Sunday, August 30, 2015

Royal Ground Coffee

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses 
~ Chapter Six

(and also Breakfast on Geary [redux], 

Place: Royal Ground Coffee 
Location: 5301 Geary Boulevard (on the corner of 17th Avenue)
Hours: open at 6:30am daily
Meal: Egg & Cheese Bagel; an apricot-raspberry scone; and a medium cuppa Cafe Borgia  

(Same as yesterday: Monday still happens to be the 70th birthday of one Sir George Ivan Morrison, OBE. So, I am sticking with his music for this weekend.

"Sir"? Yes, sir!

I am including the last cover of one of his songs by Marianne as I think she really does it justice… faithfully.)

Continuing along with my Richmond (District) Coffeehouses series, I went to Royal Ground Coffee. They are a local Bay Area mini-chain of "non-corporate" coffeehouses. There are twelve in all thus far, and three of them happen to be located in my general vicinity (and all three of which I have been to at least a few times in the past). To the best of my recollection, today's specific shop has been open now for at least twenty years (or more). This one is also within walking distance of my apartment (that is, if you don't mind walking the fifteen blocks both ways, there and back). 

It is a medium-sized coffeehouse with fifteen tables for two (which can always be combined into tables for four, of course). Additionally, there are two comfortable-looking, large, stuffed sofas and two rattan beach-style chairs (positioned around an indoor water-fountain thing). My table (and several others) had a cool Coffee-cup design painted on it.

As with most coffeehouses, there really aren't that many items from which to choose for a breakfastary meal, but I figured on all that ahead of time. A couple of other ideas (for stupid vegetarians and dead, decaying meat-fleshatarians alike) were: Veggie Bagel (cream cheese, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, & capers) or perhaps some kinda Croissant'wich (I am not quite sure that name has been legally approved with Burger King®, but that was exactly how they had it listed on the menu).

Like many coffeehouses, there is really no kitchen/stove in/on which to cook stuff, and they have to rely on a microwave or a toaster-oven to prepare everything. I am not a big fan of "nukular" foods (much like them thar new-fangled mobular telephonic devices, I do not own, nor have I ever owned, a microwaving oven), but one must make do with which they have to offer. This was also made with boring, plain ol' 'merican cheese; I probably mighta shoulda asked for either Swiss or Cheddar (both of which I noticed that they offered after I had already started eating it). I went with a basic sesame bagel for the base; they did offer several other choices (but even I wouldn't have liked this made with a cinnamon-raisin bagel… well, maybe not).

Their version of a Cafe Borgia (Eh?! Why-a-no "Caffè Borgia", Lucrezia?) was basically a Mocha made with orange syrup added to it; it was a little (well, a lot) on the sweet side for my liking. The first time I ever had a Cafe Borgia (o Caffè Borgia) at Simple Pleasures Cafe, it was made with a whole fresh orange quarter ("a whole quarter"?) on the bottom of the glass; I much preferred that (less sweet) version; plus, when you did get to the bottom, you got to suck on/eat the orange quarter that had soaked up the Coffee-Chocolate flavours (and, okay, you got to do that orange-smile Godfather thing to scare any nosy
little kids around). I mainly went with the Cafe Borgia 
(Caffè Borgia) because they offered it on the "Coffee & Espresso Drinks" section of their menu, and, apropos-iatley, I had just mentioned it in yesterday's 'blog-entry. They listed a "Cafe Flore" on the menu; I have no idea what that might entail (a quick Intro-Net search was not to much avail either). And they had also listed one called a "Keith Richard". (Now, just what the heck is that supposed to be, do ya think?! Is there actually a "heroin-flavoured" syrup?) 

Once again, I didn't bother to find out what they may have had to offer in the way of condimentary supplements. I simply went with some (well, about a good ketchup-portion amount) of my own 
Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!) all over the nuked-scrambled eggs stuff.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Egg & Cheese Bagel ~ 5.9 (this probably would have been a 6.0 or 6.1 with "real" cheese on it); Cafe Borgia (o Caffè Borgia) ~ 6.3; apricot-raspberry scone ~ 6.4

Saturday, August 29, 2015

SOMA Restaurant & Bar

"If you shut yer mouth and keep quiet, you may get what you want." ~ a bit of Zen insight from Sir George Ivan

(No official web-site; however, they have listed a 
web-site of on their business cards, but it does not actually work.)

