Saturday, February 15, 2014


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." ~ Federico Fellini

Place: Greenburger's
Location: 518 Haight[1] Street (between Fillmore and Steiner Streets)
Hours: "Brunch" available Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am
Meal: Veggie Scramble ~ 3 eggs, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and baby spinach with smash browns and your choice of toast 

(The EweToob videos used here today in a prolegomenon sense should be pretty self-evident.)

I ended up eating at Greenburger's for breakfast this morning. However, this was not my originally intended destination (feel free to follow along for an explanation), but, after last week's unsuccessfully attempted visit to Primo Patio Cafe, I had this as a back-up plan all ready. Greenburger's is a new-ish place in the Lower Haight (they have been around for less than two years, I believe). There are original photos (for sale) along one wall and old family photos along another wall (but I am pretty sure that those are not for sale). You order and pay first at the front counter, they give you a number, and then bring out the food to you when it is ready. They open at 10:30am sharp, just like they state they do; and I only mention that as (get ready for it)…

Restaurants that do not open when they state they are supposed to open mini-rant 

Okay, I know that the restaurant business is not exactly run on a strict timetable like the banking industry is, but why do restaurants (at least from what I can see a lot of in San Francisco) feel that if they state (on both their web-sites and also on the signage on their doors) they are open at 9:00am (or 9:30am) that they don't have to actually open their doors until after 9:45am (or later)? I had originally planned on eating again at Primo Patio Cafe as they were closed last Saturday due to inclement weather. Well, today there was pretty clement weather and I arrived over there at about 9:20am. I saw some workers milling around inside and just figured that they were running a little late this morning. So, I decided to walk around the neighborhood and see what else might be open. Just around the corner is  farmerbrown's little skillet ~ they have a sign stating that they open at 9:30am on Saturdays ~ so, I figured I'd give both Primo Patio and little skillet a chance to open, and whichever one opened first, I would just eat there. Well, 9:30am came and went and neither place was open yet. No problem, I can wait a few more minutes… 9:35am ~ still nuthin'… 9:40am ~ no signs of either place opening any time soon… 9:45am ~ forget it… on to "Plan B".

(Now back to your regularly-scheduled 'blog-entry.)

As you enter the joint, there is a cool old Wedgewood cast iron stove that they now use as a planter.

I have eaten at Greenburger's a few times for lunch/dinner ~ both the House Made Greenburger (veggie patty made from organic black beans, beets, oats, brown rice, and spices on a brioche roll) and the Vegetarian Sloppy Joe (organic tempeh[3], sautéed onions, Poblano and bell peppers in a tangy chili barbeque sauce served on a soft roll with a dollop of coleslaw) are very good (and available as a Weekday Lunch Slider Special where you can get both). They are mainly a burger joint (hence the "Green" part of their name) and don't really offer that many different "Brunch" items on the menu, but a few other good breakfastary ideas for stupid vegetarians are: Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes (with organic maple syrup and seasonal fruit); Simple Breakfast (2 eggs any style served with smash browns and your choice of toast and bacon, sausage, Canadian bacon, or avocado); Breakfast Sandwich (2 fried eggs with Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo with your choice of meat on an English muffin served with smash browns; *Vegan upon request).

Other than the pedestrian moniker of the "Veggie" Scramble, this was a pretty good breakfast. I completely missed the "Add goat cheese .75" (which I assume means for an extra 75¢, not that you only get a ¾-serving of the normal amount) on the menu; which I probably would have done if I had seen it. Goat cheese is always good with a scrambled egg dish. I went with sourdough bread as my toast choice. The smash browns were the real find this morning and worth checking out even as a side if you are only getting pancakes or French toast. These are basically just mashed potatoes formed into a patty ("potato patty"? Try saying that ten times fast.) and browned up on the grill (somewhat like "Bubble & Squeak" ~ the British breakfast potato dish, not a Greek Cockney ~ but just without any extra added leftover junk in them). I always love any different take on potatoes, and these were a very good take, too.

For condimentary supplementation, Greenburger's offers Frank's® RedHot and two different types of Pretty Dog Hot Sauce (Louisiana Style and Sea Salt & Peppercorn w/Lime). I had brought a few of my own collection with me, but I knew from past experience that Pretty Dog Hot Sauce is really very good. I used a little of the Louisiana Style on the smash browns and some Sea Salt & Peppercorn w/Lime on the scramble (all over the mess, and I used quite a mess of it, too). The Louisiana Style (Ingredients: red chiles, ground Cayenne, white vinegar, water, sea salt.) is not just another lame version of Tabasco® Brand's standard red; this was chunky and very flavourful. The Sea Salt & Peppercorn w/Lime (Ingredients: Habanero chiles, red chiles, white vinegar, water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, fresh squeezed lime juice, ground black peppercorn, ground white peppercorn, ground Cayenne, onion powder, sea salt.) was even better.

Pretty Dog Hot Sauce is "a local artisan hot sauce company based out of Oakland, CA". Their products are all handmade and all natural (and all very tasty). According to one of the pretty, friendly worker-server-lady-persons, she told me that Greenburger's usually only has two different flavours at a time (always the Louisiana Style and another seasonal flavour), and that they sell bottles of the product, too. I will have to keep that in mind for the next time my collection dips below ten bottles or so (it's holding at fifteen bottles currently). 

Now 10:30am is usually a little later than I would like to eat breakfast (or "Brunch" even), but at least I didn't have to wait in vain to get in, Mr. Marley.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggie Scramble ~ 6.5; smash browns ~ 7.2; Pretty Dog Hot Sauce ~ 7.0 (Louisiana Style) and 7.3 (Sea Salt & Peppercorn w/Lime)

1. Not only do the Spell-check Nazis at Microsoft not seem to know the spelling of many simple, common culinaristic words, but they also don't seem to recognize many famous place names either. Seriously, Billy-boy, you really need to broaden your horizons a bit.

2. Case in point: die Braunhemden Idioten at Microsoft have absolutely no idea what this vegetarian soy product is.

Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Tempeh" comes from the Javanese word "témpé", simply meaning "soy meat made next to Phoenix".

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