Tuesday, December 30, 2014

“My Favourites” of 2014

"Don't cry because it's over, 
smile because it happened." 
~ Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

("Best" and "Morning" are good enough for me for this EweToobular juxtaselection.)

This year, instead of calling my end-of-year compilation list for 2014 a "Best of" (which always seemed a bit presumptuous and egocentric to me; of course, it is my 'blog-thing and it is my opinion that these places may be the "Best", but, even so, they are still "My Favourites"; I will let everyone else decide if they are the "Best" or not… even if you all may very well be wrong), I decided on calling this "My Favourites" (if you have a problem with that, start your own 'damn 'blog-thing and list your own 'damn "Favourites"). I am sticking with the format of a "Top Ten" list, though.

Once again, the easiest way to rank these was just to go back through all my 'blog-entries from the past year and see which ones had the highest Glen Bacon Scale Rating. Simples!

1) It should come as no surprise to anyone (or at least to the two or three people that actually read this stupid li'l 'blog-thing) that "My Top Favourite" choice is the Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro once again (see last 'blog-entry from October 11th ~ as well as a few other times throughout 2014). I am usually more of a "savoury" fan for breakfast, but this "sweet" meal is just simply excellent. This dish truly crosses the liminality of culinarity.

2) French Toast (with cardamom custard, caramelized fruit and whipped honey ricotta) at heartbaker (see 'blog-entry from May 18th). While this may not be the ultimatest Pain Perdu like at Baker Street Bistro, if I had never found Baker Street Bistro's take on the whole eggy-lost bread thing, this might possibly rank at the top of "My Favourite" French Toast of All Time. The extra added bonus of a cardamom custard was nice, too.

3) Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café (see 'blog-entry from April 6th). These really are a great "invention". I always like to explain this to people as simply Eggs Benedict in una versione italiana (o Uova di Benedetto).

4) French Toast de Noel at Zazie (see 'blog-entry from December 28th). These were the third best French toast that I had this year and "My Favourite" Christmas-themed Meal. (This was a late, last-minute entry onto my list. I had pre-prepared this list a few weeks back and really didn't expect to come across any great finds in the last two weeks of 2014. And it really pisses me off that I liked this enough to have to edit my original list. Dammit!)

5) Oeufs Baker Street Bistro at Baker Street Bistro (see 'blog-entry from April 12th). I know that it really isn't fair that a place (not named Dottie's True blue café) should have two meals in my Top Ten, but there it is.

6) #hashtag at homeskillet (see 'blog-entry from May 11th). Potatoes (in this case: hashbrowns) as the basis for a breakfastary meal is always a big plus with me.

7) Stacked Enchiladas at the Little Chihuahua (see 'blog-entry from June 29th). This was sorta like a Mexican cross[1] between Huevos Rancheros and Huevos Benedicto, and literally had "layers of flavour". This was also "My Favourite" New Breakfast of 2014.

8) Chilaquiles at Gallardo's Mexican Restaurant (see 'blog-entry from April 27th). Not only was this a great rendition of Chilaquiles, it could probably be called "My Favourite" New Find of 2014 (even though Gallardo's had been around at other locations over the years).

9) bourbon french toast at Slow Club (see 'blog-entry from February 22nd). This was a very good rendition of French toast, just not as outstanding as #1, #2, or #4 here. (And what is up with there being four different versions of French toast/Pain Perdu in "My Favourites" list?)

10) Signature Soufflé Pancake at Dolce Amore (see 'blog-entry from September 28th). While the pancakes were very tasty, the real find here was their Lavender maple syrup provided as a condimentary supplementation (which on it's own was probably a GBS Rating: 7.8).

2014 Specific Categories (& Specific Honourable Mentions)

"My Favourite" New Golo-to Dish at an Already Established Favourite Place of Mine ~ Golo Ranchero at Cafe Golo (see 'blog-entry from July 4th ~ That's the Spirit!). This was the first time that I ever had this dish there; it will not be the last. GBS Rating: 7.1.

"My Favourite" Bakery Goods Place ~ Cafe Golo (tarts and pastries, several times in the past year; see last 'blog-entry from October 25th); GBS Ratings: 7.0-7.5. Honourable mentions: mini-scone with homemade jams at Home Plate Restaurant (see 'blog-entry from March 16th), GBS Rating: 7.4; Cinnamon Babka at Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen (see 'blog-entry from August 9th), GBS Rating: 7.2; and Cherry Mascarpone Galette at heartbaker (see #2 above), GBS Rating: 7.1.

"My Favourite" (New for Me) Crêpe Joint Find of 2014 ~ higher grounds coffee house (see 'blog-entry from November 9th). This was just a great little place for both crêpes and Coffee. GBS Rating: 6.8.

