Saturday, February 28, 2015

It’s Tops (Fountain) Coffee Shop

"People who live in glass houses[1] shouldn't get stoned." ~ Leo Rosten

Place: It's Tops (Fountain) Coffee Shop
Location: 1801 Market Street (somewhat at Octavia Boulevard)
Hours: open daily at 8:00am
Meal: Create your own Omelette ~ ("my creation" was) with avocado, jalapeños, and bell pepper and onion sauté[2], served with home fried potatoes and choice of toast; and a glass of apple-and-cranberry juice (this wasn't already apple-cranberry juice combination out of the bottle, I simply had them mix for me half-apple and half-cranberry juice… let the fruity optimist-pessimist debate begin)

(For the first two songs, today's EweToobular juxtaselections are simply from the name of the place and the name of the Motown group. Besides, I don't ever really need an excuse to include any songs with the mellifluous styling of Levi Stubbs and the always smooth and suave Four Tops

The final song is just because I stumbled across it last week while canoodling around on EweToob. This guy can really play the guitar!)

It had been a few years since I last ate at It's Tops
(Fountain) Coffee Shop (see last 'blog-entry from September 18th, 2011) so I figured a return trip was overdue. The sign on the outside of the building says that they have been open "Since 1935"; however, they also have a movie marquee-type sign over the entrance that says "AWΣSOME HOT CAKES" (which is better than "AWESOME HOT CAKΣS", I suppose; that damn VANNA WHITΣ must have absconded with the other "E"); so take it all for what it is worth. I just know that they have been around as long as I have lived in San Francisco (since November 1986), so even that would still be pretty long. The seating consists of twelve diner-counter stools and eight reddish (well, they were probably a deeper red or burgundy many years ago) vinyl-covered booths of varying sizes that could seat from four to eight people. All of the booths have jukebox devices at them, and there are three more connections along the diner-counter. Unfortunately, there were no pink-and-black-uniformed waitresses to be seen there yet this early in the morning.

It's Tops offers a pretty decent amount of items from which to choose for breakfast. I was thinking about getting Susan's Spicy Spuds (home fried potatoes doused with house made salsa, cheese, and a dab of sour cream on the side; can be made with avocado or mushrooms added, too); I probably would have had them add an egg or two laid on Top and gone with both the avocado and mushroom additions. They also have something called Stuffed Waffles ~ they offer either Bacon or Sausage (with the dead, decaying animal flesh on the inside) and Walnut Banana (with the walnuts on the inside and the banana on Top) ~ which sounded good, too.

This was a pretty good omelette. It was a little light on the avocado for my tastes, but it more than made up for it with the amount of jalapeños in it, and these were fresh, sliced jalapeños which always beats the picked kind out of a jar or can. The bell peppers were both the orange and yellow variety; the onions were just of the plain ol' white type. I probably woulda-shoulda gotten this also with Jack cheese in it. I went with sourdough toast as my bread choice, and this actually comes as grilled, not toasted, bread (I like that as a change once in a while). 

Now their version of homefries are really exceptional. They are thinly sliced and then grilled, which makes them somewhat of a hybrid of homefries and hashbrowns. I spoke with the owner/manager-type guy, and he said that they used to make their breakfastary potatoes with hashbrowns, but they ended up being harder to make (bloody/scraped knuckles don't really add any appeal to the mess), so they went to this style, which works just fine for me.

It's Tops offers for condimentary supplementation both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red) and Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce. I went with some of my own The Wiltshire Chilli Farm smoked Chipotle chilli sauce on the potatoes and some Mango hot chilli sauce (Thanks for both, Cindy & Greg!) on the omelette. (Unfortunately, so far, the Chipotle one is the only bottle with which I am really making any noticeable headway.)

Regrettably, today's breakfastary meal did not include any "sugar pies" or "honey bunches", Renée…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Create your own Omelette ~ 6.3; home fried potatoes ~ 6.8

1. People that live in Pateley Bridge and Bewerley should be careful of being overly self-righteous, too.*

*(Of course, that poor joke will probably only be understood by one or two people that read this stupid 'blog-thing.)

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day:

"Sauté" is a French word; it is the past participle of the verb "sauter" which means "to jump, skip, or bounce". 

Extra-added kudos goes to It's Tops for spelling this correctly avec accent aigu on both their printed and on-line menus.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Brenda’s Meat & Three

"Every silver lining has a cloud around it." ~ Leo Rosten

Place: Brenda's Meat & Three
Location: 919 Divisadero Street (between McAllister Street and Golden Gate Avenue)
Hours: open everyday[1] except Tuesday at 8:00am (where they call the early morning meal "breakfast" for everyday[2] usage, but they insist on calling it "Brunch" on the weekends)
Meal: Corn Succotash[3] & White Cheddar Omelette ~ corn, zucchini, tomato, lima beans, onion & sweet pepper succotash, with grits or hash, & toast or biscuit; and a glass of orange juice

(There is absolutely no connection with today's EweToobular song and anyone named "Brenda" or "Billy", or succotash, or N'Arlins ~ at least none that I can see or none that were intended.)