Place: SOMA Restaurant & Bar 
Location: 85 Fifth Street (on the corner of Mission Street); phonicular contact: (415) 778-8500
Hours: open at 6:30am daily
Meal: Mediterranean Omelet ~ with spinach, red onion, zucchini, tomato, Kalamata olives, Feta cheese, & house potatoes, served with toast and jelly; and a cuppa (with one refilla) America's Best (this is just their lofty claim; I have had this brand many times before, and I would call it more like "America's Sufficiently Okay") Coffee Roasting Company 

(Monday happens to be the 70th birthday of one Sir George Ivan Morrison, OBE. So, I am sticking with his music for this weekend. 

"Sir"? Yes, sir!

I am pretty sure I have linked both of these songs many times here already in the past, and possibly these exact same videos. If you don't like it, start yer own damn 'blog-thing.)

I went to SOMA Restaurant & Bar for breakfast this morning. This normally wouldn't have been on my radar as a place to check out for breakfast, but I am running out of new places and figured I'd give them a try. I do like that they are open very early every day, and for an early morning meal that they don't call "Brunch". As best as I can figure, they are the house restaurant for the Pickwick Hotel. It's not really that large of a place; there are just six tables for two, seven tables for four, and one large table for six to eight people.

They don't offer that many items (only about a dozen or so) from which to choose on their breakfast menu, but I saw a couple of other good ideas if I ever get back there. Those would be: Good Morning Omelet (with mushrooms, spinach, tomato, & house potatoes); Italian Frittata (Italian mild sausage, mushrooms, Mozzarella cheese, & house potatoes; without the sausage for me, of course); Blueberry Pancakes; or Huevos Rancheros (eggs with tortillas, black beans, tomato, Mozzarella cheese, & house potatoes).

There was nothing really special about this one. This was just a basic, good omelette really. I did like the fact that it had lots of sliced Kalamata olives in it (and a good amount of Feta, too; as I always state: "Everything's betta with Feta!"). The leaves of spinach were incorporated into the egg mixture, not sautéed and added as an ingredient inside. They made decent enough homefries, too.

When I had finished eating all the food on my plate, I decided to eat the orange slice-garnish that was there. I then added the rinds to the last of my Coffee ~ à la Caffè Borgia.

I have no idea what SOMA Restaurant & Bar had in the way of condimentary supplementation; none were offered and I really didn't bother asking for none, neither. I also skipped schlepping any of my own hot sauces with me this morning, as I just started reading a new book and it more than took up space and added weight in my backpack. I figured I could eat one breakfast without any hot sauce for a change.

the Author-Guy Strange Interlude

On Monday night, I went to a book-signing/book-launching (well, it ended up being more of a joke-telling) event for one of my current favourite living authors. This was the second-in-a-row of his book-launchings that I have been to in as many years. If you have never read any of Christopher Moore's books, I suggest starting with Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Mediterranean Omelet ~ 6.5; Secondhand Souls ~ 7.5

Sunday, August 23, 2015

MyMy CoffeeCoffee ShopShop

"Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly arranged and 
well-provisioned breakfast table." 
~ Big Nate Hawthorne 

(No official web-site thing.)

Place: MyMy CoffeeCoffee ShopShop
Location: 15001500 CaliforniaCalifornia StreetStreet (on the corner of LarkinLarkin StreetStreet)
Hours: open at 8:00am8:00am dailydaily; 
phonicular contact: (415) 800-7466
Meal: peasant lorraine flat omelette ~ bacon (which I of course skipped, Mr. Way), leeks, shallot, asparagus, Gruyère, Lorraine Swiss, topped w/ grilled tomatoes (which they have in the plural, but this really was just one slice/quarter-tomato), served with toast and hash brown [ sic ] (which they have in the singular, but I am pretty sure there were actually several hashbrowns); a glassa Fresh Squeezed Lemonade; and, for a breakfastary dessert afterward, a cuppa Contraband Coffee Black Market Blend and a dynamo donut (?)Lemon Buttermilk(?) doughnut

(I am just continuing with the International Linda Ronstadt Weekend here. It is just too bad that I could not find a EweToobular video of Linda singing Noel Yang's classic "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)", or, alternatively acoustically, "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)", as that would have been the perfect juxtaselection for this morning.)

