Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cafe Golo

"I'll have the attitude-free omelette and a cuppa de-churlish coffee, and a nice piece of that 'Gang Aft Agley' pastry, thanks!"

(No official website)

1602 Lombard Street
(at Gough Street)

Phonicular contact:
(415) 673-4656

(If you were wondering why the black-and-white photos again this morning, the truth is that I needed some new film for my digital camera and all they had at the store were black-and-white memory cards.)

(To get the obvious reference to this EweToob video, please read through my breakfastary rant to follow. If you hear about a recent vandalism at a small restaurant located on Bush Street, I swear it wasn't me that threw a can of black paint on someone's door.)

Isn't it nice when the back-up plan turns out to be much better than the original plan, Lenny? I ended up going back to Cafe Golo (see last 'blog-entry from July 29th, 2012) much sooner than I had expected. This is not because they aren't a great little restaurant, I just figured it would be longer than exactly one month to the day that I would return. As it was, I had planned on eating at the Red Door Cafe again, but circumstances beyond my control led me back to Cafe Golo, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, George.

Breakfastary/Exclusory Rant of the Day:

Only in San Francisco can you be kicked out of a restaurant ~ before even being allowed entry ~ by a blue-haired tranny with all the warmth and personality of Adolph Hitler[1] for having the nerve to want to eat breakfast by yourself or for not having the decency of eating with two more friends!

From my last visit to the Red Door Cafe (which, from here on out, shall be referred to as "that other place" or "that place which shall remain unnamed"; there is no reason to give them any more publicity than necessary and I won't even bother mentioning which last 'blog-entry it was), I knew that they are a very small place (with a total of fourteen seats only) and if you don't get there early enough you will have a long wait to get in. So I got there about twenty-five minutes before they open and figured that I was assured a place to sit with the first wave of diners as I was about tenth in line at that point. While waiting for them to open, I got to talking to the couple behind me in line and mentioned that they may want to try the French toast here as it was pretty good when I last had it. They were really excited about that, until…

The blue-haired tranny-Nazi, whom I can only assume is the owner/hostess, approached us and said that they have a list of "rules" posted at the doorway that must be adhered to if we wanted to eat there and that they don't allow parties of "three" people, it must be a complete table of "four" only. I told him that we weren't together and I was just a table of "one" and they were a table of "two".


BHTN: "If you ask any questions, you won't be allowed in either!"

Me: "I ate here once before by myself. These two people aren't even with me."

BHTN: "Sorry. It's just not gonna happen!"


(Okay. I am adding the "*snaps*"; he really didn't snap his fingers, but the attitude was there if not the actual motion.)

I was going to point out to him that fourteen isn't divisible by four, but really didn't see the point. Something tells me this guy really could care less about the mathematics (or economics) involved. I'd describe the guy as a "bitch", but the stupid bastard would probably take that as a compliment.

Rules for breakfast?! What rules do you need to know to enjoy breakfast (especially when you are a paying customer)?

1) Come hungry;
2) Be seated, eat, and enjoy; and
3) Bring your wallet.
That is all!

Perhaps the blue-haired tranny-Nazi overheard me lauding the Ultimate Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro (which is much better than the French toast they serve there, anyway) and was green (not red or blue, of course) with jealousy. I think I did finally talk the poor couple behind me in line into trying Baker Street Bistro instead. They were new San Francisco residents and actually live in Cow Hollow, closer to Baker Street Bistro and hadn't been there yet. Hopefully there is a new convert to the Ultimate Pain Perdu and one less "couple" to tell people to eat at "that other place".

What have we learned here today, students? Lonesome losers and any ménage à trois[2] need not apply.

Breakfastary rant over… for now.

Back to the good part of this 'blog-entry about Cafe Golo, this is a 'blog about breakfasts after all (and sooner or later someone would have to allow me entry and feed me). I was left in a quandary as to where to go for breakfast, as I was planning on going to "that place which shall remain unnamed" and couldn't think of any places that were in this general vicinity. Then I remembered about Cafe Golo being on the corner of Gough and Lombard, which was only about a dozen blocks away if you head straight down Franklin. Hooray for Cafe Golo!

