Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gallardo’s Mexican Restaurant

"Don't take life so serious, it ain't nohow permanent." ~ Porky Pine (Walt Kellly)

(No official web-site.)

Place: Gallardo's Mexican Restaurant 
Location: 3248 18th Street (on the corner of Shotwell Street); phonicular contact: (415) 436-9387
Hours: abierto para el desayuno Domingo a Sábado 07 a.m.
Meal: Chilaquiles ~ tortilla bites, eggs scrambled w/cheese (served with rice, beans & tortillas); y una taza de Café Mexicano

(Here are a couple of Mexican-inspired EweToobular video juxtaselections for this peaceful Sunday morning, Señors Los Tres Tenores.)

I went to a brand-new old place for desayno this morning: Gallardo's Mexican Restaurant. They are a family-owned place that had recently re-opened in this location back in October 2013. They used to be just a few blocks away (at 14th and Folsom Streets) in another building in the Mission, but I had never checked them out for desayuno before (big mistake, but I am sure I will rectify this in el futuro). They are now in the same location that Chava's Mexican Restaurant (see last 'blog-entry from August 17th, 2013) used to be in before they had a fire back in 2002 and moved to their new location over on Mission Street. (The irony is that the San Francisco Fire Department training station is just one block away.) I think the space had been vacant for the past eleven years or so, too. 

There are about fifteen tables with seating for 2-8 people each; there are probably available seating for sixty to seventy people comfortably now. I didn't even notice the décor/colour scheme of the walls and tablecloths until I had almost finished eating. They are burgundy and gold; now, I don't know if that is in deference to the San Francisco 49ers or to the colour of maíz tortillas and their Chilaquiles salsa, which was a nice deep rich red (con mucho sabor también).

The walls are also completely covered with large photos of 30's, 40's, and 50's Mexican movie stars (I think the center of the Mexican film industry was once called Madera de Acebo); unfortunately, none of whom I actually recognized. There may have been some of Cesar Romero (who was actually of Italiano-Cubano descent, but he regularly played Mexican rolls ~ just remember that Charlie Chan was played by a Swedish-American actor for many years; plus, there is no way that Mel Gibson would ever be mistaken for Uilliam Uallas if he were to walk down the streets of Edinburgh ~ more likely he would have rotten Scottish eggs thrown at him); Warner Baxter (while also not un verdadero mexicano, he was best known for his role as Cisco Kid for many years); Lupe Velez (an actual Mexican actress finally); or Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca (who, contrary to popular belief, was neither Greek nor Arab).

I really liked the look of their breakfast menu and saw several other good ideas: Nopales con huevo (scrambled eggs with cactus); Huevos a la Mexicana (scrambled eggs with onion, tomato & bell peppers); Papas con huevo (scrambled eggs with potato, onion, tomato & bell peppers ~ which are probably served more in the Spanish torta style); and various omelettes from which to choose (because one omelette isn't really much variety).

I mainly ordered the Chilaquiles because it was on the menu and I could. Chilaquiles are usually my touchstone (la piedra de toque) when it comes to desayunos mexicanos (see 'blog-entry specifically about Chilaquiles from December 23rd, 2013). This really was one of the better versions of Chilaquiles that I have had recently. It was very reminiscent of Chava's version ~ coincidentally enough, which I first had in this exact same location over twenty years ago now.

The meal came with three (tres, 3) large, fresh and warm, homemade (casera) corn tortillas. I was even asked if I would like a refill for those, too. Three were more than sufficient for my appetite, and I probably could have sufficed with just two alone.

I like to call this style of Coffee "Café Mexicano" only because I always prepare it like the locals do: con tres azúcares y mucha leche. I have found that the extra sweetness works very well to counterbalance the picanteness of Mexican dishes. You know what they say, "When in Mexico, do like the Italians, Cubans, or Swedish do."

I really have no idea what Gallardo's offered in the way of bottled condimentary supplements, as their own homemade salsa was excellent. It was the chunky kind (not really a pico de gallo) with lots of fresh cilantro (sorry, I don't know the Spanish word for "cilantro") in it, and it packed a decent amount of fuego, too. I did not bother to bring any of my own hot sauces with me this morning ~ because that would be like bringing your own coal (or Brown Ale) with you to Newcastle-upon-Tyne or strawberries to Plant City-upon-92.

