Sunday, January 26, 2014


"A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety." ~ Aesop

(No official web-site.)

Place: Eats
Location: 50 Clement Street (on the corner of 2nd Avenue); phonicular contact: (415) 751-8000
Hours: open Monday-Sunday at 8am (closed all other days of the week)
Meal: Spicy Tomato Skillet ~ (v) kale, onions, potatoes, bell peppers, sunny up eggs, Parmesan, grilled bread; and (from the Fresh Juice Bar section of the menu) a large Power "C" ~ grapefruit, orange, pineapple

(Wait… let me get this straight… Lola is a dude?!

But the Champagne still tasted like Coca-Cola®, right?)

In concluding the pre-Spring Training work-out of my Breakfastary Rotation, I finished up at Eats (see last 'blog-entry from September 2nd, 2013). I arrived there just as they were opening. For some reason, the menu calls the early morning meal both Breakfast and "Brunch"; I suppose during the week it is Breakfast and on the weekends it is "Brunch"

I have had just about all of the meals on their menu so far that have the "(v)" designation; I can't be sure, but I think that it stands for "verdantly tasty". However, there are still a few other breakfastary dishes that I have to ponder: Spinach Tomato Feta Scramble (v) (they don't list the ingredients in this one, though); Spinach Portabella Feta Benedict (v) (again, you will have to use your imagination as to what this includes); Vegetarian Egg Sandwich (v) (arugula, Cheddar, tomatoes, spicy aioli, over easy egg, avocado, cornmeal ciabatta[1], potatoes or salad); or Hummus and Egg (v) (roasted red bell peppers hummus, tomatoes, hardboiled egg, cucumber salad, parsley, olives, served with rye toast. Humma-licious!). The latter two meals were ordered by the couple at the table next to me and both looked very good; I have not had either of these dishes and will need to make myself a mental note to try one or the other on my next visit. I know that if I were to order the hummus platter, I would need to order a side of their Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes as it didn't look like quite enough for me; plus, their Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes are truly Excellent!, after all.

My meal was served in a small, personal, cast iron skillet. It really had an abundance of kale in it; and, as such, I have re-named this (from a prior visit): Spicy Kale (with some tomatoes and other junk in it) Skillet. I recently saw a chart that listed kale as the second highest in iron content of the green vegetables after spinach (unfortunately, "the vile weed" comes in at number three, but we really needn't speak of that here). The grilled bread came in very handy to sop up (and scoop up) the rest of the tasty, spicy sauce.

The Power "C" really hit the spot this morning as I felt a bit of a mid-winter's cold coming on this weekend and it never hurts to stockpile on the Vitamin C, Ms. Fitzpatrick. That it actually tastes great is an extra added benefit, too.

For condimentary supplements, Eats offers the San Francisco Triumvirate of Hot Sauces: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), Tapatío®, and Cholula® Hot SauceI used a little of my own El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (Thanks, Brian!) and Born to Hula presents Devon Alman's Chipotle Blues (Thanks, Kerry!) on different areas of the skillet. The spicy kale (tomato) stew/broth actually had a nice piquantness to it already (hence the moniker), but it never hurts to add a bit more flavour and spice if you ask me (even if you mind your own damned business and don't ask me). My hot sauces also came to good use as the lady at the next table tried both of them on her sandwich and seemed to like them a lot, too. She was another hot sauce fan and thought it was funny (but still a bit impressive) that I bring my own hot sauces with me to restaurants.

Girls may be boys, and boys may be girls, in this mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world, but "Brunch" before 10:00am is still breakfast… except to Lola.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Spicy Kale (with some tomatoes and other junk in it) Skillet ~ 7.0; Power "C" ~ 6.8

1. Once again, the Spell-check Brown-shirts at Microsoft do not seem to recognize this easily recognizable baked-goods product. What gives with these people?! I am sure these Schweinehunde bastages have no problems whatsoever with words like "Pumpernickel" or "Vollkornbrot". 

Saturday, January 25, 2014


"Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride."
~ Anthony Bourdain

Place: grindz
Location: 832 Clement Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
Hours: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday open at 9:00am for "Brunch"
Meal: Veg N Eggs ~ 2 poached eggs, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, potatoes, chili oil; and a cuppa Bicycle Coffee Co.

(Keep in mind that Jake is playing this with just four strings. Of course, if it's jake with Freddie, it's jake with me.)

Once again working my way through my Breakfastary Rotation before Spring Training starts, I went back to grindz (see last 'blog-entry from September 15th, 2013) this morning. This is a smallish place and there is just seating for a total of forty-four people (with eight tables for four people and six tables for two people ~ or one person, even). I like that they open early enough on the weekends, but they really needn't call this meal "Brunch". 

