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

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