Good food, open early (and for desayuno, not "el Bruncho") every day? As that great Mexican actor, Arnold Negrohuevez, once stated: "Estaré de vuellllta!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Chilaquiles ~ 7.3; salsa casera ~ 7.5

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House

"procrastination is the 
art of keeping
up with yesterday"
~ archy the cockroach (Don Marquis)

Place: 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 (they don't specify what hours they are open for the other days of the week)
Meal: Joe's Special Scramble ~ Scrambled Eggs with Sautéed Ground Beef, Onions, Mushrooms, Spinach, topped with Parmesan Cheese; and a basket of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!)

(Just a couple of EweToobular videos of the same classic Blues song. The first one is Robert Johnson's iconic original and the second one is Elmore James' 1950's excellent Slide Guitar take on it.)

In closing out my Breakfastary Rotation, I headed back to Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last ‘blog-entry from January 21st, 2014).

Return to Escape from Raccoon Island interlude

As it is basically on the way (well, it is also westward from my apartment), I stopped by Raccoon Island this morning before heading over to BR@CH. There really were no raccoons "upon atom" at that ungodly early hour (for nocturnal rodents and Hipster Doofi alike), but I did see and hear one very noisy Red-tailed Hawk. I made sure to give him a piece of my mind (and eventually ended up chasing him off with my gawd-awful hawk-call imitation). Thus, there aren't really any photos this morning ~ the stupid Red-tailed Hawk was way too high in the treetops for me to get a good shot of him.

(end of strange interlude, Mr. O'Neill)

It is a shame that there are just four to five items from which to chose on the breakfast menu, and this is counting those from which I can always omit the dead, decaying animal flesh. However, unlike poor grindz last week, there is little chance of BR@CH ever being DFA'd from my Breakfastary Rotation… as long as they keep serving their (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) (of which there were only three this morning), of course!

I think I have also about exhausted all of the walls of autographed Hollywoodland photos by now, so here is a shot of Seal Rocks taken from my seat at the window.

Stupid Homophobia and Homophobiacs mini-Rant 

I am pretty fed up with all of this homophobia that is rampant on the Intro-Net these days. And it's not so much the small-minded bigotry and hatred that is normally associated with that word, what truly bugs me is that etymologically it makes absolutely no sense! The word/prefix "homo-" comes from the Greek word "όμοιος/(ómoios)" meaning "similar/same" (e.g. homogeneous, homonym, homograph, home-for-the-holidays, etc.), and is combined with the Greek word for "fear", "φοβία/(phovía)". Apparently this means that the geniuses in the Robertson family must be afraid of other rich, duck-hunting red-necks. I would say that we should try to find a cure for this "phobia", but there really is no amount of psychological counseling or psychochemical drugs that will ever change these hateful bastages minds. Homophobia is stupid (both the word and the emotion), so just stop hating people for having a different sexual demeanour than you do.

(end of mini-rant; now back to breakfast, ya buncha homo… sapiens)

This is always a pretty good choice and it was chopped-full-o' mushrooms and spinach. Why is spinach normally in the singular? There were actually several spinaches in my scramble. Of course, I requested the scramble without any grounded-up, dead, decaying bovine flesh. 

This morning's side of fruits included grapes, strawberry (I am writing it in the singular as there really was just a half piece today), cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and watermelon.[1]

As soon as they were brought out (fresh and hot from the oven), I had the first of the three Popovers(!) with butter and orange marmalade[2] on one half and butter and strawberry jam on the other half. The other two I just buttered while they were still warm/hot. I only had about ¾ of one left by the time the meal was brought out.

BR@CH only offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) for condimentary supplementation. I went with some of my own Florida Gold Premium Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) all over the scrambled mess and just a few drops of Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks again, Kerry!) on the potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Joe's Special Scramble ~ 6.6; (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) ~ 8.2

1. Stupid, useless cunning-linguist/pseudo-horticultural pointer of the day, νούμερο ένα:

Today's fruits in Greek:

Grape ~ σταφύλι
Strawberry ~ φράουλα
Cantaloupe ~ δεν μπορεί να το σκάσουμε
Honeydew melon ~ μελιτώματος
Watermelon καρπούζι

2. Stupid, useless cunning-linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day, numéro deux:

"Marmalade" was borrowed from the French word "marmelade", Lady. This in turn came from Galician-Portuguese "marmelada". In Portuguese, "marmelo" means "quince", apparently "marmelada" was originally a preserve made from quinces. The Portuguese word for quince derives from Latin "melimēlum" (meaning "honey apple"), which in turn comes from Greek "μελίμηλον/(melímēlon)" ~ from "μέλι/(meli)" (meaning "honey") and "μηλον/(mēlon)" (meaning "apple").

