Saturday, July 26, 2014

Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery

"Everybody makes mistakes, and a mistake is, after all, Nature's way of telling you you're an idiot." ~ Vaughn Meader

Place: Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery 
Location: 1 West Portal Avenue (on the corner of Ulloa Street)
Hours: open daily at 8:00am (all locations)
Meal: Zorba the Greek (savoury crêpe) ~ Cheddar & Feta Cheese, Onions, Spinach, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Roasted Eggplant, & Kalamata Olives, Served with a Cucumber Yogurt Mint Sauce (Served With Your Choice of Our "Famous" Rosemary Garlic Potatoes, French Fries, Mixed Green Salad, Fresh Fruit, or Chef's Soup of the Day); and a glass of Lemonade

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselection is mainly from the title of the song. For some reason it is not letting me embed the actual video like I have been able to do in the past, so you will have to do the ol' cut-and-paste if you wish to listen to the song while reading along here.

The video portion was put together by a very close and old friend of mine, Skip Way. ~ Hey, Skip! ~ He takes pictures that his sister Andrea has photographed and makes them into a video collage with music by some of his favourite musicians ~ well, those musicians that have been nice enough and given him 100% permission to do so.)

It had been some time since I last ate breakfast at a Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery (see last 'blog-entry from March 5th, 2011), and this includes any of the four locations in San Francisco. The West Portal shop has just recently (as in since March of this year, recently) reopened after having been closed since a fire demolished the entire building (and several others on the block) back in October 2012. The good news is that the brand new building has a second floor added to it which doubles the capacity of the place. The new size of the place probably makes it not only the largest of the Squat & Gobble locations (the Marina spot might rival it a bit with its backyard patio), but probably one of the largest crêpes joint in San Francisco now, too. It is now much more upscaley than your typical crêperie in San Francisco, which fits in perfectly with the more upscaley West Portal neighborhood, anyway. The new interior décor is all pastelly and high-ceilinged. 

I still think that Squat & Gobble is a horrible-sounding name for a restaurant, though (if anyone wishes to disagree with me, I submit doing your own Google search for the term "squat and gobble", then get back to me if you still feel like disagreeing with me… or ever have an appetite again for honey, or potato chips, or turkey). And I hate to sound like such a grammar critic, but I wish they would spell crêpes[1] with the correct diacritic; plus, the correct spelling of a place that sells crêpes is a "crêperie" (again with the diacritical mark and ending in "-ie", not "-y"). And I won't even go into the whole "Café" versus "Cafe" debate again (it don't cost ya nuthin' extra to spell it avec accent aigu ~ another diacritic, by the way, Monsieur Êbêrt).

D*mn St*rbucks mini-rant Interlude

Speaking of overly pretentious upscaliness, it's bad enough that there is a d*mn St*rbucks joint already in the West Portal neighborhood, but now there is a brand new d*mn La Boul*nge Bakery (which has been owned by d*mn St*rbucks since June 2012 ~ Thanks for the heads-up on that one, Mrs. Blankenship!) located right across the street from Squat & Gobble in the spot that once housed the old Walgreens for many years. And like d*mn St*rbucks and any restaurants that have stupid parklets in front of them, I have placed all d*mn La Boul*nge Bakeries on my (ever-growing) "Do Not Patronize These D*mn Bastages" list. I was equally appalled that the d*mn joint was packed with idiots this morning when I walked by, too. (So, there, Doc Estes!)

Anyway, back to the breakfastary part of this d*mn 'blog-thingy. 

Squat & Gobble not only serves crêpes (both of the savoury and dessert kind), they also have other categories on their Daily Menu: Omelettes, Scramblers, and Breakfast Specials. Some of the other dishes that I was debating on this morning were: Veggie Fajita[2] (a savoury crêpe; Caramelized Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Roasted Corn, Cilantro, Black Beans, Jalapeño Sour Cream, & Pepper Jack Cheese, Topped with Homemade Ranchero & Tomatillo Sauce & Crispy Tortilla Strips); Whole Thing (a dessert crêpe; Fresh Bananas, Maple Glazed Walnuts, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, nutella® Chocolate, Powdered Sugar, & Whipped Cream ~ which I would have gotten with a side of Their "Famous" Rosemary Garlic Potatoes); or Castro (an omelette; Feta Cheese, Tomatoes, Spinach, & Kalamata Olives). Like most crêperies and coffehouses you order at the front counter, pay first, and then get a number to take to an empty table and they bring out the food when it is ready.

I liked this crêpe a lot. What was not to like? It included a lot of my favourite ingredients: spinach, eggplant, Kalamata olives, and Feta. My one minor complaint would be that there was not enough Feta in it for my liking (of course, this is generally my complaint with a lot of places that have Feta as an ingredient). 

Of course, a "Cucumber Yogurt Mint Sauce" is better known as Τζατζίκι (see 'blog-entry from July 17th, 2014). Their version was made with diced pieces of cucumbers, I like the shredded cucumber version better, but this was still a decent one. It probably could have maybe used a little more garlic in it, but I think that is true with most things.

Of course, I chose Their "Famous" Rosemary Garlic Potatoes for the side. Who in their right mind would choose a plain ol' mixed green salad or fresh fruit??? Even I can cook those at home. The roasted potatoes were very good on their own (and had not the least trace of being oleaginous at all), but were even better with the small tin of Τζατζίκι dumped on top. Technically the Τζατζίκι is meant to be dumped on top of the crêpe, but I have known for many years (decades) now that Τζατζίκι pairs very well with potatoes of any kind. Let's face it, potatoes are great and Τζατζίκι just makes them taste even greater still.

From what I could see, Squat & Gobble offers just Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) and Tapatío® (See? This company has no problem using a diacritical mark over the "i".) for condimentary supplementation. I used just a soupçon (See? I used the "ç" there, and while it is letter and not really a diacritic, I was not charged any more for doing so.) of my Fat Cat® Strawberry Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on top of the crêpe. Plus, as mentioned above, I utilized the Τζατζίκι to its potentially fullest on Their "Famous" Rosemary Garlic Potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating[3]Ζορμπάς ο Έλληνας ~ 7.0; Τζατζίκι ~ 7.2

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

"Crêpe" comes from French, from Latin "crispus", meaning "curled", "uneven", or "wrinkled".

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número dos:

"Fajita" is a Mexican (or Tex-Mex) diminutive and comes from the Spanish word "faja", which means "strip", "band", "sash", or "belt". 

3. File this under: "You never know what you might find when searching on the World Wild Web". 

I happened to mention the "GBS Rating" to someone last week on defacedbook and they didn't get my reference to the obvious "Glen Bacon Scale Rating" here. So just for the h-e-c-k of it, I did a quick Google search of "GBS Rating" and found this information:

Apparently the "GBS" here stands for "Gottfries-Bråne-Steen", and has nothing to do with anyone named "Glen Bacon".

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