Sunday, June 30, 2013


Authentic San Francisco

Today's breakfastary adventure started out downtown on Union Square. I met up with an old Air Force buddy's (Hey, Dave!) son, Matthew, and his roommate[1], Tom. They were staying at the Westin St. Francis (Oooh! Aren't we the posh ones?!). They were in town to attend the SF Pride Parade. (Now why two good-looking young men would want to watch all of that homosexual debauchery is beyond me. I really doubt they will find many available single women there.) The last time that I had seen Matt was back in 1988 when he was just a little kid of five or so and his family was visiting California. Matt said he doesn't remember that visit at all, but I think I had more fun when they were visiting than he did or could remember, anyway. 

As this was a spur of the moment trip for them, Matt only contacted me yesterday afternoon to suggest getting together for breakfast. I hardly ever get downtown to eat breakfast and had to think of some places in the general vicinity. There are not that many good places to eat that I have tried. I know that I had eaten at a few of the closer restaurants along Geary Street last year (see the label: "Breakfast on Geary"). However, I knew of one place nearby that I have been meaning to try, but just hadn't gotten around to yet; it's never a lot of fun to drive downtown where there is really a lack of parking spots (wait for it)...

stupid parklet mini-rant
This block of Powell Street is taken up almost entirely (less three spaces only) ~ on both sides of the street ~ by these anti-parking abominations. I find it very ironic that these non-parking spaces are all sponsored by the automotive company Audi.

From the hotel, we simply headed down Powell Street and went to Kuleto's, which is just a block away. Kuleto's is an old-style "authentic San Francisco" (their words on their web-site) restaurant that has been a fixture for many years. It is in the same building that houses Villa Florence (why it's not called "Villa Firenze", immano) right in front of the Powell Street Cable Car line.

Kuleto's has a decent enough breakfast menu selection and we all saw something we would like. I had the Eggs Fra Diavalo[2] (sic) ~ two eggs any style served with creamy polenta and spicy Marinara sauce. Matt had the Kuleto's Eggs Benedict ~ Niman Ranch ham, toasted muffin, hollandaise. And Tom had the Egg White Omelette ~ Bloomsdale spinach, portabello mushrooms, Sky Hill goat cheese; he had them add some Dungeness crab to it, too (and they were kind enough to do so… for an additional $10.00 charge ~ which we only found out how much they were going to add after they brought out the bill. But I suppose they can afford it. Did I tell you they stayed at the hoity-toity Westin St. Francis?) We all had coffee all around, too.

These were all pretty decent choices, and we all cleaned our plates so we must have liked them well enough. I had my two eggs over medium. I would have liked a side order of potatoes maybe included (just not for an addition $10.00 charge, of course). I suppose they assume that most people would think polenta and potatoes would be too many carbohydrates; well, they would be wrong.

We didn't ask for any condimentary supplements, but I happened to notice that Kuleto's had Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) on a few of the tables. I used some of my own Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) on top of the spicy Marinara sauce. I suppose I should have tasted their sauce first to see if it needed any extra spicing-up. As it was, even with the added Chipotle Habanero, it wasn't all that spicy really. Tom also used some of the Chipotle Habanero on his egg white omelette as he said it could probably use some spicing-up, too.

After breakfast, as I walked them over to watch the festivities, I had to ask Tom why there is a yearly parade to celebrate Gay Pride but there is never any celebration or acknowledgement of Single White Losers like me. He told me that, of course, there is always San Diego's Comicon and several Star Trek conventions yearly… Ouch!

So that's what all the rainbow flags mean along Market Street recently! I just thought it was for San Francisco's bid for the 2018
Winter Olympics.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Eggs Fra Diavalo ~ 6.0 

(I didn't bother to poll Matt or Tom for their GBS ratings. I would have had to explain the whole thing to them and they only had a small amount of free time this morning. I did tell them that Dottie's True blue café has a sister location in Scottsdale, AZ that they should check out and let me know what they think of it.)

1. Actually, Matt and Tom are in a Civil Union and have been since October 21st, 2012. However, they both live in Arizona; what that means is, that by the time Arizona ever allows Same-Sex Marriages, maybe their grandkids will actually be able to get married legally to whomever they want.

I just hope that by stating this that I haven't outed Matt and Tom to any of their homosexual friends.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-historical pointer of the day:

"Fra Diavolo" is the popular name given to Michele Pezza, a famous Neapolitan guerrilla leader who resisted the French occupation of Naples in 1798-1799. Why he has an egg dish named after him in San Francisco, I do not know.

Part A:

"Fra" or "fratello" means "brother" in Italiano.

Part B:

"Diavolo" means "devil" in Italiano.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Griddle Fresh

"A leaf filtered in through the window this morning as if supported by the rays of the Sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the taste of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked."
~ Anaïs Nin

(No official web-site.)

4007 24th Street (between Noe and Castro Streets)

phonicular contact: (415) 647-7037

(No reason for the Jimmy Buffett EweToob video other than I don't think I have linked one of his songs here yet.)