Interestingly enough, the Greek word for "marmalade" ("jam") is "μαρμελάδα/(marmelada)"; so, apparently, they have taken this word back as a cognate from either the Portuguese, the French, or the English word.

None of which has anything to do with a big cartoon Great Dane, of course.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


If you can't take it with you, don't go.

Place: grindz
Location: 832 Clement Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
Hours: open for "Brunch" Friday, Saturday, & Sunday at 9:00am 
Meal: French Toast ~ grindz famous bread pudding, pineapple compote, confectioners sugar (and maple syrup upon request ~ which I requested, of course); a side order of Plantation Potatoes; and a cuppa ("Organic") Bicycle Coffee co (and lots of "organic" refillas)

(Sorry. I can only link so many Bruddah Iz EweToob videos, bra'.  These Bob and the Bobs videos will have to suffice for today.)

I went back to grindz (see last 'blog-entry from January 25th, 2014) for Easter "Brunch" (their terminology, not mine; but seeing as they open up kind of early on the weekends, this snooty-assed moniker can be overlooked). It was a pretty nice, sunny Sunday morning, so I figured I would just walk the twenty-three blocks there (Sure, it might not seem like that far, but it was another twenty-three blocks back home afterward… and uphill both ways!). This actually came in really handy as I was more than sufficiently stuffed with all the carbohydrates in today's breakfast and really could use the exercise to burn off some of the calories afterward.

Along the way, I passed by heartbaker (see 'blog-entry from October 5th, 2013) and saw that they are now open for "Brunch" on Sunday mornings. I will have to keep this in mind if I am ever looking for another close-by, local locale on Sundays.

Q: What do you call a "Vegetarian Paleo Diet"? 
A: The Karen Carpenter[1] Memorial Buffet 

No milk, no bread, no sugar??? No thanks! That would mean no Pizza or Ice Cream! I wonder if maple syrup is legal on this Pele Soccer Diet. (And I highly doubt that Joe Caveman was brewing any fresh-roasted Arabica beans with his breakfast.)

This was an interesting version of French toast and executed well enough. I can only guess that their bread pudding is made from Portuguese sweet bread. It was made with two large 1"-thick slices of bread pudding, dipped into an egg batter, and grilled like French toast. It was topped with some kinda cinnamon(?)-pineapple compote stuff, which actually had a reddish hue to it for some reason. They used to have a dish called Hawai'ian French Toast, and it was made a little differently (see 'blog-entry from April 27th, 2013). I think they have tweaked it a few times since they have opened; it even has another completely different description on their web-site ("fresh baked apple banana bread, pineapple mango compote, confectioners sugar"). I think that I preferred the way I had it last year a bit more; it was a little lighter dish and the vanilla-poached pineapples were tastier, too.

I really like their Plantation Potatoes ~ made with lots of red bell peppers, onions, and celery (and even a bit of potatoes, too).

I finally ran into one of the Bicycle Coffee co delivery guys last week at some coffeshop to which they provide coffee. This really is a cool idea for local deliveries.

For (bottled) condimentary supplements, grindz only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red). They do make their own Hawai'ian Ketchup and have plastic squeeze-bottles of it on all the tables (you used to have to ask for a small bowl of it); I used a small amount of this on part of the Plantation Potatoes. I also used some of my own Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) and some Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) on different areas of the potatoes. I didn't feel that the French toast needed any additional supplementation (other than the above-mentioned maple syrup).

Unfortunately, I have made the generally managerial decision to demote grindz to AAA-status and call up Cafe Golo (see last 'blog-entry from March 23rd, 2014) to my Breakfastary Rotation. I did like that grindz was very local (and actually within walking distance) for me; however, now that I have found out that the kimchi that they use in several of the dishes isn't "vegetarian-friendly" (Why do so many people hate vegetarians? It's not as if we are anything like those stupid, obnoxious, unfriendly Vegans.), there really are only four different items (French Toast, Kalua Benedict, Veg N Eggs, and Apple Banana Pancakes) offered on their "Brunch" menu for me. So, the next time 'round (probably July or August) that it would have popped up in the Rotation, I will just go(lo) to Cafe Golo instead. I would have gone there this morning, but I had just gone there exactly one month ago. I am sure that I will still get back to grindz a few times a year, anyway.