I recently found out that most retail brands of  kimchi[1] (or even if it is homemade in a restaurant) use either fish sauce or dried shrimp as an ingredient. Because of which, I now have to ask if the kimchi being used in a restaurant is vegetarian-friendly or not. I have been able to locate a few decent brands locally that are made without the offending dead, decaying seafood for use at home. For future reference, I asked the cute, friendly (vegetarian- or not) waitress-server-person if the kimchi they used was made with any fish or shrimp; she was nice enough to check for me and told me the brand they use (they buy their kimchi, they do not make their own) has shrimp listed as an ingredient. So, that means that there are two to three less dishes on their "Brunch" menu that I can eat now. I'm sorry, but French toast and pancakes without any kimchi on top is just not tasty enough for me. 젠장!

This meal was served with the poached eggs placed on top of the pile of "veg", à la mode Eggs Benedict, just without any of Mr. Thomas' faux British baked goods underneath. I particularly liked that there was an abundance of spinach in with the "veg" stuff. I bet that this would also be great with some taro leaves (which they use in the Kalua Benedict) in place of the spinach. This also included julienne bell peppers and onions, but that is only because they are standard with the Plantation Potatoes that are used in the mix.

The cuppa Bicycle Coffee Co. (and several refills) was good as always. I can't stress enough that the really cool thing about this local Coffee roastery is that do all their deliveries throughout the city via bicycles!

grindz has for condimentary supplementation bottles of Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), Huy Fong Foods Inc.® Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, their own homemade Hawai'ian Ketchup, and a homemade chili oil. I used a bit of both of their homemade products on different areas of the "veg"; the Ketchup really is the way to go. I also used some of my own Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on top of one egg and some Mama Africa's™  Zulu Sauces Chili Mint (Thanks, Kerry!) on top of the other egg. I had recently transferred some of the Youk's to a smaller 2 oz bottle so that I could carry it with me in my new hot sauce holster (Thanks, Sean!) that I got for Christmas.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veg N Eggs ~ 6.5; Bicycle Coffee Co. ~ 7.0

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

"Kimchi" (or "kimchee" or "gimchi", take your transliterary pick, or "peek" or "picg") is a hypercorrection of "cimch'i", earlier "timchoy" from Middle Chinese; equivalent to Chinese "chén" (meaning "steeped") plus "cày" (meaning "vegetables").

It appears that the Spell-check Nazis at Microsoft do not eat much Korean food either, as they did not recognize this word and I was forced to make them "rememberize" it now. I really think that Billy-boy needs to broaden his culinary horizons and eat out more often.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House

Nate and Dave's Excellent San Francisco Adventure… and Popovers(!)
(Friday, January 17th, 2014)

Place: The Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House
Location: 1090 Point Lobos (at the end of the Earth/Ocean Beach)
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Saturday at 9:00am and Sunday at 8:30am
Meals: (Me) Sautéed Vegetable Scramble ~ scrambled eggs, red peppers, tomatoes, scallions, button mushrooms, and melted goat cheese (served with fresh fruit and roasted potatoes); (Nate) Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ scrambled eggs, ham, potatoes, green onions, Cheddar cheese (served with fresh fruit and roasted potatoes); (Dave) Eggs San Francisco ~ two poached eggs with Dungeness crab, toasted sourdough bread, and Brandy cream sauce (served with fresh fruit and roasted potatoes); I also had a glass of orange juice and Dave had a cuppa Coffee (I think Nate just stuck with water, even though I was paying)… and we all shared a basket of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!)

I really wasn't planning on making a 'blog-entry on this one from last Friday, but seeing as the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from September 21st, 2013) is part of my Breakfastary Rotation, I figured I probably should add it in here. A friend of mine (that would be the "Dave" portion from above) and his nephew (that would be the "Nate" portion from above) were up from Gilroy for a day of sightseeing and we all stopped here for a quick intake of food before doing the 50¢-tour of San Francisco: Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury, Alamo Square, upupup-then-dooown Divisadero Street into the Marina, Lombard Street, and then across the Golden Gate Bridge and the great views of San Francisco from the Marin side. Unfortunately, as I wasn't planning on doing an "official" 'blog-entry, I didn't bother taking any photos while we were at the restaurant eating. 

I have had most of their breakfast dishes already (or those from which I could sensibly omit the dead, decaying animal or marine insect flesh) many times over, but I would always keep going back for the (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!), anyway! Actually, I just had this same meal the last time I ate there (so just pretend I am writing about it again now, but just read the last 'blog-entry from then).

I have had the Farmer’s Breakfast Scramble many times in the past, myself. Nate really seemed to like it a lot. I was especially happy to see that he also enjoyed the (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!), too. I think he ate three to my two to Dave's one. (If we wanted more, they would have always brought more.)