I was actually planning on going back to Le Zinc this morning (see 'blog-entry from November 20th, 2010); of note, they don't open until 9:30am on Saturdays for "Brunch". As I had arrived in Noe Valley about twenty minutes earlier than that, I decided to walk around for a bit before eating. As luck would have it, I came across a brand new place and figured I'd try something new instead. Griddle Fresh has just been open for six weeks now. They open at 8:00am daily (but are only open for breakfast and lunch). This is a very friendly little place with seating for thirty-four total. They are right across the street from Pasta Pomodoro[1] (which is the last of those restaurants in the city, I think). The lesson here: if you opened up earlier, you'd get my business. Besides, I can always go back to Le Zinc another day when I feel like eating later (and feel like having "Brunch").

What really caught my eye were some of the items on the breakfast part of the menu: Lemon Ricotta Soufflé Pancake; Banana Mascarpone Soufflé Pancake; Gooey Boule French Toast; along with several egg dishes and breakfast sandwiches. I ended up getting the Garden Scramble ~ garlic, tomato, fennel, eggplant, Kalamata olive, basil pesto, grilled asparagus, and Grana Padano sprinkle; served with hash brown (noted as singular and two words) and toast. I also had a cuppa their house coffee, which is America's Best Coffee.

As soon as they brought out the dish, I had a feeling of déjà goût (see, now is when I could have used that stupid joke from last week's 'blog-entry in context). This looked exactly like the dish I had at MyMy CoffeeCoffee ShopShop (see 'blog-entry from July 15th 2012). I asked one of the server-ladies and she confirmed that GriddleGriddle FreshFresh is owned by the same people. It was the pesto in the scramble and the asparagus spears sticking up out of the scramble pile that clued me in. The main reason I had chosen this meal was due to the inclusion of the asparagus, anyway. Had I not ordered this dish, I may never have been aware that there was a relationship between the two restaurants.

Of course, I enjoyed this just as much as I did last year, maybe even a little more as today there were two spears of grilled asparagus. This also had lots of Kalamata olives,  lots of fennel, and just the right amount of eggplant (I love eggplant ~ Melanzane alla Parmigiana is probably my favourite pasto italiano ~ but it can sometimes overpower and get too watery in an omelette or scramble). Additionally, there were many pine nuts sprinkled on top of the scramble mound, which was not stated on the menu. The hashbrowns were extra thin and crispy ~ always good. I chose sourdough as my choice of toast; they actually grill the toast instead of toasting it, but I guess you can't just call it "grill" and expect people to know what it is. Sorry, Anaïs, even though it is called America's Best Coffee, it was really just okay and not all that tastefully joyous. But who would buy it if it was called Oakland's Just Okay Coffee?

For condimentary supplementation, GriddleGriddle FreshFresh offers both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) and Cholula® Hot Sauce. I still went with some of my own Cherry Republic® KaBOB's Kick'en Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy and Greg! FYI, that was the last of the bottle; of course, you do not have to send me a replacement as I still have about twenty bottles of other hot sauces in my refrigerator.) on the hashbrowns and some Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the scramble.

I thought that I had discovered the newest surprise for 2013, but it turned out that I had just re-discovered one of the best surprises from 2012. And I am happy to state that there were no stupid parklets in front of the place either (however, there are two just across the street and down one block).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Garden Scramble ~ 7.1

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

"Pomodoro" simply means "tomato" in Italiano. It comes from combining two words "pomo" ("apple") and "d'oro" ("of gold"); apparently the first tomatoes grown in Italia were gold, not red. I have no idea what they call a "Golden Delicious" in Italiano, though.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hollywood Café

"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."
~ Mark Twain

(Sometimes these EweToob video links have absolutely nothing to do with the places at which I eat.)

It had been a while since I last went to Hollywood Café (see previous 'blog-entry from April 17th, 2011), so I ventured over to "no (local) man's land" for breakfast. They have their name avec accent aigu on their menu and web-site, but not on their signage for some reason.  They open at 7:00am every day and are mostly a tourista destination as it's one of the only viable places for breakfast on Fisherman's Wharf (which isn't part of one of the surrounding hotels/motels or Denny's). They have several sidewalk tables (5-6 that seat four each), but it was still pretty foggy this morning, so I opted to sit inside. However, inside the restaurant there is a strange triangular configuration which makes for a bit of a cramped atmosphere for anyone sitting near the corner or on the aisle (like I was this morning; I kept getting bumped by the servers and customers).

An "Only in San Francisco" interlude
As I had parked a few blocks away on Bay Street (where the parking is free all day long on Sundays, unlike right on North Point where there are parking meters that operate every day from 7:00am to Midnight to cheat the stupid touristas), on my way back to my car I passed a building that I had never noticed before. This condo complex actually has their own private funicular[1] to use. They could probably make some money by charging touristas to ride on it. (Hey, if it works at Buda Castle, it could work here. Besides, one-third of "funicular" is "fun".)


Hollywood Café has a pretty decent breakfastary menu and they have a few specials that are named for old Hollywoodland stars like James Dean, Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Vivian Leigh. This morning I had the Greek Omelette ~ spinach, tomato, olive, and Feta cheese; served with seasoned hashbrowns and toast. I also had a glass of orange juice with the meal.

