Sunday, July 26, 2015

the Art Bistro

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses ~
First in a Series

(And also Breakfast on Geary [redux], 
Part 19)

(No official web-site.)

Place: the Art Bistro
Location: 6900 Geary Boulevard (on the corner of 33rd Avenue); phonicular contact: (415) 379-7119
Hours: open Monday through Friday at 6:30am, Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am
Meal: Asiago[1] Bagel with Egg and (Cheddar) Cheese; Chocolate Croissant for a breakfastary dessert; and a cuppa French Roast to enjoy with both

(There is no EweToobular juxtaselection this morning between "Art", "Bistro", or "Coffeehouse" for these videos. I just like this N'Arlins-based Jazz band, and I just saw them play live in town on Thursday night.)

Sometimes you just don't have a lot of time to go to an official-type breakfast (or "Brunch") joint and it's necessary to make do with whatever is close and available. (And sometimes, like today, you don't have much choice in the matter, as you are basically being held hostage in your neighborhood by events like the San Francisco Marathon, which has cut the city in half for the entire morning.) I figured it was about time to do a Series specifically on my neighborhood Coffeehouses. Of course, my neighborhood is the Richmond District, which also happens to be one of the largest in San Francisco. The Richmond District is sandwiched (or, in the case of this morning's breakfast, is bageled) between the Presidio of San Francisco (to the north) and Golden Gate Park (to the south), and from Arguello Boulevard (on the east) to Ocean Beach (which, [in case you haven't been keeping track] by process of elimination, is on the western border). So, you see, I have my work cut out for me with this large chunk of the City.

I thought I might as well start with the closest Coffeehouse to my apartment, the Art Bistro. This place is so close that I almost don't need to put on any pants or shoes… but, don't worry, I made sure to wear shoes, I didn't want to get in trouble for breaking any health code rules. It has been open now for ?15-20? years. I have gone  there often enough for Coffee and bagels in the past. It is a really cute little shop (with umbrellas and cushioned outdoor-type wicker chairs, but all indoors) and has reproductions of major artwork (hence the "Art" part of their name) on the walls.

The toughest part about trying to get a sufficient breakfast at most Coffeehouses is that there are not really a lot from which to choose in the way of actual food. the Art Bistro actually has a decent enough selection of bagel and croissant sandwiches (and other sweet pastries for breakfastary desserts ~ the slices of Apple Pie looked really tasty). I probably shoulda gotten my bagel with both tomato slices and onions on it this morning, too.

Unfortunately, I have no idea which brand/roastery of Coffee they serve and sell (see, here is where an official web-site would be of great help). They usually only have one type of Coffee offered daily, today's just happened to be French Roast (which I felt necessary to transfer from the paper cup into my official Dottie’s True blue café mug). I also have no idea from which bagelry and/or bakery that they get their baked-goods stuff. The bagel-egg-cheese sandwich was good. I have had better Chocolate croissants, but this was still tasty, too.

As I took all of these (all the way) back home with me to eat, I didn't bother asking what they might have to offer in the way of condimentary supplements. I simply used some (well, a lot) of my own Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) on the bagel-sandwich thing, because it just goes great with everything. I didn't put nuthin' on the Chocolate Croissant (well, okay, I did try a few drops of the PAFPS on it; it really wasn't that bad, either).

They also have bags of fresh-ground Coffee (about ¾-pound) for sale. I made sure to pick up a bag of the Bohemian Blend to check out later. At $5.00 for ¾-pound (that's about $6.67 'merican per pound; I am not sure how much that equates to per British £, though) for any of the Coffee blends/roasts that they offer, it's a pretty decent value, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Asiago Bagel with Egg and (Cheddar) Cheese ~ 6.0; Chocolate Croissant ~ 6.1; French Roast Coffee ~ 6.5


1. Seriously?! WTF?!* Wild Bill Gates and die Braunhemden jeenyuses at Microsoft Spell-checkering do not recognize this very popular Italian cheese. Do they not ever go out to eat?

Here is another great link with information from

*(Of course, "WTF" stand for "What Type of Fromage".)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bisou Bistronomy

"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents." ~ Marilyn Monroe

Place: Bisou[1] Bistronomy
Location: 2367 Market Street (between 16th and Castro Streets)
Hours: open at 10:00am Saturday and Sunday for "Brunch"
Meal: Gnocchi Scrambled ~ house made (well, restaurant made) potato gnocchi, scrambled egg (noted in the singular), Dungeness crab (which I skipped, of course; even when I wasn't of the stupid vegetarian ilk, I was never much of a fan of dead, decaying aquatic insects, anyway), Espelette pepper[2], garbanzo bean (also noted in its singularity), salsa verde, green and red oak[3], Comté cheese[4]; a side of sautéed potatoes; a glassa orange juice; and, beforehand, a cuppa Castro Coffee Company Sea Smoke Blend

(Why a EweToobular juxtaselection by the Pogues[5], you ask? If you bother to read the notes footed below, you will understand. Maybe.)

