Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just For You Cafe

(Yeah, it's a corny song, but I still like it and it's perfect for the coming new year.)

Once again I trekked it all the way over to Dogpatch to eat at Just For You Cafe (see last 'blog-entry from May 28th, 2012) for breakfast this morning. I got there just as they were opening up this morning (8:00am) and joined the other early-bird eager customers.

I cheated again and knew what I was going to order even before looking at their menu. I have their Page "Liked" on defacedbook and it listed what their Weekend Specials were. I ordered A Special Frittata ~ open faced omelet with asparagus, red bell peppers (a real berry), cherry tomatoes (another real berry), and Swiss cheese; choice of home fries or grits (substitute a cup of fresh fruit $2.00) and bread. I also had a cuppa (well, and several refills) very good N'Orleans-style coffee (that would be with roasted chicory in it). Anytime a special includes asparagus, I am usually right there.

I had the frittata with homefries, of course, and I chose cinnamon-raisin bread for my toast. The frittata was an excellent choice as it was made with lots of fresh asparagus, which is always good when it is stated as one of the ingredients, but I have seen it before where you are lucky to get one measly spear in a dish. I assume the asparagus must be from South America to be fresh this time of the year as it's a spring vegetable. Swiss cheese was an interesting choice; in a frittata, I would probably have gone with something more Italiany (like Parmesan), but the Swiss worked very well. The cinnamon-raisin bread toast was also a very good choice; all of their breads are fresh-baked on the premises.

It didn't look like it at first, but it was a lot of food to eat. I suggest that if you ever go there with a group of people to be sure to order their fresh beignets, also, as they really are very good and shouldn't be missed if you have room for them.

Just For You Cafe has a very good selection of condimentary supplements. Knowing this, I usually don't bother to bring any of my own collection with me and usually make a choice from one of theirs. I used some El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (which I also have in my collection currently, anyway) on the potatoes. I also saw that they have a new bottle that I have never tried before ~ Chef Michael's Ruin Your Day Pepper Sauce. It has a minimal warning on the label, but from past experience I knew better than to pour a large amount out before testing it. I literally used one drop on one of the potatoes and dipped my finger in it to taste it. It wasn't "the hottest" sauce that I have ever had, but it's up there. Like a lot of these sneaky bastages, it doesn't smell as if it would be that potent (it smelled very tasty), but it really is. I immediately felt the heat and it actually made me choke for a bit. I can't image someone using a lot of this stuff at one time. How hot is this stuff you ask? It is so hot that they don't even dare put up a web-site (well, I could find no links on either Google or Yahoo!) in case there are any legal repercussions (or plain ol' concussions caused).

For a change, it was a nice morning for the long drive cross-town, but it's always worth the trip to eat at this place, anyway.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: A Special Frittata ~ 7.0; Chef Michael's Ruin Your Esophagus… er, Day Pepper Sauce ~ fuggedaboudit!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Just who the heck is this "Mahalo"[1] guy, and why doesn't he even know how to use a bathroom correctly?

(This is their new web-site. It may not be up and running yet, so here is another link to just their menu.)

(Nobody better be hatin' on Bruddah Iz!)

As promised last weekend, I went back to grindz (see last 'blog-entry from September 3rd, 2012; I seem to always go to this place right around a holiday, my first visit was on the

4th o f July) for breakfast this morning. The first thing I had to ask them was: "Why the name change?" Apparently there is a small chain of crummy Hawai'ian BBQ restaurants that has trademarked the word "ONO". Seriously?! That would be like trademarking the word "Delicious". It's not as if they were calling themselves "Spamalot", Mr. Python. What a buncha alohaholes!!! 
Hawai'ian MLB Players Interlude

Just for the heck of it, here is a short list of recent or current MLB players that were born in Hawai'i[2]:

Shane Victorino ~ Boston Red Sox (current team);

Jerome Williams ~ Los Ångeles Ångels of Anaheim (current team);
Kurt Suzuki ~ Washington Nationals (current team);
Ron Darling ~ New York Mets, Montreal Expos, Oakland Athletics; and
Charlie Hough ~ Los Ångeles D*dgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Florida Marlins.

Of course, their menu is basically an Hawai'ian influenced one. The Kimchi Huevos Rancheros sounded good, and I will have to check that out one of these days (possibly on my next visit there whenever grindz comes around again in my 2013 Breakfastary Rotation). I ended up ordering Apple Banana Pancakes ~ apples (not a berry), bananas (a real berry), coconut (not a nut) crème, crushed Macadamia nuts[3] (also not a real nut). I also ordered a side of Plantation Potatoes and a cuppa Bicycle Coffee.

These were four medium-sized pancakes made with apples and bananas already in the batter; somehow I was picturing this as going to just be regular pancakes with sautéed apples and bananas on top. This was served with no maple syrup and I am not sure it needed it or would have even gone with all of the other ingredients. There was a lot of crushed Macadamia nuts liberally sprinkled on top along with the coconut crème. I liked these a lot, but my one minor complaint would be that there wasn't enough of the coconut crème, though; plus, I think some shredded coconut might have added a bit more pop, too. I also think that pineapple-banana pancakes might have been a better Hawai'ianese combination, or just skip the apples altogether.

