Sunday, June 29, 2014

the Little Chihuahua

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” ~ Groucho Marx

Place: the Little Chihuahua
Location: 292 Divisadero Street (at Page Street)
Hours: open on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00am for "Almuerzo"
Meal: Stacked Enchiladas[1] ~ Corn tortillas stacked and filled with Jack cheese, sautéed Poblano chiles and onions, Mexican potatoes, black beans, and braised pork. Smothered in a red Guajillo sauce and topped with two over easy eggs, chopped avocado and Cotija cheese[2]; and a glass of Sandía Aguas Frescas

(Sorry, I couldn't find any EweToobular juxtaselections by el Sábado Negro so these will have to do.)

For anyone that is still paying attention here after several years of my stupidity (you both know who you are), today marks my 500th 'blog-entry entry. 

I had been meaning to get back to the Little Chihuahua for a long while now (see last 'blog-entry from August 28th, 2010). As stated before when I first ate at their Noe Valley restaurant, I don't know why they didn't call the place either la Pequeña Chihuahua or la Chihuahuahita. This Lower Haight (well, this is just bordering the Haight; it is on the eastern side of Divasadero, so I guess that is the line of demarcation) restaurant is the original location; they now have three locations in town: Lower Haight; Noe Valley; y la Misión. I was glad to see that they were playing the requisite Black Sabbath music first thing this morning again.

They call the early morning meal "Brunch", but don't let that snooty-ass moniker fool you, it's just a good ol' breakfast that is served after 10:00am. This may be the smallest of the three locations, with seating of only six tables for four peoples and four tables for two people. The walls are festooned with Mexican Lotería symbols.

("Pórtate bien cualito, si no te lleva el coloradito.")

("No me extrañes corazón, que regreso en el camión.")

I got there well before they were open and decided to get a pre-breakfastary cuppa Peet's Coffee® (at the coffehouse in the little shopping plaza near the beginning of the Panhandle). Today's deep roast offering was Uzuri African Blend®. I also got (but probably should have skipped) one of those mini cinnamon rolls. 

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

To kill the time before la Chihuahuahita opened, I took both the cuppa and cinnamon roll with me and walked over to the Panhandle expecting to see some Wild Parrots (I know that some roost in the taller Eucalyptus trees there). I didn't really see any Wild Parrots (but I did see a buncha panhandlers in the Panhandle, though); I did hear a few of them up higher out of view. I did see some Robins and several other U/I-type little birds (I have even seen a Red-tailed Hawk or two in the taller trees in the past, too). 

I did come across this really cool, hollow-trunked Eucalyptus tree. The only thing missing was a badly handwritten "Mr. Sanderz"[3] sign to designate it as the residence of one Edward Bear. It really was large enough for me to get inside of it, even. I didn't, but I thought about it ("Local Man Gets Himself Stuck Inside Tree And Christopher Robin Is Nowhere To Be Found To Help Him Escape").

la Chihuahuahita had several other good ideas for "Brunch": Mexican French Toast (two French toast battered flour tortillas cooked fresh in the grill and served with plantains, applewood smoked bacon, and topped with warm maple-agave syrup); Chilaquiles; or Chile Relleno (a grilled and roasted Poblano chile stuffed with scrambled eggs, Mexican potatoes, sautéed Poblano chiles and onions, spinach, and goat cheese; smothered with Ranchero sauce and garnished with Cotija cheese and crispy fried tostadas). 

¡¡¡Oh, mi Perro!!!

This was an excellent idea and desayuno. This is easily one of the best "new" breakfasts of 2014 for me. It literally had "layers of flavours" to it. Of course, I had this sin los trozos de carne de cerdo en descomposición muertos. The Guajillo salsa was extremely good, too. This was another great meal where potatoes are incorporated nicely into the dish. The two eggs were actually "over-medium", which I much prefer, anyway. 

I really have to get back there to check out their version of Chilaquiles now; plus, the counter-server lady said the breakfast version of Chile Relleno is even better than the Stacked Enchiladas… I will have to be the judge of that.