I am never very ebulliently impressed about having to eat at a place that opens at 10:00am, and especially if it is for an early morning meal called "Brunch", but I am running out of new places to try for breakfast so I headed over to Bisou Bistronomy this morning. It’s a medium-sized place with seating of: five front window/counter seats facing Market Street (which is where I chose to sit to be out of the way, but I ended up being the only person there the entire time I was eating, anyway); about sixteen tables for between two and four people downstairs; ten bar seats; and ten to twelve tables for two to four people upstairs in a cool balcony area (if they were actually busy or crowded this morning, I would have opted for that section).

According to the cute Spanish hostess-person (Maîtresse d'? ¿Ama de?) at the front door of the restaurant, there is a sister (ou sœur, o hermana) restaurant of theirs located just a few blocks around the corner on 18th Street called Beso[6] Bistronomia, which is a Spanish tapas kind of place.

Like a lot of "Brunch" joints, there is a very limited amount of other ideas from which to choose for stupid vegetarian-types. Two of the other choices that I was looking at were: Omelette Garden (egg white omelette, asparagus, caramelized onion [they really seem to like the singular here], chickpea [see?], Romesco sauce[7], salad, goddess dressing [they don't specify which deity, though], shaved Parmesan; it was a tough toss-up between asparagus and gnocchi for me this morning) or Tartine NKG (toasted country bread, carrots [which they have no problem in the plural], cauliflower, corn, red onion, heirloom tomato [singular again], grapes [plural seems to be okay for these, too], barbecue seasoning, served with sautéed potatoes and salad; apparently, "NKG" stands for "Napa Kitchen Gardens", whoever they are supposed to be).

Although they had both "egg" and "garbanzo bean" in the singular on the menu, I am pretty sure that there were at least a few of each in the scrambled mess. This was an interesting dish, and I always like it when potatoes are the main focus (as opposed to "the minor focus"?) of a dish. However, the gnocchi ended up breaking down into a mushy, polenta-like consistency when mixed with the scrambled eggs (or egg). I was hoping for some kinda chunky texture to the gnocchi bits. I bet if they had pan-fried the gnocchi first (with lots of butter and olive oil), then added those to the scrambled eggs (egg) mess, it would have been even better. I did like that there was a huge pile o' shredded Comté cheese on top of the whole thing, too.

I mainly got the side of sautéed potatoes because I didn't think that the scrambled thing would be enough food (I thought correctly), and you can never have enough potatoes in your breakfast ("Brunch", whatever).

I really have no idea what Bisou Bistronomy had to offer for condimentary supplementation as I didn't bother to ask. It really didn't matter, as I had come prepared with a few of my own hot sauces once again. I went with some Fat Cat® Surprisingly Mild Guajillo Ghost (Thanks, Greg & Cindy! I probably have just one dose left in that bottle now.) on the pile of scrambled stuff and some Shing Kee® Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (I had stolen a few small packets from a Vietnamese sandwich shop that I had eaten lunch at last weekend) on the potatoes. I actually like this Sriracha sauce better than the more popular Huy Fong Foods, Inc. version (which is so ubiquitous these days, you see it just about everywhere, Yogi…).

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

I had parked over on Beaver Street (even though I know it's pretty sophomoric [not to be confused with Sapphomoric], I always get a chuckle about parking on that particular street whenever I am in the Castro) and saw a few of the Wild Parrots of San Francisco flying overhead after breakfast ("Brunch", whatever).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Gnocchi Scrambled ~ 6.5; Castro Coffee Company Sea Smoke Blend ~ 6.8; 
the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numéro un:

"Bisou" simply means a "kiss" in French.

2. ¿Qué?

3. It took me a few seconds to figure out that this meant "oak leaf lettuce" and not the actual leaves from some kinda acorny tree. Like I can really tell the difference between "oak leaf lettuce" and any other rabbit food-type greens, anyway.

4. Qu’est-ce que c’est?!

(I particularly love that there is an actual web-site named "".)

5. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, uimhir dhá:

"Pogue" or "póg" is Irish for a "kiss", too. 

