Saturday, August 2, 2014

the Grove

"A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company." ~ Charles Evans Hughes, Sr.

Place: the Grove
Location: 301 Hayes Street (on the corner of Franklin Street)
Hours: open for breakfast Monday-Friday at 7:00am and Saturday-Sunday at 8:00am
Meal: Ranchero Baked Eggs ~ two eggs baked in a house made roasted dried red chile sauce and smokey black beans, topped with Cotija cheese, avocado, sour cream and cilantro, served with warm, local La Palma Taqueria corn tortillas; a raisin-cinnamon roll; and a cuppa Verve Coffee Roasters House Blend

(I know one former North Yorkshire resident will enjoy today's EweToobular songs. It seems I have been a little remiss in posting any songs from this N'Awlins-based band featuring a trumpet with a thyroid problem. I probably mighta shoulda posted some of their music last week with the Brenda's 'blog-entry.

And, yes, I could have linked "China Grove" by the Doobie Brothers for a good juxtaselection, but that song really sounds dated today, not like this much newer sound displayed by Tuba Skinny, of course.)

It had been quite some time since I last ate breakfast at the Grove (see last 'blog-entry from September 23rd, 2012), so I figured a return visit was overdue. the Grove is a mini local chain of coffeehouses in San Francisco with three remaining locations: Hayes Valley (this morning's destination); Lower Pacific Heights (Fillmore Street at Pine Street); and Downtown/Yerba Buena (Mission Street at 3rd Street). The Marina/Chestnut Street location (their original spot, I think) closed last year sometime (June 2013-ish?). This was my first time having breakfast at their Hayes Street location; I have eaten lunch there a few times before. The Hayes Valley location is one of the newest of their restaurants, only opened for a few years now (January 2011-ish?). Coincidentally enough, I parked just two blocks away over on Grove Street this morning.

This is a very large space for a coffeehouse, with various seating areas that can accommodate about 50-60 people inside ~ to include some original seats from the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel (see below photo, or see photo below); plus, there is sidewalk seating for sixteen along Hayes Street and an additional twelve seats along the Franklin Street side. There are also a large central (electric/gas) fireplace and indoor water/wishing fountain (and I made sure to leave a copper coin memento of my own, Mrs. Blankenship… now if the stupid Red Sox can just win this weekend's Series against the D*mn Y*nkees I will know that thing really works).

Like most coffeehouses in the city, you order at the counter and pay for the meal first, then they give you a number to place on your table and will bring the food out to you when it is damn good and ready! For "just a coffeehouse", they actually have several other good breakfastary suggestions: Eggs and Avocado Toast (mashed ripe avocado on grilled thick-cut Semifreddi's sweet batard[1] with lemon, organic olive oil, and coarse sea salt; topped with two poached eggs, chives, and served with dressed mixed greens; I liked the simple sound of this one and might need to check it out in the future); Mexican Migas (eggs scrambled with crushed La Palma tortilla chips, pico de gallo, Monterey jack, topped with avocado, cilantro, and Cotija cheese; sliced, pickled jalapeños served on the side; this is probably just another version of Chilaquiles); or Warm Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding (heated-to-order and topped with classic vanilla icing, served with a side of fresh strawberries; if I ordered this one, I would probably have had to order a side of Crispy Golden Hashbrowns to counter-balance the whole sweet-savoury thing… "Golden Hashbrowns"? "Military Intelligence"? "Polite Y*nkees fans"? "etc.?").

This came in its own single-serving skillet, and the waitress-server lady made sure to point out that the handle would be very hot (and, of course, I just had to touch it to make sure. It was very hot, by the way. Why do they even bother to tell people that? Idiots like me would never even think to do so unless prompted.). This had a very nice tasting Ranchero sauce (well, before I ruined it with the addition of some nuclear condimentary supplementation). This was sort of a Mexicano version of a Shakshouka (see 'blog-entry from Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen from December 15th, 2013). While this was not really an awful lot of food, it worked out nicely with the pastry beforehand for my appetite purposes.

This is really not meant as an insult to Verve Coffee Roasters, but I thought my cuppa this morning was a little on the weak side. I will put it down to either the blend/roast is meant to be somewhat "blonde" (I prefer a much deeper, darker flavour myself), or maybe it was just the first batcha that was brewed this morning that was a little watered-down. I have had Verve at other places and it is generally a very decent cuppa. The plus of it is that it was served in a very large cup (mini-bowl).

For condimentary supplementation, the Grove has Tapatio® on all the tables and they also have Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) available if you ask. I foolishly used some (and seriously I used just five carefully counted-out drops of the stuff) of my own Blair's After Death® Sauce with Liquid Fire (Thanks a lot, Sean!). This stuff is really very, overly spicy. I have had the same bottle now for a little over two years and have yet to really make a dent in it (well, if the bottle were made of tin and not glass, that is). I figure at this rate, I will still be using this stuff up by the time the Red Sox win the World Series again (and just my luck they will miraculously win it all again in 2015 just to make me have to use it all up by next October!).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Ranchero Baked Eggs ~ 6.4; Verve Coffee ~ 6.3 (normally this would be 6.8-6.9 at least)

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

First off, Herr Billy-boy and his troupe of Spell-checking Nazis did not even recognise this as a valid word. Once again, I must state that these fargin' chemise brune bâtards really need to get out to eat more often.

"Bâtard" (which is the correct spelling, with the little circumflex hat thingy) simply means "bastard"/"illegitimate"/"mongrel" in French (and was one of the first swear-words I ever learned back in 7th Grade French Class from ce bâtard de rat Monsieur Dyer). In bakery terms, it usually is just a shorter, rounder version of a baguette (which, thankfully, Microsoft has no problem spell-checking). Why it is called "bâtard", je ne sais pas. Maybe it was just named after some bread-loving politiciens ou avocats en Paris.

No comments:

Post a Comment