Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rise & Grind

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses
33-1/3 rpm, B-Side

"Now malted milk balls of love are hunting
I've always been a coward
And I don't know what's good for me..." ♫ 

(No official web-site that I could locate.)

Place: Rise & Grind

Location: 785 8th Avenue (near Fulton Street); 
phonicular contact: (415) 795-0724

Hours: open at 7:00am Monday through Friday; 
open at 8:00am Saturday and Sunday

Meal: Avocado Toast ~ fresh avocado, a dab of mayo (which is a dab more than needed in my book), topped with a soft boiled egg and red chile flakes; and (the reason for my return-visit, anyway) a Whopper(s)® Latte (replete with crushed pieces of the candy on top, too)

(For today's EweToobular juxtaselections ratiocination, please see the "mini-dog" rant below.)

Because today is "Laundry-day, right?!" and I wanted to keep it basically local again, and because it was a great morning (the Sun was even out early for a change [anyone that has ever visited San Francisco in June, July, or August can attest that San Francisco Summers do not generally start until late-August/early-September]), I drove over to my favourite newest (after Orson's Belly ~ which may not have as many crazy-sounding/tasting Coffee-drinks, but they do have a bit more food from which to choose and their Coffee-basis [De La Paz] is an excellent choice, too) Richmond (District) Coffeehouse, Rise & Grind (see previous 'blog-entry from Sunday, October 16th, 2016). Even though it is only twenty-eight blocks away (and another twenty-eight blocks back-away), I didn't feel like hoofing it all the way over (and back); call me lazy.

I was very happy to see that since my first visit (which was just a few weeks after they had initially opened), they have added several more breakfastary food idea items to their menu. Ferinstance: 

Frittata Sandwich ~ eggs baked with cheese, tomatoes, bacon bits (which I would have bit-86-ed, if possible), and garlic aioli between two slices of toast w/ crispy onions and potato chips (I am pretty sure the crispy onions are in the sandwich and the potato chips are on the side);

Breakfast Bunwich Sandwich (and, yes, I am aware of the redundantly superfluocity of the "Sandwich" part of the name) ~ hard boiled egg with fresh avocado, cheese, bacon (once again, if possible, no thanks!), and aioli served between a fresh bun;

and two new waffle-entries:

Matcha Waffle ~ organic matcha with powdered sugar and matcha icing;

and (what I will have to try on my next visit)

Ube Waffle ~ sweet purple yam.

Additionally, they have also added some other very interesting Coffee-drinks ideas: 

Peanut Butter Latte (which may be another "excuse" to get back there again soon; I was informed that this is made with organic peanutbutter [not that anyone would really be able to discern "organic" from "inorganic" peanutbutter when it is in a Coffee-drink, anyway]; I suggested that this would be even more disgustinger [i.e. mucho bettero] if they actually made the foam/froth on top with a peanutbutter foam [I watch wayyyyyy too many food network shows]; however, they told me that they don't have the right equipment to do that; pity); 

Salted Caramel Latte

Biscoff® Cookie Butter Latte (another probable "excuse" for a return-visit); 

Spicy Mocha

Black Sesame Latte


Yes, this Coffee-drink was just as disgustingly 'orrible (read: very good!) as it sounds. In other words, I liked it a lot ~ just not as much as their truly inventive (and "omagawd-ish") Crème Brûlée Latte (which is my touchstone for all future visits), but it is still highly recommendation-worthy all on its ownsome.