I felt that it was highhigh timetime to gogo backback to MyMy CoffeeCoffee ShopShop (see lastlast 'blog'blog-entryentry from NovemberNovember 30th30th, 20142014) ~ mainly because I am running out of new places and ideas at which to breakfast. I probably shoulda sat outside this morning; it would have been comfortable enough with a sweatshirt on. There are now eight tables for two on the Larkin Street sidewalk side (or four tables for four, or two tables for four and four tables for two, or one table for four and three tables for two; well, you get the idea).

I really like the diversity of stuff that they have to offer on their menu. There are still several other good ideas that I have to try one of these days, such as: 

mambo italiano scramble (Italian sausage, oyster mushroom, basil, sun dried tomato, Roma tomato, Kalamata olive, smoked Mozzarella, tomato garlic relish; of course, I would have ottantasei-ed the maiale morto e decadimento stuff); 

tex-mex scramble (chorizo, garlic, roasted jalapeño, onion, Roma tomato, pepper Jack, chipotle aioli, pico de gallo, avocado, corn tortilla; I would have also ochenta y seis-ed the cerdo muerto y en en descomposición junk); 

chive pancake with crispy crumbled bacon & gorgonzola dolce (house made ricotta cheese pancake, served w/ two eggs sunny side up; once again, the crispy crumbled dead, decaying porky bits would have had to go); 


banana blueberry soufflé pancake (house made mascarpone cheese pancake w/ vanilla curd and candied walnut; of course, there would be no need to curtail any of my Walpoling activities for any dead, decaying porcine junk with this one). 

The first two choices are from their eggs & relatives section of the menu; the last two selections are from their sweet & savory griddle section of the menu. They also have a benediction section on the menu (with six different versions of Eggs Benedict) and a house favori 
[ sic ] section with six more choices (but really only one of which could be made suitable for stupid vegetarians).

Much like I expected, this simply turned out that 
"flat omelette" = "frittata". This had lots of asparagus (which is a very good thing in my book); and with two types of cheese(s), it was all nice and extra cheesy-gooey. I liked the slice (quarter) of grilled Roma tomato; it added a nice bit of flavour. 

The hashbrowns (or "hash brown" even) were (was) excellent and prepared exceptionally thin for maximum crispiocity. I was asked if I would like to substitute the hashbrowns (or "hash brown") for a side of fruit instead for an extra $2.00. Who would really pay an extra $2.00 for a side of "fruit"? Once again, even I can cut fruit and throw it in a bowl.

I went with sourdough as my toast choice. I liked that they actually grill the bread, too.

For some reason, they like to list all of their main dishes in minuscule, but the drinks are all listed in majuscule. go Figger! I was warned ahead of time by the waitress-server lady-person that they made their lemonade on the sweet side. It really was, too. I ended up taking the thick lemon slice garnish-thing and squeezed it into the glass; it helped some, but it was still a bit too sweet for my liking. I did like that the lemonade came with a bendy straw.

MyMy CoffeeCoffee ShopShop has the entire San Francisco Triumvirate of Hot Sauces (Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce [Original Red Sauce], Cholula® Hot Sauce [Original], and Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce) for use as condimentary supplements. I used some (well, a lot) of my own Fat Cat Strawberry Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the hashbrowns (or "hash brown") and just a skosh (no more than eight drops ~ which was about five drops too many) Blair's 
After Death sauce with Liquid Fire (Thanks a lot, Sean! [See, this is where a sarcasm-emoji would really come in handy.]) on top of the omelette-frittata-thing.

Contraband Coffeebar is a cool little neighborhoody coffeehouse (well, if your neighborhood happens to be Nob Hill, that is). They were playing Gillian Welch on the house stereo the entire time I was there. I had to ask if it was a CD or some kinda Pandora®-thing; the barista-lady (baristata? la donna barista?) pointed out that it was actually a Gillian Welch EweToobular 
play-list that they had going through the house stereo. I also like that they offer a choice of several different blends/roasts to be made as a single-cuppa drip-style Coffee. My choice this morning was a nice dark roast, which they list as "deep, dark, rich, & toasty, subdued brightness, faint berry, excellent for drip or Espresso". 

