Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dottie’s True blue café

"May you build a lettuce juice-box…"???

(The first EweToob video is one of the original two versions sung by the mumbling Mr. Zimmerman himself, and it is currently being used as the theme song for the NBC TeeVee show "Parenthood"; whenever Bob gets to the second verse, I swear it sounds like "May you build a lettuce juice-box…" which makes absolutely no sense, but you try to understand a word he is singing. As a counterpoint, I figured I would showcase another version that is a bit easier to understand and enjoy.)

For the first Start of the 2013 Season from my Breakfastary Rotation, I went with the Ace of the Staff: Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from December 23rd, 2012). I was the first in line this morning and I had only gotten there fifteen minutes before they opened. It was a very clear and sunny (and not the least bit chilly for the time of year) morning, and it was very unusual that there was no line waiting to get in before they opened and also it was basically an empty restaurant (only four to five tables occupied) the entire time I was there. Kurt said that is pretty typical for a late January morning, but I had never seen it before. I am not suggesting that anyone wait until the last week in January to go to Dottie's, but if you do, don't think there is never a crowd the rest of the year.

There were some really nice selections on the fresh-baked pastries chalkboard this morning: 1920's Prohibition Whiskey Blueberry Crumb Cake; Pumpkin Toffee Muffin; 1925 Rum Runner Caramel Rum Bread Pudding; Sweet Potato Cranberry Muffin; among several others. I may have talked the two people that sat down behind me just before I left and hadn't ordered yet into trying at least one of the pastries to share between themselves (they were more than welcome to share some with me, too).

Once again, I ordered off the Chalkboard Specials. They had their famous Zucchini Cakes Benedict on there again today, but I ordered the Portobello Mushroom, Arugula & Fontina Tart ~ served with eggs any style and fruit & potatoes (that would be a cup of fruit and a side of potatoes). I also had a large glass of orange juice. I skipped a cuppa coffee at Dottie's and am enjoying a very decent cuppa Bettys Christmas Coffee while I am typing this out (Thanks, Cindy and Greg, or Greg and Cindy! There is no need to cause any undue familial strife with the credit.). 

This was another real winner with the tart. I had never had this particular meal before, but Kurt said they offer it a few times a year. It was full of flavour (if you like the flavour of mushrooms, of course). It may have had some Balsamic vinegar in with the filling, too, as I know that goes very well with Portobello mushrooms. I was wondering to myself if Gorgonzola cheese (or another extremely stinky blue cheese), instead of the milder Fontina cheese, would pair well with Portobello mushrooms, but that might be too many strong flavours all at the same time. I simply got my two eggs "over medium". Today's fruit cup included: blueberries (a real berry), strawberries (faux berries), blackberries (more faux berries), cantaloupe (who knows if this is a berry or faux?), and watermelon (another real berry).

As stated many times in the past, Dottie's has an extensive selection for condimentary supplements. I used some Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce ~ Chipotle liberally on the potatoes; and a little Frank's® RedHot® Chile 'n Lime on the eggs. This was another weekend where I didn't need to use any of my own hot sauces (Thanks, no one!).

And just to let you know, Dottie's does not serve any "lettuce juice-boxes", I asked… *face-palm*… but I coulda had a V8®!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Tart ~ 7.1; Bettys Christmas Coffee ~ 7.6; Bob Dylan's Lyrics ~ 8.5; Bob's "Singing" ~ 6.3 (and I am being very generous with that rating)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

“La Torta Gorda”

Yes, but could an overweight tortoise have beaten the hare?

(Okay, this EweToob link is a bit of a stretch, but I couldn't think of any good "tortoise"-related songs, Señors Flo and Eddie.)

Open for just a little over ten years now, Poblano's[1] "La Torta[2] Gorda[3]" ("La Casa De La Autentica Cocina Poblana"), on 24th Street right in the of the Mission, was mi destino para el desayuno. They open up plenty early enough to meet my 2013 guidelines: 7:00am on Saturdays, 8:00am on Sundays, and 5:30am the other six days of the week. Size-wise (sise-wize?) they have seven tables that seat four and eight counter seats, plus they have a very large backyard patio with several tables with umbrellas (it was sunny enough out today, but, even so, I still ate inside). Early on a weekend morning parking isn't that much of a problem in the neighborhood and I easily parked two blocks away on Bryant Street.

"La Torta Gorda" is primarily a Mexican sandwich shop (hence the "Torta" portion of their name), but they have a pretty decent selection of desayuno items from which to choose (and even a few Breakfast Sandwiches). As usual with a new Mexican place for me, I will normally choose Chilaquiles con 2 Huevos, which comes with a side of refried beans (but no rice for some reason, nor any fresh corn tortillas). I also had a cuppa café mexicano (meaning I added a bunch of azúcar and lots of leche to it). 