"mini-dog" rant

Just what the h*ck is up with small dog-owners thinking that their flea-bitten, mangy little mutts don't have to follow the local Health Code rules of no dogs in a place that serves food? I am only mentioning this as there was a cute pupster (inside) at the table next to mine while I was eating my breakfast. Now, I love dogs of all shapes and sizes, and I really don't care if it is "sanitary" or not (even when they are licking their own butts, I bet they are still cleaner than most hipster doofi, anyway), I just think it is obnoxious of the owners to think that they are "special" and don't have to follow the laws. I wonder how grocery stores/restaurants/coffeehouses/
cafés/etcs. would react if someone came in with an English Mastiff, Great Dane, or Irish Woolfhound (or howzabout a pack of Siberian Huskies, Mrs. Blankenship?). I am not saying that if you have a guide-dog or a viable support-dog that you shouldn't be able to bring them inside; that is not the case or my point. Bottom-line, people (and calling some of these self-centered, idiotic dog-owners "people" is being more than a bit charitable), just because no one complains to the management when you do this annoying thing, does not mean it is alright for you to do so. "mini-dog" rant over... for now...

This was a pretty simple breakfast and a nice rendition of an Avocado Toast. If you have ever visited a coffeehouse/café-joint in the past year, it seems that Avocado Toast is the new pomegranate; it is as ubiquitous as the word "ubiquitous" lately.

I didn't really bother to see what Rise & Grind might offer in the way of any condimentary supplements. I just used some of my own Palo Alto Fire Fighters XXX Ghost Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on top of the soft boiled egg. Sure, the chilli flakes already had some spice to them, but Palo Alto Fire Fighters 
Pepper Sauce just makes everything taste better.

And just once I would love to see someone bring their "support-horse" into a coffeeshop with them... 
"... 'cause here they come..." ♫ !

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Whopper(s)® Latte ~ 7.1;
Avocado Toast ~ 6.5;
Dogs of all sorts (even those little, nippy, ankle-biters) ~ 9.0

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mel's drive-in

♪ "All I want for breakfast is you..." ♪ ???

Place: Mel's drive-in

Location: 1050 Van Ness Avenue
(on the corner of Geary Street)

Hours: open at 6:00am every day of the week

Meal: Vegetarian Omelette ~ three eggs, "the vile weed", mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, red & green peppers, served with special grilled potatoes and choice of toast (I chose sourdough); and a glassa Fresh Lemonade

(The reason for today's EweToobular juxtaselections is because when I first sat down to order, they were playing several Johnny Cash songs in a row ["Folsom Prison Blues" was one of them] on the jukebox, which was nice... 

... however, for some unknown/bizarre reason, there was a slew of Christmas songs that were then played, to include: "O Holy Night" by Whitney Houston; "Feliz Navidad" by José Feliciano; "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey [or possibly by Olivia Olson; their versions are way too similar to be able to tell on a jukebox stereo system in a diner-joint early on an August morning]; and finally "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. When I good-humouredly questioned the waitress/server-lady about this, she pointed to one guy seated at the diner-counter all by hisloneself and told me that he had been choosing those songs all morning.

I have heard of "Christmas in July", but this was the first I had ever heard of "Christmas in August"... and I hope it is the last time, too.)

It was back to Mel's drive-in (see last 'blog-entry from Saturday, May 21st, 2016) once again for a dineristic breakfast; this time it was to their restaurant on Van Ness Avenue (on the western-outer edge of the 'loin). This location happens to be the third Mel's drive-in to (re-)open in San Francisco. It opened back in 1998 in the space that used to house the long-running, local Zim's. I had never eaten at this specific Mel's before, but I had eaten there a few times back when it was still a Zim's (in the late 80's or early 90's).

Disappointingly, they no longer offer Avocado Toast (which I had been planning on getting this morning) or Huevos Rancheros (which would have been my back-up plan otherwise; I just had another version of that dish last weekend, anyway) on their breakfast menu. Pity. There were several other new items being offered on a "Brunch" menu (but available only after 9:00am; maybe next time if I get there two hours later I can check out one of those).

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

As I was crossing Van Ness Avenue (at the Geary Street intersection) on my way to Mel's drive-in, I heard and then looked up and saw a mini-pandemonium (just a pair) of the Wild Parrots flying overhead. Where they were coming from or heading toward, I really couldn't tell.