I am not quite sure which specific doughnut I had. I asked the barista-lady which kinds of doughnuts they offered today and she could only say the one I was pointing at was "some kinda citrus doughnut"; so I am going with Lemon Buttermilk doughnut, as it's the only one I could see on the dynamo donut web-site that may match it.

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

Earlier in the morning, when I had first arrived, I saw a small pandemonium (of five) of the Wild Parrots heading westward (Ho!) along California Street. Later on, after breakfast and Coffee, I saw a larger pandemonium (of thirteen) of the chatter-heads heading a-southward.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
peasant lorraine flat omelette ~ 6.8; 
Contraband Coffee Black Market Blend ~ 6.9; 
dynamo donut (?)Lemon Buttermilk(?) doughnut ~ 6.7; 
the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5

Saturday, August 22, 2015

BDK Restaurant & Bar

Breakfast on Geary (redux), Catcha-22

Place: BDK Restaurant & Bar
Location: 501 Geary Boulevard (on the corner of Taylor Street)
Hours: open Monday through Friday at 7:00am (for breakfast); open Saturday and Sunday at 8:00am (for "Brunch")
Meal: Spinach & Feta Scramble ~ served with home fries & choice of toast: wheat/white/cinnamon raisin/rye/English Muffin; and a mighty fine cuppa (and one refilla) Caffé [sic][1] Vita (per my friendly waitress-server lady person ~ whose name I never really got; sorry, Mrs. Honeycutt ~ this was) some kinda Colombian blend

(Because I have so deemed it that I can, I have proclaimed the third weekend in August as International Linda Ronstadt Weekend. Sadly, it was two years ago around this date that Linda Ronstadt revealed that she had Parkinson's Disease and "can no longer sing a note". Happily, there is still always EweToob, and we can hear her sing all the notes we want, whenever we want.

Best wishes, Ms. Ronstadt!)

I had previously eaten at this same location once before, back when it was under its former incarnation of Grand Cafe Brasserie & Bar (see previous 
'blog-entry from March 2012). Both the hotel and restaurant (& bar) have changed names since then. The hotel is now known as The Marker San Francisco, and the restaurant (& bar) in the corner location of the building is now called BDK Restaurant & Bar. It is only two blocks down Geary Street from Union Square (and only thirty-seven blocks down Geary Street/Boulevard from last Sunday's 'blog-entry).

The restaurant space is now in the front as soon as you walk into the joint. It used to be further back in an interior, high-ceilinged back room. I am pretty sure it is a smaller restaurant than it used to be, too. I think the space up front used to be just the hotel bar/lounge area. There is just seating of: thirteen tables for two (where most of those are along two walls and are half-booth jobbers), three tables for four, three booths along the back wall for up to six people, and two large tables for eight people.

You know a place is a typical "Brunch"-ified joint when they use "real" cloth napkins (which are always wasted on the likes of slobs like me). I did like the little bovine-creamers on each table (even if I never use the stuff in my Coffee).

Both the standard breakfast menu and the weekend "Brunch" menu don't really have an awful lot to offer (for either stupid vegetarian-types or dead, decaying animal-fleshivores). Some of the other possible ideas that I was looking at were: Deviled Eggs (white truffle oil, black trumpet mushrooms; if I had ordered this one, I would have had to get a side of homefries, too); Oven Roasted Beets (farro, radish, watercress, goat cheese, basil vinaigrette, smoked almond; again, this would have needed the addition of a side of homefries); or Garden Omelet (three egg whites, goat cheese, seasonal "veggies" [Ugh!], served with a side of fresh fruit). And possibly, as a breakfastary dessert, Sweet Corn Crème Brûlée (which really sounded pretty good).

The scramble was decent enough (heck, even I can scramble eggs with spinach in it). I was a little disappointed that the Feta was just thrown on top of the scramble after cooking it. Not that Feta is a very melty-type cheese, but it still would have been better mixed in with the eggs and spinach and cooked that way. At least there was a decent amount of Feta in the mess. 

The toast was very good. They don't specify it on their "Brunch" menu (but do so on their on-line breakfast menu), but this was actually walnut-cinnamon-raisin bread. It possibly was a homemade (well, restaurant-made) bread (I forgot to bug my friendly waitress-server lady person about that particular bit of information).