They will make the two eggs any way you would like, but I am used to chilaquiles made with huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs), so I ordered it that way for comparison's sake. They offer a choice of either red or green chilaquiles sauce; I went with the standard red, but probably should have tried the green, as I have never had that colour/flavour with chilaquiles. They serve this with slices of avocado on top, which is a nice touch. All in all, this was another decent version of chilaquiles, the red sauce wasn't very spicy, but had a nice enough sabor to it.

As for condimentary supplementation, "La Torta Gorda" only has bottles of Tapatío®; however, they offer two very good homemade salsas: roja y verde. I used a little of both on the chilaquiles; the roja was a bit more picante, but the verde was pretty tasty still.

For breakfastary dessert (which I don't have any cutesy portmanteau words for yet, but will gladly solicit any good ideas ~ all bad ideas can be unsolicited) I walked across the street and down the next block to Dynamo Donuts. This is one of those "only in San Francisco" places, Dunkin would have a heart attack if he ever ate there. Their selection ranges from Caramel De Sel (with fresh orange zest and nutmeg, topped with a caramel glaze and sprinkled with
fleur de sel), Bacon Maple Apple (yes, as disgusting as it may sound, this is made with actual apple bits in it), Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate, Molasses Guinness® Pear (molasses doughnut with Guinness®-soaked pears, crystallized ginger, and golden raisins topped with a Guinness® glaze), to (my favourite) Apricot Cardamom. I wanted to try something a little more on the normal side, so I had a Hibiscus Heart Beet; these are made with puréed beets in the batter (I asked) and a hibiscus-chocolate glaze (my guess). I also got a single shot o' espresso. I didn't even get the "-beat" joke until I got home.

Remember what the dormouse said: "Feed your head… 
with chilaquiles or at least a hibiscus-beet doughnut."

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Chilaquiles ~ 6.4; Hibiscus Heart Beet Doughnut ~ 7.0

1. Estupido, useless cunning linguist pointer del día, número uno:

"Poblano/poblana" is the Spanish adjectival form of the word used for people or things from the State of Puebla, Mexico.

2. Estupido, useless cunning linguist/pseudo culinaristic pointer del día, número dos:

"Torta" actually means "cake" (or some type of "bread") in Spanish, but has different meanings throughout many Spanish-speaking countries. In Mexico a "torta" usually refers to a grilled sandwich (usually toasted panini-style). (See also: tortilla.)

3. Estupido, useless cunning linguist pointer del día, número tres:

"Gordo/gorda" in Spanish simply means "fat"/"plump"/"thick", Mr. Shumway.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore." ~ Jack Brooks, That's Amore[1]

Man can not live on bread alone... no, it takes some tomato sauce and cheese to complete it.

There are several different theories as to the origin of the word Pizza. One such explanation (from Wikipedia) is that it is from the Latin verb "pinsere", "to press", and from the Greek "piktos", meaning "solid" or "clotted", (see also: "pita" or "pitta"). Or (if you would rather believe Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language) another option is that it is an Italian variant of "pitta", perhaps ultimately from Greek; compare to "pétea" (bran), "pētítēs" (bran bread).

However, no matter how you slice it, I do not need to tell you that Pizza is the World's most ultimately perfect food (you are free to disagree with me, but would need to start your own damn 'blog to do so). A really fine Pizza can include all of your favourite ingredients or anything that your imagination desires. Pizza can be eaten for lunch, dinner, and even breakfast ~ just throw an egg on the bad boy half way through the cooking process… Et voila! ~ Breakfast Pizza! And as pointed out in one of my earlier posts (see 'blog-entry from July 5th, 2010), cold Pizza makes a great breakfastary repast, too.

Pizzas can be made in electric or gas ovens, but a wood-burning brick-oven Pizza is the best of all. It just cooks the Pizza the most completely and you get a great bubbly, charred crust and a nice molten cheese effect.

When talking about Pizza, there are many different types:

You have your Pizza Napolitana ~ which is one of the best and most classic versions of "da pie", usually made with tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese.

There is also the
Lazio style, which is the region in Italy that has Rome/Roma as its capital. These can be made in a rectangular pan and served in squares.

New York-style Pizza (which I feel is really the best kind of Pizza in 'merica; believe me or fuggedaboudit!) is very similar to Pizza Napolitana due to the fact that immigrants from Naples/Napoli created it in New York City in the early 1900's. Now not all Pizza that you buy in New York City is New York-style Pizza, and you can get New York-style Pizza outside of the five boroughs.

Chicago-style Pizza is a deep-dish Pizza. This is a very good Pizza (of course, there is really no such thing as "bad Pizza"), but New York Pizza is still much better.

For the more eclectic (read: bizarre) in taste and ingredients, there is California-style Pizza; very similar to New York Pizza, just with more exotic toppings. The above photo is from a place called Escape From New York Pizza, but don't let the name fool you, it's a California-style Pizza joint all the way; the slice pictured is a spinach, sundried tomato, artichoke heart, and Feta.

