Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mo’z Café

"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." ~ Elbert Hubbard

Place: Mo'z Café
Location: 36 5th Street (on the corner of  Stevenson Street)
Hours:  open at 6:00am(???) every day of the week (the reason for the series of questionable marks after the time is that the actual opening time is not listed anywhere on their web-site, neither is it listed anywhere on the front of the building, nor inside that I could see; I am just going by the times that are listed on some other on-line urban guides)
Meal: Breakfast Burrito ~ two eggs scrambled with green onions, jalapeños, tomatoes, and Jack cheese in a flour tortilla (served with black bean chili and topped with Ranchero sauce, sour cream, and parsley); a side of hashbrowns; and a cuppa Mo'z Blend Coffee

(In continuation of the celebration of the 69th birthday of George Ivan Morrison, I asked another big fan ["Hey, Steve!"] ~ of Van's, not of my stupid li'l 'blog-thing ~ to tell me what his Top Two Favourite Van Morrison Songs of All-Time are. Well, being also an infernal Y*nkees fan, of course he named three songs, not two. I guess it was better than him going into a diatribe about how there really must be twenty-seven championships… er… songs to call it "of All-Time".)

I decided to try a new place (new for me, I am not sure how long they have been in business) and went to Mo'z Café. It is just a half-block down from Market Street and right across the street from the Westfield San Francisco Centre. Actually if you walk one block due west along Stevenson Street (which is really an alley), you end up at Dottie's True blue café. I do like that they open up very early every day (whatever time that may be); I probably arrived around 7:30am this morning (because 7:30pm would be "this evening", of course).

It is a large uncrowded, open space. The seating situation seemed to be: four two-seat tables along the alley window side; six four-seat tables interspersed throughout the joint; two more two-seat tables; and one six-seater. So, it was another decent-sized coffeehouse like yesterday.

The large blackboard-style menu along one wall listed several sections of breakfast dishes in these categories: Breakfast Specials, Benedicts, and South of the Border (and for any of you Canadianlanders, that would be cocina mexicana, not 'merican junk-food). Some other ideas that I was looking at were Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Florentine, or maybe even a crêpe (they offer several savoury or sweet choices).

This was an absolutely HUGE burrito. The real find of the breakfast this morning was the exceptionally tasty salsa ranchera ~ smoky flavour with a bit of heat (possibly made with chipotle chillies; I asked two different people that worked there, but they did not know). I was actually expecting some salsa lama straight out of a jar. This was a very good breakfastary version of the Mexican classic; however, I think it could have been improved just a bit by adding some hashbrowns inside (everything is better with potatoes), fresh diced jalapeños (instead of the pickled/canned type that were used), slices of fresh avocado, and maybe some queso fresco in place of the Jack cheese. I think all of that would really have put it over the top (well, over 7.0 on the GBS, at least). 

The cuppa Coffee was very robust (but more than likely made with Arabica, not Robusta beans) and had a good strong flavour. I have no idea what actual blend/roast it was or who provides the Coffee to them (again, their web-site is lacking in any information there), but they do sell 1-lb bags of it at the front counter, too. And unlike most coffeehouses in the city, they actually offer refillas of Coffee, which is always a plus.

Mo'z Café has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), Tabasco® Brand Green Pepper Sauce (that would be the jalapeño version), and Tapatío® for condimentary supplements. I actually like the Tabasco® jalapeño sauce (well, better than the standard red), but I still used some of my own Fat Cat® Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) and some Pickapeppa Sauce (Thanks, Amy!) on different halves of the hashbrowns (which I ended up just mixing all together after a bit, anyway).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Burrito de Desayuno ~ 6.6; Mo'z Blend ~ 6.8

Saturday, August 30, 2014

the Grind Cafe

"To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the <pencil, you're overdoing it.” ~ Josh Jenkins

Place: the Grind Cafe
Location: 783 Haight Street (at Scott Street)
Hours:  open at 7:00am every day of the week (and twice on Sundays)
Meal: Sicilian Omelet(te) ~ spinach, sun-dried tomato, fresh tomato, pesto, onion, & Feta (all Scramblers & Omelet[te]s served with hashbrowns or homefries & choice of toast); and a 16 oz. cuppa the Grind Cafe SoMa Blend

(There is no connection between today's EweToobular videos and the Grind Cafe. Tomorrow just happens to be the 69th birthday of one George Ivan Morrison. [Ivan?!] So, in honour of that, I am making this an all "Van the Man" [or "George Ivan the Man", even] music weekend.

The reason for both of these specific selections is because I asked a friend of mine ["Hey, Skip!"], who is probably one of the biggest Van Morrison fans ever, what were his Top Two Favourite Van Morrison Songs of All-Time. He stated unequivocally that #1 had to be "Into the Mystic". He then said that everything else by Van would be #2; however, if he really had to choose another song, make it "Brown Eyed Girl". 