The omelette had lots of fresh sautéed spinach and Feta cheese in it; however, the olives were just the plain ol', flavourless black ones from a can. The hashbrowns were excellent ~ prepared extra thin for maximum crispiness on both sides. The toast was sliced sourdough, which I thought was very cool; the tourista lady sitting next to me wasn't as impressed, apparently: "I guess that's their version of toast." This was served as five (ha!) slices, too, which I thought was rather odd (if it were four slices, I would have thought it rather "even", of course). For some reason, there was also five slices of orange as a garnish; maybe the owners are Thai (haha!). It really didn't matter, though, as I still ate all of them, along with the quintet of toast slices. The portions are HUGE here; I think it says the omelettes are made with three eggs, but I bet there were easily four or five (hahaha!) eggs used.

Hollywood Café has as condimentary supplements Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both the standard red and the green jalapeño) and Cholula® Hot Sauce, which is not that bad of a selection. I used some of my own Mama Africa's Zulu Sauces Chilli Mint (Thanks, Kerry!) on the hashbrowns and some Serious Food… Silly Prices Sweet Heat Hot Sauce (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on the omelette. Plus, they have Morton® salt and pepper grinders on every table; I made sure to use the pepper grinder to maximum effect.

Stupid drivers rant interlude
Why do some people think that "No Left Turn" signs don't apply to them? I actually saw two idiots ignore these signs this morning alone, and one was to cross three lanes on a busy Geary Boulevard. Now, I don't wish harm on any living thing, but just once I would like to see them die horribly in a fiery ball of tangled metal, but painlessly, of course. That would teach the bastages; I bet they would never try that again!

Note: No frogs (or touristas or stupid egocentric drivers) were actually harmed during the writing of this 'blog-entry.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greek Omelette ~ 6.5

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

"Funicular" comes from Latin "funiculus", which is a diminutive of "funis" meaning "cord, rope".

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Roosevelt Tamale Parlor

Déjà Goût ~ the strong sensation that you have eaten something before

(No official web-site.)

2817 24th Street (Between Bryant and York Streets)

phonicular contact: (415) 824-2600

(This is such a cool song. I want it to be played as my funeral march when I am dead. I especially want the mourners ~ both of them ~ to be bopping right along to the beat, too.)

Even though they technically don't open up until 10:00am on the weekends, I decided to go to Roosevelt Tamale[1] Parlor for my desayunory repast this morning. The door was actually open when I walked by about ten minutes before 10:00am and they were nice enough to seat me early, anyway. They are right next door to
La Torta Gorda (see 'blog-entry from January 26th, 2013). I have had lunch at Roosevelt Tamale Parlor once before recently, but this was the first time I have been there for breakfast.

I know what you are thinking, "Why 'Roosevelt'?" It has nothing to do with the Spanish-American War and Teddy and his roughshod friends; it is just that the original family that opened the restaurant back in 1919 (and the restaurant has been at the same location continuously since then under different ownerships) was a Dutch family named Roosevelt. And, again, I know what you are thinking, "Dutch in the Mission?" Well, it wasn't always a predominantly Mexican neighborhood; back in the 40's and 50's it was primarily an Irish neighborhood even. Now why a Dutch family opened a tamales parlour, I have no idea.

La Misión is well-known for its abundance of murals. This one was right across the street from today's breakfastary destination in a little children's park.

I purposely got over there about a half hour before I knew Roosevelt Tamale Parlor to open so that I could start off the morning by going to Dynamo Donut & Coffee, which is just across the street and a block away. I got a Ginger Orange ~ donut with orange zest and candied ginger topped with a ginger glaze ~ and a cuppa Fourbarrel Coffee. The doughnut was fresh and excellent, but I was a bit disappointed in the coffee. I suppose it was okay, but really didn't compare to the quality of the doughnut. I didn't ask what roast of coffee it was. Dynamo has a great selection of unusual doughnuts and I bet the Bacon Maple Apple would be a favourite of some that partake of the dead, decaying porky bits.

Roosevelt Tamale Parlor offers many desayunos típicos mexicanos ~ Chilaquiles, Huevos Rancheros, Omelettes (Mexicano, Americano, Ranchero, Vegetariano), y de este modo adelante. I was thinking of getting the Chilaquiles (which they offer with either a red or green sauce, which is nice), but seeing as they are famous for their tamales (it is part of their name, after all), I decided on getting one of their tamales. They actually have four different types of vegetarian tamales: Corn Sweet Tamal (with tomatillo sauce); Tamal de Frijol (black bean tamal smothered in Doña[2] Maria's mole sauce); Tamal de Calabacitas c
on crema (squash tamal with tomatillo sauce); and one other (which looked really good, but I can't remember what was in it). Don't worry, they also offer three kinds of meat tamales: pork, chicken, and beef. All tamales plates are served with rice and beans and come as a choice of single (one tamal) or dinner (two tamales). As usual, the mole was the deciding factor for me, and I got the Tamal de Frijol. I also had a large glass of Agua Fresca de Sandia ~ watermelon and a hint of cilantro (which is always extra good with a big squeeze from the slice of lime garnish).

I went with the "single" choice. With the doughnut beforehand, this was more than enough food for mi apetito; however, someone with un apetito más grande may want to get it as "dinner". I don't know if you can get two different types when you order it like that, but you could always just order a side dish of a different type if you wanted, I suppose. The tamal was very good and it also had a very good mole; it was not too spicy, but had lots of flavour to it. Everyone has their own special recipe for a mole, and this happened to be Doña Maria's.