There was even fresh mint mulled into the Aguas Frescas ~ nice! Mint and watermelon make for a very nice combination (I bet fresh basil and watermelon would be even better).

la Chihuahuahita only has Tapatío® on the tables for condimentary supplements; however, anyone using those is really missing out on the real treat. la Chihuahuahita makes some of their own fresh salsas for use: Habanero; Chipotle; Roasted Tomato; Pico de Gallo; and Tomatillo. Knowing this, I did not bother bringing any of my own hot sauces with me this morning (¿Cómo se dice "schlep" en español?); that would be like bringing your own Brown Ale to Newcastle. I used a little Habanero, Chipotle, and Roasted Tomato with the provided tortilla chips and also used up the Chipotle on top of the main dish. I liked them all a lot and really can't decide which salsa I liked best. The Chipotle was great, but the Habanero was also great, and it was not as hot as many Habanero salsas tend to be, as this is tempered with a good amount of lime.

There is a sign stating that la Chihuahuahita is now serving Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream; however, I was planning on going to Bi-Rite Creamery if I had any room left for dessert. I really didn't have any room, but after checking out the daily flavours available, I went with a scoop of Peach and a scoop of Basil. There was a sign suggesting trying the Peach with the Green Tea, but I liked my combination better. I probably shouldn't have gotten anything to eat, but: 1) it's Ice Cream, and 2) I have absolutely no willpower, Mr. Jordan. And for any of you (from Omaha, perhaps) that prefer plain ol' Choco-lit or Boring-Ass Vaniller, they had both of those flavours today, too.

Yo soy el Hombre de Hierro!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Stacked Enchiladas ~ 7.4; Salsas Frescas ~ 7.0-7.5; Bi-Rite Creamery ~ 7.2; Peet's® Coffee Uzuri African Blend® ~ 7.1

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer del día:

"Enchilada" is the past participle of the Spanish verb "enchilar" ~ meaning "to add chilli pepper to"; literally to "season (or decorate) with chillies".

2. "Cotija cheese" is a hard cow's milk cheese from Mexico named after the town of Cotija, Michoacán.  Think vaca mexicana Feta.

3. Am I the only one that ever wondered what happened to the original inhabitant of Winnie-the-Pooh's house? I am betting that Winnie ate poor ol' Mr. Sanderz before stealing his home from him. I mean, a bear doesn't live on honey alone. 

Hmmm?! Now I know why Edward Bear uses the alias "Winnie-the-Pooh"; he does so to avoid prosecution.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us." 
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Place: Fattoush[1] ~ Middle Eastern Cuisine 
Location: 1361 Church Street (at Clipper Street)
Hours: open on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30am for "Brunch"
Meal: Greek Frittata ~ Spinach, Green Onions, Tomatoes, Red Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, and Feta Cheese, served with toast & potatoes; and a glass of Laban[2] (Mint Yoghurt Drink)

(The juxtaselections for today's opening quote and EweToobular song are simply because this is SF Pride Week.)

I have passed by Fattoush many times before ~ they are just down the block from Chloes Cafe (see 'last 'blog-entry from May 26th, 2014) ~ but this was my first visit there. I can now recommend it to anyone that does not feel like waiting the normal 30-45 minutes to eat at Chloes. This is not to say that I won't keep going to Chloes, as I usually get to Chloes early enough in the morning when they are first opening up and never have to do the wait thing there, anyway. 

The inside décor is your typical Middle Easterny deal. I really didn't get an exact (or estimated, even) seating count for the place, but I would guess that there was easily seating for 40+; plus, they have a backyard Patio Dining area available (which I didn't check out this morning either, unfortunately). 

They have a pretty diverse breakfastary menu from which to choose (just nothing of Middle Eastern/Arabic origin, really). Some other good ideas might be: 
(off the) Benedictions section: Florentine with Tomato & Spinach, or Leiprechan [sic] [3] (corned beef & onion);
(off the) Scramblers section: Mediterranean (Spinach, Feta, Olives, topped with roasted Almonds ~ this was probably going to be my fall-back plan), or Californian (Tomato, Avocado, and Cheese);
(off the) Omelettes section: Herbavacious (Spinach, Mushrooms, Onion, Avocado, and Salsa and Goat Cheese) or Mexican (Chorizo, Guacamole, Onions, Pico de Gallo, and Cheese);
or (off the) Fat Stacks section: Whole Wheat Pancakes (with Ginger and Cinnamon), Buttermilk Pancakes, or Corn Flake Crusted French Toast (which really sounded interesting and may need a return visit for that specifically).

