Sunday, October 27, 2013

Darren’s Cafe

"One need not be a chamber to be haunted;
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing 
Material place."
~ Emily Dickinson

(No official web-site.)

phonicular contact: (415) 673-3345

Place: Darren's Cafe
Location: 2731 Taylor Street (between Beach & Jefferson Streets)
Hours: open Saturday and Sunday at 8:00am
Meal: Veggie Omelette ~ 3 eggs, spinach, mushroom, (red) onion, tomato, (green) bell peppers, with Swiss cheese, served w/hashbrowns or country potatoes & choice of English muffin, wheat, white, or sourdough; and a cuppa whatever the house coffee was (I forgot to ask) 

(Just a couple of Hallowe'eny tunes to set the mood. Not to suggest that the food was scary or horrifying at today's breakfastary sojourn, though.)

There really aren't that many places in the Fisherman's Wharf area for breakfast, but I tried one of the few that I hadn't been to yet: Darren's Cafe (sans accent aigu, ás bést I cán fígúré) ~ established 2007; which happens to be the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. It's a friendly little place with seating for about 50 people inside and another four sidewalk tables for four people each. This is mostly a tourista destination (it goes with the territory); gotta keep Joe and Irma Exlax well-fed before a long day of sightseeing and tchotchke[1] buying.

the Corporatization of Fisherman's Wharf mini-Rant
Which brings us to today's mini-rant. I know that Fisherman's Wharf caters mainly to the mindless tourista set and can get away with most of those awful, corporate, garbage restaurants like In-N-Out Burger, Applebee's, Chipotle, Ben & Jerry's (and how come it isn't "Ben's & Jerry's", isn't that grammatically correct?), Monsanto Bar & Grille, etc. It has been that way for probably thirty years or more now. I just wish there were more local, family-owned joints (such as Darren's Cafe this morning) to patronize. Luckily there are still a few of the old-guard, local establishments along the way like Alioto's Restaurant (for fresh seafood and Italian cuisine) and that great Irish pub, McDonald's.

(mini-rant over. Back to your regularly scheduled 'blog-entry.)

Darren's Cafe has two pages on their menu dedicated to the breakfastarian muse. They offer everything from Pancakes, French Toast & Waffles, Three Egg Scrambles, Three Egg Omelettes to Benedicts (four versions) and several other Breakfast Specials.

The omelette was a decent enough rendition (however, again, I just hate the term "Veggie"). It had lots of fresh (not frozen) spinach (which really does make a difference) in it. My one minor complaint would be that they use that fake/processed, flavourless Swiss cheese stuff (at least there was a lot of it). It is always nice to have a choice of potatoes side dishes; I went with the hashbrowns and they were very nice and crispy. I had sourdough as my choice of toast.

For condimentary supplements, Darren's Cafe offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the original red), Tapatío®, and Huy Fong Foods Inc.® Sriracha. On the omelette I used some of my own Mama Africa's Zulu Sauces Chili Mint (Thanks, Kerry!), and on the hashbrowns I went with a combination of some Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) and (once again) just 4-6 drops of Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks also, Kerry!) for extra added mojo[2]. Today I am also wearing my 2004 World Series Champions t-shirt (of course, both Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz were players on that team, as well as the 2007 championship team). Right now, the Red Sox can use every little bit of magic that they can get.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggie Omelette ~ 6.2

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

"Tchotchke" (to rhyme with "botch ka") derives from a Slavic word for "trinket/gewgaw":
Ukrainian "цяцька", Polish "cacko" (singular) and "cacka" (plural), Slovak "čačka", Russian "цацка" (singular) and "цацки" (plural) ~ adapted to Yiddish (also spelled as "tsatske" to rhyme with "Tosca").

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

Interestingly enough, the word "mojo"* also has its origins in Yiddish. The word derives from a 19th Century Jewish Brooklyn magician named Moses Jones. "Mo" was a master of legerdemain and took a young Hungarian immigrant named Erik Weisz under his wing and taught him a trick or two. 

*(Did anyone really buy any of that? Actually, the word "mojo" comes from Gullah "moco", meaning "witchcraft/magic", probably akin to Fulani "moco'o", meaning "medicine man".)

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