"My Favourite" Breakfast Burrito of 2014 ~ Breakfast Burrito at Mo'z Café (see 'blog-entry from August 31st). Actually, this was one of the only two Breakfast Burritos that I had this year, so it made for an easy choice. GBS Rating: 6.6.

"My Favourite" Use of Kale ~ Spicy Kale (with some tomatoes and other junk in it) Skillet at Eats (see 'blog-entry from January 26th). It’s a kale-thing, Emeril. GBS Rating: 7.0.

"My Favourite" New Potatoey Side Dish Find ~ smash browns at Greenburger's. (see 'blog-entry from February 15th). GBS Rating: 7.2. (Of course, it goes without saying that the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes at Eats are still "My Favourite" Potatoey Side Dish; GBS Rating: 7.5.) 

"My Favourite" New Coffee Find of 2014 ~ Alta de Dota from Peet's Coffee & Tea®. This was from their Limited Edition series and was only available for a short time this Summer. Unfortunately, I ran out of mine about a month ago now, and they had already stopped producing it for several months by then. It is definitely worth checking out when they decide to run it again. GBS Rating: 7.9. Honourable mention: Peet's® Sulawesi Kalosi (actually, this may not really be a "New Coffee" for me, but I don't think that I have purchased this one that often before; the good thing is that this blend/roast can usually be purchased all year-round); GBS Rating: 7.6.


"My Favourite" New Hot Sauce ~ Fat Cat® Surprisingly Mild Guajillo Ghost (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!). It really was surprisingly mild (seeing as the Ghost Chilli is the third hottest chilli pepper out there currently), but still packed a buncha flavour. Heat-wise, this was probably only twice as hot as Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), but much less hot than most habanero hot sauces on the market. GBS Rating: 7.5.


"My Favourite" Bready/Toasty Side ~ (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) at Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (like there could be any other choice; see last 'blog-entry from November 1st); GBS Rating: 8.2.

Unlike last year, I am foregoing any additional list of "My Least Favourites" (or "the Bottom Fivers"). Let's just say that the Y*nkees and the D*dgers will always be at the bottom of any of my lists, anyway.

And lastly, I would like to take this time to pay my respects to any restaurants that have since closed their doors in 2014 (exempli gratia, Greenburger's, et cetera). I would especially like to say "R.I.P." to Q Restaurant and Wine Bar for several years of valued service in my Breakfastary Rotation and for many pleasurable breakfastations[2] (even though they always called it "Brunch", but everyone knows that "Brunch" is not a real word)!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro ~ 8.2; French Toast at heartbaker ~ 7.7; Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café ~ 7.6; French Toast de Noel at Zazie ~ 7.5; Oeufs Baker Street Bistro at Baker Street Bistro ~ 7.4; #hashtag at homeskillet ~ 7.4; Stacked Enchiladas at the Little Chihuahua ~ 7.4; Chilaquiles at Gallardo’s Mexican Restaurant ~ 7.3; bourbon french toast at Slow Club ~ 7.2; Signature Soufflé Pancake at Dolce Amore ~ 7.2

1. Of course, everyone knows that una cruz mexicana has a guy named "Jesús" on it.

2. The Chayote Benedict that I had there several years ago (see 'blog-entry from July 31st, 2010) is still one of my top-rated meals in a long time and it was what predicated my placing Q Restaurant and Wine Bar initially into my Breakfastary Rotation. GBS Rating: 7.7.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


"If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, why are there so many doctors in Oregon?" ~ (Leo) Rosten's Rule #34


Place: Zazie 
Location: 941 Cole Street (between Carl Street and Parnassus Avenue)
Hours: open for "Brunch" seven days a week at 8:00am
Meal: French Toast de Noel[1] ~ Pinkie's challah French toast soaked in brandied eggnog, served w/whipped vanilla cream; a side of home-fries; and a cuppa (and one-and-a half refillas) Zazie's Organic Specialty Coffee 

(There really is no reason for today's EweToobular link other than it's a "morning" song and I am a big George Ivan Morrison fan, man.)

To once again end the year being able to say, "I had breakfast from A (Angel Cafe & Deli, Art's Cafe, etc.) to Z", I finished the year at Zazie (see last 'blog-entry from November 16th, 2013). It was still too chilly once again this morning to sit outside in their backyard "Garden Patio" area, which is a shame as it is a very cool area in which to dine. They do have those tall, portable gas heaters (you know, the ones that look like miniature streetlamp escapees from a Dickensian era), but that really defeats the whole purpose of eating outdoors, doesn't it? After the front dining area had filled up quickly this morning, the later-arriving customers had no choice but to sit out there, though.