There is even Colorado-style Pizza. Beau Jo's is a Colorado-based small chain of pizzerias. The original restaurant is in Idaho Springs (which is about 30 miles west of Denver on I-70). What makes this Pizza unique is the way they make their extra thick crusts twisted/braided. The correct way to eat these is to save the crusts for dessert as there are bottles of honey on each table to pour on them and enjoy that way. It really does work.

Probably my favourite kind of Pizza has to be a Pizza Margherita. This is a simple enough Pizza Napolitana that will usually be made from tomatoes, basil, and Mozzarella, mimicking the colours of the Italian flag: red, green, and white.

These are some of my favourite Pizza joints in San Francisco:

Tommaso's Restaurant
They are one of the oldest pizzerias in San Francisco and have a great old wood-fired brick oven (in use since 1935). The really funny story is that the name of the restaurant doesn't come from some paisano named Thomas, it is named after the once long-time chef and past owner Tommy Chin. They make one of the best Pizzas in San Francisco. They offer many of the more standard Pizzas, and they also have a monthly special that usually has interesting toppings; the first time I ever ate there I had a Gorgonzola-Pear Pizza.

Pizzetta 211
This is definitely a California-style Pizza place. They only offer about six different Pizzas a day there. There are three Pizzas that are always on the menu, and they offer three weekly specials Pizzas that change with whatever is in season or whatever strikes their fancy. This week's alternative Pizzas: Farm Egg (see, told ya), Prosciutto (which would make this the perfect "Breakfast Pizza" ~ with bacon and eggs, Glen and Stanley), Crescenza (also known as Stracchino[2], is an Italian soft cow's-milk cheese), Walnut, Wild Arugula; Butternut Squash, Ricotta, Fried Sage, Brown Butter; and House Cured Bresaola (an air-dried, salted beef), Fennel, Olive-Citrus Tapenade[3], Red Onion. Caveat: if you are going to eat there, be advised that they are a very tiny place; there are probably only four or five tables total (and some are just two-seaters) and another three to four seats at the counter.

Giorgio’s Pizzeria
This is not a fancy place in any way. It is your olde-timey, family Pizza joint (complete with fake grape trellises overhead), but they make some very good pies here. It's all in the sauce and dough (as it should be); neither of which has probably changed since they first opened many years ago. They are located in my neighborhood, and this is usually my "go to" place whenever I feel like a simple Pizza Margherita; they don't add the fresh basil until after the Pizza comes out of the oven (this keeps the basil from browning), and they never go cheap with the basil, either.

Goat Hill Pizza
One of Potrero Hill's (hence the "Goat Hill" moniker) oldest restaurants. What makes their Pizzas specifically "San Francisco" is that the crust is made with sourdough. I used to work just two blocks away and would go there a few times a month for lunch (and sometimes for dinner after work).

Tony's Pizza Napoletana
As the name would imply, this would be a classic Neapolitan Pizza place; however, they offer many other styles of Pizza (Romana, Siciliana, Classic Italian, New York, California, and even St. Loius), too. They are located in North Beach where there are many other great places for Pizza, but again the difference here is their wood-burning oven. Their award-winning version of Pizza Margherita is one of the best in San Francisco (and the price reflects that, too). They have limited themselves to making only 73 of these a day. (Why that arbitrary number? Immano.)

Cafe Zoetrope
Now, this probably isn't really one of the best Pizza places in the city, it's just one of my favourites and I like it as they make a very decent New York-style Pizza. This restaurant is owned by multiple Academy Award®-winner Francis Ford Coppola. It used to be called Cafe Niebaum-Coppola several years back. The first time I ever ate there was right after work in the middle of the week once. I arrived there just as they were opening and sat near the door. I happened to notice a table in the corner (just two tables away) that had a braided red rope across it; I jokingly asked my server if they were expecting Francis in that night, and he said that the table is usually reserved for the owners just in case they ever feel like popping in unannounced. Well, no more than five minutes had passed when who do you think walked through the door and made his way to the table?! Yes, that is right, I was dining just two tables away from the legendary Gustave Niebaum himself![4]

Now "When the Pizza hits your mouth"... that's truly "Amre", Dino!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pizza ~ 7.0-8.5 (in general)

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

"Amore" is both the noun and verb for "love" in Italiano. Of course, we have the English words "amour" and "enamour" that comes from the same word root from French, ultimately from Latin "amor", meaning "love".

Several other languages borrow the Latin root for "love", too:

Catalan/Galician/Portuguese/Romanian/Spanish ~ "amor"
Esperanto ~ "amas"
Estonian ~ "armastus"

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del giorno, numero due:

"Stracchino" derives from the Italian word "stracca", meaning "tired/weary". It is said that the milk from tired cows coming down in the autumn from the alpine pastures is richer in fats and more acidic. The milk of such cows gives the cheese its characteristic flavours.

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro trois:

"Tapenade" (which apparently is not recognized by the Spell-check/Grammar Nazis at Microsoft) comes from French from the Provençal word "tapéno", meaning "capers".

