Saturday, December 31, 2016

¡venga! empanadas

Place: ¡venga! empanadas
Location: 443 Valencia Street (between 15th and 16th Streets)
Hours: open at 8:00am (well, sometimes) Monday - Friday; 8:30am (give or take a few mintues) Saturday & Sunday 
Meal: one Sweet Corn (empanada, of course) ~ corn and red bell pepper, Mozzarella; one California Veggie (also an empanada) ~ baby spinach, Napa cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, raisins, almonds; one Mediterranean (yet still another empanada) ~ zucchini, artichoke, mushrooms in Béchamel sauce; and, to drink, a large glassa agua fresca Hibiscus tea (which is called a "Jamaica" in Mexican restaurants, but, apparently, los Argentinos choose to differ)

(There is no EweToobular juxtaselection between the Band or empanadas [of which I am aware; perhaps, the word "Danko" in Argentinian-Spanish dialect means "little stuffed pastry"].  This is mainly a nod to one of my recent Coffee Christmas presents [Thanks, Greg & Cindy!], Bettys Christmas Blend, which I am enjoying while keyboarding-up today's 'blog-entry.

¡venga! empanadas actually serves pretty decent Coffee on their own [from what I recall]. However, I need to start using up some of the Coffee that I received for Christmas.

¡¿Hmmmm?! I suppose this song might have seemed a much better connection if I were drinking a cuppa Bettys Jamaica Blue Mountain.

The music is by the Band and the video is by a friend of mine, Skip Way. If you enjoy the music and video, please check out Skip's EweToob channel for more great songs and stuff. )

Unlike on Monday, I did get to revisit my "originally planned plan" for breakfast, ¡venga! empanadas (see previous 'blog-entry from Sunday, November 16th, 2014). I actually got there a little after 8:30am this morning and they were just setting up for the morning still. Just in case, unlike last week when I had to "scramble" (as in "Papas con huevo"... ¡¿Get it?!) for a quick back-up plan, I had a great back-up restaurant all lined up this morning. Pork Store Cafe is just around the corner on 16th Street and they were already open this morning (I made sure to walk by beforehand to confirm this, too).

stupid parklets mini-rant of the day

There is a brand new (well, new since I last ate there two years ago) stupid parklet in front of (and sponsored by) ¡venga! empanadas. Normally I would boycott a place that supports any of these urban blights, but I had driven all the way over there (twice this week now) specifically to get some more of their empanadas. At least this particular blockadette is only a one-car obstruction and it is kinda cool looking, because of which I will boycott them later (or for the next two years until I remember to get back that way again, anyway).

(mini-rant over for now. Back to the good stuff.)

Otherwise, there are still a few other "Veggie" (¡ugh!) empanadas left to choose from: Spinach (baby spinach, ricotta cheese, roasted pine nuts); Mushroom (mushroom mélange with zucchini, onions and fresh herbs); or Caprese (sun-dried tomato, Mozzarella, basil; this was going to be my third choice, but they were out of this one this morning, so I substituted the Mediterranean for it instead).

I liked all three of these empanadas, but my favourite had to be the Sweet Corn. It was pretty simple, but it was stuffed fulla crunchy corn (hence the name) and Mozzarella cheese. I really thought that I was going to like the Mediterranean more than the California Veggie (¡ugh! again), but the sweet Napa cabbage added a really nice flavour and tipped the scales in favour of that one. "Gross! Raisins and cabbage, Brian?" Hey, it worked for me. I also liked that they had a cool "VENGA!" (noted in the majuscule here) stamped/crimped on each empanada crust; you might be able to see the logo in the above photo. Plus, it's always a fun breakfast when it can be eaten hand-held. 

