Sunday, February 26, 2017

Home Plate


"People ask me what I do in Winter when there's no Baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for Spring." ~ Rogers Hornsby 



(No official web-site. They used to have one, though.)


Place: Home Plate
Location: 2274 Lombard Street (between Pierce and Steiner Streets); phonicular contact: (415) 922-4663
Hours: open every day at 7:00am
Meal: Angry Benedict ~ two poached eggs, shrimps 
[ sic ], spinach, jalapeños, with Cajun Hollandaise sauce, served with two potato-carrot pancakes or hashbrowns; and a large glassa orange juice (I really wanted to order a large glassa their "fresh-squeezed" cantaloupe juice, but I was told that the guy that makes their juices had not come in yet that morning... They have a special guy that just makes their juices? Really?! Even I think that I could manage a blender/juice-maker.)


Woo-HOO!!! It is Baseball (Spring Training-version) Season again!

So, I figured it was time to step up to Home Plate (see last 'blog-entry from Sunday, February 21st, 2016 ~ almost exactly a year ago) again. I sat at a "new" (at least since my visit last year) sheet metal-topped counter-table where there are four stools.

They have both a printed "Special" [ sic, in the singularity] menu insert and a weekend specials blackboard (well, it is actually a dry-erase "whiteboard", but those matter, too). My meal came off the weekend specials board (whether it be black or white).

A few other possible ideas this morning that I was looking at off the printed "Special" menu:

Dulce de Leche[1] Pancakes ~ 2 pancakes filled with dulce de leche and topped with caramel, sliced almond [ sic, also in the singular, but I bet they use more than one almond] and whipped cream

or

Bangkok Frittata ~ shrimps [ sic ~ again; now if they had only used this superfluous "s" for "Specials" or "almonds"...], mushroom, tomato, green onion, cilantro, jalapeños, kaffir lime leaves, galangal[2], served with 2 potato-carrot pancakes or hashbrowns and toast (of course, I would have ordered this dish without the dead, decaying aquatic insects, much like I did with my Benedict this morning; 555!).

Plus, there are many other great selections off their standard printed menu. I have had most of the items that are stupid vegetarian-friendly, but would not mind reordering any of them.





Like yesterday morning's meal, this was another very good take on your standard Eggs Benedict dish. I particularly liked that they used slices of fresh jalapeños and not the pickled version; and they used a good amount, too ~ so, this was not for the Gringo at heart. The Cajun Hollandaise sauce was also very good; it really wasn't that hot, but with the added jalapeños under the eggs, it all ended up being pretty picante.

I went with the side choice of two potato-carrot pancakes (which are not really "pancakes" in the 'merican sense of the word, but are really German-style Kartoffelpuffer). There is nothing wrong with their hashbrowns, I just think that this other potatoey option is very good.

As always, every breakfast starts with a complimentary (and complementary) homemade (well, Home Plate-made) mini-scone with two of their homemade (again, Home Plate-made) jams. Today's jams were: strawberry and mango. I used the surplus on top of one of the potato-carrot pancakes. (I am just glad that their mini-scone baker and jam-maker were not late into work this morning.)

For condimentary supplements, Home Plate offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce), Cholula® Hot Sauce (Original), and Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. I had brought a few of my own hot sauces with me, but did not feel it necessary to use any.

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

While crossing Lombard Street to get to the restaurant this morning, I saw (which I heard overhead first) a pair (a mini-pandemonium?) of the colourful chatter-birds flying westward, probably heading back home to their roost in one of the Eucalyptus trees in the Presidio.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Angry Benedict ~ 7.1 (this is factoring in their great Kartoffelpuffer, too);
homemade (well, Home Plate-made) mini-scone and jams ~ 7.3;
the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5

___________________

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

"Dulce de leche" literally translates from Spanish as "sweet from milk". It is a type of caramel pudding made from  slowly heating sweetened milk.

2. Huh?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galangal

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Dottie's True blue café


"I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them." 
~ Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People



(Hmmm?! It looks as if they no longer have an active web-site-thing.)


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: Zucchini Cakes ~ topped with poached eggs & spicy Marinara sauce, served with fruit & potatoes; and a glassa grapefruit juice


"Hey, Brian, didn't you just eat at Dottie's True blue café last month (see last 'blog-entry from Saturday, January 14th, 2017)?" Do I tell you how to read my stupid 'blog-thing?! Then don't tell me how to eat for my stupid 'blog-thing. So, yeah, I went back there again this morning for breakfast. If'n youse gots a problem wif dat, take it up with Dottie herd*mnself!