Hau'oli Ka la i ala hou ai ka Haku, bra's and bra'-ettes!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: French Toast ~ 6.5; Plantation Potatoes ~ 7.1; Bicycle Coffee co ~ 7.2

1. Okay, maybe that is a little mean, but it's been over thirty years now, folks. Just lighten up, Francis.

It seems that most men usually don't suffer from Anorexia Nervosa. One guy making fun of another for being overweight doesn't really seem to bother most men. Now, make fun of our penis size… 

Maybe they will come up with a new male-only disorder called "Anorexia Penosa".

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q Restaurant and Wine Bar

"Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined." 
~ Samuel Q. Goldwyn

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 
(Mr. Karl Q. Brandt, please note, they are not open for "Brunch" nor breakfast any other day of the year ~ especially any other day that ends in a "q")
Meal: Zucchini Cake Benedict ~ with tomato, bacon, avocado, poached eggs and Hollandaise on a griddled zucchini cake, served with home fries; and a cuppa Coffee (with lots of refillas)

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselections should be very obvious: the first song is by the Beach Boys ~ which included at that time Brian Q. Wilson, Mike Q. Love, Al Q. Jardine, Dennis Q. Wilson, and Carl Q. Wilson; and the second song is by Jimmy Q. Cliff.

Okay, so maybe I am all out of ideas for actual "Q" related songs.)

Continuing working my way through my Breakfastary Rotation, I went back to Q Restauarant and Wine Bar (see last 'blog-entry from January 18th, 2014). I sat at the "Wooly Willy" table once again this morning. They now have a pretty powerful magnet to use with it (I think I even pulled a muscle trying to pry it off the metal bench frame); however, it is still not quite strong enough to get all of the metal filings into place. The base of the table seems to have sunken a bit since it was first made and is now too low in places to get all the metal filings positioned correctly. Unfortunately, the resulting lycanthropic effect this morning makes it look more like a "Wooly Larry Talbot" (or "Wooly James Howlett" for you younger readers).

There are always a few other decent possible "Brunch" ideas (either off their standard menu or on their ever-changing weekend "Brunch Specials" menu): Luis' Deliciouso Chilaquiles (corn tortilla chips baked with tomatillo salsa topped with scrambled eggs and white Cheddar with black beans and sour cream); Bowl-O-Spuds-N-Eggs (which I would have substituted their Tater Tots for the homefries); and Corn Scramble. If they had offered Fried Green Tomato Benedict (which they have on several past visits) on their "Brunch Specials" for this weekend, I may have opted for that option, optionally. 

Of course I had them omit the offending, dead, decaying porky bits offal from my meal. The poached eggs were actually on top of two griddled zucchini cakes (in place of any of Mr. Thomas' boring baked goods). I was picturing two eggs atop one large zucchini cake; Zucchini Cakes Benedict would have been a better descriptive name. These were good zucchini cakes, but not quite as good as Dottie's True blue café Uova Benedetto, of course (see last 'blog-entry from April 6th, 2014). They seemed to be made with red bell peppers (if there were any green bell peppers in it, I couldn't really tell), red onions, and possibly some whole corn in them (and, of course, lots of shredded zucchini as the name implies). I really think that these could have been griddled/grilled a little more to give them a nice exterior burnt crust and crunch. 

The eggs were poached properly again this morning. If it seems that I am being hypercritical ~ or hypocritical, or Hippocratical, even ~ it is only because I have high expectations for my Breakfastary Rotation. I would much rather poached eggs be way overcooked (without any noticeable runny yolk) than undercooked ~ where the egg whites are more "egg translucents". Luckily, I don't think think that I really have ever had any other poached eggs undercooked in all of the times that I have had Eggs Benedict-style dishes in all of the places that I have ever eaten at other than just the one time a few visits back at Q Restaurant (see 'blog-entry from September 14th, 2013), so that is a pretty good percentage. However, if they slip-up one more time here, it's down to Single A for them, faster than you can say Jack Q. Robinson…

I really thought it was pretty funny that they served this with a special "Eggs Benedict knife" on the plate (well, it was really just a standard steak knife, but it has to be called something else for stupid vegetarians). Yeah, 'cause a regular butter knife could never cut through a poached egg and soft zucchini cake patties.

