Saturday, January 2, 2016

the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House

Place: the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House
Location: 1090 Point Lobos (at the end of the Earth/Ocean Beach, "Where San Francisco Begins")
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Saturday at 9:00am; open Sunday at 8:30am
Meal: Sautéed Vegetable Scramble ~ scrambled eggs (hence the "Scramble" portion of the name), red peppers, tomatoes, scallions, button mushrooms (for all four previous ingredients: hence the "Vegetable" portion of the name), melted goat cheese (which isn't mentioned in the name of the dish, but it is a pretty important element all the same); a large(-ish) glass of orange juice; and a basket (of three) of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!)

(There is no EweToobular juxtaselection between this song, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Cliff House, or Popovers[!]. I just happen to like it. Besides, we are all just starting this year's journey "Spinning 'round the Sun..."

If you ever get the chance to see Jimmie Dale perform live, I suggest you do so. He is great in concert. I have probably seen him about a half-dozen times now performing solo or with the Flatlanders.)

Much like last weekend wanting to end the year with a decent matutinal meal and on a high (I think this week the note was more in the Falsetto-teeth range), I decided to start the year off right and headed back to the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from September 27th, 2015) for what I knew would be a great breakfastary repast ~ even if it only included the (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!). 

I got there early enough (well, technically, I was the first person to be seated) so that I got one of the great-viewing window tables overlooking Seal Rocks and the water off Ocean Beach. Unlike yesterday's New Year's Day sojourn across the Golden Gate Bridge where I witnessed a small school (perhaps a kindergarten?) of porpoises[1] joyously baltering on top of the water in that part of the Bay that is just under and to the east of the Golden Gate Bridge, I was not lucky enough to see any of those big fishes this morning. However, I did espy a particular pod of pelicans[2] that were flying in V-formation above Seal Rocks. There was also a small wave of surfers[3] (about a dozen or so) waiting patiently off Ocean Beach braving the cold for that next tasty wave this morning, Mr. Spicoli!

Strange Popovers(!) Interlude

For anyone that is unfamiliar with this most flavourful bready side-dish, I figured a short explanation of these was due. 

There is this definition from

Additionally, the first cookbook to print a recipe for Popovers(!) was Mary Foote Henderson's, Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving (1876), Page 71:

Breakfast Puffs, or Pop-overs (Mrs. Hopkins).
Ingredients: Two cupfuls of milk, two cupfuls of flour, two eggs, and an even tea-spoonful of salt.
Beat the eggs separately and well, add the whites last, and then beat all well together. They may be baked in roll-pans, or deep gem-pans, which should be heated on the range, and greased before the batter is put in: they should be filled half full with the batter. Or they may be baked in tea-cups, of which eight would be required for this quantity of batter. When baked, serve immediately. For Graham gems use half Graham flour.

As usual, the scramble-mess was very good. But they could literally serve me "S.O.S" (and I do not mean "chip-beef and toast" there) as long as I get my quota of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!), I am more than happy.

Today's side fruits were: grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and (one large) strawberry.

For condimentary supplementation, the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House only has bottles of Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (the Original Red). This didn't really matter as I still had one more new hot sauce that I had received at Christmas and wanted to try, Old St. Augustine Datil Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) which I used on the potatoes side-dish. Normally, I would say that this was a very hot hot sauce (the Datil chilli is about as hot as the Habanero chilli); however, I also decided to break out a bottle of a much older Christmas gift (from like four years ago now) One Stop Hot Shop "Son of Smart Arse" Sauce (Thanks a lot, Cindy & Greg!) and used just the tiniest amount ~ about four or five toothpick tip drops (seriously, I even brought my own toothpick with me this morning so that I could be sure to dole out the smallest of amounts) ~ in with the scrambled mess. Needless to say, the flavour and heat still came through in abundance. I honestly think that this hot sauce has been banned in 27 of these here United States of America (as well as several Provinces of South Korea[4]). Does anyone happen to know what the half-life is for nookular hot sauces?

As I had purposely skipped any Coffee with breakfast (I knew that the Coffee at the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House was just sufficiently okay) I brewed myself up a cuppa Peet's Coffee & Tea® Holiday Blend to enjoy while typing up ("computering up", whatever) this 'blog-entry. This happened to be the last of that bag, which is good, because I also received three new bags of Coffee at Christmas (Thanks again, Greg & Cindy!) from Bettys (two bags of different versions of their Christmas Blend and a smaller bag of Jamaica Blue Mountain) that I will need to start using up, too.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Sautéed Vegetable Scramble ~ 6.6; (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) ~ 8.2; Peet's® Holiday Blend ~ 7.1


1. The other acceptable Terms of Venery are "a pod of porpoises" and "a shoal of porpoises". Now, whyever would the British be hunting porpoises or dolphins, I have no idea. Maybe porpoises were considered the original "Chicken of the Sea"...

2. Much like porpoises and dolphins, it seems that the correct Term of Venery for pelicans is also a "pod". Again, I am not sure why the British would be hunting pelicans. I suppose if asked if you had ever tasted roast pelican, you might be able to exclaim: "Like hellican! Tastes just like chicken to me!"

3. Which is not an actual Term of Venery, but even the British didn't hunt surfers... that we know of. 

In his book An Exaltation of Larks (which is dedicated specifically to Terms of Venery and Collective Nouns), James Lipton does offer up the term "a tube of surfers", but I prefer my made-uppery Term of Venery a little more. 

4. To get that reference, you would need to (re-)read my initial 'blog-entry mentioning this Devil hot sauce:

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