Sunday, July 23, 2017

Butter Love Bakeshop

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses
Part 25b

When life hands you Marathons... make (or just buy some) lemon tarts!

Place: Butter Love Bakeshop

Location: 3717 Balboa Street 
(between 38th and 39th Avenues)

Hours: open Tuesday-Friday at 7:30am, Saturday-Sunday at 8:00am

Meal: a slice of Cheddar-Jalapeño Quiche; a Sun-Dried Tomato & Ricotta(???) Galette; a large chunka Nectarine Bread Pudding; and a large cuppa 
Mr. Espresso® Organic Seven Bridges Blend 
("There are seven bridges that keep the people of the Bay Area connected, and the Seven Bridges Blend pays homage to the diversity of people and tastes in the San Francisco Bay Area." Well, technically, there are eight bridges in the Bay Area; most people forget about the Antioch Bridge. Or, perhaps, Mr. Espresso® doesn't count that big brick red one heading to Marin as an "organic" bridge.)

(I know what your're thinking: "Hey, Brian, just what the h*ck is today's EweToobular juxtaselection?" I bet you were not aware that ol' Satchelmouth himself invented the New Orleans Marathon; he was also a big fan of galettes ~ savoury or sweet.)

I really shouldn't need an excuse to get back to 
Butter Love Bakeshop (see previous 'blog-entry from Sunday, March 13th, 2016), but(ter) the San Francisco Marathon was back in town, cutting the city in half, and basically making me an involuntary hostage (as opposed to any of those "voluntary" types of hostages in Stockholm) in my own neighborhood. So, rather than try to deal with any stop-and-go (more stop-and-wait than go, really) traffic to get anyplace else, I figured I could just walk the eight blocks over to this bakery-joint and stay very local.

I sat outside in the backyard patio area (and I was the only idiot to do so this morning; the fog was still pretty thick and had not burned off yet and everything was kinda dewy and wet). I sat at the only table that was still dry, as this table was under a covered area right by the back door. There were four to five other tables of varying sizes that could seat from two to six people, though.

One of the hardest problems was deciding on exactly which savoury and/or sweet baked-goods items to go with ~ there were just too many good choices. I almost went all savoury and was thinking about also getting their savoury bread pudding item this morning (which I have completely forgotten already what it included; I just remember that it was vegetarian-[but probably not Vegan-]friendly). I do remember that the sweet galette choice was a strawberry one (it looked very good) and almost went with that over the savoury galette.

I put the "(???)" after the "Ricotta" in the galette name above because I could not remember what was in it and forgot what the front counter lady-person had told me it included (and, yes, I could have asked again on my way out, but didn't want to seem like too much of a geek[1]). Needless to say, I enjoyed all three of my pastry/baked-goods items this morning. I really have to say that I liked the Nectarine Bread Pudding the best of the three; I kinda figured that I would, and that was one of the reasons I chose it over the savoury bread pudding.

Once again, I really didn't bother to ask what Butter Love Bakeshop had for condimentary supplements. I actually brought a few of my own bottles of hot sauce and used just a little Dat'l Do-it® Zesty Chipotle Hot Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) as a complementary pick-me-up on the quiche.

I am sure that both Uncle Albert and Fleet Admiral "Bull" Halsey would be mighty proud of this place...

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Quiche ~ 6.6;
Galette ~ 6.8;
Bread Pudding ~ 6.9


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist (mostly etymological) pointer of the day:

(Note: Copied directly from our friendly friends at WikipediA, so take this explanation for the paper that it is written on.)

The word comes from English dialect geek or geck (meaning a "fool" or "freak"; from Middle Low German Geck). "Geck" is a standard term in modern German and means "fool" or "fop". The root also survives in the Dutch and Afrikaans adjective gek ("crazy"), as well as some German dialects, and in the Alsatian word Gickeleshut ("jester's hat"; used during carnival). In 18th century Austria, Gecken were freaks on display in some circuses. In 19th century North America, the term geek referred to a performer in a geek show in a circus, traveling carnival or travelling funfair sideshows (see also freak show).