I am pretty sure that I have linked both of these songs before here in the past… but tough! If'n you don't like it, you can start your own 'damn 'blog-thing and post all the 'damn videos of 'damn 'Jason Mraz or 'damn 'John Mayer that you 'damn-well please!

In that first video, I bet you never knew that Bob Ross could also play the keyboards, huh?!)

I finally got around to going back to the Grind Cafe (see previous blog-entry from November 11th, 2012: for breakfast. They were closed for several months last year for renovations(?) and recently (as in February of this year) re-opened. They were pretty busy and full even at 8:30am on a Saturday morning (don't any of these idiots sleep-in any more?!). 

This morning, I sat outside in the sidewalk-patio area where there are three tables for four people and three tables for two people (and probably enough space for several dogs, too, if need be ~ when I first arrived, there was one old, three-legged guy waiting patiently out front for his stupid humans that were being selfish and eating inside). There are probably three to four times that amount of tables inside the large space, too.

Like most coffeehouses, you order and pay first, get a random number (mine was "17" this morning), and then they bring the food out to you when it is ready. They offer a large and varied selection of food in several breakfastary categories: Scramblers, Omelet(te)s, House Favorites, Buttermilk Pancakes, French Toast, and Belgian Waffles. There were a few other good ideas that caught my eye (well, both of them): Breakfast Burrito (flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, Cheddar, avocado, salsa, sour cream, & choice of bacon, sausage, ham or chorizo, substitute for vegetarian sausage ~ which is what I probably would have done did); Acropolis Omelet(te) (artichoke, tomato, olives, spinach, & Feta ~ this was basically an omelette version of the Mediterranean Scram that I had there two years ago, so I wanted to try something a bit different); or Hash Brown Hill (a mound of homefries or hashbrowns covered with melted Cheddar & topped with sour cream, black olives, avocado, & green onion ~ of course, I would probably have had to order a side of potatoes to go with it).

Sundried tomatoes + spinach + Feta = Siciliano? Chi sapeva? The omelette included both sundried (or sun-dried or sun dried, take your pick) and fresh tomatoes in it; I am a huge tomato-fan (just never throw tomatoes at a huge fan unless you are looking to make a nice red gravy), but I think the fresh tomatoes were a bit of an overkill, and that the sundried would have been more than sufficient. Luckily, there was a lot of the sundried variety in it for my liking, as well as lots of Feta (and these were in chunks/cubes ~ not those crummy crumbles). It was all tied together nicely with a pesto-ey base, too; they weren't heavy-handed with the pesto, but just the right amount.

I love a place that offers a choice of potato sides. I went with hashbrowns today. It is stated on the menu that you can "substitute fruit for hash brown add $1.50". What kind of complete (or incomplete) knucklehead would ever do that?! Even I can make a "fruit salad" at home… well, if I ever had any fresh fruit, that is. I did discover that sundried tomatoes, spinach, and Feta go very well with hashbrowns, too, as I added some of the excess filling of the omelette to the last of my potatoes.

For my toast choice, I simply chose sourdough.

The Coffee came served in a 16 oz. pint-glass with one of those cardboard zarfs. (Hey! It is a real word. Look it up your own 'damn self! I can't be supplying all of your stupid, useless cunning linguist pointers for you.) They do not roast their own Coffee blends, but the Coffees are specially produced for them by a local Berkeley roastery. They do sell bags of the SoMa Blend in half-pound and pound quantities at the front counter.

For condimentary supplementation, the Grind Cafe offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), Tapatío®, and Huy Fong Foods Inc.® 
Sriracha[1] Hot Chili Sauce, which is a pretty fair selection for just a coffeehouse. Once again, I used some of my own Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) on the hashbrowns and some Nando's® Extra Hot Peri-Peri Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the omelette.

Maybe I shoulda gotten a Van-illa Latte with my meal this morning…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Sicilian Omelet(te) ~ 6.6 (without the superfluously redundant fresh tomatoes, I may have rated this at 6.7); SoMa Blend ~ 6.8; Van Morrison ~ 8.5

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist and pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day:

"Sriracha sauce" is actually named after the coastal town in Thailand where it purportedly was first concocted. The actual name of the city is Si Racha (pronounced "See Ra-cha"). 

(Thanks for that titbit go to a brother of mine that once lived in Thailand in the early 80's. I won't specify whom. And Bijay doesn't count. 555!)

However, there is no truth to the fact that "Si Racha/Sri Racha" means "How hot you like it now, Joe?"

Sunday, August 24, 2014


A breakfastary roadtrip (part the second):
Rockaway Beach, Pacifica, CA

Place: Breakers
Location: 145 Rockaway Beach Avenue, Pacifica
Hours:  Open 7:00am every day!
Meal: Greek Omelet(te) ~ spinach, tomatoes, red onions, black olives, & a blend of Mozzarella & Feta cheese, served with potatoes & choice of bread; and a cuppa (well, actually a pitchera) Peerless Coffee® (I didn't get the actual roast/blend)

(Three EweToobular videos today? What gives?! 