I had breakfast at a relatively new place (open only since Hallowe'en 2014) called Brenda’s Meat & Three. They are owned/run by the same people that own/run Brenda's ~ French Soul Food (see last 'blog-entry from July 27th, 2014). This is located in the space that used to house BlueJay Cafe (which I last visited in June 2013, so I have no idea when they might have closed up shop). They did a bit of remodeling inside, but it's still a friendly neighborhoody spot; and, luckily, they kept the cool, small backyard patio space. If you ask me (and even if you don't ask me, I am telling you anyway), they open up early enough on the weekends that they really don't need to use the snooty-assed moniker "Brunch" for their first meal of the day.

The menu at this new place isn't exactly the same as that at the original Brenda's, but it is similar enough and some of the items are the same. I was thinking of ordering a few other items that looked good, too: Sweet Potato Pancakes (topped with butter pecan sauce; if I got that one, I would probably have also ordered a side of either grits or potatoes ~ you can never have enough carbohydrates) or Eggs Florentine with Creole Hollandaise (two poached eggs on our famous cream biscuit, served with grits or hash). They also have a Breakfast Specials board (on an actual black/chalkboard) and some of the specials this weekend were Bananas Foster French Toast (I have had this before at their other restaurant and it was very good), (and for any of you dead, decaying animal flesh eaters) Molasses Ham Benedict, or Creole Fried Chicken Benedict.

However, unlike the other Brenda's, they do not offer any N'Arlins-style Coffee (you know, the stuff made with roasted chicory added into it; when I asked my waitress-server lady about this, she said not everyone likes the chicory flavour in their Coffee; My opinion on that? Tough chicory! If you don't want N'Arlins-style Coffee at a N'Arlins joint, eat at a damn Chicago joint where they don't add any chicory to their crummy, watered-down Coffee) or the additional lagniappe[4] of their tasty beignets, which is a real shame as those are worth a trip themselves alone. At least they do still have jars of their really good, fresh strawberry jam on all tables (which I saw fit to use a good amount on my biscuit).

What's wrong with this picture, Ahnold? Wash-day, right?! If I were plating this, I would have placed the omelette in the centre of the plate and the potatoes on the left side of the plate. But that is just me. I know it all still eats the same… unless you are from Israel or one of those Arabian countries. 

This was a very good omelette. It had lots of good junk stuffed inside it. Lima beans in an omelette?! Who knew this would work? (That is if you aren't one of those chicory and lima bean hatin' anti-Cajun/Creole types.) This was somewhat similar to the Creole Veggie Omelette at the other Brenda's. I opted for the potatoes over grits; their grits are usually very good, but I wanted to try their potatoes for a change. And I chose the fresh-baked biscuit over plain ol' toast. (Who wouldn't? Probably the same idiots that don't like N'Arlins-style Coffee or lima beans. Don't you just hate those kinds of picky people?!)

For condimentary supplementation, Brenda's has just Crystal® Louisiana’s Pure Hot Sauce available on all tables. I figured that they would have about the same choice as their other place, so I brought some of my own stash and used some The Wiltshire Chilli Farm
Winter chilli sauce on the potatoes and some Hell Mouth (Thanks for both, Cindy & Greg!) on the omelette.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: CS&WC Omelette ~ 6.9

1. Just like yesterday's restaurant, they actually have this mistakenly spelled as one word. "Everyday" (one word) is normally an adjective and has the meaning "of or relating to every day; daily", but I am sure that they meant this to be two words: "every day". When used as a noun, "everyday" can mean "the routine or ordinary day or occasion". I really don't think it was their intention to say that they serve any mundane (or Monday) food here, though.

2. See? That is the "correctly usage" of this word.

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day, number one:

"Succotash" comes from the Narragansett word "msickquatash", meaning "broken kernels of corn".

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-etymological pointer of the day, number two:

I purposefully (and purposely) used the word "lagniappe" here as it is chiefly a Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas expression. It is an Americanism that comes from Louisiana French from American Spanish "la ñapa", which is a variant of the Quecha word "yápa", meaning "that which is added".

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Home Plate

"Don't burn your bridges until you come to them." ~ General Legendary

Place: Home Plate
Location: 2274 Lombard Street (between Pierce and Steiner Streets)
Hours: open everyday (they actually have this spelled as one word, not two, but their food is anything but ordinary or commonplace) at 7:00am
Meal: Fried Polenta ~ (2) homemade fried polenta (mushroom, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese) and two eggs any style, served with toast; and a medium-size glass of fresh honeydew juice

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselections can simply be explained that the whole "Home-y" theme fits well with the first song ~ and, yes, the Talking Heads live version is always a much better choice, but I think that I have already used that once before [and more than likely with a previous 'blog-entry of this specific place]; the second song is because I noticed that I linked a couple other Daniel Norgren songs with my last 'blog-entry at this place. This is one of his newer songs. 

I am pretty impressed how the 'merican Blues and Folk scene is being carried on in Sweden and other areas of Scandinavialand.)

