Saturday, April 29, 2017

Café de Casa

Place: Café de Casa[1]

Location: 2701 Leavenworth Street (on the corner of North Point Street)

Hours: open Monday - Saturday at 7:30am

Meal: Veggy [ sic ] (a Savory Crêpe) ~ eggplant[2a], tomato[2b], arugula[2c],  & fresh herbs[2d], made from tapioca flour, gluten free, served with seasonal fruit or salad; one Enroladinho de Queijo[3] (off the Salgados[4] section of the menu) ~ coconut[5] bread with Mozzarella cheese(?!?); and a medium cuppa (pour-over style) Coffee Magic Brazil Poço Fundo[6]

(That is one horrible web-site, but it does give you some information on their available Coffees.)

(Both of these EweToobular songs are juxtaselections to my Coffee choice this morning. The second song is even based on a true story; I read it on the Intro-Net.)

Sim! Here is another great "discovery" and new (well, for me) place for breakfast in the usually breakfastary bereft Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood! This morning I went to Café de Casa para o meu café da manhã. They specialise in Brazilian Street Food. Now I wouldn't know authentic "Brazilian Street Food" from fake "Landing Strip Street Food" (Too "racy" with that stupid joke?), but I had walked by this place last month when I was checking out another new place for breakfast in Fisherman's Wharf and the idea sounded interesting to me.

They have two locations: this one in Fisherman's Wharf (open since December 2015) and their original location in South San Francisco (open since May 2007). Now that I think about it, I am pretty sure that I had eaten either lunch or dinner (that location doesn't serve breakfast) at their other restaurant back when I still worked in Brisbane (the town just south of San Francisco, not the much-less-known city in Queensland, Austria). If I kept a lunch or dinner 'blog-thing, maybe I would have remembered it sooner.

I am happy to point out that there are still many other good other ideas from which to choose for breakfast: 

Omelette Crepe (a Savory Crêpe) ~ eggs, ham and cheese (of which I would have oitenta-e-seis-ed the carne de porco morta em decomposição); 

Caprese (a Savory Crêpe) ~ fresh Mozzarella, tomato and basil

Moça[7] (a Sweet Crêpe) ~ coconut and sweetened condensed milk; 

Cartola[8] (a Sweet Crêpe) ~ Mozzarella cheese (Again with the Mozzarella cheese in a "sweet" pastry-thing?), banana & cinnamon


Romeu & Julieta[9] (a Sweet Crêpe) ~ guava jelly and (probably Mozzarella) cheese (!!! Oh, h*ck yeah ~ this will definitely be my choice on my next trip over there; if I had seen it before ordering this morning, I probably woulda gone with this one).

Unfortunately for me, they only offer a few items on their Salgados section of the menu that are suitable for stupid vegetarians. I did see that they also offer Pão de Queijo, much like my recent "discovery" at Saltroot Café (see 'blog-entry from Monday, February 20th). I will have to be sure to try one of theirs on my next visit, too.

Now this was a very cool crêpe idea. It was made with tapioca/yuca/manioc flour in place of the standard eggy-batter; this did make it to be much chewier than their Frenchy counterparts. The eggplant was more of a mooshed mistura (kinda like baba ghanoush); which was okay, I was just expecting large chunks of eggplant instead (which can sometimes be a bit unwieldy inside of a crêpe, anyway). The tomatoes were halved cherry tomatoes ~ another nice touch; these added a nice fresh "Pop!" to the dish. This was served with a large spoon (you know, the flat-bottomed kind used in Chinese restaurants as a soup spoon) of olive oil; I was instructed to drizzle some over the top if I liked (I liked, and ended up using the entire spoonful).

Today's seasonal fruits[10a] (and I was glad to see the fruits in place of any silly ol' rabbit-food) were: grapes[10b], kiwi[10c], and honeydew melon[10d].

"Mozzarella cheese AND coconut, Brian? What are you crazy?!" Well, I would answer a resounding "H*ck, YES!!!" to both questions. (Catcha-22 be a-d*mned!) Don't mock me for my tastes. Besides, I didn't concoct this strange pastry (maybe I was um padeiro brasileiro in another life). This was really very good.

I also very much liked that they offered several different roasts/blends of Coffees from which to choose (see above photo for selections available). All can be prepared as a single (small, medium, or large) cuppa pour-over. I mainly went with my specific choice this morning because I figured "When in Rome, do as the Brazilians do!" This turned out to be another nice local roastery find.