The original name of the Celtic Punk Band fronted by Shane MacGowan (no relation, by the way) was "Pogue Mahone", which was just the Anglicisation of the phrase "Póg mo thóin!", which means "Kiss my arse!" in Irish.

6. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número tres:

"Beso" simply means "kiss" in Spanish, too.

7. Of course, it is no surprise that Wild Bill Gates and his band of brown-shirted Nazi Spell-checkering fools at Microsoft have no idea what this sauce is.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Art’s Cafe

"Hope makes a great breakfast. Eat plenty of it." 
~ Ian Fleming, From Russia With Love 

(Hashbrowns also make a great breakfast. Eat plenty of them, too, James.)

(Don't bother clicking on the above web-site hyperlink right now. Apparently the official web-site is still a "Work in progress" [Aren't we all?]. I think it's been that way since the last time I ate there over seven months ago now. However, who really cares? As long as Art keeps making his tasty, extra-crispy hashbrowns, who needs a web-site?)

Place: Art's Cafe
Location: 747 Irving Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues); phonicular contact: (415) 665-7440
Hours: open at 7:00am Tuesday-Saturday; open at 7:30am on Sunday
Meal: Tofu Omelette ~ with kim chee[1], hot sausage, and Korean hot bean paste (aka 고추장/
Gochujang), served with hashbrowns or rice and toast; a glassa orange juice; and, afterward, a cuppa Mocha Java from Beanery ~ the Little Roaster That Could… (the location on 9th Avenue, not the one on Irving Street, which is just two blocks away)

(No official web-site, either. With four Bay Area locations, you would think they might invest in one, though.)
phonicular contact: (415) 661-1255

Sometimes you just need an early morning, great hashbrowns fix. This is where Art's Cafe (see last 'blog-entry from November 29th, 2014) comes in mighty handy.

I actually got there a little before they had opened this morning and was the first person waiting when they did open up for business. I did let an older Korean couple (I think they are regulars there) enter before me, but I still was able to score the very last seat ~ which I am claiming is "Seat #1" ~ at the end of the diner-counter, so that I would be out of the way. With only fourteen diner-counter stools, this place does fill up very quickly, even at 7:30am on a Sunday morning. (Some people really need to get a life!)

(Yes, this is a shot of the entire restaurant/diner-counter space. That would be Art at the very back of the photo toiling away at his hashbrown trade.)

Other than this morning's extraordinary choice for breakfast, there are still a few other good ideas that I have yet to try: Spinach Scrambled Eggs (with onions, mushrooms, hot sausage, and Jack cheese; and I would assume some spinach, but it is not listed in the ingredients on the menu) or Spinach, Onions, Mushrooms, and Hot Sausage Hashbrown Sandwich (this is a great invention of theirs and always worth checking out; which I would have ordered without the dead, decaying, spicy porky bits). And there is always the completely unique (and also just a bit bizarre) Bi Bim Bop Veggie Omelette (with spinach, zucchini, bean sprout, carrot, and Swiss cheese); I have had that one before and really liked the oddity of it all, Mr. Bowie.

Of course, I had to go with the most oddest sounding of dishes that I have not yet tried there. I am very happy to say that I was not disappointed in the least in its sheer oddacity. The combination of kimchi (or kim chee, or kimchee, or gimchi) and tofu (or to fu, perhaps?) turned out to be a very nice one. Who knew? (Or maybe: "Who gnew?") I especially liked that both the tofu cubes (about half-inch size) and kimchi (or kim chee, or kimchee, or gimchi) were a bit char-grilled first, which added another level of flavour altogether (and all together). They make their own kimchi (or kim chee, or kimchee, or gimchi); I was sure to ask if it was vegetarian-friendly, and was assured by Mrs. Art: "No fish!" Of course, I ordered this omelette without the hot sausage stuff (I completely forgot to ask if the tofu was vegetarian-friendly, though). 

Naturally, for my side choice, I went with their most excellent, crispy, crunchy hashbrowns (but I do like the idea of a side of plain white rice with breakfast, too; they have two large Crock-pots[2] on stand-by for anyone that prefers that simple choice).