Because Spring Training started earlier this week, I felt it necessary to report back to Home Plate (see last 'blog-entry from March 16th, 2014) for breakfast myself (well, with most of the Pitchers and Catchers having already reported; the rest of those lazy bums will be having their own breakfasts in Floridia and Arizonia in a few more days still).

This place is rather small and normally handles the Lombard Street tourista crowd (from all the many nearby hotels and motels along the way; two tables over there were three German touristas that I heard, and many customers were wearing shorts... in San Francisco... in the wintertime, which is usually a dead give-away tourista-mode). It has just six tables for two and six tables for four (all singles and menage-à -trois type people need not apply).

I really like their standard menu selections. The menu is very extensive, and there are always several other good ideas from which to choose: Marco Polo (two poached eggs, tomatoes, avocado, turkey, Hollandaise sauce on an English muffin; served with two potato-carrot pancakes or hashbrowns; of course, I would have nixed the dead, decaying poultry bits, Stevie) or Triple Play French Toast (one slice each of Egg Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, and Raisin-pecan Bread dipped in orange-cinnamon batter, served with maple syrup, butter, and powder sugar [sic]). Off the printed Specials insert to the menu: Dulce de Leche Pancakes (two pancakes filled with Dulce de Leche and topped with caramel, sliced almond [noted in the singular] and whipped cream). And off the weekend Specials dry-erase board: Almond French Toast (topped with toasted almond [noted once again in the singular; these must be some very large or very expensive almonds to only have included just the one], powder sugar [sic], & butter).

Worry not my fine-feathered eating friends (as well as my fine-porcine eating friends and my fine-aquatic insects eating friends), they do also have a decent amount of meatetarian items, too. Off the printed Specials insert: Spanish Scramble (three eggs scrambled with andouille sausage, caramelised onions, tomato, green onions, and Jack cheese, served with two potato-carrot pancakes or hashbrowns and toast) or Bangkok Fritata [sic] (shrimps, mushroom, tomato, green onion, cilantro, jalapeños, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, served with two potato-carrot pancakes or hashbrowns and toast). Additionally, off the weekend Specials dry-erase board (well, off the menu on the board, I don't think anyone wants to actually eat off a dirty, old dry-erase board): Angry Benedict (two poached eggs, shrimps [sic], spinach [but, thankfully, not "spinaches"], jalapeños, with Cajun Hollandaise sauce, served with two potato-carrot pancakes or hashbrowns), Crab Omelette, or Crab Cakes Benedict.

It may seem like I am making undue fun of all these spelling and grammar errors, but that really was not intended at all. (Well, okay, maybe that was my intent just a littles.) I think the family that owns and runs the joint are all Thai, so they are doing a pretty decent job with the confusing English language. 555!

I always like how every meal starts with a complimentary (or complementary) mini-scone (raisin) and two kinds of jams. These are always their own homemade jams, and today's were apple and strawberry.

We have another winner! These came as two huge (easily 2"-thick each) chunks of polenta. I really liked that the pinoli added a nice flavour to these, too. I just went with eggs over-medium and sourdough toast as my supplemental choices. I suppose that the polenta all by itself may not have been enough, but they could easily have been a nice side dish all on their own, or, better yet, as the basis for some kinda Eggs Benedicty dish.

I probably mighta shoulda gotten a side order of their potato-carrot pancakes because they are really very good. However, they only offer these as a side of four each, and that may have been a bit too much food (or foods) for me to finish.

Home Plate offers the Standard San Francisco Triumvirate of Hot Sauces: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the standard red), Cholula® Hot Sauce, or Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce on all the tables, but I also remember from my last visit that they have Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. I just used some of my own The Wiltshire Chilli Farm Mango hot chilli sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on top of the eggs and some Fat Cat® Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on the polenta chunks. I was initially going to mess with just one of the chunks (as this stuff is pretty potent and picante), but I poured wayyyy too much out on top of one and decided it best to spread it out amongst its buddy.

I have always liked this little joint. The people there are always super friendly, and the food is always interesting, top-notch, and tasty. They are definitely "Rotation-Worthy", Ms. Benes, if ever need be.

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

Once again, I parked over by the Lombard Street gate of the Presidio (it's always just much easier to park there and walk the three or four blocks down Lombard Street than to try and find closer parking) and, because of which, I was rewarded by seeing (after first hearing) about twenty of the chattering rascals in their normal roost way at the top of the tall eucalyptus trees in the small dog park in that part of the Presidio.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Fried Polenta ~ 6.5; mini-scone (with homemade jams) ~ 7.3; the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Big Joe’s

"Don't bite the hand that lays the golden egg." ~ Samuel Goldwyn

(No official web-site.)

