Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ashley's Cafe

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses ~ Part 12

Location: 4454 California Street (on the corner of 7th Avenue)
Hours: open Monday - Friday at 6:00am, Saturday & Sunday at 7:00am
Meal: (the simply-enough named) Scramble ~ spinach/Pepper Jack/red onion/mushrooms w/ herb roasted potato medley; and a medium (which was actually rather large) cuppa America's Best Coffee Roasting Company, which was some kinda (ASHLEY'S CAFE) House Blend French Roast organic and fair trade stuff

My original plan this morning was to go back to California Street and ratiocinatively work my way 
ever-westward through the neighborhood coffeehouses to continue with the Richmond (District) Coffeehouses series. The next coffeehouse along the way (after ★ The Richfield; see 'blog-entry from two weeks prior) was to be 
Caffé [ sic ] del Sole; however, despite a sign in the door that stated "Open Every Day at 7:00am" (and it was well after 8:30am already when I got there), they were not open this morning. I simply skipped that one (for now) and instead went one more block down California Street to ASHLEY'S CAFE.

ASHLEY'S CAFE has ample seating with ten round tables for two; two (larger) square tables for two; two large tables for six; plus, outside (along both the California Street and 7th Avenue sidewalks), seven more tables for two-to-three people.

For a little neighborhood coffeehouse, ASHLEY'S CAFE has a pretty decent breakfast menu (other than just the usual bagels and pastries offerings). Some other ideas that I was looking at: (the also simply-enough named) Omelet (red onion/mushrooms/bell pepper/arugula/cream [ sic ] fraiche [ (aussi) sic ] on top w/ herb roasted potato medley); Robert's (sushi rice over two cage-free eggs/bacon or ham on the side; I would probably have asked for their herb roasted potato medley in place of the dead, decaying porcine bits); and they also offer three different (Breakfast) Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (but only one of which would make sense for stupid vegetarians: Classic Breakfast [Sharp Cheddar/Jack/cage-free egg]).

Pluses: It is not that often that a coffeehouse does a full breakfast menu (most of these places do not even have a real kitchen to them), so that they offer a few different egg dishes (with breakfast potatoes) is pretty interesting. This scramble-dish was made with fresh spinach and fresh mushrooms (impressively, of the Shiitake variety, not your plain ol' canned button mushroom type); and it was served in a mini cast iron skillet.

minor minuses: This did not include any red onions and if there was any Pepper Jack cheese in it, I could not discern it. Hopefully this was just a one-time oversight; but it was still two ingredients out of four (and that's almost half, Yogi) that were left out.

Major Minus: The "herb roasted potato medley" was extremely sparse (it was more of an "herb roasted potato two bar chord" if you ask me). There had to be just one small potato's worth (and from what I could tell, it was just one kind of potato). You can cheat me outta red onions and Pepper Jack cheese all you want, but please don't skimp on my potato breakfastary side.

The Coffee was very strong and pretty good (I have found that just because it's called "America's Best", doesn't always mean it is). My Coffee mug had a large "G" monogram on it, which led me to wondering whose Coffee I might be drinking by mistake.

For condimentary supplementation, ASHLEY'S CAFE offers both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) and Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce. I used some of my own Hot Licks Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on (what little there was of) the potatoes and some Marie Sharp's Grapefruit Pulp Habanero Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) on the scrambled stuff.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Scramble ~ 6.1 
(I am giving this an extra 0.1 points for the mini cast iron skillet presentation and the addition of Shiitake, but I am deducting 0.2 for the missing ingredients and [especially] the paucity[1] of potatoes)


1. This is not named after the town where the 
Boston Red Sox AAA affiliate plays.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Coffee Break

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses ~ Part 11

(and also Breakfast on Geary [redux], Part 27)

Place: Coffee Break
Location: 4601 Geary Boulevard 
(on the corner of 10th Avenue)
Hours: open Monday - Friday at 7:00am and Saturday - Sunday at 8:00am (well, sometimes)
Meal: Veggie Breakfast (Sandwich) ~ eggs with mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, roasted peppers, red onions, with Parmesan, Provolone, and pesto on a sweet roll; an apple turnover (pastry-thing); and a 16 oz cuppa Caffè Umbria® Arco Etrusco Blend (to start) and a cuppa (refilla) Bizzarri Blend (to enjoy with the breakfastary dessert thing)

(While Aretha Franklin's cover of this song [originally written for and performed by Miss Dionne Warwick ~ without the aid of any of her psychic friends] is very good, everyone knows that the best ever version of this song was sung by Rupert Everett.)