4. Another time I was eating there and saw the corner table unoccupied, so I kiddingly asked the server if we could sit at that table. To my surprise, he said that they weren't expecting Francis (nor Mr. Niebaum, I suppose) that night and that it would probably be okay. Unfortunately, I chickened out and didn't want to make it look like I was any kind of Hollywoodland big shot. Sorry, Beth-Ann, maybe next time.

There was another unseasonably sunny Saturday or Sunday afternoon a few years back during the NFL Playoff season (I only remember this as I was planning on eating at another place that is a big Pittsburgh Steelers fans hangout instead which is just up the street, but the Steelers were in the Playoffs and you couldn’t even get near the door no matter how nebby you were) that I sat outside at one of their sidewalk tables and noticed an older, heavyset man with a big beard a few tables away. He was smoking a big, stinky cigar (it is illegal to smoke within twenty feet of a restaurant in San Francisco), so I called over the waiter and told him to please ask the guy to put out the olfactory offending tobacco product. The poor guy looked at me seriously and said "I can’t. He owns the place." I also made sure to point out to the waiter that the guy with the beard completely stiffed him on a tip when he left. (I even think he may have just "chewed and screwed".)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Market & Rye

Minor conundrum.
No Haiku
[1] for 'blog-entry?

(The first EweToob video should be self-exploratory by the title and the name of today's restaurant. The second one is just because they were playing exclusively Classic 60's and 70's Rock-and/or-Roll while I was having breakfast and this was among the songs played.)

Also in the line of thinking "new places that open before 10:00am in 2013" is Market & Rye. They are another one year old joint and they open up plenty early enough (8:00am on the weekends and 7:00am during the week) for my liking. Why they are called "Market & Rye", I couldn't figure out; I am sure it is some kinda play on words for something. They have two locations currently: one in the Potrero Hill neighborhood (at the corner of 16th and De Haro Streets) and one on West Portal. The Potrero Hill store is the only one that serves breakfasts during the week and "Brunch" on the weekends. I have had lunch at the West Portal branch and must say that their selections of fresh, seasonal salads and sandwiches really can't be beat.

They have a separate "Brunch" menu from their standard weekly breakfast menu. I cheated and had checked on-line last night and was planning on getting From the Griddle/Bakery section of the "Brunch" menu the Pumpkin Pancakes ~ Pomegranate, Bacon Marmalade, Black Pepper Candied Pecans, Warm Maple Syrup; however, they hadn't updated their website and the pancake special today was actually Poppyseed-Lemon, and I didn't feel much like that this morning. So, I ordered from the Legs, Eggs or Fins portion of the "Brunch" menu (Scramble of the Day) Mexican Scramble, served with Crispy Potatoes and Salad. I also started with something from their fresh baked goods, a Cranberry Coffeecake and a very decent cuppa Palio Coffee Brand to top it all off.

The scramble was made with Monterey Jack, halved cherry tomatoes, green onions, white onions, finely diced jalapeños, and red bell peppers; and topped with queso fresco, guacamole, and a fresh, homemade salsa. The salsa wasn't that spicy, but it had mucho sabor. The Crispy Potatoes were actually fingerling potatoes homefried style; I really liked this idea, you never see fingerling potatoes for breakfast. The salad went mostly uneaten; it was just your typical mesclun/mixed greens stuff. The coffeecake was good and warm; it was fresh out of the oven, as I had gotten there just as they were opening in the morning. There were a lot of cranberries on top (cooked in a syrup) and also in the batter (the dried variety), but there were no nuts of any type in it, and it was more of a muffin consistency than a coffeecake/bread thing. Another nice, simple touch was that the ice water was flavoured with orange and lemon slices.

Now Market & Rye really excels when it comes to condimentary supplements. They have a larger selection than I have in my refrigerator currently (which is sitting on twenty or so right now). I went with some Pain Is Good Cayenne[2] on the potatoes and a little Gringo Bandito on part of the scramble, as their own salsa was pretty tasty and I didn't want to mess with it much. I have had both of these hot sauces before and knew that they would be a good addition to the meal. This is the second day in a row (and probably the first time in a long time that I went an entire weekend) that I didn't find the need to use any of my own hot sauces (but I had brought a few along with me just in case). The counter-server-guy was also a hot sauce geek and I loaned him some of my Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce ~ XX Habanero to use later in the morning.

Haiku are poems?
Metrically, I suppose.
But with no rhyming.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Mexican Scramble ~ 7.0; Cranberry Coffeecake ~ 6.5; Palio Coffee Brand ~ 6.8

1. Why start a breakfastary 'blog-entry with Japanese poetry, you ask? Well, today is Haiku Day on defacedbook, or so it has been decreed by one Mister Estes. I just figured it would take me over a week to write the entire post in the correct meter; besides, I have to take my shoes off to count to seventeen.

Which brings us to the stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,

"Haiku" is Japanese for "amusement" ("hai") plus "verse" ("ku").

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, second part:

"Cayenne" (formerly "cayan") comes from Tupi "kyinha".