Well, I am just continuing my International Linda Ronstadt Weekend. Plus, the first song can double as today's earthquakey theme. And, besides, Mick never looked anywhere as good singing this song when he was wearing nothing but a bandana, a black vest, blue jeans, and knee-high cowboy boots.

The second song serves both for the Linda Ronstadt tribute and sort of a juxtaselection with the name of today's restaurant.

And the third song is just because how awesome is a duet with Linda and Bonnie Raitt? Man, I would have loved to have been made into a "Brian Sandwich" with those two back then. I may even have allowed some of that vile white goop, mayonnaise, on it, but just none of the vile weed.

I suppose I coulda linked "Santa Monica" by Everclear ~ just listen to the lyrics ~ but, again, Linda was much cuter than Art Alexakis, even with his awesome bleach-blonde hair.)

Just for the heckovit, I made another breakfastary roadtrip all the way down to Rockaway Beach (the one in Pacifica, CA, not the one in Queens, New York City, NY). It is exactly fourteen miles due south (I odometered it), which is only about thirty minutes driving along the Great Highway and Highway 1 (and equal to a simple trip across town even, if not quicker). (I have discovered that all the lights along the Great Highway are timed at 35mph… and, surprisingly enough, also at 70mph.) Breakers is right across the street from yesterday's breakfastary destination, NICK'S (or NICKS). (However, I am pretty sure that the name of today's restaurant is the plural noun, and not in the Genitive case ~ unless the owner happens to actually be named "Nick Breaker".)

There was a great view of the Pacific Ocean/Rockaway Beach from my window seat this morning. Breakers is a decent sized place and seating is (approximately): six tables for two; four tables for four; and ten to twelve booths for two to four people. It is definitely a family/kid-friendly place as there was a table next to me with two families and three kids between them. They give every kid a complimentary (or maybe even a "complementary") box of crayons and a placemat to colour. The 4-pack of crayons is probably ~ Black, Red, Yellow, and Blue. I don't really know for sure, though, as NO ONE offered ME any of the fun stuff (I was sure to point out this major disappointing omission to one of the waitress-server ladies; I also let her know that it would not affect the amount of the tip in any way, though).

In addition to a good selection of 3 Egg Omelets, Breakers also offers several Three Egg Scrambles (and this area of the menu actually had "Three" spelled out, whereas the omelettes section had the Arabic numeral "3"), Frittatas (they don't specify if these are "3 Egg" or "Three Egg"), Pancakes, French Toast, Belgian Waffles, and several Crepes (which they have spelled sans un accent circonflexe). From the Frittatas section I liked the sound of the Veggie (diced vegetables, salsa, sour cream & chives). From the Crepes section: Roasted Eggplant (red peppers, glazed onions, portabella mushrooms, garlic, Jack cheese, marinara sauce & sour cream) and Garden (avocado, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, Jack cheese, tomatoes, sour cream & chives) would have been good options for stupid vegetarians.

This was a pretty good omelette. It was made with lots of Feta and spinach (inside and even with more Feta sprinkled on top), both major plusses in my book (which is of the colouring type and here is where I coulda used some of those damned crayons); however, they just use those sliced, canned black olives; this would have been soooo much better with real Kalamata olives, of course. My choice of bread was sourdough; and I liked how they make it: they actually toast it a bit first and then finish it on the grill! (I happened to mention this to the owner, Mr. Breaker, when I was paying and he said they do it that way specifically because that is how he likes the toast to be made). The side of potatoes were of the hashbrown variety.

I enjoyed the idea of them leaving the pitcher/pot (in a plastic thermos thingy, à la IHOP®) of Coffee right on the table, that way you could make your own refillas whenever you felt like. I made sure to utilize it at least two to three times, too.

Breakers has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) and also Tabasco® Brand Habanero Sauce for use as condimentary supplements. They may possibly offer Cholula® Hot Sauce, too, as I saw it on one other table, but it could easily have belonged to the guy sitting there as it was gone the next time I looked over at his table right after he had left. What kinda complete idiot brings their own hot sauces to a public restaurant? For a change, I actually used some of their Habanero Sauce on the omelette. This is one of the better flavours that Tabasco® has to offer (my favourite of theirs being Chipotle), and it has more flavour and heat than the standard red stuff. I also used some of my own Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim!) liberally (as in "feel free to use as much as you like") all over the potatoes.

I took some of the extra Feta and red onions that were on top of the omelette and mixed them into the hashbrowns, because, of course: "Everything is betta with Feta!"