As I stated during my last visit, Cafe Golo is managed/owned by a really nice lady (who is neither a tranny, nor has blue-hair, mind you) named P.B. In my last 'blog-entry I had made a silly joke about her partner being named "Jay". I found out this morning that the joke is really on me. The co-owner/head baker is actually named Jay (John for long). So they really are "P.B. & Jay". All in all, a very cute name for a couple of nice people (and not in the least bit rude). I also found out today that Cafe Golo has a small backyard (outdoor) patio that has six additional tables for seating between 2-4 persons per table. So, I guess they would have no problem with parties of fourteen or more (or parties of two or less).

One of the best parts of Cafe Golo is that they have their own bakery and produce some great pastries for breakfast. For starters this morning I had a Kiwi-Cranberry Tart. I also took home a piece of Blackberry-Mango pastry and a piece of Sweet Potato Tart to enjoy later today.

(Maybe I really need to rethink this whole black-and-white photography thing. The cranberries and kiwis actually looked a lot better in full colour.)

They have a very good breakfast menu from which to choose, too. I really liked the Potato Scramble I had last month. Today I tried Golo Omelet ~ Eggs (naturally), Cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese, peppers, onions, and tomatoes; served with potatoes and toast. I also had a cuppa mighty fine coffee.

There was really nothing extra special about the omelette; it was just very good and large and extra fluffy (a trick I will never master). It was stuffed full of all fresh ingredients, too. As with their excellent Potato Scrambles, their home fried potatoes are made with both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes, which is nice. They actually forgot to bring me my toast, but even if they had forgotten my omelette this morning, I am sure I would have enjoyed this meal much more than any at "that other place" (okay, I promise no more breakfastary rants… maybe); plus, with the tasty pastry starter, I really didn't need any more carbohydrate intake today.

For condimentary supplements Cafe Golo offers a pretty decent selection of hot sauces: Crystal®, Tapatío®, and a few others. But I had brought a few of my own and used a little Serious Food… Silly Prices Sweet Heat on the potatoes and a little Serious Food… Silly Prices Chunky Habanero on the omelette (Thanks for both, Cindy!). Jay said he would like to try them, but they were too busy (but not too busy to actually seat and serve a solitary soul, I am happy to say) and he never got around to sampling them; I'll be sure to let him taste some the next time I go there, and believe you-me, there will be many more trips to come. Thanks P.B. and Jay!

I was also very pleased to find out that both P.B. and Jay are more than happy to answer any stupid questions that you may have without any recriminations. (Okay, I swear, that is the last of my breakfastary rants this morning.)

Good food and great pastries! And most importantly of all, it's always nice to get seated and be able to eat when you are a paying customer, Han! (Seriously, that ends all the breakfastary rants as this is the end of the 'blog-entry.)

Glen Bacon Scale RatingGolo Omelet ~ 6.7; Kiwi-Cranberry Tart ~ 7.0; Pleasant service without any unreasonably untoward attitude ~ 8.5

[1] Actually, I think Adolph once tried eating there and was rebuffed because he tried to eat there with just Goebbels and Göring, unfortunately Himmler couldn't make it, and they were forced to go elsewhere for breakfast. I think this was the main reason why Hitler invaded Poland.

Did I just go there? You're damn "straight" I did, bitch!


[2] Stupid, useless (but not necessarily codicillary) cunning linguist pointer du jour:

"Ménage à trois" in French literally means "household of three". Just don't let Jack Tripper in on that simplified phrase.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Bistro at Cliff House

Popovers, Popovers, Popovers, Popovers, and McCormick

(If you were wondering why the black-and-white photo this morning... well, mind your own business!)

There are five very good reasons to keep going back to the Bistro at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from May 20th, 2012): 1) They always serve good food; 2) There are some great views of the Pacific Ocean and Ocean Beach; 3) Popovers(!); 4) Popovers(!); and 5) Popovers(!). As I was sitting right next to one of the windows overlooking the ocean, today's great view even included 6-7 dolphins swimming by off shore (and only about 100 yards away)… and me without my tuna net!

The Bistro really doesn't have that extensive of a breakfast menu, and I have eaten there so many times that I have gone through every item (well, those that could be ordered without any of the dead decaying animal or marine insect flesh) many times over now. I really do miss their Greek Omelette; it was the best thing on the menu and one of the best versions in the City. I once again ordered Joe's Special Scramble ~ Scrambled Eggs with Sautéed Ground Beef, Onions, Mushrooms & Spinach, Topped with Parmesan Cheese; this is served with roasted potatoes and a side of fresh fruits. I also had a large glass of orange juice. And of course, one of the main reasons that I keep going back again and again, all meals are served with fresh baked Popovers(!); there were four in my basket this morning and I "forced" myself to finish them all.

