Sunday, November 25, 2012

Morning Due Café

I wanted to check out a new place (or at least one at which I had never eaten before), due to which I went to Morning Due Café this morning. They are located on the Corner of 17th and Church Streets in the Castro (borderline Mission District, which is just a block away really), and right next door is Due Drop In, owned and operated by the same people. I am not sure where I had heard about them (probably off some "Best of San Francisco" list), but they are on a list of my own breakfast places to check out and I finally got around to eating there.

They open up pretty early (7:00am), but only for coffee, pastries, or bagels; the kitchen doesn't open until 8:00am for real food. As I had gotten there just a little after 7:00am, I had some time to kill, so I got a small cuppa coffee to go and walked around the neighborhood (I hardly ever get to the Castro and found another new place that I will need to check out one of these days). I came across yet another one of these San Francisco "parklets" at the end of 17th Street, where it meets with Castro and Market Streets, right where the F Line streetcar/trolley car (but not a "Frisco Cable Car") turnaround is. For a change, this parklet actually makes some sense, as that corner of 17th Street was always pretty crazy for traffic, anyway.

Morning Due Café offers a pretty decent breakfastary menu for what is really just a large coffeehouse. They have several omelettes, scrambles, and other hot breakfast items on the menu. Like a lot of coffehouses you order and pay at the counter first (giving you no chances to chew and screw, dammit), and then they bring the food out to you when it is done. I ordered the Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Omelette ~ which strangely enough contained Buffalo Mozzarella, tomatoes (they allowed me to substitute the fresh tomatoes with sundried tomatoes), and basil; served with Cajun potatoes (which are home fries with Cajun spices, red and green bell peppers, and onions) and toast (I went with sourdough). I also had another large cuppa coffee.

This was basically a Pizza Margherita omelette. It was made frittata-style with the tomatoes and basil mixed in the egg batter and the large dollops of Mozzarella on top. There were lots of sundried tomatoes and fresh basil (most places usually go pretty cheap on both ingredients). I wasn't quite sure if my idea of using sundried tomatoes would work or not (these usually overpower most other flavours), but they actually worked very well and complemented both the basil and Mozzarella.

I don't know what the actual brand of coffee that they serve was (they state that it's Fair Trade Organic is all), but it was good enough for me to order another large cuppa after I had finished off the small cuppa while walking around.

Morning Due Café has for condimentary supplements just Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red). I had come prepared and went with some of my own Cherry Republic® KaBOB’s Kick’en Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy!) on the omelette and a little HP Guinness® (Thanks again, Cindy!) on the potatoes. Neither really needed any extra flavouring, but I figured that I had schlepped the stupid things with me, so I was gonna use some.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: BMTB Omelette ~ 6.5; Coffee ~ 6.8

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Baker Street Bistro

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast."
~ Oscar Wilde, "An Ideal Husband"

(I would just like you to try and locate another good "Baker"-, "Street"-, or "Bistro"-themed EweToob video. This one with Peter Edward Baker[1] on drums will just have to suffice. Now if only the Pain Perdu included ginger[2] as one of des ingrédients secrets…)

Continuing my way through my Breakfastary Line-up before year's end, je suis retourné à Baker Street Bistro (see last 'blog-entry from August 18th, 2012). As it was a bright, sunny day, I sat outside once again on the sidewalk/patio café area, where there is seating for twenty-two people and at least 4-6 dogs (however, there were no other people or dogs this morning that joined me on the patio, so I had the entire area all to myself).

The Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude
I had parked over by the Presidio's Lombard Gate again and heard several of the fine-feathered pests, but didn't actually see any, either in the trees or flying around this morning.

As for breakfast, once again I ordered (Quelle surprise, Mme Terry!) Pain Perdu ~ A brunch favorite! ~ Two slices of cinnamon French Toast, fresh fruit, strawberry coulis & crème fraîche (this can be ordered as a half portion ~ one slice instead of two ~ but why would you ever do that?). I also had a side of home fries and a cuppa coffee.

I have stated this many, many times over: this is not only the best French Toast in San Francisco, it might just be the best French Toast in all off the U.S. of 'merica! And, quite possibly, the entire World!! It is unnecessary for me to review again the exquisiteness of how the French Toast is prepared or stress how the strawberry coulis/crème fraîche pairs expertly with the maple syrup on top. All you need to know is if you ever go there, just get ce petit déjeuner damnés!

Les fruits de la journée: pommes, ananas, oranges, raisins, pastèque, et cantaloup.

