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:

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