Dave actually ordered something off the menu that I had never tried before, but it really wouldn't make sense being a vegetarian. He was debating on either the Johnson Omelet (Dungeness crab, avocado, and sour cream) or the one he finally decided on. He asked our server-person-lady for her opinion and she told him that she preferred the Eggs San Francisco (and seeing as I was buying this morning, that actually saved me a $1.00, too). It was a pretty unique take on an Eggs Benedict dish. The two poached eggs were piled on top of a good amount of Dungeness crab meat, and, instead of using boring ol' Mr. Thomas' baked goods as a base, these were all atop a long bias-sliced sourdough toast. I didn't ask Dave what the Brandy cream sauce tasted like; I just assumed that it was a standard Hollandaise sauce until I actually saw what was in it just now from the menu. 

For condimentary supplementation, the Bistro Restaurant only offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red). I didn't bring any from my own collection (I really didn't feel like schlepping them around with me for the entire day of touristing), so I just used some of the Tabasco® on my scramble and potatoes.

By the way, both Nate and Dave still owe me 50¢

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Sautéed Vegetable Scramble ~ 6.8; Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ 6.5+ (this is my standard rating for this dish; I didn't ask Nate for his actual rating, but the way he seemed to enjoy it all, I figure he'd have rated it at least the same or higher); Eggs San Francisco ~ 7.5 (again, I didn't ask Dave what his rating was for this dish, but he also seemed to really like it; plus, it had lots of Dungeness crab in it); (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) ~ 8.2 (again, this is my standard rating, but I am sure everyone would agree on this rating, too)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dottie’s True blue café

'Blogging in 俳句[1],
While nice, is not feasible.
芭蕉 understands.

Place: Dottie's True blue café 
Location: 28 Sixth Street (between Market and Mission Streets) 
Hours: open at 7:30am everyday of the week (except for Tuesday and Wednesday when they are closed)
Meal: Avocado, Tomato, Jalapeño, Scallion, Corn, & Feta Frittata ~ served with toast and potatoes; and a large glass of (Ruby Red?) grapefruit juice

(Okay, for some reason, this 'blog-spot doesn't seem to recognize these two hyperlinks this morning. You will have to do the ol' "cut-and-paste" thing if you wish to listen to these selections.

D'Cückoo are/were a local San Francisco Bay Area music/performing arts group. I used to go see them all the time in the 90's; I don't know if they still perform today. They used to have this one really cool "electronic beach ball" that they would toss out into the crowd and when someone hit it, different lights would go on and various musical notes would be played off it. They also had one helluva cool electronic-computerised marimba, which can be heard in the two Ewetoob videos here.

Here's a little know Cliff Clavin fact, D'Cückoo's music is done entirely in Haiku verses… Nah, not really, but that would have been pretty cool for today.)

This morning I ventured back to Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from August 25th, 2013). I can't believe it's been almost five months since my last breakfast there. I got there about fifteen minutes before they had opened and, while waiting in line with about four other people in front of me, I was treated to an impromptu street performance by the indigenous populace (at no extra cost). 

I actually met Kurt's younger brother at the door this morning (he looks just like Kurt); apparently the Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ location did not work out (I blame this on people like Karl Brandt that couldn't be bothered to drive the measly two hours to Scottsdale from Tucson to eat breakfast there… like there is anything better to do in Arizona).

I think it's funny how Dottie's current kitchen area is approximately the same size as the entire old space was back on Taylor Street. One of the things that has remained the same is the collection of snow-globes that idiots bring there from all over the World. (Okay, I may have donated one from Martha's Vineyard and one from Vienna, myself.)

My meal this morning was off the Weekly Specials Board. There were a few other very good choices: Zucchini Cakes (a favourite of mine, which I did talk another unsuspecting innocent diner into trying); Spinach-Provolone Strata; or Sweet Potato, Caramelized Red Onion, & Gruyere Tart. Unfortunately, I had just had all of these on recent trips there last year and wanted to try something different. Just my luck, next time I go back, they may not have the Zucchini Cakes on the board. 

This was a very good frittata. I like all of the ingredients that were in it. I especially liked that there was lots of fresh avocado (of course, I have never really had any avocado from a can, but still) and Feta in it. The corn always gives it a bit of a fresh "pop", too. I went with homemade buttermilk bread as my toast choice.

Dottie's always has a very decent selection of condimentary supplements: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (three styles: the standard red, green jalapeño, and Chipotle); Tapatío®; and Frank's® RedHot® Chile 'n Lime™. Be that as it may, I still used some of my own Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce ~ XX Habanero (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) on the homefries (and it was the last of that brave soldier, too) and Serious Food… Silly Prices Chunky Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the frittata.