This was a very decent rendition of a frittata (as I like them and know them, at least). What's not to like? They had lots of fresh spinach in it and a bunch of Feta crumbled on top of it. For my toast choice, I had an English muffin. 

I liked the Laban well enough, but this drink would not be for everyone. It was a bit on the salty side, but it had lots of fresh mint in it (when I got to the bottom of the glass, there had to be about one-eighth glass full of mint leaves in it still). This was sort of a savoury version of a Lassi[4]. I had never had one of these before, and in cases like that, I will always opt for the unknown, no matter how horrible it may sound. 

For condimentary supplementation, Fattoush has both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce and Tapatío® on all the tables. I had come well-prepared with three of my own hot sauces. The owner/manager-guy saw that I had some of my own hot sauces (both of which were semi-hot habanero ones) and asked to try a few of them; he took a sample of each and said he would try it later in the day. He then told me that they have their own fresh, homemade hot sauce, called "Shatta"[5], and gave me a little dish/bowl of it to try. It was a very good hot sauce ~ a bit sweet and salty with a nice amount o' heat. I ended up using it up all over both the frittata and the potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greek Frittata ~ 6.8; Laban ~ 6.2; Shatta ~ 6.7

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

"Fattoush" is a type of pita bread salad ~ think panzanella with a Levantine twist. I had to look up the etymology of the word, and apparently it's part Arabic (the "Fatt" part) and part Turkish (the "-ush" suffix). The Arabic word means "crumbs" or "crushed". The Arabic root word is فتّة‎ (fattah), which, to the untrained anti-Semitic ear, may sound a little vulgar.

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

"Laban" simply means "milk" in Egyptian Arabic. (see also: Labnah/Labneh)

3. They also have it mispelded on their web-site as "Lepricon". Of course, everyone knows that the correct spelling should be: "Leopard-con".

4. Don't worry, this is not made from any kind of canine milk. I think that Dogs are sacred in the Hindu religion, too.

5. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, number ثلاثة:

In Arabic script, this would be "شطة" (when it is extremely picante, I wonder if they would say "Shatta you mouth!"), and it simply translates as "sauce". It is a popular hot sauce made from wholly-ground fresh chilli peppers by mixing them with oil (usually olive oil); vinegar, garlic, or other spices are commonly added. This would be very similar to the North African hot sauce Harissa

Sunday, June 22, 2014

ShowDogs ~ San Francisco

"Consider the silent repose of the sausage as compared to the aggressiveness of bacon." ~ Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

Place: ShowDogs ~ San Francisco   
Location: 1020 Market Street (on the corner of Golden Gate Avenue) 
Hours: Monday through Friday open at 9:00am (for breakfast); Saturday and Sunday open at 10:00am (for "Brunch")
Meal: Sunrise ShowDog ~ Smoked Maple Pork sausage (which I, of course, substituted for a Field Roast® Vegetarian sausage), topped with scrambled eggs, cheese, peppers and onion; a side order of fried Yukon breakfast potatoes; and a glass of Blueberry Basil Soda 

(You were expecting "Cool For Cats" by Squeeze or something by the Stray Cats, perhaps?)

Just for a change of pace, I decided to head downtown and have breakfast (which they call "Brunch" on the weekends) at ShowDogs ~ San Francisco. They are located right on Market Street (and just a block away from some joint called Dottie's True blue café, which I really have been meaning to check out one of these days as I have heard okay reviews of it). They have a good amount of seats available inside (in their triangulated space ~ see above photo); plus, four or five outside/sidewalk tables for up to four people each. I opted for the latter because: 1) it was comfortable enough this morning to sit outside, and 2) the Sunday morning sights along Market Street can always be a lot of fun.

ShowDogs really only offers a few different breakfastary ("Brunch", whatever) items from which to choose, which they call "For The Hangover" on their menu. Two other possibilities for me this morning were either Sausage and Eggs (Smoked Maple Pork sausage, 2 eggs, potatoes, toast) or Poached Egg and Sausage (Smoked Merguez sausage, poached egg on wheat toast), both of which I would have also substituted with the Field Roast® Vegetarian sausage.