As stated in my past two visits, the Plantation Potatoes are very good, with lots of julienned onions and red bell peppers in the mix, and the Bicycle Coffee (of which I had about three cups or so) is one of the better local roasteries.

grindz offers for condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), a Sriracha hot sauce, and their own homemade Hawai'ian Ketchup (which I have tried and knew to be pretty tasty). However, I had just received a brand new bottle of Spicymonkey Raspberry & Chipotle Ketchup (Thanks, Cindy!) for Christmas and used some on the Plantation Potatoes. This was hot and sweet, but not too spicy; I liked it very much. Ingredients: tomatoes (a real berry), vinegars, raspberries (not a real berry), Worcestershire sauce[4], tamarind (not a berry, but some kinda fruit/indehiscent legume; whatever that means), chipotle (a real berry), spices, and sugar.

Minor Stupid Customer Rant of the Day

Overheard at the next table over: "I need to get out of here in about a half-hour… is that doable?!"

First off, there were already about eight orders ahead of his and there was just one server/waiter person guy that early in the morning (they had just opened up about fifteen minutes prior). Secondly, the idiot then goes and orders a full breakfast (The Big Island ~ 2 eggs, Plantation Potatoes, 2 Apple Banana Pancakes, & choice of Portuguese sausage, Spam®, or bacon).

Who goes out to eat when they only have about half an hour to spare?

They actually did get his meal out to him in about fifteen minutes and he did finish it in about fifteen minutes, too.

The stupid customer actually was a nice enough guy, as I spoke with him for a bit about my new ketchup and loaned him some (luckily he liked it also), but next time give yourself more time to eat, bruddah.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Apple Banana Pancakes ~ 6.5; Spicymonkey Raspberry & Chipotle Ketchup ~ 6.9

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

There were a couple of signs in the bathroom that specified some of the quirks about their plumbing and ended addressed to "Mahalo!"

"Mahalo" simply is Hawai'ian for "Thank you!"; I have no cute stories as to its origin.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, number two:

"Hawai'i" derives from Proto-Polynesian "Hawaiki", with the reconstructed meaning "Homeland" or "Place of the Gods".

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

"Macadamia nuts" are actually the seeds of the fruit of the Macadamia tree, and not a botanical nut. The genus is named after John Macadam, a Scottish chemist; he was no relation to John McAdam, the Scottish engineer that invented a new process for building roads (see: macadamisation and tarmac).

4. I just wonder if the Worcestershire sauce used in this is Vegetarian-Kosher. Worcestershire (or Worcester) sauce usually has anchovies as one of its ingredients. It really doesn't matter much to me, as I like it and plan on using it all up.

And just because I am tired of typing today, here is some extra information from those friendly, informative people at Wikipedia:

Monday, December 24, 2012


(This is a EweToob two-fer Christmas weekend from the Kinks.  The first one is just because "Waterloo" somewhat rhymes with "Boogaloo"; the second one is just because this is what Christmas is really all about… the toys and violence.)

First off, I would like to say "Thank you very much!" to Penny Blankenship (artist extraordinaire and authoress of three 'blogs of her own) for designing the spiffy new banner/header-thingy here. I said "I would like to say", but I won't.

I don't normally go out for breakfast on Mondays and was trying to figure where would be a good place for a change. I was thinking of going back to Just For You Cafe, but found out last night that they are closed until December 26th for the Holidays (see, sometimes it actually pays to "Like" some pages on defacedbook, as that was where I saw the notification last night). So I decided to just go back to Boogaloos (see last 'blog-entry from March 3rd, 2012); they used to be in my Breakfastary Rotation, and due to no fault of their own (the food is still very good), but I DFA'd them a while back to make room for restaurants that were much closer (yes, I am that lazy).

I should have probably ordered the Boogaloo Classic ~ 2 eggs any style, homefries, and a biscuit smothered in vegetarian herb-cream gravy, topped with green onions. But I ended up ordering a
"Make it Funky" Scram ~ 2 eggs scrambled with your favourite ingredients (which you get to choose from a long list of items); served with famous homefries (one word, thank you) and choice of: sourdough, wheat, rye, English muffin, biscuit, corn muffin, or blueberry (an actual botanical berry) coffee cake. I also had a large glass of ruby red grapefruit (yes, another berry, even) juice.

My "Funky" choices were red onion, fresh basil, and Parmesan. Now here is where I always say I should re-check my old entries to see what I had recently ordered so as not to re-order the same thing. Well, I did just that last night, and I still ordered almost the same as I had the last time I ate there (fresh basil, Parmesan, and 'Fake Stake' scramble). No matter, I purposefully ordered this combination because it reminded me of la bandiera italiana (red, white, and green) and had Christmasy colours in it. This had a ton of fresh basil chiffonade in it, probably as much green as you would find in a spinach omelette, which seemed like an awful lot to me, but it actually worked and tasted perfect (luckily I love basil).

The homefries are always good here; they add some kind of yellow curry powder to the mess. Now who would choose plain ol' toast (even if it was sourdough or rye) when there are three fresh baked choices?! I chose the biscuit and was very glad as the biscuit was great; it had green onions all throughout it.