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greek Omelet(te) ~ 6.5 (which would probably have been a 6.7 or 6.8 with real Kalamata olives)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NICK’S ~ since 1927

A breakfastary roadtrip:
Rockaway Beach, Pacifica[1], CA

Place: NICK'S ~ since 1927
Location: 100 Rockaway Beach, Pacifica
Hours:  Monday through Thursday open at 10:00am, Friday open at 9:00am, and Saturday and Sunday open at 8:00am
Meal: Farmhouse Scramble ~ zucchini, spinach, red bell pepper, onion, and goat cheese, served with potatoes and choice of toast; and a glass of orange-grapefruit (half-and-half) juice

(I know what you are thinking about today's EweToobular juxtaselections: What?! Breakfast all the way down in Rockaway Beach, Pacifica and no songs by the Ramones? Well, the truth is that I couldn't find a decent the Ramones song about "Pacifica".

Actually, it was just a year ago that Linda Ronstadt[2] revealed that she has Parkinson's Disease and "can no longer sing a note". So, I have designated this weekend as International Linda Ronstadt Weekend. And if any of youse knuckleheads and wise-guys doesn't like it, youse can start your own stupid 'blog-thingy.

And here's an extra little known Cliff Clavin fact: "Different Drum" was written by one Robert Michael Nesmith, formerly of the Monkees fame.)

It was such a great sunny (well, almost) morning today, that I decided to make a breakfastary roadtrip… all the way down to NICK'S ~ since 1927 in Rockaway Beach, Pacifica. I've eaten there for lunch a few times in the past, but this was my first time eating there for breakfast. There were dozens of surfers out this morning (along with hundreds of seagulls) along the shore. (And, okay, I will admit that I may actually have been humming to myself ♪ "Rock-Rock-Rockaway Beach" ♪ as I walked along the shore for a bit after breakfast.)

NICK'S is an old-style, 50's-ish family seafood restaurant. They have actual cloth napkins (unfortunately, I left some blood-red stains on my napkin from some of my hot sauces; Oops! Well, you shouldn't bring a blanket to the beach if you don’t expect to get sand on it.) and tablecloths. The main dining space is a huge area ~ with about fourteen aquamarine leather-covered (vinyl-/naugahyde-covered?) booths (about eight are located right along the window side overlooking the ocean ~ and in case the name of the town wasn't already a give-away, that would be the Pacific Ocean) and sixteen tables for four each; and there is also another complete dinner/evening/cocktail lounge area about as big where there is an open dance floor for nights when they have a live band playing (on Friday and Saturday nights).

Now, I am not quite sure if the place is actually named "NICK'S" (possessive) or "NICKS" (plural). There really wasn't an apostrophe on the signage that I could see. And I kind of like the idea of a plethora of Nicks owning and running the joint: 

Nick 1: "Hey, Nick, did you remember to order the swordfish?" 
Nick 2: "No, that was Nick's job, ask him." 
Nick 1: "Hey, Nick, did you remember to order the swordfish?" 
Nick 3: "Why are you bothering me about it? Nick was supposed to do it. Ask him." 
Nick 4: "Don't even look at me. I did it last month."

Well, you get the idea. (Hmmm?! Maybe I shoulda posted some Stevie Nicks songs instead of Linda Ronstadt songs. Or was there ever a "Nicky Ramone"?)

There were a couple of other interesting-sounding dishes on their standard breakfast menu (but just one other choice really for stupid vegetarians): Cowboy Omelette (sausage, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, and Jack cheese); Rockaway Omelette (Dungeness crab meat with tomato and onions); and Sanchez Omelette (linguiça, green chilies, onions, tomato, with avocado, cilantro, and sour cream ~ or substitute Soyrizo; which I would have done, of course). They also had on the weekend "Specials" board: American Benedict (which seemed to be a standard Eggs Benedict, but with tomato slices and avocado in place of the normal dead, decaying porky stuff ~ so, I almost went with that as my choice).

This was another fine scrambled mess you've gotten me into, Stanley. It was made with lots of zucchini and spinach, both always a good thing with me. Plus, there was a lot of goat cheese on top to add a nice creaminess element. (I think that is represented as "Cr" on the Periodic Table, with an Atomic Number of 20.5.) I went with the marbled rye for my choice of toast. (Sure, it may not be up to Schnitzer's Bakery standards, but I bet you can't get fresh Dungeness crab or avocado readily in Manhattan, ya old bag!) The side of potatoes was of the homefried variety; I liked them a lot; they were very good and crispy and crunchy.

As I had skipped any Coffee with breakfast, I made sure to make a cuppa Peet's Coffee & Tea® Sulawesi-Kalosi blend that I just picked up the other day (and I am still using my Peet's® gift card from my birthday ~ Thanks, Amy!) to enjoy while I am typing up this 'blog-entry. This was another great new find for me. I like this roast/blend a lot. It has a very full body and a balanced liveliness (I really have no idea what that is supposed to mean, I just copied those terms from their web-site). After their Alta De Dota (which is one of the best new Coffees that I have tasted in a long time, but was only available for a very short time earlier in the year), this is probably my current favourite of theirs.