They were nice enough to let me substitute the Smoked Maple Pork sausage for the vegetarian option, but I bet they would let anyone also exchange it for any of their other meatatarian ones. Of which they have a pretty decent variety it seems: All Beef, Italian Pork, Basil Chicken, Smoked Merguez, Smoked Wild Boar, and Smoked Polish. I am not sure exactly which Field Roast® Vegetarian sausage they use (there are a few different sausages that they make), but I assume it was either an Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage or a Smoked Apple Sage. I think that there may have also been some arugula in with the scrambled eggs mess, too; the on-line menu states some different ingredients from the printed menu. This was served on a very good hotdog[1] bun with sesame seeds, too.

I have had the Blueberry Basil Soda before and knew that I liked it; however, today's was a little bit on the sweeter side for my tastes. This is to be expected as they make the drink fresh for each person and depending on the jerk (as in "soda fountain drink guy", not that he was really obnoxious or anything) that prepares the soda, it can taste differently daily.

I did not bother to bring any of my own hot sauces from my collection with me today because I knew that ShowDogs has an excellent selection of their own homemade condimentary supplements. I used some Serrano Ketchup on top of the sausage/eggs mixture and on half of the potatoes, and some Habanero sauce on the other half of the potatoes. The Habanero sauce wasn't really all that spicy, but it had tons of good flavour; I think the Serrano Ketchup may even have been a bit hotter. There was a unique flavour in the Habanero sauce that I just couldn't quite put my finger (or tongue) on. Was it maple syrup? Ginger? I ended up asking one of the guys that worked there what the "secret ingredient" was and he told me (under penalty of death if I ever revealed it to anyone else… oops!) that it has a little cinnamon in it. Bingo! That was it. And it really adds that little bit extra "je ne sais quoi" (which I really should learn how to say in French one of these days), too.

This ain't breakfast… this is genocide!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Sunrise ShowDog ~ 6.7; Blueberry Basil Soda ~ 6.5 (today; I would rate it up to 6.8 in the past); Serrano Ketchup ~ 6.8; Habanero sauce ~ 7.4

1. This brings up the great "Hotdog vs. Hot Dog Debate". Is it one word, "Hotdog" ~ which is my preferred choice, or two words, "Hot Dog" ~ which some idiots at a place called Nathan's® Famous seem to favour?

Who are you going to side with? Someone that has been a vegetarian for over thirty-eight years or some stupid corporation that pretends to be experts on dead, decaying ground-up meat with skin around it?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Curbside Café

"Half the Army reads comic books, the other half looks at the pictures." 
~ James Joseph Croce

Place: Curbside Café   
Location: 2417 California Street (between Fillmore and Steiner Streets)
Hours: Monday through Friday open at 9:00am; Weekends open at 8:00am
Meal: Chilaquiles ~ Sauted [sic] corn tortillas, Ancho[1] chile sauce, Jack cheese, topped with two eggs any style, fresh salsa & black beans (and cottage potatoes); and a (very large) glass of Pomegranate-Limeade

(Of course, today's EweToobular juxtaselection is because today happens to be the birthday of one Timothy James Curry. Happy Birthday, Dr. Frank N. Furter![2])

I am actually running out of new places to try for breakfast in San Francisco, so I am finding that I have to go back and eat at restaurants that I have already eaten at. Don't you just hate when that happens? Anyway, today's breakfastary rerun was at Curbside Café (see previous 'blog-entry from May 15th, 2010).

Curbside Café is a rather smallish place. Their offered seating is just: three small, round sidewalk (ou "curbside", s'il vous plaît) tables for two people; two tables for four people (both located in front with "curbside" views); two tables for six people (which could be reconfigured for tables for four and two people, or three tables of two people); and five tables for two people (these couldn't be reconfigured into ten tables for one, though). It was mostly full this morning, and I had arrived there just after they had opened, too.

stupid parklet mini-rant of the day

Oh, my Dawg!!! There is another of these public parking impediments right across the street from Curbside Café (and I really don't care what establishment it is in front of/being sponsored by, as they won't see any of my business, anyway). This particular one is a large two-space obstacle, constructed of cement/concrete. Yeah, I can see how that can be easily moved if ever need be (see, the stupid Rules of Engagement set forth by the jeenyuses at Pavement to Parks[3] states that these nuisances are supposed to be easily moved). "But… but… but, Brian, the city needs more greenery and parks…" Fine! Alta Plaza Park (a very nice two block-by-two block San Francisco city park) happens to be only two blocks away. Reimagine that!

(Yes, "Stoop" is more than an appropriate name for this wastelet. You'd have to be a complete moron[4] to think that this public obstruction is a substitute for a real city park in any way.)