Boogaloos only has Tapatío® on each tables as condimentary supplementation. So I used some of my own 
Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce ~ XX Habanero (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) on the homefries and some Cherry Republic® KaBOB's Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Cindy!) on the scramble.

Merry Christmas to Al[1], and to Al a goodnight!


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: "Make it Funky" Scramble ~ 6.4

1. I am not sure who this "Al" guy is, but everyone else wishes him the same thing around this time of the year. He may have been an uncle of that little Mexican kid, Jesús, or maybe he was one of the unnamed Wise Guys. I know he wasn't the creepy Ångel that was hanging out at the manger, as everyone knows his name was "Harold", as in the old Christmas carol: "Hark, the Ångel Harold Sings".

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dottie’s True blue café

Breakfastus for the rest of us!

(There really are no Festivus carols, so this will have to do.)

To conclude my year-end visits to all of the restaurants in my Breakfastary Rotation, I went back to Dottie’s True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from August 5th, 2012). Even though it was raining (not really hard, but still annoyingly so) this morning, there were already several people waiting in line ahead of me before they opened this morning. I got there about ten minutes before they open (at 7:30am) and figured there would really be no one stupid enough to also be waiting in the rain. This is just a testament to how good this place really is (or a testament to absolute stupidity).

I got there early enough to score one of the smaller tables for two, which I prefer over sitting at the counter that overlooks the kitchen area, as there isn't very much knee-room underneath there. My table just had a boring "Route 66" set of salt and pepper shakers, but there was a nice seasonal set on the counter.

One of my favourite breakfasts from 2012, Zucchini cakes (see 'blog-entry from December 21st, 2012), was on the specials board again this morning, but I had them twice this year already and wanted to try something different for a change. The frittata special was Avocado (a berry), tomato (also a berry), scallion, jalapeño (yet still another berry), corn, & Feta frittata; however, it was the same as I had earlier in the year, too. I was thinking about getting the Pumpkin (a real berry) - Cranberry (also a real berry) French Toast (probably made with pumpkin-cranberry bread), but I ordered off the specials board: Sweet potato, caramelized red onion, & Gruyère[1] tart[2] with two eggs any style and fresh fruit. I also got a side of homefries and a cuppa coffee.

The tart was very good. What's not to like? They change the ingredients once in a while, but I like this combination. I simply had my eggs over medium. The side order was a huge pile o' potatoes; I did my best to finish them off, but I think it was just the opposite result. Today's fresh fruit: blueberries (a real berry), watermelon (another real berry), cantaloupe (who knows if this is a berry or not?), and blackberries (which aren't a real berry, sorry).

Dottie's True blue café offers a pretty decent gamut of condimentary supplements. I used some of their Tabasco® Brand  Pepper Sauce Chipotle on the eggs, and on half of the potatoes some Frank's® RedHot® Chile 'n Limeand on the other half of the potatoes some of my own HB Guinness® (Thanks, Cindy!).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Tart/Galette ~ 6.8

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer du jour/des Tages, numéro un/Nummer eins:

"Gruyère" cheese is named after the town of Gruyères, Switzerland. Pretty simple, nu?

2. Dottie's True blue café used to call this a "galette", but it confused the stupid (non-French) touristas so much that Kurt decided to just call it a "tart".

Which brings us to the stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer du jour, numéro deux:

A "galette" is a type of French pastry made with a rich, flaky crust; they are generally rounded and flat, looking much like a big cookie more than a pie.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cafe la Flore

(No official website.)

1032 Clement Street (between 11th and 12th Avenues)

phonicular contact: (415) 386-2814

(As 'tis the season, etc., etc., I am using this EweToob video as the header today. You don't hear that many and I particularly like this Hanukkah Carol, "God Rest Ye, Jerry Mandelbaum". Of course, this is sung by a buncha fuzzy li'l ferrners that don't know what real religion is all about… all aboutall about…)

I had actually planned on going to Grindz again for breakfast (see last 'blog-entry from September 3rd, 2012); they are supposed to open at 9:00am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Also of note, since I last ate there, they have changed their name from ONO GRINDZ to just plain ol' Grindz now; I will have to ask the question why they did that next time I eat there (hopefully next weekend). I had gotten there a few minutes before they were supposed to open and waited around for about twenty minutes or so. It didn't look like there was any activity that they would be opening any time soon, so I had to come up with a quick "Plan B From Outer Space", Ed. I have to say, this doesn't bode well for my Rookie of the Year and a restaurant that I plan on moving into my Breakfastary Rotation next year.

There really aren't that many good breakfast joints in the immediate vicinity (well, not counting Eats, Q Restaurant and Wine Bar, and Grindz; and I had just eaten at both Eats and Q last month), so I just thought I'd check out a local coffeehouse that is just two blocks down Clement Street and try my luck. If Cafe la Flore (interestingly enough, this is supposed to be some kind of Frenchified bistro/café, but they don't even use the acute accent on "Café") offered any kind of egg dishes for breakfast (and egg sandwiches counted at this point), I would eat there; however, if there really wasn't anything on their menu, I was just planning on going back to Hamburger Haven (see 'blog-entry from February 11th, 2012). (It was raining off-and-on pretty hard and I was already in the neighborhood and really didn't feel like going somewhere else.)