Baker Street Bistro a tout simplement des condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red). Knowing that, I used some of my own Serious Food… Silly Prices Chunky Habanero Hot Sauce on the home fries. If anyone tries to mess with their perfect Pain Perdu, they will have me to answer to (and, yes, I know that grammatically correcturally this should be "they will have to answer to me" ~ so start your own damn 'blog if you are gonna be the Grammar Gestapo[3]).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pain Perdu ~ 8.2

1. Apparently, this Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker person used to be some kinda drummer in a few Rock-and/or-Roll groups in the 60's and 70's. He simply obtained that sobriquet due to his red hair; however, there is no truth to the matter that he got the nickname just because the Skipper preferred him over Jack "Mary Ann" Bruce.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer de la journée, numéro un:

"Ginger" comes from French "gingembre", from Old English "gingifere", from Medieval Latin "gingiber", from Latin "zinziberi", from Greek "
ζιγγίβερι", ultimately from Tamil "இஞ்சி வேர்" or Malayalam "ഇഞ്ചി വേര്" meaning "horn + body" due to the shape of its root.

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer des Tages, Nummer zwei:

"Gestapo" is the abbreviation of German "Geheime Staatspolizei", meaning "Secret State Police". 

This should never be confused with that other horrible Nazi organization the Political Police, "Politische Polizei" or "Popo" for short. Believe me, you would never want to be caught by them with any political infractions as they would ream you good!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


"'There's no use trying', she said: 'one can't believe impossible things.' 
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'"
~ Lewis Carroll, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", Chapter 5

(Still no official website.)

50 Clement Street (on the corner of 2nd Avenue)

Phonicular contact: (415) 751-8000

(I was running out of "Eat"-themed EweToob videos to link when dining at this particular restaurant. I think I may have used Blondie's "Eat To The Beat" twice already. So, I reached out to my defacedbook friends and family, and, I am happy to say, as in real life, they were a major disappointment. I got three crummy suggestions, and one was not even a real suggestion. Well, this is the best of the two other suggestions. If anyone has a problem with today's video link, you can take it up with Karl Brandt; he's only 6'5" and about 250 pounds.)

Before the end of the year, I am trying to work my way through my Breakfastary Line-up again, so today I went back to Eats (see last 'blog-entry from August 12th, 2012). They are located over in the Richmond District… yada, yada, yada… (I have eaten and reviewed this place several times already within the last few years. All you need to know is that the food is great, and that they have Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes. Also, get there early, as they are a rather small joint and tend to fill up pretty quickly on the weekends.)

I think that I may have tried just about all of their egg/omelette dishes by now and decided to finally order something from their "Off the Griddle" section of the menu. I ordered Apple Walnut Cinnamon French Toast stuffed w/cream cheese (This used to be listed on their menu as Apple Walnut Cinnamon Raisin Brioche French Toast, which sounded good, too). I also ordered a side of Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes (it's a "sweet-and-savoury" thing) and a large glass of Power "C" ~ grapefruit, orange, and pineapple juices.

I really liked this dish and it is good to note that I have a fall-back to order there if I ever get tired of their other egg dishes (I probably won't ever get tired, though). The French toast is made with four slices of bread stuffed with cream cheese and topped with sliced apples and walnuts. The apples were Golden Delicious (I asked) that were thinly sliced and sautéed in butter (pears would be great in this dish, too). Even the cream cheese got in on the flavour business as it was cinnamon cream cheese.

I can't believe that I almost forgot to order a side of the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes; this would be like going all the way to Vienna and forgetting to order Apfelstrudel mit warmer Vanillesoße for dessert (or getting there and they say they are all out, so you just settle for a cuppa coffee instead, Jerry). This is not really a complaint, just pointing it out: there were just two large cloves of roasted garlic in the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes this morning; normally, there are anywhere from six to ten cloves. 

The Power "C" is made with all fresh-squeezed (or blendered) juices. Today it had the perfect balance of grapefruit-orange-pineapple percentages: just enough tart grapefruit to counter the sweetness of the pineapple.

Eats condimentary supplements are the typical San Francisco Triumvirate of: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), Tapatío®, and Cholula®. That is a pretty decent selection; however, with their Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes only another as Excellent! hot sauce can be used, so I went with some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Brian and Amys!) on them.

Just so that today wasn't a total failure, I believed at least three impossible things before I left the house this morning (and it took me no longer than fifteen minutes, Mr. Dodgson).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Apple Walnut Cinnamon French Toast ~ 7.2; Power "C" ~ 7.0; Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes ~ 7.5

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Buena Vista (Cafe)

The Buena Vista[1] Social Breakfast Club?