Appetite sated.
Both breakfastarily and

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: ATJSC&F Frittata ~ 6.9; my attempts at Haiku ~ 4.5

1. As anyone that has a defacedbook account is very well aware, today happens to be the 19th Annual Haiku Day there. (Well, it's either the 19th Annual on January 2nd, or the 2nd Annual on January 19th. One or the other. Whatever)

Because, after all,
俳句 is like poetry,
Just with no rhyming.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Q Restaurant and Wine Bar

"So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being." ~ Franz Kafka 

Place: Q Restaurant and Wine Bar 
Location: 225 Clement Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues) 
Hours: open for "Brunch" Saturday and Sunday at 9:30am (However, according to the "Brunch" section of the menu on their official web-site, "Brunch" is "Served Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 10am-3pm"; so, take your pick. I got there a little after 9:30am and they were just opening up and setting up, so that is good enough for me.)
Meal: Grilled Portobello Benedict; served on focaccia[1] with home fries 

(In keeping with the whole "Q"-theme, here are a few EweToobular songs from Stevie Q. Wonder… 

Okay, so maybe I took a little poetic license with his name, but it's getting harder to find "Q"-related songs to use here, and Innervisions is probably one of the best music albums produced in the 70's, if not one of the best in the 20th Century.)

Eating breakfast has historically made people feel sated and has allowed us to revel in our subjectivity. So, in continuing my pre-Spring Training workout of my Breakfastary Rotation, I went back to Q Restaurant and Wine Bar (see last 'blog-entry from September 14th, 2013). Once again I sat at my favourite table, the one with the Wooly Willy tableau, and, for a change, this time they actually had an ultra-strong magnet to use to be able to play with and give him a "magical magnetic makeover". (The magnet was so strong that if I laid my fork or knife within two inches of it, it would quickly attract them.)

In addition to a pretty decent standard "Brunch" menu, Q Restaurant has a Weekend "Brunch" Specials menu that changes seasonally (or probably even weekly). Off the Weekend "Brunch" Specials menu, the only item that was really vegetarian-friendly (The heck with them stoopid Vegans and their bloody secret handshakes!) was a Corn Scramble ~ with shallots, cilantro, and white Cheddar, with home fries and buttered toast; but I had that very dish last year during a previous visit (see 'blog-entry from February 10th, 2013).

Unlike my last visit there, this time the eggs were fully cooked/poached correctly. The grilled Portobellos were a nice addition and made this more unique than a plain ol' Eggs Benedict would have been. Of course, this dish would not be for the fungi-faint of heart. Unfortunately, the base of focaccia was somehwat hardish to cut through; this was a little bit disappointing, as I was really looking forward to the change, but it was still a decent enough meal. The side of homefries was very good as always.

For condimentary supplementation, Q Restaurant (and probably even the Wine Bar portion) has a varied selection (to include at least): Crystal® Hot Sauce; Tapatío®; Original "Louisiana" Brand The Perfect Hot Sauce; (something new ~ for them ~ called) Productos Marín (which, as best as I can figure out, is a Mayan-style hot sauce from the Mexican Yucatan area) Habanero Pepper (a green salsa); and their own blend of dried spices that they have in large shakers (the kind that you'd see in a Pizza joint holding either grated Parmesan cheese or crushed red chillies). They may have had a few other options, too, but these were the specific hot sauces that I saw out on the tables this morning. I used the spice shaker all over both the Eggs Benedict dish and the homefries. Additionally, I used some of the green habanero salsa on top of one of the eggs. On top of the other egg, I used some of my own Dave's Gourmet® Ginger Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, Jim!). I also generously doused the homefries with some of my own Pickapeppa Sauce (Thanks, Amy!).

It's always a pretty simple thing ~ but something this simple (minded) person looks forward to ~ with the check this morning was a Tootsie® Green Apple Frooties®. After all, what is better than a candy with the check? A Tootsie®-brand candy, perhaps?

I purposely (Or is that "purposefully"? I never no witch one to use correctly.) skipped a cuppa Coffee with breakfast as I have a ton (I am not exaggerating there; I have approximately 2,000 pounds of the stuff now in my refrigerator) of new Coffee at home that I received for Christmas and really need to start using up. So, I made a cuppa Café El-Aguila[2] Espresso (Thanks again, Amy!) to enjoy while typing up this 'blog-entry. This is a great-tasting, but potent Coffee, with undertones of raspberries and overtones of chocolate and with just un soupçon de tabac(?)… oh, and lots of roasted Coffee flavour, but no austere verdancy was noted. This really is pretty strong stuff. If I hadn't already been wide awake while typing this out, I would surely be up for hours thereafter. I couldn't locate an official web-site for this Coffee; I think it's actually an imported Cuban brand. (Wait, we are allowed to drink café cubano, but not smoke los cigarros cubanos?)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Portobello Benedict ~ 6.4; Café El-Aguila Espresso ~ 6.66

1. Oh, c'mon, Billy-boy and your Gestapo of Spell-check Nazis, you guys really don't recognize this word?! Do you and your goose-stepping brown-shirts ever go out to eat anything other than Schnitzel (which I see your auto-spellchecker thingy had absolutely no problem recognizing)?

Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numero uno:

"Focaccia" comes from Late Latin "focacia" (neuter plural*), derivative of Latin "focus" (meaning "hearth", where the flat bread would have been baked).

*(Wait… a… minute. If something is "neuter" how does it ever reproduce to become plural?)

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número dos:

"El águila" simply means "the eagle" in Spanish.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


"The one with the meyer lemon hazelnut ricotta pancakes."

Place: Ella's 
Location: 500 Presidio Avenue (at California Street) 
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Friday at 7:00am; open for "Brunch" Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am
Meal: meyer lemon hazelnut ricotta pancakes (3) ~ with Coombs Family Farms pure maple syrup, Vermont; a side of homefried potatoes; and a glass of Ginger Orange Juice Punch

(I am linking this Lady Ella EweToob song because of rain… well, it was a little overcast and drizzly this morning. The second video is because of today's meal ~ Mayer/Meyer ~ get it? Whatever. It seems that Mr. Hawthorne has taken over the reigns of the White Boy-R&B/Soul/Pop from Daryl Hall.)

New year, new season to run through my Breakfastary Rotation. Today's Starter was Ella's (see last 'blog-entry from September 1st, 2013) once again.

There were a few other good choices for breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) today: fried cornmeal with cheddar and green onions ~ served with eggs and toast; or potato scramble with grilled squash, spinach, lemon zest, and lemon herb goat cheese (but that just sounded like too much lemon flavour, and I really can't stand lemon flavour).

There was lots of Meyer lemon (or just plain lemon, like I can really tell the difference) flavour in the pancakes (I love the flavour of fresh lemons, of course). However, the hazelnut flavour seemed to be hidden and was a bit on the weak side; I really couldn't taste much of it in these. Either way, these pancakes were far and beyond the normative flavours expected. The ricotta makes the pancakes a bit heavier, but also makes them a bit moister/richer.

They make a point of saying that they use "Coombs Family Farms pure maple syrup, Vermont", because anyone can really tell the difference between that and "Coombs Family Farms, pure maple syrup, New Hampshire". (This is maple syrup here, folks, and not some snooty-ass French Wine; besides, everyone knows that a fine French Wine goes, "But I don‘t wanna go to war!"). I also used some of their homemade (well, restaurant-made) strawberry jam on some of the pancakes.

The side plate of homefries was absolutely HUGE ~ a full plate the same size as the pancakes plate; I really was expecting a small "side"-plate. I couldn't finish them all if I wanted to eat all three of the pancakes (and I probably should have only gotten two pancakes in the first place).

Ella's has for condimentary supplementation two kinds of Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red and the green jalapeño). I skipped both of those and used some of my own Nando's® Extra Hot Peri-Peri Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the potatoes; leaving the pancakes to the likes of the syrup and jam only.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: meyer lemon hazelnut ricotta pancakes ~ 6.6

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Nini’s Coffee Shop

A breakfastary roadtrip:
San Mateo, CA

(No official web-site.)

Place: Nini's Coffee Shop 
Location: 1000 N. Idaho Street (at Bayswater Avenue) 
(phonicular contact: 650-348-9578)
Hours: open at 6:30am Monday - Friday; open at 7:30am Saturday & Sunday
Meal: Vegetarian Omelette "Original" ~ Nini's cooks the vegetables, we don't throw them in raw - zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, Jack & Swiss cheese, sour cream & chives; served with homefried potatoes and toast

(It was very sunny out today. So…)

Q: What is better than a nice breakfast with friends in San Mateo?
A: A nice FREE breakfast with friends in San Mateo! (Thanks, Luke!)

Today was the make-up date from last weekend's scheduled breakfastary gathering at Nini's Coffee Shop (see last 'blog-entry from October 17th, 2010). Even with an additional week to rest up and get healthy, there was still just a total of five of us that made it this morning (three or four missed out again). At least the weather was an awesome Bay Area winter day (sorry to all the rest of you that are currently experiencing the full brunt of Al Gore's Global Colding) for the drive down there. Nini's has been a popular local breakfast-lunch joint since 1955. Proof of this was that there were lots of San Francisco 49ers fans there getting a good breakfast before today's Freezer… er, Football game in Green Bay.