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jane (on Fillmore)

"Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'Why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.” 
― Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Cat's Cradle

Place: Jane

Location: 2123 Fillmore Street 
(between California and Sacramento Streets)

Hours: open daily from 7:00am 

Meal: the Green Queen ~ arugula, quinoa, cauliflower, asparagus, snap peas(???), mint, soft (as in "boiled", which was not specified on the menu, but that was what it was) egg, sorrel vinaigrette (and, thankfully, none of that d*mn "the vile weed" junk); a Vegan GF[1] blackberry muffin (to start and to end the meal... I ate a little before the salad arrived and had the rest for afters); and a cuppa their own house blend (café blend, whatever) Bread & Butter

(The EweToobular juxtaselections here? Much like myself, Maria McKee, Lou Reed, and Freddie Mercury really like[d] asparagus and completely despise[d] those odious parklets and "the vile weed".)

My original plan of attack for breakfast this morning (if one is like myself and pre-plans to attack an innocent breakfast) was to go to a brand new(-ish) bakery called b. patisserie. However, in doing a reconnaissance run on Friday afternoon, I noticed that there was one of those odious parklets directly in front of the establishment. I can only assume the responsible party for that particular parking obstruction was the bakery itself as it was set directly in front of the building and not in front of (or overlapping) any of the neighboring commercial businesses. No biggie, it was only a(n overtly upscale) bakery-joint for the most part and didn't really look like it had any specific breakfastary items from which to choose. (Sorry, Maggie Boofé, looks like I won't be able to give you a report on this place.) Because of which, I decided to head back to Jane (see previous 'blog-entry from Sunday, February 19th, 2017), only this time to their original location on Fillmore Street. Now, don't get me wrong, Jane is also a(n overtly upscale) bakery-joint, but at least they don't support any of those odious parklet things.

"Jane opened on Fillmore in February 2011 with the mission of serving top quality Coffee, breakfast and lunch." 
(quoted directly from their web-site)

I have eaten lunch a few times at this restaurant/café, but this was my first early morning visit to this location. I arrived there a little after 7:00am and it was not too busy, but about a half-hour later, there was already a line out the door (there are only a couple of other coffeehouses open in the immediate vicinity that early, and none of those has anywhere near as good a breakfastary menu). (Note: that "other [overtly upscale] bakery-joint and odious parklet-supporter"  doesn't even open until 8:00am every day.) Like a lot of other coffeehouses/cafés in town, you first order at the front counter/cash register, get a number, and then they bring the food to you when it is ready (any sooner and it would not be ready, of course).

(I am not quite sure what the significance is of Mr. Buff A. Lowe [or possibly Ms. Buffy A. Lowe] on a coffeehouse/bakery back wall, but it was there.)

This location may have just a few more seats than their location on Larkin Street. Size-wise (or "size-wize"), they seem about the same. However, this Fillmore Street location also has an upper level (where I sat this morning). Seating: (lower level) twelve tables for two and seven stools at a counter-bar area; (upper level) six tables for two and six stools at the upper counter-bar directly overlooking Mr. Buff A. Lowe above. (Don't think that I didn't think about trying to get a shot of him wearing one of my baseball caps. I did, but I was just worried that I might not be able to get it back off his head after doing so.)

(Those d*mn yahoos and their graffito[2] artwork! Even inside and upstairs is not safe any more!)

There are still several other good ideas (let's see that "other [overtly upscale] bakery-joint and odious parklet-supporter" do that) on their menu (but I had pretty much decided on going with the choice that I did if salads were available that early in the morning for breakfast):

Avocado Mash ~ avocado, cracked black pepper, soft boiled egg, pickled shallot and jalapeño on house (café, whatever) sourdough;

Spicy Baked Eggs ~ two eggs, spicy tomato and black bean stew, Cheddar, cilantro, olive toast (this was going to be my back-up plan if they didn't do salads that early; from the description on the menu, I can only assume that this was a dish à la Shakshouka; I asked the barista-person lady who took my order and she said that I was the second person to mention "Shakshouka" to her, but she did not know what that was);

Breakfast Frisee Salad ~ frisee, arugula, chive, lardons (not sure if these are Vegan Girlfriendly or not), radish, rainbow carrot, soft boiled egg, shallot 
vinaigrette, toasted baguette;