Place: Big Joe's
Location: 717 Monterey Boulevard (at Gennessee Street); phonicular contact: (415) 333-2878
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Friday at 7:00am and Saturday & Sunday at 8:00am
Meal: Veggie Hash and Eggs ~ seasonal "veggies" (Ugh! Have I ever told you how much I despise the term "veggie/veggies"? Does a steakhouse joint list their meatetarian items as "meaties"? At least they had the good taste not to call their early morning menu items "Brunch".), two poached eggs, with either home potatoes or mixed greens, and toast; and a large glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice

(There is no real EweToobular juxtaselection with this morning's song/video, but who doesn't love to love to love to love to love to love to love to love to love to love to love to love to love… the one and only Mister George [Ivan Morrison] on a Sunday morning?)

I do not think that I have ever really been over to Sunnyside[1] (the neighborhood in San Francisco, not the one in Queens, New York City, New York) before for breakfast, so this was a new one for me this morning. I ate at Big Joe's. I happened to notice this restaurant a few weeks ago when I was tramping around over at the Sunnyside Conservatory[2] (I wasn't actually conserving anything and it's really just a small San Francisco Dedicated Landmark garden space/park that was built in the late 19th Century) which is just a few blocks down the road.

Big Joe's is a small burger joint/diner-ish place. They only have seating of: six diner/counter seats; six tables for two; and two (kinda smallish) booths for two to four people (if they don't mind being a little cramped it looked); and, additionally, one small, round table for two on the sidewalk (weather ~ or whether ~ permitting).

I liked the selections offered on the menu and there were a few other good ideas from which to choose for stupid vegetarians (but, please, never "veg-heads" or "veggies"): Spinach and Egg Breakfast Sandwich (avocado, tomato, Cheddar cheese on ciabatta bread served with home potatoes or mixed greens); Brioche French Toast (pears, pecans, vanilla mascarpone cream and syrup); or Spanish Omelette (Yukon gold potatoes, bell peppers, avocado, Cojita cheese, and topped with mild roasted tomato salsa; served with mixed greens and toast). Additionally, for any of you "meatie-heads" out there, there is the Big Joe's Egg Tart (braised leeks, caramelised yellow onions, oven-dried cherry tomatoes, bacon, Swiss cheese, one egg on the side, with either home potatoes or mixed greens; I assumed this was probably some kinda pre-prepared quiche-y type of dish and there was probably no way to order it without the bacon, Glen).

I liked this meal. It was all pretty simple, but made with all fresh (and, I suppose, seasonal) "veggies". It looked like today's seasonal "veggies" were: mushrooms, green and red bell peppers, onions, zucchini, Brussels sprouts (I really like Brussels sprouts and they are not a typical ingredient in a lot of places ~ seasonally or not ~ and, because of which, I am giving them an extra 0.1 point on their Glen Bacon Scale Rating), and maybe some other unidentified "veggies" ~ everything was diced up in nice little pieces, so I may have missed an item or two. 

Of course I went with the home potatoes (their nice, homey version of homefries) as my side choice. After eating about half of the hash mess, I just ended up mixing all the potatoes in with everything else; it all worked very nicely, too.

I had sourdough for my toasty option; the toast was grilled ~ always a nice touch.

As best as I could tell, Big Joe's only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (just the standard red). I found this a bit strange, as the place appeared to be Mexican family-owned and -run; I would have expected at least some Cholula® Hot Sauce or Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce, too. It really didn't matter, as I used some of my own The Wiltshire Chilli Farm Chipotle chilli sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on top of the poached eggs (and in with the hash initially) and some Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys & Brian!) all over the potatoes.

I had purposefully (purposely? porpoise lee? whatever) skipped any Coffee with breakfast because I noticed that there was a coffeehouse just two doors down, Railroad Expresso, and wanted to give them a go. I ended up getting an espresso drink for a change and ordered a Mexican Mocha. This mocha drink was made with Mexican chocolate; they use Abuelita[3] brand Mexican chocolate drink mix to make this, which gives it a bit of cinnamon spice flavor. It was a little on the sweet side, but I liked it well enough and just considered it my breakfastary dessert.

(No official web-site either. 705 Monterey Boulevard; phonicular contact: (415) 333-4009)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: "Veggie" Hash and Eggs ~ 6.7; Mexican Mocha ~ 6.8

1. Sunnyside is a neighborhood in San Francisco that is over by City College of San Francisco and situated somewhat betwixt and between the neighborhoods of Glen Park (no relation to either Glen Bacon, of the eponymous "Scale", or Neon, that I can tell) and Westwood Park/Westwood Highlands.


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

"Abuelita" simply means "little grandmother/granny" in Spanish.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


A(nother) breakfastary roadtrip:
Rockaway Beach, Pacifica, CA

Place: Moonraker
Location: 105 Rockaway Beach Avenue, Pacifica
Hours: open for breakfast every day of the week at 7:00am; they also have a more formal "Sunday Brunch" at 10:30am (on Sunday, of course)
Meal: Huevos Montulenos[1] ~ fried eggs/black beans/ham/peas/cheese/ranchero sauce/crispy corn tortillas; and a cuppa (and two more refillas) Caffè[2] Umbria Medium Roast Coffee (they don't specify which exact blend/roast on the menu, and I forgot to ask, but it was probably Gusto Crema Blend)

(Yes, I suppose I could have used the Shirley Bassey theme song from the 1979 James Bond film "Moonraker" as a EweToobular juxtaselection, but it's really one of the lamer Bond theme songs. 