In the past, I knew that Q Restaurant had a pretty decent selection of condimentary supplementation, but I only noticed bottles of The Original "Louisiana"BRAND The Perfect Hot Sauce and Tapatío® on the tables today. I used a little (probably just six to eight drops) of my own El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (Thanks, Brian!) on top of one of the eggs and some (liberally) Pickapeppa Sauce (Thanks, Amy!) mixed with some "Louisiana"BRAND on the homefries. Plus, I used a good amount of their dried spices-shaker all over everything, too.

With the bill this morning was one Green Apple Frooties®, which is always nice.

Another One Bites the Dust ~ a Breakfastary Update:
As I had gotten to the neighborhood about a half hour before Q Restaurant had opened this morning, I walked up and down Clement Street a bit and noticed that cafe barley (see 'blog-entry from February 2nd, 2014) has closed up already. I had only eaten there once before (which was after seeing a "new" place on my very last visit to Q Restaurant). They were barley opened for very long (I think they had only opened for business back in September 2013). There were no signs or anything stating when or why they have closed.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Zucchini Cake(s) Benedict ~ 6.9 (this probably would have been a 7.0 or higher if the zucchini cakes had been a bit crunchier)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seal Rock Inn Restaurant

"Anyone who hates small dogs and children can't be all bad." ~ W.C. Fields

Place: Seal Rock Inn Restaurant
Location: 545 Point Lobos Avenue (on the corner of 48th Avenue)
Hours: open at 6:00am every day of the year (except for those days ending in a "y")
Meal: (me) Sophia's Omelette (aka Greek Omelette No.3) ~ Feta cheese, olives, onions, tomatoes, spinach (served with hash brown ~ noted as two words and singular ~ and toast); (Greg) Greek Omelette No. 1 ~ Feta cheese, olives, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes (served with hash brown and toast); (Dylan) Hot Cakes with Assorted Fruit; (Greg & Dylan) a side order of cured and smoked dead, decaying porcine belly; (Greg & me) lots o' Coffee; (Dylan) a glass of orange juice (Dylan is much like I was at his age and really doesn't need any extra hyper-caffeination)

An old Air Force buddy (that would be Greg) and his son (that would be Dylan ~ who I found out shares his birthday of June 13th with a few impressive celebrities) were in town for two nights (and just one day), so, along with the requisite Official 50¢ Tour of San Francisco (Really. It was even given by Curtis James Jackson III himself.), we started the morning of sightseeing with a hearty breakfastary repast at Seal Rock Inn Restaurant (see last 'blog-entry from December 29th, 2013). I really should point out that even though it is called Seal Rock Inn Restaurant (the restaurant being named after Seal Rock Inn, which itself is named after Seal Rocks, which are named after actual seals and rocks ~ and have nothing to do with the music of that guy that is separated from Heidi Klum), they also have decorations throughout the place of other varieties of pinnipeds (e.g. Sea Lions and Walruses, Chumley). After breakfast, we did make a quick stop at the Lands End Lookout Visitors Center parking lot to get a glimpse of the actual Seal Rocks before heading on our way for the morning. 

I would normally try to impress any out of town visitors by taking them to The Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from January 21st, 2014), which is just another two blocks down the road, before starting the whole tourista thing at the Ocean Beach end of Golden Gate Park. However, I didn't feel that the breakfast menu there (World-Famous Popovers! and all) would be that impressive to a seven year old boy (and, besides, I was footing the bill for breakfast and didn't want to waste good money on Greg ~ don't worry, I made sure to stick it Greg later on for dinner at Mel's Drive-In). 

As Greg was stationed with me back in Athens, Greece (Άνω Γλυφάδα.… Ελληνικόν… whatever), I pointed him in the direction of one of the many International Omelettes (especially any of the Greek Omelette No.'s) that are offered by Seal Rock Inn Restaurant. I particularly warned him about the most-horrible Sunrise (Omelette With No Country), which should never be ordered by any sane person under any circumstances, even as a joke… ever again.