As always, the scramble was very good. It was made with lots of fresh spinach and mushrooms. I made sure to order it without the ground beef. Today's side of fruits included: cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, grapes, and strawberries.

The Bistro only has as condimentary supplementation the standard red Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce. So I used some of my new Palo Alto Fire Fighters Habanero Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Amys and Brian!) on the potatoes, and a little Oaxacan Hot Sauce on the scramble.

The wall next to my table included these autographed Hollywoodland photos:

(Picture 1, top to bottom)

??? (I know I should know this one; his face looks very familiar, but I don't know what to do with the name); ???
Ann Sothern; Lyle Talbot

(Picture 2, top to bottom)

George Sanders(?); Deanna Durbin
William Holden; Henry Fonda

(Picture 3, top to bottom)

Don Ameche; ???
Ida Lupino; John Garfield
Jackie Gleason; Lynda Carter


Once again I am offering to treat anyone that can fill in the "???s" with the correct names to all the free Popovers(!) that you can eat (my treat even) or maybe even a breakfast at Dottie's True blue café.

The entire breakfast was good as always. And did I forget to mention the Popovers(!)?

Glen Bacon Scale RatingJoe's Special Scramble ~ 6.7; Popovers(!) ~ 8.2

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Q Restaurant and Wine Bar

(The first EweToob video should be self-explanatory from my breakfast choice. The second video is just because I like Steve Earle's take on the old Beatles classic.)

This morning I went back to Q Restaurant and Wine Bar (see last 'blog-entry from May 12th, 2012); it is another of the restaurants (and wine bars, apparently) that is part of my Breakfast Rotation. They are located on Clement Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues. I got there early enough this morning that I got a parking spot directly in front of the restaurant for a change. I even got to sit at my favourite table, the one with the "Wooly Willy" tableau.

Q Restaurant and Wine Bar (which I am just going to refer to as Q Rest
aurant from here on out for brevity purposes) has a very good standard "Brunch" menu (their term, and they don't open until 10:00am on the weekends, but there really is nothing snooty or over-assuming about this joint) with several good choices. They also have a "Weekend Brunch Specials" menu with several other good choices. They offered both their Muy Deliciouso Chilaquiles and Fried Green Tomato Benedict this weekend. I have had both of these on recent visits and wanted to try something different for a change so I ordered Susio's Rico Suave French Toast ~ cream cheese and strawberry stuffed French white baguette[1] with strawberry compote[2] and caramelized walnuts. I also ordered a side of home fries (which they have as two words on their menu, Herr Gates-Führer) and a large glass of orange juice. I skipped ordering any coffee with the meal as I had a cuppa Bettys Peruvian Pangoa earlier in the morning before heading out (the place doesn't open until 10:00am, you can't expect me to wait that long for a cuppa, can you?).

Now I was in quite a quandary with this meal. I wanted to really like this dish, but it was just "okay". I had just had the quintessential French toast (Pain Perdu) yesterday for breakfast and was interested in the comparison; however, this really didn't work for me. First off,  strawberries and walnuts were a questionable combo for me; maybe if they had added bananas to the mess (bananas and strawberries work; bananas and walnuts work; possibly all three would be good, too). Secondly, it didn't seem to me that this was made with baguette de tradition française, but with plain ol' 'merican white bread. Lastly, the strawberry compote was a little bit on the too tart side for my liking; I did add some maple syrup (which tasted like 100% pure) and it helped a little. At least there were lots of strawberries and walnuts in it, though.

Q Restaurant has a really diverse selection of condimentary supplements, which I knew about and have mentioned before, but I went with my newly-opened bottle of Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (the regular/standard version) (Thanks, Amys and Brian!) on the potatoes. You can never go wrong with this hot sauce and potatoes (I was tempted to try some on the French toast to see if it might help any).

They brought a Tootsie Roll® Midgee® (I think the correct PC-terminology should be "Little Personee®", though) with the check today, which is always nice.

Not all of your outings are going to be No-No's or Perfecto's, Matt; after all, they can't all be Chayote Rellenos or Pain Perdu from Baker Street Bistro.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingSusio's Rico Suave French Toast ~ 5.9

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

"Baguette" as a type of bread comes from French, which comes from Italian "bacchetta" (meaning "a little stick"), which comes from Latin "baculus" (meaning "walking stick").

