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").

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