First off, major kudos[1] to Mel's drive-in for calling this dish "Vegetarian Omelette" and not the odiously- and ubiquitously-named (uggh!) "Veggie Omelette". Now even though "the vile weed" was listed as an ingredient in this omelette, I decided to order it all the same; and, yes, I suppose I could have requested them to omit the offensive item, but I figured that they may have had all the ingredients already mixed up and ready to insert when needed. Miraculously, there was only a meager amount of "the vile weed" in it (just one solitary vile piece!); and, luckily, there were lots of both zucchini and yellow squash to counterbalance it just in case. This was a simple-enough and decent-enough diner-style version of an omelette. Their homefries (which they refer to as "special grilled potatoes") were very good, too.

For condimentary supplementation, Mel's drive-in offers both Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce 
(Original Red Sauce) and Tapatío® Salsa Picante 
Hot Sauce. I used some of my own Dixie Crossroads Hot Habañero[ sic ] Pepper Sauce 
(Thanks, Brian!) on top of the omelette and some 
Hot Licks Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian! [not to be confused with the previous "Brian" mentioned]) on the special grilled potatoes.

♪ "Breakfast... the most wonderful time of the day...  (without any of "the vile weed", of course)" ♪

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Vegetarian Omelette ~ 6.5;
the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5


1. He was recently promoted from plain ol' Captain Encomium.

This extra-bonusary information from our friendly friends at Merriam-Webster (since 1828):
Some commentators hold that since kudos is a singular word it cannot be used as a plural and that the word kudo is impossible. But kudo does exist; it is simply one of the most recent words created by back-formation from another word misunderstood as a plural. Kudos was introduced into English in the 19th century; it was used in contexts where a reader unfamiliar with Greek could not be sure whether it was singular or plural. By the 1920s it began to appear as a plural, and about 25 years later kudo began to appear. It may have begun as a misunderstanding, but then so did cherry and pea.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Non-Dairy Milk ~ Part 7


(Pour peas?)

As much as I like peas (and don't even get me started on how tasty snow pea shoots/greens/tips[1] are), somehow, I really do not think these should ever be made into a morning breakfast drink...

The other day I noticed a new(-ish) product in the non-dairy milk refrigerated section at my local grocery store (ripple Unsweetened Original Nutritious Pea Milk) and figured it would be interesting to try another, different non-dairy milk product (see last 'blog-entry from Saturday, February 13th, 2016) for a change. It was on sale and was just a little cheaper (it normally is priced about twice what actual bovine milk would be for an equivalent size) than the brand of good almondmilk that I have normally been buying (Califia Farms® Unsweetened Pure Almondmilk), so I figured it had to be somewhat good.

Unfortunately, it failed miserably on both the "on cold cereal in the morning" and the "tall glassa with cookies" tests. (I do not bake, so I really can not say how it would work in those kind of recipes.) The flavour just was not very good. It was not completely horrible, but I just could not get used to the taste. They also offer this in Chocolate and Vanilla flavours; however, I can not see how that would be an improvement, but more of an insult to both Chocolate and Vaniller.

I probably should have known better. I have had Pea Ice Cream before (at The Ice Cream Bar[2] in Cole Valley/the Haight) and it was one of the stranger flavours that I was really not that fond of.

So, unless you happen to be either lactose-intolerant and/or a Vegan that is also allergic to tree nuts (even though, technically, almonds are not really a nut), coconut, and/or soy products (and are already acutely aware of how truly vile hempmilk is), I do not think that I could honestly recommend this particular non-dairy milk product in good faith (or even in bad faith to those smarmy Veganite-types). 

