Friday, March 30, 2007

Bocadillos, Clown Alley & St. Patrick's Tomfoolery
After my delightful brunch at Canteen, it was due time to catch up with my wine country afficionado and partner in crime, J-Anne. We also knew that this commemorative day would bring about much needed recognition for the bishop and patron saint who converted many a pagan to Christianity. Indeed, it is also a day to celebrate Bobby Flay, Frank McCourt, The Corrs, hurling, James Joyce, and Enya. We decided to visit the Church of Scientology, after an evening at Monaghan's in the Marina. Oh, how I look forward to the roaring 20s years.

As per our last encounter, church employees draw you in and never really allow you to leave. They will redirect you to another part of the church, or offer you refreshments, but you will never just freely amble out the door. Being the masochists we are, we ventured in right into the lair of the devil himself. This time, however, we were quite successful at bypassing all the workers with glazed-over eyes dressed in gaudy suits. After we examined the strategically placed exhibits, we somehow ended up at a platter of grapes and cheese in the back of the church. Since it was a pungent block of gouda, our favorite, we could care less if it were laced with scientology drugs. While this was satisfying, it only whet our appetite for more.

Thankfully, Bocadillos was right across the street. "Do they have desserts?", I wondered aloud. Indeed, they had dulce and frutas, which we supposed meant just that.

Warm coconut bread pudding with raisins and pineapple 6

The bread pudding had a great texture, interspersed with raisins and fresh coconut shavings. I also enjoyed the pineapple gelee, which supplemented the coconut in making this a nicely "exotique" bread pudding.

Macaroon "luzien" with pistachio ice cream 6

We were not nearly as successful with the macaroon, however. Although we were sitting at the bar next to the kitchen, the dessert had been sitting out and the ice cream arrived melted, though, the bigger problem lay in the macaroon itself. The bottom was so hard to cut apart that it reminded me of King Arthur's stubborn sword in the stone. The top was more managable, but the macaroon was just plain dense and hard.

By the time we finished our desserts, it approached 9. We promptly headed over to the SF Design Center, where Bloc Party was playing. Even more incomprehensible than the band's pronunciation of words was the diversity of the crowd. Present were people of all ages, sizes, and shapes. Unlike suppose, a Radiohead concert where one would find 99% "Seattle" types, the Bloc Party concert had middle aged LLBean types in a crowd along with the hs-aged Forever 21s. It makes you wonder--are they here for Bloc Party, or did they really think there was a block party (albeit mispelled)?

In any case, we stayed til the end, and got up close and personal with the band at 330 Bitch Street. By then, we had also grown quite hungry. We thought of Clown Alley, the quirky burger joint open until 3 on weekends. The magenta & turquoise colored paintjob is hard to miss in the surrounding locale of grey sterile buildings.


The workers here are really great at multitasking. While taking your order, they will be alternating Spanish with someone on the phone, while taking down another 10 to go orders from someone who cut from the side. Genius, I tell you.

Note to self: when visiting Clown Alley on St. Patrick's day, do not expect to use the establishment's bathroom. You might just catch an STD breathing in the air.


Chili Fries 3.50

Cheeseburger 5.20

I enjoyed my cheeseburger, though I would've preferred my meat more rare. Other than that, it was a tasty morsel of food, complete with toasted bread, melted cheese, and even some vegetables. It was a delightful way to end an evening chockfull of tomfoolery.

3259 Pierce St.

710 Montgomery St.

Clown Alley
42 Columbus Ave.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I am back from my weeklong spring break in the SF Bay Area that consisted primarily of food and contributing my part in stimulating the economy. I will probably be posting about bay area restaurants for a while to alleviate some of my backlog. The Friday consisted of a long day of flying that included me eating a barely edible turkey & swiss in the Dallas airport, while waiting for another delayed flight. I decided to reward myself with a trip to my brunch staple, Canteen in the Commodore Hotel. I've posted about it before, so I won't bore you with a similar review.

Eggs Benedict

I absolutely adore Canteen's eggs benedict. The eggs are poached perfectly, but most of all, I enjoy their hollandaise, which is light and smooth.

Strawberry French Toast

Their French toast is also excellent, with the softest, juiciest pieces of bread that soaks up every last bit of the strawberry juice. I also like how the "syrup" isn't starchy and overly sweet.

Apple Pancake

While the pancake itself is perfectly smooth and fluffy, I found the apples a bit undercooked and hard in contrast. I also wish that the entire thing were evenly browned, since I found myself gravitating toward the westerly hemisphere.

Roast Beef Sandwich

The real star of the meal turned out to be the roast beef sandwich that rarely appears on the menu. Thinly sliced pieces of warm, tender, juicy, medium rare beef comes sandwiched between two slices pieces of toasted, seedy bread. With a crunchy exterior and soft textury interior, the bread comes topped with sesame and poppyseed. This also comes with a homemade mayonnaise-ish type condiment. Subtely hearty is how I would describe this brilliant beefy gift to man.

817 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 928-8870