Two weeks ago, I happened to notice that Coffee Break was now open late(r) for dinner (coincidentally enough, that day was the first night they were open until 8:30pm) and stopped in for dinner. I had a great sandwich (Veggie Special ~ avocado, tomatoes, Feta cheese, red onions, cucumber, roasted peppers, and lettuce, with pesto and mustard; I was talked into getting this with their "Special Sauce" in place of the pesto and mustard by the friendly counter-lady [again, by "counter-lady", I mean the woman working the cash register, not that Caitlyn Jenner is working there for extra money or anything] and was very glad that I did) that night and knew that I would have to make a return visit for breakfast under the Richmond (District) Coffeehouses series. Unlike last week, I waited until 8:30am to head over there this morning just to make sure they were actually open.

As best as I can remember, Coffee Break has been open now on Geary Boulevard for over twenty years. I think that there are now new owners since circa April 2013 (a Korean-family? whereas, this used to be russkaya-family owned place). This is within walking distance of my apartment (well, twenty-two blocks both ways), but I decided to drive over there this morning, anyway. There are just eight tables for two; two stuffed armchairs that share a small (Coffee)table between them; and one lone stuffed armchair that has a small (Coffee)table all to itself.

What else do they offer in the way of Breakfast Sandwiches? Check out their menu on their web-site, yer own damn-self; I am too lazy to list them this morning. (But the Egg Salad Sandwich [with capers] does sound pretty good, too.)

This was basically an omelette/scrambled egg sandwich. I ordered the sandwich with a soft French roll (which they call a "sweet roll") and upgraded it with their own Special Sauce (which I knew was very good from my previous visit there; and, for which, I am giving the overall Glen Bacon Scale Rating an additional 0.1 points). The two (real) cheeses were a nice combination in the sandwich. I like that they do offer other bread choices, too. There are also Dutch Crunch rolls, Sourdough rolls (which is usually more of a hard, crusty roll, and my normal choice), or sliced breads.

There was a little mix-up when they brought out my sandwich; it had slices of the dead, decaying porcine belly-stuff on it. Apparently, the counter-lady misheard "Veggie Breakfast" sandwich for their (standard) "Breakfast" sandwich (which is made with egg, tomato, roasted peppers, ham, and American cheese[1]), but, as it was still early and not very busy, a new sandwich was brought out in less than five minutes.

Once again, it was nice to find a coffeehouse that offers a decent (and different) brand of Coffee. I also like that they offer four different roasts/blends (well, three real Coffees and a de-Coffee); so it was nice to get to try two different kinds this morning. I preferred the dark(er) roast of the two that I sampled this morning.

Coffee Break has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce), Trappey's® Red Devil Cayenne Pepper Sauce, and Montecito Hot Sauce for condimentary supplements, which is a pretty good selection for a coffeehouse joint. I didn't need to use any of their hot sauces and didn't bother bringing any from my own collection with me, as I knew I was going to get whatever I ordered with their own Special Sauce on it and didn't want to obstruct the flavour in any way.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Veggie Breakfast (Sandwich) ~ 6.4; 
Caffè Umbria® Arco Etrusco Blend ~ 6.8; 
Caffè Umbria® Bizzarri Blend ~ 6.7


1. That the United States of 'merica has to be associated with this blandest of cheesy comestibles is very insulting. This is like saying "French Beer".

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Taylor Street Coffee Shop

(No official web-site.)

Place: Taylor Street Coffee Shop
Location: 375 Taylor Street (between Ellis and O'Farrell Streets)
Hours: open at 7:00am daily
Meal: Greek Omelet ~ mushroom, spinach, black olives, and Feta cheese, served with hashbrowns or sliced tomatoes or organic mixed greens, and toast; and a cuppa America's Best Coffee Roasting Company

(Today's EweToobular juxtaslection is because, as everyone is well aware, Stevie Wonder's real name used to be "Taylor Street"[1].)