Nini's has a very decent selection for breakfasts: Nini's "Traditional" Favorites; Some More Favorite Favorites; Wally's "Country" Oldies; Omelettes, Deluxe Omelettes, or Scrambles; and Hot Cake Specials. Zaria had the Santa Ana (from the Some More category) ~ scrambled eggs with bacon, spinach, cream cheese, olives, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese (this looked really good, and without the dead decaying swine-flesh strips I probably would have liked that, too). Marc had Toby's Omelette (from the weekend specials chalkboard) ~ hot links, Ortega chilies, mushrooms, Jack cheese, sour cream & chives. Steve had Bacon, Avocado, Cheddar cheese, Tomato Omelette (from the Omelettes, etc. category); I am not quite sure what the ingredients were in this one, though. Luke had Hot Cake Special #2 (from the Eponymous category) ~ two hot cakes, two strips bacon, and one egg any style (he chose over medium). So we had a pretty sufficient coverage of the menu.

I especially liked that my meal was called "Vegetarian Omelette", and not "Veggie Omelette" like many other places do; so they got an extra .1 GBS Rating points right there. However, they substituted "the vile weed" for zucchini (without any warning and I only found out about half-way into the omelette ~ so it was too late to ask for a replacement, which I would have probably done); so I am taking away .1 GBS Rating points right there, too. Other than the one "surprise" ingredient, I liked the rest of the omelette just fine, though, Newman! Another really nice thing is that they give you the option of adding bell peppers and onions to your homefries if you want; all of us that had the option made that very wise choice, of course. My choice of toast was sourdough.

For condimentary supplements, Nini's just offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red). I used some of my own Serious Food… Silly Prices Mango Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the potatoes and some Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) on the omelette. I had transferred some of the Hula Girl to a smaller 2 oz bottle that I had recently emptied[1] so that I would have another option to fit in my new Tabasco® holster (Thanks, Sean!). Zaria also used some of both of these hot sauces and seemed to like the Hula Girl the best.

On my way out of town this morning (well, on my way out of my neighborhood even), I stopped for a cuppa Coffee at Simple Pleasures Cafe (see 'blog-entry from March 15th, 2010) to enjoy on the drive down.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Vegetarian Omelette ~ 6.3; Simple Pleasures Cafe Coffee ~ 7.0

1. Important note: When emptying the remains from a bottle of hot sauce (especially if it is one of those extremely ridiculous "nookular" types), be sure to do so with extreme caution and adequate ventilation. There is a reason why capsaicin or pepper resin is one of the main ingredients in pepper sprays (why it's allowed in a food product, I have no idea).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Baker Street Bistro

"All sorrows are less with bread." 
~ Miguel de Cervantes

Place: Baker Street Bistro 
Location: 2953 Baker Street (at Lombard Street)
Hours: open at 9:00am for "Brunch" on Saturday & Sunday
Meal: Pain Perdu ~ (A brunch favorite!) Two slices of cinnamon French Toast, fresh fruit, strawberry coulis & crème fraîche; a side order of Home Potatoes; and a cuppa Coffee

(R.I.P. Phil Everly; January 19, 1939 - January 3, 2014. 

Hence the first EweToob video. The second song is just a Leonard Cohen cover by Madeleine Peyroux; they were playing some of her music on the house stereo during breakfast this morning.)

I couldn't think of a better first breakfastary meal for 2014 than un retour à Baker Street Bistro (see last 'blog-entry from August 31st, 2013). As I walked through the door, I was greeted heartily with a "Bonne Année!" by Mademoiselle Chantal (I hadn't the heart to tell her that my name isn't "Année", though). I decided to sit inside for a change; it was just bordering on cold still (even a bit too coolish with a jacket on) to sit outside on their sidewalk patio café area. However, it was so sunny this morning that I did have to keep my sunglasses on inside the entire time (and I am neither Corey Hart, nor Timbuk 3). There was only one couple that "braved the cold" and sat out there, but they had a large (Standard) French Poodle with them and didn't have much choice.

Baker Street Bistro still had up their Christmas (well, Noël) decorations and there was this pretty cool idea. La cage aux ornements?!

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude
I once again parked over by the Presidio and heard several of my fine-feathered friends, but they were too high up in the eucalyptus trees for me to see any of them this morning. By the time I had returned after eating breakfast (and walking around a bit on Lombard Street), they had all pretty much dispersed for the morning to other parts of the city. 

What else can I say about cette version ultime de Pain Perdu that I haven't already said? Once again, it was rated the Number 1 Best Breakfast of 2013 (well, according to some stupid little local breakfast 'blog-thingy). How many ways can I say "fantastic"[1], after all?

