Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chouquet’s Restaurant

"I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food." ~ W.C. Fields

Place: Chouquet's Restaurant[1] 
Location: 2500 Washington Street (on the corner of Fillmore Street)
Hours: "Brunch" is served at 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday
Meal: Omelette du Jardin[2] ~ with spinach, tomatoes, & mushrooms, and, on the suggestion of the waiter-server guy, I had them add chèvre to this, too, served with a side of green salad & potatoes; and a cuppa Moschetti Coffee (but I didn't ask which specific roast/blend was being served)

(I may have used this particular EweToob-ular video before, but I figured a Frenchy restaurant and sitting street-side called for some rocking accordion music. I don't understand why Street Boys had Elmo helping with the introduction for them, though.)

I happened to pass by Chouquet's Restaurant a few weeks back and made a mental note (actually, the more PC-term these days is: "a retarded hemidemisemiquaver") to check it out for breakfast (or, what they refer to as "Brunch") one of these mornings. I found a nice parking spot just two blocks away alongside Alta Plaza Park (which is basically the Pacific Heights version of Alamo Square Park ~ with the requisite tennis courts, several dog run areas, and perched atop a hill ~ just without the illustrious Painted Ladies; however, there are several other Victorians all around the park and neighborhood).

This was another great, sunny morning to eat outside[3]. Which was perfect as Chouquet's has nine tables for two in their large sidewalk patio area; and this is a very dog-friendly joint ~ three mutts and their human-slaves saw fit to join me outside while I was there. (Why do we call people that are "foodies" and like to eat out a lot "chowhounds"? I mean, dogs are not very particular ~ as can be seen by the "best friends" company they keep ~ and they spend a good portion of the day licking themselves and drinking out of the toilet bowl.) And there are probably twice again as many seats available inside the restaurant.

One drawback is that there are only eight items total on the "Brunch" menu from which to choose, and, of those choices, only half of them are suitable for stupid vegetarians (unfortunately, they don't offer a separate menu for dogs). Their web-site does show a picture of Tchoutchouka (which I can only assume is the Slavic spelling/version of Shakshouka; see 'blog-entry from Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen from December 15th, 2013), but they do not actually offer it anywhere on the "Brunch" menu (and neither for "Linner" nor "Dupper").

This was a pretty good omelette. The chèvre actually made the omelette and I was very glad that it was suggested, and I was also happy to see that there were several dollops[4] inside the omelette; otherwise, the omelette would have been rather boring and pedestrian (see, 'cause I was on the sidewalk). The potatoes were a nice version of homefries. The salad was actually a green and reddish salad, but it may be hard to tell from the crummy black-and-white photo. ("Why B&W photography today?", you ask. Well, they were all out of colour memory cards at the store.) 

The Coffee was a very decent cuppa, too. I may have had Coffee from this roastery in the past. Moschetti is a local Bay Area company out of Vallejo.

For condimentary supplementation, Chouquet's offers both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) and Huy Fong Foods Tương Ớt Sriracha. I just used a little of my own Nando's® Extra Hot Peri-Peri sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the omelette and some Pickapeppa Sauce (Thanks, Amy!) mixed with just a scintilla of One Stop Hot Shop "Son of Smart Arse" Sauce (Thanks a lot, Cindy & Greg!). I have had that stupid bottle now for over two years and have yet to make a noticeable dent in its volume; at this rate, I figure by the time the Chornobyl'[5] nuclear disaster reaches its radioactive half-life, I may also be half-way done with the bottle. 

The very knowledgeable waiter-server guy (whose name I didn't really get this morning; sorry, Mrs. Huneycutt, but unless the waiter-server guys are actually very cute waitress-server gals, I really don't care what they call themselves; if it helps any and is of any consequence, I did learn the names of two of the three dogs that were outside with me: Lucy and Elmer) knew both his Coffee and hot sauces stuff. He was even brave enough to try a toothpick tip sample of the "Son of Smart Arse" Sauce. I had given him the specific caveat ahead of time to just try a tiny amount first; we don't want any more international incidents like what happened at Eddie's Cafe (see the 'blog-entry massacre from January 7th, 2012).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Omelette du Jardin ~ 6.4; Moschetti Coffee ~ 6.8

1. Almost a stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

Unfortunately, I have no idea what "Chouquet" means in French. The best I could get was from Google Translate and they say it means a "mast cap" (whatever the heck that is supposed to be). 

However, I am pretty sure that "restaurant" is just a fancy French word for "bistro".

2. Actual stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numéro un:

"Jardin" simply means "garden" in French, Al.

3. Sorry, I don't know the French phrase for "al fresco", Mr. Jardine.

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist (well, mostly a pseudo-etymological) pointer of the day, nummer to:

"Dollop" comes to English from the Norwegian word "dolp" (meaning "lump"). There are many words that entered the English language from back when the Scandinavian hordes invaded and settled in Northern England. Even today, many words spoken in the Yorkshire dialect could probably be better understood by someone from Oslo than from someone from London.

This titbit of information was actually gleaned from a book that I am reading on Tan Hill Inn (Thanks, Cindy & Greg! again), called The Inn at the Top ~ Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain

(That would be a photo of Greg and a few of his local friends at Tan Hill Inn. This one is not in B&W as it is a stock photo from several years ago.)

5. Yes, I know that the standardised English transliteration is normally "Chernobyl", but in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, I am using the better Ukrainian transliteration, much like the old city of "Kiev" is now being spelled "Kyiv". Bad Vlad can "пошëл на хуйfor all I care.

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