I asked one of the cute waitress-server persons why the restaurant had the name it did and she said that a "moonraker"[3] is a part of a ship. It is actually the top-most sail on certain sailing ships, John B.)

With the weather being absolutely fabulous the past few days (sorry, anyone back on the Northeast Coast), I felt like heading "down the coast" a bit for breakfast this morning and ended up going back to Rockaway Beach, Pacifica for breakfast at Moonraker. The restaurant is attached to the Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel and right across the street from NICK'S (see 'blog entry from August 23rd, 2014). It looked to me that anyone dining there would have Million $$$ views out the large windows overlooking Rockaway Beach and the Pacific Ocean (I only saw a few surfers out there this morning, but the waves looked tasty, bro'). Most everyone has a booth facing the ocean, too; there are probably about 25-30 half-circular booths (with seating for two to four people) all along the beach side of the restaurant. Plus, there are still more levels of booths and tables (for any of the later-rising suckers).

(This was the view from my booth this morning.)

Moonraker does not have a really extensive menu, but a few other good ideas looked like: Mushroom Frittata (peppers/potatoes/smoked bacon/Fontina; they don't actually mention any mushrooms on their menu, but I can only assume there are mushrooms in it; the bacon would have been 86-ed if I got this one, too); Moon Eggs Benedict (duck bacon/toasted olive bread/poached organic eggs/breakfast potatoes/Hollandaise; I would have ordered this without the duck bacon, but that does sound interesting if you a partaker of the dead, decaying foul fowl stuff; "Moon Eggs Benedict"? Sounds like it could be the grandchild of Frank Zappa); or Healthy Poached Organic Eggs (wilted spinach/sliced tomato/Brie cheese; of course, this is not a very healthy option for the poor organic eggs themselves).

I ordered the Huevos Montulenos sin el cerdo muertos y descomposición, naturlamente. The best way to describe this dish would be to call it some kinda versión mexicana de Eggs Benedict. It's a layered egg dish with a bottom layer of crispy corn tortillas, some black beans, the eggs, another layer of crispy corn tortillas, and covered with the ranchero sauce and then the cheese and peas (peas?) are added to the top before the whole thing gets heated up under the salamander to melt the cheese to a nice bubbly consistency. I liked this a lot. I have had similar takes on this dish before that I also liked (some better, some not so better).

The Coffee was pretty decent, too. I am not sure if I have had this particular Coffee company before or not. 

The ranchero sauce that was on top really wasn't overly spicy so I made sure to rectify that with some of my own hot sauce. I used a good amount of The Wiltshire Chilli Farm Winter chilli sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) all over the pile.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Huevos Montulenos ~ 6.7

1. You can consider this (or not) a stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day:

They have this as "Huevos Montulenos" on the menu; however, the correct spelling should be "Huevos Motuleños" (less one "n" and with the tilde over the one "ñ" that is there). The modifier "motuleños" comes from the town of Motul (una pequeña ciudad en el Estado Libre y Soberano de Yucatán de Mexico) where the dish originated.

2. Once again, you can consider this (or not) a stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

I would just like to point out here that they have this printed correctly on the menu con l'accento grave. It is usually either left off altogether or more commonly printed incorrectly con l'accento acuto


However, I honestly don't know if a sloop (named "John B" or not) has a moonraker/moonsail or not.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." 
~ unknown, old Yiddish proverb

Garlic (unlike potatoes ~ see specific 'blog-entry from February 8th, 2012 ~ and Coffee ~ see last specific 'blog-entries from February 26th, 2014 and February 28th, 2014) is not necessarily a mandatory breakfastary staple (unless you are making Garlic Pancakes or Garlic-stuffed French Toast, of course), but I do really like the addition of garlic in most of my savoury breakfast dishes.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is in the same Genus as onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, and chives. However, I am pretty sure that it is not related in any way to Marijuana (Cannabis sativa). (See, "sativum/sativus/sativa" are just forms of Latin botanical adjectives meaning "cultivated". Anyone that has ever tried smoking garlic leaves will know this for a fact.)

Garlic ~ etymology and numerous stupid, useless cunning linguist pointers:

Etymology: Old English "gārlēac" (Mercian), "garlec" (W. Saxon), from "gār" ("spear", in reference to the clove) + "lēac" ("leek").

