disgusting mayonnaise[4] from a jar (or, even worse, from a tube ~ don't ask).

German curry-ketchup is just plain tomato ketchup with some (red) curry powder added for flavour and a bit of piquantness.

Whereas, mayonnaise (as perfectly described earlier today by someone else when I mentioned it) is an "epicurean disaster". Even the word when pronounced in German is disgusting; it is pronounced as "my-oh-nahz-a" which sounds similar to "my own ass-a"; which is about what it tastes like if you ask me. I understand that some people feel it necessary to use this vile white goop (or vile white globule, or vile white garbage, or vile white gross-out ~ either way, it will henceforth be called "vwg" in this 'blog-entry) in potato salads, macaroni salads, and egg salads for moisture; however, plain yoghurt might be a better (and healthier) alternative. (Of course, I wouldn't really know this for a fact, as I have never really made potato salad from scratch… or from potatoes even.) And there should never be any reason for anyone to ever put the vwg on my veggie-burgers (especially without asking first); I am okay with Thousand Island, Ranch, or other less vile toppings, though.

Maybe if you were drunk enough this awful idea may have seemed like a good choice at the time… but I would have to be passed-out with a 0.50 BAC to ever try it voluntarily again.

Apparently French fries with the vwg is a normal condimentary supplement in France and Belgium, too. Now a fresh-made aioli is something different entirely and I have even enjoyed this many times at a Belgian-style French fries place, Frjtz (see 'blog-entry from November 19th, 2011), but they offer many different flavours of aioli and several ketchups, too. Eating French fries with the vwg is as bad as putting ketchup on a hotdog, Clinton:


Just remember that the Germans are mainly known for their excellent Beers, fine pastries, and Blitzkriegs; the French know the world of haute cuisine, wines, and cheeses but their street foods are not really that great; and the Belgians need to stick with their Ales, waffles, and sprouts, Jean Claude!

τζατζίκι (Tzatziki) is the best condimentary supplementation with French-fried or any other style of potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Curry-ketchup ~ 6.0; vwg ~ 4.5; Tzatziki ~ 8.5

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

"Imbiss" simply means "snack" in German. An Imbiss was usually a little van or shack along the side of the street where they served  fast food items, and was usually open 24-hours a day.

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

"Pommes frites"/"pommes" are borrowed words in German from French. "Pommes (de terre) frites" in French means "fried potatoes". The word for "potato" in French is "pomme de terre", meaning "earth apple".

[3] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, number three (I have used this one before):

"Ketchup" comes from Malay "kichap", from Chinese (Amoy dialect) "koechiap", meaning "brine of fish." Catsup (earlier catchup) is a failed attempt at Anglicization, still in use in the U.S. Originally a fish sauce, early English recipes included among their ingredients mushrooms, walnuts, cucumbers, and oysters. Modern form of the sauce began to emerge when U.S. seamen added tomatoes.

[4] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numéro quatre:

"Mayonnaise" comes from French, perhaps from "Mahonnais", meaning "of Mahón", a port in the island of Minorca, Spain.

Red Café

(No official website)

2894 Mission Street

Phonicular contact: (415) 282-1515

(This guy does a great Jimmy Fallon impersonation.)

I had heard some good stuff (reviews on yelp*, etc.) about Red Café (located on the corner of Mission and 25th Streets, in the Mission District ~ I would add "naturally", but Mission Street actually transverses the entire City and goes from Downtown/South of Market Area all the way to Daly City, and then some) and finally got around to eating desayuno there. This is a little Mexican-style, family-owned diner (not so sure why it isn’t called Café Rojo, which I am going to refer to them as from here on out). They had the "Café" avec accent aigu/con acento agudo on their awnings; however, they had it sans/sin on their menu and cards. There are ten counter seats (with black round vinyl-covered stools); three booths (with burgundy red and speckled black vinyl-covered seats) for two; four booths for four; and three tables for four. I got there early (as soon as it had opened), but I heard that it fills up quickly on the weekends and usually has lines waiting to get in.