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

"Compote" comes from French (meaning "mixture"), which comes from Old French "composte", which comes from Latin "composita", feminine of "compositus" (meaning "composite").

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Baker Street Bistro

"Amazing Pain Perdu! How sweet thy taste, that saved a wretch like me. You once were 'lost', but now are 'found'…"

In continuing my revisits to all of the restaurants in my Breakfast Rotation this summer, je suis retourné à Baker Street Bistro (see last 'blog-entry from April 21st, 2012). They are located over in Cow Hollow, near the Presidio, and, coincidentally enough, right on Baker Street, Sir Arthur (however, at 2953, not 221b[1], though). I got there early enough (just a little after they had opened at 9:00am) and was able to park right across the street for a change. It was a bit foggy and overcast this morning, but the Sun made attempts to break through and it was comfortable enough, so I sat outside on their large sidewalk café (which has about 8-10 tables for two-to-four people). I was the only one sitting outside for about half an hour, until a few more patrons decided to "brave" the weather, too.

Wild Parrots of San Francisco Update:
I didn't see any of my little feathered tropical friends this morning, but I heard several of them. I can only assume a small flock of them roosts in the backyard(s) of some of the buildings across the street from the restaurant. After breakfast I hoofed (parrot-toed?) it over to the Lombard Gate of the Presidio to see if any were still around in the tall eucalyptus trees. Unfortunately, I didn't see or hear any more of them today.

I suppose I could have ordered one of Baker Street Bistro's egg dishes, but I once again went with their Pain Perdu ~ two slices of cinnamon French Toast, fresh fruit, strawberry coulis & crème fraîche. I also ordered a side of home fries (they have it as two words on their menu) and a cuppa coffee.

This truly is one of the best versions of French toast that I have ever had. I don't know if they still make their maple syrup with orange and cinnamon infusion any more; they don't state it as such on the menu any longer. It really doesn't matter, as the Pain Perdu is still the best and les accoutrements were nice, but not the only thing worth going back for. (Of course, "not the only thing for which worth going back" is grammatically correct, but it awkward sounds.) I was happy to note that they didn't forget the strawberry coulis this morning swirled into the crème fraîche.

Les fruits du jour: blueberries, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, and pineapple.

Baker Street Bistro only offers as condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (and just the standard red). I was fully aware of this and used some of my own brand new Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce ~ Habanero (Thanks, Amys and Brian!) on the potatoes. Not that I really need any more hot sauces in my refrigerator, but I had used up the last of my favourite Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce a few weeks back and finally located a local supplier and don't have to wait for the two Amys to supply me with a bottle from any seasonal street fairs now. Not only did this store carry the regular style, they just got in some Habanero style, also. This is so new that it is not even listed on the Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce web-site. Of course, I felt it absolutely necessary to pick up a bottle of both styles for my collection. The Habanero is about twice as hot as the regular one, but still maintains a lot of the same great flavour.

This is not really a condimentary supplementation, but I usually like to take the mint[2] leaves that they provide as a garnish and put them in my coffee; it always freaks them out when they pour my refills.

I always seem to "find" my way back to this amazing Pain Perdu… and I have never even been blind, Mr. Newton.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Amazing Pain Perdu ~ 8.2; Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce ~ Habanero ~ 7.5 (Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce ~ regular ~ 7.6)

[1] If you ever visit London and are trying to locate 221b Baker Street, it no longer exists. It has been swallowed up by a few new buildings/condominiums. There is a Sherlock Holmes museum a few doors down the street that they call 221b Baker Street; however, it is not the actual address. 

[2]  Stupid, useless cunning linguist (and a bit historical) pointer of the day:

"Mint" in Spanish is "menta" (in French it is "menthe"). I had to ask the Mexican busboy what the word was. I always thought that "mint" in Spanish was "yerba buena" (alternate form of "hierba buena"), which just means "good herb". 

The original name for the city of San Francisco was Yerba Buena. The name of the original Spanish settlement was taken from the native plant of the same name that was indigenous to the area. Apparently, "yerba buena" is an aromatic herb and resembled mint or peppermint and the Spanish settlers (invaders) named it the "good herb".