Now I am not really that much of an aficionado (sorry, I don't know the Spanish word for that) of tamales as it is usually pretty hard to find a place that actually does a vegetarian version (let alone one that does four different types). I used to work with a Mexican guy named Miguel Sosa whose wife, Rosa (yes, she was actually "Rosa Sosa"), would sometimes make tamales for the entire office. Rosa was always kind enough to make a few special pineapple-raisin (piña y pasas) tamales for me, and that was the extent of my tamales experience.

Figuring (correctly) that Roosevelt Tamale Parlor would have their own fresh-made salsa for condimentary supplementation, I didn't bother bringing any of my own bottled hot sauces with me this morning. Theirs was not too picante,
pero con un gusto muy sabroso. What I ended up doing was mixing the rice and beans together and adding a mess o' the salsa to it and use it as a dip for the tortilla chips that they provide.

stupid parklet mini-rant of the day
I got to talking to the manager (owner?) guy (he was the one that explained the whole nomenclature/ethnicity questions for me) and asked him what his opinion is on the whole parklet situation. I must admit, I loved his answer: "I f*cking hate them!" and he went on to agree with just about all of my points on the obnoxious parking obstructions, too. Luckily, this part of the Mission hasn't been infected with all that stupidity… yet.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Ginger Orange Donut ~ 7.0; Tamal de Frijol ~ 7.0

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer del día, número uno:

"Tamal" is the correct singular form of this word and "tamales" is the plural. This word comes from Spanish for the Nahuatl word "tamalli". It looks like Roosevelt Tamale Parlor has corrected this misperception on their menu items, but has left the historical name of the restaurant as it is.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del día, número dos:

"Doña" is the Spanish female equivalent of the honorific "Don". They both derive from Latin "dominus", meaning "master/lord".

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company Restaurant & Brew Pub

Breakfastary Road Trip:
Half Moon Bay/Princeton-by-the-Sea
[1], CA

(It's always a fantabulous morning for Beer and Pizza, Van. And, yeah, the second EweToob video is another total corn-bally song, but it is Father's Day, so deal with it.)

Because the San Francisco 2013 Marathon was going on this morning and it basically cuts off half of the city from traffic, I figured this morning was as good an excuse to make a mini-road trip to Half Moon Bay Brewing Company Restaurant & Brew Pub (which is just way too long and shall be abbreviated as HMBBCR&BP for the rest of the 'blog-entry). Half Moon Bay is about a "half"-hour drive due south of San Francisco along the scenic, coastal Highway 1. HMBBCR&BP is actually located in Princeton-by-the-Sea, but who would want to drink Beer from "Princeton-by-the-Sea Brewing Company"? Both Half Moon Bay and Princeton-by-the-Sea have a nice Cape Cod-ish quality to them; with lots of good places to eat and some nice tourist shops; plus, they happen to be right along the ocean, too (hence the whole "Half Moon Bay" and "Princeton-by-the-Sea" nomenclatures). I have eaten lunch and dinner there a few times in the past, but this morning was the first time I had breakfast there.

I sat outside in the large open-air patio area. There is seating for 60-70 people easily outside and it is a very dog-friendly place to eat (there were several dogs with their human escorts there this morning). They open at 9:00am on the weekends for what I am happy to see they call "Breakfast" on their menu. It was still a bit foggy and chilly this morning when I arrived there about a "half"-hour after they opened, but that was actually "half" the fun. I had a sweatshirt on and a light jacket and I was glad I thought to bring both. They do have many of those stupid gas space heaters (you know the kind that look like streetlamps) all around the area, but I never like sitting underneath them. I figure if I wanted to be warm and comfortable, I could always have chosen to sit inside.

HMBBCR&BP's "Breakfast" menu has several interesting things on it, to include: Crab Cake Eggs Benedict (for those of you that like eating dead, decaying marine insects); Traditional Eggs Benedict (for those of you that don't like eating dead, decaying marine insects, but aren't averse to eating dead, decaying porky products); Breakfast Pizza; Breakfast Burrito; Breakfast Fajitas; Vegetarian Frittata; Chocolate Porter French Toast; Strawberry & Banana Foster Pancakes (Can you name which one of those fruits is an actual berry?); and a few other items. The French toast, pancakes, and Pizza sounded the most interesting to me, and I finally decided on the Breakfast Pizza ~ Housemade Beer focaccia[2] (Which the jeenyuses of the Microsoft Spellchecker Nazis do not recognize as a real word. Seriously, Billy-boy?! Did you write your spellchecker software program back in the 70's?) bread topped with country potatoes, eggs, cheese, marinara, and a choice of bacon, sausage, or linguiça (The Spell-Check Brown Shirts also don't recognize this word. I think der Führer-Gates and his boys need to acknowledge that both Italy and Portugal are real countries and have given many words of food origin to the English language.). I also had a cuppa the house coffee.

Now, seeing as part of the HMBBCR&BP name is "Brewing Company" and "Brew Pub", a trip there without partaking in a nice malty, hopped-up beverage would be a total waste (unless your name happens to be Joseph H. Smith or Brigham Young). They have several good Beers from which to choose. They even have Beer-pairing suggestions on the menu. They suggested the Mavericks®[3] Big Break Ale with the Pizza; however, I have had and knew I really like the Mavericks® Amber Ale and stuck with that one. (Hey, it was after Noon somewhere.)