For condimentary supplements, Art's Cafe has both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) and Crystal® Louisiana's Pure Hot Sauce. Both of which are completely superfluous, though, as they have plastic squirt-bottles of Gochujang for use (I am not sure if it's their own homemade ~ well, restaurant-made ~ stuff or not, though), which is much tastier than both of those national brand hot sauces, anyway. I added a good amount of their Gochujang on top of the hashbrowns (about as much as one would do with standard ketchup-stuff). Mrs. Art happened to notice that I went rather heavy-handedly with it and commented: "That's hot sauce, you know?". I assured her that I could handle a little (well, a lot, really) Gochujang; after all, this stuff ain't gonna kill any unsuspecting Korean waiter-dudes (see 'blog-entry from January 7th, 2012 for an explanation to that one).

The cuppa Mocha Java at Beanery ~ the Little Roaster That Could… was a bit disappointing and weak this morning (perhaps the Little Roaster Couldn't… this morning). Generally, I get a decent enough cuppa at the place; so I am putting this one down to just a poorly brewed batch. I do like that they offer three choices of regular Coffee from which to choose (this morning's choices: French Roast, Roaster's Blend, and the uncharacteristically anemic Mocha Java); plus, a decaf (not that I would ever drink any of that kind of [de]Coffee).

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

While I was walking along Irving Street waiting for Art's Cafe to open, I saw one pair (or maybe two singles) of the Wild Parrots of San Francisco flying overhead. They were heading north towards Golden Gate Park. I hardly ever see them this far west or south in San Francisco.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Tofu Omelette ~ 6.5; Beanery Mocha Java ~ 6.1; the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5


1. (sic

This is how they have it spelled on their menu, and as two separate words. They are official Koreans, so who am I to argue (or ar gue)? 

Apparently, the accepted transliterations/spellings are "kimchi", "kimchee", or "gimchi". Take your pick (or pig).

For more information and history, let's let WikipediA do all the work (or worg):

2. Did you know that the term "Crock-pot" is a trademark that is usually used generically for slow cooker appliances? Something like Vaseline® and Kleenex®, etc.®.

I only know this as I wanted to spell this as just one word: "crockpot", but Wild Bill Gates and his Spell-checkering Nazi-boys at Microsoft didn't like that spelling. So I figured I'd just check with the World Wild Webs and see what they had to offer.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Luques Restaurant and Bar

"We've been rehearsing a classic from antiquity, Green Eggs and Hamlet, the story of a young prince of Denmark who goes mad, drowns his girlfriend, and in his remorse, forces spoiled breakfast on all whom he meets." 
~ Christopher Moore, Fool

Place: Luques Restaurant and Bar
Location: 433 Powell Street (between Post and Sutter Streets)
Hours: open daily at 7:00am
Meal: Veggie Frittata ~ open faced omelette with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, spinach, and Swiss cheese, served with home fries, hash(browns), or mixed greens; and a glassa orange juice

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselections are because they were mostly playing Big Band and Swing Era music on the house stereo at the restaurant this morning, which gave it all a nice olde-timey atmosphere. Plus, I couldn't find any "Luques", or even "Luke's", related songs; so the first "Lucky" song will have to do.)

Luques Restaurant and Bar is located in the historic (well, for San Francisco standards, anything older than 1915 is considered pretty old) Chancellor Hotel (which is along the Powell Street Cable Car Line and just a half-block up from Union Square). I am pretty sure that I have never eaten breakfast (or lunch or dinner) there before, and I figured I'd give 'em a go, Joe. This place seemed a bit on the small side for the main restaurant for a large hotel. There was probably only seating for about forty people or so, which was dispersed between several tables for two to four and booths all along the wall sides (which is where I sat this morning, of course). This is definitely a tourista joint; and apparently not many touristas are the early-riser type, as there were only a few other tables occupied the entire time I was there this morning (just before eight).

There were several other good ideas from which to choose for breakfast, too: Chilaquiles (made with scrambled eggs, salsa, and crispy tortillas, garnished with Cotija cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and avocado); Avocado and Tomato Benedict (toasted English muffins, topped with avocado, sliced tomatoes, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce, served with home fries); Spinach, Pine Nut, Feta Scramble (they don't list the ingredients for that one, but I am guessing it has at least a few of the named items in it); and Famous San Francisco Sourdough Pancakes (made from scratch ~ I think making these from sourdough would make more sense, though ~ using an old Gold Rush era recipe; I have never had sourdough pancakes before and if I ever get back there again, I just might need to check those out).

The frittata was decent enough. I think they use frozen spinach in it, though (at least it didn't appear to be the fresh stuff). I also think some shavings of formaggio Parmigiano would have paired much better with this than Swiss cheese (which was just a single slice melted on top). This also comes with a side of toast, of which, I went with the sourdough type.