(The name of the group should be self-explanatory for today's EweToob video selection.)

I would never have even thought about having breakfast at the Buena Vista (Cafe) ~ I write it as such as the official name of the restaurant is "the Buena Vista Cafe", but most of their signs and napkins just state "the Buena Vista" ~ but it was suggested by Karl Brandt (an old Air Force buddy and fellow cunning linguist ~ in this case, also Russkij ~ that was stationed with me at Tempelhof Central Airbase, in what used to be West Berlin). I think the last time I was even at the Buena Vista was when Karl and his mother were passing through a few years back. The Buena Vista is a San Francisco and tourista tradition alike as a must-go-to place (explanation to follow).

The Buena Vista is located on the corner of Hyde and Beach Streets, right across the street from the Powell-Hyde "Frisco Trolley Car" turnaround, and that locale alone would make them a good spot for hungry (and thirsty) touristas to frequent. They open at 9:00am Monday through Friday, at 8:00am on Saturday and Sunday, and are closed the rest of the week. The restaurant can accommodate a good amount of folks. Today I sat at the bar/counter area with the round wooden rotating stools.

It always sucks trying to find legal and cheap parking in the Fisherman's Wharf area. However, I parked over on the end of Van Ness, next to the tall trees in Fort Mason which house some of the Wild Parrots of San Francisco; unfortunately, I really didn't see or hear any of them this morning due to the constant rain (on and off drizzle to hard rain).

Tourista tip of the day: this is a great place to park if you are planning on walking around Fisherman's Wharf for a while. You can park for free for four hours, which should be plenty of time to walk up and down Fisherman's Wharf and get something to eat as well as buying all the normal, useless tourist crap that you will never really use ever again. Keep in mind it's much easier to find a spot early in the morning (there were still probably 20-30 open spots when I arrived about 8:30am), and always much easier during the off-peak tourista season. (One of these days, I really need to get me a Tourista Hunting License. I hate having to pay all those fines when I shoot a tourista when they are not in season. Please be considerate to the next hunter and remember to only take your limit, too.)

There really is a limited amount of places to have breakfast on or near Fisherman's Wharf, Mr. Dorn. So I was very surprised to find out that the Buena Vista was open in the mornings, and they actually have a pretty decent breakfastary menu. I ended up ordering the Mexican Omelet ~ green chilies, Monterey Jack, green peppers, onions, sour cream, & guacamole; all breakfasts are served with hashbrowns and toast (for an additional charge you can get sourdough toast, which I thought is kinda lame for a Fisherman's Wharf joint; but I did opt for this and it turned out to be a grilled sourdough baguette, so that made it worthwhile after all). And no visit to the Buena Vista would be complete without ordering a cuppa Irish Coffee, which has been historically made with Tullamore Dew® and currently with Peerless Coffee®.

The omelette was just okay, but it was served with ramekins[2] of guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream on the side. Both the guacamole and pico de gallo were fresh and very good, so I am giving it extra points because of these (the sour cream was just plain ol' sour cream, no points were added or taken away for this). The hashbrowns actually were more of the homefries variety (just diced in a lot smaller chunks) and very good.

The Buena Vista is World-Famous for their Irish Coffee. Now I could go into a long and boring story about the history of
Irish Coffee, but why do that when they have already gone into the long and boring story themselves?

Just be forewarned, as with most drink "inventions" there are other stories and claimants to be the authenticators. So take that story with a grain of salt… or a dram of Legendary Irish Whiskey.

The Buena Vista even has one bartender that is solely dedicated to making Irish Coffees. He has a small assembly line of glasses (waiting with hot water in them already to keep the glasses warmed-up until they need to have coffee poured in them) ready to go for whenever someone orders them. Even this early in the morning I would say one-out-of-two people were ordering them; and please, people, children under ten really shouldn't be drinking alcohol before Noon.

The Buena Vista has as condimentary supplementation just Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (but both the standard red and Chipotle). I used some of the Chipotle on the omelette to compliment all of the other Mexican flavours, and I used some of my own CaJohns Fiery Foods Oaxacan Hot Sauce on the potatoes.

Now, I don't really like Whiskey (or Whisky, even), or any cream and sugar in my coffee normally, but an Irish Coffee is mandatory when eating or drinking at the Buena Vista (I can usually drink at least one, but I must say that Mrs. Brandt really shamed me with three or four to my one the last time we were there). I heard that even Mitt Romney has been known to tip back a few when dining there. (In five to ten years no one will even get that joke any more.)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Mexican Omelet ~ 6.4; Irish Coffee ~ 7.5

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del giorno/del día, numero uno/número uno:

"Vista" is simply Italiano or Spanish (or Portuguese, also) for "view". It is the Italiano noun use of the feminine of "visto", the past participle of "vedere" ("to see"), which comes from Latin "videre" ("to see"). Many people are familiar with the Julius Caesar saying: "Veni, vidi, vici." ~ which loosely translates from Latin as "I came, I saw, I had breakfast and some Irish Whiskey in a coffee drink."