And I don't care what that other famous part-time vegetarian, John Lennon, once sang, do not ever 
"Give Peas a Chance"!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
ripple Unsweetened Original Nutritious Pea Milk ~ 5.2 
(and that is with a verrrry generous GBS Rating there)

100% organic Bovine Milk ~ 8.3;
Almondmilk ~ 7.0 - 8.2 [depending on the brand and/or flavour];
Coconutmilk ~ 7.0;
Hazelnutmilk ~ 6.9;
Cashewmilk ~ 6.8; 
Flaxmilk ~ 6.7; 
Ricemilk ~ 6.5; 
Soymilk ~ 5.8;
Hempmilk ~ 5.0 [ugggh! and I am only including it here on the list with the rest of these because I did try it... once... never again])




Their Basil Ice Cream is truly exceptional, though. It is one of my favourite locally-produced Ice Creams when available.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Velo Rouge Café

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses
Trentième Partie, b

(Their web-site [if you can call it that] really could use 
a major [Taylor?] upgrade.)

Place: Velo Rouge Café

Location: 798 Arguello Boulevard 
(on the corner of McAllister Street)

Hours: open at 6:30am Monday through Friday; 
open at 8:00am Saturday and Sunday

Meal: Huevos Rancheros ~ two eggs (of the fried/over-medium variety), roasted red peppers, black beans, salsa, and Cheddar cheese over corn tortillas, served with potatoes; and a cuppa (batch-brewed) Stumptown Coffee Holler Mountain

(It is such a shame that ქეთი მელუა[1] is just so d*rn ugly and can not sing a lick.)

The Red Sox are playing the Rubbah-Game against the D*mn Yankees this morning (well, it is afternoon Back East at the Way-by-the-Fens Park) and it is being broadcast on TBS (which I am able to watch on TeeVee for a change), so I wanted to be able to eat an early breakfast and keep it pretty local. Hence, I just went back to Velo Rouge Café (see last 'blog-entry from Monday, July 4th, 2016 ~ C'est l'esprit!) pour mon petit déjeuner.

I have already had a few of the breakfast items that are served at Velo Rouge Café. There are still a few other remaining ideas (off both their Weekend Specials and standard Breakfast menus):

Velo Rouge French Toast ~ with fresh fruit and powdered sugar;

Arguello Breakfast ~ two eggs any style served with two slices of 9-grain or sourdough toast and grilled country potatoes (this is all pretty basic, but their homefries are pretty good, anyway);


(the most-unfortunately monikered) Jack Johnson Banana Pancakes (which, according to their "web-site" used to be more convincingly named "Major Taylor[2] Banana Nut Pancakes") ~ with almonds and fruit (if they ever decide to go back to the original name, I might even think of ordering this dish upside-down).

(That bokeh-effect was done on purpose. Well, that is my story. The End.)

This dish was another HUGE plate and was piled high with lotsa (good) junk. This was a very good rendition of Huevos Rancheros, too.  I am always impressed when "just a coffeehouse/café" has "real" food and potatoes (and, in this case, very good potatoes and in a good-sized portion, too) that they can prepare. Unlike a lot of "coffeehouses/cafés", this place actually has a full kitchen in which to prepare the food (much more like an authentique café français than your typical 'merican coffeehouse). And this place also offers very good Coffee (ou Café), which should be a given with a "coffeehouse/café", but, sadly, is not always the case.

Initially, I was thinking of ordering a pastry to eat while waiting for the meal to arrive. Luckily, I did not, as this was (like yesterday's meal) a LOT of food to consume and finish.

Also according to their "web-site" (which has not been updated since November 20th, 2014), they used to only serve exclusively Blue Bottle Coffee (which I had on my first two visits there). However, like many local coffeehouses/cafés joints lately, they have gone away from that local roastery now. I can not specify why they did so, but in talking with other coffeehouses and restaurants, it was due to Blue Bottle Coffee 
overcharging and expanding on their own. It is all good. Stumptown Coffee is a very decent brand, anyway; even if they aren't locally-sourced from San Francisco.