Luckily, Cafe la Flore has about ten different Breakfast Sandwiches from which to choose, which is nice. I ordered the English Melted Sandwich ~ egg, avocado, tomato, and Cheddar cheese melted (hence the "Melted" part) on an English (hence the "English" part) muffin. I also had a cuppa their house coffee and a blueberry (which is a real botanical berry, Mrs. Wally's Mom) scone.

I was actually picturing this coming out looking like something out of a Dalíesque nightmare. As it were, this was a decent enough sandwich (think Eggamuffin, just with some flavour); but it was still just an egg, avocado, tomato, and Cheddar cheese on an English muffin, nothing that I couldn't make myself… if I ever had any of those ingredients at home, of course.

Actually, for a coffeehouse, their coffee isn't really all that great (see Minor coffee-snob rant of the day from September 1oth, 2011), but, again, it's still much better than the ebony swill that you can get at that other place when you order your crummy Eggamuffin. Besides, how many people would go to a place to get their morning caffeine intake if it were just called a "……house"? I almost feel the need to make myself another decent cup of my own Bettys Christmas Coffee (which I just received this week in a Yuletidey Care Package from England; Thanks, Cindy and Greg!), but that would mean I'd have to go to all the bother of boiling water.

The scone was not bad; at least it wasn't dried out and hard as a rock like at some other coffeehouses.

I wasn't figuring that I'd be eating breakfast this morning only at a coffeehouse, so I had brought a few of my own bottles of condimentary supplementation along with me to use. I ended up using some Serious Food… Silly Prices Chunky Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks again, Cindy!) on top of the sandwich. The blueberry scone didn't really need any spicing up.

I only hope that Grindz shows up for Spring Training this year. I would really hate to DFA them before they even make it up to the Bigs for a cuppa coffee, even if it is only from Cafe la Flore.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: English Melted Sandwich ~ 5.8; Coffee ~ 5.9; Blueberry Scone ~ 6.0

Friday, December 21, 2012

Best of 2012

"A bachelor's life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner."
~ Francis Bacon (no relation to Glen of the GBS Rating)


A fellow 'blog-meister (
Здравствуйте, Джеймс!) suggested that I do a year-end/round-up 'blog-entry for the Top Five Best Breakfast Places in 2012. I told him to mind his own business, of course. In the meantime, here is my completely unrelated 2012 Top Five Best Breakfast Places list. (I know that there are still two more weekends left in 2012, but I am pretty confident that this list won't be topped.)

Now I could get all scientific and technical in determining which of all the hundred or so different places where I ate breakfast (or "Brunch") were the "Best", but I simply looked back through each entry and saw which ones had the highest Glen Bacon Scale Rating. All in all, it was a pretty decent breakfastary year; however, I really was surprised that there weren't that many more ratings over 7.5.

Here they are in no particular order (unless you count going from highest to lowest on the GBS any kind of lucidus ordo):

1) Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro; I think I had this particular take on French toast at least two to three times during the past year (see last 'blog-entry from November 24th, 2012). As I have stated many, many times in the past, this is not only one of the best versions of French toast in all of San Francisco, it may be one of the best in the entire U.S. of A, mais bien sûr.

2) Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café (see 'blog-entry from April 1st, 2012, no foolin'). I have dubbed this interesting take on the standard Eggs Benedict ~ Uova di Benedetto. The use of zucchini cakes as the basis instead of plain ol' English muffins is genius enough, but the addition of a spicy Marinara sauce in place of Hollandaise sauce is just the icing on the (zucchini) cake, so to speak.

3) Stella Hashbrowns (with eggs over medium) at Breakfast at Tiffany's (see 'blog-entry from February 12th, 2012). These are technically a side order upgrade, but I made it my main meal with a side of eggs. What can you say about hashbrowns (which they spell correctly as one word on their menu, Herr Obergates) that are taken to the next level?

4) Macaroni & Corn Pancakes at Tangerine (see 'blog-entry from January 29th, 2012). Right from the name of this strange breakfastary concoction I knew that I was going to love it. Just what kind of demented mind comes up with these kind of dishes, and what kind of demented diner would even order this, let alone enjoy it immensely? This had to be my most favourite and the most bizarre new find of the year; unfortunately, Tangerine is no longer open as they closed their doors a few months back (they probably went out of business trying to get people to eat pancakes made out of macaroni and cheese with corn in them).

5) Eggs Zorba at Dipsea Café (see 'blog-entry from April 7th, 2012). Not only was this a unique and tasty meal, their
τζατζίκι side with the breakfast potatoes was excellent, too. Of course, I blame Popeye for my lifelong brainwashing of loving spinach, and I thank him very much for that.

There were many "Honourable Mentions" during the year, too, and just to name a few:

Potato Scramble (the one with asparagus, pea sprouts, roasted garlic, and Havarti) at Ella's (see 'blog-entry from April 14th, 2012; GBS Rating: 7.5).