I made a (long overdue) return trip to Taylor Street Coffee Shop (see previous 'blog-entry from March 3rd, 2013). This is a pretty small place and it is very popular with the downtown hotel clientele. I got there just a little after they had opened at 7:00am and it filled up almost immediately with the tourista crowd.

There really are a lot of other good ideas for breakfast at this place, and I will have to get back again one of these days (just not two-and-a-half years later, I hope). They have three different Specialty Hash Plates (served with two eggs and toast): Special Hash (seasoned hashbrowns topped with onion, bell pepper, mushroom, bacon, and cheese); Hollandaise Hash (seasoned hashbrowns with habanero-infused pickled onions, mushroom, tomato, bell pepper, bacon, drizzled with Hollandaise sauce; I got this one the last [first] time I was there and this was the main reason for my return visit); or Sailor's Hash (seasoned hashbrowns topped with eggs scrambled in garlic butter, shrimp, Dungeness crab, jalapeño, and bacon, covered with scampi shrimp, smoked salmon; while I could never order that one, it would be an excellent choice for anyone that partakes of the dead, decaying piscine stuff and also of the dead, decaying aquatic insects). They also offer several versions of Three Egg Omelets. Some of the choices that I was looking at were: Florentine (spinach, tomato, drizzled with Hollandaise sauce, no cheese); Italian Delight (sundried tomatoes in olive oil, Italian sausage, Mozzarella cheese, sprinkled with basil flakes; which I could always order less the grinded-up awful porky offal); or Vegetarian (mushroom, onion, bell pepper, spinach, and zucchini, no cheese).

I liked this omelette, but it was made with those plain ol' sliced, canned (read: boring) black olives; luckily, there was a decent amount of Feta to make up for that culinary faux pas (which is French for "Όπα!", of course). If you are going to call an omelette "Greek", it really should contain authentic Kalamata olives.

With the choice of sides that are offered with their omelettes, who in their right mind would ever order "sliced tomatoes" (other than Greg Kipe, of course)?! I knew that any dish that I would order today would have to have hashbrowns and that I would have to upgrade them with habanero-infused pickled onions. These aren't your Uncle Bob's pickled onions. They have a good amount of heat to them, but are really tasty and not overpoweringly hot. And there was a right good amount of them all over the top, too. The habanero-infused pickled onions would also be a great addition to any of their omelettes or scrambles.

For a change, I had an English muffin for my toast choice.

Because they are a "Coffee Shop" (it states so right in their name, just check out their official web-site), I had to get some Coffee with breakfast this morning. I am not sure which specific roast/blend of America's Best Coffee Roasting Company (I didn't ask) they serve. The Coffee was just okay (but it didn't stop me any from getting two refillas).

For condimentary supplementation, Taylor Street Coffee Shop has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce and Green Jalapeño Sauce), Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce, and Traina Foods California Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup (both the original and Hot Sriracha versions). If they didn't already offer their excellent habanero-infused pickled onions, I would most definitely have used some of the Hot Sriracha on the hashbrowns. I did use some of my own Fat Cat Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on the omelette. I probably could have done without any extra-added supplementary heat, as the habanero-infused pickled onions were a decently picante addition already.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Greek Omelet ~ 6.4 (but easily 6.5 or 6.6 with real Kalamata olives); hashbrowns with habanero-infused pickled onions ~ 7.5


1. Nah, not really. Did anyone actually buy that one?

I just happen to think that Stevie Wonder (whose actual birth name was Stevland Hardaway Judkins) happens to be one of America's best singer-songwriters of the 20th Century. And this particular song may be one of the best (gritty) paeans to New York City ever written.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Boudin Bakery

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses 
~ Chapter X

Place: Boudin Bakery
Location: 399 10th Avenue (on the corner of Geary Boulevard)
Hours: open at 6:00am daily
Meal: Jalapeño-Cheddar Roll and Cinnamon Roll; and a cuppa Peerless Coffee & Tea® Fair Trade French Organic

I went to Boudin Bakery this morning for a quick breakfast (see previous 'blog-entry from February 23rd, 2014). This location doesn't have the same full-menu café selection like some of its other bakery-cafés do. It's also a pretty small joint with just two round sidewalk tables for two and one larger rectangular sidewalk table for four (inside there is just room for the bakery counter with two display cases). And, while this is not technically a coffeehouse, they do serve Coffee and have a very good selection of fresh-baked goods that would make any real coffeehouse proud. Because of which, I am including it in the Richmond District Coffeehouses series (my 'damn 'blog, my 'damn 'rules), anyway. 