Velo Rouge Café offers a pretty decent selection in the way of  the condimentary supplements: Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce), Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce, Louisana's Pure Crystal® Hot Sauce, Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, and two types of Pico Pica® (Hot Sauce and Taco Sauce). I used some of my own Dat'l Do-it® Scorching Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) on the potatoes only; the salsa on the Huevos was already pretty flavourful and I didn't need to subsidise it with any extra heat.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Huevos Rancheros ~ 6.9;
Stumptown Coffee Holler Mountain ~ 7.2


1. Yeah, right!


Saturday, August 19, 2017

the little chihuahua

Place: the little chihuahua

Location: 292 Divisadero Street (between Haight and Page Streets)

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

Meal: Breakfast (even though it is listed on their "Brunch" menu) Burrito ~ a toasted flour tortilla stuffed with scrambled eggs, Jack cheese, your choice of beans (I chose black beans), fresh chopped cilantro & onions, Mexican potatoes, sautéed poblano chiles and onions (if anyone else is keeping count, that would be the second mention of "onions" in the ingredients) and smoky chile salsa; corn tortilla chips with salsas (of course); a glassa Piña agua fresca with the meal; (beforehand) a medium cuppa Peet's Coffee® Big Bang (Medium Roast); and (afterhand) a scoopa Basil Ice Cream and a scoopa Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream from Bi-Rite Creamery

(Uh-huh! It is a not unknown fact that Lloyd Edward Elwyn Robertson is a big [BANG!?] fan of Basil Ice Cream. However, it is not known whether either Neanderthals or Australopithecuses [Australopitheci?] liked Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream[1].)

Because it has been over a year (and because I can), I returned to the little chihuahua (see last 'blog-entry from Sunday, July 10th, 2016) for breakfast (well, "Brunch") again this morning. I went back to their original restaurant (taqueria, whatever) in the Lower Haight.

the little chihuahua only offers six different items on their "Brunch" menu from which to choose. I have chosen four of them thus far and leaving only:

Mexican French Toast (also known as Emperor Maximilian I Pain Perdu) ~ two French toast battered flour tortillas cooked fresh on the grill and served with plantains, applewood smoked bacon (which I would have either ochenta y seis-ed or quatre-vingt six-ed) and topped with warm maple-agave syrup


Breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) Tacos ~ two grilled flour tortillas (I would much rather see these be corn tortillas, though) filled with scrambled eggs, Mexican potatoes, sautéed poblano chiles and onions topped with a smoky chile salsa and fresh cilantro & onions (again with the double dose of "onions"? what's with all the onions at the little chihuahua? I thought onions were deadly to Dogs.), and served with your choice of beans; choose either: chorizo & Jack cheese or spinach & goat cheese (of course, I would have to go with the choice of espinacasqueso de cabra).

Having arrived well over an hour before the little chihuahua even opened, I stopped by the nearby Peet's Coffee® (the one that is just a block away from the Panhandle) to get a cuppa to enjoy for a pre-breakfastary perambulation through that area of Golden Gate Park.

the Wild Parrots of San Francisco Interlude

While I was there doing the perambulatory thing, I saw a mini-pandemonium (just one pair) of the Wild Parrots flying around the tall Eucalyptus trees near the western end of the Panhandle. I also did see several Robins, Crows-and/or-Ravens, and Little Brown Birds in that area of the park.

This was another great breakfast from the little chihuahua. It was a HUGE burrito and a lot of food. At first, I thought that it might not be enough food and I was going to order an additional side of Mexican potatoes, but with the size of the burrito and the chips and salsas, it was more than enough food for me (plus, I knew that I wanted to save room for Ice Cream after breakfast). I particularly liked that this was served in a grilled flour tortilla; that beats the steamed kind any day. I always love it when potatoes are already added into the main meal, too.

So far, I would have to rank their breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) entries as: (1) Stacked Enchiladas (which was not only my favourite dish of theirs, it was a Top Ten Favourite from the year that I had it, too); (2) Chile Relleno (while not quite as "stacked" as the enchiladas dish; it was pretty "buxom" all on its ownsome); (3) Breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) Burrito; and (4) Chilaquiles (which was okay, but I have had many better chilaquiles dishes elsewhere).