This was a great concept with everything breakfastary on top of a Pizza. Seeing as I had a cuppa coffee with the meal, and the Pizza already had potatoes on it, if they could just figure out some way to incorporate both Ice Cream and Chocolate in the mess, that would be the ultimately complete and perfect meal for me. This wasn't really a very large Pizza, but it was still enough for me; someone with a larger appetite would probably want to order another side dish. I had my eggs over medium (and, of course, skipped any of the porcine meat products offered), but you can get the eggs done any way you want. I figured that poached eggs might be a little too soggy for a Pizza topping, but that would have been my choice otherwise. I have had better Pizza before (with better crust and sauce), but this was still a great idea. The crust was very thin and crispy; however, I was picturing that with the "focaccia" crust that it would be more of a Chicago deep-dish or Sicilian thick-crust style. There were also lots of red and green bell peppers in the mix, I just assume that they are part of the standard country potatoes ingredients.

HMBBCR&BP just has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) as a condimentary supplement. As usual, I had come prepared and used some of my own Dave’s Gourmet® Ginger Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, Jim!) and some El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on different slices of the Pizza.

Pizza + Beer + breakfast?!? Now what could beat that?

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Breakfast Pizza ~ 6.7; Mavericks® Amber Ale ~ 7.0

1. a. Half Moon Bay is a small coastal city in San Mateo County located about twenty-five miles south of San Francisco and forty-five miles north of Santa Cruz.

b. Princeton-by-the-Sea is an unincorporated community located about one mile north of Half Moon Bay.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day:

"Focaccia" comes from Italian from Late Latin "focacia" (neuter plural), derivative of Latin "focus" (meaning "hearth, place for baking"). In ancient Rome, "panis focacius" was a flat bread baked on the hearth.

3. Mavericks is a surfing location in Northern California. It is located about two miles from shore just north of Princeton-by-the-Sea. There is an annual winter surfing contest held there.

Per Wikipedia, the name "Mavericks" came from:

"In early March 1961, three surfers, Alex Matienzo, Jim Thompson, and Dick Knottmeyer, decided to try the distant waves off Pillar Point. With them was a white-haired German Shepherd named Maverick, owned by Matienzo's roommate. Maverick was used to swimming out with his owner, or with Matienzo, while they were out surfing.

The trio left Maverick on shore, but he swam out and caught up with them. Finding the conditions unsafe for the dog, Matienzo tied him up before rejoining the others. The riders had limited success that day, surfing overhead peaks about 1/4 mile from shore, just along the rocks that are visible from shore. They deemed the bigger outside waves too dangerous.

They decided to name the surfing location after Maverick, who seemed to have gotten the most out of the experience. It became known simply as 'Mavericks'."

None of this has anything to do with Kevin Youkilis' brother's restaurant named "Maverick", though (see 'blog-entry from July 24th, 2011).

Saturday, June 15, 2013


… you hop, we all hop for free pancakes!

(Do you really need to see a photo of what an IHOP Restautant® looks like?)

(The first EweToob video is just because one of the lines is "There's a grasshopper sittin' on the railroad tracks…" and I like the song. The second video ~ as cornball as it is ~ is just because "tiramisú" in Italiano means "pick me up" or "lift me up".[1])

As has been my breakfastary tradition for the past several years, I went to IHOP Restaurant® (see last 'blog-entry from June 23rd, 2012) for a free Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity® (or up to the equivalent dollar value of $9.99). IHOP has this deal where you can register and get a coupon for a free breakfast on or around your birthday at the closest restaurant near you; mine happens to be the one along Lombard Street. I suggest that everyone do this (it is valid for either your birthday or anniversary, but I can't see too many people being jacked about going to IHOP for an anniversary meal, even if it is a freebie). Granted it's only IHOP, but it's still a free meal. If you do register, they are pretty good about only spamming your e-mail once every few months or so and are not really that much of a bother. So, (maple syrup) stick it to the man!

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude
I parked over by the Lombard Gate of the Presidio again, but only heard a few of the Wild Parrots of San Francisco and didn't really see any of them as they were all too high up in the eucalyptus trees there.

IHOP has several "New! Featured Summer Signature Pancakes" on their menu: Banana Graham Nut Pancakes; Jelly Donut Pancakes; and Tiramisu Pancakes. I was thinking about getting the disgusting-sounding Jelly Donut Pancakes, but settled for the even more horribler-sounding Tiramisu Pancakes. I got this as the Pick-A-Pancake Combo, which comes with two pancakes, two eggs, two bacon strips or pork sausage links, and #browns. I also had a large glass of orange juice.

Stupid Intro-Net/Microblogging Social Networking Services mini-rant of the day

Is anyone else getting sick of seeing all those stupid metadata tags (you know, those stupid "#"[2] that you see everywhere) on defacedbook and tweeterland? #imean #gimmeabreak #already. Every time I see one, I want to try and convert the imperial weight into metric units.