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Local’s Corner

"That's a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion."
~ Wild Bill Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 3, Scene 7

In continuing my "new places that open before 10:00am in 2013", I ate breakfast this morning at Local's Corner. They open up at 8:00am seven days a week (including Saturday and Sunday). They are still a rather new-ish place; they have been open for less than a year now. I think the "local's corner" refers to where they are located: on the corner of Bryant and 23rd Streets in the Mission. At least I just assume that is why they had "Local's" as singular and possessive and not "Locals" plural (as a place for "locals" to hang out). Parking was very easy for a change that early on a Saturday morning and I found a legal spot just a half-block away.

Their décor looks like a Victorian parlour or kitchen from the turn of the Century (that would be 19th turning into 20th). The seating is simply five tables of two seats, three tables of four seats, four counter seats, and five tables of two seats outside on the sidewalk (so, if my calculations are correct, that's about 36 total, give or take a few fingers and toes). It was all pretty spacious and had an uncrowned feel to it and they probably could squeeze in a few more tables if they ever felt like it.

They only offer a 3-Course Prix Fixe[1] "Brunch" on the weekends (and on Saturdays and Sundays, too), but they are open during the week and serve regular breakfasts with several interesting items. This weekend's 3-Course Prix Fixe "Brunch" was:

Toast, Butter, Seasonal Preserves for the Table
(choice of)
Granola and Yogurt and stuff; or Frittata of Mushroom, Chèvre[2], and something else that I forgot; or some kinda Cheese Plate
(choice of)
Belgian Waffle, Chicory Syrup, Apple, Whipped Cream; or Chicken Hash and stuff; or some other Smoked Fishy dish

I also got a cuppa Sightglass Coffee, Blueboon Blend  to complement the meal.


The toast/bread was some kinda Vollkornbrot (whole grain bread with pumpkin seeds and such). I thought it nice that they served the butter with coarse sea salt on top of it. The stone fruit preserves was very good, too; I am not sure what fruits it included, probably peach and plum.

I opted for the Frittata for the Second Course. It was served with a mess o' watercress or arugula (some kinda spicy green leafy thing; Who am I, Emeril Lafreakinggasse?) and thinly sliced radishes on top. The chèvre was really the key to this dish; besides, I forgot what else was in it other than mushrooms.

For the Third Course, of course
(it was really the only stupid vegetarian choice), I had the waffle (dans le mode de Belgique) with (green) apples (I am not sure what type, as I didn't ask) and chicory syrup (whatever that is; syrup flavoured with chicory or syrup made from chicory?). This was all very good, too.

As this was a Prix Fixe kinda dealy, the portions may seem a bit smallish, but they were all perfectly fine with me. However, if you have a large(r) appetite, you might want to get another side of soup or potatoes. I finished everything I had and felt more than sufficiently full.

The coffee was a good, strong cuppa. The really interesting thing is that each pot of coffee is made from fresh ground beans (I saw them actually using a large coffee grinder; no hammers and paper towels were needed, Dave) and then via la méthode de la presse française.

Local's Corner offers for condimentary supplementation some of their own fresh made pepper sauces from whatever strikes their mood, baby; today there was a red (medium heat) and a green (hot). The green was really very good with a lot of flavour and just the right amount of heat. My very helpful server informed me (after I bugged him to ask the cooks) that the green sauce was made with Hungarian hot peppers. I used both the red and green sauces liberally on the frittata. I even joked to my server that I wouldn't need any of the hot sauces for the waffle… however, once suggested, I had to try it, and must admit that the green sauce really was very good in combination with all of the flavours of the apples, syrup, and whipped cream. Really, just  a few drops was all that was needed to enhance the flavours. I tried some of the red on the waffle, too, but the green worked best with the sweet stuff.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Toast/Butter/Preserves ~ 6.8; Frittata ~ 7.0; Waffles (especially with the green hot sauce enhancement) ~ 7.0; Homemade Hot Sauces ~ 7.4; Sightglass Coffee, Blueboon Blend ~ 7.0


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro un:

"Prix Fixe" simply means "fixed price" in French. It is pronounced "pree ficks", as the first "x" is silent. I don't know why it's not "pree fee" or "pricks ficks", though; that's just the damned Frenchies for ya!

However, when I asked if I could 'fix my own price", they just laughed at me.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro deux:

"Chèvre" is French for "goat" and is just used to denote "goat cheese" in 'merica.

Friday, January 18, 2013

We all scream…

… for the horror of the 32nd Flavour and beyond.


It is well known that Ice Cream is one of the Five Major Food Groups, along with Pizza, Beer, Coffee, Chocolate, and Potato Chips. To maintain a healthy diet, nutrition experts all agree that it is very important to get two full servings a day of each. As stated in an older post (see 'blog-entry from March 21st, 2010), Ice Cream can even be eaten for breakfast as it includes eggs (and keep reading, as there is even a bacon ice cream entry), milk, and sugar. Now just tell me that isn't breakfast!