Zucchini Latke at Tangerine again (see 'blog-entry from May 26th, 2012; GBS Rating: 7.45).

Kalua Benedict at ONO GRINDZ (see 'blog-entry from July 4th, 2012; GBS Rating: 7.4).

Spicy Kale Skillet at Eats (see 'blog-entry from April 29th, 2012; GBS Rating: 7.0).

Additionally, there were several "Best" specific categories:

Rookie of the Year (Best New Find) ~ ONO GRINDZ (with shout-outs to both Cafe Golo and MyMy Coffee Shop); and because of which, I am bringing ONO GRINDZ up to the Bigs to round out my revolutionary Six-Man Rotation in 2013.

Best Breakfast Pastries ~ Cafe Golo; GBS Rating: from 6.9 to 7.0 and up.

Best Breakfast Burrito ~ Irene's Wrap at Kate's Kitchen; GBS Rating: 6.8.

Best Berry that really isn't ~ Cherries.

Best Pancakes ~ Dutch Pancake (with spiced apples and a caramel sauce) at Outerlands; GBS Rating: 7.5 (just beating out the Sweet Potato Pancakes at Dottie's True blue café; see 'blog-entry from January 8th, 2012; GBS Rating: 7.3).

Best Coffee ~ (locally) Philz Coffee, GBS Rating: 8.0; (internationally) Bettys Jamaica Blue Mountain, GBS Rating: 8.5.

Best Side Potatoes ~ Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes at Eats; GBS Rating: 7.5.

Best Bread/Toast Side ~ Popovers(!) at the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (but probably the most redundantly redundant name of any bistro or restaurant); GBS Rating: 8.2.

That nebby Jim guy said I should probably include a list of the "Five Worst" places this year, too. I feel that most of the places I went to this year were at least palatable and none really deserve the "Worst" moniker.

So, I guess by my GBS Rating, the Best Breakfast in San Francisco (for 2012 at least) would have to be the Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro. However, as I read somewhere once, man does not live by pain alone, be it perdu ou trouvé.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro ~ 8.2; Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café ~ 7.6; Stella Hashbrowns at Breakfast at Tiffany's ~ 7.7 (these were actually a 7.5, but I liked the numerology that they were open since '77, and the date I went again was 2/12/12); Macaroni & Corn Pancakes at Tangerine ~ 7.5; Eggs Zorba at Dipsea Café ~ 7.5

Sunday, December 16, 2012


"The one with the spinach, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, and Feta (just no dead, decaying ground pork) scramble."

In continuing going to all of the restaurants in my Breakfastary Rotation before the end of the year, I went back to Ella's this morning for their early morning meal (and even though they open up early enough ~ 8:30am, they still call this meal "Brunch"). Now this just leaves me with Dottie's True blue café left to visit before the end of the year (man, I sure hope the stupid Mayans are wrong). I got there early enough this morning (I was actually the first in line and I had only gotten there fifteen minutes early) to score a table if I wanted, but I opted for a counter seat right in front of the kitchen/stove area. I like to make sure they aren't gonna try and sneak in any of that sausage crap in my meal.

Ella's weekend "Brunch" menu changes weekly (or weekendly) with whatever is fresh and seasonally available. For those of you porkers, the Bacon, Cheddar, and sweet corn pancakes sounded interesting; I doubt that it would make much sense to order that without the pig belly bits, though. Today's Potato scramble ~ with butternut squash, pasillas, green onion, and Jack ~ also sounded good. I ended up ordering the House made sausage scramble (just without the piggy byproducts) with spinach, roasted red peppers (which, as mind-blowing as it may be, are an actual botanical berry, Cassy), Kalamata olives (which are not a berry, but, much like the faux-berry cherry, are also a drupe) and Feta. This is served with a side of home fries and choice of toast (I went with sourdough rye today). I also had a glass of Ginger Orange (and, strange as it may seem, this is botanically called a "modified berry") Juice Punch.

This was all simple enough, but had lots of great ingredients (most of which are some of my favourites). It was made with lots of fresh spinach, Kalamata olives, and Feta. The sourdough rye toast came with homemade strawberry (also not an actual berry, sorry again, Mrs. Morin) jam; both the toast and jam were very good. I am not sure if I have had this toast before, as I usually am pretty boring and always go with their honey oat raisin (Hey, good news! Grapes are a botanical berry.) toast. The only minus with today's meal was that the Ginger Orange Juice Punch was a little off; it didn’t seem to have enough orange juice in it.

I knew from all the times that I have eaten at Ella's that they only have Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both the standard red and the green Jalapeño) for condimentary supplements. So I used some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce ~ the original/standard version ~ (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) on the potatoes. I left the scramble as it was and unencumbered by any of my stupid savoury sauces.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Scramble ~ 6.8

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Axis Cafe

"Now the First of December it was covered with snow,
and so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston…"

(No reason for today's EweToob-y video link other than I like the song and I really had no ideas what to do for an "Axis" reference, Adolph.)

