Sunday, August 14, 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, Sunday at 8:30am (which turned out to be perfect timing for me)
Meal: Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ scrambled eggs (that would be the "Scramble" part of the name), ham, potatoes, green onions (the last three ingredients must belong to the "Farmer"), and Cheddar cheese (an unclaimed ingredient); Ramos Fizz[1] ~ Gordon's® Gin, sweet & sour, egg whites, cream, orange juice, and orange flower water; and, especially, a basket of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!)

(Because I had skipped any actual Coffee with my meal, I made sure to brew me up/drip me down a cuppa COFFEE By Design, Cardullo's Gourmet Blend ~ Dark Roast [Thanks, Kerry!] when I got back home to enjoy while keyboarding[2] up this morning's 'blog-entry.)

My original plan of attack (if one can truly attack breakfast, planned or unplanned) this morning was to conclude my Richmond (District) Coffeehouses Series with the last coffeehouse that I knew in the neighborhood: Cafe Muse, on 8th Avenue near Golden Gate Park (and the de Young Museum, hence the "Muse" part of their name, I can only suppose). Unfortunately, when I had arrived there this morning, the place was completely closed-up (Shut up!) and a sign in the window stated that a new coffeeshop would be opening soon. (Of course, "soon" in San Francisco planning terms can mean two to three years later.) So, I will just have to hold off finishing up my series until the new joint opens ("... in the year 2525... if man is still alive...").

As I really had no back-up plan (of attack or of otherwise), I just figured that I would head back to 
the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from Sunday, April 24th, 2016). I was planning (no attacking necessary) on going back there next month, anyway, when I did my usual End-of-the-Baseball Season workout of my Breakfastary Starting Rotation. It's completely on the opposite side of the Richmond District (West and North) from where Cafe Muse used to be (South and East), but it's still local, at least.

Even if I had to drive a whole 'nother one to two miles to get there (and it was a thick, foggy morn to boot), there was still a great view this morning from my seat overlooking Ocean Beach... so I had that going for me... which is nice. I saw several seagulls[3] flying around and one small pouch of pelicans[4] flying in formation.

There really are only three other viable options for stupid vegetarians on the menu at the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House: Joe's Special Scramble (scrambled eggs with sautéed ground beef, onions, mushrooms, spinach, topped with Parmesan cheese; which I always order without any of the offending grinded-up dead, decaying bovine product); Sautéed Vegetable Scramble (scrambled eggs, red peppers, tomatoes, scallions, button mushrooms, melted goat cheese [I am pretty sure that means the milk comes from dehydrated bovids]); or Classic Eggs Benedict (poached eggs, Canadian bacon, toasted English muffin, Hollandaise sauce; which I also order without any of the dead, decaying porky-butt).

I mainly went with one of their "Scramble" choices this morning because I had to "scramble" for a quick back-up plan myself. (Well, that, and it was a 75% chance of ordering one of those, anyway.) I always like how the potatoes are incorporated™©® into this dish.

Waiter-server-person: "Would you like anything else in place of the (dead, decaying porcine flesh)?"
Me: "Sure. More potatoes, please!"

There were only three (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) in the basket this morning, but they will always bring you more if you ask. I didn't need to ask, but I could have if I wanted more.

Now I can't tell the difference between a Ramos Gin Fizz and a Stamos Ouzo Fizz, but I did look up some information on this cocktail and it seems that this version of Ramos Fizz is made with orange juice versus the standard lemon and lime juices. They also add ground nutmeg on top of the foam (which I liked); this is also not a typical ingredient. the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House also offers a few other morning eye-opener cocktails that opened my eyes, too: Key Lime at the Cliff (house-infused vanilla bean Vodka, house-made caramel, lime, cream); Pisco Sour (Kappa Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, egg whites, angostura bitters); Cucumber Basil Gimlet (Tanqueray Gin, lime juice, cucumber [I am not sure if this calls for the cucumber to be bruised or unbruised, Mr. Boyd], basil); or Jalapeño Mint Margarita (Cazadores© Reposado, mint, simple syrup, lime juice, jalapeño; now this would really be a morning eye-opener [or closer] if you accidentally got any of the jalapeño in your eyes). 

Today's side of fruits contained cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, (red) grapes, and one strawberry.