Ice Cream has been made as a dessert as early as the 10th Century in the Arab world from frozen milk sweetened with sugar. Earlier (as far back as the Persian Empire), snow or ice had been used and sweetened with grape juice and then saffron
[1], fruits, and various other flavours. Ice Cream was first introduced to the United States by Quaker colonists who brought the recipe with them from Ye Olde Country. Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were known to have regularly eaten (and from the looks of him, Benny-boy probably more so than Georgie or Tommy) and served ice cream.

Ice Cream is known by many other names and incarnations around the World. Gelato[2] is Italian Ice Cream (not to be confused with Italian Ices) that is a softer version and has lower milk fat content than standard 'merican Ice Cream. Frozen Custard is Ice Cream that is made with at least 10% milk fat and at least 1.4% egg yolk. Kulfi is a frozen dairy dessert in India. Sherbet is a fruit flavoured dairy product which contains 1-2% milk fat and is sweeter than Ice Cream. And Frozen Yoghurt is a low-fat or fat-free alternative made with yoghurt instead of milk.

Here are some of my favourite local Ice Cream joints (in no particular order):

SmittenIce Cream  is highly original in that they make each and every order of ice cream fresh right in front of you in about 60 seconds. They have developed a really cool Ice Cream machine that looks like something straight out of a Science Fiction movie in the 50's, complete with liquid nitrogen as the freezing agent. They only offer four flavours daily. They always have Classic Vanilla and TCHO 60.5% Dark Chocolate. However, they offer two alternating flavours with what is seasonally available (and tasty); yesterday's two additional flavours were Salted Caramel and Meyer Lemon Gingersnap.

Humphry Slocombe has to be one of the more inventive Ice Cream parlours in San Francisco. They only offer twelve flavours daily, but have a list of always changing flavours that includes: Ancho Chocolate (yes, that's chilli peppers and chocolate); Boccalone Prosciutto (see, I told ya, bacon in Ice Cream); Candied Chestnut; Old Hebrew Ale; Peanut Butter Curry; Pink Grapepfruit
Tarragon; Salt and Pepper; and my favourite of the strangest, Secret Breakfast (which is made with Bourbon and corn flakes ~ don't ask, but it really works). They also make all the "normal" flavours, but I can get those anywhere.

Mitchell's Ice Cream is probably the granddaddy of all abby-normal Ice Cream places in San Francisco. They have been located in the Mission since 1953. They are known for their more exotic flavours like: Avocado; Cantaloupe (which is my favourite of theirs, but only available in the summer); Langka (jackfruit); Lucuma (a subtropical fruit grown in various regions of South America; it tastes similar to maple); Lychee; Mais y Queso (that is "Corn and Cheese" in Spanish); Mango; and Ube (a purple yam from the Philippines). They even have three to four different Ice Creams using coconut as the basis.

Bi-Rite Creamery is also located in the Mission District and they are known for their eclectic flavours, too, some of their signature flavours: Earl Grey; Orange Cardamom; Honey Lavender; Ricanelas (cinnamon with snickerdoodles); and Roas
ted Banana.

Joe's Ice Cream has been a fixture on Geary Boulevard in the Richmond since 1959. Now this is the closest on the list to your mom's Baskin-Robbins, but even they offer some alternative flavours: Ginger; Green Tea; Mango; Black Walnut; along with a monthly/seasonal flavour (this month it is Egg Nog).

Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream (which is actually owned by an Asian family from what I can tell) offers more of the exotic flavours of the Orient: Durian (not for the faint of heart; durian is an unbelievably stinky fruit; it smells worse than a rotten piece of Gorgonzola, but really isn't that bad; definitely an acquired taste); Lychee; Sesame; Jackfruit; Soursop; Taro; Red Bean; and my favourite of theirs, Guava.

(No official website. 1447 Taraval Street; phonicular contact: (415) 731-2833)

Polly Ann Ice Cream is another long time favourite in the Outer Sunset that has many exotic Asian flavours: Alligator Pear (that's "avocado" to you and me); Durian (see above for warning); Lychee; Sesame; Jasmine; Red Bean; and many others. What I like most about this place is that they usually have about 50 different flavours available at all times. If you can't decide which flavour of Ice Cream you want, you can always take a spin of their big carnival wheel that is behind the counter and see what fate has in store for you.

(No official website. 3138 Noriega Street; phonicular contact: (415) 664-2472)

Bombay Icecream (yes, they have "Ice Cream" as one word, Billy-boy, so deal with it) is an Indian (by that, I mean the Hindis, not the Native Americans; I am sure that no one wants Ice Cream made from bison milk and includes flavours like Acorn or Succotash) take on the Ice Cream World. However, their interesting flavours do include: Chai (Indian tea); Chiku (a tropical fruit); Fig; Kesar Pista (saffron/pistachio); Cardamom (my favourite of theirs); and Rose. They also offer a few different versions of Kulfi: Pistachio, Saffron, and Cardamom (that I can remember). 

Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous is one of the newest (and best) entries into the Ice Cream World of San Francisco, and, like Humphry Slocombe, is probably one of the more eclectic Ice Cream places in the city. They usually only offer 8-10 different flavours and keep alternating them with fun and fresh ideas. Ferinstance: Sloe Gin; Caramel with sea salt; Chicory Coffee; Bananas Foster; Ginger Cookie; Candied Violet; White Sesame; Earl Grey; Brown Butter; Salted Mango; and the not to be missed Ballpark (a mix of Anchor Steam Beer, roasted peanuts, and chocolate-covered pretzels; they are located straight down 3rd Street from AT&T Park, Home of your 2012 World Series Champions San Francisco Giants).

(No official website. 699 22nd Street; phonicular contact: (415) 970-0750)

The Ice Cream Bar is another new-ish entry in the Ice Cream foray (open for just about one year now); they are located over on Cole Street in Cole Valley/the Haight. They are set up like an old-fashioned apothecary of yore. All of their Ice Cream is made on-site daily, using local organic cream, milk, egg, and organic evaporated cane sugar. They normally will have between 12-15 flavours available, to include: Banana Puddin' (complete with vanilla wafer chunks and all); Basil; Sweet Corn; and Peanut Butter (they offer many more interesting flavours, but these were the ones that I have tried and could remember; however, for some reason, they don't list the selections on their website). The Ice Cream Bar not only has great Ice Cream, they have an authentic soda fountain (manned by actual "jerks") that they can make all kinds of old-fashioned phosphates, elixirs, frappes, milk shakes, and sodas.

Last but not least, here is a little Cliff Clavinism of the day:

Did you know that all three "normal" flavours of Ice Cream, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry (which is not really a berry, by the way), are all New World flavours?! This means that back in 1491 Neapolitan Ice Cream didn't exist.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: (Sorry, there are just too many places and varieties to rate; let's just say that these all range from 7.0 to 8.5; well, except maybe for Durian, but that is up to you)

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour,
numéro un:

"Saffron" comes from Old French "safran", from Medieval Latin "safranum", and ultimately from Arabic "za'faran" (of unknown origin, Ms. Burrows).

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del giorno, numero due:

"Gelato" comes from the Italian noun use of the past participle of "gelare", meaning "to freeze" (see: gelatine).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cafe Golo

"I went to a restaurant that serves 'Breakfast any time'. So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance."
~ Steven Wright

(No official website.)

1602 Lombard Street (at Gough Street)

Phonicular contact: (415) 673-4656

("Instant Karma[1]", just add "

For another pleasant, attitude-free breakfast I went back to Cafe Golo (see last 'blog-entry from August 26th, 2012). Miss Peebee was not there this morning, but Jay (co-owner and Head Baker) was there to greet diners. This place may be "tiny" in stature, but it is mighty "big" in flavour (kinda like Miss Peebee and Jay ~ she's tiny and he is big). Plus, it meets all of my 2013 prerequisites: it opens before 10:00am (they open at 8:00am every day of the week, except on Saturdays and Sundays when they open at 8:00am); the food is always fresh and tasty; and, most important of all, they didn't kick me out even before letting me in.

My favourite item on their breakfast menu has to be the Tater Scramble, which was one of my "Best New Finds of 2012", but I wanted to try something different and had the Veggie Omelet ~ eggs, tomatoes (which happens to be a real berry), onions, peppers (another real berry), zucchini (which is really a fruit), and mushrooms ~ (cheese optional); served with country potatoes and choice of toast. I also had a cuppa coffee and a warmed-up Blueberry (another real berry) - Mango (a stone fruit, not a berry, of course) Tart[2] to start. Not to be outdone, I also ordered a Sweet Potato Tart to go, which I will enjoy later today while watching the San Francisco 49ers play the Green Bay Packers (I don't want to sound unfaithful here, but I have picked the Limburgerheads to win tonight in my Football Pool; however, I would be very happy if I was actually wrong).

I went with the "cheese optional" choice and had "optional Cheddar". Now it wasn't stated anywhere on the menu, but they added a minimal amount of "the vile weed" in with the other veggies; however, I can overlook this breakfastary sedition as the rest of the ingredients were all fresh and good. I skipped the toast, as I had more than enough to eat with my tart starter (which I probably should have taken a picture of, but as soon as they brought it out to me I started eating it; it really was that good). As stated before, their country potatoes (That would just be another name for "homefries", Mrs. Huneycutt) are very good and made with both regular and sweet potatoes in it. The coffee was good and bottomless (How come is it that St*rbucks never gives you a free refill of bagels or muffins?).

As for condimentary supplementation, this morning I used some of my own Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce ~ the original version (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) on the country potatoes and a little Serious Food… Silly Prices Sweet Heat (Thanks, Cindy and Greg ~ both!) on the omelette (had I been aware that there was going to be any of "the vile weed" in the omelette, I might have used a little more still). Cafe Golo offers a pretty decent selection of hot sauces, mine are just better. I even left some of the PAFFPS for Jay to try; he said he'd use it on his potatoes this morning when he had time to eat breakfast, also. I am trying to push this on as many restaurant owners as possible; it really is so much better than most of the standard available bottled hot sauces.

