Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mission’s Kitchen

"That's something that annoys the hell out of me - I mean if somebody says the coffee's all ready and it ain't[1]." 
~ J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

(No official web-site)

phonicular contact: (415) 648-1577

(Today is National Coffee Day. I kinda like the humour in a song by Cream called "Coffee Song", too.)

Place: Mission's Kitchen
Location: 2738 Mission Street (between 23rd and 24th Streets)
Hours: Saturday and Sunday open at 7:00am
Meal: Chilaquiles en Mole[2] Poblano[3] con queso fresco; y una taza de Café Mexicano (maybe it really is International Coffee Day)

I tried another new (old) place for breakfast this morning, Mission's Kitchen. Even though they have probably been in the same location for more than twenty years, I am pretty sure I haven't ever eaten there before for even lunch or dinner. This is basically a dinerish joint en el corazón de la Misión (hence their name). They have fourteen diner-counter stools (the kind with backs), about eight booths that seat four, and a few lone tables for four in the back, too.

I sat at the diner-counter overlooking the kitchen area. I watched as one guy prepped a mess o' plantains (plátanos) to be fried up. Those are really good with just beans and rice on the side. I like that they open up pretty early every day, this made it very easy to find a parking spot right in front this morning.

Mission's Kitchen offers a lot on their desayuno menu ~ both standard 'mericano and mexicano dishes: Mexican Frittata; Mission Omelette; etc. (which in Spanish is "etcétera"; I am always amazed at how they have different words for everything). However, I already had my mind made up that if they had chilaquiles on the menu, I was going to get that; that they offer this as a standard version and a Mole Poblano version was even better.

I have stated here before that chilaquiles can be prepared differently at most places; it's like an Italian family's tomato sauce recipe. These were simply (already) fried corn tortilla chips sautéed up with a bunch of onions (cebollas) and some salsa (this seemed to be a mixture of a tomatillo salsa and ranchero salsa). The chips were still pretty crunchy when it was served. I do like that they give you your choice of how to have your eggs; I had mine over-medium. The crumbled queso fresco all over the top was a nice touch, too. One little problem (un problemita), they forgot to make these with the Mole Poblano sauce. This was easily rectified and I asked for a small cup of the sauce to pour over the top. They gave me a nice amount to pour on the mess (and with some extra tortilla chips); I was glad, too, as it was very good. I made a dip out of the side of rice and refried beans (arroz y frijoles refritos) to use with the additional chips.

Café Mexicano is just what I call regular coffee with 2-3 sugars (azúcar) and about 1/3 cream or milk (crema o leche). It was good, but it is not Bettys Jamaica Blue Mountain. So to really make it International Coffee Day, I am enjoying a cuppa the BEST EVAH right now while typing out this 'blog-entry. There is no such thing as too much coffee, just ask Jackie Chiles. Of course, after 3-4 cups of coffee this morning, I will probably be awake all day now…

I usually won't bring any of my own hot sauces with me (How do you say "schlep" in Spanish?) when I eat in the Mission; that would be like bringing your own coals with you when visiting Newcastle, your own coffee with you when visiting Seattle, or your own booze with you when visiting Salt Lake City. For bottled condimentary supplements Mission's Kitchen offers both Tapatío® and Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red). I really didn't need to use any of those as the Mole Poblano was muy sabroso as it was, anyway.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Chilaquiles en Mole Poblano ~ 6.4; Bettys Jamaica Blue Mountain ~ 8.5

1. Okay, I can understand the Spell-check Nazis at Microsoft not recognizing such Imperialistic words like "edamame" and "shiitake"  (clearly Wild Bill can't afford to eat sushi or sashimi), but I ain't gonna stand by when they ain't gonna accept perfectly good, nonstandard words like "ain't". Youse gots a problem wif dat, Billy-boy, then talk to some highly respected authors of the English language named Mr. Dickens and Mr. Clemens. 

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

Part a:
"Mole" (which rhymes with "¡Olé!"; there is just no acento agudo; just in case any of you pun-dits wanted to quip about it being made from subterranean rodents) comes from Nahuatl "molli" meaning "sauce".

Part b:
And for you pun-dits that really care, the word for "mole" in Spanish is "topo" (which is also the same word as "mouse" in Italian, Eddie).

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

"Poblano" is just Spanish for anything from the Mexican State of Puebla. 

As per nuestros amigos de Wikipedia:

Mole Poblano is the best known of all mole varieties and has been ranked as number one of "typical" Mexican dishes. It has also been called the "national dish" of Mexico. The state of Puebla is identified with Mole Poblano.

Mole Poblano contains about 20 ingredients, including chili peppers and chocolate, which works to counteract the heat of the chili peppers, but the chocolate does not dominate. It helps give the sauce its dark color, but this is also provided by the mulato peppers as well.

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