This ended up being just a last second back-up plan. I was originally planning on going to Coffee Break (which is just across the street), but they are supposed to be open at 8:00am on Sundays and they had still yet to show any signs of life at 8:20am when I had arrived. They were open a half-hour later when I had finished eating my breakfast. So, I will have to check them out another time (just later than 8:20am).

The counter-lady (by which, I mean the woman taking the orders at the front cash register; she wasn't a transsexual, that I could tell; not that there is anything wrong with that) offered to heat up the Jalapeño-Cheddar Roll, which was nice. Unfortunately, this roll was made with those sliced, pickled jalapeño jobbers (fresh, sliced jalapeños are always so much better and really do make a difference); however, I am pretty sure the Cheddar cheese was not the pickled version. I was initially going to order an Almond Crescent as my sweet baked goods choice, but they were just bringing out a full tray with a few other sweet choices and I couldn't pass up the Cinnamon Roll. This turned out to be a good decision, too, as it was very good. 

Not that any condimentary supplements were really needed this morning, but I noticed that there was a bottle of Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) for use. I did have a couple of my own bottles of hot sauce with me this morning, too, but they were not necessary either.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Jalapeño-Cheddar Roll ~ 6.2 (this probably would have been 6.3 or 6.4 made with fresh jalapeños); Cinnamon Roll ~ 6.4

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Richfield

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses 
~ Round 9

(No official web-site. I couldn't even locate a phonicular contact on the Intro-Net.)

Place★ The  Richfield 
Location: 195 5th Avenue (on the corner between California and Cornwall Streets)
Hours: open Tuesday through Friday at 7:00am, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00am; closed Monday
Meal: Black Sesame Ricotta Toast ~ housemade (that would be "coffehouse-made", of course) black sesame ricotta on King's Hawai'ian toast, topped with wildflower honey, granola, and roasted black sesame seeds; and a cuppa pourover Snowbird Coffee, Southpaw (a delicious blend of heirloom Burundi and Yirgaceffe)

(Their official web-site could use a bit of work, though.)

(These EweToobular juxtaselections will make more sense once you read through today's 'blog-entry.

Hey, the first song could have been much worse; I could have chosen "Eye of the Tiger" instead.)

I figured I'd systematically continue my Richmond District Coffeehouses series by going to the northeastern-most coffeehouse in the Richmond District. That just happened to be ★ The  Richfield. (I am pretty sure that there is nothing located along Lake Street. I think the last commercial place  on that street ~ a small restaurant on the corner of 12th Avenue ~ closed more than ten years ago now.) This place is literally a little corner coffeehouse joint with just three tables for two inside, two tables for two outside (which was where I sat this morning because it was nice enough and I could), and a (very dog-friendly) bench for two-to-three people (with a water-bowl next to it for our canine friends that are on a caffeine-free diet; when I first arrived, there was a really friendly pupster there with his human companion; however, they didn't have any dog-biscuits for sale inside; I asked).

★ The  Richfield has only been opened since mid-June this year. This business location has seen several incarnations over the years. It was last called Ro Café (which was an Iranian [I think] family-owned café and pretty good in its own right; it looks like they have found a larger location along Geary Boulevard in Laurel Heights now) and was only open for a few years itself at this spot.

Because I am naturally a Nose E. Parker type of person, I had to ask the barrista-guy at the counter, "Why is it named '★ The  Richfield'?". According to him, it is named after the Richfield Coliseum (which is just south of Cleveland [the city in Ohio, not the area in the North Riding of Yorkshire]). One of the major sporting events that the Richfield Coliseum was famous for was the forum where Chuck Wepner had a once-in-a-lifetime shot at World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali. Because of which, they also have a boxing motif going on around the place. I don't know if the people that own the coffeehouse are originally from Cleveland or not; perhaps they just like the whole "poor little white guy underdog vs Big Bad Black Man" fantasy.