For condimentary supplementation, ¡venga! empanadas has two very good homemade (well, empanadería-made) salsas of their own. One was a very tasty traditional chimichurri[1] verde, served in an open glass jar serving-thing with a spoon (Don't you just love my technical culinary knowledge?); I made sure to use a good amount of that on half of each of the empanadas. The other was a chipotle salsa, which came in a squeeze bottle; I used some of that on half of the Sweet Corn empanada. I also had a hot sauce back-up plan just in case I had to go to a back-up plan restaurant. Like the amount of Coffee (seven different types... seriously) that I had received for Christmas, I have so many new bottles of hot sauces (I had only received nine of those, though) that need to get used up sometime this Millennium.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Sweet Corn ~ 6.7;
California Veggie ~ 6.6 (no GBS points are ever taken off for any odious nomenclature; flavour is all that matters here);
Mediterranean ~ 6.5;
Bettys Christmas Blend ~ 7.5 (for a classic Britishlander tea room kinda place, these people really have some most excellent Coffees to offer)


1. Just in case you have never heard of this style of salsa:

Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day:

The name of the sauce probably comes from Basque "tximitxurri" (approximately "chee-mee-choo-ree"), loosely translated as "a mixture of several things in no particular order"; many Basques settled in Argentina in the 19th century.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Gallardo's ~ Restaurante Mexicano

Sometimes the "emergency back-up plan" is better than the "originally planned plan", anyway...

(No hay ninguna página-web oficial.)

Place: Gallardo's ~ Mexican Restaurant
Location: 3248 18th Street 
(on the corner of Shotwell Street); 
phonicular contact: (415) 436-9387
Hours: (lucky for me) open every day of the week at 7:00am (just possibly not yesterday morning, but I wasn't looking for "un plan de emergencia de copia de seguridad" yesterday morning)
Meal: Papas con huevo ~ scrambled eggs w/ potato (that would be the "Papas" part of the dish name, Ernesto), onion, tomato, & bell peppers, served w/ rice, beans, & tortillas; and a large glassa recién exprimido jugo de naranja

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselection should be quite evident. Marcus Mumford's real first name was "Steven". And everywhere but in England, December 26th is known as "Saint Stephen's Day".

Nah, not really, but the three "Sons" in the band are actually named "Paul", "Simon", and "Art".)

My "originally planned plan" for breakfast this morning was to head back over to ¡venga! empanadas for a quick breakfast of (what else) empanadas... however, when I arrived there a little after 8:00am (which is the time they are normally supposed to be open on a Monday morning), there was no sign of anyone around (and there was also "no sign" on the door stating that they would be closed today in observance of the official Boxing Day holiday, either). So, I figured I would give them at least another half-hour and just walked around the neighborhood checking out any new murals since the last time that I had eaten around those parts (Balmy Alley is just two blocks up the street and always worth a look-see). When I arrived back (much after 8:30am), there were still no signs (or "signs"), so I had to decide on a quick "emergency back-up plan".

It is La Misión, after all, and there are many places nearby that had to be open, even on El Día del Boxeo (o Día de Fiesta Después de Navidad). Thankfully, Gallardo's ~ Mexican Restaurant (see last 'blog-entry from Saturday, July 23rd, 2016) was open for business this morning. Now, this was not a down-grade option in any way; this actually was a much better up-graded option than just having a few empanadas for desayuno.

There are still several otras buenas ideas on their menu that I have wanted to try, anyway: 
(the interesting, if not somewhat scary- and disgusting-sounding) Banana Omelette (filled w/ melted cheese & banana ~ served w/ rice & beans; now, I am assuming that the "banana" used in this is actually "plátanos"; or so I hope); 
Huevos a la Mexicana (scrambled eggs w/ onion, tomato, & bell pepper); 
Huevos Rancheros (fried eggs on a tortilla topped w/ salsa ranchera & Monterey Jack cheese); 
Torta de huevo (scrambled eggs w/ onion, tomato, & bell pepper cooked in a crepe style); or 
Nopales Omelette (filled w/ melted cheese, onion, tomato, bell pepper, & cactus [that would be the "Nopales"]).

The major problem with not knowing that I was going to be heading back to Gallardo's ~ Mexican Restaurant was that I didn't get the chance to check what I had had the very last time that I had eaten there. Because of which, I ended up ordering the exact same thing as my last visit. I am just glad that I liked this dish as much as I did the last time that I had ordered it. After covering the scrambled mess with about half the provided jar of fresh, homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) salsa, the bell peppers and onions in it tasted even sweeter.

