Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cafe Mason

"The World only looks round when you're standing on the edge." 
~ Lieutenant Columbo

(No official web-site that I could find.)

Place: Cafe[1] Mason
Location: 320 Mason Street (between Geary and O'Farrell Streets); phonicular contact: (415) 544-0320
Hours: open 24 hours a day (and two more hours a day on Saturday and Sunday)
Meal: Pumpkin Crépes[2] ~ homemade pumpkin filling in crêpes, served with seasonal fruit; a side of (excellent) homefries; and a cuppa (and a coupla refillas, too) the house Coffee 

(You were expecting "All Along the Geary Street", perhaps?)

I have walked by Cafe Mason many times before and just never thought of checking them out for breakfast. I was very glad that I finally did so and I am sure that I will be going back again (maybe not as soon as I would like, but I will get back there one of these days; there are just too many places to try for breakfast). They cater mostly to the downtown hotels/Union Square tourista crowd and the (pre-and-after) theatre-going hordes along the Geary Street theatre district. I really can't confirm that they are actually open 24 hours every day (this is where an official web-site would come in handy), but the sign in the front at the doorway stated they open at 6:00am every day, which is good enough for me as I hardly ever go to breakfast before 5:59am, anyway; the sign also stated that they served breakfast until 5:00pm every day. 

It has a large dining space and almost everyone gets a booth (there were about twenty of varying sizes all around the joint; I even got a really cool, small two-seater dealy to myself). There are also a few tables down the middle of the space and about ten seats/stools at the counter area facing the kitchen.

There are four pages of breakfastary items alone from which to choose, with categories and items such as: 

(unfortunately, the incorrectly spelled) "Crépes" (of which they offer about six or seven types; well, seven if you count "Swedish Pancakes" and "Blintzes" as crêpes)

Omelettes and Frittatas (noted that both are spélléd corréctly, or at least to my liking; offering nine omelettes and five frittatas):
Spinach & Feta Cheese Omelette
Vegetable Frittata (zucchini, the vile weed, mushroom, bell pepper, onion, tomato, fresh herbs with Jack and Parmesan cheese melted under an open flame; and I would particularly like to applaud them from disdaining the use of the ubiquitous and odious moniker "Veggie Frittata")

Benedicts (seven kinds in total):
Portabella Benedict (poached eggs and portabella mushrooms topped with Hollandaise sauce); 
Irish Benedict (poached eggs and corn beef hash topped with Hollandaise sauce)

Pancakes or French Toast (five kinds of pancakes and two different French toasts)

As well as several other egg dishes and specials.

This came as two crêpes (or "crépes") that were filled with what I can only assume was fresh-cooked pumpkin (a botanical berry, of course) chunks as it did not taste like anything out of a can; it was all pretty tasty. The side of fruit that came with it was a meal unto itself: half a banana (sliced; also a botanical berry); half an apple (sliced and fanned out in some kinda fancy-shmancy way; and I think it was a McIntosh, Terry); two large strawberries (also sliced and fanned out; not botanical berries, though); several whole blueberries (I would just liked to have seen them try to slice and fan those out; also botanical berries); a few slices of kiwifruit (also a botanical berry); some chunks of pineapple; some chunks of honeydew melon; some chunks of cantaloupe; and a slice of orange. And there was a large plopping of whipped cream on the side, too.

I only have two words to say about their version of homefries: "Awe… some!" These are prepared as thin slices and homefried up with (green) bell peppers and (white and green) onions. Plus, the herbs and spices they toss in the mix really stand out. This gets my vote for Best New Potato Side Dish Find of 2015. Even if I hadn't already really liked my crêpes (or "crépes"), these bad-boys are worth a return visit on their own merits. These may very well be second only to the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes that are served at Eats.

I didn't get the brand name of the Coffee that they serve, but the pretty waitress-server lady person told that me it was a Columbian roast/blend. It was pretty decent, too.

For condimentary supplements, Cafe Mason offers both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) and Cholula® Hot Sauce (Original). I used some of my own The Wiltshire Chilli Farm Hell Mouth (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the homefries. I probably didn't need to season/spice them up any, but I had it with me, so I used some.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Pumpkin "Crépes" ~ 6.5; side of homefries ~ 7.4

1. I am going sans accent aigu here because they do not have an official web-site with which to correct me and I did not see it as such anywhere in their menu, on their signage, or in any of the on-line information I located.

2. Now here, for some reason, they did go avec l'accent aigu. And as much as I commend them for the effort, why not use the correct circumflex diacritic ("^") over the "ê". I will give them half-credit for doing so.

(If they actually have the use of an "é", why not use it in their name? It's all confusing as Héll ~ or Hêll ~ to me.)

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