Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hillside supperclub

"Sleep faster, we need the pillows." 
~ Leo Rosten

Place: Hillside supperclub
Location: 300 Precita Avenue (on the corner of Folsom Street at Precita Park)
Hours: open Sunday and Saturday at 10:00am for "Brunch"
Meal: Brown Rice Bowl ~ peas + carrots, ginger soy, sunny side egg, crunchy seeds, cilantro; a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice; and, before breakfast, a cuppa Philz Coffee, Philharmonic blend/roast (at the original Philz location on the corner of 24th and Folsom Streets)

(Do I have to really explain today's EweToobular juxtaselections?)

I hate having to drive "all the way over" to Precita Park for breakfast (especially when that breakfast has the snooty-assed nomenclature of "Brunch"), but it was another great sunny morning today (sorry, all of you Northeasterners; it looks like it's going to be another 70°-ish day today here) which almost makes up for the trip. I had espied Hillside supperclub last year when I had breakfast (not "Brunch", mind you) at Precita Park Café (see previous 'blog-entry from June 15th, 2014) last year. I made a psychotic epistle to check them out one of these days; and today just happened to be one of these days.

For being one of those "Brunch" kinda places, Hillside supperclub turned out to be actually a pretty nice neighborhoody joint. They offer seating of: ten to twelve tables for two; five to six tables for four; two tables for six; one extra large table for ten-plus in the back in their upper-deck area; and seven bar-counter seats. I even had a great view of Precita Park from my seat, too.

One major drawback of being a "Brunch" place is that their menu had very limited options for stupid vegetarians. The only other item on the menu that I could have ordered was Brioche French Toast (strawberries, pure maple syrup, crème fraîche[1]); I would have ordered this with a side of roasted potatoes + sage. (I think I even saw several sage plants growing wild on one corner of Precita Park just across the street. I wonder if they steal their fresh sage from there.) The pickings for stupid meatetarians weren't really much better, but at least there were a few more interesting choices: Savory Bread Pudding (beet greens, house cured bacon, sunny side egg, white Cheddar); Croque Monsieur (ham, Gruyère, béchamel, chervil, market greens[???]; I suppose it all depends on if you are in the market for some greens); or Crispy Housemade Goetta[2] (market greens and avocado; I had absolutely no idea what the heck "Goetta" was and had to ask the waiter-server dude ~ he told me it is some kinda Cincinnati-style breakfast sausage product; I was picturing this to be some sorta porky-offal dish… or awful porky dish… like scrapple).

At first I thought the name of this dish meant that the rice was going to be served in a brown-coloured bowl, but the bowl ended up being white and the rice was brown.  There is just something unnatural about "brown rice"; it is not as Uncle Ben had ever intended it! I was very happy to see that the "peas +" listed in the ingredients were snow peas; this was unexpected, but very welcomed. As best as I could tell, the "crunchy seeds" were pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds[3], sesame seeds, and probably a few other u/i seeds. I noticed that they offered "sous-vide[4] eggs" as a side choice on their "Brunch" menu; I bet that would have been even better on top of the mess than a plain ol' "sunny side egg". This was all actually rather good, but I just hate eating healthy for breakfast (even when it is called "Brunch"). 

The "fresh squeezed orange juice" was really fresh squeezed as could be seen from it being very pulpy and frothy.

Philz Coffee is located about four to five blocks away from Hillside supperclub. As I had arrive about forty-five minutes before the "Brunch" joint was scheduled to open, I figured a cuppa their Philharmonic would be a great way to kill some time while walking around Precita Park and sitting around dog-watching. (This is a great Dog-park as well as People-park. I saw dogs of all sizes and makes running around and having a blast: little Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, medium-sized Pit-mixes, a large Doberman, Poodle, and Weimaraner, as well as various other sizes and breeds.) The Philharmonic is made with dried powdered cardamom added to the Coffee grounds before doing the one-cuppa pour-over thing, and then finished with a large sprig of fresh mint in it. This is really one of my favourite Coffees in San Francisco. On their menu-sign it is said to have the flavour of cinnamon and fresh plums, but it tasted like just Coffee, cardamom, and mint to me… 

(Just for the heck of it, I asked the waiter-server dude what kind of Coffee that they offer at Hillside supperclub and he told me that they serve Mr. Espresso®.)

Hillside supperclub has a very interesting offering for its condimentary supplementation. They only have a hot sauce called Chicaoji. I had never heard of this brand of hot sauce before. Apparently, it is made with chipotle chillies (that would be the "Chi-” part of the name),  cacao (that would be the "-cao-") and goji[5] berries (and that would be the "-ji" or "-oji" part of the name). It was pretty tasty. They even have bottles of this for sale; if I didn't already have about twenty bottles (or more) of hot sauces currently in my refrigerator, I would probably have bought a bottle of this stuff, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Brown Rice Bowl ~ 6.5; Philz Coffee Philharmonic ~ 7.8; Chicaoji ~ 7.0

1. It never ceases to amaze me how Billy-boy and his spell-checkering Nazis at Microsoft have absolutely no problem with the spelling of "crème" (and even automatically add l'accent grave), but they can not discern another accepted Frenchy culinaristic term like "fraîche". 



3. Just as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are not botanically "berries", and walnuts, peanuts, and almonds are not botanically "nuts", sunflower "seeds" are also a misnomer and are actually the "fruit" of the sunflower plant.

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

"Sous-vide" literally means "under vacuum" in French. 

(Of course, der Füher-Billy and his band of brown-shirted spell-checkers do not recognize this modern culinaristic Frenchy term either.)

5. Goji berries (also called wolfberries) are a botanical berry. They are part of the Nightshade family, as are potatoes, eggplant (a botanical berry itself; really), chilli peppers, and tomatoes (both of which also happen to be botanical berries, of course).

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