Zazie offers a pretty diverse "Brunch" menu (and because they open up much earlier for the stupid "Brunch" crowd, they can be forgiven that snooty term). Some other good ideas (for stupid vegetarians, but they do have many items for stupid dead, decaying animal fleshitarians, too): Fontainbleau (scrambled eggs with portabellas, shiitake, porcinis, spinach, Fontina; I won't comment on the mispeling of "Fontainebleau" as I had already done so in my previous 'blog-entry there, but, again, you really should expect correct Frenchy place names from a French-owned joint); Italie (scrambled eggs with tomatoes provençales, cream cheese, and basil); or (from the "Brunch" Specials menu) Miracle Pancakes (sour cream poppyseed pancakes w/Meyer lemon curd and strawberries).

One of my contributing editors inferred that I don't use enough superlatives[2] in my 'blog-entries and that this makes it rather difficult to discern whether I actually enjoyed my meal or not (I suppose that would make the entire Glen Bacon Scale thing actually superfluous[3] ~ which is not really another "superlative", by the way). So… 

I really liked this meal… a lot. (If that's not superlative enough, Mrs. Nichols, I don't know what "superlative" means.) 

The French Toast de Noel was also a seasonal dish off the "Brunch" Specials menu, and I ordered two slices. I like that they give the option with both French toast and pancakes to order one, two, or three pieces, which is always a great (but not superlative) choice. The brandied eggnog could really be superlatively tasted in this one. I liked each bite better than the last (of course, the last bite was my favourite of all). 

The only thing that I might have done differently if I were making this meal (HA!) would be to make the whipped cream a cinnamon- or nutmeg-based one (instead of vanilla) to keep with the whole eggnog-ish theme. At least they provide the whipped cream in a separate (and pretty good-sized) bowl so that you can put as much or as little as you like on the French toast.

The home-fries were very good, too, and included a superlative amount of four (quatre) roasted garlic cloves.

I forgot to ask who produces their Organic Specialty Coffee (which I would also liked to have seen called: "Le Café Organique Spécialité de Zazie", or something close enough to that). They used to offer LaCoppa Coffee Organic French Roast, but I am not sure they are still in business. There was actually so much of the whipped vanilla cream provided that I added a large spoonful of it to my Coffee (and it really freaked-out my waiter/server-guy when he went to refill it; he thought there was something wrong with the Coffee and was going to offer to get me a new cuppa).

Zazie only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) as pre-bottled condimentary supplements. I used some of my own recently replenished (as in yesterday) Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys & Brian!) on the homefries. However, I found out long after I had already used my own hot sauce that they do offer a home-made salsa of their own, as another customer asked for some; I didn't taste it, but it looked like some kind of tomatillo salsa. I will need to remember that for my next visit.


So, all in all, I would say today's breakfastary repast was pretty Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious[4]

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: French Toast de Noel ~ 7.5; Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce ~ 7.6

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour:

No GBS Rating points are ever taken off for mispelded words, but, seeing as this is supposed to be un café français, I would really have liked to have seen "Noel" spelled as "Noël" (with the correct Frenchified umlauted "e"), Sir Coward.

This doesn't even take into consideration that they call it "French Toast" and not "Pain Perdu"; maybe I need to shame these owners into calling it correctly (like I may have possibly done for Baker Street Bistro).

2. This word doesn't have anything to do with Clark Kent's long-lost Kryptonian uncles and cousins.

3. This word doesn't have anything to do with tidal changes on the lost world of Krypton either.

4. I can NOT believe that this word ~ superlative or not ~ actually gets a by from Billy-boy Gates and his Spell-checkering Nazis at Microsoft, but a valid culinaristic word like "challah" is getting the red underlined treatment

And, for the record, I spelled it correctly at my first go, Ms. Poppins*!

*(Now "Poppins", it seems, the Brown Shirts at Microsoft don't recognize. Really?!)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Herbivore ~ the Earthly Grill

With the end of the year coming up, I wanted to do something a little different for a change with this 'blog-entry. It has come to my attention that my entries have become a bit formulaic and predictable: they usually start with an opening quote (generally unrelated and useless) of some kind, then the restaurant and meal info, then a EweToobular juxtaselection or two, into the main post, any condimentary supplementations, and ending with the GBS Rating and any footnotes.

So, just to mix it all up a bit…

1. I am pretty sure that the "gf" in this case stands for "gluten-free" and is not any kind of aspersion on the character of one Douglas Daniels*. 

*(I am pretty sure that I can get away with that swipe as Mr. Daniels probably doesn't bother reading this stupid li'l 'blog-thing of mine, anyway.)

