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.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Gallardo's ~ Mexican Restaurant

"I love the smell of cilantro and corn tortillas in the morning... it smells like... desayuno mexicano."
~  Teniente Coronel Guillermo Kilgoré

(Still no official web-site.)

Place: Gallardo's ~ Mexican Restaurant

Location: 3248 18th Street 
(on the corner of Shotwell Street); 
phonicular contact: (415) 436-9387

Hours: open every day of the week at 7:00am

Meal: Huevos a la Mexicana ~ scrambled eggs with onions, tomatoes, & bell peppers; and a cuppa (and two refillas [well, seeing as I added mucha leche, these were probably closer to only 1-1/2 refillas]) Café a la Mexicana (this is where I actually add lots of cream or leche and two-to-three azúcares per cuppa [you know what they say: "When in Mexico City, do as the Romans do." ~ or something like that])

Sometimes you just feel like getting un típico desayuno mexicano[1] (even if Charlie surfs or doesn't). So, I made another return visit to Gallardo's ~ Mexican Restaurant (see last 'blog-entry from Monday, December 26th, 2016). This is such a nice little Mission-destination restaurant. I have only eaten there a few times now, but each and every meal has been very good.

When I do get back there again, there are still a few otras buenas ideas:

Huevos Rancheros ~ fries eggs on a tortilla topped with ranchera salsa & Monterey Jack;

Torta de Heuvo ~ scrambled eggs with onions, tomatoes, & bell pepper cooked in a crepe style;


Nopales Omelette ~  filled with melted cheese, onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, & cactus (which is what nopales is/are).

However, I don't think that I will ever be quite brave (I think the word in Spanish is "estúpido") enough to try the:
Banana Omelette ~ filled with melted cheese & banana (I can only assume [hope] that by "banana", they actually mean "plantain", which might make it a little more palatable, but even so...).

Okay, this may not be the prettiest of plates, but I ain't like those guys Bobby Flay or Alex Guarnaschelli[2]... I actually eat with my buccal cavity and not my optical organs. Beauty aside, this was a very decent and tasty scrambled-up mess. It maybe coulda used some fresh sliced jalapeños or serrano chillies in it, but that is just my preference. Gringo-wise, it was espicy enough once I added some of their homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) salsa into the mix.

They were a bit late in bringing out the fresh-made corn tortillas this morning (I was more than half-way done ~ I am not sure if that is an optimistic or pessimistic estimate, though ~ with the meal before they brought them out), and, because of esta tardanza, I feel it necessary to deduct 0.05 Glen Bacon Scale points. However, because there were actually four (¡Cuatro!) tortillas this morning in the warmer/holder-thing, and they were hot and fresh off the grill, I am adding 0.1 GBS points. Two tortillas are usually my limit, but I forced myself to eat three; no way was I gonna waste the good stuff.

As for condimentary supplementation, I simply used about four or five spoonfuls of their own homemade (restaurante-made, lo que sea) salsa muy sabrosa all over the scramble-mess. I did not even think about bringing any of my own hot sauces with me this morning. Who the h*ck brings their own Brown Ale to Newcastle upon Tyne?

Glen Bacon Scale Rating:
Huevos a la Mexicana ~ 6.45


1. Well, seeing as I have never really had breakfast in Mexico (the very few times that I was actually ever in Mexico was for afternoon or evening sojourns into Border-town Boys-towns), I have no real experience upon which to base this.

2. On the food network, they always seem to preach: "You eat first with your eyes..." 

Say wha'?! 

Well, if that is the case, I feel very sorry for Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli then.

I tell ya, I did try to eat with my eyes once before, but after poking myself several times with my four-pronged eating utensil, I decided I'd stick with the standard method of forcing food down me gullet instead.