While this version of chilaquiles was not nearly as good as those found at either Chava's or SanJalisco, it really wasn't that bad a version, either. I know what you are thinking, "A French bistro serving Mexican 'Brunch' items?", but they also offer a few other "South of the Border" items on their "Brunch" menu. Normally with chilaquiles the eggs are just scrambled in with the mess, but they give you the option of how you would like your eggs here; I simply went with eggs over-medium for a change. This dish came with a side of nice pico de gallo and the Ancho chilli sauce was very tasty, too. The cottage potatoes were not listed on the menu as coming with the meal, but breakfast potatoes are always a welcomed addition.

The only condimentary supplementation that I saw readily available on the tables was Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (and just the standard red). I just used a little of my own Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) on top of the eggs and to mix in with the chilaquiles, and the last of my Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the potatoes; I figured the Boston Red Sox could use all the mojo-ness that I could help with.

I skipped any Coffee with breakfast, but I made myself a cuppa Peet's® Limited Edition Alta de Dota to enjoy while typing up this 'blog-entry. This is truly a sublimely thaumaturgic cuppa Coffee. It is easily one of the Best New Coffees that I have tasted in 2014, and one of the best new ones that I have had in a long time ~ shades of my "discovery" of Jamaica Blue Mountain several years ago. And I really only picked up a half-pound of it last week so that I could get a free cuppa with the purchase for my birthday weekend breakfast. Sure, it's not Jamaica Blue Mountain, but, then again, Nicole Kidman ain't[5] Marilyn Monroe, either. I am not really any kind of Coffee Constance Sewer (however, I am a Major Coffee Snob ~ I used to be just plain ol' Captain Coffee Upstart before my promotion), but I know what I like, and I liked this one very much.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Chilaquiles ~ 6.3; Peet's® Alta de Dota ~ 7.8-7.9 (and trending upward)

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

"Ancho" means "wide" in Spanish. Ancho chillies are made from dried Poblano chilles; when they are dried out, they are flattened or "widened".

2. Seriously, folks, double check your facts and don't believe everything ~ or most anything ~ that you read on the Intro-Net and especially in my 'blog-entries.

3. They go by the cutesy acronym of "P2P". Well, I may just have to take them up on that and start urinating all over these stupid abominations.

4. I am more than convinced these are actually designed by half-morons of the worst degree.

5. For the record, the Nazi Spell-checkers at Microsoft do not recognize this nonstandard contraction (which is fully accepted in many 'merican writings now-a-days; just ask that new novelist Samuel Langhorne Clemens).

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Precita Park Café

"You can lead a horse to water, but a <pencilD must be lead." 
~ Arthur Stanley Jefferson

Place: Precita Park Café   
Location: 500 Precita Avenue (on the corner of Alabama Street; and, coincidentally enough, right across the street from Precita Park[1])
Hours: open at 7:00am Monday through Saturday; open at 8:00am on Sunday
Meal: Veggies Scramble ~ Spinach, mushroom, onion, and cheese (served with choice of homefries or fruit, and toast); and a cuppa Equator Coffee & Teas

(There is no connection between today's EweToobular juxtaselection and breakfast this morning that I can really tell, but you never know with the "Six Degrees of Glen Bacon" and such. 

Sure, the D*mn Y*nkees may have 27 World Series Championships to their name, but just how many cool Rock-and/or-Roll songs do they have about or associated with them?


While yesterday morning was a nice bright and sunny day, today was a bit more chilly and overcast ~ not quite hyperborean, but still cold enough to require wearing a sweatshirt or coat while outside. I only mention this because my breakfastary destination was Precita Park Café and I planned it so that I would get there about half an hour before they opened so that I could walk around Precita Park itself as I had never really been there before. Precita Park Café is the last of the "Park Café Trilogy" that I had not been to yet (see last 'blog-entry from Dolores Park Café on December 21st, 2013). Of the three locations, I think I like this space the best ~ it is very open-aired and non-crowded. Of course, Precita Park is much more off the beaten track than the other two cafés, so it is not anywhere near as busy, but it is also the hardest/furthest one to get to from my apartment.

(Even park benches in San Francisco can be works of art.)