Arabic = ثوم (I don't have the correct transliteration, but it sounds something like "thoom" which is good enough for Gub'mint work)
Czech = česnek (pronounced "CHESS-nek")
Chinese = 大蒜 (transliterated as "dàsuàn" and pronounced something like "DA-swen")
Dutch = knoflook (pronounced "Ka-NO-flouk")
French = ail (pronounced "aye", with a silent "l")
German = Knoblauch (pronounced "Ka-NO-bloukh", with the "l" pronounced, Chuck)
Greek = σκόρδο (transliterated as "skortho" and pronounced "SKOR-tho")
Hungarian = fokhagyma (pronounced "FOK-hagima", or close enough; what do you expect, I was only in Budapest once and then only for four days)
Irish (Gaeilge) = gairleog (simply pronounced "garlic"; sometimes these cunning linguist pointers ain't Brain Science)
Italian = aglio (pronounced "AL-yio")
Korean = 마늘 (transliterated as "maneul" and pronounced something like "MAN-ay")
Polish = czosnek (pronounced "CHOSE-nek")
Portuguese = alho (pronounced "AL-yo")
Russian = чеснок (transliterated as "chesnok" and pronounced as "CHESS-nok")
Spanish = ajo (pronounced "a-HO")

Garlic is native to Central Asia, and it has been used by humans for over 7,000 years, both for culinary uses and medicinal purposes.

While garlic is used (more than) generously throughout Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, it is mentioned only once in the Bible (they must be a buncha anti-Semites to mention it just the one time, though):

Numbers 11:5 [1] ~ We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely: the cucumbers and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.

Which is why you probably never hear Israel referred to as "the land of milk and garlic".

Interestingly enough (well, it's "interesting" if you are either a food-geek or Cliff Clavin, I suppose), there are certain Buddhist sects (and I am not sure if that is even the correct designation for a branch of Buddhism), in addition to being strictly vegetarian, that do not allow/recommend the use of garlic (or onions). (And you all thought that the Jews and Muslims had some strange dietary laws.) It seems there are differing ratiocinations for this by separate branches of Buddhists. East Asian Buddhists do not eat any root vegetables (to include: potatoes, carrots, or onion and garlic); apparently this has something to do with "killing" any plant life. Other Buddhists avoid eating "strong-smelling plants"; something to which they say "tend to excite senses" (whatever the heck that is supposed to mean). All I can think about is that aren't ginger roots also grown underground (and aren't they also pretty strong smelling and "sensually exciting", too)? And what about lotus roots? Apparently, ol' Sid Guatama never smelled a ripe jackfruit or durian either. (Whew! "Strong-smelling" would be putting it overly nicely there.) And, of course, these arbitrary dietary restrictions came into play centuries before the New World was invaded by the Europeans and chillies were "discovered" and then imported for use in almost every major cuisine in the World (to include Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian). I suppose that capsaicin isn't considered "sensationally arousing" in local Buddhist temples. Plus, you just try eating a mango or a banana without "killing" it first; those suckers won't go down without a fight (be extra careful when wrestling with bananas, though, they do tend to bruise very easily).

Gilroy (the one in California) self-proclaims itself as: "the Garlic Capital of the World". However, in fact, the entire U.S. of America is only the 9th top garlic producer in the World; whereas, China is by far the largest producer of garlic ~ making up for about 81% of the World output of garlic (growing about 100 times as much garlic as the entire U.S. does). That doesn't keep the city of Gilroy from holding their annual garlic festival (and completely messing up traffic along Highway 101 all the way from San Jose to Salinas) for three days every summer.

And, of course, garlic is one of the main ingredients in that most supreme of the Foods of the Gods: Τζατζίκι

1. Of course, on the West Coast, this is usually known as "Numbers 8:5", except in Hawai'i and most of Arizona during Daylight Saving Time.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


"The meeling is futual."[1]

Place: Loogaboos[2]
Location: 3296 22nd Street (on the corner o' Valencia Street)
Hours: open Monday - Sunday at 8:00am
Meal: Temple O' Spuds (with) Lay an egg on top! ~ Our famous homefries (and let it be noted, your Honour, that they have this as one word, as I would normally do) topped with melted Jack & Cheddar (they had "Cheddar" in the minuscule, but I prefer it in the majuscule, as I consider it a Proper Noun… and a right propa cheese it is, Gov'nor!), salsa, sour cream, (I added the last Oxford comma there, though) and green onions; and a cup o' Coffee (with three refillo's, too)

(I will let you try and figure out today's EweToobular juxtaselections.

Sometimes this stuff really ain't Rocket Surgery.)

I went back to Loogaboos after a rather lengthy hiatus (see last 'blog entry from August 4th, 2013). I lucked out with parking (and especially because it started raining a bit harder than when I started out this morning) and found a spot right across the street. I never really have much problem finding a close enough spot if I arrive a la Misión early enough, especially on a Domingo plàcido, Señor Embil.

I had a minor panic attack as I was driving along Valencia and nearing the joint. For some reason I had thought Loogaboos was actually on the corner o' 20th and Valencia Streets. As I was approaching the expected corner, I saw that there was brand new construction going on where I thought Loogaboos was supposed to be. I had to quickly come up with a back-up plan and figured I would just proceed to Chloes Cafe (another place that used to be in my Breakfastary Rotation and really deserves a return visit soon, anyway) and just follow Valencia Street to 26th Street. Luckily, after driving a few more blocks along Valencia, I noticed that Loogaboos was in the same spot that it has been for the past twenty-plus years now. Whew! Let that be a lesson to you, kids: 1) always recheck ahead o' time if it's someplace that you haven't been to in over a year, and 2) always have a back-up plan in mind, too, just in case (okay, maybe that should o' read: "Let that be lessons to you, kids…")

As I have eaten at Loogaboos many, many times over the years, I have probably eaten all the specific vegetarian options that they offer, but a few old favourites that I wouldn't mind trying again were: 
Soy-rizo Hash & Eggs (2 eggs any style in a pile o' our own Vegan Soy-rizo; I always like to point out that adding eggs to a Vegan dish is kind o' counterproductive) or Desayuno Típico[3] (2 eggs any style, black beans with salsa, grilled plantain cake topped with tamarind sour cream, served with corn tortillas); both o' these dishes are great back-up plans on their own if needed, kids.