I got this without either the bacon or sausages and had my eggs over-medium. The two pancakes came topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and some caramel sauce, with a tiramisú-flavoured filling between the two pancakes. I suppose that this could have been much better with some real mascarpone cheese in between the pancakes and a bit more coffee flavour to it, but it was free and still much better than I could have ever made at home (I think the last time I made pancakes at home, they came out of a can, literally ~ see 'blog-entry from February 15th, 2011).

This particular IHOP (and I assume most IHOPs in California, as I have been to a few others locally that have the same choices) offers both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce and Cholula® Hot Sauce for condimentary supplementation. I brought a few from my own collection and used some Nando's® Extra Hot Peri-Peri Sauce (Thanks, Kerry! And in keeping with the whole "International" theme, this is made in South Africa and was bought in India.) on the #browns and a little Serious Food… Silly Prices Chunky Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg! Also in keeping with the whole "International" theme, this is made in 'merica and was bought in England.) on the eggs. I left the pancakes alone, though.

After taking off the allotted $9.99, I only had to pay 85¢ total for my meal (don't worry I left my friendly server-lady, Mayra, a $2.00 tip all the same; mainly because I couldn't calculate what 20% of 85¢ was).


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Tiramisu Pancakes Combo ~ 6.2

1. You can consider that your stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, part the first; however, I have used it here before in the past.

(Did you ever notice that people use the phrase "before in the past"? When else would "before" take place? "It happened to me before in the future…" makes no sense whatsoever.)

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

I am pretty sure this derives from the Chinese symbol for "a well" ~ "
"(pronounced "jing") ~ denoting that the Intro-Net is such a bottomless well of information, of course.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House

Happy Popovers(!) Day to me!

To celebrate another year of existence, I went back to the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from April 28th, 2013) for breakfast this morning. They (and they will be referred to simply as the Bistro from here on for brevity purposes) open up at 9:00am during the week for breakfast. This morning was a great sunny day along the coast. From my window table, I could see that there were several surfers off Ocean Beach, but no dolphins or porpoises were spotted (or bottle-nosed, even).

Today's Hollywoodland Wall of Autographed Photos Interlude:

(Picture 1, top to bottom and left to right)

Howard Michael Mandel (Television game show host and some other stuff); Leif Erickson (born William Y. Wycliffe Anderson; leading man in 1930's Westerns and other films; once married to Frances Farmer)

???; Myrna Loy (born Myrna Adele Williams; "The Thin Man" series with William Powell, as well as many other films)

(Picture 2, same directions)

Glenda Farrell ("Little Caesar"; "Gold Diggers of 1937"; etc.); ???

Noah Beery, Sr. (silent and talkie film star; brother of Academy Award-winning actor Wallace Beery and father of Noah Beery, Jr. ~ of "The Rockford Files" fame himself); Martha Raye (born Margy Reed; comic actress/film and TeeVee star)

(Picture 3, ditto)

??? (I know I should know her); Kevin Costner ("The Untouchables"; "Dances With Wolves"; "JFK"; and, of course, "Crash Davis" in "Bull Durham")

???; Ginger Rogers (born Virginia Katherine McMath; Fred Astaire's dancing foible in many musicals; Academy Award for Best Actress in "Kitty Foyle")

Alice Faye (born Alice Jeanne Leppert; actress and singer; once married to Phil Harris ~ "Baloo" in "The Jungle Book"); Johnny Weissmuller (born Peter Johann Weissmüller; five time Olympic Gold Medalist; and "Tarzan" in several films)

Once again, if anyone can fill in any of the "???s" with the correct names, I will treat them to all the free (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) that they can eat (my treat).

There really are only a few items on the Bistro's breakfast menu that I can eat, so I once again just had the Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ Scrambled Eggs, Ham, Potatoes, Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese. I also had a glass of orange juice. And the main reason I keep going back over the years: a basket of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!), 3 each today.

I skipped any coffee there as I had a cuppa Bettys Jamaica Blue Mountain beforehand, which I had just received in a C.A.R.E. package (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) yesterday. This is not only the best coffee that I have ever had (Sorry, Gretchen, Bettys Nepal Snow River is good, but it just can't hold a candle to the Jamaica Blue Mountain.), but at £12.00 per 100g (that works out to be about $81.00 per pound 'merican), it's also the most expensive coffee I have ever had. This stuff is so flavourful and naturally sweet, that even if you are stupid enough to normally ruin a perfectly good coffee by adding sugar, you don't have to (add any sugar, that is; you are more than welcome to be stupid all you like).,19028,5.aspx

I ordered the scramble without the ham, and my server-guy, Chris, offered to substitute another ingredient in place of the dead, decaying porky product. I didn't feel it necessary as the rest of the junk in it was sufficient for me. I do have one minor complaint, though. They state right on the menu: "All Egg Entrees Served with Fresh Fruit and Roasted Potatoes". However, they actually forgot my side of potatoes this morning. I think they also did that the last time I ordered this same dish; someone must assume people wouldn't like a side of potatoes when the scramble already includes potatoes in it. Well, they assumed wrong. That does it. I am never going back there again… well, until the next time. Of course, none of that really mattered, as there was still more than enough food to finish, especially with the (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!), 3 each.