Interestingly, the Russkij verb for "to see" is "
видеть", transliterated as "videt'" and pronounced as "veedet". The Latin root is similarly used in other Slavic languages:

Bulgarian ~ "
Croatian ~ "vidjeti"
Czech ~ "vidět"
Macedonian ~ "
Polish ~ "widzieć"
Serbian ~ "
Slovak ~ "vidiet'"
Ukrainian ~ "

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour/van de dag, numéro deux/nummer twee:

"Ramekin" comes from French "ramequin", which comes from dialectal Dutch/Middle Dutch "rammeken".

Thank you Food Network for that word. It's not like I even have any ramekins in my kitchen. I am sure I have a lot of little bowls and dishes, though.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Grind Cafe

How much coffee could a groundhog grind if a groundhog could grind coffee?

(The only song I could find that actually is called "Armistice Day" was by Paul Simon, but it is a pretty lame song. So, for your listening pleasure, I am including this EweToob video instead. It is also by Paul Simon and off the same album; plus, it's a lot more fun. You know you'll be whistling this all day long now.)

It's not often that you find a good breakfast place that opens very early (before 8:00am) and also serves a great cuppa coffee. I had the pleasure of eating at one such place this morning: the Grind Cafe, on Haight[1] Street (near the corner of Scott Street). They open up at 7:00am Monday-Saturday, and at 8:00am the rest of the days of the week. They are very large for a "coffee joint", but don't let the name fool you, they have an extensive menu (both breakfastary and otherwise). There is lots of seating inside, and, most notably, they have a large outdoor/sidewalk patio that can accommodate another eighteen people or so. (However, it was still a bit too cold to sit outside early this morning, so I wimped out and ate inside. The only occupant outside was a solitary Dalmatian patiently waiting for his humans to stuff their faces; they had better have gotten him a Vanilla Latte at least.)

Like most coffee joints, you order at the counter/coffee-making area, they give you a number to place on your table, and bring your food out to you when it is ready (well, if they brought your food out to you before it was ready that wouldn't really make much sense). The Grind Cafe offers several different scrambles and omelettes, buttermilk pancakes, French toast, and Belgian waffles, as well as several other House Favorites. I was thinking about getting the Breakfast Burrito ~ flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, Cheddar, avocado, salsa, sour cream, and choice of bacon, sausage, ham, or Chorizo (vegetarian sausage available for substitution). I ended up getting the Mediterranean Scram ~ spinach, onion, tomato, artichoke hearts, & Feta; served with hash browns or home fries (both noted as two words, Herr Gates) and choice of toast. Now what would be breakfast at a coffee joint without a cuppa coffee? So, I made sure to order a cuppa the house coffee.

The scramble had lots of fresh spinach and Feta (and particularly of note, the Feta was in large chunks, not crumby little crumbles); and the artichoke hearts were the brined, not the marinated type (this really makes a difference to me, as the marinated type can sometimes overpower the rest of the flavours with the vinegar, oil, and spices). You gotta love a place that offers two different types of potato side dishes. I conferred with the barista taking my order and she suggested the homefries, as it was her favourite ~ with onions and peppers; this seemed like a good pairing with my main egg dish. The homefries turned out to be a very good choice as they were excellent; very crispy and burned just right (I like to be able to see all the black crumblies).

The Grind Cafe doesn't roast their own coffee, but I was informed the blend/roast that they use as their standard house coffee was developed especially for them by a local Berkeley roastery (they told me the name, but I forgot who it was). It was a very good cuppa: full, rich, and dark.

What the Grind Cafe offers for condimentary supplements is Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce, Tapatío®, and Huy Fong Foods® Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, which is actually a pretty decent offering for a coffee joint. I ended up using some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce (Habanero) on the homefries and some El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero on the scramble.

For those of you out there reading this that are surviving Military Veterans: Happy Veterans Day!

For those of you out there reading this that aren't surviving Military Veterans, but know someone that is: Happy Veterans Day!

For those of you out there reading this that are non-surviving Military Veterans: Thank you for your dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice, and Happy Veterans Day!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Mediterranean Scram ~ 6.3; House-blend Coffee ~ 7.2

1. Who was Haight? Who was Ashbury? And why do they like supporting aging hippies and prepubescent runaway hippie wannabes alike?

