Sunday, December 22, 2013


"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini[1] bread, and pumpkin[2] pie." 
~ Jim Davis, creator of Garfield

Place: MarketBar 
Location: 1 Ferry Building
Hours: Open for "Brunch" Saturday and Sunday at 9:00am (however, open for Breakfast Monday through Friday at 8:00am)
Meal: Baked Eggs & Cannellini Bean Ragu[3] 'Casuela'[4] (braised greens, cremini mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro pesto, Parmigiano Reggiano); and a cuppa LavAzza 

(Because I couldn't find any good Festivus Carols on EweToob

They were actually playing Christmas songs ~ for some reason ~ while I was eating breakfast. I even heard a remake of "Last Christmas". Really?! I think I would rather take a trip on the maiden voyage of "Titanic II".)

I only get down to the Historic Ferry Building a few times a year and I had never eaten at MarketBar before, so I figured a quiet Sunday morning (where I can actually park on Mission Street legally and even find many open spaces nearby) before Christmas was as good a time as any to try breakfast (well, technically they call this their "Weekend Brunch") there. They have a very large indoor space; plus, a huge outside sidewalk/patio seating area (with twenty-four or more tables for four, and a few large picnic-style benches that could easily seat eight to ten people). It was just a little too cool still this morning to enjoy breakfast al fresco (I really need to learn how to say that phrase in Italian).

The "Weekend Brunch" menu really isn't that extensive, but there were a few other good dishes from which to choose: Organic Egg Omelette (baby spinach, onions, and Gruyere; served with garden salad and toast); Today's Quiche (seasonal vegetables and herbs; served with market salad); and a couple other breakfast (well, "Brunch") items, which seem to change seasonally.

I think that this place may be a bit too fancy-shmancy for me. Not only do they call their early morning meal "Brunch", this snooty place actually has the nerve to use real cloth napkins! Plus, the cups they serve the coffee in even have saucers underneath them (and the cups also match the LavAzza brand that they serve). Sheesh! I've had the pleasure to have been kicked out of much nicer places, though…

My meal was served in a terracotta/clay bowl (the 'Casuela' part of the dish's name). The eggs were more "poached" than baked, and served in a pretty tasty pesto ragù. I particularly liked that the cannellini beans were extra large (almost the size of γιγαντες). I know what you are thinking, "Beans for breakfast? What is this the East End of London?", but it worked rather nicely with the whole dish. My only little complaint was that it came with just two small pieces of toasted bread (probably sourdough or Italian) to sop up all of the tasty sauce/broth; I really would have liked (could have used) a few more pieces.

For a change, I actually tasted the stew/sauce before messing it up with any extra condimentary supplements. I had brought a few bottles of my own, but they really weren't needed this morning.

After breakfast, I wandered around to some of the other shops at the Historic Ferry Building and got an Earl Grey Bergamot Orange Crème doughnut at Pepples Donuts. I am pretty sure that these are the same people that provide the doughnuts to Dolores Park Café that I had yesterday for "breakfast dessert"; they offered some of the exact same flavours as I saw yesterday. Of course, they had several more flavours at their kiosk than I saw yesterday. Pepples Donuts are both Vegan and organic doughnuts (neither of which I really care about, just as long as they taste good ~ which they do). I liked the doughnut that I had this morning; however, I don't think the guy handed me the kind that I asked for, as it tasted nothing like Earl Grey or Orange Crème. I had already eaten half of it and wandered away before I discovered this, though. Maybe the next time I get back to the Historic Ferry Building (in another six months or so), I will get to try an actual Earl Grey Bergamot Orange Crème doughnut.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Baked Eggs & Cannellini Bean Ragu 'Casuela' ~ 6.5; LaVazza ~ 6.5; Earl Grey Bergamot Orange Crème(?) doughnut ~ 6.4

1. Botanically, this is actually a fruit.

2. And this is actually a fruit… and a berry.

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day, numero uno:

"Ragù" (con un acento grave) in Italian is related to the French word "ragoût", which comes from the verb "ragoûter" (meaning "to revive the taste").

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day, numero due:

"Casuela" is the Italian version of the Spanish "cazuela" (meaning "cooking pot").

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