As usual, I made my Café à la Turca and added some of the mint leaves from the garnish. This was a habit I started many years ago when I first started going to Baker Street Bistro. I initially did it to see if I could make use of a normally useless garnish, but also mainly to freak out the people that came around refilling my Coffee during the meal.

Les fruits du jour: framboises (raspberries); myrtilles (blueberries); orange (orange ~ it always amazes me how the French have a different word for everything); cantaloup (cantaloupe ~ See? If I weren't a cunning linguist, I would never have guessed at what this was.); pastèque (watermelon); pommes (apples); et (and) ananas (pineapples).

Knowing that Baker Street Bistro only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) for condimentary supplementation and also fully knowing (Is it considered "pessimistic" or "optimistic" to only know something half-fully?) what I was going to order today I only brought one bottle of my own hot sauces. I used some El Yucatero® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (Thanks, Brian!) on the potatoes (the Pain Perdu really didn't need any extra spicing up, of course).

C'est tout fantastique! (Whatever the heck that means.)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pain Perdu ~ 8.2; the Wild Parrots of San Francisco (literally "sight unseen" even) ~ 8.5

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer(s) of the day:

Arabic ~ "خيالي"
Dutch/German ~ "fantastisch"
Greek ~ "φανταστικός"
Hungarian ~ "fantasztikus"
Irish ~ "iontach"
Italian ~ "fantastico" (the Italians, like the French, really do have strange words for everything, too)
Latin ~ "prodigialis"
Russian ~ "фантастический"
Spanish ~ "fantástico" (as can be seen here, the Spanish language can be quite as confusing as Italian and French)
Turkish ~ "harika"
Welsh ~ "gwych"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Best of 2013

"Hell is other people at breakfast." 
~ Jean-Paul Sartre 

Continuing the chroniclisation of my breakfastary peregrination, I am listing my 2013 Top Ten Best Breakfasts. Of course, this will also include a few "brunchified" joints along the way; after all, "Brunch" is just when humans crossed the threshold into culinary modernity… but not in a good way. When I first did this year-end list in 2012 (see last 'blog-entry from December 21st, 2012), I only listed five restaurants; however, I figured I would extend it a bit for 2013.

(Without any further adieu[1]… Drumroll, please!)

(Here is where you have to get interactive and actually click on that link and then "press" the red button with your mouse.)

1) Once again, my top choice is the Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro (see last ‘blog-entry from August 31st, 2012). This really is one of the best versions of French toast I have ever had, and not just in San Francisco, but possibly world-wide. I may need to rethink about listing it again in 2014 as #1 and instead give it its own category of "Best French Toast", but, for now, there it is.

2) Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from August 25th, 2013). Think Eggs Benedict with an Italiano twist; sort of Uova di Benedetto if you will.

3)  Artichoke Hash Benedict at Caffé DeLucchi (see 'blog-entry from November 10th, 2013). Other than their obvious mispeling of "Caffè", I have to also mention that this was definitely the Most Interesting/Best New Find of 2013, for which it also earns the distinction of 2013 Rookie of the Year Award.

4) Oeufs Baker Street at Baker Street Bistro (see last 'blog-entry from April 13th, 2013). See, even if they didn't offer their stellaire Pain Perdu, I would probably go back again for this breakfast "find", anyway.

5) Vegetarian Hashbrown Sandwich at Art's Café (see last 'blog-entry from May 12th, 2013). Potatoes as the basis for a pseudo-omelette? Genius, simply genius, Arthur!

6) Kalua Benedict at grindz (see last 'blog-entry from September 15th, 2013). When was the last time you had taro leaves in your Benedict, Arnold?

7) Hash & Eggs at Citizen's Band (see 'blog-entry from October 26th, 2013). Vegetarian hash; made simple and sublime. This also receives Honourable Mention for Most Interesting/Best New Find of 2013

8) Cornmeal Waffle (especially including Apple Cider Syrup, which was even better than the waffle itself) at Brown Sugar Kitchen (see 'blog-entry from November 24th, 2013). Also Best Waffle Dish of 2013 (and Best Reason to Venture Across the Bay Bridge for Breakfast Early on a Sunday Morning).

9) Portobello Mushroom, Arugula & Fontina Tart at Dottie's True blue café (see 'blog-entry from January 27th, 2013).

10) Grilled Garden Benediction at MyMy CoffeeCoffee ShopShop (see 'blog-entry from March 31st, 2013). Another innovative winner in the Eggs Benedict regime. Sorry, Mr. Thomas, but sometimes your boring ol' nooks and crannies just don’t cut it (or split it in two with a fork, even).