Haight Street is named after California pioneer and exchange banker Henry Haight (1820-1869).

I really couldn't find any references on-line for whom Ashbury Street was named. Probably just some stoned Jerry Garcia fan.

You really have to check out this web-site dedicated to Haight-Ashbury:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Q Restaurant and Wine Bar

I would kill for a Nobel Prize.

(This EweToob video is in reference to all of this weekend's Military holidays. While it really is more of an anti-war song, I am using it anyway; let's just see you try and find a good song about World War I. Today happens to be the 237th Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps ~ Semper Fi and Oo-RAH! Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations ~ celebrated with a moment of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. And Monday is Veterans Day in the United States.)

While still working my way through my Breakfastary Rotation, once again I had breakfast at Q Restaurant and Wine Bar (see last 'blog-entry from August 19th, 2012), which is quite a mouthful so I am shortening it to just Q Restaurant from here on. There is some construction going on outside to the façade[1] of the building, but they are open for business all the same. As can be seen from the above sign on their door, they are also (your 2012 World Champion) San Francisco Giants fans.

I sat at the Wooly Willy table again; however, there was still no magnet around to play with it. One of these days I need to remember to bring a strong magnet of my own to use.

Q Restaurant has a pretty varied "Brunch" (their term, not mine) menu; plus, they offer several "Brunch Specials" that change every weekend. I thought about getting the Black Bean Corn Cake Benedict (off the weekend specials menu), but I think I have had that before (and it was good) and wanted to try something different for a change. I ended up getting the Bowl-O-Spuds-N-Eggs, with White Cheddar, Salsa, and Sour Cream; however, I substituted their homemade Tater Tots for the standard Home Fries. I also had a large glass of orange juice.

I had this with two eggs over medium. "Nice Tots!" (which is their actual slogan, not my poor spelling and chauvinistic comment on my female servers… but now that I think about it…); which are homemade and kind of their signature side dish. A huge pile of crispy potato products with lots of melted cheese… what's not to like? They make a good pico de gallo salsa, too.

I knew from past visits that Q Restaurant offers
several different bottled hot sauces for condimentary supplementation, but I just used some of my own Serious Food… Silly Prices Mango Hot Sauce mostly on top of the heap, and I also used just two to three drops of Blair's After Death® Sauce with Liquid Fire on a portion of the mess. I also used a little of their dry spice mix which they have in shaker jars on all of the tables.

With the check today came one Tootsie Roll® (the standard cocoa) and one Frooties® (fruit punch).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Bowl-O-Spuds ~ 6.3

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour/del giorno:

"Façade" comes from French, which comes from Upper Italian "faciada" and Italian "facciata", equivalent to "facci(a)" (meaning "face") plus "-ata" ("-ade").

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Coconut Milk

… not quite as good as Almond milk, but still much better than Rice milk or Soymilk

(The Estate of Harry Nilsson should be contacted shortly by the Estate of Ernie Kovacs for ©opyright infringements.)

This is a follow-up 'blog-entry to one that I had done a while back (see 'blog-entry from August 27th, 2010).

Last summer my brother Kerry informed me of another alternative to standard (bovine) milk[1]: Coconut milk. This is another decent product for anyone that may be lactose-intolerant or a Vegan (or a Vegan-intolerant lactose person). Coconut milk is not really a new thing and has been available for many years (usually in canned form) and is a common product in many Asian cultures. It is just now being commercially produced for mass-consumption by different major brands in milk carton form in the United States. It is available in Original/plain, as well as other flavours: Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate, Nog, and Pumpkin Spice (the last three being available seasonally/for the Holidays). There are also unsweetened and low-calorie versions available with some brands. It is available in both refrigerated and shelf-stable cartons.

Coconut milk is not to be confused with another recent trend, that of Coconut water as an alternative to Sports rehydration[2] drinks. When these are made with 100% Coconut water (with no added sugars), they are naturally high in potassium (up to five times that of other Sports drinks), but lower in calories, while still providing some needed carbohydrates. I have been drinking these for a while now, too.

Now I am neither stupidly lactose-intolerant, nor a stupid Vegan, but it has been a few years since I last bought any standard milk. I usually alternate between Almond milk and Coconut milk most of the time now. I prefer the taste of Almond milk over Coconut milk, but it is a nice option when I feel like something different. I think that Coconut milk does have a bit stronger flavour than Almond milk. You can really taste the coconut in it, more so than you can taste the almonds in Almond milk. So if you are either allergic to or don't like the flavour of coconuts, I wouldn't suggest trying it.

