Saturday, November 22, 2014

phoenix bar

"Laugh and the world laughs with you… snore and you sleep alone." 
~ Anthony Burgess

Place: phoenix bar
Location: 811 Valencia Street (between 19th and 20th Streets)
Hours: open at 10:00am Saturday & Sunday for "Brunch"
Meal: Vegetable Hash ~ grilled potatoes, mixed vegetables, poached eggs, with goat cheese sauce; and a large glass of ½-orange juice and ½-grapefruit juice

(I know I could have used Glen Campbell's classic version of this song, but I just liked these versions much more.)

Today's breakfastary destination was just a few blocks down the street (if the street happens to be Valencia, that is) from last Sunday's entry. I had "Brunch" (their actual term, and that they don't open until 10:00am for the first meal of the day on the weekends kind of dictates the use of this snooty sobriquet) at phoenix bar. It is mainly an "Irish Pub and Gathering House" (it says so right above the awning in the front), but they have some pretty decent dishes on their food menu. There are several large-screen TeeVees around the joint, and they were showing some Barclays Premier League Football games (aka "English Soccer" to you bloody Y*nks[1]) this morning.

There is plenty of seating throughout the place. There is probably enough for fifty to sixty people at several copper-covered tables (made for two to four people), and many of these tables have benches along the wall side that look like they may have been pews in a church at one time (I made sure to get one of those to get the whole religious effect of the meal). Plus, there are another fifteen to sixteen seats along the bar.

They offer a pretty small "Brunch" menu (I counted only eleven items, which I almost needed to take my shoes off to do so) and there were just a few other good ideas for stupid vegetarians. However, I was also looking at getting either Veggie Omelet (fresh seasonal vegetables, cheese, and breakfast potatoes) or Huevos Valencianos (roasted chiles, guacamole, black beans, eggs any style, corn tortillas with grilled Irish bacon or spicy sausage; which I would have ordered sin carne, of course). For those of you that are huge fans of the dead, decaying porcine products, they also offer the traditional Irish breakfast, coincidentally enough, called Traditional Irish Breakfast (sausage, Irish bacon, pudding [don't let the name fool you, this ain't none of the sweet stuff that Bill Cosby used to shill], baked beans, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and potatoes); this meal is also known alternatively as "Cardiac Arrest on a Plate".

I really liked that they bring out before each meal slices of homemade Irish soda bread[2]; and they will give you more if you ask for it, too (I asked for it). I bet this would make for a great base for a Celtic version of Eggs O'Benedict, too. (Actually they do offer just this on their "Brunch" menu as Irish Bacon Benedict ~ grilled Irish soda bread, Irish bacon, poached eggs, Hollandaise, and potatoes; I may need to try that one in the future, too.)

In addition to the grilled potatoes mentioned above, today's mixture of vegetables was: kale, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, carrots, (red, green, and yellow) bell peppers, zucchini, and the vile weed. All except for the vile weed were welcomed ingredients, and kale is one of my favourite leafy greens, anyway. Strangely enough, in this hash there really wasn't any discernible garlic or onions; perhaps the owners are Mahāyāna Buddhist Irish. I had completely forgotten that this had a goat cheese sauce on it; I was wondering why the poached eggs seemed extra creamy. It all worked very nicely with the vegetable hash.

I asked the waitress/server/bartender-lady  (there was just one person working the bar and taking food orders when I first got there) what kind of juices they offered and she told me both orange and grapefruit juices. So I asked her for a glass with "half-and-half". She must have misunderstood me and brought me out a pint o' Guinness® and Harp® Lager… (Nah, not really. But that would have been pretty funny at an Irish pub for breakfast.)

For condimentary supplementation, phoenix bar actually had a pretty decent offering: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (three types, too: the standard red, green jalapeño, and Chipotle); El Yucateco® Salsa Picante Verde de Chile Habanero (the green kind); Tapatío®; and HP Sauce (the standard kind, not the Guinness® one, though). I really didn't expect them to have that many salsas from which to choose, so I had brought a few of my own and used some Born to Hula presents Devon Allman's All Natural Hot Sauce Chipotle Blues (Thanks, Kerry!) on top of one of the eggs and a little (just a few drops, as this one goes a long way) Fat Cat® Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on top of the other egg. I did make sure to use a good amount of the HP all around on the potatoes and vegetable hash.

This is another one that is definitely worth a return visit… one of these days, me droogs.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Vegetable Hash ~ 6.5 (I gave this an extra .2 for the inclusion of the kale, but I also took away .1 due to the vile weed); homemade Irish soda bread ~ 6.7

1. But, Brian, aren't you also a "bloody Y*nkee"? Not on yer life, boyo! As a devout Red Sox fan, being called a "Y*nkee" would be as bad as calling an Irishman English!

2. For anyone not familiar with Irish soda bread, here is some information from the friendly people at WikipediA:

Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Soda bread" in Irish is "arán sóide".

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