For condimentary supplementation, Café de Casa had some of their own homemade (well, casa-made) hot sauce in plastic squeeze-bottles. I had brought some of my own hot sauces with me just in case, but I found their hot sauce to be very flavourful... and a little hotter than I was expecting (about as hot as a good habanero salsa). I went a little heavy-handed with it on the top of the crêpe before actually taste-testing it, but it was all good and it went nicely with all the other flavours. The additional spoonful of olive oil helped temper the heat a bit, too. They also sell bottles of their hot sauce (with the simply-enough named "Café de Casa Hot Sauce" on the labels) for use at home. If I did not already have (too) many bottles of hot sauce in my refrigerator, I would definitely have picked up a bottle for myself. Maybe by the next time I get back there I will have under twenty bottles left in my stock, and can pick one up then.

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude (or not)

I parked over on the end of Van Ness Avenue[11] under the tall Eucalyptus trees where I knew there was a large-ish pandemonium of the noisy chatter-heads. Unfortunately, I only heard some of them high up in the trees and did not really see neither beak nor feather of them this morning.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Veggy [ sic ] (a Savory Crêpe) ~ 6.5;
Enroladinho de Queijo ~ 7.2;
Café de Casa Hot Sauce ~ 7.5;
Coffee Magic Brazil Poço Fundo ~ 7.3;
the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day (and get ready for a whole lotta* more of these today), número um:

Lucky for me, I know some Spanish so I can almost decipher what Café de Casa means in Português. My best 202-ing here is coming up with "Coffee on the House", but they made me pay for mine...

Now (as best as I can tell), they do not actually use the "é" anywhere in their name, but both "Coffee" and "Coffeehouse" in Portuguese are "Café". So I am going with that preferred spelling. Simples!**

*(How much is a "half-lotta more", do ya think?)
**(Hey, Cindy, I just figured out that Aleksandr Orlov must be from either República Portuguesa, República Federativa do Brasil, or Região Autónoma dos Açores. The word for "simple" in Portuguese is actually "simples".)

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

(parte a)
Eggplant = Berinjela (pronounced something like "Berin-JELLA")

(parte b)
Tomato = Tomate (Sorry, I have absolutely no idea how they might pronounce this one; Sometimes I wonder just where the h*ck they come up with all these different names from our true 'merican words.)

(parte c)
Arugula = Rúcula (pronounced something like "ROO-kula")

(parte d)
Fresh Herbs = Ervas Frescas (pronounced something like "Magic Johnson")

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número tres:

"Enroladinho de Queijo" (pronounced something like "En-ROLL-a-djin-yo de KAY-joe") literally translates as "cheese curl", but this was no cheese-flavored, puffed cornmeal snack being hyped by any suave, sunglassioed cheetah.

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número quatro:

"Salgados" literally means "Salties" in Portuguese. However, in this case, Café de Casa was just listing any savoury or sweet baked goods/pastries under the same menu category.

5. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número cinco:

Coconut = Coco (here's another tough one that I can not figure out how to pronounce)

6. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número seis:

"Poço Fundo" (pronounced "Poso Foondo") means "Deep Well" in Portuguese. (Hopefully that will explain Song #2 above.)

7. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número sete:

"Moça" (pronounced something like "MOE-sa") translates from Portuguese as "girl/maid/lass".

8. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número oito:

"Cartola" (you can come up with your own d*mn pronunciation by now) translates from Portuguese as "top hat/topper".

9. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número nove:

Sorry. Try as I might, I could not come up with any good translations of this phrase. Who am I supposed to be? George Costanza?!

(I wonder if Wild Bill Shakespeare spoke any Portuguese.)

10. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, número dez:

(parte a)
Fruits = Frutas (yeah, sometimes this cunning linguist stuff ain't exactly cirurgia de foguete)

(parte b)
Grapes = Uvas (pronounced something like "O-vas")

(parte c)
Kiwi = Kiwi (sorry, again, no pronunciation could be located)

(parte d)
Honeydew Melon = Melão Melado (pronounced something like "MelON MelAHdo")

11. For a change, not a "stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day", but just a stupid, useless (but might actually be somewhat helpful) tourista pointer of the day:

At the end of Van Ness Avenue, where it dead-ends over at Aquatic Park Pier (between the back of Fort Mason and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park), there are many (sixty to seventy, maybe more) free and legal parking spaces. You can park there for four hours at a time on Monday to Saturday between the hours of 8:00am to 6:00pm, and all day long on Sundays. Most people should be able to walk up and down Fisherman's Wharf ~ including stopping at Ghirardelli Square to sample free Chocolates, etc. ~ in well-under four hours (and still have time to take in lunch), anyway.

The parking spots do fill up quickly, but if you get there before 8:00am (like I did this morning), there are usually many empty spaces still available (less-so in the Summer, but only an idiot would visit San Francisco in the Summer). There were even still about fifteen to twenty empty spaces at 9:00am when I was leaving the area.

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