For condimentary supplementation, the little chihuahua truly exceeds the limit, Mr. Federation. They have six different fresh, homemade (taqueria-made, whatever) salsas in their salsa bar. I only used three ramekins this morning and had (in order of heat-level going from hottest to mildest):
(a) Habanero ~ not as espicy as you might think (well, not as spicy as I have become accustomed), but this is their hottest salsa; this also has a great flavour of fresh limes;
(b) Chipotle ~ with a great smoky chipotle flavour; also not really that picante; this is my favourite of the six that they offer;
(c) Roasted Tomato ~ very mild, but also very good; this one may be gringo picante, but, at this point in my chilli career, I could barely taste or feel any heat.
For what it is worth (or for what it is worthless), they also have bottles of the completely superfluous 
Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce on all the tables.

Burritos, Ice Cream, and Coffee?! If I could have only figured out some way to incorporate Pizza and Beer into this breakfastary sojourn, it would have been the perfect meal!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Breakfast (even though it is listed on their "Brunch" menu) Burrito ~ 6.7;
chips & salsas ~ 7.3;
Peet's Coffee® Big Bang ~ 7.1;
Bi-Rite Creamery Ice Creams ~ 7.1 (Caramel Popcorn) & 7.5 (Basil);
the Wild Parrots of San Francisco ~ 8.5


1. Many prominent anthro-apologists (and Dr. Sheldon Cooper) have claimed that Ice Cream and Caramel Popcorn fossils can be found as far back as the Miocene Epoch. 

If you don't believe me, then why do they call it Chocolate Chimps Ice Cream?!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dottie's True blue café

"Say it ain't so, Dottie... say it ain't so!"

Place: Dottie's True blue café

Location: 28 6th Street 
(on the corner of Stevenson Street)

Hours: open Thursday through Monday at 7:30am

Meal: Mascarpone Stuffed Cinnamon Pecan French Toast ~ pure maple syrup; and a cuppa (and 1-1/2 refillas) their house Coffee


Sacred bovines, Batman! In the space of the last two days, I have found out that two of my favourite breakfastary locations are either closing or changing hands. Yesterday I read on defacedbook that 
Cafe GoLo is closing (well, has already closed) their restaurant on Lombard Street. (Where will I go to get my pre-Super Bowl pastries now?! You can not keep expecting Tom Brady to win every Super Bowl without the extra-added mojo of Sweet Potato Tarts, ya know!) And this morning I saw the following signs in the front window at Dottie's True blue café (see last 'blog-entry from Saturday, July 15th, 2017):

There might be some good gnus in both of these (possibly). Cafe GoLo may re-open in the space that they have been trying to open their new endeavour, Grits, (for the past four years now!); however, that remains to be seen and when. And even with a new ownership, Dottie's True blue café should (per Kurt, at least) retain the same name and menu (and Specials; I made sure to ask Kurt if they will still offer the Zucchini Cakes, and he assured me that they will). 

"We shall see.", said the deaf-mute-blind man.

Anyway, I sat in "Seat #1" once again. I was the second "group" in line (behind a family of four), so I pretty much was guaranteed that corner seat at the counter-top overlooking the kitchen. The guy sitting next to me (that would be "Seat #2") was from Sweden and told me that he will be studying at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) for the next year. I forgot to ask him how to say "French Toast" in Swedish[1] (they probably put lingonberry butter on top of it instead of pure maple syrup, though). His English was perfect; he even asked for his eggs "sunny-side up", which is not a phrase I would expect them to learn in English 101 at Helsinki U[2].

I was pretty much set on ordering any version of French toast if it was available this weekend on their Specials board. Otherwise, I might have had to settle for the Zucchini Cakes once again. I liked this version of stuffed French toast; it was made with some kinda cinnamon-pecan bread, as best I could tell. Once again, this meal was deceptively more food than I first thought when it was placed in front of me. I just barely managed to finish (or swedish) the entire plate. I am glad that I did not get a side order of potatoes to go with the meal like I was planning on at first. I am also glad that I ordered a cuppa to go with breakfast this morning, because it really helped curb the latent sweetness of the dish. "But, Brian, you could have just skipped pouring any extra maple syrup on top, couldn't you?" Yeah, I "could have", but I "didn't"... so just mind yer own nose-wax!