As far as I know, the Bistro Restaurant at 
Cliff House only has for condimentary supplements Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce). I had initially come well-prepared (for my originally planned sojourn to the local coffeehouse) with some of my own hot sauces and used some Old St. Augustine Snake Bite Datil Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on half of the scramble mess and some Sunbelt Plantations Vidalia® Onion Picante Hot Sauce (Thanks, Greg & Cindy! [No relation what-so-ever to the previously thanked "Cindy & Greg".]) on the other half.

Hollywoodland Strange Interlude (almost)[5]

I was planning on doing little biographical information on one Hollywoodland actor or actress on each subsequent visit back to the Bistro Restaurant 
at Cliff House. This lady was just over my left shoulder this morning and I figured I would be able to get her name from one of the waiter-server-persons, but the guy I asked had no idea either. At first, I thought it might have been Myrna Loy (of "The Thin Man" series fame and many other great old movies), but I could not locate any similar promotional photos of her on the World Wild Webs, and the mostly faded/illegible autograph does not look like it could be "Myrna Loy" at all. So, I am throwing it out there to the rest of you (well, the one or two people that actually waste their time reading this silly li'l 'blog-thing) to "name this actress". Once again, in appreciation for my undying gratitude, if you can name her correctly, if you ever have breakfast with me at the Bistro Restaurant at 
Cliff House, I will treat you to all the (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) that you can eat. (And I know that as soon as her name is mentioned, I will recognize it immediately. I am blaming the strong Ramos Fizz on blurring my mental capacity.)

Sure, this visit to the Bistro Restaurant at 
Cliff House may not have been typical café menu fare like I was expecting this morning, but those kind of places also don't have Ramos Fizzes and (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!)!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ 6.7;
Ramos Fizz ~ 7.0;
COFFEE By DesignCardullo's Gourmet Blend ~ 7.2;
(World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) ~ 8.2


1. Henry (or Henrico ~ I have seen both referenced) C. Ramos invented the Ramos Gin Fizz in 1888 at his bar, the Imperial Cabinet Saloon on Gravier Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. It was originally called a "New Orleans Fizz", and is one of the city's most famous cocktails. Before Prohibition, the drink's popularity and exceptionally long 12-minute mixing time had over 20 bartenders working at the Imperial at once making nothing but the Ramos Gin Fizz - and still struggling to keep up with demand. During the carnival of 1915, 32 staff members were on at once, just to shake the drink.

2. Seriously, when was the last time anyone actually "typed" anything on a typewriter?!

3. Other than "a flock of seagulls", there does not seem to be an actual Term of Venery for a group of seagulls. This makes sense, I suppose, as the original Terms of Venery were traditionally devised for hunting; and I am pretty sure that not even Colonel Sanders would state that seagulls "taste just like chicken". 

James Lipton came up with a completely madeuppery term "a squabble of seagulls" in his 1968 tome on the subject An Exaltation of Larks.

4. The actual Term of Venery for a group of pelicans is "a pod of pelicans", but I prefer my own completely madeuppery word for this. 

It appears that James Lipton did not think to include this reference in his book, though. I am sure pelican tastes about as bad as seagull would.

5. Edit much after the fact (as in late Thursday night, August 18th, 2016):

Okay. I finally figured it out. This was (the sad story of) Lupe Vélez. 

It took me about an hour (okay, maybe longer) on the World Wild Webs to finally get this one. I attempted an "Image Search" using my photo and the geniuses of Google Chrome showed me a link to my own stupid 'blog-thing only. Yeah, thanks a lot, guys!

Then I took a closer look at my photo and in the lower left-hand corner there was a small "LV - 46". So, I just looked for any actresses from the 30's and 40's with the initials "LV". I compared the (very faded) autograph with several other of her autographs and am convinced it's the same. Now here is the strange thing, Lupe Vélez actually died in 1944. However, I am just putting the incorrectly marked date of "46" down to some employee at the Cliff House that had added/chronicled that date sometime much later.

As for the free (World) Famous Cliff House 
Popovers(!), I am keeping them all for myself.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I had to read this! The Guy Clark number was way before I started adding his albums to my library. Never heard it before. Thanks. That lady reminds me of a young Greta Garbo.