Raw Sprouted Black Rice Porridge ~ almond and coconut milk, chia seeds, coconut crunch, goji berries, fresh kiwi (served warm upon request) (??? I have absolutely no idea what all this might be, but I would give 'er a go at least once);

Walnut & Fig Bread (on the Toast section of the menu) ~ fresh jersey ricotta, honey and hazelnuts;

Warm Quinoa Bowl ~ quinoa, roasted brussel [ sic ] sprouts, sweet potatoes, kale (Brussels sprouts AND kale?! This will be another dish that I have to get back and try; if they can add a soft [boiled] egg on top, it would be perfectly breakfastary, too);


Jane's Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl ~ dragonfruit, pineapple, banana, ginger, coconut water, blueberries, raspberries, hemp seeds, flax seeds, cocoa nibs, goji, mulberries (this sounded very good, too, if I was in more of a sweet ~ or smoothie ~ mood).

The Vegan Girlfriend blackberry muffin wasn't all that bad. It seemed a bit on the dry side to me, but that is to be expected without any momma bovine products in it. I just made sure to enjoy it with alternating sips of the very good cuppa Coffee.

"Salad for 'breakfast', Brian?" Hey, it had an egg on top... besides... asparagus (and lots of it). Asparagus has to be one of my favourite of the cladode-type vegetables. I really didn't notice many (any?) snap peas in it, though. Some fresh, sliced jalapeños might also have gone nicely in this salad (and keeping with the whole "green-theme", too). While this salad may not have been as "Killer" as "gunpowder" and/or "gelatine", it was almost as tasty as "Moët et Chandon in a pretty cabinet". Plus, this salad was also "GF" (and could easily have been made "Vegan Girlfriend" if you had them omit the poultry ova on top).

I didn't really bother to ask what Jane might have had to offer in the way of condimentary supplementation. It didn't matter, anyhow. I had brought some of my own hot sauces with me, but by checking their menu ahead of time, I didn't figure that I would need much extra flavouring. I did end up using just a little of my own Golden Pagoda Jalapeño Hot Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) on the salad, but I mainly did that to keep with the whole "green-theme".

Strange Coffee Interlude

"At the heart of Jane, there is great Coffee." 
(again, quoted directly from their web-site)

Because I am such a Nose E. Parker, I made sure to ask one of the barista-person guys where they get their Coffee. I couldn't believe that a small (but with three locations now), local coffeehouse would roast their own Coffee for use and for sale. However, I was informed that they in fact do just that. They roast all of their own Coffee in small batches at the Archery over in the Mission.

"See Jane roast. Roast Jane, roast." 
(Way to go, Jane, go!)

I liked this Coffee so much, that I bought a pounda it[3] (after I had finished eating and while I was on my way out) to take home for my own use later on. When you buy a pounda their Coffee, they offer a free cuppa with it, too. (I really didn't need another cuppa, but there was no way I was gonna turn down a free cuppa very good Coffee; so, I got it to-go and drank it on the drive back home.) This was an actual 16 oz pound bagga, too. It is a bit pricey at $20.00, but many places charge about $12.00-$16.00 for a 12 oz bagga, anyway. So, I figured this would equate to (less the $3.00 that I didn't have to pay for the second "free" cuppa) $12.75 per 12 oz bagga, which isn't really that bad.

They incorporate three different kinds of beans (Oaxaca, Mexico; Jinotega, Nicaragua; and Sumatra, Indonesia) in the blend; and, surprisingly enough, this really works out to be a very nice blend in all.

"Nuanced and comforting. Rich and robust with a subtle sweetness, our signature house blend is delicious no matter how you drink it."
(once again, quoted directly from their web-site)

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
the Green Queen ~ 6.8;
Vegan Girlfriend blackberry muffin ~ 6.6;
Bread & Butter ~ 7.2 
(which I can only hope translates to 6.9-7.0 when I make some myself at home) 


1. I had to ask to make sure this abbreviation didn't mean that it was a "Vegan's GirlFriend's" muffin... not that there is anything wrong with that.

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

"Graffiti" (and its less-used singular form "graffito") comes from the Italian word "graffiato", meaning "scratched". The word originates from the Greek "γράφειν" ("graphein"), meaning "to write".