2013 Honourable Mentions & Specific Categories

Best New Potato Side Dish Find ~ Weird Potatoes at Dante's Weird Fish (see 'blog-entry from November 3rd, 2013); GBS Rating: 7.5. An Honourable Mention must go to the awesome Potato Latke at Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen (see 'blog-entry from December 15th, 2013); GBS Rating: 7.4.

(Not to be confused with) Best Potato Side Dish ~ Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes at Eats (see last 'blog-entry from September 2nd, 2013); GBS Rating: 7.5.

Best French Fries & Dips ~ frjtz (see 'blog-entry from August 3rd, 2013), I happened to choose both Spicy Pomegranate Ketchup and Chipotle Rémoulade[2] on that visit; GBS Rating: 7.8.

Best Breakfast Pizza ~ Morning Pizza at Sweet Maple (see 'blog-entry from December 26th, 2013), granted, there were only three versions of Breakfast Pizzas from which to choose this year, but it was still better than the other two; GBS Rating: 7.0.

Best Coffeehouse Coffee Selection ~ Stumptown Coffee Roasters at Little Griddle (see 'blog-entry from October 13th, 2013); GBS Ratings: 6.5-7.0 (they offer four to five different roasts and this is always a plus). Another Honourable Mention to Bean Bag Café (see 'blog-entry from December 14th, 2013) where they also offer several different blends/roasts of McLaughlin's Coffee, but (unlike at Little Griddle) there are no free refills, so I only got to sample one roast; GBS Rating: 6.9.

Best Vegan Sausage ~ Vegan Apfelwurst at Rosamunde Sausage Grill (see 'blog-entry from July 20th, 2013); GBS Rating: 7.2.

Best Tamales That Can Double As Breakfast ~ Tamal de Frijol at Roosevelt's Tamale Parlor (see 'blog-entry from June 22nd, 2013); GBS Rating: 7.0 (extra points noted for a very tasty mole sauce).

Biggest Surprise (Whodathunkit Category) ~ Vegetarian Benedict at O'Reilly's (see 'blog-entry from May 19th, 2013), again, not your run-of-the-mill, boring Mr. Thomas' Eggs Benedict dish; GBS Rating: 7.0.

Best Middle Eastern Dish with a Fun-sounding Name ~ Shakshouka at Saul's Deli (see ‘blog-entry from December 15th, 2013); GBS Rating: 7.0.

Best Hot Sauce Selection/Collection (that is bigger than mine even) ~ Market & Rye (see 'blog-entry from January 20th, 2013); no real GBS Rating given, just an unbelievable amount of bottles from which to choose.

Best Breakfast Dessert (Doughnut Category) ~ Dynamo Donut & Coffee (see last 'blog-entry from June 22nd, 2013), always many tasty and interesting choices; GBS Ratings: 7.0-7.5.

Best Breakfast Dessert (Pastry Category) ~ Cafe Golo (see last 'blog-entry from July 21st, 2013) ~ Can I interest you in a Blackberry-Mango Tart, a Cranberry-Kiwi Tart, or (best of all) a Sweet Potato Tart?; GBS Ratings: 7.0-7.5.

Best Bread/Toast Side ~ (Is there really any surprise here?) (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) at the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from September 21st, 2013); GBS Rating: 8.2.

This year I thought I would also include my picks for 2013 Bottom Five Worst:

1) New York Y*nkees; GBS Rating: 0.0.
2) Los Ångeles D*dgers; GBS Rating: 0.5.
3) St*rbucks; GBS Rating: 1.0
4) Barney's & Ignoble; GBS Rating: 1.5
5) parklets; gbs rating: 2.0

Yeah, so what if they ain't breakfastarily related. Start your own damn 'blog-thing then!

All in all, 2013 was another pretty decent year for breakfasts everywhere. I was just surprised that there weren't more GBS Ratings over 7.5. Conclusion: Either I eat at a lot of crummy places or I am being a bit too austere with my ratings.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro ~ 8.2; Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café ~ 7.6; Artichoke Hash Benedict at Caffé DeLucchi ~ 7.6; Oeufs Baker Street at Baker Street Bistro ~ 7.3; Vegetarian Hashbrown Sandwich at Art's Cafe ~ 7.2; Kalua Benedict at grindz ~ 7.2; Hash & Eggs at Citizen's Band ~ 7.2; Cornmeal Waffle at Brown Sugar Kitchen ~ 7.2; Portobello Mushroom, Arugula & Fontina Tart at Dottie’s True blue café ~ 7.1; Grilled Garden Benediction at MyMy CoffeeCoffee ShopShop ~ 7.1

1. Yes, I am well aware that it should be "ado", Wild Bill, but that doesn't really lend itself to the year-end "farewell" theme.

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

"Rémoulade" is a French word from an original dialect "rémola", which is an alteration of Latin "amoracea" ("horseradish").