It was a bit chilly waiting outside for Dottie's True blue café to open up. I had arrived about 7:10am and, even still, I was not the first idiot waiting in line. There was a group of four touristas already ahead of me in line. What kinda maroons would stand around for twenty-to-thirty minutes along a chilly, dirty South-of-Market Street corner just to eat breakfast?!

There were not that many other idiots/touristas waiting in line behind us when they first opened, but the joint did fill up pretty quickly, and there was a decent-sized line waiting to get in by the time I had finished eating. 





I have had this great Benedictine-style invention many, many, many, many times before for breakfast at Dottie's True blue café. It really is one of my favourite dishes in San Francisco. The best way to describe it is an Italiano take on plain ol' Eggs Benedict, just with a tasty speecy-spicy Marinara sauce in place of the standard Hollandaise sauce and zucchini cakes as the base instead of Mr. Thomas' boring ol' faux-crumpety output.

Today's fruits included: blueberries (botanically berries!); blackberries (not botanically berries!); red grapes (bb's!); strawberries (not bb's!); honeydew melon (not bb's!); and watermelon (bb's!).

I used some of the provided Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Chipotle Pepper Sauce) generously ('cause that's just the kinda guy I am) all over the potatoes. I didn't use any additional condimentary supplementation on the Zucchini Cakes... Would you have told Leonardo DiCaprio how to improve upon his masterpiece "Lisa the Moaner"?!


an Afternoon Bakery-snack Interlude-thing

(Sorry. There are no corresponding photos of this snack-meal. I did not know that I would be raving about it and did not bother bringing my camera with me this afternoon.)

Place: Jane the Bakery
Location: 1881 Geary Boulevard (on the corner of Steiner Street)
Hours: open daily at 7:00am
Snack-meal: Mushroom Tart and (some kinda) Cardamom Brioche/Bombolone-thing; and a cuppa their really good Bread & Butter House Coffee

http://www.itsjane.com/locations#jane-bakery




(Last week I completely missed this perfect EweToobular juxtaselection. It fits both the name of the restaurant and the "sweet" bakery aspect. Well, after the fact, one of my brothers [I don't remember which one it was. It must have been Nick, as he always seemed to secretly be a Headbanger.] suggested this old Velvet Underground song to me. 

Now, me, I am not much of a fan of Lewis Allan Reed's singing, so I figured this here version by Lone Justice [and apparently some guy they done drug-up from the audience who thinks he's Sonny Bono ~ Hey, dude, keep your day job as a banker; you'll never cut it as a real singer "... in a Rock-and/or-Roll band"!] would be much better. 

Besides, even if ol' Louie-boy decided to "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" and hitch-hiked his way across the U.S.A., plucked his eyebrows on the way, and shaved his legs, he'd never look as good in a skirt as Maria McKee did back then.)


"Holy Bomboloni, Batman!!!"

I would not normally write about an afternoon-ish dessert-snack-thing, but this is somewhat of a continuation from my breakfastary visit to Jane on Larkin (see previous 'blog-entry from last Sunday, February 19th, 2017). Plus, I really have to rave about their Cardamom Brioche/Bombolone-thing. 

I stopped by Jane the Bakery (which had newly opened up at this location in December 2016) this afternoon for a quick snack and a cuppa. I liked the Mushroom Tart well enough (it was made with large cuts of either Portobello mushroom or Shiitake and cheese melted on top ~ not sure if it was just Cheddar or Norwegian Jarlsberger, perhaps), but the real find here was their truly most awesome Cardamom Brioche/Bombolone-thing (for lack of a better name for it). 

When I had first purchased the pastry-softball, I just assumed that it was glazed with a cardomom syrup or something. It had some lemon zest stuck on top and I figured it was just a brioche pastry. However, when I bit into it, I was more-than-pleasantly-surprised to find it filled with an unbelievably tasty cardamom-custard! This dessert-pastry was much larger than a standard Italian bombolone (about twice as large), so I was not expecting that at all. Cardamom-custard?! Oh, yeah! And this combination really went great with their House Coffee, too.

It looks like I will be getting back to one of the Jane locations a lot sooner than I had originally thought.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Zucchini Cakes ~ 7.6;
Mushroom Tart ~ 7.1;
Cardamom Brioche/Bombolone-thing ~ 8.0 
(yeah, it was THAT good!);
Bread & Butter House Coffee ~ 7.2

Monday, February 20, 2017

Saltroot Café


"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." ~ Sammy-boy Clemens



http://www.saltroot.com/

(They still have to update their current web-site to reference their actual brick-and-mortar shop, but at least it is already started.)


