Sunday, March 30, 2014

the Dipsea Café

A breakfastary roadtrip:
Mill Valley, Marin County, CA

Place: the Dipsea Café
Location: 200 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, Marin County, CA
Hours: open for breakfast at 7:00am every day of the week
Meal: Greek Omelette ~ Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, and oregano (served with home fries, homemade buttermilk biscuit or toast and homemade jam); a side of Τζατζικι
(because it was on the menu and because I could); and a large glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice

(The reason for the first EweToobular juxtaselection is because I heard it on the radio this morning on my way Way-Up-North; plus, it is Sunday still in most places. Brandi Carlile is the anti-American Idol ~ she actually is a talented singer-songwriter in her own right and didn't need any fake help from either Simon Scowls or the FAUX TeeVee network. The second video is because cousins Steven and John are both of Greek descent; additionally, it's a good song.)

I was very grateful that the Sun was out again this morning and shining its best shining, because I made the long haul all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge once again this morning to eat at the Dipsea Café, (see previous 'blog-entry from April 7th, 2012 ~ almost two years ago now). Probably because the restaurant is located all the way up in Marin County and they open up bright and early every morning at 7:00am (and, hipster doofi, please note, "for breakfast", not "Brunch"), I wasn't the first customer of the day for a change; there were already several small families (and I was very happy to see neither a pork-pie hat, nor a cravat in the entire joint) with young children eating pancakes and such. (Kids, try the Mickey Dipsea or Pigs in a Blanket.)

The walls of the Dipsea Café are festooned with all these old tin advertisement signs and there are several "No Smoking" signs in various ferren languages, and they have a few cool old stoves and coolers hanging around the place, too.

(I can't actually read the top sign. I think that it might be in Greek or something and probably reads: "Y*nkees Go Home!" ~ which is just fine with this Red Sox Fan.)[1]

When getting a "Greek" omelette, it is always great to see authentic Kalamata olives being used, and there was a good amount in the omelette, too. Another important factor is that the Feta cheese should be in large chunks (in this case, they were at least ¼" or larger pieces) and in copious amounts; and not in any minuscule amount of Feta crumblies. The tomatoes were actually grilled/roasted, which really added another depth of flavour ~ Μπράβο! My one complaint about the omelette would be that there was a inordinate amount of pepperoncinis inside it; I am not exaggerating any here when I say that there may have been a quarter of a jar of the sliced variety inside.

Of course, I went for the homemade buttermilk biscuit choice. Who in their right mind would choose plain ol' toast when there is the option of a fresh, warm biscuit? There really is nothing better than fresh, warm homemade (even if the "home" is a diner/restaurant) biscuits… and with homemade jam! Today's homemade jam was strawberry

The orange juice was the actual fresh-squeezed stuff, made by one of those the Jetsons contraptions that cuts the oranges in half and then makes the juice all in one machine.

This was good Τζατζικι, but like a lot of places in the States, they go way too lightly on the garlic; they always seem to temper it for the stupid Αμερικανάκι[2]. After eating Τζατζικι, one should be able to part large crowds by just breathing on them. I am pretty sure that strong, correctly-made Τζατζικι is the main secret ingredient in the chemical weapons being employed in Syria currently… oh, wait, that can't actually be happening… Obama did declare a Red Line, after all.

For condimentary supplements, the Dipsea Café has just Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (both the standard red and the green jalapeño). I used some of my own Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on top of the omelette. This turned out to be a highly superfluous move, as the pepperoncinis already kinda spiced the thing up a bit, but I was not aware of that until after I had cut into the omelette. The Τζατζικι was added primarily, and very liberally, I might add (I really can't stand those stupid Republicans and their stingy, conservative use of condimentary supplementation), all over the home fries. Nothing beats the combination of Τζατζικι and potatoes!

As I had skipped any Coffee beverages with my meal this morning, I decided on doing the whole
διπλό Καφές Ελληνικός ~ μέτριος at home. I used some of my Bettys Christmas Coffee for this (which was already pre-ground for standard Coffee machines; ideally, you really should use a very fine grind of Coffee to make this, but as I always say: "When in San Francisco, do as the Greeks would never think of doing!"). I had to break out my highly-technical Greek Coffee Maker (it's a little one-piece aluminium deelie) and prepare it just like my native Greek friend, Tim Fitzsimmonsopoulos, taught me: you start by adding the ground Coffee into the water (and just a λίγο amount of ζάχαρη); bring it all to a boil once (making sure to take it off the heat as soon as the Coffee starts to bubble up, otherwise it will foam-up all over the place and make a big mess all over your stovetop… or so I have been told) and remove it from the heat for a few seconds; replace it on the heat and let it boil/bubble up another time; remove from heat again; and then let boil for one last time (that would be three times in all for anyone not keeping count)… and Voila! (Okay, I do not know the Greek word for "Voila!") ~ the perfect cuppa Καφές Ελληνικός. When drinking a Greek Coffee (or Turkish Coffee or Arabic Coffee), you have to be careful to let the grounds settle to the bottom of the cup first and then sip down only as far as the grounds will let you. Another native Greek friend of mine, Bob Worthingtonassis, used to drink the entire thing to the bottom, gritty sludge and all; he swore it was the best way to stay awake during a Mid-shift.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greek Omelette ~ 6.7 (this would easily have been a 7.0 or higher with a lighter hand on the pepperoncinis); Τζατζικι ~ 7.5

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

a) Russkij = "Не Kурить", pronounced “Nee Kooreet”, and means just that "Do Not Smoke";
b) Deutsch = "Bitte Nicht Rauchen", pronounced "Bitta Neekt Rouken”, and again simply means "Please Do Not Smoke";

and extra-added bonusary:

c) Greek = "Απαγορεύεται το κάπνισμα" and loosely translates as "Y*nkees Go Home! And Smoke In Your Own D*mn Stadium!" (No, really, look it up yourself if you don't believe me.)

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

Αμερικανάκι" is basically Greek slang for "stupid Y*nkees". The term "Αμερικανός" is the correct term for "stupid 'mericans".

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