After San Francisco was renamed with its current moniker (by the 'merican invaders this time), a small island in San Francisco Bay was named Yerba Buena Island. You cross over it whenever you drive from San Francisco to Oakland on the Bay Bridge.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


(No official website.)

50 Clement Street

Phonicular contact: (415) 751-8000


(I couldn't think of any good "eats" or "eating" related EweToob videos, so I am just linking this great one from Van Morrison. It was playing on the house stereo when I first sat down to eat this morning.)

I am revisiting all of the restaurants in my Breakfast Rotation this summer and returned to Eats (see last 'blog-entry from April 29th, 2012) this morning. Eats is in the Richmond District on the corner of Clement Street and 2nd Avenue. It wasn't hard to get a good parking spot close to the restaurant early on a Sunday morning and I didn't have to wait to be seated when I got there. If you get there after 9:00am on the weekends, you can expect a 20-30 minute wait, though.

Eats offer many good things on their menu. One of these days I really have to try either the Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes or the Apple Walnut Cinnamon Raisin Brioche French Toast. As it were, I ordered the Caprese Scramble ~ cherry tomatoes, pesto[1], fresh Mozarella[2] (sic), and Parmesan; served with a side of Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes and toast (I chose sourdough today). I also had a large glass of Power C ~ grapefruit, orange, and pineapple from their fresh juice bar.

Here's where it would do me well to do a little research and look back through my notes of previous visits. I ordered the exact same meal, including the drink, that I had ordered two visits ago (see 'blog-entry from January 14th, 2012). I seemed to have liked the scramble just a bit more on that visit and liked the Power C a little less then. This had a very good pesto; however, I would have liked a few more cherry tomatoes in it. The addition of a fresh basil chiffonade on top was nice (it was not mentioned on the menu, but I think they did the same thing last time).

As always, the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes were… well, Excellent! This is one of the reasons I keep going back there and added Eats to my Breakfast Rotation in the first place. However, there were only seven cloves of garlic in my Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes. I wonder if I ever had to choose between the Popovers(!) at the Cliff House or these as a side dish which I would choose; luckily, that is not a choice I need to make.

I skipped having a cuppa coffee at Eats and brewed me up (well, "fresh dripped me down", actually) a cuppa Bettys
Mexican Cloud Forest at home to enjoy while I am typing this out. I probably should have had this yesterday to congratulate Team Mexico's Gold Medal win in Fútbol.

Eats has for condimentary supplements a pretty decent triumvirate of: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red); Cholula®; and Tapatío®.  I was aware of this, but instead I used a little of my own El Yucateco® XXXTRA HOT SAUCE Salsa Kutbil-ik® de CHILE HABANERO (Thanks, Brian!) on the scramble (the pesto was plenty tasty on its own, but it never hurts to add a bit of pop) and some HP Guinness® (Thanks, Cindy!) on the potatoes. As usual, the roasted cloves of garlic were put to good use and spread thickly on my toast.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingCaprese Scramble ~ 6.8; Power C ~ 6.7; Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes ~ 7.5; Bettys Mexican Cloud Forest ~ 6.8

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-epicurean pointer del giorno, numero uno:

"Pesto" is a sauce originating in Genoa and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and pine nuts blended with olive oil, and sometimes Parmigiano Reggiano. The name is the contracted past participle of the Genoese word "pestâ" (Italian: "pestare"), which means "to pound, to crush", in reference to the original method of preparation with marble mortar and pestle. See also: "pestle".

[2]  Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-epicurean pointer del giorno, numero due:

Sorry, they had this mispelded on their menu with only one "z", Chuck. 

"Mozzarella" is derived from the Neapolitan dialect spoken in Campania, Italy; it is the diminutive form of "mozza" (meaning "cut"), or "mozzare" ("to cut off").

Saturday, August 11, 2012


"The one with the southwestern benedict."

(No reason for this EweToob video of the Beatles. It's just overcast here this morning and this is wishful thinking.)

I went back to Ella's for my breakfastary repast this morning (see last 'blog-entry from April 14th, 2012). They are located on the corner of Presidio Avenue and California Street in Laurel Heights. This is one of my favourite "Brunch" places (their term, not mine; they open up at 8:30am on the weekends, so it's really breakfast) and has been in my Breakfast Rotation for several years now.