Place: Saltroot Café
Location: 2960 Clement Street (on the corner of 31st Avenue)
Hours: Now Open 8:30am Every Day
Meal: two Cheese Popups (one of which was um brinde with the cuppa Coffee ~ I like this idea muito); one Mushroom-Gorgonzola empanada; one Spinach-Feta empanada; and a cuppa Intelligentsia Rayos del Sol Peru

https://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/rayos-del-sol-peru


Well, I must say (or type, or keyboard), this has been one great (three-day) weekend for new breakfastary finds! Just two blocks away from my apartment (luckily, for me, because the deluge is still on-going here in Northern California) there is a brand-new (as in brand-newly opened just one week ago on Saturday) café/bakery place named Saltroot Café. I happened to walk by it last weekend in the afternoon when they were open, but I was not hungry at the time, so I made a mental note () (which always seems to be more of a "retarded rumination" in my case) to check them out in the future to see what I might be able to piece together for some kinda breakfast meal. Well, the future is today (just don't tell that to Buck Rogers) and there were more than enough interesting ideas for me to make a decent breakfast out of ("... out of which for me to make a decent breakfast" is probably grammatically correct, but grammar has nuthin' to do with eating good).

Saltroot Café is located in a space that has seen many incarnations over the past thirty years that I have lived in the neighborhood. This is not the busiest part of Clement Street (that would be about twenty-plus blocks to the East of there), so it is usually hard to maintain a good business in that location. There are only a few tables inside at which to sit and eat (I think I counted just two tables for two, one larger table for four, and three or four seats at a counter-table area), but I can see this being a "take-to-go-with" kinda place for locals. After eating there this morning, I really hope this place has a Vulcan salute-like existence in the Outer Richmond. 

The first question that I had for the owner guy-person (who was just opening up for the day when I arrived) was what the name of the restaurant meant. He explained it to me that "Saltroot" simply refers to the "root" of the cassava/manioc/yuca plant, because their Cheese Popups are not made with any wheat flour, but from cassava starch. The owner guy-person also told me that they were originally going to call the place "Cassava Café"; however, there is already a little Japanese bistro (for lack of a better term) in our neighborhood that is called "Cassava" (see 'silly-little 'blog-entry from Saturday, March 29th, 2014). Unless they started serving Sushi Popups at Cassava, I doubt that there would have been any confusion, though.

But "What exactly are 'Cheese Popups' (ou 'pão de queijo'[1], in Portuguese/Brazilian), Brian?", you might ask. (Of course, I doubt that you would be asking this with the inserted parenthetical Portuguese/Brazilian nomenclature and footnoted-number.) Instead of me trying to explain it (and, more than likely, badly), here is some information from the friendly folks at WikipediA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A3o_de_queijo 

Saltroot Café makes their version of Cheese Popups with Parmesan cheese. And, for any of you that like to pretend that you are still living in the Paleolithic Era, Cheese Popups are 100% gluten-free, and are also sugar-free if you get them in the original form. (However, I am pretty sure that ol' Caveman Joe did not know how to make any Parmesan cheese yet.) I mention "original form", because, while not yet available, they are working on offering a few variations of Cheese Popups: filled with Gorgonzola (Oh, yeah!), filled with guava puree (this is one that I know I will also like), and a few others that the owner guy-person told me, but I have already forgotten. (H*ck. He told me his name just before I left, but I have already forgotten that, too!)

They also have two other empanadas that they are currently offering: Sweet Potato (which is 100% Vegan, not that it mattered to me) and Vegetarian Breakfast (however, they were out of this type this morning, or I might have ordered that one instead of ~ or, more likely, in addition to ~ one of the empanadas that I did get). They do not bake their own empanadas, but get them from a local empanaderia (if that is such a thing) in the Mission. (The owner guy-person also told me the name of the bakery...  but please see the above paragraph's last parenthetical sentence.)

The poor owner guy-person had to put up with my inane conversation the entire time that I was eating there (there had been only one other walk-in customer during the half-hour that I was there, so it was not as if I was really bothering him that much... just a little). We talked about everything from "cassava" (and "manioc" and "yuca" and "tapioca") to "Coffee"[2]. (Hmmm?! Looking at it that way, we really only touched on the letter "C" from the dictionary. Looks like I need to get back twenty-five more times... and bone-up on a plethora of useless information for the letters "Q" and "X".)

One of the items of (enthralling) conversation that came up was that their front-counter cooler (See? "C"? Another "C"-word.)/refrigeration unit was purchased from one of the now-defunct La Boulange's surplus equipment (Thanks a lot, St*rbucks![3]).





