Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beachside Coffee Bar & Kitchen

"Rather go to bed supperless, than run in debt for a breakfast."
~ Little Benny Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

(A little Best Coast for the morning, because "Why would you live anywhere else?")

In searching (on-line stuff, e.g. yelp*, etc.) for a new (well, to me, at least) place for breakfast, I had seen a few good reviews of Beachside Coffee Bar & Kitchen and I finally got around to checking them out. (And I know that you should never end a sentence with a preposition, but "I finally got around to checking them out, jerk!" seemed kinda rude.) They open up plenty early enough for my liking (8:00am daily) and are located just one block from Ocean Beach (hence, the "Coffee Bar & Kitchen" part of their name) on Judah Street way out in the Sunset. They are owned by the same folks at Java Beach (which is just one block away, towards the beach-side, that is).

Beachside has been open for almost two years now (August 2011). There are a bunch of long tables/benches inside to sit at (you could end up sharing the table with complete strangers if it gets very busy, so just be sure to order enough food to share). Additionally, there are several sidewalk tables (with beach-style/cabana-ish chairs); so, luckily, there is no need to walk to any stupid parklets to enjoy your coffee in the fresh air. I think that they have been roasting their own coffee on-premise for about a year or more now, too.

They really only offer a few breakfastary items to choose from (and less even for stupid vegetarians). I heard one guy in line raving about their Fried Chicken and Waffles. They also have an Irish Breakfast Sandwich ~ Irish bacon, Irish sausage, fried egg, white pudding, black pudding, and grilled tomatoes, which I would liked to have seen someone order. They also have both Eggs Florentine and Benedict. I was looking at either the Irish Cheddar & Fresh Herb Scramble or Cremini[1] Mushroom & Gruyere Scramble, but decided on the Veggie Breakfast Burrito ~ scrambled eggs, Cheddar cheese, spinach, and tomatoes. I also ordered a side of homefries and a cuppa Ethiopia coffee. Unlike a lot of coffeehouses, they have five different blends/roasts of coffee that you can choose from, and each is made fresh for you with a single drip-brew.

I am not really criticizing or making fun of anyone here (welllll, maybe just a bit), I just thought it a funny exchange for someone that is actually working in a coffeehouse:

Me: "Is the Ethiopia a 'dark roast'?"
Order-counter Lady: "Well, they are all 'dark' to me…"

Ummmm… o-kay.

The burrito was very large and grilled and this is always a good thing, Martha. I just have one minor complaint/pointer: because this was made with fresh spinach and tomatoes (which weren't incorporated into the scrambled eggs) it made it just a bit watery/runny (and not like a good Camembert, Mr. Wensleydale ~ but at least the cat hadn't eaten it). The homefries were very good and made with both regular (white) potatoes and sweet potatoes and with lots of white onions and garlic clove chunks.

I think the most pleasant surprise for me was how good the coffee was. I know you should expect a decent cuppa in a place that roasts their own coffee, but I have been disappointed many times in the past. In between bites of the spiced-up food, taking sips of my coffee, it almost had a very interesting winey-tasting quality to it (I asked the cute, little barista-lady ~ who proved a lot more knowledgeable than the order-counter lady ~ and she said that was how it is usually described, with undertones of berries and pitted fruits). I will definitely be going back to try more of their roasts/blends now.

From what I could see, Beachside only has bottles of a Sriracha-style hot sauce for condimentary supplementation. Figuring (correctly) that a coffeehouse wouldn't have that much to offer, I came prepared and used some of my own Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) on the burrito (surprisingly there was no added salsa in the burrito already) and a little Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Kevin!) on the potatoes.

The surf and coffee are up!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggie Breakfast Burrito ~ 6.4; Ethiopia coffee ~ 7.2

1. Stupid, useless pseudo-horticultural pointer of the day:

"Cremini/Crimini" are both fancy names for plain ol' button mushrooms. When they get larger and mature they are known as Portobello/Portabello/Portabella (take your pick on spelling).

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