As this is primarily a "Breakfast" joint (it states just that on their awnings), Café Rojo offers a very nice selection of breakfastary dishes. They have six different stupid vegetarian omelettes: Loroco[1] Omelette and Nopal (cactus) Omelette to name a few that looked rather interesting; plus another seven omelettes of the dead, decaying animal flesh variety, which could always be ordered sin carne muerta de animales en descomposición. Additionally, they have many other typical Mexican breakfast dishes: Huevos Rancheros and Huevos a la Mexicana. Unlike yesterday's omission on the printed menu at La Cucina, Café Rojo even offers a "Mickey" Pancake for los niños (and specify that it's for "Under 12 only"; I was sure glad that I went there alone so that it was an option still open for me; I didn't see any place where they could seat a dozen people together, anyway).

However, as whenever I go to a new ristorante italiano, Brenda and Eddy, I try to rate the place by their Parmigiana di melanzane or gnocchi; subsequently, whenever I eat at a new Mexican place for breakfast, I like to try the chilaquiles. Café Rojo state that their Chilaquiles are "(Tortilla mix with eggs) ~ (re)fried beans, sour cream, green pepper, tomato, onion (no hashbrowns, toast or tortillas)". I also had a large glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Once again, I forewent the doggone cuppa coffee at the restaurant and brewed me up a nice cuppa Bettys Ceylon Blue Sapphire (Truly thank you very much, Cindy!) when I got home, and am enjoying it while I type-up this stupid 'blog-entry. This is probably one of the best teas I have ever had, even I can't mess this one up as it only comes in a loose-leaf form and has to be brewed fresh; it really needs no addition of sugar or cream/milk, as the flavour is already naturally sweetened and light enough.

This was a decent enough version of chilaquiles (which as I have stated before is basically scrambled eggs with tortilla chips and other junk mixed in). I have found that, like in most Italian restaurants when you order tiramisù for dessert, you can get an entirely different version wherever you go. Both SanJalisco™ and Chavas (which, as you like it, Wild Bill,  is my touchstone for chilaquiles, as it was the first place that I ever had them when I first moved to San Francisco; see 'blog-entry from August 8th, 2010 for more information) make theirs with a more red-saucy base (which reminds me, both of those places really need another visit one of these days). Café Rojo makes theirs with no added salsa in the scramble, but serve it with a side of home-made tomatillo salsa, which was pretty flavourful on its own, to pour on top. The (re)fried beans were more of a purée (avec accent aigu, by the way) of frijoles refritos and I ended up pouring them on top as well. The orange juice was indeed fresh-squeezed and not from a bottle, too. I had thought about getting a side order of hashbrowns, but waited until the chilaquiles came out to see if it was going to be too much food; it didn't look like it would have been, but I still bypassed the potatoes this morning.

Café Rojo has as condimentary supplements both Tabasco® and Tapatío®, as well as the ubiquitous bottles of ketchup, but, thankfully, none of that vile white goop known as mayonnaise (of which, you can expect a separate rant… er, 'blog-entry explaining that remark); I really was expecting a more varied and better selections from a Mexican place, though. It really didn't matter as the chilaquiles came with the above-mentioned tomatillo salsa which had a very good flavour and I used it on half of the chilaquiles. On the other half of the chilaquiles, I used some of my own Sweet Heat Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Cindy!) and just a soupçon[2] of One Stop Hot Shop 'Smart Arse'® (Not really thanks, Cindy!) to give it a bit of a kick.

This is definitely worth a return trip to try another one of their desayuno dishes.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingChilaquiles ~ 6.5

[1] They have "loroco" translated as "green onions" on their menu; however, loroco isn’t a member of the onion family and really don't taste anything like onions. I have had these in pupusas in the past and know I liked them. Here is a little more detailed information stolen from… er, borrowed from our friends at Wikipedia:

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

"Soupçon" is French for "suspicion"; it comes from Middle French "sospeçon", from Late Latin "suspection-" (stem of "suspectio"), for Latin "suspicio" meaning "suspicion".