I went to Axis Cafe this morning for "Brunch" (their term, not mine). They are located on the corner of 8th and 16th Streets, in that area that is somewhat between SoMa and Potrero Hill. They are located across the street from the California College of the Arts Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
I used to work just two blocks away and would sometimes go there for lunch. They open at 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday for "Brunch", but at 8:00am Monday-Friday for breakfast the rest of the week. Next year I am really thinking about only going to places that open before 10:00am; unless they happen to be truly exceptional places (my 'blog, my rules, after all).

Axis Cafe is in a space which really isn't that large, but they do a very good job with what space they have. The building is an old tin-roofed warehouse which was converted into a restaurant years ago.
Axis Cafe has been there only since 2004, but I seem to remember another short-lived place there before that. They can accommodate about 60 people inside (which includes seating at three really cool couches and armchairs around a fireplace). Additionally, they have a very large, open-air backyard patio (with overhead heating units and even another fireplace) that can seat another 20-30 people.

Their Weekend "Brunch" menu is very similar to their Weekday Breakfast menu, and has many good things from which to choose. The Eggs Benedict looked interesting with a jalapeño Hollañdaise sauce. They also offer a Bottomless Mimosa ~ with the purchase of a main "Brunch" item. I ordered the Cyprus goat cheese frittata ~ basil, English peas, Zoe's bacon (sorry, Zoe, I skipped this ingredient), sweet potato, and golden beets. I also ordered a side of roasted potatoes and a nice cuppa Intelligentsia Coffee (which is not really a local coffee roastery, but one with it's roots originally from San Francisco).

The frittata had lots of fresh basil chiffonade piled on top of it, and I was happy to see that the frittata was made in la moda italiano corretto ~ very thick and fluffy and it looked to have been finished in the oven (or in a Salamander). I had forgotten all of the ingredients that were in the frittata and was happily surprised with the golden beets (of which there were plenty). I mentioned to my server (whose name I really should have gotten as she was really cute and more than helpful, even though they had just opened for the morning and were being swarmed with the stupid "Brunch" hordes) that the only way this might have been better was if it had included asparagus (one of my favourite fruits ~ which she said was one of hers, too), but she correctly informed me that asparagus is not in season right now; she also told me that their frittata ingredients change seasonally with what is fresh and available.

The roasted potatoes (which were basically cubed, homefries style) were good and had shredded Parmesan cheese on top, which I thought was a nice touch, too.

One item on their menu that really sounded good: Creamy quinoa[1] ~ blueberry (and, yes, Cassy, this is an actual botanical berry, so stop yer whingeing) compote, fresh strawberries (not a real berry, sorry), and pistachios (again, sorry, not a real nut, either) ~ but it would have been way too much food to eat with the "Brunch" entrée I got (even if I had skipped the potato side, but why would I ever do that?!).

Axis Cafe only has as condimentary supplementation Tapatío®, but they do have mini pepper-grinders on each table, which is always nice. No worries, as I had brought a few of my own (which were a big hit with both my server and the maitre d'-guy). I used just a little Oaxacan Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the frittata and some El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (Thanks again, Brian!) on the potatoes.

"Goodnight, you moonlight ladies…"

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Cyprus goat cheese frittata ~ 7.0 (mainly due to all the beets and basil in/on it)

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-agronomical pointer of the day:

"Quinoa" is derived from the Spanish spelling "quinua" of the Quechua word "kinwa" (or occasionally "Qin-wah").

Friday, December 14, 2012

Berries & Nuts


I happened to pass by a billboard on my street the other day that said "Can you name seven berries?" I think it was an advertisement for a local health food store or something, and it got me to thinking. Right off the top of my head I figured (like most people probably would) a good answer would be: "strawberry", "raspberry", "blackberry", "cherry", "blueberry", "cranberry", and "lingonberry" (the last one was a stretch and I only remembered it as it's a good topping for Swedish pancakes ~ see 'blog-entry from December 8th, 2012). I was pretty pleased with myself for coming up with a list of at least seven berries. However, if you had guessed the first four like I did, you'd be berry, berry wrong. Well, at least botanically, Halle.

Technically, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and  cherries are not really "berries". They are grouped into that category for culinary purposes, but they really aren't botanical "berries". A strawberry is actually considered an "accessory fruit" (the aggregate of seed-like achenes is actually the "fruit", derived from an aggregate of ovaries, and the fleshy part develops from the receptacle). Raspberries and blackberries (as well as their hybrids and cultivars Loganberries, Olallieberries, Marionberries, etc.) botanically are "aggregate fruits" (containing seeds from different ovaries of a single flower). Cherries are "drupes" (the fleshy fruit produced from a single-seeded ovary with a hard stony layer ~ called the endocarp ~ surrounding the seed); also in the drupe family are plums, peaches, and apricots.

Now here is the real fun part, actual botanical berries (a "berry" being a simple fruit having seeds and pulp produced from a single ovary; the ovary can be inferior or superior) ~ of which blueberry, cranberry, and lingonberry were my only correct answers ~ include: avocado, banana, currant, eggplant, elderberry, gooseberry, grape, persimmon, pumpkin, tomato (as well as all forms of peppers: bell, chilli, etc.), and even watermelon.