Now that's some potatoes! (Unlike the absurd skimpiocity from yesterday's breakfastary repast.) This was definitely a temple worthy o' worship on a rainy Sunday morn. This was made with tons o' potatoes (no, really, I had them weigh it, and it tipped the scale at a little over 4,000 pounds) and lots o' cheeses, too. It was a great ooey-gooey mess o' goodness. You get your preferred choice (because an un-preferred choice is not really a choice now, is it?) o' egg; I had mine done "over-medium". Should o', would o', could o'... had avocado'
added to this mess, too; next time. They say this includes "salsa", but it was more o' a very decent pico d' gallo[4]. This was really an awful lot o' food, but not a lot o' awful food, thankfully.

The one thing that I forgot to do that has become a bit o' a tradition with me when eating at Loogaboos was to add some maple syrup to my Coffee (mainly because it is on the table and I can).

Loogaboos only offers Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce as a standard bottled condimentary supplement; however, since the last time I ate there, they now have bottles o' their own homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) Habanero sauce on every table. I made sure to make good use o' their hot sauce and used a good amount o' it on half o' the pile o' spuds. I also used some o' my own The Wiltshire Chilli Farm Hell Mouth (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the other half. Their Habanero sauce was not overly spicy (I made sure to try it first before pouring it all over the mess) and could be used in generous amounts. It had a nice flavour and there was some spice in it that I just couldn't put my finger (or tongue) on. I thought it might be cinnamon and asked one o' the waiter-server dudes, but he said they don't let them in on any kitchen secrets (probably under threat o' death, too); so, I am going with cinnamon until I am proven wrong.


Lots o' good Coffee, a heap o' potatoes, and homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) Habanero' sauce… Temple O' Spuds, I am not worthy!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Temple O' Spuds ~ 7.1; Loogaboos own Habanero sauce ~ 7.2

1. There really is no reason for that opening spoonerism. It just hopped into my ped on the way to breakfast this morning.

For anyone not familiar with the term "Spoonerism" (or spoonerisms themselves), here is a link from WikipediA explaining it (let someone else do all the work for a change):

2. Okay, the name o' the joint is really "Boogaloos", but where is the spooneristic fun in that?

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer o' the day:

"Desayuno Típico" is simply Spanish for "typical/ordinary breakfast".

4. See what I just did there with the Spanish "de"? It's kind o' like what I have been dong with "of" throughout this 'blog-entry.

5. This cartoon is courtesy of Doc Estes. He posted it this morning on defacedbook and I figured it would work well enough here (this is supposed to be some kind o' breakfast 'blog-thing, right?). I don't know who the actual artist/cartoonist is, but I felt that I should at least mention it and give some credit to Doc (even though Doc didn't feel it necessary to give any actual credit where it was due). 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Richmond Republic Draught House

"Beer Speaks, People Mumble" 
~ Lagunitas Brewing Company

(And sometimes Beer is silent and People will still mutter mindlessly to themselves.)

Place: Richmond Republic Draught House
Location: 642 Clement Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
Hours: open Saturday and Sunday at 9:30am for "Brunch"
Meal: Veggie Scramble ~ spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes, scallions, Cheddar cheese, and toast, served with choice of home fries or salad; and a 16 oz glass of Lagunitas Brewing Company Censored (Rich Copper Ale)

(Today's EweToobular songs are to commemorate the 51st Anniversary of the Invasion of the U.S. of America by the Beatles. Sure, people these days are way too busy complaining about illegal Mexican immigrants, worrying about threats from those bastages at Da'ish, commenting on under-inflated footballs, and afraid of Mickey Mouse's measles, but no one seems to care that this group of hoodlum Scousers took America by storm in the early 60's. Well, I, for one, will always remember this Day of Infamy, Frankie D.!)

The Sun had finally come out after a day or more of constant rain, and I was in a more than ebullient mood this morning to try another new joint for breakfast (or "Brunch", as the case may be), so I headed on over to Richmond Republic Draught House. They are a "relatively new" restaurant-slash-bar (meaning none of my relatives have ever eaten-slash-drank there yet) and have only been open since September 2014. They are located in the old space that used to house Haig's Delicacies for many years (fifty-seven years or so as a fixture on Clement Street).