For condimentary supplementation, NICK'S only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce and Tapatío®. I used some of my own Fat Cat® Surprisingly Mild Guajillo Ghost (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) generously ('cause that's the kinda soul I am) all over the potatoes and just a little El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (Thanks, Brian!) on the scrambled mess. The Fat Cat® proved to be a big hit with both my waitress-server person lady and the hostess-manageress lady; they both made sure to open up the bottle for a nice whiff of it. I would have gladly given them some to sample if they had wanted, too. For a hot sauce that has the dreaded Ghost Chilli as one of its ingredients, this really is very palatable and not as deadly as it may sound.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Farmhouse Scramble ~ 6.4; Peet's® Sulawesi-Kalosi ~ 7.5 (and possibly trending higher still)

1. For those of you unfamiliar with the town/city of Pacifica, it is located about ten miles due South of San Francisco right along Scenic Highway 1. 

One of its notable residents is the comedian/Saturday Night Live alumnus, Rob Schneider ~ the Robinator, Rock Rob-ster, the Schneid, Rooooob

2. It seems that the musical geniuses at Microsoft Spell-checker do not recognize Linda's last name as being a valid spelling. The options I am getting are "Rundstedt" or "Ramstad", because those make soooo much more sense. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cafe St. Jorge

"There is usually an easy solution to every human problem ~ neat, plausible, and wrong!" ~ H.L. Mencken

Place: Cafe St. Jorge[1]
Location: 3438 Mission Street (on the corner of Kingston Street)
Hours: open at 7:00am Monday to Saturday; open at 8:00am on Sunday (for what they call "Sunday Brunch")
Meal: Baked Egg Breakfast Slider (gf/o) ~ organic, free-range baked egg topped with melted Portuguese cheese (Ilha Azul[2]) served on a Portuguese sweet roll; one Pastel de Nata[3]; and a bottomless cuppa Stumptown Coffee Roasters

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselections are simply because the place is located on the corner of Kingston Street. Kingston, Jamaica/Reggae, get it? Good.

Besides, I could not decide on the right Jorge Harrison songs to use.)

I wanted to try a new place for a change and I had planned on going to Cafe St. Jorge  last Sunday, anyway. They have been open for just over a year now (July 2013), and this was my first visit there (either breakfastary or otherwise). They are located way down on Mission Street right where Bernal Heights meets the Mission, so it is not exactly conducive for me to do a quick pop-in to. 

Cafe St. Jorge is mainly a coffeehouse joint. They do have some fresh-baked (on premise) items, but most of the baked goods items are from local Portuguese or French bakeries. I liked the large open space (high-ceilinged and uncrowded). There are fourteen tables for two (or seven tables for four); one table for three; a window-bench seating area for five to six people, but there is no table there; and some sidewalk seating ~ several seats and a bench, but just one table for two. Like most coffeehouses, you order at the front counter, pay first, they give you a number (I got "Lucky #7" this morning), and then they bring out the food to you when it is ready.

Off the standard/printed menu, there really were only a couple of other items that looked good to me: Organic Quinoa Bowl (v/o, gf) (quinoa, steamed choice of milk, fresh fruit, walnuts, cinnamon, brown sugar, sea salt) or Orange Blossom Waffle (v) (which can have either fruit or granola/yoghurt added). They also had one weekend special on the board up front; it was some kinda fig jam toast, which did not sound too bad, either. Unfortunately, there were no side potato dishes on the menu that I could see.

I had to ask the front-counter guy (by that, I mean the guy working the front counter; he was neither a Communist, nor a transvestite from what I could tell; I wonder what a Communist transvestite looks like ~ do they have to wear red fishnet stockings with a sickle-and-hammer design on them?) what "free-range eggs" were. I mean, how far can one egg roll, anyway? I also had to ask the guy at the counter what "gf/o" meant; and, just in case you think like I do, it does not mean "Go f*ck-off!" (which after all the stupid, way-too-early morning questions I asked the poor guy, he must have been thinking), it simply means "gluten-free option". Not that I opted for anything "gluten-free", though.

While there was really nothing exceptionally outstanding with the Baked Egg Breakfast Slider (gf/o), it was decent enough, and the Portuguese sweet roll made for a nice change. The slider (gf/o) also came with sliced tomatoes and lots of baby spinach in it, the "baked eggs" just seemed like scrambled eggs to me. I have no idea what Ilha Azul cheese is, but it worked well enough in the slider (gf/o); there is an actual Portuguese cheese called Queijo São Jorge, why it is not used here, eu não sei.

The whole point of eating breakfast (or "Sunday Brunch" even) at a Portuguese coffeehouse/bakery was to try something new for a change. The Pastel de Nata was the perfect item for that. It was basically an egg custard in a puff pastry shell. It was a very nice bite or two, too.