This all got me to thinking about "nuts", too. They are as confusing botanically as the stupid berries are. Think you can name five nuts correctly and botanically? You'd probably lose the bet. Ferinstance: "almonds", "cashews", "peanuts", "pecans", "pistachios", and "walnuts" are all not nuts technically. A nut is "a dry fruit consisting of an edible kernel or meat enclosed in a woody or leathery shell". Almonds,
pecans, and walnuts are the edible seeds of drupe fruits; additionally, Duane, the almond "nut" comes from the genus of trees which include plums (not a "berry"), cherries (not a "berry"), peaches (not a "berry"), and apricots (also not a "berry"). Cashews are seeds. Peanuts are seeds and legumes. And pistachios are the seeds of a thin-shelled drupe.

Sorry to say, but the only botanically true "nuts" that you probably eat around Thanksgiving time are chestnuts and hazel (or filbert) nuts. However, other botanical nuts do include: hickory, beech, and acorn.

So, even if it might seem like "life is a bowl of cherries", I would have to say that you are nuts (or possibly the seeds of drupes) to even think it's actually a bowl of berries, too. Just remember, even the monkey was fooled in that old nursery rhyme while chasing the weasel 'round and 'round that stupid "multiple fruit" bush, Pop.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chloe♥s Cafe

Imagine there's no breakfast…

(No official web-site.)

1399 Church Street (at 26th Street)

phonicular contact: (415) 648-4116

(I couldn't think of any good Hanukkah songs, so I figured this was the next best thing.)

I went back to Chloe
s Cafe (see last 'blog-entry from February 26th, 2012) for breakfast this morning. They have a tiny street corner location in an old Victorian in Noe Valley. There is inside seating for 20 people at nine tables and additional outside/sidewalk seating for about 16-18 people at six tables (with plenty of space for your canine friends). I used to go to this place much more often as it was in my Breakfastary Rotation, but I had to DFA it a while back for some closer restaurants. Don't get me wrong, the food is still great there, I just hate to drive all the way over there to eat.

I would normally order off their weekend Specials Board; they usually have a seasonally-fresh ingredient scrambled egg dish, pancakes, and French toast of some sort. However, this weekend's special scramble included "the vile weed". I probably could have ordered it sans la mauvaise herbe vile but that would have just been a roasted red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and cheese (Jarlsberg, Cheddar, or Feta) scramble. So I ordered off the regular menu (something I probably have only done a handful of times in the past twenty years or so). I got the Red potato, Cheddar cheese, and onion scramble; with homefries and white rosemary toast (because they don't offer potato bread toast). I also had a large glass of cranberry juice.

This was really simple enough, but it all worked well. How can you go wrong with potatoes and Cheddar cheese as the main ingredients? Plus, the onions were the red variety and sautéed. I suppose I could have gotten a side of fruit instead of the additional potatoes, but why would I want to do that? They have a pretty decent selection of toast from which to choose: white rosemary (which happens to be my favourite and I usually get this one), whole wheat walnut, sourdough, English muffin, or bagel.

s has as condimentary supplements just Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) and Tapatío®. I came well prepared and used some of my own Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the homefries and some Serious Food… Silly Prices Mango Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy!) on the scrambled mess.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Red Potato, Cheddar, & Onion Scramble ~ 6.5

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Millbrae Pancake House

A breakfastary roadtrip:
Millbrae, CA

I met with a group of friends this morning for breakfast at Millbrae[1] Pancake House (see previous 'blog-entry from February 13th, 2011), which is right on El Camino Real. This place has been a mainstay in Millbrae for as long as I have been alive (yes, it's really old). It is a very large space with lots of seating, but it was full the entire time we were there. Luckily, there was actually a minimal wait (of less than ten minutes or so) when we all had finally arrived and put our name in for a table, which was very good for a group of eight.

Joining me today (sitting to my left and going clockwise around the table ~ how come no one ever says "tablewise around the clock"?) were: David, Hiromi, Luke, Steve, Laura, Zaria, and Marc. With a group this size you can get a good cross-section of what the restaurant has to offer. Millbrae Pancake House has a great selection of pancakes (as can be expected from their name) and also a great selection of waffles (six different types) and egg/omelette dishes. (Now I am doing this from memory and can't remember what everyone got, but I will do my best.) David got the California Omelette. Hiromi got the Vegetarian Omelette. Luke got Fried Chicken & Waffles. Steve had some kinda omelette (hey, he was at the opposite end of the table from me and had finished it by the time I remembered to try to remember). Laura had Eggs Benedict (I think). Zaria had Bangers & Eggs. Marc had some kinda omelette, too (okay, he was sitting right next to me the entire time and I probably should have remembered what he ordered).

All egg dishes are served with hashbrowns (which they have as two words, but I prefer it as one word) and your choice of toast, two buttermilk pancakes, or two Swedish pancakes (which come with lingonberry butter). Hiromi was very smart and got the Swedish pancakes as her side (she'd been there before and knew that was the way to go). David, Steve, and Zaria all chose the buttermilk pancakes as their side. I pointed out to David (after the fact, unfortunately) that he could have had the Swedish pancakes, too; he might have gotten those instead (you need to read your menus thoroughly, people!). And Marc just had plain ol' wheat toast as his side… Toast(!), when he had a choice of pancakes (buttermilk or Swedish) at an actual pancake house! Maybe he thought the name of the place was Millbrae Toast House. (Don't worry, I warned both Marc and David that I would make fun of their choices ~ and, for which, they will probably never invite me to breakfast ever again.)