For condimentary supplementation, BDK only had Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (which I assume was just the Original Red Sauce type) and a Sriracha sauce (which I also assume was Huy Fung Foods, Inc. brand). I went with some of my own Fairhope Favorites, Inc. Moonshine Hot Sauce XXX (Thanks, Phyll!) on the potatoes and some Marie Sharp's 
Grapefruit Pulp Habanero Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) on parts of the scramble mess. 

I especially would like to point out that they serve their own homemade (well, restaurant-made) jams/jellies/preserves to use with the toast and such. Today's jam/jelly/preserve was a very good raspberry jam. At first I thought that it was a blueberry-raspberry jam, as I noticed that there was a whole blueberry in my serving. My friendly waitress-server lady person informed me that it was just raspberry jam today and maybe some of the last batch of blueberry jam got mixed in with it. I really didn't care, as it was very good, and blueberry-raspberry jam would have been a great combination, anyway.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Spinach & Feta Scramble ~ 6.3; "Caffé" Vita (even though we all know very well that it should be "Caffè Vita") some kinda Colombian blend ~ 6.8; homemade (well, restaurant-made) (blueberry-)raspberry jam ~ 7.3


1. While I may have enjoyed their Coffee (o Caffè), once again, I really have to complain about the mizpelink of the Italiano word for "Coffee". It should be correctly spelled con l'accento grave, non con l'accento acuto. I don't know why so many places can't get that correct (or as they say in vero Italiano*: correctomundo).

Fortunately, Caffé Vita only references the "é" on their shipping packages. It just appears as "Caffe Vita" (which is also incorrect, but at least it's not using il maiale-cane accento francese) throughout most of their website.

*(Well, the specific Italian dialect of Fonzarelliano.)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Café Coco

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses ~ Part V

(and also Breakfast on Geary [redux, Rabbit], Part XXI)

(No official ~ nor unofficial ~ web-site.)

Place: Café Coco
Location: 4201 Geary Boulevard (on the corner of 6th Avenue); phonicular contact: (415) 750-1898
Hours: open Monday through Friday at 6:30am; open Saturday and Sunday at 7:30am
Meal: Multiseed Bagel with Chèvre[1] and Tomatoes; for breakfastary dessert, (a day-old) cinnamon-walnut-apple-cranberry bun/roll/thing; and a small (12oz) cuppa Peerless Coffee & Tea® (I didn't ask which blend/roast, though)  

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselections are because I heard on the house radio/stereo at Café Coco that tomorrow, August 17th, is National Black Cat Appreciation Day. Dammit! These major holidays always tend to sneak up on me. 

The other two videos are because we all know that every Cat ~ Black, White, Calico, or Other ~ believes he is a true Lion[2] or Tiger at heart.)

Continuing the whole Chocolate/Cocoa theme from yesterday, and also continuing with the Richmond (District) Coffeehouses series, I decided to go to Café Coco this morning. While it is technically within walking distance of my apartment (well, "technically", that is, if you don't mind walking twenty-six blocks there and back), I just drove over there this morning and easily found an empty parking space right next door on Geary Boulevard.

This was a bit of a surprise to me: a quick Intro-Net search revealed that there is just one each 
Peet's Coffee & Tea® and St*rbucks in the Richmond District. I would have thought that there would be at least a few more of each still. I have been to the 
Peet's Coffee & Tea® on the corner of Geary 
Boulevard and 16th Avenue (which is actually walkable distance for a lazy person like me) many, many times before and will be including it in this series somewhere along the way (however, I really can't say as much for that "other" place, though).

Café Coco has been open now for approximately three years, and right at a 38 Geary bus stop (and, conveniently enough for the local constabulary, just a half-block from the City & County of San Francisco Police Department Richmond Station on 6th Avenue). There are eleven tables for two-to-three people and five seats/stools along the 6th Avenue window side. I particularly liked the design on the backs of all the wooden seats; I want one for myself now.