I like that they offer a potatoey-side choice of either homefries or hashbrowns (I won't even mention the lame "mixed greens" choice ~ Who eats salads for breakfast? Are we a buncha damn rabbits or something?!); that always bodes well with me. I went with the homefries and it turned out to be an excellent decision. These were very good homefries made with of green bell peppers and (lots and lots of) red onions.

Luques had only Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) for condimentary supplementation. I just used some of my own 
Lucky Dog Hot Sauce Medium Fire-Roasted Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the frittata and some 
Fat Cat® Strawberry Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Veggie Frittata ~ 6.3

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Urban Fish

"My course is set for an uncharted sea." 
~ Durante degli Alighieri 

(Okay, there is some construction going on in front and this was the best shot I could get of the storefront.)

(No official web-site yet. At least none that I could find on-line. Their menu stated that there was a web-site [possibly], but I can not find it.)

Place: Urban Fish
Location: 2193 Mission Street (at 18th Street)
Hours: You can catch "Brunch" (Get it? "Catch". Because this is a Vegan and Pescatarian joint. Whatever.) at 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday
Meal: Madrona Omellette (sic)[1] ~ avocado, red onion, pico de gallo; a side of Urban Spuds (fka Weird Spuds); and a glassa Organic Ginger Lemonade

(The first EweToobular juxtaselection should be pretty self-evident by this morning's breakfastary destination. I was thinking about using Burning Sensations' "Belly of the Whale" [that is about a big fish, after all, George], but just went with this superbular one from Lady Ella instead. 

The second video was made by a friend of mine, Skip Way. Skip uses photos ~ usually of flowers or such ~ that his sister Andrea has taken and makes them into a collaborative video with singers/bands that he likes [and especially those that won't castigate him for using their music in his videos, even for non-profit purposes]. If you'd like to view more of Skip's stuff, you can check out his EweToob channel here: )

I navigated my way over to the Mission to Urban Fish (fka Dante's Weird Fish; see previous 'blog-entry from November 3rd, 2013) for breakfast this morning. The place has changed hands and name since the last time I ate there (probably sometime last year, but that was for lunch or dinner, not breakfast or "Brunch", so I can't tell for sure when). The new owners are Turkish, as was my waiter-server dude-person (Whose actual Turkish first name I quickly forgot. Sorry, Mrs. Honeycutt [whose last name does actually have a double consonant in it].). He told me that the new ownership took place about eight months ago now. I regaled the poor guy with the only two Turkish words that I could think of: "Cacik" and "Dolma" (which were not that big of a stretch, as they are very similar to the same Greek words).

They only have paper napkins now, and while those are fine enough for the likes of someone like me, the cloth handkerchief/bandana thingys that they used to have in the past were very cool (you try playing "Pirate" or "Cowboy" with a paper napkin; can't be done). Luckily, the menu has remained much the same as before (where they have replaced any "Weird" names with "Urban" now). The waiter-server dude-person also told me that they will be adding more items in the future (perhaps of the Turkish Vegan or Pescatarian persuasion?). 

There are still several decent vegetarian and Vegan options worth trying: Sequoia Omellette (again, sic; of course, I forgot to write down what the ingredients were for this one; I just remember that it was one of the vegetarian options in their Omellette section); Huevos Rancheros (or Huevvos Rancherros, perhaps; 2 fried eggs, corn tortillas, Ranchero, sour cream; served with cabbage salad, black beans, cilantro); Folsom (from the Hollandaise Paradiso section ~ or Holllandaise Parradiso; which is what they call their Eggs Benedict section; made with spinnach and portabbella); or Mission Combo (or Misssion Commbo; 2 pancakes or French toast with 2 eggs, with choice of Urban Spuds, fruit, or Vegan sausage). I should point out that their pancakes are Vegan Pancakes and their French toast is Sour Batard French Toast. Those sounded like nice options on their own even.

(And, no, I don't think that I will tire of making fun of their menu "Toris" ~ that would be as in "Miss Spellings". I am sure that their computers and professional printers have access to all the most recent technology that Billy-boy and his troupe of Braunhemden spell-checkers at Microsoft have to offer, just like I do.)

This was a pretty simple/basic omelette (or omellette, or ommellette), but still very good. The pico de gallo (or picco de galllo) was really very good, with lots of red onions in it (there had to be as many ~ as much? ~ red onions in the salsa as there were tomatoes; and I am not complaining, as I love red onions), and it was served on top of (not inside of, like the avoccado was) the omelette (or omellette, or ommellette).