They only offer five things on their ★ The ★ FOOD MENU. The other four items are: Mixed Berry Yogurt Parfait (plain yogurt with organic strawberries and blueberries, topped with granola and wildflower honey; of course, this is not something that I would ever order at a coffeehouse, as I could easily make it at home myself... well, that is, if I ever had any yoghurt... or strawberries... or blueberries... or granola in my refrigerator or kitchen cabinets [I do usually have some kinda honey, at least; just not any fancy-schmancy "wildflower" stuff]); Avocado Toast (smashed avocado with bits of sweet pickle, spread over sourdough toast, drizzled with olive oil and fresh lemon, topped with shredded radish and seven spice pepper; which I know I would love); Peaches and Cream Toast (roasted summer peaches, covered in peach caramel, topped with housemade whipped cream, over a slice of King's Hawai'ian toast); and Brekkie Sandwich (folded omelette, melted Cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, special house sauce, on King's Hawai'ian toast; this was my second choice and I would have ordered it less the bacon junk; if I didn't already really like their Coffee, I would probably make a return trip for this alone).

Granola on toast?! Well, it actually works. I was particularly impressed with the (Coffee)housemade black sesame ricotta; it was very good. Now, this was not an awful lot of food, but, at least, it was not a lot of awful food, either.

The real find here was the Coffee. I am thinking that this coffeeshop is probably owned by the same people that own the Snowbird Coffee coffeehouse in the Sunset District. In addition to standard coffeehouse drink offerings, they do have three blends/roasts of Coffee that they offer as "Pourover Coffee". I liked my Coffee so much that I even purchased a 12 oz bag of Zatarra (a special blend of 3 Africans [ sic ] Coffees [which they describe as "Apricots, Maple Syrup, Roasted Hazelnuts"... I just hope it tastes something like Coffee]) for home use. And keeping with the whole boxing-theme thing, they have an old sports-locker in the corner where they display their goods (t-shirts and bags of Coffee, etc.) for sale.

The only condimentary supplementation that I saw was Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce. I had brought a few of my own collection, too, but none were actually needed with this morning's sweet (not savoury) meal.

"I coulda bin sumbuddy... I coulda bin a coffeehouse contendah." 
(Okay, sure, this is paraphrasing a quote from a different semi-boxing-themed movie and a different city altogether, but you get the idea.)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Black Sesame Ricotta Toast ~ 6.5; Snowbird Coffee, Southpaw ~ 7.3

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery Store

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses 
~ Номер Bосемь

(and also Завтрак[1] на Гири [ещë раз], Двадцать-шестая Глава)

(No official web-siteski.)

Place: Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery Store
Location: 5540 Geary Boulevard (between 18th and 19th Avenues); phonicular contact: (415) 668-6959
Hours: open daily at 7:00am
Meal: one Potato Piroshki[2] and one Cabbage Piroshki; for breakfastary dessert, a Cherry Doughnut[3]; and a cuppa whatever the house Coffee was

While Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery Store is not technically a "Coffeehouse", they do serve Coffee and have a great selection of fresh-baked goods (as any other Coffeehouse might). They have a seating area with five small, round tables that can seat two-to-three people. So, I am including them in this Series (my 'blog, my 'rules). Plus, it is close enough to walk to (it's only thirteen blocks away from my apartment).

They have been in the neighborhood for twenty or twenty-five years now. They were one of the first russkie businesses to take up residence along Geary Boulevard after the fall of the old CCCP and with the major influx of russkie immigrants into San Francisco in the early 1990's. 

There were still a couple of other choices for stupid vegetarians from their piroshki choices: mushroom and cheese (both of which I have had many times before and knew to be good, too). They also have several other good ideas for breakfastary pastries: blinis, strudels, mini-challahs, and hamantashen. Not to mention that they also sell loaves of fresh-baked breads all day long.