The Fresh Fruit of the day was: grapes, strawberry (singular, as there was really just one large one), watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon.[1]

The Bistro only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce for condimentary supplementation. So I used some of my own Cholula® Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) and the new Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) on the scramble (I portioned this out as Little Orphan Annie's dog, Sandy, would have done: "'arf-n-'arf").

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ 6.5; (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) ~ 8.2; Bettys Jamaica Blue Mountain ~ 8.5

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

Just 'cause I feel like it, here are all of the same fruits in Russkij:

"Bиноград" (pronounced "vinograd"), "клубника" (pronounced "kloobnika"), "арбуз" (pronounced "arbooz"), "канталупа" (pronounced "cantaloopa"), and "мускатная дыня" (pronounced "mooskatnaya deenya").

Sunday, June 9, 2013

the Creamery

I am definitely no Hipster… but I have been confused for a Doofus many times.

(Sure I could have linked a Cream or an Eric Clapton EweToob video, but I didn't feel like it; besides, I am still waiting for their new album to come out.

The first song is just 'cause I like this cover version of the Band's old song. The second song is because Mayer Hawthorne was in town yesterday playing at a free festival in Golden Gate Park; I didn't go to it, but I probably should have as it was held only about eight blocks away. FYI, that Hipster Doofus on organ is none other that Booker T. Jones his-hipstery-bad-self.)

Here is why you should never believe everything you read on the Intro-Net, the Creamery seems to have reviews all over the place, both good and bad, on yelp*. I only mention this as I had to refer to that site to find out when the Creamery opened in the mornings and happened to check out a few of the most recent posts. Do your own research, everyone, don't take the word of complete strangers on the World Wild Web, even if their last name happens to be "Snopes". I think that they open at either 6:30am, 7:00am, or 7:30am daily, which is plenty early enough for this Doofus (though, they do call their weekend early morning menu "Brunch").

Marketing mini-rant of the day
The Creamery's official web-site really doesn't specify what their hours are. Seriously?! What is up with that?! C'mon, people, if you go to all the trouble to have a company web-site, at least have the decency to post your hours of operation. Maybe Hipster Doofi[1] don't care about owning a watch (unless it is a retro Timex or something), but most normal Doofi would like to know. (That is all.)

There used to be an actual creamery located in this same building years ago when I first moved to San Francisco (hence, the Creamery moniker, nu?). It is located on the corner of 4th and Townsend Streets (confirmed by both their official web-site and yelp*; I didn't feel it necessary to check with, and just two (long) blocks away from AT&T Park, home of your World Champion San Francisco Giants. In addition to a pretty decent-sized coffehouse area, they have a large triangular fenced-in sidewalk patio seating area. Plus, they must have some kind of relationship with the taqueria next door (the Iron Cactus), which has a much larger seating area to it, as they have an adjoining door and have a sign directing people there if there is no room in the coffehouse space.

This early in the morning, the only other Doofi in the place were a few local street people asking to use the bathroom and some travelers catching a bite to eat while waiting for a train (the Caltrain Station is kitty-corner to this place). Like most coffeehouses, you order and pay first at the counter and they bring the food out to you when it is ready. Their standard breakfast menu has several savoury and sweet crêpes from which to choose; I was thinking about getting the Eggs Florentine Crêpe, which sounded very good. They also have a "Brunch" menu that includes a few Baseball named omelettes (due to it's proximity to the ballpark, I assume) and other specials. In honour of Justin Pedroier and athletic midgets everywhere, I ordered the 2nd Base Omelet ~ olives, spinach, red peppers, and Feta. I also had a decent enough cuppa coffee; however, I never really asked what brand it was (and I am not going to do another rant on the lack of information on their official web-site).

This turned out to be another good version of a Greek omelette. (Can you say "Μπέιζμπολ ομιλείται εδώ."?) They get extra points as this was made with real Kalamata olives. This also included sautéed white onions that they didn't list on the menu. This was a very good omelette (especially because of the inclusion of the sliced Kalamata olives and lots of fresh sautéed spinach), but I would have liked a bit more Feta in it, though.

It looked like the Creamery only had Tapatío® as condimentary supplements. I really wasn't expecting much more and used some of my own Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce ~ XX Habanero (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) on the potatoes, and to keep with the whole Baseball-y theme I used a little ("a little" goes a long way with this one; while it doesn't include any of that nasty extract of capsaicin ~ see yesterday's 'blog-entry for a reference ~ it is made with both habanero chillies and Naga Jolokia chillies, two of the hottest little berries out there) Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off the Wall Triple Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) on the omelette.

Now, I wasn't accosted by any Hipster Doofi in porkpie hats or cravats[2] the whole time I was there, but I could swear the guy working behind the counter con el puro cubano was Cosmo Kramer.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: 2nd Base Omelet ~ 6.7

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numerus unus:

I have decided that the plural of "Doofus" is going to be "Doofi", like with "octopus" and "hippopotamus". If you have a problem with that, take it up with the Latini populi.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-sartorial pointer of the day, numéro deux/broj dva:

"Cravat" derives from the French "cravate", a corrupt French pronunciation of "Croate"; so called because these neckpieces were worn by Croatian mercenaries in the French army during the Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648.

So, I guess the first real Hipster Doofi were from the Adriatic coast.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

BlueJay Cafe

(Okay, I know that there is a difference between a blue bird and a blue jay, but you try to find any blue jay related songs. And I had previously linked the EweToob video for the Beatles "Blue Jay Way" here in the past with this particular restaurant.)