Café Coco offers several other toppings (along with hummus and that other ubiquitous bagel-topper soft cheese stuff) like cucumbers, lox, peanut butter (very good with a cinnamon-raisin bagel, by the way), sprouts, and avocado. They also have a decent selection of sandwiches (that is, if you wanted a sandwich for breakfast, which I saw a few people were already ordering that early in the morning) that are named after famous writers/authors, such as: Rabelais (salami, arugula, olive puree, pesto, Swiss cheese, prosciutto, ciabatta; which I would have ordered without any of the dead, decaying porky products); Diderot (ciabatta roll, yellow mustard, pickled jalapeños, grilled ham, Gruyère; diderot on the porcine junk); Tolstoy (rye bread, Swiss or Gruyère, arugula or spinach, tuna salad; I would have submarined the dead, decaying fishy-stuff, too); Hugo (Chèvre, grilled "veggies", pesto, crusty white bread, Vegan option); Zola (Mozzarella, tomato, basil, Balsamic vinaigrette, ciabatta); Kafka (grilled Cheddar, Gruyère, or Swiss, whole wheat bread); or Heller (tomato, veganaise, salt, pepper, whole wheat bread).

In my book (which has been pointed out many times before is just a 12-pager colouring type-book; I am almost finished with it now and may need to start another one soon; I know that three years is a pretty long time on one book, but not all of us can be bibliophiles like Mr. Red Kipe) Chèvre (like hummus) is a much better addition to bagels than any plain ol' Philadelphia-brand soft cheese. I was going to go with cucumbers and tomatoes for toppings in addition to the Chèvre, as I felt those would all be nice together. When they brought out the bagel sandwich, it also included capers in it… lots and lots of capers! I hadn't asked for any capers, but, had I known that was an option, I might have done so. It's just a good thing that I like capers. (And "caper", as a verb, goes right along with the whole goaty cheesey stuff, too. Look it up yourself, you buncha lazy etymologists!).

I only went with the day-old bun/roll/thing as there were no fresh ones of that sort in the display case. The cranberries are what first caught my eye and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it also had apples in it. For a Chocolate/Cocoa tie-in, I suppose I mighta coulda gotten a Chocolate croissant again, but my choice ended up being a very good decision, anyway.

I didn't really feel the need to check out what Café Coco might have to offer in the way of any condimentary supplements. I didn't think I was going to need any of my own hot sauces this morning, either, and didn't bother schlepping any with me even.

Does anyone else think that "Black Cat Backgammon Café" would be a cool name for a café/coffeehouse-joint? I only thought of this because of tomorrow's major national holiday and there was a backgammon board in the corner just behind my table this morning.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Multiseed Bagel with Chèvre and Tomatoes ~ 6.2 (I am giving this an extra 0.2 GBS Points for the surprising ~ and much-welcomed ~ addition of the capers, and especially for the quantity that were added); Coffee ~ 6.5; cinnamon-walnut-apple-cranberry bun/roll/thing ~ 6.6 (and that was for a day-old one; I can only imagine how much better it would have been as a fresher, day-new one); cool Coffee-cup design wooden chairs ~ 7.7


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

"Chèvre" simply means "goat" in French.

(And I really hate having to point out once again that Billy-boy and his band of Nazi-spellcheckers at Microsoft do not recognize this type of cheese. The suggestions they are offering: "Cheever", "Chevron"*, "Chives", and a few others. Now, unless the author of "Rabbit, Run" was a Sergeant in the Army and grew wild herbs to feed to his goats before milking them for cheese-production, I really don't care for any of those choices. Perhaps ol' Wild Bill is one of them lactose-intolerant types; in which case, I would like to tell him to "lighten-up" and stop picking on dairy products!)

*(At least this word has the same root as Chévre. Look it up yerdamnself!)

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, inombolo ezimbili:

The original title of the song "the Lion Sleeps Tonight" was "Mbube", which is just the Zulu word for "Lion". And, of course, it was written by some South African guy named Wimo Weh**.

**(Nah, not really. It was written by Solomon Popoli Linda. There is really no such Zulu word as "Wimoweh". This was just a mishearing by the Weavers of the chorus of the original song "uyimbube", meaning "he is a lion".)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bread and Cocoa

Man does not live on bread alone... sometimes he needs a good bit o' Chocolate with it, too.

Place: Bread and Cocoa
Location: 199 Sutter Street (on the corner of Kearny Street)
Hours: open Monday - Friday at 6:30am; and Saturday - Sunday at 8:00am
Meal: Haight[1] Sandwich (which would cover the "Bread" part of their name) ~ two eggs, sautéed mushrooms, spinach, & white Cheddar, served on toasted focaccia[1] or multigrain bread; and a large (16oz.) cuppa (more like a small bowla) Rich Hot Chocolate ~ prepared using our signature dark Chocolate ganache[1] (which covered the other part of their name) 

(There were really only a few good choices that I could come up with for the first part of the restaurant's name for a EweToobular juxtaselection. As for the second part of the name, does anyone really need to hear Tay Zonday[1] ever again?)

