Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mama♥s on Washington Square

"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." ~ old New York proverb

Place: Mamas on Washington Square
Location: 1701 Stockton Street (at Filbert Street, and, coincidentally enough, on Washington Square)
Hours: Open daily 8:00am - 3:00pm; Closed Mondays
Meal: Vegetarian MOmelette ~ Sautéed Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Grilled Leeks, Tomatoes, and Sonoma[1] Goat Cheese (served with Mamas grilled potatoes and your choice of Toast: White, Whole Grain, Rye, English Muffin, or Sourdough Baguette); and a small glass of grapefruit juice

I can't believe it has been two years since I last ate at Mamas on Washington Square (see last 'blog-entry from November 6th, 2011). Several years back, Mamas used to be in my Breakfastary Rotation, but I had to DFA them due to the distance/time to get over there in the morning. I arrived at Mamas about twenty minutes before they opened (and found a legal parking space right across the street for a change) and there were already about eight people in line in front of me. It really didn't matter, it was a great San Francisco Autumn morning, and I was still assured to get seated with the first wave of early-rising idiots. 

This place is very popular with both the locals and touristas alike. By 9:00am there will usually be a line half-way down the block (meaning at least a 45-50 minutes wait to get in). There were two Polish guys at the table next to me. After discerning that they were indeed Polish with my acute Language I.D. skills (actually, I leaned over and asked them what language they were speaking ~ I figured it was either Polish or Czech; both of those languages always remind me of Russkij with a frenchified twist), I amazed them with my one or two words and phrases po polsku. I even remember to say "Dzień dobry!" when they were leaving.

I really like that there are many items on the menu that stupid vegetarian can choose from ("from which stupid vegetarians can choose", whatever). Not only is there a great selection of MOmelettes ~ I was thinking about Papa's Favorite (Roasted Ortega[2] Peppers, Tomatoes, and Fontina Cheese, served open-faced), but they also offer many versions of French toast; Apple Pan Dore (Slices of Sourdough Baguette with Sautéed Apples in Lemon Butter Sauce) sounded really good, and I am not sure if I have ever had it in my many visits there ~ next time.

The Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude
While waiting in line, I saw a medium-sized flock[3] of about 25-30 Wild Parrots flying over Washington Square Park, heading westward… towards a day of Sun in the Marina?

The Vegetarian MOmelette was a good choice. There were lots of bell peppers (red, green, and yellow ~ I really doubt anyone can tell the difference in a blind taste test) and the sautéed leeks really gave it a nice "je ne sais quoi" flavour (I wonder what foreign phrase the French use when trying to describe something with an indefinable, elusive quality). The goat cheese really brought the entire MOmelette together. I went with Sourdough baguette as my toast choice, which really wasn't a hard choice; sorry, Mr. Thomas, but your faux British crumpets really just can't compete. 

Mamas only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (original red) and Tapatío® as their bottled hot sauce condimentary supplements. I used some of my own Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the MOmelette and some Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) on the potatoes. My server-lady was also a big hot sauce fan and took a little of each to try later when she had her breakfast break. She even told me she will bring bottles of her own favourite hot sauces with her when she travels just in case. Some people take their condimentary supplementation a little too seriously. Also not to be missed is Mamas homemade olallieberry jam. It is very good and must be sampled, and it was a great addition to the toasted Sourdough baguette. It goes equally as well on their French toast choices, too. They even have jars of it for sale now.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Vegetarian MOmelette ~ 6.7; homemade olallieberry jam ~ 7.0

1. To most people, Sonoma Valley is usually known as "that other Wine Country" after Napa Valley . 

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

According to the Coast Miwok and Pomo tribes that lived in the region, "Sonoma" translates as "valley of the Moon" or "many moons".

2. The Ortega is a variety of Anaheim chilli pepper. They are a milder green chilli. The name "Anaheim" chillies derives from Emilio Ortega, a farmer who brought the seeds to the Anaheim, California area in the early 1900's. Anaheim peppers have a Scoville Heat Unit rating of about 1,000-2,500; that is a little less heat than delivered in the standard red Tabasco® sauce (at 2,500-5,000 SHU).

3. The actual Term of Venery for a group of parrots is either "company" or "pandemonium". I particularly like the latter.

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