Cafe St. Jorge does not serve any actual Portuguese brand of Coffee, but Stumptown Coffee Roasters (out of Portland ~ the one in Oregon, not the one in Maine or Portugal) is a very decent roastery.  They only serve two different roasts/blends: Holler Mountain Blend (a dark roast) and Hair Bender (a lighter roast). I liked the Holler Mountain Blend better than the Hair Bender and had two cups of it as opposed to just one cup of the lighter blend. Cafe St. Jorge also offers 12 oz. bags of several different blends/roasts of Stumptown Coffee Roasters for sale at the front counter.

I have no idea what Cafe St. Jorge offered in the way of condimentary supplements, I did not really see the need to ask. I used just a little of my own Florida Gold Premium Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) inside the slider. I have no idea what kind of hot sauces are available in Portugal, though.

There really is not enough on their breakfast (or "Sunday Brunch") menu for me to make the long trek over there again, but I can recommend the place to anyone that happens to live nearby and I could see stopping in again if I am ever in the neighborhood… and besides…

Here be Coffee!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Baked Egg Breakfast Slider (gf/o) ~ 6.3; Pastel de Nata ~ 7.0; Holler Mountain Blend ~ 7.2; Hair Bender ~ 6.6

1.  Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer(s) of the day, número um:

(Parte A)

"Café" (com o acento agudo) means basically the same thing in Portuguese as it does in French and Spanish; it has the dual meaning of both "Coffee" and "coffeehouse". 

(Parte B)

There are several places in Portugal with this same name, but I am pretty sure this place is named for São Jorge (Island), Açores. I do not know why they used the English abbreviation for "street" in their name. The actual word for "Saint" in Portuguese is "São", and "São Jorge (Saint George)" is pronounced something like "San Zhorzhey".

And here is the real interesting "Cliff Clavin Little Known Fact of the Day": In addition to being the Patron Saint of both England and Portugal (and being despised by all reptiles worldwide), Saint George/São Jorge is also the Patron Saint of Coffee and Coffee Roasting!*

*(Nah, not really! But it sounded pretty believable, right? Besides, everyone knows the actual Patron Saint of Coffee and Coffee Roasting is São Maxwell da Casa.)

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

"Ilha Azul" means "Blue Island" in Portuguese. Faial, another island in the Azores, which is neighboring São Jorge, is sometimes referred to as Ilha Azul. It has something to do with a bunch of stupid blue-flowering plants that bloom all over the island in the summer.

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número três:

"Pastel de nata" simply means "cream puff/tart" in Portuguese.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Judy’s Cafe

"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." ~ Anatole France

(And if fifty million people own "smart phones", it doesn't necessarily mean that they really are "smart".)

(No official web-site)

Place: Judy's CAFE
Location: 2268 Chestnut Street (between Avila and Scott Streets); phonicular contact: (415) 922-4588
Hours: open for breakfast at 7:30am every day of the week
Meal: Veggie Etc. (Omelette) ~ choice of 3 veggies (my choices: spinach, Bermuda onions, and a blend of Jack and Cheddar cheeses) and a choice of homemade pumpkin (mini-)loaf, blueberry muffin, English muffin, or 9-grain wheat toast; a side of homefried potatoes; and a large glass of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice

(Neither of today's EweToobular songs have anything to do with "Judy"; I just like the music, and I really did not feel like using a Judy Collins or Judy Garland juxtaselection.

Who knew that Bobby Flay could sing and play the guitar?)

After a very long hiatus, I decided to go back to Judy's CAFE (see previous 'blog-entry from August 7th, 2010). I do not know why it had taken me this long to get back there again; at one time, I probably went there several times a year. It is a very popular Marina breakfastary destination, and one of the few remaining spots on Chestnut Street for an early morning meal.

The walls are adorned with autographed photos of Hollywoodland folk and Sports stars. And it was à propos that I sat right underneath a promo-photo of Robin Williams from "Mrs. Doubtfire" (it was not autographed, though). Just to be safe, I double-checked around to make sure there were not any photos of Betty Joan Perske; that would have been a bit too creepy for my liking.

While it was not overly crowded there today, it can get full pretty quickly as their seating area is rather smaller: (downstairs/main restaurant) seven tables for two and one table for four; (upstairs/balconial area) seating for maybe twenty-four or so; and (weather permitting/sidewalk area) five tables for four and one table for two. Most of the sidewalk tables were filled-up by the time I had finished breakfast, but it was still pretty open inside (downstairs and upstairs).

File under: "Pay Attention, Stupid!"

One of the customers asked for his son's baby stroller[1] that he had given to the wait-staff earlier (the place really is that small) to hold until they were done. Well, the guy was completely preoccupied (and pretty obnoxiously rude, if you ask me) checking his mobular device when he asked for the "stroller" and one of the Mexican busboys misheard him and handed him a "straw". Hahaha! The idiot accepted the straw and then it took him a few seconds to figure out something was wrong. Next time, daddy-o, your all-important Twittering can wait until you are outside and squared away. Jerk!