These were two large piroshki and I probably could have just gone with one and been sufficiently full. I specifically chose the potato piroshki as a juxtaselection for breakfastary purposes. The cherry doughnut was an excellent choice; it was chock-fulla cherries and, as they say in Ital'yanskij, it was "da bomb"![4]

Surprisingly, Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery Store has bottles of Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce for use as condimentary supplements. I just ended up using some of my own Lucky Dog Medium Fire-Roasted Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on both of the piroshki. They really didn't need any spicing-up, but it never hurts.

Don't you wish you could be a Brave Baker[5]?

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Piroshki ~ 6.3; Cherry Doughnut ~ 6.5


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

The russkoe* word for "breakfast" is "завтрак" (transliterated as "zavtrak" and pronounced just like that). The word root comes from the russkoe word for "tomorrow", which is "завтра" (pronounced just like it looks).

*(Hey, Brian, what giveski? Why are you alternatingly spelling the Russian word for "Russian" as "russkij", "russkoe", "russkaya", or "russkie"? Well, to answer that question...

Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, номер один, часть б:

Because I can, dammit!!!

Actually, Russian words have gender-identity and the adjectival ending will depend on the word. Masculine words will generally have adjectives ending in "-yj" or 
"-ij" or "-oj"; neuter words will have adjectives ending in "-oe"; feminine words will have adjectives ending in 
"-aya" or "-yaya"; and plural words will have adjectives ending in "-ye" or "-ie". Exempli gratia, the Russian word for "word" is "слово (slovo)", which is a neuter word and would have the neuter adjective "russkoe". Simples?!

However, I won't even bother trying to explain the whole "case-specific" endings thing here right now.)

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

I think I have mentioned this once before here. The russkoe word for "пирожки (piroshki)" is actually the plural of the word "пирожок (pirozhok)" (which is a masculine word, by the way). The word "пирожок" is basically the diminutive of the word "пирог (pirog)" (also a masculine word) meaning "pie".

Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day, номер два, часть б:

The russkoe word for "potato" is either "картофель (kartofel')" (a masculine word) or "картошка (kartoshka)" (a feminine word). I think both words were borrowed from the German word for potato, which is "Kartoffel" (and is also a masculine word, as German does the whole gender-identity, too).

Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day, номер два, часть в:

The russkoe word for "cabbage" is "капуста (kapusta)", which is a feminine word.

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

I forgot the russkoe word for "doughnut" and had to ask the cute russkaya blondinka behind the counter what it was again. It is "пончик (ponchik)".

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

To get that stupid joke/pun, you would have to know that one of the words for "doughnut" in Italian is "bombolino".

5. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, номер пять:

Okay, this is a pretty crude joke/pun. The russkoe word for "brave" is "смелый (transliterated as "smelyj" and pronounced as "smelly")". The russkoe word for "baker" is "пекарь (transliterated as "pekar'" and pronounced kinda like you would think). By the way, the word "baker" is also masculine in russkij.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen

Place: Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen
Location: 401 Taylor Street (on the corner of O'Farrell Street)
Hours: breakfast is served daily from 6:30am 
(they also have a Saturday & Sunday "Brunch", but that is only served from 11:00am; however, I honestly can't remember the last time that I ate my early morning meal that late)
Meal: Jasper's Omelet ~ avocado, roasted red onion, grape tomatoes, cream cheese, breakfast potatoes; and a (rather small) glassa orange juice

(There are no real juxtaselections for today's EweToobular songs. I just like Lake Street Dive; they are a new[ish] group.)

I pass by Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen almost daily on my way to work, but this is the first time that I have ever eaten there. They are the house restaurant for Serrano Hotel. They open up very early, which is always nice. They have a borderline Tenderloin location, which isn't so nice. They state on their web-site that it is "Just a short walk away from Union Square and the Curran Theater..."; that sounds much more appealing than "Just a short walk away from the Tenderloin and the neighborhood crack-house...", I suppose.

Their Breakfast Menu really only has a few items from which to choose for stupid vegetarians. The other possibilities were J Cakes (3 fresh pancakes, Grade A dark maple syrup, bacon or sausage; of course, I would have asked to substitute some of the breakfast potatoes for the porky products) or French Toast (vanilla crème dipped bread, Vermont maple syrup, sweet cream butter). They do also offer Chilaquiles (beef short rib, scrambled eggs, tortillas, red sauce, heirloom beans, queso fresco, crema; again, I would have asked for this without the dead, decaying bovine stuff). Additionally, they have a side offering of Sautéed Kale, which sounded good, but I always like potatoes much better for a breakfastary side.