Both Almond milk and Coconut milk seem to work well in the morning on cold cereals, and both are pretty good in a tall glass with a snack of cookies (the cookies can be on a plate, not necessarily in a tall glass). I really can not tell you how either performs as a substitute to real milk with baked goods, as that would entail actual baking and not something that I have ever done.

Blue Diamond® Almonds even has a hybrid model (which gets twice as much mileage to the gallon): Almond Breeze® Almond-Coconut milk. It is only available in Original/plain and Vanilla; and in both sweetened or unsweetened versions. I don't think that they offer it in a Chocolate flavour yet, but that would seem to be a natural; it would be like a liquid Almond Joy® I am sure.

I haven't seen any yoghurt[3] products being made from Coconut milk yet. However, I do know that neither Almond milk, nor Rice milk, nor Soymilk, really makes very good yoghurt; the consistency is closer to a thick pudding than real yoghurt. I am not sure if a plain flavour would make for a good
τζατζίκι or not; probably not.

One thing that Coconut milk has over Almond milk (and Rice milk and Soymilk) is that it makes a much better ice cream. Of course, the flavours are going to be very limited; Plain, Chocolate, and Pineapple are good ones.

I am neither a doctor, nor a dietician (and don't pretend to play one on the Intro-Net), but be warned: Coconut milk is higher in calories than regular milk. This is due in part because coconut milk contains coconut oil and has high levels of saturated fats.

One good thing, though, sister, I don't think they offer a Lime-Coconut flavoured milk yet.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Coconut milk ~ 7.0; Almond milk ~ 7.2

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, number one:

The English word "milk" is similar in several other languages, Mr. Cabrera:

Dutch and Norwegian ~ "melk"; German ~ "Milch"; Swedish ~ "mjölk"; Icelandic ~ "mjólk"; Danish ~ "
mælk"; Russkij and Ukrainian ~ "молоко"; Belarusian ~ "малако"; Bulgarian ~ "мляко"; Polish ~ "mleko"; Czech ~ "mléko"; Slovak ~ "mlieko"; Serbian ~ "млеко"; and Croatian ~ "mlijeko".

You can feel free to look up "coconut" in other languages on your own, though.

2. The Spell-Check Nazis at Microsoft® do not seem to recognize this word; however, it is a valid word, at least according to Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary. So there, Billy-boy! It only makes sense that if there is "dehydration" there should be "rehydration", nu?

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,
iki numaralı:

"Yoghurt" (or "yogurt", or "yoghourt"; take your pick, they are all accepted spellings ~ and the stupid Spell-Check Nazis at Microsoft® don't seem to have a problem with any of them it seems) is from the Turkish word "yoğurt" and is related to the obsolete verb "yoğmak", meaning "to be curdled or coagulated; to thicken".

Sunday, November 4, 2012


(What with that bitch Sandy wreaking havoc upon the East Coast and especially the Jersey Shore last week, I thought it would be nice to have one of Hoboken, New Jersey's own singing a paean to one of the biggest Hellenic export products: "Olive Me".)

A few months back while wandering around Nob Hill, I happened to notice a new(ish) restaurant called Olèa[1]. It is located on the corner of California and Larkin[2] Streets right along the California Street "Frisco Trolley Car" line. I liked the look of their menu and decided to get back there for breakfast (well, they actually admit to calling it "Brunch") one day. Today was that day.

Olèa is in an interesting little L-shaped space, which is a few steps down from street level in what probably used to be a dry cleaners or something in the basement of the building. They have seating for just 24-28 people maximum. Because of which, there will be a bit of a line and waiting involved. I had gotten there ten minutes before they opened (9:30am on Sundays; which really isn't that bad for an official "Brunch" place) and queued up with some other people that had gotten there earlier. Luckily, I was able to get in with the first group of diners; it looked to be about a 45 minute to one hour wait otherwise. I happened to notice that there was also a line starting across the street at MyMy Coffee Shop (see 'blog-entry from July 15th, 2012).

Stupid, Oblivious Diners Mini-rant (part one):
Why would someone that can plainly see there was already a small line of patrons waiting to enter before the restaurant had opened go directly to the front of the line and ask, "Is there a line?"? Really?! Is this the first time you have ever gone out to eat?!! Is the concept of waiting in a line that hard to understand?!!! These same idiots probably go up to a group of firetrucks and busy firemen that are surrounding a smoldering building and annoyingly ask "Is there a fire?" Clueless. Absolutely clueless.

(Insert face-palm here.)