They offer a different "Brunch" menu every weekend. It is not very extensive, but what they offer will usually incorporate the freshest ingredients from whatever is seasonally available. There were a couple of items that caught my eye: open faced omelette with smoked salmon, lemon dill cream cheese, grilled asparagus and toasted onion; or folded omelette with house made sausage, basil, sun dried tomato and ricotta
~ I could have always ordered both of those without the dead, decaying fish or animal flesh. This weekend's potato scramble was the exact same combination that I had during another visit. I decided on the southwestern benedict ~ cilantro lime biscuit, ancho chile niman ranch pulled pork, poached eggs, chipotle hollandaise, avocado; served with home fried potatoes. I also ordered a glass of ginger orange juice punch.

Of course, I had this sin la carne de cerdo muerto y en descomposición. This was made with a very good hollandaise sauce. It was not overly spicy, but very tasty. It did have a bit of heat, but nothing your gringa grandma would think was too hot to handle. The biscuit was exceptionally good ~ fresh baked in their kitchen daily~ and was the real key to the success of this meal. I would like to have those as an alternative to ordinary biscuits normally. It all worked together very nicely.

As always, the
ginger orange juice punch very good. This is one of the things that has kept me coming back year after year.

I skipped a cuppa coffee with breakfast and am now enjoying a cuppa my own Grumpy Mule Grumpy Yule blend while I type this up. (Thanks, Cindy and Greg! I say "Cindy and Greg"; whereas it is Cindy that did the actual buying and gift giving, but Greg is her coffee expert. Cindy doesn't actually drink coffee ~ tea is her forte[1]; so she has to rely on Greg for any coffee choices. Otherwise, it would be like me deciding which cut of beef would be best for you to have for dinner.) This is a very robust and tasty Christmas blend.

Ella's has as condimentary supplementation just Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both the standard red and green jalapeño versions). Knowing this, I came prepared and used a little of both Cholula® (Thanks, me!) and Serious Food… Silly Prices Mango Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy!) on the potatoes. I had tasted the chipotle hollandaise before any unnecessary additions to it and deemed it more than sufficiently flavoured before I ruined it with any more hot sauce.

Glen Bacon Scale Ratingsouthwestern benedict ~ 7.0;
ginger orange juice punch ~ 6.8; Grumpy Yule ~ 6.8

[1] Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del giorno:

"Forte" is not spelled avec l'accent aigu as it is an Italian word, not French (which I had always assumed by its pronunciation). "Forte" comes from the Italian word for "strong", which comes from the Latin word "fortis" also meaning "strong".

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hot Stuff! Part Deux

I have commented on bottled hot sauces (as condimentary supplementation) many times here in the past; there was even one earlier post dedicated specifically to the fiery little devils (see 'blog-entry from March 21st, 2010). I feel that hot sauces complement both eggs and potatoes perfectly (and occasionally even coffee[1]).

I really don't like to use any extra salt on my food; however, most hot sauces do have a high salt content. It is one of the main ingredients in many hot sauces (after chili peppers, of course). Tabasco® brand products (and many similar Louisiana style hot sauces) are just chili peppers, vinegar, and salt.

Usually the brands that can be found in most restaurants are: Tabasco® (while most places just offer the standard red, there are several other varieties: green Jalapeño; Chipotle ~ which is my favourite of the McIlhenny Company products; Garlic; Habanero; and a few others); Crystal® Hot Sauce; Frank's® RedHot (they also have several variations available now); and in California there are usually the additional brands of Cholula® (which I feel is the best in flavour of the more readily available hot sauces; it is made with many spices in addition to chili peppers, salt, and vinegar) and Tapatío®. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these hot sauces, but I like a little bit more options and currently have fifteen in my own collection. I will usually bring along two to three bottles with me whenever I eat breakfast out.

(Left to right)

Cherry Republic® KaBOB'S Kick'en Hot Sauce; Serious Food… Silly Prices Sweet Heat Hot Sauce; El Yucateco® XXXTRA HOT SAUCE Salsa Kutbil-ik® de CHILE HABANERO; and Cholula®.

(Left to right)

YOUK'S HOT SAUCE; Serious Food… Silly Prices Chunky Habanero Hot Sauce; Oaxacan Hot Sauce; and
Serious Food… Silly Prices Mango Hot Sauce.