3. Don't worry, I have finally gotten to the bottom of most of the Christmas Coffee that I had received. I still have three different types of Coffee in my refrigerator, but two of those are almost finished and the third is only from a recent birthday gift.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bayside Cafe

Another breakfastary mini-roadtrip[1]:
Sausalito, Marin County, CA

Place: Bayside Cafe and Juice Bar

Location: 1 Gate 6 Road, Sausalito, CA 
(by the Kappas Marina, in the Harbor Center)

Hours: open seven days a week at 6:30am 
(closed every other day of the week)

Meal: the Spinach Poacher ~ poached eggs on top of sautéed (I added the "é" there; please note: no 
G£êñ Bäçòń §čåłē points are ever deducted due to spelling/accentuation preferences) spinach, topped with pico de gallo and Feta, served with tortillas or toast; and a cuppa (with two refillas ~ it was a smallish cuppa) of whatever their house (café, whatever) Coffee might have been (I forgot to ask; the Coffee pots had Peerless Coffee & Tea® on them, but those may just have been promotional leftovers from when they might have served that specific brand of Coffee)

(This EweToobular video/song is just a reminder that we should all make an effort to get to and to see the World outside our window once in a while.)

I really don't know why it has taken me over two years to make a return trip to Bayside Cafe and Juice Bar (see previous 'blog-entry from Sunday, March 22nd, 2015). I remember that I really liked my first visit there. I love that they open up at 6:30am... every day... and for breakfast (minusculed and un-italicized, thank you; I hope they never learn of that odious word "Brunch" here). Plus, breakfast (minusculed and un-italicized still, thank you) is served all day long (it even says so right on their web-site thing: "where breakfast is served all day" ~ of course, there it is italicized, but it's still in the minuscule, at least). And with a very extensive breakfast menu, this place is certainly Breakfastary Starting Rotation-worthy... if only they were a bit more local.

This morning, I sat at one of the seats at the long diner-style counter. However, I probably shoulda sat outside at one of the tables in their covered/screened patio seating area (overlooking the marina/houseboats). The weather was perfect for it. Plus, no other idiots were even out there yet that early in the morning, I woulda had the entire space to myself.

As I mentioned above, Bayside Cafe has a lot of other great-sounding breakfast entries, such-as: 

the Heart Breaker (omelette) ~ artichoke hearts, mushrooms, spinach & cheese;

the Veggie Volt (if we can overlook the dreaded "Veggie" moniker) ~ scrambled eggs, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, & Swiss cheese;

Munga, Munga! (yeah, I have no idea what that means; I wonder if it was simply a misinterpretation of the Italian "Mangia, Mangia!" ~ "Eat, Eat!") ~ scrambled eggs, Italian sausage (which I would have omitted), mushrooms, Feta cheese, & salsa;

Mediterranean (omelette) ~ spinach, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, avocado, & Feta;


(off their weekend specials board)
Breakfast Quesadilla ~ with eggs, bacon (No gracias.), cheese, and spinach, served with sour cream and salsa.

I really did have a hard time deciding on which meal to go with this morning. There are way too many good choices; hence, I need to make more return trips oftener.

I knew that I was going to like this meal from the description, but I enjoyed it even more in conception. Feta and spinach?! Needless to say (but I am needlessly keyboarding it, anyway), I enjoyed this dish immensely. This ended up being sorta Eggs Benedict-estilo mexicano for the gluten-free crowd (those people really don't want to pay for their gluten) with a bit of an ελληνικός-twist to it, too.

I like that they  offer a choice of (corn or flour) tortillas or toast. I opted for the corn tortillas option, as I thought (correctly so) that it was the best way to go. I bet this dish would have been interesting with the tortillas under the spinach and poached eggs, too. It may have been a bit too soupy-wet, but I would liked to have tried it that way, anyway.

For condimentary supplementation, Bayside Cafe
had just Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both Original Red Sauce and Green Jalapeño Sauce). I used some of my own Punch Drunk Chocolate Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) on top of one of the poached eggs for some extra flavour, but their fresh pico de gallo was pretty tasty all on its ownsome, anyway.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
the Spinach Poacher ~ 6.8;
Golden Gate Bridge and Bay views ~ 8.5


1. The round-trip time there and back (including a forty-five minutes to one hour side-trip to the Golden Gate Bridge in an [unsuccessful] attempt to spot ol' Humphrey and friends) was exactly two hours. H*ck, I spend more time than that most times driving to a location just on the other side of town.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dottie's True blue café

(Still no official-type web-site again.)