Stupid, Oblivious Diners Mini-rant (part too):
While I was sitting inside and waiting for my food (in the completely packed restaurant), one couple of even more clueless touristas walked right into the place (bypassing everyone else that were obviously waiting outside already) and went up to the manager and asked to be seated. Really?! They don't have lines for restaurants in France?!! And I am not unjustly picking on the French in general here (though we all know they thoroughly deserve it), as I heard the two imbéciles talking en français as they were leaving (without even being seated… awww). In defense of any other lamebrain Frenchmen, I suppose they could have been clueless Québécoises

(Insert double-face-palm here.)

Olèa only offers about ten breakfastary items on their "Brunch" menu, but what they do offer is usually made with what is seasonally available (or with available seasoning, even). Their French Toast (which they refer to as "challah custard toast") looked pretty good; it was served as two thick slices with sliced and fanned pears on top (I assume the fresh fruit changes with what is available, too). I ended up ordering the Omelet with roasted kabocha[3] squash and shallot purée, Mozzarella cheese and ground pumpkin seeds; with a side of mixed greens salad. I also ordered a side of fries (whether they were stupide françaises ou Québécoises fries, I didn't ask) and a cuppa Blue Bottle Coffee.

(Oops! I had eaten more than half of the omelette before I remembered to take a picture of the meal. Just imagine twice as much omelette.)

This was a very good omelette. I liked the idea of kabocha squash as an ingredient, as this is not a typical omelette addition; however, I think this might have been a bit better as sliced and grilled instead of puréed. I really couldn't discern any pumpkin seeds in the omelette, but there was a lot of Mozzarella cheese. They only have coffee either from a French Press (and this is not prepared with their tongues, I was sure to ask) or espresso drinks; I didn't feel like French Press (I make it all the time at home), so I had it Americano-style.

I was very pleased to see that Olèa does not offer any pre-bottled condimentary supplements, but that they do have a few of their own fresh, homemade hot sauces (the ingredients and flavours change weekly with what is available to their Sauce-Master); today there was one that had a lot of flavour and just the right amount of heat (my server didn't know which chilli pepper was the main ingredient as the Sauce-Master didn't know, he had just picked up some fresh chillies recently and wasn't sure of the type) and another was made with Thai chillies and cherry tomatoes.  I used up all of the extremely tasty u/i chilli sauce on the omelette and some of the Thai chilli sauce with the fries; the Thai chilli sauce was very good, too, just a bit sweeter and with less heat. I also used a little of my own HP Guinness® Sauce on the fries before they had brought out their own hot sauces. The kabocha squash in the omelette was a bit sweet, but with the addition of the u/i chilli sauce, it all worked out perfectly. I had brought a few bottles of my own hot sauces just in case, but they were not even needed.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Kabocha Squash Omelet ~ 6.5; Homemade hot sauces ~ 7.2

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numerus unus:

I asked the manager/(possibly one of the owners?) what "Olèa" meant and he said it was just a play on the Latin word for olive, which is "olea" (or "oliva"), with the addition of a grave accent mark over the "e" in the form of an olive leaf.

2. If you were wondering just who the heck does this Larkin guy think he is and why does he get a street named for him, it was named after Thomas O. Larkin, who came to California in 1836 and was the United States Consul at Monterey when the United States took possession. He was a member of the Ayuntamiento, or Town Council, of San Francisco, being elected thereto December 27, 1848. He was also a member of the convention that framed the first constitution of the State in September 1849. He was one of the founders of the town of Benicia. He lived many years with his family on Stockton Street, near Pacific, in one of a row of three houses built there.

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-agrarian pointer of the day, number two:

"Kabocha" simply means "squash" or "pumpkin" in Japanese.

Here is some additional information from our friends at Wikipedia:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House

"Read o'er this,
And after this, and then to breakfast with
What appetite you have."

~ Wild Bill Shakespeare; Henry VIII, act 3, scene 2

(Consider today's EweToob links as my public service reminder to change the time on your clocks. Stupid Time of Daylight-saving ~ that would be "STD", to those of us infected ~ ends on Sunday morning at 2:00am, whatever your local time zone is. You know what they say, "Spring backward and Fall on your face.", or something equally pithy like that. Just check with the time on your computers, as they are usually close enough, or ask Cosmo Kramer.)