Precita Park Café has a large open space with seating for probably 40-50 people comfortably inside and an additional six tables for two outside on the sidewalk. Like most coffeehouses, you order at the counter, pay for your meal, get a number, and then they bring it out to your table when it is ready (the food that is, not the number; you get to carry the number to your own table so that they can locate you later with the food). 

There is only a limited breakfast menu and a couple of other breakfast items caught my eye (well, both of my eyes): Precita Egg Sandwich (Cheddar[2], tomato, pancetta on pain de mie or Leadbetter English muffin with black pepper and garlic aioli) or Breakfast Tacos (3) (Scrambled eggs, bacon, salsa, and Cheddar on corn tortillas, served with fruit). I was a little bit disappointed because they list a few other items on their on-line Weekend "Brunch" Specials menu; however, these didn't seem to be available on either the printed menu or on the large menu board at the back of the coffeehouse. Both the Vegan Scramble (Tofu, quinoa, seasonal veggies, fennel, Vegan Hollandaise) and Spring Benedict (2 poached eggs and Spring veggies on an English muffin) sounded worth trying.

This was basically the same meal that I had previously at Dolores Park Café in December; however, they call it Veggie (singular) Scramble and add tomatoes to the mix there. There was a lot of fresh (baby?) spinach in today's mess and possibly two types of mushrooms used. I figure that the cheese was either Cheddar or Monterey Jack. The toast was actually grilled bread of some sort, which is always nice.

As I had gotten there just as they were opening, the potatoes were not ready yet and they offered to give me a side of fruit instead, but I told them that I could wait for the good stuff ~ it was only an extra ten-minute wait or so, besides, they had to make my scramble, anyway, so it was really only a five-minute extra wait. Like I would ever choose plain ol' fruit over potatoes, and their version of homefries was very good, too. (Good) potatoes are always worth waiting for (and, yes, I know that a sentence with a preposition should never end, which is why I added this parenthetical statement).

I don't know what roast/blend of Coffee (I forgot to ask) they were serving this morning, but it was a dark roast of some kind; the order-taking lady behind the counter told me so. She also said that they offer a lighter roast from Sightglass Coffee. They are both good local roasteries.

On the front counter they have four pitchers of ice water from which to choose: plain, with cucumber slices, with orange slices, and with lemon slices. This is a simple enough idea, but it is a very good one and nice to have the choices. I went with a 75% cucumber water and 25% orange water combination; it was very nice and refreshing

I didn't ask what Precita Park Café has for condimentary supplements, but I know that they only had Tapatío® at both Dolores Park Café and Duboce Park Café. It really didn't matter what they had, as I was planning on testing out the last of my newest bottles of hot sauces, anyway: Fat Cat® Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks once again, Cindy & Greg!). I used a little (and I truly mean "a little"; just 6-8 drops initially) on the scramble mess and a good amount of Youk's Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the potatoes (I was not afraid to use as much of this one as I liked).

I was more than wary with using too much of Chairman Meow's Revenge and with just cause, too. ("Was you ever bit by a dead bee?") It states right on the label: "This blast-worthy blend gets its bodacious bite from the superhot scorpion pepper - one of the spiciest chilies on earth. We've paired it with some extreme aromatics, including garlic, cilantro and lime juice, to craft a strong and savory sauce that stings with serious flavor and heat." Plus, "Heat Level: 10+ (out of 10)". 

Ingredients: Vinegar, onions, roasted red peppers (roasted peppers, water, salt, citric acid), garlic, lime juice, habanero peppers, cilantro, mustard (vinegar, #1 mustard seeds, salt, turmeric, spices), scorpion peppers, sea salt, paprika

Okay, after all the trepidation that I had with using Chairman Meow's Revenge, it really wasn't quite as bad as I had feared and it turned out to be not anywhere as bad as some of the other really hot hot sauces that I have in my collection. It has a pretty decent flavour, too. Now don't get me wrong, it is still very, very hot, but I think I can live with this one. It is still much hotter than most standard hot sauces and really should be metered out carefully. Plus, I didn't incur a five-minute sneezing-jag like I did when I had first tried it last week. I was even brave enough to add an additional five to six more drops later on. I think it must be tempered a bit by the Habaneros

Not that I was still hungry after breakfast, but I noticed that they also serve Mitchell's Ice Cream there. They offer eight different flavours (which I can only guess change seasonally or such). Today's choices were: Buko, Mango, Grasshopper Pie, Toasted Almond, Black and White, Butterscotch Marble, Chocolate, and French Custard Vanilla.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggies Scramble ~ 6.2 (with the potatoes figured in; otherwise, it would probably just be a 6.0 with a side of fruit); Fat Cat®
Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) ~ 7.3

1. Precita Park is a one-block wide by three-block long city park that is right on the border of the Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods. It has a nice kids playground on one end and a nice dog (off-leash) run area, too.