Surprisingly, their omelettes (or omellettes, or ommellettes) do not come with any sides ~ no potatoes, no toast/bread, no etc. (And just what the heck is up with that?) I was glad that I asked before ordering, as one of the main reasons I went back there was for their weirdly good spuds. I can always get decent omelettes (or omellettes, or ommellettes) any place else. I am very happy to report that they did not change the recipe (just the name) for their awesome version of homefries; they were still as tasty and crispy (and weird) as before.

The lemonade was also very good and had lots of fresh (and I guess, organnic) ginger bits in it.

mini-rant of the day

Is it just me, or does it bug anyone else when a restaurant brings you out a beverage with a drinking straw in it and the straw has the top part of the paper covering still on it? Just remove the damn thing already, please! If I were afraid of you contaminating my drinking straw with your grimy paws, do you think I would trust you with handling any of my food?! Sheesh! (Okay, mini-rant over… for now.)

For condimentary supplements, Urban Fish offers a pretty decent array of hot sauces: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce and Buffalo Style Hot Sauce); Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce; and El Yucateco® ~ both Salsa Picante Roja de Chile Habanero and Salsa Picante Verde de Chile Habanero. For a change (and mainly because I had never tried this particular version of Tabasco® before), I used some of their Buffalo Style Hot Sauce (or Buffallo Stylle Hott Saucce) on the spuds, but I went with some of my own Fat Cat® Chairman Meow’s Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on the omelette (or omellette, or ommellette).

Afterward (and because it was just two blocks away from where I was parked) for a breakfastary dessert, I stopped by Bi-Rite Creamery and got a scoop of Basil[2] Ice Cream and a scoop of Honey Lavender[2] Ice Cream.

I guess that Jimmy Durante degli Alighieri guy was just too weird for San Francisco even (and no one ever thought his "Comedy" was all that funny, anyway).

Glen Bacon[3] Scale Rating
Madrona Omellette ~ 6.5 (their excellent pico de gallo added an additional 0.1 points);
Urbban Sppuds ~ 7.4;
Orgganic Ginnger Lemmonade ~ 7.0;
Bi-Ritte Creammery Icce Crream ~ 7.0


1. I just know that this mispelink is gonna cause havoc with Wild Bill Gates and his Brownshirt Spell-checkering Nazi Boys at Microsoft. For which, I say: "Good! I'm glad!" Those bastages don't even like my completely acceptable Frenchified alternative spelling of "omelette".

2. What pseudo-culinaristic/pseudo-botanical lesson did we learn just yesterday, children? Both basil and lavender are members of the Mint family and will pair together very nicely. Or so says I.

3. A friend on defacedbookland (Hey, Miss Maggie Boofé!) had thought that whenever I was mentioning the "Glen Bacon Scale" that I was referring to another person altogether named "Glenn Bacon". Apparently, this other Glenn Bacon is a renowned chef from Australia (in the Queensland Area). I suppose that would make more sense using his name with a food rating scale; however, that Glenn Bacon never had to put up with me throughout six weeks of Air Force Basic Training and another year and a half of Basic Russkij Language training at the Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey and Goodfellow Air Force Base

Plus, my friend Glen Bacon is also a Boston Red Sox fan. I have no idea which MLB team that other Glenn Bacon supports (or even which AFL team he might follow).

Of course, that other Glenn Bacon also adds an extra "n" to his first name.

Hmmm?! I wonder if that Aussie was the guy that was responsible for printing Urban Fish's current menu.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

STRAW ~ Carnival Fare

"Everything being a constant carnival, there is no carnival left." ~ Victor Hugo

Place: STRAW ~ Carnival Fare
Location: 203 Octavia Boulevard (near the corner of Page Street)
Hours: "Brunch" is featured under the big top Saturday & Sunday at 10:00am
Meal: Donut Breakfast Sandwich ~ fried egg between two home-made (well, restaurant-made) glazed donuts with maple-glazed bacon, Cheddar, Jack, and home fries; a glass of (well, a Ball Mason jar of) Strawberry-Basil[1]-Lemonade; and, beforehand, a cuppa Blue Bottle Coffee, Three Africans

(I may have used that Smokey and the Miracles song previously, but you just try and find any decent EweToobular juxtaselections for a "carnival" theme. The second video is just a new one from some 7-foot tall, creepy clown to scare the bejeezus outta David Bowie.)