The Cheese Popups turned out to be a great (and tasty) find! Not being quite sure what was the preferência tradicional brasileira for eating Cheese Popups, I asked the owner guy-person, and he said that you can eat them plain or with jam. They provide both a strawberry jam and mango jam to use. I went with some mango jam on one and ate the other one sem molestar. I really enjoyed how both went perfectly (a little sweet, a little salty) with the strong Coffee (unsweetened and unsalted, of course). I am looking forward to trying these filled with Gorgonzola and guava paste (well, each separately, but I bet the two flavours would be a great match-up... [see above Marky-Mark Twain quote]).

I liked both of the empanadas, too. Surprisingly, I liked the Mushroom-Gorgonzola better than the Spinach-Feta. This does not mean that Feta is not still my favourite of the cheesy comestibles. ("Everything's betta with Feta!", after all.)

I have had Coffee from Intelligentsia before, but I am not sure if I have ever had this particular roast/blend. This was a very hearty and robust (or, more likely, Arabica ~ sorry, that is a little Coffee humour there) roast. Coffee was one of the topics with which I bored... er... discussed with the owner guy-person in depth. He said that he settled on providing 
 Intelligentsia after trying a few other local roasteries. I think he made a good choice here. The owner guy-person told me that the beans that they use for their Espresso drinks is a Brazilian bean, but I did not get which specific one (I think  Intelligentsia 
offers three or four different types of beans of Brazilian-origin for their Espresso beans). Saltroot Café is not selling any of their Coffee in pre-packaged bags (... yet?). This seems like a no-brainer (even to someone like me with no brains), but the owner guy-person told me they are mainly focusing on marketing the Cheese Popups for now.

Not that it was needed any, but Saltroot Café does have bottles of Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce 
(Original Red Sauce) for use as a condimentary supplementation. Not knowing exactly what they might be offering on their menu, I even came prepared with a few hot sauces of my own; however, I did not see fit to use any this morning.

Personal retarded rumination: I really need to get back there again (soon) for an afternoon snack.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Cheese Popups (Pão de Queijo) ~ 7.4 
(this was a tough one to rate, as I only had a small sample from which to decide, but I really liked the flavour and texture ~ it's a yuca thing, man[ioc]!);
Mushroom-Gorgonzola empanada ~ 7.0;
Spinach-Feta empanada ~ 6.9; 
 Intelligentsia Rayos del Sol Peru ~ 7.3

___________________

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número um:

"Pão de queijo" simply means "cheese-bread" in Portuguese. As best as I heard it from the owner guy-person, these are pronounced something like "pon de kay-joe". Not really knowing much Portuguese, I assumed (incorrectly) that the "j" was pronounced like an "h" as they do in Spanish. 

Sometimes I can be such a "herk" linguistically.

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

"Coffee" in Portuguese is simply "Café".

See? Sometimes this linguistic stuff really ain't cirurgia cerebral ou ciência de foguetes.

3. Long-story-short:

The bastages at St*rbucks saw fit to buy a small, local chain of French bakery/café-restaurants several years ago. Of course, once the bastages at St*rbucks (and just for simplicity purposes, I will refer to them from here on out in this mini-rant as "tb@S"; of course, with the time and words spent explaining that abbreviation, it would probably have been much simpler to just keep typing [keyboarding, whatever] "tb@S"... or you get the idea), had made their money exploiting these local restaurants, they decided to have the recipes disseminated throughout their ubiquitous cr*p-houses (not to be confused with actual coffeehouses; I am ashamed to even use the term "coffeehouses" in the same sentence as tb@S) and have since closed all of the locations now in the Bay Area. 

Yeah, these guys are such a great company!

The good news is that the original owner of La Boulange has since re-purchased some of the locations from tb@S and has renamed them La Boulangerie. From what the owner guy-person of Saltroot Café told me this morning, the original owner got them back for a song, too. Maybe now I can finally check out their restaurants (free of guilt from knowing that tb@S will not be profiting from me), but I will probably still give it some time before going to any of these cafés. (What is the half-life of contamination from tb@S, anyway?)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jane (on Larkin)


"Humor keeps us alive. 
Humor and food. 
Don't forget food. 
You can go a week without laughing." 
~ Joss Whedon



http://www.itsjane.com/


Place: Jane
Location: 925 Larkin Street (between Geary and Post Streets; on the corner of Cedar Street, which is really more of an "Alley" than "Street", though)
Hours: open every day for breakfast at 7:00am; and, on the weekends, they have an additional "Brunch" menu from which to choose (also starting at 7:00am, which is nice, considering the snooty-*ss "Brunch" sobriquet)
Meal: Baked Egg Hash ~ heirloom fingerling potatoes (Who bequeaths their tubers to family members?), bell pepper, spring onion, curried cauliflower, two eggs (baked, presumably, hence the name of the dish); one Citrus Brioche (which ended up being both a starter 
[I ate a little of it while waiting for the hash-stuff to arrive] and dessert [I finished the rest of it while enjoying the last of my Coffee]); and a cuppa their House Coffee, which is called Bread & Butter

http://www.itsjane.com/shop/bread-and-butter




(I know that you must be puzzling as to what exactly the EweToobular juxtaselection is with this song and today's destination. It is a well-known fact that Perry Farrell is a YUGE[1] curried cauliflower fan.