(If you would like more details on how much I might have liked this dish, just re-read the previous 'd*mn 'blog-entry!)

This came with six corn tortillas, but they were not the fresh, homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) kind, which would have been mucho bettero; usually, on the weekends, they provide you with the good fresh-made stuff.

I really don't know what Gallardo's ~ Mexican Restaurant might have in the way of bottled condimentary supplements, but it really didn't matter because their fresh-made house (restaurant, whatever) salsa was more than sufficient. It was much more than just "gringo espicy", too. I probably should have tasted it first before dousing the scrambled mess with a large amount, but it was still well within my limits. This morning I did not bother bringing any of my newest hot sauces that I just received for Christmas because I figured that I was just going to use the fresh salsas that ¡venga! empanadas had for use, anyway.

Beforehand (how come you never hear about any "afterhand") in the morning, I made sure to brew me up  a cuppa (well, technically, this was a "drip me down" a cuppa) Bettys Jamaica Blue Mountain, which I had just received as a great Christmas gift (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!!!). This is truly the "Marilyn Monroe of Coffees!"! And its price designates it as such; at today's current Exchange Rate, it is approximately $78.00 (and that is not a typo) per pound (or is that per £?)!

Conclusion: Boxing Day is not an official holiday in Mexico, but must be observed as one in Argentina...

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Papas con huevo ~ 6.6;
Bettys Jamaica Blue Mountain ~ 8.5

Sunday, December 25, 2016

"My Favourites" of 2016

As I have done for the past few years now, instead of calling my end-of-year compilation list for 2016 a 
"Best of", I am calling this "My Favourites" once again. ("Best of" lists were so 2000's, anyway.) However, I am keeping with the "Top Ten" format-idea, and the easiest way to rank these was just to go back through all my 'blog-entries from 2016 and see which ones had the highest Glen Bacon Scale Rating (and in the case of identical GBS ratings, I am simply listing them chronologistically). Simples! Nu?

(And, yes, I am well-aware that there is still another full week left in 2016. However, I already have planned where I will be eating breakfast on Boxing Day [and highly doubt that it will rate over a 7.0 on the GBS] and unless I have some kinda stellar-type breakfast on Saturday ~ New Year's Eve Day ~ there really shouldn't be the need to modify this list in any way, anyway.)

1) Quelle surprise! For the fifth year running (or walking... or just plain ol' standing), the top honours go to le Pain Perdu extraordinaire at Baker Street Bistro (see last 'blog-entry from Dimanche, Septembre 25ième ~ et aussi Dimanche, Janvier 10ième). As I have stated many, many, many, many, many times now, not only is this one of the best versions of French toast in all of San Francisco, it may also be one of the best in the entire U.S. of A., mais bien sûr.

2) (and not really much of a surprise with "My Second Favourite" either) Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from Tuesday, June 12th and also from Saturday, January 9th). These truly are an inspired "invenzione". I always like to explain this to people that these are simply Eggs Benedict in una versione italiana (o Uova di Benedetto, Tony).

3) Apple Pan Dore at Mamas on Washington Square (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, May 29th). Additionally, I am calling this my "Best 'New' French Toast Find of 2016" ~ even though it has already been available there for many years already. (Don't worry, the superfluocity with the use of "already" was really a premeditated redundancy really.)

4) Frittata of the Decade/Century at Just For You bakery & cafe (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, June 5th). 

5) Stella Hash Browns at Breakfast at Tiffany's 
(see 'blog-entry from Sunday, June 26th). 

6) Greek Frittata at Home Plate (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, February 21st). 

7) makena (maui) at pomelo ~ REFRESHINGLY GLOBAL 
(see 'blog entry from Saturday, August 6th). While this dish was small in stature, it was LARGE in flavour; therefore, I am naming this as "co-Best French Toast Dish of 2016... not named Baker Street Bistro Pain Perdu - a brunch favorite! or Apple Pan Dore 
at Mamas on Washington Square".

