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.

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