2. I can only assume that the "butter" in question here is some form of soy-based product. 

I had to ask my friendly waitress-server lady person (whose name I did get, but forgot already, Mrs. Huneycutt) what do Vegans call either a "steak knife" or a "butter knife".

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: grilled corn cakes ~ 6.8; carrot, ginger and lime juice ~ 6.5; Toad Sweat Chocolate Orange Dessert Hot Sauce® ~ 6.9

Herbivore offers only Cholula® Hot Sauce for pre-bottled condimentary supplementation. I used some of my brand-new (which I had just received for Christmas) Toad Sweat Chocolate Orange Dessert Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) on one of the corn cakes. It is technically a "dessert" hot sauce, but I had to try it on some kind of meal, and it's not often that I get Ice Cream for breakfast. It has a nice bit o' heat to it, too. I also used some of my own Fat Cat® Strawberry Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the potatoes. I made a nice mixture of their guacamole and tomato chipotle salsa to use on the other corn cake.


I am not usually a big carrot (or baby carrot for that matter) juice fan, but I liked this well enough; it had lots of ginger in the juice ~ which gave it a nice bite to the back of the throat. They don't really specify such, but I am pretty sure that the vegetable juice concoction was 100% Certified Vegan (and probably "gf"), too. 

I think this is pretty funny, I don't know if you can see it from the below photo, but the tempeh bacon has created a very Satanic-looking reflection in the glass of carrot juice. Very strange, and probably telling to all of you authentic, dead, decaying pork-belly eaters.

These were really decent corn cakes, with bits of bell peppers and such in them. Both their guacamole and tomato chipotle salsa proved to be tasty additions. The "sour cream" was just some tasteless Vegan soy-based version, which I left mainly untouched; I don't usually even like "real" sour cream with my guacamole and salsa in a burrito or Mexican dishes.

I like this place because there are no dishes on the menu that I can not eat (and there was the minimal of the vile weed in most of their dishes from what I could see). However, I can not really recommend this place for any of you bacoholics, though. There were a couple of other good possible breakfastary ideas: french toast (2 slices of sour dough or wheat with pure organic maple syrup, butter[2] and grilled bananas; I really have to get back there again one of these days to see how they can successfully ~ or not ~ make French toast without any eggs or milk products); basil pesto vegetable tofu scramble (spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes, with house potatoes, toast, fruit spread and butter); or maybe a breakfast burrito (choice of: tofu scramble or tempeh, with black beans, guacamole, tomato chipotle salsa, sour cream, and house potatoes).

I went back to Herbivore ~ the Earthly Grill (see previous 'blog-entry from May 25th, 2013) for breakfast this morning because I wanted to see how the other half dined (by "other half", of course, I just meant 100% Vegan). I gave a quick thought to sitting outside in their cool backyard-patio seating area (where there are seven tables for two people ~ in two levels even), but quickly put the thought out of my mind as it was still a bit too chilly this morning and the Sun had not reached back there yet.

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselection is a two-part joke. The first part should be simple enough by the name of the restaurant and with the name of the group; the second part is because Vegans do not eat honey. Don't ask.)

Place: Herbivore ~ the Earthly Grill
Location: 531 Divisadero Street (between Hayes and Fell Streets)
Hours: open at 9:00am every day of the week
Meal: (gf)[1] grilled corn cakes ~ black beans, tomato chipotle salsa, guacamole, and sour cream, with house potatoes; a side of (gf) tempeh bacon (who is not the Vegan-Asian cousin of Glen, I asked); and a large glass of fresh-squeezed carrot, ginger and lime juice

"To err is human, to forgive, supine!" ~ S.J. Perelman

(Don't worry, I contacted Christopher Nolan's legal and publicist team and they assured me that there would be no plagiarism charges… as long as I don't refer to anyone named "Teddy" in the 'blog-entry. Sorry, Mr. Bear, maybe next week.)

Sunday, December 21, 2014


"When a person puts his best foot forward and gets it stepped on ~ that's life." 
~ Dr. Lawrence J. Peter


Place: SanJalisco
Location: 901 South Van Ness Avenue (on the corner of 20th Street)
Hours: open at 8:00am(???) every day of the week (the reason for the question marks is that they do not have their hours of operation listed anywhere on the web-site; I am only assuming that they open daily at 8:00am ~ a few on-line directories showed that they open at 8:00am ~ but when I arrived there it was just a few minutes after 8:00am and there were already a few tables of people eating, and they had all finished their meals well before my food had even arrived)
Meal: Torta[1] de huevo ~ two large eggs cooked crepe style with onions (cebollas), tomatoes (tomates), & peppers (pimientos) (all breakfast entrées are served with home-made corn tortillas, Mexican rice, and your choice of refried pinto beans, whole pinto beans, or whole black beans); and a large glass (frosted mug, actually) of orange juice (jugo de naranja)

(This EweToobular juxtaselection is simply because today happens to mark the Winter Solstice. 