8) Signature French Toast at Dolce Amore (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, November 27th). This was another great dish from this "sweet" little place. As with #7 above, I am naming this as "co-Best French Toast Dish of 2016... not named Baker Street Bistro Pain Perdu - 
a brunch favorite! or Apple Pan Dore at Mama
on Washington Square". (Interestingly enough, a different dish from Dolce Amore placed at #8 for 2015, too.)

9a) Savory Galette at Marla Bakery (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, May 1st). There was also the extra-added bonus of an extremely tasty breakfastary dessert of Cardamom Spiced Coffee Cake

9b) Polenta and Sunny Up Eggs at Eats (see 'blog-entry from Saturday, October 1st). 

9c) polenta gorgonzola at Caffé/Caffè/Café DeLucchi (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, October 23rd). This also makes the "Top Ten" list due to the extra special side dish of artichoke hash.

(Okay, so it's actually a "Top Eleven" format, Mr. Tufnel.)

2016 Specific Categories (& Honourable Mentions kinda stuff)

"My Favourite" New Potatoey Side-dish Find ~ homefries at Honey Honey ~ Cafe & Crepery 
(see 'blog-entry from Saturday, March 19th). 
GBS Rating: 7.4 
(Of course, it goes without saying [but I am saying it here again all the same, anyway] that the Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes at Eats ~ in all their garlicky glory ~ are still "My Favourite" Potatoey Side Dish. GBS Rating: 7.5) 

"My Favourite" Olde Potatoey Side-dish Not Named Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes at Eats ~ hashbrowns with habanero-infused pickled onions at Taylor Street Coffee Shop (see 'blog-entry from Saturday, June 18th). 
GBS Rating: 7.5

"My Favourite" Huevos Rancheros Dish
Golo Ranchero at Cafe Golo ~ Boutique Cafe 
(see 'blog-entry from Sunday, January 17th). 
GBS Rating: 7.2 
(Honourable Mention: Huevos Rancheros at 
STRAW ~ Carnival Fare; mainly for their muy sabrosa salsa ranchera [see 'blog-entry from Saturday, October 29th]. 
GBS Rating: 7.0)

"My Favourite" Take On Boring Ol' Eggs Benedict Not Named Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café ~ Œufs Baker Street Bistro at Baker Street Bistro (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, April 10th). 
GBS Rating: 7.2

"My Favourite" Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Burrito at the Grind Cafe (see 'blog-entry from Saturday, May 14th). Seeing as I only had breakfast burritos twice this year, it was a 50-50 shot, anyway. 
GBS Rating: 6.5

"My Favourite" Crêpe
Puttanesca Crêpe at higher grounds coffeehouse (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, December 18th). Like the "Burrito" entry above, I had only a few crêpes this year from which to choose, too. 
GBS Rating: 6.9

"My Favourite" New Absotively, Posilutely, Totally Disgusting (read: Excellent!) Original Coffee Drink
Crème Brulee Latte at Rise & Grind (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, October 16th). What kinda demented, diabolical genius would ever come up with the awesomeness of a "Crème Brûlée" Latte?!
GBS Rating: 7.3

"My Favourite" Pickled Appetizer of the Nosh VarietyPickle Plate at Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen ~ 24th Street Deli (see 'blog-entry from Saturday, June 11th). Possibly the best pickled persimmons that I have ever had... well, technically, they were also the first-ever pickled persimmons that I have ever had (even if they weren't actually persimmons). 
GBS Rating: 7.4

"My Favourite" Baked-Goods Item of the Danish Variety
Mango-Coconut Danish at Grain D'or (see 'blog-entry from Sunday, January 31st). Mango, coconut, AND rosemary?! Oh, yeah! 
GBS Rating: 7.4

"My Favourite" Bready/Toasty Side
(World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) at 
the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (this is an exact duplicate of 2015's and 2014's choices and, like #1 and #2 above, should really be no surprise; as long as they keep making 'em, I will keep eating 'em; see most recent last 'blog-entry from Sunday, August 14th). 
GBS Rating: 8.2