This omelette was done rather well. I liked that the grape tomatoes added a nice, sweet *pop* to the omelette; plus, the caramelized red onions were a very good addition, too. I would have preferred some kinda goat cheese (or ~ even betta ~ Feta) instead of the boring ol' phaux Philadelphia cheese-stuph, which would have paired much better with all the other ingredients. The omelette was topped with micro-greens of some sort, possibly radish sprouts. The breakfast potatoes were nice and crispy and greasy (and I mean that in a good way), with a nice dusting of some kinda red spices.

Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen offers for condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both Original Red Sauce and Chipotle) and Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce. I used some of my own Florida Gold Premium Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the omelette and some Pope's Whiskey River Full Flavor Hot Sauce (Thanks, Amy and Chef Joe!) on the potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Jasper's Omelet ~ 6.4 (but probably would have been 6.5-6.6 with goat cheese or 6.7-6.8 with Feta); breakfast potatoes ~ 6.5

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Emma's Coffeehouse

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses ~ number the Seventh

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

(No official web-site.)

Place: Emma's Coffeehouse
Location: 5549 Geary Boulevard (on the corner of 
20th Avenue); phonicular contact: (415) 933-6632
Hours: open 5:00am Monday through Friday, 
7:00am Saturday and Sunday
Meal: Egg & Cheese Bagel ~ ('nuf ced, McGreevy?); 
a sweet cream cheese Danish (which I noticed that they get from City Baking Co); and a small cuppa Mountanos Family Coffee & Tea Co. Guatemala Huehuetenango

(Once again, today's EweToobular tunes reflect performers that I either saw yesterday [that would be Dave Alvin] or whom I plan on seeing today [by process of elimination, I hope you can determine whom that might be].

Hey, Brian, why are there two songs by Neko Case?
If you got a problem with that:
1) Just don't click on the links to listen to her awesome singing, 
2) Start your own damn 'blog-thing and post songs of your own damn choosing! )

Early Sunday morning brings us to another in the series of Richmond District Coffeehouses. Today's destination happened to be Emma's Coffeehouse which is very local and is also walking distance from my apartment (only twelve blocks ~ downhill ~ away, but it always seems more like fifteen blocks ~ uphill ~ on the way back home). This is a medium-sized coffeehouse joint with seating of eleven tables for two-to-three people and two sidewalk tables for two people.

This space/location has seen many incarnations over the years. I think Emma's Coffeehouse has been there now for several years (six-to-ten years or so). Previously it had once been a burrito joint owned and run by Russkis (which would be kinda like a piroshki shop operating in the Mission, nu?!); needless to say, the burritos weren't very good. This has turned out to be a much better location as a neighborhood coffeehouse. They even have a Comedy Night every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month now.

There were a few other bagel-y ideas for breakfast: 
Sun-dried Tomato Spread (probably a sun-dried tomato cream cheese schmear); Pepper Spread (which I expect was some kinda roasted red pepper and cream cheese schmear); Humus[1]; or you can also Add Veggies (tomato, cucumbers, red onion, spinach).

I chose an onion bagel as my basis. It was made with boring, plain ol' 'merican "cheese", though. (Calling this faux-cheese "cheese" is like calling Bud Light "beer"... or the Donald or the Hillary "politicians".)

The cuppa Guatemala Huehuetenango (try saying that ten times fast) was very good and done very well (prepared properly). I know it may seem superfluous to point out that a coffeehouse made a decent cuppa Coffee, but you'd be very surprised how many professional places take a good product and just don't prepare it correctly. They also have 1-lb bags of the product for sale at the front counter; I probably mighta shoulda gotten one for the future, but still have three other Coffees that I am working my way through at present. 

