Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dottie’s True blue café

Jim and Mary's Standard (but upgraded Ultimate at no extra charge) 50¢ Tour of the City… plus, (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!)
(Saturday, May 31st, 2014)

Place: Dottie's True blue café 
Location: 28 Sixth Street (on the corner of Stevenson Street; between Market and Mission Streets)
Hours: open for breakfast Thursday through Monday at 7:30am (closed Tuesday and Wednesday ~ and in case anyone wants to complain about this, they used to be open every day of the week and would only close for a week or two in February when the owner [and chief cook & bottle washer], Kurt, took a well-deserved vacation) 
Meal: (me) Black Bean Cakes and Eggs any style (Served with grilled chili-Cheddar cornbread and homefries, topped with sour cream & pico de gallo); (Jim and Mary both ordered the same item) Sweet Potato, Caramelized Red Onions, & Gruyère Tart (served with eggs any style and fruit); we all split a piece (which seemed more like a quarter-pan size) of Miss Dottie's 1920's Prohibition Whiskey Blueberry Crumb Cake; und zu trinken (me) a large glass of (Ruby Red?) grapefruit juice, (Jim and Mary, again ordered the same thing ~ married couples! What is that all about?!) a cuppa the house Coffee

(Do I really have to point out what the colourful EweToobular juxtaselections are here? Well, everyone knows that John Hammond's mother's name was "Dorothy" and Bobby "Blue" Bland used to own a café.)

Whenever anyone from out-of-town comes for a visit, I like to take them to Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from April 6th, 2014) if at all possible (and only if some people ~ who will remain named Kathy ~ can get out of bed before 11:00am while on vacation). An old Air Force buddy (and fellow Russkij linguist-spy), Jim (No last names, please! What happens is San Francisco, stays in San Francisco!), and his wife, Mary, were in town on vacation this week and we got the chance to meet up for breakfast and then the requisite 50¢ tour of San Francisco. How many of you have ever driven down "the 2nd Crookedest Street in America"? And I don't mean Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., I am talking about Vermont Street in San Francisco, which rivals its more famous sister, Lombard Street, in all its winding, curviosity. Or how many of you are familiar with the Golden Fire Hydrant in the Mission and its history? And, of course, there is the newest addition to the Standard Tour ~ Raccoon Island!

We all decided to split one of Dottie's fresh-baked goodies. These are always such a huge portion that I never get the chance to order any as a starter when I eat there by myself. Today's portion was really more than enough for three people to share. We actually thought that we were ordering the 1929 Bronze Goddess Banana Rum Caramel Roll, but I guess the similar-sounding names must have crossed-up the waiter-server guy. It really didn't matter as this was a more than excellent substitution.

(Sorry, there is no corresponding photo of the abovementioned crumb cake. We all gobbled it down before I even thought about taking a photo of it.)

I have had the Black Bean Cakes many times before in the past, and it is usually my go-to/fall-back if there isn't anything off the Specials chalkboard that I haven't already had recently. Dottie's World-Famous Zucchini Cakes (aka Uova Benedetto) were on the chalkboard once again; however, I had just had them on my very last visit and wanted to have something different. The last time that Jim was in town (just by himself, without Mary, though) we also met at Dottie's for breakfast (back when they were still in their old location on Jones Street) and he had the Black Bean Cakes himself (see 'blog-entry from July 25th, 2010). Back then, these were still only available when offered on the Specials board; they are now part of the standard menu ~ I would like to think that my constant championing of this dish aided in its inclusion in some way.

I have had the same meal that Jim and Mary had several times before, too. It used to go by the more lofty, Frenchified nomenclature of "Galette" instead of plain ol' "Tart", but too many hick tourists kept asking Kurt (of course, I was also one of the idiots initially) "What's a 'Galette'?", that Kurt ended up just calling this a "Tart" to curb their enthusiastic confusion. Both Jim and Mary seemed to enjoy it (or maybe they just cleaned their plates out of politesse). The "Tart" ingredients will normally change seasonally, too, and it will always have other interesting ingredients. 

Luckily, Dottie's has a pretty extensive condimentary supplementation offering: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red, green jalapeño, and Chipotle), Tapatío®, Frank's® RedHot® Chile 'n Lime, because I really didn't feel like schlepping any of my own hot sauces around with me all day long (even though Jim had contributed a few bottles to my collection in the past). I used some of the Chipotle Tabasco® on my homefries, mainly because chipotle and potatoes are an excellent combination, and I also used a little of the jalapeño on my eggs.

Half-way through the tour, Mary made the suggestion of stopping by the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House for a mid-day snack of some (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!). Now this was such an excellent idea, that I decided to not charge them both the extra 25¢ for the unscheduled side-trip for a happy, hoppy beverage break at 21st Amendment - Brewery - Cafe - Bar[1] (Who ever said that tourists were mindless fools? Well, besides me, that is.). And while meals are NOT included in the Standard 50¢ Tour (nor in the upgraded Ultimate 50¢ Tour for 75¢ even), as this turned out to be such a great idea (and one that I am thinking of incorporating into the Standard 50¢ Tour in the future), I decided to foot the entire bill for our (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) treat. Mary is such a big fan of Popovers(!) herself that she even bought one of the little bags of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) mix that they sell at the gift shop there.

(Hold… on… just… a… second… at 75¢ per (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!), I think that I am actually in the red for the entire day!)

While we did an awful lot of hiking around the city (and Jim even took altimeter readings at the top of a few hills), I can not really consider this a cross-'blog-entry.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Miss Dottie's 1920’s Prohibition Whiskey Blueberry Crumb Cake ~ 7.4; Black Bean Cakes, etc. ~ 7.0; Sweet Potato, Caramelized Red Onions, & Gruyère Tart ~ 7.0 (???; oops, I forgot to poll Jim and Mary for their ratings on this meal, but this is what I would normally rate it or such); (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) ~ 8.2

1. Both Jim and I partook of a Hell or High Watermelon Wheat, Mary just had an ice tea. (See previous 'blog-entry from August 18th, 2013 for more information on both the Brewery - Cafe - Bar joint and their excellent Beers.)

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