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Pain Perdu at Baker Street Bistro ~ 8.2; 
Zucchini Cakes at Dottie's True blue café ~ 7.6; 
Apple Pan Dore at Mamas on Washington Square ~ 7.5;
Frittata of the Decade/Century at Just For You 
bakery & cafe ~ 7.5;
Stella Hash Browns at Breakfast at Tiffany's ~ 7.5;
Greek Frittata at Home Plate ~ 7.4;
makena (maui) at pomelo REFRESHINGLY GLOBAL ~ 7.4;
Signature French Toast at Dolce Amore ~ 7.4;
Savory Galette at Marla Bakery ~ 7.3
(and separately rated Cardamom Spiced Coffee Cake ~ 7.6);
Polenta and Sunny Up Eggs at Eats ~ 7.3;
polenta gorgonzola at Caffé/Caffè/Café DeLucchi 
~ 7.3
(and separately rated artichoke hash ~ 7.5)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

the Dipsea Café

A(nother) breakfastary roadtrip:
Mill Valley, Marin County, CA

Place: the Dipsea Café
Location: 200 Shorline Highway, Mill Valley, CA
Hours: open for breakfast at 7:00am every day 
(but probably not tomorrow morning)
Meal: Vegetarian[1a] Frittata[1b] ~  mushrooms[1c], tomatoes[1d], onions[1e], spinach[1f], zucchini[1g], and Jack cheese, served with home fries, homemade (well, restaurant-made) buttermilk biscuit or toast and homemade (again, restaurant-made) jam; a side of Tzatziki (which really isn't offered on their breakfast menu, but I ordered some, anyway); and a glassa Homemade (Do I really need to say it?) Lemonade[1h]

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla Wash., and Kalamazoo!

Because the traditional Day-After Festivus meal should be Greek in origin[2], I headed north this morning across the Golden Gate Bridge back to the Dipsea Café 
(see last 'blog-entry from Sunday, March 30th, 2014; it seems like I get there every second year now, but this place really deserves more-often return trips) for breakfast.

Some other good ideas (and more-often reasons for a return trip): 
Mill Valley Omelette ~ egg whites, mushrooms, avocado & Feta (it's a strange-sounding combination, but I am game for anything with Feta and avocado);
Pear-Walnut Omelette ~  with Brie cheese and balsamic onions (another strange-sounding combination, but I am also game for strange-sounding foodstuff); 
or the authentically Hellenic Huevos Rancheros ~ two poached eggs on a fried corn tortilla with red and green salsa, Jack cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream, served with black beans, chips and steamed tortillas. 

This was a very decent version of a frittata. I had asked to have Feta substituted for the Jack cheese, but they must have forgotten to do this. This was no biggie, I just think this would have been much betta (like most everything) with Feta. I went with the homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) buttermilk biscuit as my bread-option, because even I know how to make "homemade" toast. This was deceptively a lot of food. At first glance it was misleading and I thought that I would have no problem finishing it all. As it was, with the homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) buttermilk biscuit and extra large portion of potatoes, I could barley clean my plate. The frittata itself was no slouch (I prefer my frittatas made with chicken eggs and not slouch eggs, anyway). I also liked that they went with the moniker of "Vegetarian (Frittata)" versus the ubiquitously odious name of "Veggie".

As for the side of Tzatziki, I made sure to use it all wisely on top of the potatoes.