While this really isn't any kinda breakfastary song, it's one of my favourite songs from the 80's and, to me, it epitomizes the late 80's sound. Plus, how many Rock-and/or-Roll songs utilize a steel drum in them as a major component?)


As I have about run out of places to eat breakfast, I am always on the lookout for new places. Jane is one such "new" place for me. There are two other locations in San Francisco: they have their original café-shop on the "good part" of Fillmore Street (which has been open about six years now; I have eaten there a few times for lunch) and a brand new (as in opened only for a few months ~ I think it opened sometime in December 2016) bakery-only on Geary Boulevard (I ride past this spot everyday on my way to work and this was what triggered me checking them out this morning).

The Larkin Street shop is rather unassuming (as can be seen from the storefront photo above, they do not even have any signage out front stating this is the place) and does not really have much of a décor of which to speak, but it fits in fine with the neighborhood (Upper Tenderloin/Lower Nob Hill). Seating-wise there are just seven tables for two, two tables for four, and seven counter stools.

For a small café-joint, they do offer a pretty impressive selection of breakfast (or "Brunch") items. There are still many other good ideas (for stupid vegetarians, even stupider Vegans, and dead, decaying animal-fleshetarians alike) that I can see going back to try, ferinstance:

off the Weekend "Brunch" menu:

Southwest Scramble ~ red and green peppers (well, when seasonably available, I can only assume), black beans, onion, avocado, and salsa, served with fresh fruit or a small salad and a biscuit; 
Spicy Baked Eggs ~ two eggs, spicy tomato and black bean stew, Cheddar cheese, cilantro, toast (this was going to be my initial choice until I saw the "curried cauliflower" in my final choice; I figure that this might be similar to the Middle Eastern/North African dish Shakshouka, and I always like that); 
or
the Un-Smoothie ~ burrito filled with scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon (which I could always have un-ordered), sausage (un-ditto), Cheddar cheese, pico de gallo;

and

off the standard Breakfast menu:

Avocado Mash ~ avocado (nacherly), cracked black pepper, soft boiled egg, pickled shallot and jalapeño on house sourdough;
Jane's Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl ~ dragonfruit (nacherly, again), pineapple, banana, ginger, coconut water, blueberries, raspberries, hemp seeds, flax seeds, cocoa nibs, goji, mulberries (I saw this on another diner's table and it looked very good; if you are in the mood for something sweet and less eggy, this would be a good choice);
or
Warm Quinoa Bowl ~ quinoa, roasted brussel [ sic ] sprouts (!!!; Brussels sprouts are the anti-"Vile Weed" to me), sweet potatoes, kale (all of which I bet would be great with a poached egg laid ~ well, placed ~ on top).

Plus several other dishes that I am too lazy to mention here.





This was made with lots of curried cauliflower (a big plus + in my book); which I was happy to see, as this was the ingredient that caught my eye and made this dish my deciding one. The fingerling potatoes (whether they were actually passed on from generation to generation or not) consisted of three (maybe four) types: purple, red, and white (possibly some yellow in there, too). It stated on the menu that this had bell peppers in it, but I did not see (nor taste) any in it really. I had completely forgotten that it was supposed to include bell peppers in it, and as I was eating it, I was actually thinking that this dish could use one (or two) more elements (for texture or crunch) in it, like bell peppers or mushrooms (or, better yet, some fresh corn kernels ~ them are "maize colonels" to you Brits). It was all still very good, anyway. I guess they must have been out of bell peppers this morning, because everyone knows that those are a very hard item to find in California.

Their Coffee was a very interesting surprise. I have been to many bakery-joints that don't always have Coffee as good as their baked-goods. In this case, I actually liked their Coffee better than their Citrus Brioche (don't get me wrong, it was very good on its ownsome). I was told by one of the counter-service ladies-persons that they do their own roasting (but I expect that it is actually farmed-out and roasted for them at some other local roastery). Once again, I know that I really shouldn't be wasting time ordering any Coffee with all of my own Coffee that I still need to drink up (and down), but I figured when at a local bakery-coffeehouse, do like they do in Rome...