I tried to mark the Winter Solstice once myself, but people told me that no one likes to eat yellow snow.)

Volví al SanJalisco (see previous 'blog-entry from January 6th, 2013) para el desayunoI can not believe that it has been almost two years since I have eaten breakfast there; however, I have eaten there four or five times for lunch and dinner since then (SanJalisco is usually my "go-to" place to take any out-of-towners para una auténtica cocina mexicana). It should be noted that they no longer have the "™" as part of their name, which they originally had when they were forced to make the name-change a few years back. They probably got sued by those pinche jotos at N*vamex for the illegal use of that "trademark" symbol, too. 

SanJalisco offers many other good desayun-ary ideas: Huevos a la Mexicana (two large eggs scrambled with onions, tomatoes, and green chile peppers); Huevos Rancheros (two large poached eggs on a corn tortilla topped with Monterey Jack cheese & mild home-made red salsa); Omelette Española (filled with onions, peppers, & sautéed in mild home-made red salsa); or Chilaquiles (tortilla bits scrambled with two large eggs, cheese, onions, and salsa; this is just their standard version, they do offer two other styles with the dead, decaying ground-up swine-flesh or poultry-bits). 
Additionally, for any of you carnetarianosthey do offer three weekend "hangover" specials of Caldo de Res (some kinda beefy-broth stew thing), Pozole Rojo Puerco (a stew made with hominy and pork), and Birria de Chivo (a spicy mutton stew, and, apparently, the State Dish of Jalisco).

This was basically a Mexican-style open-faced omelette (or a Spanish version of a thinner, flatter frittata) and it was all pretty good. They didn't have it listed on their menu, but there was also lots of fresh, whole-leaf spinach in it ~ always a welcomed addition. I went with the beany choice of frijoles refritos, Señor Atkinson. There is always the extra-added breakfastary lagniappe of their outstanding, hot, fresh (right off the griddle), home-made corn tortillas.

For pre-bottled hot sauces, SanJalisco has solamente Tapatío® on all of the tables. This really doesn't matter, as their home-made salsa roja is so much tastier. I used it liberally all over the torta and also mixed it in with my frijoles refritos y arroz. The home-made red salsa (that also comes with tortilla chips) is made with four different types of chiles (I asked): jalapeños, serranos, and two other chiles (that I forgot the names of ~ she said them in Spanish ~ I am not really expected to remember todo, am I?). I never even bother bringing any of my own hot sauces with me (¿Cómo se dice "shlep" en español?) when I go there; that would be like going to Newcastle upon Tyne and bringing your own Brown Ale with you.

I skipped any Coffee (o Café) with breakfast this morning on purpose, as I just received a sweet
Christmas swag-package from North Yorkshire (the one in England) earlier this week (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!). It was chock-full-o' good stuff from Bettys ~ there were not only three different kinds of Coffee (Christmas Coffee, Mexican Cloud Forest, and Jamaica Blue Mountain), but a box of Spiced Christmas Tea and several various other tasty sundries (Lemon and Lime Sponge Cake, Spiced Christmas Shortbread, Yorkshire Shortbread, and Florentines). So, I made myself a coupla cuppas the Christmas Coffee to enjoy while typing this 'blog-entry up. (Sure, it would have been more à propos to use the Mexican Cloud Forest, but I don't know how to say "à propos" in Spanish… or French even.)


Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Torta de huevo ~ 6.5; home-made corn tortillas ~ 7.7; Bettys Christmas Coffee ~ 7.6

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del día:

"Torta" simply means "cake" in Spanish (as well as in Italian and Portuguese). The word "torta" in Spain is applied to different kinds of bread and pastry products according to the region. The word "tortilla" means a "small torta", while "tortada" means a "big torta".

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Velo Rouge Café

"We are all travelers in this world, and the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend." ~ Bobby Louie Stevenson

(In lieu of that, we can always remain alone at home and just lie.)


(That is their official web-site, but it is very sparse and more in the form of a 'blog-thing; very strange. It doesn't even list their hours of operation on it. At least it does have their menu on it… somewhat.)