Place: Dottie's True blue café

Location: 26 6th Street 
(on the corner of Stevenson Street); 
phonicular contact: (415) 885-2767

Hours: open Thursday through Monday at 7:30am

Meal: Banana Raspberry Rice Flour Pancakes ~ (self-explanatory, I would hope) with pure maple syrup; and a glassa milk

Sticking to my self-prescribed Rhadamanthine schedule of going to Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from Sunday, June 11th, 2017) at least once a month for 2017, I made yet still another return visit there this morning. Once again I sat at "Seat #1" at the front counter. This was very easy to do as I was the fourth person in line this morning.[1]

I had gone there with the specific idea of having either French toast or pancakes (something on the sweet side), depending on what was specialized on the weekend Blackboard. I liked the sound of this pancake choice better than the French toast option this weekend, so I went with that. I may have even had these in the past before, but after so many meals at Dottie's True blue café, I really can't be too sure. Otherwise, my back-up choices would have been: 

Fried Egg Sandwich ~ with prosciutto (which I would have ottantasei-ed), avocado, + Provolone on a biscuit, with fruit + potatoes;

some kinda omelette combination ~ possibly roasted garlic, spinach, tomato, and goat cheese;


Spinach Provolone Strata ~ served with Italian sausage (No grazie.), roasted tomatoes, + fruit (which I just had back during my January visit, but wouldn't mind having again).

These came as three large pancakes and they were deceptively filling; I could only finish two-and-a half of them (barely). Because the pancakes were made with rice flour and not wheat flour, they weren't as fluffy or airy as "normal" pancakes might have been, but I actually liked how they made a nice crunchy shell/crust on the outsides. Kurt told me that it took him a while to come up with the correct formula (recipe, whatever) for using rice flour instead of wheat flour, specifically as a gluten-free option for those kinda cheapo people that don't like to pay for any extra gluten. I liked the flavour combination of banana and raspberry a lot, too. (And, once again, students, how many botanical berries were in these pancakes? Yes, there was just one... banana; because we all know that raspberries are not real berries.)

I did not need to use any of Dottie's supplied bottled hot sauces, but I did use up all of the pure maple syrup (Duh!).

Strange Ice Cream Interlude

Because of a conversation I had with complete strangers while standing in line[1, again], I decided that I had to make another stop at ShakeDown this afternoon. I had a small scoop (which is actually two scoops-size) of Satisfaction ~ peanut nougat, Chocolate ganache, citrus zest, and caramel swirls. The owner-scooper guy told me this was mostly inspired by and meant to be à la mode de Snickers® candybar. I actually liked it much better than any ol' Martian Chocolate bar and the peanut nougat crunchies in it really stood out.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Banana Raspberry Rice Flour Pancakes ~ 6.8;
Satisfaction ~ 7.4 (Don't ever tell me that I can't get no... no, no, no!)


1. I actually got there right around 7:00am and figured that I would be the only idiot waiting in line for a half-hour for them to open. However, it was a nice enough morning (read: no fog for a change), and there were already three other idiots (one group of two and one single guy) ahead of me that must have had the exact same idea.

Because we had a half-hour to kill (and because I am basically a Nose E. Parker), I started talking with them while waiting there. The guy just ahead of me was wearing a Y*nkees cap, but, even so, he seemed like a nice enough guy (just a bit misguided in his Baseball fandom). The conversation between the four of us ranged from breakfast ideas at Dottie's True blue café and to everything from the Boston Red Sox[a] v. Y*nkees rivalry (and why there really isn't the same kind of animosity between Celtics and Knicks fans) to Joe Montana's and Tom Brady's love-lives to where is a good place for Ice Cream (hence the above Strange Interlude this afternoon) in San Francisco[b].