All of those pictured above are of varying heat levels. They are not too hot where you can't taste the flavour of the hot sauce over the heat level. Chili peppers are rated on the Scoville Heat Units Scale. Certain peppers are hotter than others. The standard tabasco chili pepper is nowhere as potent as the habanero pepper and others.
Then there are those hot sauces made from the jolokia naga chili pepper and others that are made with extract of capsaicin where the heat level is just ridiculous. I have several of those (all of which had been given to me as "gifts" ~ I like a bit of heat, but I am not really into any masochistic pleasure) in my collection, too. Just a few drops of any of these is really all that is needed, and these bottles will probably last me many, many years of pain… er, pleasure.

(Left to right)

BIG PAPI EN FUEGO HOT SAUCE OFF THE WALL TRIPLE HOT; BIG PAPI EN FUEGO HOT SAUCE GRAND SLAM XXXTRA HOT; BLAIR'S SUDDEN DEATH SAUCE®; One Stop Hot Shop "Son of Smart Arse" Sauce; One Stop Hot Shop 'Nuclear Naga' Atomic Chilli Sauce; One Stop Hot Shop 'Smart Arse'® Extreme Chilli Sauce; and BLAIR'S AFTER DEATH SAUCE®.

I even have a subset collection of Boston Red Sox hot sauces.

(Left to right)



The BOSTON RED SOX HOT SAUCE was basically a tabasco style hot sauce; distributed by HOT SAUCE HARRY'S, Inc. The BIG PAPI hot sauces were produced for David Ortiz' restaurant. There were four variations of heat available. I have already used up both the SINGLE and DOUBLE of my collection, as they were the least hot. The YOUK'S is produced by Kevin Youkilis' brother who has a restaurant in San Francisco. Of the three brands, I like the YOUK'S the best (even if he plays with that other Sox team now); it isn't very hot, but it is pretty flavourful.

I don't have a bottle of Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce in my collection currently as I had used the last of it a few weeks back and need to replenish it. This has to be my favourite hot sauce in a long time. It packs a bit of heat, but the flavour from the fresh chilies really makes this a great hot sauce.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingPalo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce ~ 7.6; Tabasco® (standard red) ~ 6.0; Tabasco® Jalapeño ~ 6.2; Tabasco® Chipotle ~ 6.5; Cholula® ~ 6.7; YOUK'S HOT SAUCE ~ 6.9

[1] My local Peet's Coffee & Tea® invented an espresso drink that they call the Scorpion Bite. It is just a standard espresso shot with a few drops of hot sauce added to the demitasse before adding the coffee to it. It does have a bit of a "bite" to it, but it really isn't that bad. It gives you that extra added jolt for the morning.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dottie’s True blue café

I am pretty sure that "Dottie's" is Thai for "Number One, Joe, me love you long time".

I actually had to break out my waterproof jacket to make the trek over to Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from June 13th, 2012) as the air was pretty saturated with the thick summer fog (Samuel Langhorne Clemens would not lie to you). I got over there fifteen minutes before they opened this morning, and I was actually the first in line for a change. (Sleep is way overrated, Warren.) I even got the primo parking spot right out in front (well, the second primo-est spot right behind Kurt's little red Mercedes). While waiting in line and before ordering, I made sure to bore a few of the out of town patrons: a guy from New York City (the one in New York State, of course), another guy from Los Ångeles (California), and even a lady from Dorchester (Massachusetts).

Today's kitschy salt and pepper shaker set on my area of the counter was a zeppelin (which housed the pepper) and cloud (for the salt). I wonder if the paint contained any lead in it, Mr. Plant.

I had already made up my mind for breakfast before heading over there. If they had their awesome Zucchini Cakes (it's been a few visits since I last ordered it) on the weekend specials board, I was going to get that; if not, I was planning on just ordering one of their fresh baked goods and maybe an egg over medium with a side of home fries. As luck would have it, I did end up ordering the Zucchini Cakes topped with poached eggs & spicy marinara sauce; fruit & potatoes. I also had a cuppa coffee.

(Please ignore the quality of the meal photo. The photographer has already been severely dealt with for this poor quality photo.)

The Zucchini Cakes were excellent as always. I didn't expect any less, and this was my main point in ordering them. I really don't know what else to say about this great rendition of Uova Benedicto. It is truly an excellent invention.

Today's cup of fruit included: (lots of) blueberries, (a few) strawberries, and (more than likely, less than one) cantaloupe.

One of these days I really ought to find out what brand/roast of coffee they serve. It's not that bad and it is a bottomless cup (it's okay, I was wearing brown shoes and no one could tell).