Go 49ers!!! (Even if I didn't pick 'em.)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggie Omelet ~ 6.7; Blueberry-Mango Tart ~ 7.0; Sweet Potato Tart ~ 7.2

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day,
नंबर एक:

"Karma" comes from Sanskrit, it is the nominative, accusative singular form of "karman", meaning "action, fate, or deed".

Extra added Cliff Clavinism of the day:

Here's a little known fact, the Volkswagen automobile "Karmann Ghia" actually means "Fateful Clarified Butter" in Sanskrit.*

*(I would never make this stuff up. Please check your own damned facts if you don't believe me.)

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro deux:

"Tart" comes from Middle English "tarte", which comes from Middle French "tart" from Old French "tarte", of uncertain origin; compare to Medieval Latin "tarta".

(Hey, sometimes these word origins aren't Rocket Surgery.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013


An extra corny[1] desayuno

(Yes, that is Sir Paul singing his hit song from the 70's, "Maybe I'm A-maize-d".)


I can't believe it has been almost two years since my last breakfast at SanJalisco™ (see last 'blog-entry from February 5th, 2011), but it was more than time for a return visit. By the way, there is no "Saint Jalisco", but if there were, I am sure he'd be the "Patron Saint of the Little Guy" (see 'blog-entry from June 19th, 2010 for an explanation). This is one of my favourite restaurants in the Mission, either for el desayuno, el almuerzo, o la cena.

Not only do they have a pretty decent printed breakfast menu (both "Desayunos Mexicano" and "Breakfast American Style"), but they offer a few weekend specials that most good Mexican restaurants always have: Pozole de Puerco, Birria de Chivo, Menudo, and Caldo de Res. Now, as a vegetarian I have never had any of those dishes (and in the case of Menudo, I am kinda glad I haven't). For breakfast this morning, I ordered Chilaquiles Veronica ~ corn tortilla bits scrambled with two large eggs, cheese, onions and salsa, complemented with chorizo[2], nopales, and fresh Mexican-style sour cream. These are served with choice of beans (I went with frijoles refritos) and rice, and fresh, homemade corn tortillas. I also had a cuppa café mexicano (meaning I add 2-3 sugars con mucha leche), which has become una tradición with me whenever I eat at a Mexican restaurant for breakfast.

I have had their standard version of chilaquiles several times before, but this was the first time I had this particular version (of course, sin salchicha de cerdo muerto en descomposición). The nopales were a very nice addition to a typical chilaquiles. What can be said about fresh, warm off the grill, homemade corn tortillas, but "Mmm-mmm!" (I am not sure how to say that en español); I only got two tortillas this morning, but they still were more than enough with all the other food, besides, I am sure they would have given me more if I asked for some. Their chilaquiles salsa is a bit different (less spicy, but flavourful ~ which is usually the case at most places) from the salsa provided with the corn chips.

For condimentary supplements, SanJaliscoonly has Tapatío®  for bottled hot sauces, which is completely superfluous as they have their own homemade, fresh salsa roja. I put this to good use on just about everything (except in my café, but I thought about it).

Shameless (but completely un-corny) Promotion of another old Air Force Comrade's Book

An old Air Force comrade (and a fellow Cunning Linguist from the 6912th ESS, Marienfelde Station, West Berlin, Germany), Penny Blankenship, is the illustrator of a new book (I have no idea who the author is, but who really reads books for the words, anyway?) that has just been published. It is currently available on-line from for those of you that like to read (or look at pictures) and/or like dogs.

Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin gave this book "Two Paws Up".

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Chilaquiles Veronica ~ 7.1; Fresh, homemade corn tortillas ~ 7.7 (Sure, these may only be "just corn tortillas", but they are very good, fresh, homemade "just corn tortillas")

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-agriculturalistic pointer of the day, number one (parts A and B):

For some reason, this grain is know as "corn" only in English-speaking 'merica; in many other areas of the World it is called "maize" or a variation thereof.

The word "corn" comes from Middle English and Old English as a cognate with Dutch "koren", Old Norse "korn", German "Korn", and Gothic "kaúrn"; akin to Latin "grānum" (grain).

"Maize" derives from the Spanish "maíz", which is a form of the Taíno word for "plant" ~ "maiz".

Albanian ~ "misër"
Danish/Swedish ~ "majs"
Dutch/French ~ "maïs"
Esperanto ~ "maizo"
Estonian/Filipino/Italian/Norwegian ~ "mais"
Finnish ~ "maissi"
German ~ "Mais"
Haitian Creole ~ "mayi"
Turkish ~ "misir"

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer del día, número dos:

"Chorizo" is a Spanish spiced pork sausage, the word is of uncertain origin. Mexican chorizo is very similar to Spanish chorizo, but a little bit spicier.