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.

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