It had been a while since I last had breakfast (well, "Brunch") at STRAW ~ Carnival Fare (see last 'blog-entry from March 15th, 2014), so I figured it was about time for another return visit. Even though they open at 10:00am (and for "Brunch", and also have a stupid parklet in front ~ thankfully, for which they are not responsible), I really like the dishes that this place offers. I had arrived there early enough to be the third group of people to be seated this morning (okay, so I was a single person, but I was still in my own little group).

Having eaten there several times over the past few years, I have already eaten many of the stupid vegetarian dishes that are available. Even so, there are still a few other good ideas from which to choose:

  • Spinach Benedict ~ two poached eggs with sautéed spinach, Hollandaise, English muffin, home fries (this is generally known as "Eggs Florentine", but what can you expect from a buncha clowns doing the cooking); the best part about this one is that you can make it a Waffle Benedict ~ which is exactly what I will do the next time I eat there;
  • Spinach Omelette ~ caramelized onions, Swiss, home fries, toast (they don't state it anywhere on the menu, but I am pretty sure it includes some spinach, too); or
  • Huevos Rancheros ~ two fried eggs, chili-tomato Ranchero sauce, refried beans, flour tortillas with melted Cheddar & Jack cheeses, cilantro-avocado mousse, home fries; I am not sure if this can be made vegetarian-friendly, though.

I mainly went with this choice because it sounded the most 'orrible (and I knew I was going to love it). Of course, I got the sandwich without any of the dead, decaying porcine product (because that would have made this totally disgusting concoction even that much more totally disgusting). Their home-made (restaurant-made, whatever) glazed doughnuts were very similar to what you might get at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts®, but just better. Paula Dean herself would be very proud of this gastronomic monstrosity. Initially, I tried to pick up the entire mess and eat it like a sandwich, but that proved to be a big, sticky, gooey mess, and I ended up eating it posh Britishlander-style with a knife and fork. 

Their version of homefries are very good, too, with lots of red bell peppers and (white) onions in the mix.

STRAW ~ Carnival Fare only has for condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce). I used some of my own Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) on the sandwich (no, really) and some Florida Gold Premium Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the potatoes. I should point out that the Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce really paired nicely with this esculent abomination. (I know what you are thinking, "Hot sauce and doughnuts, Brian? Are you nuts?!" Sure, because that is the craziest part of the meal.)

I had arrived there about an hour before STRAW opened up and to kill the the time I decided to walk over to Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley and get a cuppa Blue Bottle Coffee at their shop in the alley (well, technically, it's on Linden Street, but it's an "alley" to those that don't really know the name of the street). This was made in the single-cuppa drip method. They state on their web-site that this particular blend/roast is: "A fairly dark roast, this inclusive blend will take milk or cream well. Some say damn well." Of course, I just say "damn the milk" altogether! I have had better cuppas from them in the past; today's seemed a bit weaker than normal. I did make sure to finish drinking it in the stupid parklet that is now ensconced in front of STRAW. This is my mini-protest to the stupid coffeeshop next door that has sponsored it. (In all honesty, this stupid parklet really isn't that much of an urban obstruction, as it is along a side street and not really taking up too much valuable parking spacing; and it was kinda nice to sit there drinking my Coffee waiting the last few minutes before STRAW had opened. But still…)

While this breakfastary meal may not be the greatest show on earth, it was all still very tasty, and I am not clowning around when I say that this ain't your Uncle Ronald's crummy ol' Egg McDoughnut!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Donut Breakfast Sandwich ~ 6.5; Strawberry-Basil-Lemonade ~ 6.8; Blue Bottle Coffee, Three Africans ~ 6.8


1. Before any of you snobbery snobs turn up your noses at the inclusion of a normally savoury culinaristic ingredient in a cold, summery beverage, basil happens to be in the Mint family. Of course, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, and lavender are all in the Mint family; and I bet they'd all make great additions to lemonade or summertime teas, too.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

nourish café

Place: nourish café 
Location: 189 6th Avenue (at California Street)
Hours: Monday-Friday open at 7:00am; Saturday & Sunday open at 9:00am
Meal: Acai [sic][1] Bowl ~ açai, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apple juice, topped with coconut, bananas, and sprouted buckwheat granola (gluten-free) from Floating Lettuce (whoever they might be); and a cuppa Ruby's roast COFFEE Dark Roast

(Sorry. I couldn't find any good EweToobular juxtaselections that referenced either "nourish" or "açai".)

nourish café (they use the minuscule script on their menu and signage, but sans l'accent aigu; however, on their web-site they do reference it as "Nourish Café", avec l'accent aigu; so I am combining both here) is a relatively new place in the Richmond District. I think they've only been open now for a few months or so since February of this year; I remember walking by one day after they had just opened up and figured I'd have to give 'em a go one of these days. They call themselves a "100% plant-based café" (it states that right on their menus and on their web-site), but I saw some metal wire shelving in the kitchen and the front counter and front dining area were covered with ceramic tiles. They really don't specify it anywhere, but they might be a completely Vegan-type restaurant, as I didn't see anything on the menu that would include any milk (or milk products) or eggs (Which came first, the cheese or the eggs?) or honey, even. 