Place: Velo Rouge Café
Location: 798 Arguello Boulevard (on the corner of McAllister Street)
Hours: open at 6:30am Monday through Friday; open at 8:00am every other day of the week (including both Saturday and Sunday)
Meal: Leipheimer[1] Breakfast Burrito ~ 2 eggs scrambled, black beans, potatoes, Cheddar cheese, avocado, salsa, and sour cream, (comes w/ tortilla chips and pico de gallo); a side order of country style potatoes; and a cuppa Blue Bottle Coffee Bella Donovan


(I regret nothing that I couldn't find a decent bicycle-related EweToobular juxtaselection for today.)

Je suis retourné à Velo Rouge Café (see previous 'blog-entry from June 2nd, 2012) pour mon petit déjeuner. I actually drove my car over there this morning and didn't ride my bike, though. 

Like most of the coffehouses in the City, you order up front and pay for it first; you get a number (I got number "1" this morning; I wasn't the first customer, that was just my random number given); then they bring out the food and Coffee when it is ready (it was pretty funny as the food was actually brought out before the Coffee was even done yet). They have seating of: one really cool bicycle-themed table for three people (the table and seats are actually made from bicycle parts, etc.); four window-counter seats (overlooking the McAllister Street side); six tables for two to four people; and another three sidewalk tables for two to four people (or dogs, as was seen this morning).

For being really just a coffeehouse, they have a pretty decent choice of breakfastary items. From their "Weekend Specials" chalkboard: Velo Rouge French Toast (topped with fresh fruit and powdered sugar; why this is not called "Velo Rouge Pain Perdu", je ne sais pas) or Hueuvos Rancheros ("Oeufs Éleveurs", peut-être?). From their standard breakfast menu: Mt. Ventoux[2] (egg sandwich served on a croissant with Jack; add bacon or avocado) or (the most unfortunately-named) Jack Johnson Banana Pancakes (maybe that just means these particular pancakes taste like total crap).

(Please ignore the quality of today's meal photo. If you can believe it, this was the best of the three that I took. It looked good enough on the 2x3" view-screen when I took it.)

This was more like a Breakfast Burrito Panini ~ as it comes nicely grilled (with grill-marks and all). I actually liked that idea. I did not notice any sour cream, nor potatoes inside it, though. This can also be ordered with bacon or sausage added to the scramble (if you are of that inclination that partakes of the dead, decaying porcine products). Their version of country style potatoes was very good (however, they don't really specify which "country" this is in the style of, but I figured it must be France); nicely spiced and crispy.

The Blue Bottle Coffee comes as a single-drip cuppa and is made fresh for every customer. They only offer this one roast/blend, and it was a naturally sweet blend/roast. Why Velo Rouge Café doesn't serve Bicycle Coffee co exclusively, I do not know. (Mrs. Blankenship may find this interesting, they even label each ceramic-"for here" cup with a dry-erase marker with your name on it.)

For being "just a coffeehouse", Velo Rouge Café actually has a pretty decent selection of condimentary supplementation; they offer Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce,  Pico Pica, Crystal® Louisiana's Pure Hot Sauce, and Tapatío®. Even so, I still went with some of my own hot sauces. I used some Florida Gold Premium Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the potatoes and some El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (Thanks, Brian!) on bites of the burrito.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Leipheimer Breakfast Burrito ~ 6.3; cuppa Bella Donovan ~ 7.2

1. As best as I can figure, "Leipheimer" refers to some 'merican road racing cyclist.


Either that, or this is a burrito made famous in a small town in Bavaria.

Here's a little-known Cliff Clavinist fact: this dish used to be called the "Lance Armstrong Burrito", but it seems that the USADA made them change the name.

2. Mont Ventoux is a legendary, grueling climb in Le Tour de France:


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pat’s Cafe

"Give a man an inch and he'll think he's a ruler."

(Of course, I always thought the expression was: "Give a man an extra inch and he'll think he's Ron Jeremy.")


Place: Pat's Cafe
Location: 2330 Taylor Street (between Chestnut and Francisco Streets, just off Columbus Avenue)
Hours: open at 7:30am seven days a week (including Saturday and Sunday)
Meal: Mediterranean Omelet ~ Feta, onions, eggplant, salsa, & pesto (comes with choice of toast and homefries); and a cuppa (and one-and-a-half refillas) Mr. Espresso® (I did not get the specific blend/roast, though)


(I bet that not many people are aware that Keb' Mo's real name is actually "Pat Williams".)

I returned to Pat's Cafe (see previous 'blog-entry from January 5th, 2013; and I can't believe it has been almost two years since my first visit there) for breakfast this morning. It's a neighborhoody-sized place with seating of about twelve to thirteen tables for two, four tables for four, and two sidewalk tables for two (outside on the neighborhood sidewalk). They are located right along the Powell-Mason Sts. Cable Car line, somewhere in the demilitarised zone of North Beach-Russian Hill-Fisherman's Wharf.