For condimentary supplements, Jane offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce), Tapatio® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce, Cholula® Hot Sauce (Green Pepper), and Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Chili Ketchup. However, unlike yesterday, I did bring some of my own hot sauces for use and went with some Sunbelt Plantations Vidalia® Onion Picante Hot Sauce (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on top of one of the eggs and some Dat'l Do-it® Scorching Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) on top of the other egg.

See, Jane hit the spot, Dick!


Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Baked Egg Hash ~ 7.1;
Citrus Brioche ~ 6.9;
Bread & Butter Coffee ~ 7.2

___________________

1. Do you think that in five to ten years, this joke will still be understood?

I can only hope that it has long been forgotten, though.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

grindz


"All sorrows are less with bread." 
~ Mikey de Cervantes Saavedra

(And they are even much less so when combined with da kine eggy-batter mixture, piña berry compote, and vanilla [crème] Chantilly[1], bruddah.)



http://www.grindzrestaurant.com/


Place: grindz
Location: 832 Clement Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
Hours: open for "Brunch" Saturday and Sunday at 9:00am (well, their official-type web-site states "9:30am", but I know that they were already open and serving when I arrived there this morning at 9:05am)
Meal: Puka[2] French Toast ~ brioche, piña berry compote, vanilla (crème) Chantilly; a side of Plantation Potatoes; and a cuppa (and, because I could, two full refillas) Bicycle Coffee co Dark Roast (Guatemala)

http://bicyclecoffeeco.com/



(Believe me, I tried finding Ukulele Jake[3] doing a EweToobular version of "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" [the other Bruce Springfield hit after "Jessie's Girl"]. This will have to suffice.

"If it's jake with Jake, it's jake with me!")


Luckily for me, the last few days of torrential rainfall had stopped a few hours before I was going to head out this morning for breakfast at grindz (see last 'blog-entry from Sunday, May 22nd, 2016). Even though I no longer have grindz in my Breakfastary Starting Rotation, I am giving them a Spring Training try-out. 

There are still a few items left on their "Brunch" menu that I want to try one of these days: Li Hing[4] Pineapples (ripe pineapples dusted with Li Hing powder [ground dried plum skin]; which I would have had to have supplemented with an order of Plantation Potatoes, too) and Breakfast Sandwich (furikake[5] brioche, sage breakfast sausage, egg, Cheddar, mixed greens; but no matter how intelligent those dead, decaying porky products might be, I would have had to have them substituted for avocado). If ever needed, I can always re-order my (past) favourite dish of theirs, Kalua Benedict (kalua pig, luau[6], Kings sweet bread, piña de gallo, tarragon Hollandaise, potatoes; which I always order without the shredded piggy-stuff).




(I only wish that I knew how to say "Yowzah!" in Hawai'ianese.) Not only was this dish very good, it is now my favourite dish of theirs (overtaking my old favourite Kalua Benedict). Plus, I am claiming this as my Best "New" French Toast Find of 2017! This was made with two very thick (easily an inch-and-a-half to two inches thick) slices of homemade (well, restaurant-made) brioche bread (the owner/manager lady-person informed me of this when I was raving about how much I liked it; not that this piece of information would ever influence my Glen Bacon Scale Rating, but it is always good to know). This dish was very similar to their dish, grindz Waffle (which I have had in the past, and they do not seem to offer on the "Brunch" menu any longer), but just way much better, due to the fact that it was made with homemade (well, restaurant-made) brioche bread. How have I missed this great dish all of these years?!? I have been going to grindz for the past five years now ever since they opened (two months after they opened, actually) and have never ordered this before. If I were getting paid for this silly little 'blog-thing, I would fire myself for this major omission. Now this may not be quite as good as le Pain Perdu ultime at Baker Street Bistro, but I am highly recommending this to anyone that likes French toast or sweet breakfast dishes. If I did have one little complaint, it would be that I would liked to have had more of the extra-tasty piña berry compote; I am sure that if I asked for some more, they would have provided it to me, anyway.

Also of (high) note, they are now making their potato side dish again like they did in the past as Plantation Potatoes (not that there is anything wrong with hashbrowns, these are just so much better). These are made with lots of chopped celery bits, (white) onions, and red bell peppers (in addition to lots of cubed roasted potatoes, of course).

Smart*ss Coffee-snob comeuppance interlude ("D'oh!")

I normally like to know which specific roast/blend of Coffee that I am drinking from the local roasteries. So, I asked the waitress/server lady-person.