Judy's CAFE has a pretty decent selection of omelettes and they also have Sweet Inspiration and Egg Breakfasts sections on their menu. A few other meals that looked good to me were: Garlic (Omelette ~ homemade salsa, avocado, garlic, Jack and Cheddar cheeses); Cream Cheese French Toast (farm style egg bread stuffed with cream cheese, sprinkled with powdered sugar, covered with bananas); Potatoes Etc. (homefried potatoes, mushroom, onion, topped with melted Jack and Cheddar cheeses, with Italian or chicken apple sausage, ham or ground sirloin ~ which I would have ordered without the dead, decaying animal flesh, of course); etc.

They have a very strange way of making their omelettes. The omelettes are made kind of deconstructed, with the scrambled eggs/omelette part placed on top of the mess of ingredients (i.e. not really a "folded omelette", more like an "upside-down open-faced omelette"). They are all still very fluffy, though. One other thing that I did notice was that there were actually red onions in the mess, not Bermuda onions (which are usually white or yellow, and wearing those funny short trousers); not as if I could really tell by taste, though.

I went with the homemade pumpkin (mini-)loaf for my bread side, and it was very good. Who would choose plain ol' English muffins or toast when given the choice of two other fresh-baked goods? (Probably the same kind of idiot that is too busy playing on defacedbook when he is supposed to be retrieving his kid's stroller.) The (mini-)loaf was still warm and a good receptacle on which some butter to melt.

The side of homefried potatoes was a HUGE plate/pile; they were very nicely herbed, too. It was an awful lot of food to finish with the omelette and 
(mini-)loaf, and I really did not quite finish it all.

There was lots of pulp in the grapefruit juice, too, just the way I like it.

Judy's CAFE offers for condimentary supplementation both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) and Tapatío®. I went with some of my own Dave's Gourmet® Ginger Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, Jim!) on half of the potatoes and some Fat Cat® Strawberry Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the other half of the potatoes; I also went with some Born to Hula presents Devon Allman's All Natural Hot Sauce Chipotle Blues (Thanks, Kerry!) on top of the omelette.

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

After breakfast (in an attempt to walk off at least a bit of the carbo-overload), I went for a little stroll over to the Presidio. (I had parked over by the Lyon Street/Chestnut Street gate anyway.) I walked around the little park with the duck pond in it (in the Letterman Digital Arts Center). I only saw two to three of the Wild Parrots flying overhead, but I did stumble upon a murderous-looking group of 20-30 Ravens/Crows hanging out in a couple of the trees. I attempted my newest (and probably annoying to most Ravens/Crows) Raven/Crow call that I think sounds a bit like a drowning Turkey. A few weeks back, I heard one Raven/Crow making the sound in a tree over at Raccoon Island and I was told by some people that it is a pretty standard vocalization of theirs.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggie Etc. ~ 6.6; Homemade Pumpkin (Mini-)Loaf ~ 6.9; the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.2

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

Just because I had to know, I asked one of the Mexican wait-staff how to say "baby stroller" en español, he told me it is "cariola" (well, in Mexican Spanish, at least).

I did not bother to ask them how to say "straw" in Spanish, though. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

"To err is human, and so is trying to avoid correcting it." ~ R. Reycraft

Place: Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
Location: 3150 24th Street (on the corner of Shotwell)
Hours: open for breakfast Wednesday-Friday at 8:00am and Saturday-Sunday at 9:00am
Meal: Vegetable Hash ~ (?) Asparagus, Pea Shoots/Tendrils, some Lemon zest (perhaps), & Crispy Potatoes served with Fried Eggs & choice of toast; a slice (more like a huge chunk) of Cinnamon Babka[1]; and a cuppa (and several refillas) Mr. Espresso® Organic Bolivia Cenaproc

(I don't know about you, but when I think "Jewish Deli" the first EweToobular juxtaselection that comes to my mind is Reggae und Hip-Hop Musik aus Berlin.

I do think that Pierre Boulle[2] might take a little bit of an exception to Mr. Fox' use of all these simians in his videos, though.)

I know what you are thinking, "Un deli judío en la Misión?!" (well, you might if you thought in Spanish), but today's breakfastary destination was Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, smack dab in the heart of the Mission. They state that they are "dedicated to building community through traditional Jewish comfort food"; however, I am not sure that necessarily means 100% Kosher[3], as I noticed a Reuben sandwich on the menu (see, meat and cheese are not really a Kosher combo; well, neither were Martin & Lewis, I suppose). And just so you don't think I am anti-semantics in any way, unlike a lot of other Grammar Nazis, I actually know the difference between "Jewish", "Hebrew", and "Israeli".