The seating offered is also pretty minuscule: 
(inside) there are just four tables for two; (outside on the sidewalk area) there are another four tables for two. I got there just as they were opening and was lucky enough to get one of the inside tables (it was still pretty overcast and misty outside and even stupid vegetarians and Vegans like to remain dry when eating).

I thought this was pretty funny. In preparation for eating there this morning, I checked out their defacedbook page (it really wasn't much more informative than their web-site menu). Anyway, on their defacedbook page, there seems to be a small "noisy" battle going on with some people in the neighborhood complaining about the noise. I couldn't figure out just what the heck they could mean by that… until I heard all of the "smoothie" blenders going this morning. It was a bit loud inside. Even so, how much of that noise could actually travel outside? Seems to me, some of these neb-nosed complainants need to get an açai smoothie and just chill. (Get it? "Chill" with a frozen smoothie? Whatever!)

There really aren't that many items from which to choose for breakfast (or "Brunch"). There was Green Acai Bowl (açai, spinach, the vile weed, bananas, ginger, citrus, apple juice; topped with coconut, hemp & greens granola [gluten-free]). They also had a "Brunch" Special Waffle (coconut, quinoa, almond flour, gluten-free flour, topped with bananas and maple syrup), which sounded good, but I doubt that I will be getting back there for either "Brunch" or breakfast again. I might check them out for lunch (after 11am) one of these days, though.

They offer a number of freshly-blendered juices and smoothies, too. There were Summer Special ~ Dragonfruit[2] Smoothie (dragonfruit, orange juice, bananas) and Zucchini Dreams (with zucchini, basil, pineapple, celery, lemon). I don't usually mention or complain about prices (I figure if you can't afford to eat out, just stay home and eat your own crappy food), but at $9.00 per 16oz, their Smoothies all seem a bit overpriced to me.

This was kinda like having a bowl of Ice Cream for breakfast (except that the açai smoothie base at the bottom of the bowl included no actual milk or cream). They do state that their smoothies have no added ice and no added sugar. I am not really sure what the (supposed) health benefits of açai berries (well, botanically these are really "drupes", not "berries") are (I bet my cousin Barry does, though) ~ heck, I am not even sure how to correctly pronounce "açai berries" (the first word is easy, that second word, "berries", always throws me) ~ but they are pretty tasty, all the same. This was an okay enough meal, but I think it would have been better with the addition of some other whole fresh fruit slices: sliced apples or strawberries (both of which are already in the smoothie mixture) would probably have paired (or "peared") nicely.

This ended up not being an awful lot of food and I probably should have ordered something else to go with the meal. They also offer these one-slice toast things. (I saw a few other customers had ordered some; they were about ¾"-thick.) Some of the choices were: Avocado (avocado, sea salt, drizzle of oil, pepper), Hummus (house made hummus, radish, sprouts), and Miso[3] (adzuki bean miso, radish, flax oil).

The best part of the meal to me ended up being the Coffee. I have had Ruby's roast COFFEE Dark Roast a few times in the past and knew it to be a good local (as in Berkeley-local) brand. They also sell this by the pound bags of ground Coffee at the counter.

I didn't bother to ask what nourish café might have to offer in the way of any condimentary supplements and I hadn't brought any of my own hot sauces with me for a change, as I figured (correctly) that there would probably be no need of any.

Conclusion: While this was all pretty tasty, breakfasts (or "Brunches") were never meant to be "healthy", dammit!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Açai Bowl ~ 6.0; 
Ruby's roast COFFEE Dark Roast ~ 7.1


1. For some reason, nourish café does not use the "ç" in their spelling of "açai".

(That information from WikipediA already includes a stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer on the etymology of açai, so I didn't feel it necessary to make my own.)

It seems that Billy-boy and his band of Spell-checkering Nazis at Microsoft do not recognize either spelling ("açai" or "acai") of this word. They really need to start eating healthier and broaden their epicurean horizons.


3. Apparently, Microsoft's spell-checking Braunhemden do not recognize this common Japanese culinaristic word either. Miso sorry for them…