Tuesday, December 30, 2014

“My Favourites” of 2014

"Don't cry because it's over, 
smile because it happened." 
~ Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

("Best" and "Morning" are good enough for me for this EweToobular juxtaselection.)

This year, instead of calling my end-of-year compilation list for 2014 a "Best of" (which always seemed a bit presumptuous and egocentric to me; of course, it is my 'blog-thing and it is my opinion that these places may be the "Best", but, even so, they are still "My Favourites"; I will let everyone else decide if they are the "Best" or not… even if you all may very well be wrong), I decided on calling this "My Favourites" (if you have a problem with that, start your own 'damn 'blog-thing and list your own 'damn "Favourites"). I am sticking with the format of a "Top Ten" list, though.

Once again, the easiest way to rank these was just to go back through all my 'blog-entries from the past year and see which ones had the highest Glen Bacon Scale Rating. Simples!

1) It should come as no surprise to anyone (or at least to the two or three people that actually read this stupid li'l 'blog-thing) that "My Top Favourite" choice is the Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro once again (see last 'blog-entry from October 11th ~ as well as a few other times throughout 2014). I am usually more of a "savoury" fan for breakfast, but this "sweet" meal is just simply excellent. This dish truly crosses the liminality of culinarity.

2) French Toast (with cardamom custard, caramelized fruit and whipped honey ricotta) at heartbaker (see 'blog-entry from May 18th). While this may not be the ultimatest Pain Perdu like at Baker Street Bistro, if I had never found Baker Street Bistro's take on the whole eggy-lost bread thing, this might possibly rank at the top of "My Favourite" French Toast of All Time. The extra added bonus of a cardamom custard was nice, too.

3) Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café (see 'blog-entry from April 6th). These really are a great "invention". I always like to explain this to people as simply Eggs Benedict in una versione italiana (o Uova di Benedetto).

4) French Toast de Noel at Zazie (see 'blog-entry from December 28th). These were the third best French toast that I had this year and "My Favourite" Christmas-themed Meal. (This was a late, last-minute entry onto my list. I had pre-prepared this list a few weeks back and really didn't expect to come across any great finds in the last two weeks of 2014. And it really pisses me off that I liked this enough to have to edit my original list. Dammit!)

5) Oeufs Baker Street Bistro at Baker Street Bistro (see 'blog-entry from April 12th). I know that it really isn't fair that a place (not named Dottie's True blue café) should have two meals in my Top Ten, but there it is.

6) #hashtag at homeskillet (see 'blog-entry from May 11th). Potatoes (in this case: hashbrowns) as the basis for a breakfastary meal is always a big plus with me.

7) Stacked Enchiladas at the Little Chihuahua (see 'blog-entry from June 29th). This was sorta like a Mexican cross[1] between Huevos Rancheros and Huevos Benedicto, and literally had "layers of flavour". This was also "My Favourite" New Breakfast of 2014.

8) Chilaquiles at Gallardo's Mexican Restaurant (see 'blog-entry from April 27th). Not only was this a great rendition of Chilaquiles, it could probably be called "My Favourite" New Find of 2014 (even though Gallardo's had been around at other locations over the years).

9) bourbon french toast at Slow Club (see 'blog-entry from February 22nd). This was a very good rendition of French toast, just not as outstanding as #1, #2, or #4 here. (And what is up with there being four different versions of French toast/Pain Perdu in "My Favourites" list?)

10) Signature Soufflé Pancake at Dolce Amore (see 'blog-entry from September 28th). While the pancakes were very tasty, the real find here was their Lavender maple syrup provided as a condimentary supplementation (which on it's own was probably a GBS Rating: 7.8).

2014 Specific Categories (& Specific Honourable Mentions)

"My Favourite" New Golo-to Dish at an Already Established Favourite Place of Mine ~ Golo Ranchero at Cafe Golo (see 'blog-entry from July 4th ~ That's the Spirit!). This was the first time that I ever had this dish there; it will not be the last. GBS Rating: 7.1.