Like a lot of area coffeehouses, you order and pay first at the front counter, get a number, and they bring out the whole megillah to you when it is ready (a half of a megillah isn't usually enough for a full meal, of course).  Their seating consists of three tables for four, four tables for two, and one extra large table that can handle a klatsch[4] of eight to ten people. Additionally, there are three sidewalk tables for four to six people along the Shotwell side.

Some other comfortably Jewish food ideas for breakfast for stupid vegetarians might be: Matzo Brei (matzo fried with eggs ~ with salt & pepper, sour cream & jam, or maple syrup); Challah[5] French Toast (thick cut slices of house baked challah topped with warm maple syrup & seasonal compound butter); or Market Scramble (seasonal market vegetables scrambled with eggs; served with rye toast & house jam). Don't worry, for any of you that do partake of the dead, decaying animal (just none of the porcine variety) flesh, they offer several other Jewish breakfastary items on their menu. There are no sides of "bacon", but they do have what they call "crispy pastrami[6]" instead. I don't want to tell them their business, but I bet French toast made with either cinnamon or chocolate babkas would be very good, too.

This was a very excellent dish (just not Vegan-Kosher). The reason for my "(?)" in the "Meal" section at the top is that their on-line menu actually has this as being made with: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Red Onion, Delicate Squash, Fried Sage & Crispy Potatoes. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find both asparagus (probably one of my All-time Favourite Ground Fruits of All-time) and pea shoots/tendrils (which I also hold in very high regard) as I had checked the on-line menu the other day and didn't bother to see that they must have updated it recently on their printed menus when I quickly perused it this morning. I had to ask what the greens in it were. I probably would still have liked this if it had included all of the vegetables they had listed on-line (Brussels sprouts are also another favourite of mine, Jean-Claude). And I am not exaggerating any here when I say this probably was 50% asparagus, and not just a piece or two here and there. 

I chose challah as my toasty side choice. I think the choices were: rye, wheat, or challah. Challah actually makes a good toast? Who nu?!

They did also offer Chocolate Babka, but I was glad to see that they did also have the cinnamon version. And I will have both Ms. Benes and Mr. Brandt know that a cinnamon babka is lesser to no other babkas, even chocolate. This babka had lots of cinnamon in it; it was sort of a Jewish cinnamon roll on Steroids (if Steroids or PEDs are Kosher, that is). I happened to toss the slice of orange garnish that was on top of the hash into some crumbs of the cinnamon babka; I later ate the slice of orange and knew from past experience that cinnamon and orange are actually a pretty decent flavour combination (and 100% Kosher even).

They give you an empty Coffee mug at the front counter when you order and you get to serve yourself (and any refills, too, of which, I probably had two or three). I have had Mr. Espresso® many times before, and this was very good roast/blend and went very nicely with the cinnamon babka.

For condimentary supplementation, I only noticed Tapatío® at the Coffee/condiments area. I used some of my own Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce Off The Wall Triple Hot (Thanks, Kerry!) on one half of the pile and some Pickapeppa Sauce on the other half of the mess.

Hava nagilah… what the heck, they are kinda small, have two nagilahs on me!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Vegetable Hash ~ 6.8; Cinnamon Babka ~ 7.2 

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numer jeden:

Now this was actually news to me, but "babka" comes from either the Polish or Belarusian word for "grandmother". I knew that "бабушка/(babushka)" was the Russian word for "grandmother", but the similar Slavic word-roots never even crossed my mind.

(Of course, Herr Gates and his troupe of Goose-stepping, Spell-checker Nazis do not recognize this common baked goods item at all.)

2. Were you aware that the same guy that wrote "The Bridge over the River Kwai" ("Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai") also wrote "Planet of the Apes" ("La Planète des Singes")? I wonder if anyone has contacted Sir Marky Mark to also do a remake of the original Sir Alec Guinness movie yet?

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, מספר שתיים:

"Kosher" comes from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term "כשר/(kashér)", meaning "right"/"fit" (as in "for consumption").

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, Nummer drei:

I can only assume that "klatsch" is a typical Yiddish expression used in most New York delis, but I can't confirm it from my usual go-to lexicon of all things Yiddish, "The Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten, as this word is not listed in it.

Anyway, "klatsch" comes from the German verb "klatschen", meaning "to clap (hands)". 

5. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, מספר ארבעה:

"Challah/challa (לחם)" is simply the Hebrew word for "loaf of bread".

"How can one recognize a Reform Jew in a bakery on Friday? He orders a challa and says, 'Slice it.'" ~ Leo Rosten 

(Überraschung, überraschung! Der Gates-Führer und seine Jungs do not recognize this as a valid word either. I suppose it's not "white-bread" enough for them.)

6. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, beş numara/număr de cinci:

This was also news to me, but "pastrami" was borrowed from either the Turkish word "pastirma" (a type of dried meat/beef) or possibly from the Romanian "a păstra", meaning "to preserve".