2. They didn't specify if this was "Cheddar cheese" or not, but I just assumed that it must mean that and not one of those many other items for which the Somerset village is famous.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

IHOP Restaurant®

"Blackbirds fly from my rain soaked roof.
Red-shouldered hawk surveys the scene,
Ready to rock and yet quite still.
Mystery mist gives me a chill.

And then comes the rain again and again,
And the sweet rose blooms in the darkness.
Dove family sits on the telephone line
Just hanging out be it rain or shine."
~ Skip Way, 01/14/1995

(I provided a photo just in case no one has ever seen an actual IHOP Restaurant® before.)

Place: IHOP Restaurant®  
Location: 2299 Lombard Street (on the corner of Pierce Street)
Hours: open at 7am Sunday through Thursday; open 24 hours Friday & Saturday (I am not sure if that means they are open exactly one minute after 11:59pm on Thursday night and close precisely at Midnight on Saturday evening)
Meal: New! Blueberry Cannoli[1] Cream Pancakes (Regular Combo) ~ 2 pancakes, 2 strips of bacon or 2 links of sausages, 2 eggs, & hashbrowns; and a large glass of orange juice

(Today's first EweToobular juxtaselection goes along with the opening quote above. The second song is just because Katie Melua is way hot.)

For my past four birthdays it has become a tradition to get a free breakfast from IHOP Restaurant®, and who am I to break with tradition (and pass up a free meal)? It's really no big deal, anyone can sign up to get one from them, all you have to do is register with their web-site (and subsequently get spammed with e-mails from them about once a month, which really isn't that bad) and then you will receive a coupon for a free order of Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity (or the equivalent amount, in this case it was $9.99), which is good for use within a two-week period of your birthday. 

My back-up pancakey ideas would have been either the Raspberry-Peach Pancakes (also New! off the Summer Signature Pancakes specials menu ~ buttermilk pancakes topped with plump peaches, then drizzled with a sweet raspberry sauce) or Jelly Donut Pancakes (buttermilk pancakes, layered with raspberry jelly and topped with a real donut glaze). Only after I had already ordered, I noticed that there were a few interesting Summer beverage specials, too: Orange-Tangerine Ice Tea Lemonade and Cherry-Blackberry Lemonade; I know that I would have really liked the latter drink... maybe next year.

I had my eggs over-medium. I skipped both of either the dead, decaying pork-belly strips or the links of dead, decaying ground-up porky offal; they offered to substitute some toast, but the extra-added carbohydration wasn't really necessary. I ate the pancakes last as a sort of breakfastary dessert. These were pretty good and as described officially on their website: "An Italian favorite with an IHOP ® twist. Our fluffy, classic buttermilk pancakes topped with a lush blueberry compote and perfectly sweetened Ricotta cheese. An amazingly unique flavor combination heightened by berries." I can only assume that IHOP ® employs Herr Doktor Mengele as their dietician. 

IHOP ® offers both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) and Cholula® Hot Sauce for condimentary supplementation. And, of course, their "usual suspects" syrup selection: Old Fashioned, Butter Pecan, Blueberry, or Strawberry; none of which I really needed to pour atop my pancakes as they were more than sufficiently blueberried and cannoli-creamed. 

I had just received three new hot sauces last week as a gift (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) and didn't really get the chance to try any of them with breakfast last weekend as I knew that I was going to be out all day long and these are the kind that state "Refrigerate After Opening". I think they just do that to scare you and make sure that you use it up quickly to buy more of their product. As far as I can tell, most of the ones that state that are made with most of the same ingredients (chilli peppers of some kind, water, vinegar, and salt) as Tabasco® and other kinds of hot sauces, and you normally see bottles of those sitting out on restaurant tables all day long, all week long, all month long, all… well, you get the idea. But just to be on the safe side, I didn't want to bring any of my new ones with me last weekend. And just when I thought that my collection was getting almost small again (I am back to eighteen bottles in my refrigerator ~ of which, there are at least three to four that are so hot that they will take a lifetime to use up); I was waiting until I got it back under a dozen or so before I purchased a new bottle of Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce ~ well, it looks like I will have to wait another three or four months now.