"My Favourite" Bakery Goods Place ~ Cafe Golo (tarts and pastries, several times in the past year; see last 'blog-entry from October 25th); GBS Ratings: 7.0-7.5. Honourable mentions: mini-scone with homemade jams at Home Plate Restaurant (see 'blog-entry from March 16th), GBS Rating: 7.4; Cinnamon Babka at Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen (see 'blog-entry from August 9th), GBS Rating: 7.2; and Cherry Mascarpone Galette at heartbaker (see #2 above), GBS Rating: 7.1.

"My Favourite" (New for Me) Crêpe Joint Find of 2014 ~ higher grounds coffee house (see 'blog-entry from November 9th). This was just a great little place for both crêpes and Coffee. GBS Rating: 6.8.

"My Favourite" Breakfast Burrito of 2014 ~ Breakfast Burrito at Mo'z Café (see 'blog-entry from August 31st). Actually, this was one of the only two Breakfast Burritos that I had this year, so it made for an easy choice. GBS Rating: 6.6.

"My Favourite" Use of Kale ~ Spicy Kale (with some tomatoes and other junk in it) Skillet at Eats (see 'blog-entry from January 26th). It’s a kale-thing, Emeril. GBS Rating: 7.0.

"My Favourite" New Potatoey Side Dish Find ~ smash browns at Greenburger's. (see 'blog-entry from February 15th). GBS Rating: 7.2. (Of course, it goes without saying that the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes at Eats are still "My Favourite" Potatoey Side Dish; GBS Rating: 7.5.) 

"My Favourite" New Coffee Find of 2014 ~ Alta de Dota from Peet's Coffee & Tea®. This was from their Limited Edition series and was only available for a short time this Summer. Unfortunately, I ran out of mine about a month ago now, and they had already stopped producing it for several months by then. It is definitely worth checking out when they decide to run it again. GBS Rating: 7.9. Honourable mention: Peet's® Sulawesi Kalosi (actually, this may not really be a "New Coffee" for me, but I don't think that I have purchased this one that often before; the good thing is that this blend/roast can usually be purchased all year-round); GBS Rating: 7.6.


"My Favourite" New Hot Sauce ~ Fat Cat® Surprisingly Mild Guajillo Ghost (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!). It really was surprisingly mild (seeing as the Ghost Chilli is the third hottest chilli pepper out there currently), but still packed a buncha flavour. Heat-wise, this was probably only twice as hot as Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), but much less hot than most habanero hot sauces on the market. GBS Rating: 7.5.


"My Favourite" Bready/Toasty Side ~ (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) at Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (like there could be any other choice; see last 'blog-entry from November 1st); GBS Rating: 8.2.

Unlike last year, I am foregoing any additional list of "My Least Favourites" (or "the Bottom Fivers"). Let's just say that the Y*nkees and the D*dgers will always be at the bottom of any of my lists, anyway.

And lastly, I would like to take this time to pay my respects to any restaurants that have since closed their doors in 2014 (exempli gratia, Greenburger's, et cetera). I would especially like to say "R.I.P." to Q Restaurant and Wine Bar for several years of valued service in my Breakfastary Rotation and for many pleasurable breakfastations[2] (even though they always called it "Brunch", but everyone knows that "Brunch" is not a real word)!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro ~ 8.2; French Toast at heartbaker ~ 7.7; Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café ~ 7.6; French Toast de Noel at Zazie ~ 7.5; Oeufs Baker Street Bistro at Baker Street Bistro ~ 7.4; #hashtag at homeskillet ~ 7.4; Stacked Enchiladas at the Little Chihuahua ~ 7.4; Chilaquiles at Gallardo’s Mexican Restaurant ~ 7.3; bourbon french toast at Slow Club ~ 7.2; Signature Soufflé Pancake at Dolce Amore ~ 7.2

1. Of course, everyone knows that una cruz mexicana has a guy named "Jesús" on it.

2. The Chayote Benedict that I had there several years ago (see 'blog-entry from July 31st, 2010) is still one of my top-rated meals in a long time and it was what predicated my placing Q Restaurant and Wine Bar initially into my Breakfastary Rotation. GBS Rating: 7.7.

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