As for condimentary supplements this morning, none were used, nor needed (other than the aforementioned maple syrup).

When one door closes, it does not necessarily mean an end. It just means that you need to get yourself another set of keys...

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Mascarpone Stuffed Cinnamon Pecan French Toast ~ 6.5


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

As best I can tell, the Swedes call "French Toast" ~ "fattiga riddare", which literally translates as "poor knight"; however, I do not know the origin of that nomenclature. Now I kinda wished that I had asked ol' Ole Olsen how to say "French toast" in Swedish.

2. "But, Brian, isn't Helsinki in Finland?!" 

Finland... Sweden... Switzerland... whatever...

Like it really makes a difference, it's all Scandinavian* to me, anyway...

*("But, Brian, Finland and Switzerland aren't really Scandinavian countries, are they?"

Just knock it off with all yer d*mn questions, already! This is a "Breakfast 'blog-thing", not no "Geometry 'blog-thing".)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Beanstalk Cafe

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses ~ #35

"A little ditty 'bout Jack & the Beanstalk..." ♫ 

(No official-type web-site thing.)

Place: Beanstalk Cafe

Location: 4555 California Street (on the corner of 8th Avenue); phonicular contact: (415) 742-4101

Hours: (Inner Richmond location) open every day of the week at 7:00am 

Meal: Bush Street (Sandwich) ~ bacon or sausage (which I 86-ed on both accounts), eggs (scrambled, of the nookular-prepared variety), mayo, Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and arugula; and a cuppa Contraband Coffee Black Market Blend

(What's today's EweToobular juxtaselection all about, you ask? Well, it's a well-known fact that little Johnny Cougar[1] is a big fan of cragels.)

Welcome to the 'hood, Beanstalk Cafe

I made my very first visit to this newest addition (or edition [probably not audition, though]) to Richmond (District) Coffeehouses this morning for breakfast (and, of course, for Coffee). Beanstalk Cafe has been open only four weeks now at their new Inner Richmond location. They have an original downtown/Nob Hill/
Union Square coffeeshop on Bush Street (hence the name of this morning's particular breakfastary entry) that has been operating there for a few years now 
(late 2013 or so, I believe).

The new space is a vast improvement and a lot more spacious than was previously available when it was still the coffeehouse known as Village Market (see previous/last 'blog-entry from Sunday, November 15th, 2015) and had to compete with actual grocery shelves. 
Currently, there is seating of: four tables for two; three tables for four; one large table for six (possibly more); and two other very cool seating areas in the front of the coffeehouse (in the two front window alcoves): one with a comfy-looking sofa and some chairs, and the other has four large comfy-chairs (even if you didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition).

(I particularly liked this transom[2] to nowhere. It was directly over my head this morning. I asked the owner/manager-sorta guy-person, Collin[3], about it and he said that it was brand new and not a part of the original store. Way cool idea!)

I also really like that they are open at 7:00am (and every morning). I will never understand why so many coffeehouses/cafés do not open until 9:00am (or later). Isn't the whole point of a "Coffee"-joint to be able to provide the public with a good cuppa early in the morning before they get to work?!

There are only a few breakfast choices on their menu, but they do have another item called a Toast Cup that I would like to try one of these days. From pictures that I have seen on yelp*, etc., it looks pretty intriguing. The only way I can describe it is that it is a cup made out of some toast slices with an egg, bacon, and cheese in it.