Anyway, I did get the chance to use two of the new ones with breakfast this morning: Fat Cat® Surprisingly Mild Guajillo[2] Ghost on the hashbrowns and Fat Cat® Strawberry Serrano Hot Sauce on the eggs. Both of them are very tasty, and not overpoweringly spicy. Of the two, I liked the SMGG the best; it really is surprisingly mild for a hot sauce with Ghost Peppers in it and I could use it liberally without fear of death.

The last new one that I didn't get to use today was Fat Cat® Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper[3] Sauce). I did try a little toothpick amount ("Fool me once…" ~ see 'blog-entry from Eddie's Cafe on January 7th, 2012) as soon as I opened it up and it literally gave me a five-minute sneezing fit ~ all from the smallest amount; yeah, I see that this is gonna be another fun one, folks. It is another one of those completely ridiculously hot hot sauces that I will probably have it in my refrigerator until Hell freezes over, and, if that ever happens, believe me, this stuff will help melt it. The worst part is that the opening of the bottle is normal-sized and allows for way to much to be poured out at one time if you are not careful (imagine trying to transport unstable TNT… over gravel roads… in a car that needs new shocks… and you have the hiccups); it really should have some kind of pouring regulator/dripper at the top (and I really can't afford any more Wrongful Death lawsuits from Korean waiters' families ~ again, see 'blog-entry from January 7th, 2012).

I purposely (purposefully?) skipped ordering any Coffee with my breakfast because I planned on getting a nice cuppa over at the new "flagship" (hey, it's their actual terminology for the new store, not mine) Peet's Coffee & Tea® on Chestnut Street. I had a free cuppa their House Roast ~ this was not from another free birthday gift coupon, they just offer a free cuppa whenever you buy some of their Coffee beans, and I picked up a half-pound of their new Limited Edition Alta de Dota[4]

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

After breakfast, as it was far from a lugubrious morning, I took my cuppa Coffee and parked over by the Lombard Gate of the Presidio to walk off some of the breakfast. I only saw a pair (What do you call a small "company of parrots"? A "branch of parrots"? A "subsidiary of parrots"?) of the Wild Parrots flying around; I heard a few more of them high up in the tall trees near the gate, but really couldn't see them. I did come across a momma duck and her brand new batch of tiny ducklings (there were ten in all) as I was walking around the Letterman Digital Arts Center Recycled Water Pond at Lucas (Thanks, Jim & Mary, for showing that spot to me!). Of course, I felt it absolutely necessary to name all of them, too; there were: Quack, Jack, Mack, Zach, Aflac®, Back, Pack, Sack, Attack, and George.

Carpe Syrupum!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: New! Blueberry Cannoli Cream Pancakes (Regular Combo) ~ 6.3 (actually, it was really probably just a 6.1 or a 6.2, but I am giving it extra points for the freebiocity of it all); Surprisingly Mild Guajillo Ghost ~ 7.4; Strawberry Serrano Hot Sauce ~ 7.0; Peet's® House Roast ~ 6.8 (no extra points were given here, even though it was also gratis)

1. Seriously?! Billy-boy and his gaggle of goose-stepping spell-check Nazis don't even recognize una delle specialità più conosciute della pasticceria siciliana. There really is no hope for these bastardi marrone-camicie if they can't even recognize a common word from one of their own Axis partners.

2. Guajillo chillies are relatively mild and pack about the same picanteness as Jalapeño chillies. They have a rating of 2,500 to 5,000 on the Scoville Scale.

3. Now, the stupid Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chilli is one of the hottest chillies in the World. Up until just last year it was THE hottest ~ with a mean heat of more than 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units (and some plants are more than 2 million). It has been surpassed by the current record holder, the Carolina Reaper ~ 1.569 million on the Scoville Scale (with peak levels of over 2.2 million). Cindy & Greg, please do not send me any bottles of hot sauce that are made from the Carolina Reaper chillies… not unless it comes with its own waiver for unsuspecting people to sign or an O.J.-type legal team.

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

This translates from Spanish as "Highest Dot" as far as I can tell. I don't think it is a reference to Carol de Dota's peaks.