Much like the swallows returning to San Luis Obispo[1] every Spring, I went back to BlueJay Cafe (see last 'blog-entry from September 8th, 2012) for breakfast this morning. They are located in the Western Addition along Divisadero (just a few block from Alamo Square). They open at 10:00am on the weekends (and for what they call "Brunch" at that, but, not to worry, this is no snooty-ass "Brunch"-ified joint, it's actually just a good place for late breakfasts). I finally got around to sitting in the small backyard patio area, where there are five tables that can seat four each. It was a bit cool (it was still in the shade as the Sun hadn't reached back there yet; that is, if it actually ever does, as this smaller building is surrounded by taller apartment buildings), but still comfortable enough all the same and I only needed a sweatshirt and not my jacket, too.

BlueJay Cafe has a good selection of Beers on draft (as well as several others available in bottles): Pilsner Urquel, Blue Moon, Fat Tire New Belgium, Lagunitas Indian Pale Ale, Trumer Pils Berkeley, and Porter Black Butte Deshute. Additionally they have a Saturday "Brunch" 2-for-1 Mimosas special, which is always nice if you want to share… or just get stinkin' on your own quickly and cheaply.

They have several things on their "Brunch" menu from which to choose, this includes: a few different omelette choices (of particular interest for you dead, decaying porky products-lovers is the BBQ Pulled Pork Omelette); four types of Eggs Benedict; pancakes, plain or with bananas or blueberries (which can be ordered by the each, if you want to mix and match); cinnamon French toast with baked apples; waffles with baked apples; and because it is "Brunch", after all, they also have several salads and sandwiches on the menu. I went with the BlueJay Omellette[2] (sic, but they did have all the other omelettes spelled correctly) ~ spicy house made sausage, Swiss (cheese; it wasn't really specified, but I assumed they didn't mean chocolate or banks), and Shin (sic) Slice red onions; served with grits, fruit, small salad, or homefries (which I was happy to see they have as one word; so, suck it Billy-boy!) and choice of toast, biscuit, or cornbread. I also had a cuppa pretty decent coffee (when I asked the super-friendly server-guy ~ also named "Brian" by the way, Mrs. Huneycutt ~ what brand it was, he wasn't sure as he said they change it often; he offered to go check for me, but I told him it wasn't really necessary as they were hopping with customers and I didn't really want to waste his time).

This was a large, good, fluffy omellette; if not a pretty simple one without the added sausage (but that was my choice). It did have lots of Swiss cheese (I was happy to have guessed correctly that this was actually made with the Swiss fermented milk curd product and not their confectionary or money-laundering facilities) and those shin-sliced red onions in it. I selected the homefries (always better than any stupid fruit or small salad; grits might be a toss-up, though) and biscuit choices (also always better than plain ol' toast; but I don't think I have ever tried their cornbread and should try to remember to try that next time I eat there).

I think that BlueJay Cafe only has Crystal® Louisiana's Pure Hot Sauce for condimentary supplementation. However, I was excited (yeah, I lead a pretty boring life) to get to use the two newest additions to my collection that I had received just last weekend. I used a good amount of Hula Girl ~ Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Cabin Jim!) on the potatoes and some Dave's Gourmet® ~ Ginger Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, J.T.!) on the omellette. Hula Girl is from Hawai'i and the label states "All natural ingredients: Habanero peppers, red ripened jalapeño peppers, chipotle peppers, vinegar, and salt." Dave's is now based in San Francisco with "Ingredients: Peach nectar, sugar, red chilies, ginger, cane vinegar, spices, salt, and xanthan gum.”

(Sorry, I could not locate an official web-site for Hula Girl.) 

Both of these new hot sauces are very tasty. Of the two, I think I liked the Chipotle Habanero a little better. The Ginger Peach went well with the omellette, though. I think that the sweeter Ginger Peach needs to be paired with the right foods: potatoes (I tried a smidgeon on part of my potatoes just to make sure ~ Yup!); oyster shooters (if you like that kind of fresh, slimy shellfish thing); and (which they even suggest on the bottle) on top of Ice Cream (I will be sure to try some later today on some Three Twins Dad's Cardamom that I have in my freezer). Of the two, the Chipotle Habanero was the hotter (naturally). I only mention this as Dave's Gourmet® Insanity Sauce was one of the first to turn up the heat (wayyyyyy up) on the Scoville Scale by adding extract of capsaicin to the mixture, but the Ginger Peach doesn't have any of that stupid stuff added to it.

No good deed should go unturned. So, in thanks for the two new hot sauces, I suggest you check out the 'blog-spot of my old Air Force buddy, Jim Turner:

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: BlueJay Omellette ~ 6.4

1. Like any of you really know the difference between San Giovanni da Capistrano and Saint Louis, Évêque de Toulouse.

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

"Omelette" (or "omellette" even) comes from French. It is the metathesis of "alemette", from "alemelle" (meaning "blade of a knife or sword"), probably a misdivision of "la lemelle" (mistaken as "l'alemelle"), from Latin "lamella" (meaning "thin, small plate") a diminutive of "lamina" ("plate, layer").