Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pork Store Cafe

A Breakfastarian[1] "Plan 9 From Outer Space"?

Place: Pork Store Cafe
Location: 1451 Haight Street (between Ashbury and Masonic)
Hours:  open at 7:00am Monday-Friday; open at (right on the nose, too) 8:00am Saturday-Sunday
Meal: Nadia's Vegetarian Scramble ~ Eggs, onions, mushrooms, fresh spinach, Jack cheese, fresh salsa & spices (served with Hash Browned [sic, and noted as two words] Potatoes or Grits, Biscuits or Toast or English Muffin); and a large glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice

My initial plan of attack this morning was to indagate a new/different place for breakfast; however, you know what that poet Robert Frost guy said: "The best-laid eggs o' mice an' Ed Wood gang agley in the afternoons." (or something like that, who could ever understand what the drunken Scotsman was ganging on about). I had originally planned on going to People's Cafe, Chairman Mao, but they do not have their own official web-site (or little red book) to find out what their actual hours of operation are, so I had to determine the hours that they opened from a few different on-line urban guides, and a few different sites had it opening at either 7:00am or 8:00am. I got over there about 7:45am and figured I could just kill some time on Haight Street with the rest of the indigenous streeties if they didn't open up until 8:00am. However, there were no signs on the building as to when they actually open and there were also no signs that they would be actually opening any time soon, either.

Oops! Looks like it was time for a whole 'nuther "Plan B", Bela. I knew that there is a "new" crêpe/breakfast joint, 1428 Haight, right across the street from People's Cafe. I write this as "new" as they are really just the same location that was once part of the whole Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery mini-chain of crêperies in San Francisco (see last 'blog-entry from July 26th, 2014;; apparently there was a little (squat and) squabble amongst the partners, and one of them ended up with this location and changed the name to what it is now. And also three doors down from People's Cafe is Pork Store Cafe (see previous 'blog-entry from September 6th, 2010 ~ coincidentally enough, almost four years ago; Both 1428 Haight and
Pork Store Cafe had signs stating that they open for breakfast at 8:00am (and both showed signs of doing so shortly), so I just left it up to whichever opened up first. Consider this a sort of temporal coin toss.

Pork Store Cafe is a rather small place, but it is very popular with the "Brunch" crowd. Their seating is just: two front window/alcove tables for four people; two tables for two; three more tables for four; and twelve to fourteen counter stools (and that is it; because of which, there is usually a long line and extended wait outside on the weekends). Luckily, there were only about six other people waiting to get inside when they first opened up. I ordered quickly and my meal was served in about five minutes; this would not be the case later in the day when they are very busy (after the stupid "Brunch"-sters have rolled out of bed around 10:00am or later).

Pork Store Cafe has a pretty substantial breakfast menu (and I am glad to see they actually call it "breakfast", not "Brunch" on their menus). There were a few other decent ideas that I was looking at: Green Benedict (Scrambled eggs with asparagus over fresh avocado on toasted sourdough bread, topped with Hollandaise, served with grits or hash browned potatoes ~ asparagus and avocado sounded like a winner to me); Pesto Feta Scramble (3 eggs scrambled with homemade pesto sundried tomato sauce [they make a point of noting on their menu: "pesto contains parsley and walnuts"; I think they have to legally state that for any of you with severe parsley allergies], "the vile weed" [it is always a foregone conclusion that I would have foregone this ingredient; and how come they never have a "the vile weed" allergy warning?], and Feta cheese, served with hash browned potatoes or grits, and choice of bread or biscuit); or The '49er (2 eggs any style with potatoes or grits, biscuits & sausage gravy or veggie gravy). There are even three to four Vegan options (I really didn't pay much attention to those specifically; next thing you know those damned Vegans will be requesting their own schools). And, as their name implies, they do offer many different dishes with the dead, decaying porcine flesh in them.

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

After breakfast, on my way back to my car, I saw about four to five of the little winged noisemakers flying over the Panhandle. I am pretty sure a small pandemonium resides in some of the tall eucalyptus trees there.

This was all a nice cheesy, gooey mess. I liked it. For my breakfastary sides, I went with hashbrowns (natch') and (two) fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits (even I can "cook" toast and English muffins on my own). I ended up just adding the hashbrowns to the rest of the scrambled mess when I was about half-way done (or half-way started?), it was just easier that way (and it was all good).

For condimentary supplementation,
 Pork Store Cafe has a pretty decent selection: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red); Tapatío®; Frank's® RedHot Original; and El Yucateco® XXX Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (I had even brought a bottle of my own of that very same hot sauce with me this morning). Even so, I still used some of my own Hula Girl Chipotle Habanero (Thanks, Jim! And that about killed the last of that bottle now.) on the potatoes and some Florida Gold Premium Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the scramble mess.

I did notice that People's Cafe had finally opened by the time I finished eating (a little after 8:30am), so maybe I will give them another chance in a few weeks.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Nadia's Scramble ~ 6.5; homemade buttermilk biscuits ~ 6.6

1. A few years back, I had come up with the completely made-up word "breakfastary". I have even used it as the adverbial "breakfastarily" and a few other variations. I noticed during a recent Google search that not only is "breakfastary" referenced many times, but both "breakfastarian" and "breakfastarianism" are, too. I kind of like the idea of it being seen as not only a movement, but also in a pseudo-religiosity sense. 

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