When you can hear your stomach wamble[1] over the normal cacophony of a noisy, crowded municipal bus, it's always best to head straight to your dining destination. My wambling destination (via the normal cacophonous din of MUNI Line 38) this morning happened to be Bread and Cocoa. It was a pretty busy little place first thing on a Saturday morning (mostly because there really isn't much else in the area that opens that early for any sort of breakfast stuff ~ St*rbucks and the like don't really count). There was lots of indoor seating; plus, there were three round tables on the Sutter Street sidewalk that could accommodate two to three people (two much more comfortably).

The breakfast fare that is offered on their menu is really pretty decent for "A Natural Café" (the actual wording on their signage). Some of the other "natural" ideas that I was looking at: Sonoma Sandwich (two eggs, slow roasted tomato, applewood[1] smoked bacon, Tillamook Cheddar; which I would have ordered without the dead, decaying porky bits, of course); Toscana Sandwich (two eggs, Italian sausage, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, Provolone cheese; ditto on the putrid porcine stuff); or Breakfast Frittata (egg, Fontina[1] cheese, asparagus, leeks, and shiitake mushrooms; served with fresh fruit or Cajun Potatoes and toast; I would have gone with this choice normally, but I wanted to keep to the "Bread" and "Cocoa" theme as best as possible).

(I think they were attempting one of those fancy-schmancy foamed milk designs there.)

This had to be much larger than the 16oz cuppa they say it was supposed to be. It was all very tasty, too.

I also happened to notice that the Coffee brand that they serve was Mr. Esppresso®, which I have had many times before and know to be a decent local roastery.

I liked my choice of multigrain bread for this sandwich. I probably would have gone with Focaccia as my preference if I had ordered either the Sonoma Sandwich or Toscana Sandwich, as that probably would have paired much better with those ingredients. This was much better than any pedestrian breakfastary sandwich that you might get at Ronald's Rainbow Room. It wasn't an awful lot of food, though, and I probably shoulda ordered a side of the Cajun Potatoes, too (besides, potatoes are always great with every breakfast).

For condimentary supplementation, Bread and Cocoa offered Tabasco® Brand Hot Sauce (both Original Red Sauce and Green Jalapeño Sauce). I used some of my own Lucky Dog Medium Fire-Roasted Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the sandwich. I figured the hot Chocolate was fine on its own (but, maybe, if I had just had some chipotle hot sauce with me…)

I will have to get back there again one of these days for the Breakfast Frittata. Plus, this place deserves checking out for lunch some day, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Haight Sandwich ~ 6.3; Rich Hot Chocolate ~ 6.6


1. All of these are common, everyday words that are seemingly unrecognized by Wild Bill Gates and his troupe of Braunhemden Spell-checkering Nazi-boys at Microsoft.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Buttermilk ~ Southern Kitchen

(No official web-site. Yet?)

Place: Buttermilk ~ Southern Kitchen
Location: 2848 23rd Street (on the corner of Bryant Street)
Hours: open for "Brunch" at 10:00am weekends
Meal: breakfast vegetarian griddle cake ~ buckwheat griddle cake (Nu?! You were expecting maybe buttermilk pancakes?), poached egg, black eyed pea ragu, tomato confit, sauteed collards, green garlic, sour cream, and cornbread; a side of house pickles; a glassa lemonade; and, beforehand, for a pre-breakfast dessert, an apricot cardamom doughnut from dynamo donut + coffee and a small cuppa (hot) Gingersnap at Philz Coffee (the original one on 24th Street, en el corazón de la Misión)

(Well, both Jackson Browne and the Eagles got their starts in "Southern" California, so that is a good enough EweToobular juxtaselection for me. 

And for a little side-note, on my way out to Monterey, California for Intermediate Russkij training at Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, we made a stop in Winslow, Arizona for the night ~ it was Hallowe'en 1982 ~ and we made sure to stand on a corner while there. Unfortunately, no girls in flatbed Fords slowed down to take a look at me… heck, no one in Chevys or Dodges did either.)