As stated many times before in the past (Can anything be stated "many times before in the future"?), Dottie's True blue café has a very decent selection of condimentary supplements (and I don't even bother schlepping any from my own collection any more). I used a little Tabasco® Chipotle on the potatoes only; their spicy marinara sauce was tasty enough without me messing with it.

Glen Bacon Scale RatingZucchini Cakes ~ 7.6

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ladda’s Thai Cuisine

Perhaps "Ladda" is Thai for "Patel"[1]. 555!

(No official website)

1225 La Playa[2] Street (at Lincoln Way)

Phonicular contact: (415) 665-0185


(Most people think this catchy summer ditty is just a nice little beach song. "Hey! Let's go to the beach." However, it's actually about a nuclear holocaust. It's basically saying, "We're all screwed, anyway; so we might as well just head to the beach." We all need more fluorescent water, right?)

This is the first time in all the years that I have lived in San Francisco that I have ever eaten at Ladda's
Thai Cuisine/Sea View Restaurant/Great Highway Inn Coffee Shop. I list it as such as they have had many incarnations (I thought that was a Hindu thing, not Buddhist thing) over the years and have maintained all of the old signage for some reason. I think it is actually just Ladda's Thai Cuisine now, but who knows? I have driven by the place many, many times, and finally got around to eating there for breakfast this morning.

LTC/SVR/GHICS (it's just easier this way) is located across the street (well, across the Great Highway) from Ocean Beach and across from the southwestern corner of Golden Gate Park (near Murphy Windmill, which was not operating this morning). They have their own parking lot, which is nice, but for some reason it is usually empty. I actually parked around the corner on 48th Avenue myself as it was easier than going around the block to use the La Playa Street driveway. One of their names may call this a "coffee shop", but it's actually a regular full-service restaurant; it's the house restaurant that is attached to Great Highway Inn.

LTC/SVR/GHICS offers a standard 'merican breakfast fare: eggs, omelettes, pancakes, and French toast; but they serve Thai food in the evenings (I am not sure what a typical Thai breakfast would consist of). There was a Buddhist display/offering at the front door that had a bowl of oranges, cups of tea, and some toast… I suppose I could have stolen some of that and just eaten for free this morning. (Karma is a Hindu thing, not Buddhist, right?) I ended up ordering the Vegetarian Omelet ~ mushroom, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes; served with toast (just not Buddha's, I hope) and hash brown (sic[3]; noted as two words ~ which is okay with the Gates Spell-Check Nazis, but singular). I also had a cuppa decent enough coffee.

This was a good enough omelette, but nothing really extraordinary. It was pretty large and fluffy, and made with lots of fresh vegetables (and fungus, too, I suppose). This might have been a bit better if the vegetables (and fungus) had been sautéed first before adding them to the egg mixture. I went with an English muffin as my choice of toast, Siddhārtha Gautama.

LTC/SVR/GHICS just has for condimentary supplementation: Tabasco® (the standard red), which was expected, so I used some of my own YOUK'S HOT SAUCE (Thanks, Brian!) on the omelette and a little (too mu
ch) BIG PAPI EN FUEGO HOT SAUCE GRAND SLAM XXXTRA HOT (Thanks, Kerry!) on the hashbrowns (I used just four drops and it was still pretty darn en fuego). Technically, this really can't be considered an homage to the Boston Red Sox, as Kevin Youkilis is no longer with the correct Sox team, but I had bought the bottle when he was still with Boston. This is okay, as I am actually a little homage-phobic and really don't see what all of the to-do is with eating at ChicKKK-fil-A[4].

Glen Bacon Scale RatingVegetarian Omelet ~ 6.0

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

The term "patel" means "village headman" in Indian. The surname "Patel" is a very common name among hoteliers (moteliers?) in 'merica now-a-days. According to Wikipedia: "As many as 60% of mid-sized motels and hotel properties, all over the U.S., are owned by the people of Indian origin. Of this, nearly one-third have the surname Patel."

[2] Stupid, useless cunning linguist punto del día, número dos:

"La Playa" simply means "the beach" in Spanish. 

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

"sic" is Latin for "so/thus". Many people incorrectly think it is the abbreviation for "said in context".

[4] Alternatively (life-styled) known as Chick-fil-A-holes.

(Thanks go to my nephew Cam for that one.)