For condimentary supplementation, the Dipsea Café 
offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both Original Red Sauce and Green Jalapeño Sauce). I just used a little of my own El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero on top of the frittata. One of the Mexican waiter-server-guys even complimented me on that choice; he said that he uses that same brand at home himself.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Vegetarian Frittata ~ 6.7 (this mighta even been a 7.0 if they had remembered the Feta);
Τζατζικι ~ 7.5


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day, νούμερο ένα:

Here are the corresponding words in Greek:

a) χορτοφάγος (pronounced: "hortoFAgose") or φυτοφάγος (pronounced: "feetoFAgose"; I am not really sure of the distinction between the two, though)

b) ομελέτα (pronounced: "omeLEta" ~ see, this cunning linguist stuff ain't always επιστήμη πυραύλων)

c) μανιτάρια (pronounced: "maniTAria")

d) ντομάτες (pronounced: "toMAtess" ~ and sometimes this cunning linguist stuff ain't even εγχείριση εγκεφάλου)

e) κρεμμύδια (pronounced: "kremMEEthia")

f) σπανάκι (pronounced: "spaNAkee")

g) κολοκύθι (pronounced: "koloKEEthee)

h) λεμονάδα (pronounced: "lemoNAtha" ~ simples)

2. If you don't believe me, just check out the Official Festivus Handbook that is provided annually by the Human Fund.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

higher grounds coffeehouse

(No official-type web-site.)

Place: higher grounds coffeehouse
Location: 691 Chenery Street (on the corner of Diamond Street); phonicular contact: (415) 587-2933
Hours: open daily at 8:00am
Meal: Puttanesca[1] Crêpe ~ tomato, olives, onion, mushroom, garlic, capers, red pepper (as in chilli flakes), parsley, olive oil, sour cream (savory crêpes are served with potatoes [of the homefries variety] & salad [of the rabbit-food variety]); and a cuppa/glass-mugga Caffè Borgia (which is a Mocha/Latte-style Coffee drink)

(Do not be fooled by the first song and the fact that today happens to be the Sunday before Christmas into thinking that I have suddenly "discovered" religion; it's Sir George Ivan, dammit, and I do not ever need a reason to post any of his music here. 

The second EweToobular song is because today happens to be the 73rd birthday of Keif Richards. It was not very often where Keif got to sing lead vocals.)

Because I could and because I wanted to, I went back to higher grounds coffeehouse (see last 'blog-entry from Sunday, September 6th, 2015) for breakfast this morning.

I just love this little coffeehouse/crêperie. The food is always great and the friendly neighborhood atmosphere is, too. That they open up pretty early on a chilly Sunday morning is an extra-added bonus. If it were closer, I would probably go there more often and add it into my Breakfastary Starting Rotation.

Some other ideas (and still more reasons for which to return), all of which can be made either as a crêpe or an omelette:

  • Alla Milanese (tomato, eggplant, Mozzarella, onion, black pepper, olive oil, spices; this will probably be my top priority on my next visit); 
  • Simply Italian (Mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, spices, salt, pepper, olive oil, zucchini);
  • Florentine (cheese, spinach, cottage cheese, onion);
  • Curry (bell pepper, cheese, onion, sour cream, potato; they don't state it on the menu, but I am sure there are some kinda curry-spices involved there, too); or
  • Apple Cheese (cheese, apple, brown sugar, cinnamon; okay, this one should probably be made only as a crêpe, but I am not discounting the choice of this as an omelette until I try it). 

This was another great-tasting crêpe from them (well, from the owner-guy that seems to do everything from cooking the food to making the Coffee drinks all by himself first thing in the mornings). Capers and Kalamata olives?!? Oh, yeah! Thankfully, there were no anchovies in the mix, though.

They (well, he) make (makes) their version of Caffè Borgia with almond syrup and Chocolate. The Coffee drink was also very good, but I do prefer my Caffè Borgias made with orange syrup (or, better yet, actual orange slices in them) and Chocolate a little better.