Me: Which Bicycle Coffee co do you serve?
Waitress/server lady-person: I think it's a Medium Roast.
Me: Okay, thanks! 

(Then, thinking to myself, "Why do I even bother?!", because I just figured she had no clue.)

Well, it turns out that Bicycle Coffee co does not use any fancy-schmancy names for their blends/roasts and that they do have one simply called "Medium Roast".

However (because I didn't want to settle for the simplistic answer "Medium Roast"), a little later on, I asked the owner/manager lady-person the same question and she told me that it is a "Dark Roast", and this time I did ask a little further and she told me that is just what Bicycle Coffee co calls it.

So, my Coffee-snobbery may have been wrong in not believing the "Medium Roast" moniker, but it also turned out that the waitress/server lady-person was wrong in her answer.

So there!

(Now back to our regularly scheduled unsnobbish 'blog-program.)

grindz offers two very nice homemade (well, restaurant-made) condimentary supplementations: 
The Original Chili Pepper Water and 
The Original Hawaiian Ketchup (as pictured above in the opening photo). Knowing this, I did not bother bringing any of my own hot sauces with me this morning. I used a little of each on differing halves of the potatoes. I even ended up buying a bottle of the The Original Hawaiian Ketchup  to bring home with. Right now I still have wayyyyyy too many (near-enough to thirty bottles) of my own hot sauces, or I might have bought a bottle of the The Original Chili Pepper Water, too.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Puka French Toast ~ 7.6;
Plantation Potatoes ~ 7.3

___________________

1. Now, I could not tell you the difference between a good crème Chantilly and regular ol' whipped-up cream, but here is some information and a recipe for anyone wanting to "cook" some up themd*mnselves: 

http://www.thegoodlifefrance.com/chantilly-cream/

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

"Puka" (as in "puka shells", apparently) is the Hawai'ianese word for "hole" and refers to the naturally occurring hole in the middle of small seashells.

(Now, why they have named a bready-breakfast dish after a sea-snail's home, I dunno, brah. Maybe that is the secret ingredient in their crème Chantilly.) 

3. Jiminy Cricket! Let's see how many people get that silly little pun.

4. Yeah, I could do another whole "stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day" thing here, but I figured it's just easier to link the information that was already gathered by the friendly folks at WikipediA (even if their information can be suspect at times):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_hing_mui

5. Once again, I am just going with the much simpler WikipediA link than doing a whole 'nuther* verkakte** (not to be confused with furikake***) "stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furikake

It seems that this product is not vegetarian-friendly. If I ever order this dish, I would have to ask for it without any of the grounded-up dried fish-stuff.

*(Is there such a thing as a "half 'nuther"?)

**(Subsetted stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Verkakte", with the adverbial meaning of "sh*tty or cr*ppy", comes from the Yiddish word "פֿאַרקאַקטע" ["farkakte"] which means "sh*tted upon". Its word root is from the verb "קאַקן" ["kakn"] [meaning "to sh*t, def*cate"]. I kakn you not.

It is interesting to note that this rather vulgar word does not appear in my usual go-to lexicon of Yiddishisms, The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten.)

***( And I always thought that "furikake" meant "Kitty Bung-holes" in German.)

6. (Now here I will settle for my own) stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, number two:

"Lūʻau" (and if I need to tell you how to pronounce this word, you will have to deal with Danno) is the Hawai'ianese word for "taro leaves", literally "young taro tops".

Sunday, February 12, 2017

SoMa Inn Café


"There is no love sincerer than the love of food." ~ (George) Bernard Shaw[1]
Man and Superman[2]



http://somainncafe.com/

(Do not bother opening that web-site. I am just linking it for informational purposes. It is mainly an advert web-site from the idiots at GRUBHUB.)


Place: SoMa Inn Café
Location: 1082 Folsom Street (between 7th and 8th Streets)
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Friday at 7:00am; open Saturday at 7:30am; and open Sunday at 8:00am
Meal: Mediterranean Omelet ~ baked egg-plant [ sic ][3], sweet pepper, tomato, pesto sauce, & Feta cheese, served with either home fries or hash browns, and toast or two pancakes; and a cuppa (with one refilla) Peet's Coffee® French Roast

http://www.peets.com/coffee/featured-category/all-coffees/french-roast.html


It has been almost two years since I first visited 
SoMa Inn Café (see previous 'blog-entry from Sunday, May 10th, 2015) and figured a return visit was warranted. I was the first customer of the morning (it was probably close to 8:15am already) and was greeted warmly by Joe (I only know his name as there were a few "regulars" that came in after I was there and they all greeted him as "Joe"), whom I can only assume is the owner/manager-guy.[4] I noticed a bit of an accent when speaking with Joe and asked him where he was from (I was assuming he was Arab) and he told me he was from Israel. He told me how to say "Thank you!" in Hebrew (which I forgot as soon as I walked out the door, of course). Unfortunately, the only Hebrew words that I remember any more are the numbers "1" through "5" and the phrase (which sounds something like) "Aysa Khatikha!" and means "What a nice *ss!"; however, I did not really think that would be appropriate to use to thank him for the good meal.