I went back to The Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from August 25th, 2012) for breakfast this morning. I figure that there are only so many weekends left in the year and I am going to try to work my way through my Breakfast Rotation again. Today was an exceptional day for this, too, as it was a great, bright sunny day out at Ocean Beach. The Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House is quite a mouthful ~ as are their World-Famous, Most Excellent Popovers(!) (See, Mr. Turner, I got a mention of their World-Famous, Most Excellent Popovers(!) into the first paragraph today.) ~ so I will refer to the joint as the Bistro for time consumption and word reduction (of course, I suppose if word reduction was really necessary, I could have just left out this entire last sentence and explanation).

The Bistro only has eleven items on their breakfastary menu (and it is listed as "Breakfast", not "Brunch", on their menus, I am happy to add) and I have tried most of the available vegetarian options many times over. So, I once again went with Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ Scrambled Eggs, Ham, Potatoes, Green Onions, and Cheddar Cheese. I also had a cuppa Peerless Coffee® (which I almost typed as "Peeless Coffee®", which actually would be a very interesting invention for long road trips).

Today's meal came with three World-Famous, Most Excellent Popovers(!) this morning. I ate them thusly: one with butter and orange marmalade, Ms. LaBelle; one with strawberry jam and butter on one half and the other half with just butter; and the last one with all butter.

I liked that this scramble incorporates potatoes right into the main dish. They substituted mushrooms (Sorry, Skip.) for the dead, decaying porky product (Sorry, Rudy.) for me. This was made with real Cheddar cheese, too. Well, I don't know if it was actually imported from Somerset, England, but it was authentic cheese, not that fake, tasteless, sliced Kraft® crap that they try to pass off as "cheese". (Not that the Cliff House has ever tried to fool me with the "processed" stuff, but there are many places that will actually slough off that slough on unsuspecting customers.) Today's side of fresh fruits was: strawberry (singular, but that is fine with me), grapes, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and watermelon.

The Bistro has as condimentary supplementation just Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red). I had brought a few of my own and used a little Blair's Sudden Death Sauce® with Ginseng (Thanks a lot, Mom!) on the scramble; just two drops were more than sufficient, seriously. My server, Justin (see, Mrs. Huneycutt, I sometimes actually remember the names of the male servers; I just couldn't pick him out of a Police Line-up if needed), also stated that he is a salsa aficionado[1] and likes all manners of the fiery, chilitorial sauces. I told him he has to try Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce; he said he'd try and locate some and give me a report on it the next time I eat there.

I sat in one of the middle booths, not at one of the window-side tables, so I had to get up and choose a wall of Hollywoodland autographed photos to photo. I have documented probably 75-80% of what they have now already. Hopefully I chose a wall that I have not previously photographed.

(picture 1, top to bottom)

Huntz Hall; ???
(Henry Richard "Huntz" Hall; one of the "Dead End Kids" and "The Bowery Boys")
Antony Quinn; ???
(Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca; "Zorba the Greek", "Lawrence of Arabia", "Viva Zapata!", and many more; At first I thought this might be Cesar Romero ~ the Joker of the old Batman TeeVee show fame, but I couldn't locate any similar on-line photos of him without a mustache; I then thought it might be a very young Mike Mazurki ~ It's About Time on TeeVee and "Some Like It Hot" and other movies, but again I couldn't locate a similar photo on-line)

(picture 2, top to bottom)

Joel McCrea; ???
(Joel Albert McCrea; "Sullivan's Travels", "The Palm Beach Story", "The Virginian", etc.)
Frank ???; Jane Withers
(Jane Withers; "Josephine the Plumber" in Comet cleanser commercials, "Giant", and many other movies)

(picture 3, top to bottom)

Brian Boitano; Father Guido Sarducci
(Brian Anthony Boitano; 1988 Olympic Gold Medal Winner ~ Men's Figure Skating); (Don Novello; Saturday Night Live)
Smiley Burnette; Patricia Morison
(Lester Alvin Burnett; Petticoat Junction on TeeVee and sidekick to Gene Autry in many movies); (Eileen Patricia Augusta Fraser Morison; numerous stage, film, and TeeVee roles)
Paul Corni(???)
(Apparently he was on at least one episode of the original Star Trek series, but I can't really read his signature or name, and can't locate any on-line information on him; I did find it funny that he signed across William Shatner's chest, though)

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

Of course, the Bistro could serve me an uncooked egg still in its shell, with a slice of Kraft® 'Merican Cheese, and some over-boiled broccoli and I would still go back for more… World-Famous, Most Excellent Popovers(!)!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ 6.5; World-Famous, Most Excellent Popovers(!) ~ 8.2

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del día:

"Aficionado" doesn't have anything to do with someone that is a piscatorial worker. It is Spanish for "amateur". It is the past participle ending in "-ado" of the verb "aficionar", meaning "to engender affection".