[a](As luck would have it, I happened to be wearing my 2013 World Series Champions t-shirt this morning, too. Come to think of it, luck really didn't have much to do with it. I was planning on wearing something 
Red Sox-y today to help with the mojo over the current Y*nkees series; plus, I figure about one-fifth of my t-shirts are either Red Sox-related or San Francisco Giants-related, anyway.)
[b](I made sure to point out that Humphry Slocombe is probably one of the best local Ice Cream joints in the city [and probably my favourite, too]. I also recommended ShakeDown, Bi-Rite Creamery, and the Ice Cream Bar. They all had been to Salt & Straw earlier this week already.)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

phoenix bar & Irish Gathering House

Place: phoenix bar & Irish Gathering House

Location: 811 Valencia Street 
(between 19th and 20th Streets)

Hours: open at 10:00am Saturday & Sunday for "Brunch"

Meal: Huevos Valencianos ~ roasted chiles, avocado, black beans, eggs any style, corn tortillas, choice of grilled Irish bacon or spicy sausage (both of which I ochtó-a-sé-ed, of course); and a large glassa grapefruit juice

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselections? Simples! Sir George Ivan just loves him some Irish soda bread.)

In an attempt to revisit some places that I remembered really liking (and because I am running out of "new" places to try), I returned to phoenix bar & Irish Gathering House (see previous 'blog-entry from Saturday, November 22nd, 2014). Probably one of the reasons that it has taken me this long to make a return trip is that they open at 10:00am and they call the first meal of the day on Saturday and Sunday mornings "Brunch". (Okay, that's two reasons, but they kinda go hand-in-hand.) I find that when I have to "wait that 'late' to eat breakfast" (especially when it is called "Brunch"), it appears as if half the day has been wasted on just one meal.

This morning, they seemed to ostensively be playing one-hit wonder songs from the 80's on the (Irish Gathering) House-stereo. (Seriously. Can anyone really name another hit that the Outfield ever had?!)

There really isn't a lot of things from which to choose on their "Brunch" menu (and even less-so for stupid vegetarian-types); I counted nine entries only. Here are a few selected items:

Irish Bacon Benedict ~ grilled soda bread, Irish bacon, poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce (I liked this idea of substituting the d*mn *nglish muffin with Irish soda bread; I suppose I could always order this gan an flesh ainmhí marbh lobhadh);

Bacon Boxty ~ potato cake, Irish bacon, poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce (again, I would have had to order this gan bagún);

and they did have an off-menu Special this morning:
Fried Chicken & Eggs (I am not sure what that may also have included, but I almost felt like ordering it just to see which of the two they would bring out first...).

Once again, the meal started with them bringing out a small basket with some slices of their very good homemade (well, Irish Gathering House-made) Irish soda bread. I had finished most of the slices before the meal was even brought out. Last time I ate there, they brought out more when asked, but I figured I wouldn't need any extra this morning.

I was expecting this dish to come out as a prototypical Huevos Rancheros dish, with the eggs on top of corn tortillas, on top of the beans, and all smothered with a salsa. Actually, this came out more as a deconstructed Huevos Rancheros where everything was separated. I ended up adding their tasty Salsa Valenciana to the eggs once I had cut them up a bit. I had ordered my eggs "over-medium"; however, they came out "just barely over-medium". They were still edible (just barely); I am not a big fan of runny, under-cooked eggs.

phoenix bar had Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (three ways: Original Red Sauce, Green Jalapeño Sauce, and Chipotle Pepper Sauce) and Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce for use as condimentary supplements... and (because it is also an Irish Gathering House) bottles of HP Sauce[1]. I had even brought some of my own hot sauces, but ended up not needing to use any supplemental hot sauces this morning because of their own above-mentioned tasty Salsa Valenciana.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Huevos Valencianos ~ 6.5 (this is factoring in their excellent homemade [well, Irish Gathering House-made] Irish soda bread freebie-starter)


1. How many people are aware that the "HP" stands for "Houses of Parliament"?

I was not aware of that myself until I looked it up this morning. I just assumed that it was the initials of the inventor of this most iconic British brown sauce. (Of course, now it makes sense why there is a picture of Big Ben and some other building on the labels.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

the Grove - Fillmore

Place: the Grove - Fillmore

Location: 2016 Fillmore Street (between Pine and California Streets)

Hours: open Monday-Friday 7:00am, 
Saturday & Sunday 8:00am

Meal: Warm Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding ~ topped with classic vanilla icing, served with a side of fresh strawberries; a side of (as oxymoronic as it may sound) Crispy Golden Rosemary Hashbrowns; and a cuppa (well, actually, more like a small bowla) Verve Coffee Roasters - House Blend (I am not sure if this is a blend/roast made specifically for the Grove coffeehouses)

(As far as I can tell, there really is/are no juxtaselections between cinnamon roll bread pudding and Tom Waits [or Matilda ~ waltzing or not]; I just like the song[1].)