I am still not sure if there is actually any "Inn" associated with this "Café" or not. The next time that I go there, I will have to ask Joe about the name.

Their breakfast menu offers several other good ideas and I will have to plan to get back again (... in two years or so): Special Monterey Omelet (three eggs omelet, served with applewood smoke bacon [which I would always have nixed, Stevie], pesto basil sauce, fresh avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, home fried potato & choice of toast... [they actually added the "..." on their small specials menu]); Florentine Scramble (spinach, mushroom, artichoke hearts, eggs, & shredded cheese, served with choice of potatoes or toast); Banana Hot Cake [ sic, as two words and singular] 'N' 4 Berry Sauce (two jumbo cake [ sic, again singular] stuffed with fresh banana, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry with powdered cinnamon sugar and whipped cream [Note: They previously had this on their menu as "'N' 3 Berry Sauce". They have now corrected the number of "berry" count; however, botanically, there are only two berries there: banana and blueberries.]); or, the most intriguing-sounding-of-all, Banana Streusel (French toast topped with fresh banana, berry [here they do not specify which berries are in this; I just hope the berries are not tomato, bell peppers, or eggplant] sauce, whipped cream & powder cinnamon sugar; this will have to be checked out on my next visit... in two years or so).

Do not worry, there are still plenty of other good ideas for those of you that are dead, decaying animal-fleshetarians. There was an interesting one that I noticed on their small specials menu: Country Benedict (grilled English muffin, topped with country sausage patty, poached eggs, country white gravy & scallion, served with home fried potatoes... [again, they added the "..." there]; somehow, I am thinking ol' Joey ain't exactly one of them Kosher Jews).





They offer a choice of either "organic" or "regular" eggs to be used in their omelettes and egg dishes. Not that I could ever tell the difference either in taste or in a side-by-each comparison, but I went with the "healthier" (per Joe) choice of "organic" eggs for my omelette. I liked that there was a good amount of eggplant (or "egg-plant") in the mixture. If I had just one little complaint, I would have liked a little more Feta in it, but I always want more Feta, anyway. (It's a Feta-ish thing with me. "Mo' Feta, mo' betta'!")

I went with the side choice of home fries over hashbrowns, but stupidly went with plain ol' sourdough toast instead of two pancakes! (D'oh! or [Sour]D'ough!). I really like having a choice between two different breakfastary potato side dishes. Plus, their version of homefries are a true work of art. They are made with a combination of white and red potatoes and have thin slices of (grilled) zucchini mixed in with white onions, scallions, and red bell peppers.

Once again, I was not planning on ordering any Coffee with breakfast this morning as I really need to use up all the Coffee I currently have at home, but I am weak, and, in my defense, Peet's Coffee® is very good Coffee. SoMa Inn Café offers two different roasts, too, French Roast and a House Blend (however, I didn't bother to ask which specific roast/blend that was).

For condimentary supplements, SoMa Inn Café had both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) and Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce. I just went with some of my own Dat'l Do-it® 
Spicy Jalapeno Hot Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) on top of the omelette and some Laura Plantation Vidalia® Onion & Peach Hot Sauce (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on the potato-mixture.


Glen Bacon Scale Rating
Mediterranean Omelet ~ 6.7;
home fries (on their ownsome) ~ 7.4

___________________

1. Ol' Bernie was also of the stupid vegetarian sect.

2. Of course, the "Man" would be "Clark Kent" and the "Superman" would be "Kal-El".

3. Much like its confusing cousins, tomato and bell pepper, eggplant is not only botanically a fruit (or is that "fru-it"?), but also a berry (or "ber-ry"?).

4. Here is why you should not believe everything (anything?) you read on stupid yelp*. I had checked that Food-Nazi site last week to double-check what the hours of operation might actually be and saw a few (well, several) very negative reviews; these were mainly about how "rude" the owner is to customers and his employees. I can not corroborate any of that as both times that I have eaten there, I had a great experience (both in the food and friendly service). 

So, do like those Roman dentists always said: "Cavities are empty!" (Of course, my general distrust of yelp* 
reviews makes me think that it could very well be changed to "Cave Seruasse*!")