higher grounds coffeehouse only offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) for use as a condimentary supplement. This really didn't matter because I brought two brand new hot sauces from my own collection to try out for their first taste-test-run. I used some Pepper Palace Gator Bite Hot Sauce (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on the potatoes and some Palo Alto Fire Fighters XXX Ghost Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Brian! [Now I really did not need to buy any more hot sauces for myself this year. I still had about nineteen bottles in my refrigerator already. However, I saw this newest hot sauce from Palo Alto Fire Fighters last week and couldn't pass it up.]) on the crêpe. I went lightly with both of these this morning until I knew the heat level that they would provide. The Palo Alto Fire Fighters XXX Ghost Pepper Sauce was a bit hotter (it does have Jolokia Chile Peppers in it, but they are tempered a bit by jalapeño, serrano, and cayenne chillies, if you can believe that) of the two, but both pack a lot of flavour.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Puttanesca Crêpe ~ 6.9 (this rating is based upon the inclusion of a good amount of capers and an extra 0.2 points for the use of authentic Kalamata olives);
Caffè Borgia ~ 6.6


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day:

In Italian "alla puttanesca" means "in the style of a prostitute". The word for "whore/prostitute" in Italian is "la puttana".

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sears Fine Food

Place: Sears Fine Food ~ World Famous since 1938
Location: 439 Powell Street (between Post and Sutter Streets, just a half-block up from Union Square)
Hours: open daily at 6:30am
Meal: Our (well, "Their") World Famous (their claim, not mine) 18 Swedish Pancakes[1] ~ served with warm syrup and country (they don't state if the country is Sweden or not, though) fresh whipped butter, and with lingonberries[2] added; and a glassa milk[3] (they had a sign stating that their orange[4] juice was "squeezed to order", but I am not sure if there is an actual female bovine in the kitchen for them to do the same for a glassa milk)

(They were playing a few old Louis Prima songs on the house [restaurant, whatever] stereo this morning and next week is Christmas, so I will leave the Sherlock Holmes-ing up to you to figure out any EweToobular juxtaselection. I am pretty sure ol' King Louie is not of Swedish descent, though.)

Well, I didn't actually have to wait until the year 2020, Mr. Zager and Mr. Evans, to find my way back to 
Sears Fine Food (see last 'blog-entry from Saturday, December 12th, 2015).

Even though I had headed over there with the completely premeditated idea of ordering the
18 Swedish Virgins... er, Pancakes, there are still a few other good ideas from which to choose off their breakfast menu. Exempli gratia: Eggs Florentine (two poached eggs, English muffin, fresh spinach, Hollandaise sauce, hash browns) or Spinach Omelet (chopped spinach, sautéed onion, cream cheese, and fine herbs; served with hash brown potatoes and buttered toast and jelly).

I liked these pancakes and eighteen seems to be about right for my appetite. However, if you ask me (and even if you don't ask me, this is my 'd*mn 'blog-thing, so I am telling you anyway), they are a bit stingy with the lingonberry jam; the small ramekin that they provided was barely enough to cover four of the six stacks of three pancakes. After already consuming a few of the stacks, I had a brilliant idea. There was a slice of orange on my plate as a garnish, so I squeezed some of the juice on top of some of the lingonberry jam and this actually turned out to be a very tasty combination. Ocean Spray® ain't got nuthin' on me! 

I had given a thought to ordering a side of potatoes (they offer both hashbrowns and homefries), but it probably would have been a bit of an overkill for my normal appetite.

For condimentary supplementation, Sears Fine Food has only Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce). I did not bother bringing (nor need) any of my own hot sauces with me this morning because I was fully planning on ordering the pancakes with lingonberries all along.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Our World Famous 18 Swedish Pancakes ~ 6.3 (plain), 6.5 (with lingonberry jam), and 6.6 (with lingonberry jam and additional fresh squeezins of orange)


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

"Pancake" in Swedish is "pannkaka".

(See? Sometimes this stuff ain't raket vetenskap.)

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, nummer två:

"Lingonberry" in Swedish is "lingon".

(Annnnnd... sometimes this stuff ain't exactly hjärnoperation, either.)

Like cranberries, blueberries, and huckleberries, Mr. Finn, lingonberries are a true botanical berry. All four of these berries are in the same botanical Genus, too. I find that lingonberries have a very similar tart-sweet flavour to cranberries; lingonberries are just a little smaller in size.

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, nummer tre:

"Milk" in Swedish is "mjölk". 

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, nummer fyra:

"Orange" in Swedish is "orange" or "apelsin".