Saturday, November 8, 2014

Causwells ~ American Bistro

Place: Causwells ~ American Bistro
Location: 2346 Chestnut Street (between Divisadero and Scott Streets)
Hours: open for "Brunch" Saturday and Sunday at 9:00am
Meal: Farm fresh omelet ~ eggplant, squash, arugula, Parmesan; a side order of Breakfast potatoes; and a (small) glass of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

(Why EweToobular songs By Emily Wells? 'Cause I said so.)

Causwells ~ American Bistro just opened in July of this year and this was my first breakfastary (or any-ary) visit there. They are located in the spot where Bechelli's used to be (see previous 'blog-entry from March 28th, 2010), right next door to the Presidio movie theatre (in a space that I can only assume was once part of the Presidio). They completely gutted and remodeled the entire inside. I like that they kept the circular front window from Bechelli's, that was a good idea and a bit of an homage to the original 1950's style diner. There is still the other Bechelli's restaurant at the Flower Market (and, coincidentally enough, which is called Bechelli's Flower Market Cafe). I think that the Marina location of Bechelli's had been closed for about two years now (maybe less).

I was one of the first people to get there this morning and sat outside where they have eight tables for two along the sidewalk (but only two umbrellas). As the Sun was out and shining brightly, I was sure to score one of the tables that was being shaded by one of the umbrellas. There is probably seating inside for thirty to forty people (I really didn't pay much attention) since they no longer have the u-shaped diner-counter in the middle of the space. All eight of the sidewalk tables filled up almost immediately, too. 

For some reason, the name of place is "Causwells" in the plural, and not "Causwell's" in the possessive. I really did not think to ask anyone why this was. 

The "Brunch" moniker could be forgiven as they open up early enough to just be considered breakfast; however, the minimalist menu and the neighborhood really dictates it being called a "Brunch" joint. And they are definitely catering to the whole Chestnut Street "Brunch" crowd (even if you didn't graduate from an Ivy League college, or don't own a Labrador ~ whether Yellow, Chocolate, or Black ~ or Golden Retriever).

The only other ideas that I might have had for breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) were: Deviled eggs (a trio of halves: "classic/avocado/smoked trout"; of course, I would always have doubled up on the avocado ones and skipped the Roy one); Roasted beets salad (with baby garnet yams, pistachio vinaigrette, gribiche[1]); French toast bites (with a Brandy sauce); or House made ricotta, rosemary honey, lavosh [sic]. And that really is about the extent of their "Brunch Fare" menu for stupid vegetarians.

I liked the squash addition in this omelette as this is not a normal/standard ingredient for an omelette. At first I thought it might have been some kind of Kabocha Squash, but it had both an orange skin/rind and flesh. I asked my friendly waiter-server guy, Nick, and he said it was an "Autumn Squash". Now, I really have no idea what that means (I have heard of both "Summer" and "Winter" squashes), and I think that it was probably just some kind of Butternut Squash or such. The sweet taste of the squash was nice, but the omelette really could have used some kind of salty element in it. Perhaps they could have used just a little more Parmesan cheese to balance out the sweetness with some saltiness. I wonder if Kalamata olives would have worked with this combination; if nothing else, that would have been a great tribute omelette to the San Francisco Giants (who are the 2014 MLB World Champions of the World if you were not aware). Or maybe even use some nice Feta in place of the Parmesan; it always seems to come down to Feta and Kalamata olives with me.

The Breakfast potatoes were okay. There were lots of (white) onions and (red) bell peppers in it. However, I would have liked that the potatoes were a little bit crispier.

Causwells only had Cholula® Hot Sauce on all the tables for condimentary supplementation. I used some of my own Fairhope Favorites Aged-N-Charred Moonshine Hot Sauce XXX (Thanks, Phyll!) on the omelette stuff and some Nando's® Extra Hot Peri-Peri Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the potatoes.

While I was sitting there waiting for my food to arrive, a couple stopped by and looked at the place with a little perplexing look. I asked them if they were looking for Bechelli's, and that was exactly it. I told them that it had closed a while back now, and they commented, "That's what happens when you only get back here every so often from the East Bay." They looked a little disappointed and didn't seem too impressed with the (fancy-shmancy) looks of Causwells, so I pointed them in the direction of Judy's CAFE (see recent 'blog-entry from August 16th, 2014) which is just another block down Chestnut Street on the same side of the street. Maybe in another thirty-plus years people will be lamenting the passing of Causwells, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Farm fresh omelet ~ 6.4

1. I have absolutely no idea what the heck "gribiche" is, so here is a somewhat explanation from the friendly folks at WikipediA:

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