This was only my second time ordering the Sophia's Omelette, which I have taken to calling Greek Omelette No. 3, because it truly is. It was just as good this morning as the first time. I have had both the Greek Omelette No. 1 (probably my favourite of theirs) and the Greek Omelette No. 2 many times in the past (and, hopefully, many more times in the future).

Greg's order-entry was really very similar to mine (just minus the spinach, but with bell peppers). He said that it was very good, which makes perfect sense, as I would expect anyone that has ever eaten αυθεντική
 χωριάτικη σαλάτα would like this one. Of course (like my omelette) this would be so much better with Kalamata olives in place of the tasteless canned black olives that they use.

Our toast-y choices: (me) sourdough; (Greg) none. He said that he is on some kinda stupid "Paleo[1] Diet" or such. I told him that I was a little more advanced than that and am on the much newer/even more pretentious "Mesolithic[2] Diet"…

Dylan opted for the whipped cream upgrade, which is always a smart choice with pancakes and fruit. This morning's assorted fruit toppings looked to be: apples, pineapple, oranges, strawberries, and probably ruby red grapefruit (I asked Dylan if they were blood oranges, and he said they were, but I kinda doubt that Seal Rock Inn Restaurant would actually use those ~ did I mention the canned black olives?).

For condimentaray supplementation, Seal Rock Inn Restaurant offers both Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (the standard red) and Cholula® Hot Sauce (only missing out on Tapatío® for the complete San Francisco Triumvirate of Hot Sauces). Both Greg and I used some Cholula® generously on our hashbrowns.

Hey! I just remembered that Greg and Dylan still owe me $1.00 total for yesterday's tour! (Even if I were to give them the old-friendly-discount or the kids-discount, I still say they owed me at least 75¢ with the tip included.)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Sophia's Omelette/Greek Omelette No. 3 ~ 6.6 (I didn't get Greg's GBS Rating for his Greek Omelette No. 1, but I usually rate it 6.7 or such. Dylan's pancakes were just pancakes with fruit and whipped cream on top. Besides, how could I explain the whole highly-scientific process of the GBS to a seven year old?)

1. Yeah, and people like to make fun of stupid vegetarians…

I didn't have the heart to tell Greg that cavemen didn't really cure or smoke any of their dead, decaying animal flesh, though. But I am sure that he is free to eat any formation of rocks that he feels like.

Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, νούμερο ένα:

"Παλιός (Paliós)" means "old" in Greek.

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

a) "Μέση (Méso)" means "middle" in Greek.
b) "Λίθος (Lythos)" means "stone/rock" in Greek.

And just for the heck of it:
The place name "Mesopotamia" comes from Greek meaning "(the land) between rivers". And, yes, the same word root "ποτάμι (potámi)" ~ meaning "river" ~ can be seen in "hippopotamus", Mrs. Kipe.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


"When the 'Dog' looks in the mirror, he sees 'God', but when 'Mom' and 'Dad' look in the mirror, they only see 'Mom' and 'Dad'." 
~ Michael Fremer

(Still 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 8:00am (closed all other days of the week)
Meal: Hummus and Egg (v) ~ roasted red bell pepper hummus, tomatoes, hardboiled egg, cucumber salad, parsley, olives, served with rye toast ~ Humma-licious! (that is how they have it on their menu, but it is pretty accurate); a side of Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes; and a large (12 oz.) glass of Refresher ~ cucumber, pineapple, romaine 

(I am using these two EweToob videos to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing. For the record, I was against it, not for it.

I know that I could have used Dave Loggins' original version of the first song, but David Allan Coe has the distinction of singing "the perfect Country-and-Western song" ~ written by Steve Goodman and John Prine ~ and I like his singing better.)

I am still working my way through my Breakfastary Starting Rotation and went back to Eats (see last 'blog-entry from January 26th, 2014) today. This morning must have been "Kids Eat Free" day, as I was surrounded by families with all sizes of the little brats. Okay, that probably makes me sound a bit W.C. Fields-ish, but I am mainly stating this to point out that Eats is a very family-friendly joint. (Good save, Tuukka?) I did find it necessary to kick a puppy or two on the way back to my car, though.

