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?"

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