I went to the Fillmore Branch of the Grove (see last 'blog-entry from Saturday, April 23rd, 2016) this morning. This location (opened back in 2002) was the second coffeehouse in their mini-chain; however, with the closure of their original shop on Chestnut Street a few years ago, this is now the oldest in their surviving mini-franchise. I have eaten at this location a few time before for lunch or dinner (or just for Coffee and snacks before or after a movie at the AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8), but this was my first breakfastary sojourn there. I have/had eaten breakfast at all of their other three joints already. There are currently just three coffeehouses, but a new one (which will be the existing fourth one, but their actual fifth one) is due to open later this year in the Design District/Showplace Square (South of Market Street). 

The Fillmore Street coffeehouse has a kind of a Western/Frontier theme going on: there is a rough, uneven wooden plank floor and it has a very tall, open-spaced ceiling (like you might have seen in an old Western/Frontier bar or saloon). There is lots of seating in various sized tables. I ended up siting in one of the bench-seat tables by the front windows (which were open this morning creating a nice breeze and fresh air). Plus, there are nine more tables for two on the sidewalk patio café.

As with their other two locations (and like most coffeehouses throughout the city), you order first at the front counter, pay for the meal, they give you a number to place at your table (mine was #22 this morning, but I was actually the third person/group to order for the morning), and then they will bring it out to you when it is ready (and not before, dammit!).

For "just a coffeehouse", they have a fairly decent breakfast menu and there are still some other ideas that I would like to try (maybe when the new space opens up later this year, I can make that an excuse to revisit and check out a different neighborhood ~ one where there is a dearth of  good places for breakfast currently):

Basil and Goat Cheese Scramble or Omelet ~ fresh torn basil and goat cheese, served with golden thick-sliced Semifreddi’s sweet batard toast and your choice of Crispy Golden Rosemary Hashbrowns or lightly dressed organic mixed greens (this meal would have been my choice if I wanted to go savoury instead of sweet this morning; I think this would be best as a scramble dish; and, as always, I would have opted for the potatoes over the silly rabbit food any day);

Spinach, Fontina and Tomato Scramble or Omelet ~ fresh spinach, Fontina and oven-roasted tomatoes, served with the same choices above (I also think this would be better as a scramble dish);

Seasonal Veggie (ugh!) Scramble or Omelet ~ seasonal roasted vegetables, served with the same choices above  (this one I would probably have gone as an omelette);


Veggie (ugh! again) Breakfast Sandwich ~ soft scrambled eggs, Fontina, oven-roasted zucchini, arugula, with a creamy spinach spread, served on a toasted Semifreddi’s brioche bun (they have a picture of this on their web-site and it looks very good; think Eggamuffin just with much more class and taste).

I don't know what I was expecting. Somehow, I figured this was just going to be served in a small(-ish) bowl. However, this came as a HUGE chunka bread pudding (I don't think you can truly gauge its size from the angle of my crummy photograph). It ended up being a lot of (good) food, but I ate it all anyway; I can always skip lunch today.

The side of hashbrowns was very good and this turned out to be a great idea to cut some of the (much expected) sweetness of the bread pudding.

For condimentary supplementation, the Grove only has Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce on every table, but they also have bottles of Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce for use if requested. I used some of my own Old St. Augustine Datil Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on half of the potatoes and some Dragon's Lair Extra Hot Cayenne & Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) on the other half of the potatoes.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Warm Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding ~ 6.6


1. This particular cover of a Tom Waits song was introduced to me by my brother Kerry several years ago now. He had sent me a CD of interesting (and some very strange) Tom Waits covers ~ that he titled "Lite Waits" (I told him that he could also have called it "Tom Waits for No Man"). I happened to be listening to this particular (or this peculiar) CD on my way to and back from breakfast this morning.

Thanks, Kerry!