Buttermilk ~ Southern Kitchen has only been open for about four to five months now (since late April). They are located in an old space that used to be a laundromat (lavandería). I bet they mighta coulda maybe called the joint "the Mission Laundry" or "La Lavandería Mexicana" (but I am sure that those snooty, Frenchy bastages up in Yountville might have something to say about that).

As could be expected, the place is typical laundromat-sized and has seating of seven tables for four, seven tables for two, and one large table right inside the front door for eight people (which could always be split in half for two more tables of four if needed, I suppose). Plus, outside, along the Bryant Street sidewalk, there are five to six more tables for four.

(The Wall of Fame of Pickles.)

There really were only a few other good ideas on the menu for stupid vegetarians (in the South, they call you a "vegetarian" if you order a side salad with your meal). There was either veggie omelet (beech mushrooms, okra, asparagus, bell peppers, pimento cheese, with roasted potatoes on the side; and despite its odious name, I almost went with that choice due to the asparagus and okra, both of which are two of my favourite "veggies") or baked french toast (which I would have had to order with some kinda side dish like whipped sweet potatoes with brown sugar and goat cheese or house pickles that I had today).

This came with two poached eggs and two griddle cakes (they have both in the singular on the menu). The menu stated that it had sautéed collards in it (which was one of the reasons I went with this choice; I love collard greens), but I really didn't notice any in the dish. It really didn't end up mattering as, in place of that, it had lots of asparagus, mange-tout (that would be "snow peas" to those of you not from England or France), and cauliflower in it instead, which more than makes up for any lack of collard greens in my book. I asked my waiter-server dude what kind of flour the griddle cakes were made with and he said they were gluten-free and made with something that sounded like "suka meal". Now, I did a quick Google-search and couldn't find anything that referenced "suka" or "souka" (maybe the guy was Russian and was just insulting me[1]). 

I liked that the lemonade came in a glass jar/mug thing with a handle (and extra added bonus points for coming with a bendy straw).

I asked what they had to offer in the way of condimentary supplements and they said they only had Crystal® Louisiana’s Pure Hot Sauce. I probably didn't really need to accessorize in any culinaristic way, but I had brought my own Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Amys and Brian!) with me and used some (well, a lot, actually) on top of one of the poached eggs. I loaned it out to a guy at the next table and he also really liked it. Plus, one of the other waiter-server-type guys tried it and said it really was pretty good, too.

I have had many of the doughnuts from dynamo donut + coffee already and there were several other good choices this morning (e.g. strawberry earl grey, passion fruit milk chocolate, caramel apple, chocolate rose, or caramel de sel). However, much like asparagus trumps collard greens, anything with cardamom trumps just about anything else with me. 

Normally, Philz Coffee has the Gingersnap as an iced Coffee entry, but I have found it makes an excellent hot Coffee, too. Of course, with the above doughnut, it ended up being a bit of a sugar-rush just before breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) and I was glad to go with something savoury there.

If Humphry Slocombe had been open early enough after I had finished eating, I coulda made it a Breakfastary Perfecta with: Breakfast ("Brunch", whatever), Coffee, Doughnuts, and Ice Cream.

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

On the way back to my car after breakfast ("Brunch", whatever), I saw two pairs of the Wild Parrots flying overhead. I suppose that small amount wouldn't exactly be considered a "Pandemonium of Parrots", but just more of a "Minor Infraction of Parrots".

All in all, today's entire breakfast (including the pre-breakfast dessert and Coffee beforehand) was a very good experience. Even though Buttermilk ~ Southern Kitchen doesn't open until 10:00am (and for a meal which they call "Brunch"), I really liked this meal today and can definitely recommend it to anyone; of course, it will probably be another year or more before I ever get back there again.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: breakfast vegetarian griddle cake ~ 7.4 (this received an extra 0.1 GBS points for having the good sense to not call it a "brunch" "veggie" griddle cake); house pickles ~ 6.6; apricot cardamom doughnut ~ 7.5; Gingersnap ~ 7.3; the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5


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

In Russkij (and some other Slavic languages), the phrase "son of a bitch" is "Сукин сын/(Sukin syn)". This is a pretty literal translation, as the word for a "female dog" in Russkij is "сука/(suka)" and the word for "son" is "сын/(syn)".