For condimentary supplements at Emma's Coffeehouse, I only noticed a bottle of Montecito® Hot Sauce and another u/i hot sauce in a plastic squeeze-bottle (which looked like it may have been Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce). I just went with four drops (only!) of my own Blair's After Death sauce 
with Liquid Fire ([No] thanks, Sean!) on the bagel (I figured the sweet cream cheese Danish was picante enough all on its own).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Egg & Cheese Bagel ~ 6.1 (but easily 6.3 with real cheese); City Baking Co sweet cream cheese Danish ~ 6.7; Mountanos Family Coffee & Tea Co. Guatemala Huehuetenango ~ 7.0


1. [ sic

However, I should explain that the coffeehouse is probably still Russki-owned and -operated. Which brings us to today's stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day:

"Hummus" comes from the Arabic word "الحمص" (transliterated as: "alhms"; meaning "chickpeas"). In Turkish, this is spelled "humus" and the Russkij cognate would also be "хумус" (transliterated as: "khumus"). I am blaming the additional "m" in the English spelling (most likely) on the Germans. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Location: 3615 Balboa Street (between 36th and 37th Avenues)
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Tuesday and Thursday - Sunday at 9:00am
Meal: Belgian Waffle, eggs, and applewood bacon ~ Do I really need to list what that meal included? They did substitute country-style potatoes for the dead, decaying applewoody porcine junk; and a cuppa catahoula coffee company LOLA

(The first EweToobular song will be self-evident from today's choice of caffeinated beverage. The second song is because everyone knows that Belgian waffles go great with a little jam on top of them.

Nah, not really. I am just planning on seeing Paul Weller perform later today at this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass No. Fifteen in Golden Gate Park. Plus, this happens to be one of my All-Time Favourite Songs of All-Time of the 1980's.

And I would like to point out that both of these songs have iconic guitar-strumming intros.)

Last week I happened to pass by FOG BABY CAFE and saw that they now offer breakfast options. The place has only been open for less than two years now and recently (I think they told me about six months ago) they have started serving breakfastary items. I like that it is only five blocks away from my apartment, too. So, that meant I only had to take two bus transfers to get there this morning. (Nah, just kidding; I'm not that lazy. The 18-MUNI picked me up on the corner of 33rd Avenue and dropped me off right in front of the restaurant.)

It's not a very large place and generally off the beaten path, but due to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass No. Fifteen later this morning, they were pretty busy already when they first opened up. There are just six tables for two (which can always be pushed together to make tables for four or six, etc.), two large "comfy"-chairs (with ottomans in front of them and a shared small table between them), three counter seats, and two sidewalk tables for two.

(This is a mural on one of the walls, but would be much cooler if it were a ceiling mural.)

There is not a lot of choices for breakfast and the only other items that I was looking at were Eggs Benedict or Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Croissant (which, of course, I would have to order as just an Egg & Cheese Croissant with most definitely a side order of country-style potatoes).

The surprising thing is that there is no real "kitchen" space (no stoves or ovens) as this used to be just a sandwich-deli shop previously. They end up utilizing mostly electric appliances to cook and prepare all the cooked items: toaster oven, toasters, etc. I had to ask how the heck they would make poached eggs and was informed that they take the boiling water from the Coffee/tea maker and put it in a pot/pan and heat it on a hotplate-thing.

There was really nothing overly special about this meal, but it was all very good in its simplicity. However, I'd definitely recommend the place and will get back again one of these days for another breakfast. I went with eggs over medium (which I can only assume were prepared on a hotplate-thing, too) for my eggs-choice.

One of the really good finds here was that they serve catahoula coffee company exclusively, and offer a few different blends/roasts from that local Bay Area roastery. Today's blend/roast selection, LOLA, was pretty exceptional, too (but tasted nuthin' like Champagne nor Coca-Cola®).

FOG BABY CAFE only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) for condimentary supplementation. I used some of my own HOT LICKS® Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on both of the eggs and some Fat Cat Strawberry Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the potatoes (okay, I admit that I had to try a little on one quarter-section of the waffle, too; and, I have to say, that it wasn't really all that bad when mixed in with the butter and maple syrup).

"Coffee will be tea and tea will be Coffee
It's a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up World;
Except for LOLA..."

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Belgian Waffles, etc. ~ 6.3; cuppa LOLA ~ 7.2