After eating at Eats several times a year for the past few years, I really thought that I had about exhausted all of the (v) items on their menu, but there are still a few other dishes that I haven't tried yet: Two Tofu Tacos (try saying that ten times fast ~ zucchini, bell peppers, Hungarian peppers, corn, pico de gallo, cabbage slaw, avocado, beans ~ probably black or pinto, grilled tortillas, potatoes or salad; and they don't list it, but due to the name of the dish, I would assume there is also some tofu in this, too); Spinach Tomato Feta Scramble; Spinach Portabella Feta Benedict; or Vegetarian Egg Sandwich (Has anyone every seen a carnivorous egg before? ~ arugula, Cheddar, tomatoes, spicy aioli, over easy egg, avocado, cornmeal ciabatta, potatoes or salad). All of which gives me a good reason to go back again later in the year… as well as for the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes with all their golden garlicy goodness.

I really liked the simplicity of this dish. It all worked very well for me. The hummus paired nicely with the cucumber salad as a topping for the rye toast. At first, I didn't think there was going to be quite enough of the rye toast (there were just two slices, cut into thirds) to use up all the hummus and junk, but it worked out to be exactly the right amount (especially if you are like me and like to pile the hummus pretty high). The tomatoes were either halved cherry or grape (the joke here being that while cherries are not botanical berries, both grapes and tomatoes are). I did not notice any olives (or olives) anywhere on the plate and think they may have forgotten these; this would be a big shame if they used actual Kalamata olives.

Today's garlicocity rating for the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes: just two cloves; however, one was an extra large clove, so I can consider it as three total.

The Refresher was very verdantly vile looking, but it really was pretty good tasting; however, I think it could have used just a bit of fresh-squeezed lime juice in it to give it a bit of a pop. (This is not really that unusual, as I think fresh-squeezed lime juice goes great with fresh watermelon or cantaloupe drinks, too).

For condimentary supplements, Eats has (Eats have?) the San Francisco Triumvirate of Hot Sauces (or S.F.T.o.H.S. for short people): Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (the standard red); Tapatío®; and Cholula® Hot Sauce. As usual, I brought a few of my own hot sauces with me again and used a little (well, a little too much ~ I was a bit heavy-handed when I poured it; it's not as hot as an habanero salsa, but it still is pretty darn picante) Nando's® Extra Hot (see, that should have been a warning to me right there) Peri-Peri Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) all over the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes and just a few drops (I knew better with this one) of Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks again, Kerry!) on the hardboiled egg slices.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Hummus and Egg ~ 6.8; Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes ~ 7.5  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baker Street Bistro

"Bare feet are better than holes in your shoes… " ~ Linda Lewis

Place: Baker Street Bistro  
Location: 2953 Baker Street[1] (at Lombard Street)
Hours: open at 9:00am for "Brunch" on Saturday & Sunday (it should be noted that it states this time right at the top of their home page on their web-site and on the hours of operation sign in their window; however, it actually says on the "Brunch" page of their menu on their web-site, "Join us for brunch Saturdays & Sundays from 9:30am to 2:30pm.")
Meal: Oeufs[2] Baker Street Bistro ~ ratatouille, poached eggs, English muffin, tomato sauce ~ served with home fries & mixed greens; and a cuppa good, strong Coffee

(Sometimes you actually get pretty lucky with these EweToobular juxtaselections. I was very surprised to find a Good Rats video there. My first introduction to these guys was way back in 1978 ~ Space-bo, Gospodin Traulshchik!)

Encore en fois je suis retourné à Baker Street Bistro (see last 'blog-entry from January 4th, 2014). I sat inside again this morning, as it was still a bit overcast and cool outside (the only people braving the weather outside in the sidewalk café portion were the same couple that I have seen there a few times now, but they had no choice as they had their large Standard Poodle[3] with them again).

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude
Having once again parked over by the Presidio's Lombard Gate, I saw a few of the fine-feathered pests way up in the treetops there. I was expecting to hear a lot more of their inane chattering, but I think that most of the local company had already taken off for work this morning. 

It is interesting to note (well, it is to me) that I ate at Baker Street Bistro exactly one year ago and ordered the same meal as I did this morning. I had the Pain Perdu on my last two visits there, and, as I always say, even if they didn't have the Best French Toast in San Francisco, the Oeufs Baker Street is still worth a return visit on its own accord. This play on Eggs Benedict is right up there in taste and originality with last week's breakfast at Dottie’s True blue café.