They seemed to have made the transition from delicatessen-slash-bodega to restaurant-slash-bar well enough. The space is now large enough for seating of: three tables for two; six tables for three; four large bench-tables for six; and bar-seating for probably twenty or more. It was interesting to see that they kept the old "upper level" eating area up front from when it was still Haig's Delicacies (if anyone had ever been in there before, you know what I mean; it was directly across from the cash register/deli counter area and right on the left as you entered and up a few steps, past the large sliding door refrigerator with single bottles of sodas and Beers); this was where I sat this morning for nostalgic reasons.

Their "Brunch" menu doesn't really have that many items to offer (or honour); probably just ten items or so. A few of the other ideas that I was looking at were Chilequiles [sic] ("Chilaquiles" is the common spelling); Huevos Rancheros; Beer Batter Waffle (served with bacon-butter and maple syrup; of course, if I were to order that one, I would have had to get it without the bacon-butter, but the Beer batter sounded interesting; I asked one of the waiter-server guys which Beer they use for this and he checked with the kitchen-preparer guys and was told that they will just normally use any Beer that is available); or Cali Benedict (tomato, avocado, Hollandaise; I made sure to ask if "Cali" referred to "California" and not some crazy-bitch Hindu Goddess of Destruction; I don't know if I would like my Eggs Benedict covered with a bloody Hollandaise sauce all over it).

First off, I am never much of a fan of any place that use the moniker "Veggie" anything on its menu; it just sounds overly simplistic and rather stupid. As to the actual scramble itself, it was okay, but they completely forgot to add any Cheddar cheese or scallions. That is not a very good ratio when there are only five ingredients in the mix; at least there was a good amount of spinach in it. I went with the homefries as my choice of sides (naturally, Mr. Who), but they were rather skimpy on the amount of potatoes provided (three small potatoes halved). Seeing as they had skipped two of the five ingredients that were supposed to be in the scramble mess, the least they could have done was pile on more potatoes. I did like that the toast was grilled, but they didn't even provide any butter or jam/jelly with it.

The Lagunitas Brewing Company Censored (Rich Copper Ale) was nice and hoppy, Mr. Ergle, with a deep amber (copper, whatever) colour. This turned out to be the best part of the breakfast. Sure, Beer is not exactly a breakfastary beverage for most people, but I ain't most people (and it was after Noon somewhere). This weekend Richmond Republic Draught House was showcasing Beers solely from Lagunitas Brewing Company. Their normal Beer selection looked pretty decent and diverse and may need a return trip just to try a few of those. Of particular note (♪, possibly a B-Sharp), the Fort Point Beer Co. Park sounded very interesting; I was not even aware that there is currently a small brewery in the Presidio.

I am glad that I skipped any Coffee with breakfast this morning as I asked (just for the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks of it) what was the brand of Coffee they normally serve and was told it is just St*rbucks house blend. To make up for it, I made a cuppa Taylors of Harrogate (aka Bettys) Hello Spring (note: no comma was noted between "Hello" and "Spring", but they also don't use any apostrophes in "Taylors" nor "Bettys"; punctuation must be at a premium in North Yorkshire) to drink and enjoy (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) while typing[1] up this 'blog-entry. This was a crisp, sweet, and breezy roast… whatever the heck that is supposed to mean, but that is what they have on the bag: "Crisp, sweet and breezy" (I added the Oxford comma in my description, but it seems that in Yorkshire, they also don't care for anything Oxfordian). I really liked this one a lot. It smelled great from the moment I opened up the new bag, and I was happy to see (and to taste) that the flavour matched the aroma and was extra robust ~ even though I am sure it was made with arabica beans (that is a little Coffee humour there… very little, apparently).

Richmond Republic Draught House only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce for condimentary supplementation. I used some of my own The Wiltshire Chilli Farm Mango hot chilli sauce on the potatoes and some smoked Chipotle chilli sauce (Thanks for both, Cindy & Greg! These two people are no relation to the above "Greg & Cindy", though.) on the scramble mess. (Update: I am making a little headway in using up all four new bottles that I had received for Christmas. The Chipotle is probably the one that I have used the most; it is not too spicy and I can usually use more of it than some of the others.)

I was really hoping that Richmond Republic Draught House was going to prove to be a decent "go-to" place to go to breakfast, as they are close enough to be within walking distance of my apartment (if that walking distance happens to be twenty-seven blocks both ways). Unfortunately, the meal was not really much to write home about (or 'blog about even) and didn't really pique my interest for a return trip back there.

Breakfastary Conclusion: Listen to what Beer has to say, and skip anything that that drunken fool, Food, might be mumbling about.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: "Veggie" Scramble ~ 5.9; Lagunitas Brewing Company Censored ~ 6.9; Taylors of Harrogate Hello Spring ~ 7.4 (and trending upward)

1. Why do we even use the verb "to type" any more? When was the last time anyone used an actual typewriter to write anything? I suppose if I had typed, "While computering up this 'blog-entry…", it might just be too confusing for most people.

To be fair, I do sometimes still refer to the "ENTER" key as the "RETURN" key and get the strangest looks from anyone under the age of thirty-five.