Their walls are adorned with photos and artwork by local artists that are for sale (well, the photos and artwork are for sale, but I am sure the local artists can be had for a reasonable pri¢e, too). The place was also nicely decorated for the holiday season with lots of Poinsettias[1], multi-coloured lights, and a wire 7"-tall Christmas tree (either green, red, or silver) on every table (my table also lucked-out and had ein kleine Nussknacker dude).

Pat's Cafe offers many other good ideas for breakfast, too. I could have easily gone with: San Francisco Omelet (fresh basil, tomatoes, Feta cheese); California Omelet (avocado, Cheddar cheese, mushrooms, onions, Aidell's fresh chicken apple sausage ~ which I would have ordered less the ground-up, dead, decaying poultry product, of course); Chilaquiles; or three different crêpes (two savory and one sweet). They also have a Weekend "Brunch" Specials menu (with several different types of Benedict dishes mainly).

The omelette was made with a lot of eggplant (which was diced in ¼"-pieces, not in large chunks or slices; this made them very easy to work with inside the omelette). However, I would have liked more Feta in it (but that is usually a complaint with me, I always want more Feta; as I always say, Mr. Kevin Moore, "Mo' Feta ~ mo' betta!"). I had sourdough as my toasty choice. Their version of homefries was really good, too; the potatoes were generously dusted with Old Bay[2] spices (from what I could tell) all over them.

For condimentary supplements, Pat's Cafe has both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard yuletidey red) and Tapatío®. I just used some (about seven to eight drops only) of my own Fat Cat®
Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on just the omelette; the potatoes were nicely-enough seasoned already.

I liked this place a lot. They could be Breakfastary Rotation-worthy if ever need be. They offer a number of decent breakfastary items (even for stupid vegetarians); they open up every day early enough to always be considered "breakfast" over "Brunch" for me (I had arrived this morning just a li'l after 7:30am and they were already open and with another early-rising customer there that had already ordered even); and they have a very attentive and friendly staff (Sorry, Mrs. Huneycutt, I didn't get my server-guy's name this morning ~ well, I know he was Mexican, so let's say he was un servidor-hombre). 

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Mediterranean Omelet ~ 6.7

1. Stupid, useless (and extremely boring) cunning linguist pointer/story of the day:

My first Christmas in Greece, I decided I wanted to send some Poinsettias to a few people back in the United States. I had (only) been in Greece for about five and a half months at that point and my Greek was generally limited to ordering food items (or swearing at drunks and crazy taxi drivers). So, I had to look up the word for Poinsettia in my Divry's English-Greek and Greek-English Dictionary. You'd think it would be simple enough, right? I mean it had to be something similar enough to the actual English (named for an American) word. Well, like me, you would be wrong. 

It turns out the word for Poinsettia in Greek is more of a phrase ~ "φυτών τον θερμών τόπων με κόκκινα φύλλα", which basically translates as "plants from warm climates with red leaves". So, instead of having to learn just one new word in Greek, I had to learn seven new words in Greek.

Oh, and it turned out that the florist shop in downtown Athens where I bought the plants was owned by a guy that spoke perfect English.

How do you say "D'oh!" in Greek?


2. The "Old Bay" here doesn't have anything to do with San Francisco Bay, but refers to "the Old Bay Line", a passenger ship line that used to operate from Bal'mo', Maryland (on Chesapeake Bay) to Norfolk, Virginia (also along the Chesapeake Bay ~ funny how that worked, huh?), in the early 1900's.


Saturday, December 13, 2014


"Show me a man with a song in his heart, and I'll show you a man with an MP3 pacemaker."


Place: Plin[1]
Location: 280 Valencia Street (between 14th Street and Duboce Avenue)
Hours: open at 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday for "Brunch"
Meal: Vegetable Hash ~ winter squash, peppers, shallot, tomato sauce, Swiss chard; with a side order of two eggs over-medium placed on top; and a cuppa Flying Goat Coffee


(You will need to read footnote #1 below to get today's EweToobular juxtaselection.)

I wanted to check out a different place for a change and headed over to the Mission for breakfast (well, they call it "Brunch" on their menu) at Plin. This is a relatively new (as in opened in August of this year), nice, upscaley Italiano restaurant place. Per my friendly, informative server-guy, Brandon, (see, I sometimes remember their names, Mrs. Huneycutt… even if they aren't cute female server-types), they are known for their fresh pasta dishes in the evenings, but seeing as this is a breakfast 'blog-entry, I can only comment on what I had there for breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) this morning. 