However, I was surprised that no one ordered the Fall Special ~ Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes; I think the chocolate chips with pumpkin threw them. I have had a version of this unorthodox (as in no sensible Rabbi would ever bless the unholy union of pumpkin and chocolate chips) pancake before. I would have ordered it if I hadn't already had my mind set on getting German pancake (singular, but) ~ Extra large French crepe (their spelling on the menu, I much prefer "crêpe") served with lemon wedges and powdered sugar. As noted on the menu: "Our pancakes are made from scratch, the same way we've been making them since 1959.", but these didn't taste a day over 52 years old. I also ordered a side of hashbrowns, and a cuppa coffee[2].

I enjoyed my meal well enough. It really was one extra large pancake and with my side of hashbrowns (a large pile, also) it was plenty of food for me. I simply slathered the pancake with whipped butter (as can be seen in the above photo; I suppose I should have taken the photo first) and squeezed the juice from the two lemon wedges all over the top. It didn't even need any added maple syrup.

Millbrae Pancake House offers for condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both the standard red and green Jalapeño) and Tapatío®. I just used some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce Habanero version (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) on the hashbrowns. Steve and Laura both tried some of this hot sauce and seemed to like it, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: German Pancake ~ 6.3

(I really didn't bother to poll the rest of the table on their meals. There were too many people and it would have been too hard to remember them all, but from the looks of the mostly cleaned plates, they all enjoyed what they had, too.)

1. Millbrae is a city in San Mateo County, just west of San Francisco Bay, with San Bruno on the north and Burlingame on the south.

Darius Ogden Mills purchased land in the 1860's from the Sanchez family to build a country estate. The former Mills estate was bordered by what is now Skyline Boulevard, Bayshore Highway U.S. Route 101, Millbrae Avenue, and Trousdale Drive. The estate became known as "Millbrae" from "Mills" and the Scottish word "brae", which means "rolling hills."

You can consider that the stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, number one.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/etymological pointer of the day, number two:

I can't believe that I have been doing this stupid 'blog for over two years now and have never really given a breakdown of the word "coffee".

The word "coffee" is pretty universal in many other languages (as opposed to being universal in just English), just like "tea" and "Beer" (see specific 'blog-entries from June 18th, 2012 and October 11th, 2012). It comes to English from Italian "caffè", from Turkish "kahve", from Arabic "
قهوة" (pronounced "qahwah", or close enough for Government work).

Coffee (universally) in other languages:

"koffie" ~ Afrikaans/Dutch
"kafe" ~ Albanian/Haitian Creole
qəhvə" ~ Azerbaijani
"kafea" ~ Basque
кава" ~ Belarusian/Ukrainian (pronounced "kava")
"কফি" ~ Bengali (pronounced "kaphi")
"кафе" ~ Bulgarian/Macedonian (pronounced "kafe")
"cafè" ~ Catalan

"咖啡" ~ Chinese (pronounced "kafei")
"kava" ~ Croatian/Lithuanian/Slovenian
"káva" ~ Czech/Slovak
"kaffe" ~ Danish/Norwegian/Swedish (and what good would a Danish be without a good cuppa "kaffe" with it?)

"kafo" ~ Esperanto (just in case you ever find yourself in Esperantia and want to order a good cuppa "kafo" with your Danish)
"kohv" ~ Estonian
"kape" ~ Filipino
"kahvi" ~ Finnish
"café" ~ French/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish (just in case you ever find yourself in a French/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish café and want to order a good cuppa "café" with your Danish)
ყავის" ~ Georgian (pronounced "qavis")
"Kaffee" ~ German
καφές" ~ Greek (pronounced "kafes")
કૉફી" ~ Gujarati (pronounced "kophi")
कॉफ़ी" ~ Hindi (pronounced "kofi")
"kávé" ~ Hungarian
"kaffi" ~ Icelandic
"kopi" ~ Indonesian/Malay
"caife" ~ Irish
コーヒー" ~ Japanese (pronounced "kohi")
ಕಾಫಿ" ~ Kannada (pronounced "kaphi")
커피" ~ Korean (pronounced "keopi")
ກາເຟ" ~ Lao (pronounced "kafe")
"capulus" ~ Latin
"kafija" ~ Latvian
"kafè" ~ Maltese
"kawa" ~ Polish (pronounced "tea")
"cafea" ~ Romanian
кофе" ~ Russian (pronounced "kofe")
кафа" ~ Serbian (pronounced "kafa")
"kahawa" ~ Swahili
காபி" ~ Tamil (pronounced "kapi")
కాఫీ" ~ Telugu (pronounced "kaphi")
กาแฟ" ~ Thai (pronounced "kafae")
"cà phê" ~ Vietnamese
"coffi" ~ Welsh
קאַווע" ~ Yiddish (pronounced "q'aww'")