This sandwich is normally served on an organic Acme rustic roll, but they were nice enough to substitute (and at no extra cost, I might add [or subtract, I suppose ~ with my 86-ation of the dead, decaying porcine products, they charged me $3.00 less for the sandwich, anyway; so the Coffee ended up basically being a freebie; don't worry, so that it would all work out in the wash, I made sure to leave a $3.00 tip for the baristo/counter-person guy (whose name I think was "Snow"[?], I only asked him just before I was leaving and can not be sure)])[4] this on a "cragel" (which is a portmanteau of "croissant" and "bagel") for me. (Hmmmm?! Maybe they will now make a new vegetarian sandwich entry on their menu and call it the "California Street"...) I really enjoyed the cragel (and just because I abhor the portmanteaued word "Brunch" [it's not so much the word that I dislike, it's the entire "Brunchified" attitude that I hate], does not mean that I am averse to all forms of portmanteauery) and highly-recommend it; not just as a sandwich basis, but also for the idea/conception of it all.

I was informed by Collin that they get all their bagels from House of Bagels™ and their baked goods/breads from the Acme Bread Company in an effort to keep everything locally produced and sourced (and seeing as House of Bagels™ is located just ten blocks or less away, that is a pretty d*rn local production and source, if you ask me).

I love when a coffeehouse serves a d*rn good cuppa (it is in their name, after all). And from previous experiences, I knew that Contraband Coffee was/is a d*rn good cuppa. I was told by the friendly and knowledgeable baristo/counter-person guy (Snow or not?) that this is sorta their Mocha-Javanese blend/roast. They usually offer two ready to go/already-brewed blends; this morning's other roast/blend was a Colombia roast/blend. They also offer the one cuppa/pour-over versions of both of these roasts/blends as well as an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (which I think I had before at Contraband Coffee's own coffeehouse on Nob Hill and seemed to remember really liking). They have bags of all three types of Coffee for sale (which I will keep in mind for the next time I am outta Coffee ~ I am currently still working through four different bags in my refrigerator), too.

Beanstalk Cafe offers just Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce and Huy Fong Foods, Inc.® Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (Collin stated that this was his wife's hot sauce input) for condimentary supplementation. Not really knowing what to expect in the way of food, I only came prepared with a couple of my own hot sauces and used some Old St. Augustine Snake Bite Datil Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on one half of the sandwich only.

I am not quite sure when I might get back there again for breakfast, but I do hope to return for Coffee and/or lunch again sometime soon.

"Oh yeah, life goes on, 
long after the thrill of Coffee is gone... " ♫ 

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Bush Street ~ 6.4 (and I would give the cragel a 6.7 all on its ownsome);
Contraband Coffee Black Market Blend ~ 7.3


1. I have an old Greek import (well, seeing as I bought it in Greece when I was living there, it's not really an "import", but it was pressed there) album (as in vinyl) that has the artist's name printed as "Johnny Cougar - A Biography" on the cover. I kid you not.

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

The word for "transom" in Korean is "트랜 섬 창" ("teulaen seom chang")*. 

I only mention this because I think Collin is of Korean dissent himself. 

*(I wonder if all of that translates to "What is that?" in German.)

3. During the course of breakfast, I found time to bore stiff... er... discourse with Collin on several coffeehouse-related (and some not-related) topics. I grilled... er... asked him about why he went with the Coffee roastery choice that he did, etc. From past experiences, I knew Contraband Coffee to be a very good (and very locally produced/roasted) Coffee already. We also talked about hot sauces (of which I emphasized how great [and also local... well, Palo Alto-local] Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce is and that he should maybe look into getting some for the restaurants). And because they have a Beer & Wine license, I suggested they might want to carry some Founders Brewing Co. (which, while not really being San Francisco-local, is still a small-ish 'merican-local brewery... at least for now until they are eaten up by the likes of those bastages at AB InBev or Heineken N.V.).

Collin also informed me of a another good, local small roastery in the Sunset called Andytown Coffee Roasters. I may need to make a specific breakfastary trip there in the future.

4. I think I may have gotten all that obfuscatory paranthetical punctuation correct there, but possibly not.