Plin is located right across the street from Annunciation Cathedral (that Greek Orthodox church in the Mission ~ see 'blog-entry from September 25th, 2010). It occupies a very large space, with seating for probably sixty to seventy persons or more (even though I was the only customer this morning the entire time I was there).

Their "Brunch" menu is rather on the skimpy side and there were really only a few other viable options for vegetariani stupidi. I could have ordered either Italian Scramble (caramelized onion, peppers, potato and grandpa George's sausage, toast; and requested it senza che la carne di maiale morto in decomposizione ~ nonno Georgio be damned) or Baked French Toast (mascarpone cheese quenelle, roasted pecans, walnut syrup ~ why not "roasted walnuts" or "pecan syrup", though? And, Mrs. Morin, just to let you know, neither pecans nor walnuts are botanically "nuts", as nuts as that may sound). They also offered a dish that sounded interesting: Crispy Polenta Cakes with Braised Oxtail (poached eggs and chive; while I couldn't get that one, it didn't sound bad for any of you that partake of the dead, decaying bovine tails). However, don't be fooled by the nomenclature Sweetbread Omelet (onions, sage, toast and chicken demi-glaze), Brandon warned me that does not mean that it included any kind of Italiano pancake or French toast in it.

This was okay enough, but it was more of a ragoût (but not a ragù) than a hash (or hàsh even). The vegetables were mostly in a light tomato stew. There was a good amount of Swiss chard in it, which is a plus with me. It comes with a side of toast (either whole wheat or white ~ I went with the whole wheat). This was not an awful lot of food, and without having added the two over-medium eggs, it would have been less so. I probably should have ordered a side of hashbrowns or maybe an order of their doughnuts (which I figured would probably be like Zeppole[2]) and they offer two different types: chocolate sauce and rolled in cinnamon sugar or topped with honey glazed pears and powder sugar.

My friendly server-guy, Brandon, wasn't sure which exact roast/blend of Flying Goat Coffee that they offer. It tasted good (I normally like their roasts/blends), but this was made very weak this morning… but not weak enough that I felt it necessary to turn down a couple more refillas.

I never asked for (nor found out) what condimentary supplementation Plin might offer. It really didn't matter as I had just bought two new hot sauces for my own collection earlier this week and wanted to check them out. I used a little of both on two separate halves (two un-separated halves would be a whole, of course) of the pile ~ using an over-medium egg on top of each as the division point: Lucky Dog (Food's Best Friend) Medium Fire-Roasted Pepper Sauce and Hot Licks® Serrano Hot Sauce. Neither one was really over the top with the heat levels, the Lucky Dog was a bit more picante, though. Both were very tasty, but I also liked the total flavour of the Lucky Dog more, too. There is a plastic pourer/dripper on top of Hot Licks® bottles, which is always nice. I bought both of these at the Hot Licks® retail shop on Pier 39. The really nice thing is that you can sample many different brands and types of hot sauces at the shop, too.



Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Vegetable Hash ~ 6.3; Lucky Dog Medium Fire-Roasted Pepper Sauce ~ 7.0; Hot Licks® Serrano Hot Sauce ~ 6.4

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del giorno, numero uno:

"Plin" means “pinch” in Italian. Hence the use of the pasta-pincher/crimper/roller thing in their corporate logo. What the heck do I know? I thought it was supposed to be a Pizza-cutter. (Just be glad that I didn't come up with some kinda lame joke incorporating "High Plins Drifter" or such.)

Both the definition and information were provided to me by Brandon. However, I could not verify this with either Google Translate or bing Translator.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del giorno, numero due:

"Zeppola" (singular) or "Zeppole" (plural) are specific types of Italian doughnuts. They are usually just balls of fried dough. The really interesting thing is that they are named after Zeppo Marx*. Apparently during the filming of the Marx Brothers classic "A Night at the Opera", Zeppo became enamoured of these local pastries while in Roma, so much so, that a particular bakery decided to name their doughnuts after him. There is even a large chain of doughnut shops throughout Italy named Dunkin' Zeppos®.

*(Nah, not really. I actually have no idea where the name comes from. However, the Rock-and/or-Roll group Led Zeppelin is really named after Zeppo, though. The story goes that Robert Plant was a huge Marx Brothers fan when he was growing up and he felt that Zeppo was the funniest and most underrated Marx brother. Rumour has it that "Stairway to Heaven" was penned right after Mr. Plant had just finished watching "Duck Soup" and was overly upset that this was the last Marx Brothers film ever to feature Zeppo. Coincidentally enough, it is also a well-known fact that James Patrick Page, OBE, is a huge fan of deep-fried dough balls.)