You can see (even from my crummy photographic efforts) that this dish is far from achromous. Ratatouille is normally made with eggplant[4] (a botanical berry, of course), zucchini[5] (botanically a fruit, but not a berry), tomatoes (also botanical berries) and bell peppers (more botanical berries), but they don't use any eggplant in the mess at Baker Street Bistro. I guess that this is sorta "less 'rata' and more 'touille'...". But you know what the French say, "À bien tomatôt!"

As always, the Coffee was very good and strong, and I was plied with many a refill.

Baker Street Bistro only offers for condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (the standard red). I used some of my own Dave's Gourmet® Ginger Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, Jim!) on the homefries and a little Serious Food… Silly Prices Chunky Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on just one of the poached eggs to mix in with the tomato sauce and the egg yolk.

I actually picked up a brand new stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer today. Whenever Chantal would bring the plates of food to the tables, she would do so with a flourish and state, "Et voilà!". So, after hearing this a few times with each of the customers being served before me, and when she finally brought my meal to me, utilizing my best Tony Schloss analytical skills[6], I ratiocinated[7] that this must be the French equivalent of "Bon Appétit!"

And as sheer luck would have it, Dr. Watson, this was another great early morning breakfastary repast. "Et voilà!" to everyone! 

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Oeufs Bakers Street Bistro ~ 7.4 

1. For any of you Holmesophiles (and everyone knows that San Francisco is full of that kind of person; you know what they say, "One out of three guys in San Francisco is a 'Holmesophile'. So, if you look to your left and to your right and don't see one, that must mean you are a bit 'Baker Street Irregular' yourself."), if you were wondering where 221B, Baker Street might be located in San Francisco (if there was such an actual address here), I think that would be way over where the Panhandle ends by the San Francisco branch of the California DMV, between Fell and Oak Streets.

2. Additional stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro un:

"Oeufs" simply means "eggs" in French. However, the similar French word "oeuvre" that we have adopted into English to mean "the body of work produced by an artist" originally comes from the Latin word "opera" (which is the plural of "opus", meaning "work", not "penguin"); and everyone knows that you can't make an opera without cracking a few opus.

3. This is something that I never knew, the dog breed of Poodle is believed to have originated in Germany, not France.  

Additional stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer des Tages, Nummer zwei:

"Poodle" was originally known in German as "Pudelhund"; "Pudel" (which is a cognate with the English word "puddle") is derived from the Low German verb meaning "to splash about". 

4. Additional stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro trois:

"Eggplant" in French is "aubergine" (and not "oeufplante"); it is also known as "aubergine" in Great Britain, too, but everyone knows that those idiots needs to learn them some correct English.

5. Additional stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer du jour, numéro quatre:

"Zucchini" in French is "courgette"; again, for some reason, the stupid British call this fruit "courgette". I always thought they hated everything French. 

6. These two stories really show what it takes to be a professional "cunning linguist".*

There once was a Russkij 208 stationed in Berlin (let's just call him "Anthony Castle" for our story purposes) that really knew how to figure out any unknown German words when confronted with them.

Story A:

One time while our linguistic hero was getting his first tattoo at a local parlour, the tattooist had a large German Shepherd (strangely enough, this breed actually originated in France**) with him in the studio. Whenever the dog would stand up, the tattoo artist would command "Platz!" and the dog would then either sit or lie down. After this happened several times, "Herr Castle" turned to his other friend (whom we will just call "Doug DePraved" for this story) that was also getting a tattoo and said, "Hey! That dog's name must be 'Platz'…”

Story B:

"Kleine Anthony" had it all figured out how to order "a small Beer" at die Kneipen when he was getting a little full. In most pubs in Berlin, you could usually order a Beer in either 0.2 liter or 0.5 liter sizes (and for the really stout of thirst, you could order a full liter boot, too). The expression for "one more Beer" in German is "einmal Bier" ("einmal" basically means "once" in German, I will let you determine what the second word in that articulation means). Unfortunately, "Herr Castle" mistook this to be three words: "ein mal Bier". Using all the cunning linguistic analytical prowess at his disposal (he knew his German numbers pretty well and he and "Bier" went way back), he decided that "mal" must mean "small". I just hope he never received "a bad Beer" in a French restaurant when ordering like this.

*(As these events actually occurred about thirty years ago now, I can neither confirm nor deny their veracity.)
**(Nah, not really! But I bet someone actually bought that stupid joke.)

7. Look it up, Mr. Porter.