Tag Archives: Breakfast

South Pine Cafe Omelet Review located in Nevada City, California

I glance up at a woman who sits down at the table next to us.  She has a look that could easy blend into any line at the grocery store, pass through airport security, and possibly teach a Sunday school.  I smile at her and return to the joys of my South Pine Cafe Omelet.

This particular omelet delights my palette with mushrooms, spinach, red onions, corn salsa, jack cheese topped with red/green pesto.  Despite the delicious taste of the pesto my eyes keep looking at the woman.  What about her holds my attention.  She has a middle class put together appearance.  It not like she’s is wearing a midwestern militia patch.  She laughs and engages in friendly banter.  Then my eyes become fixated on the stack of napkins by her plate.

That’s it the napkins!  How odd for a person who looks so well adjusted to need such a huge pile of napkins.  Obviously she’s on a date with her life skills coach mastering the technique of public breakfast edict.

I whisper to Veronica, “Check out the pile of napkins.  A stack that large requires a big mess.  Watch out at any moment she may start pouring ketchup all over her face or hurl bits of omelet at the other tables.”  As I say this I pretend to hide behind Veronica’s back dodging chunks of egg.

Veronica laughs, “I guess we’ll see.  Did you know my mouth to hand eye coordination is so advanced that I wager I only need to use a half a napkin from start to finish?”

I didn’t make the wager.  Veronica is so clean that she can go four days without taking a shower.

6 cups of coffee, 2 clean plates and a half used napkin later the woman across from us finishes without incident.  She takes the pile of napkins and tosses them on her plate. To my disappoint I look at Veronica, “Let’s go.  That was anticlimactic.  I don’t understand why the woman across from us tries to pass her self off as mentally challenged?”

That afternoon as I sit naked with my toes in the Yuba River and reflect upon the pile of napkins.  I wonder how much of the environment is destroyed out of fear and paranoia of a ketchup dribble.  Why don’t people simply use a napkin as they dribble.  One napkin at a time?  Does the madness end with the napkin?  What about sanitary napkins?  What about adult incontence pads?  7% of landfill waste is attributed to adult diapers.

It saddens me to observe the woman at the restaurant toss perfectly good napkins but it disturbs me more to think she might daily put on a precautionary adult diaper then throws it away because she’s afraid some poo might dribble out of her ass onto her pants.

Click on this link to learn more about adult diapers and how worms can eat a diaper.
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/adult-diapers-clog-landfills-too.html

South Pine Cafe
Nevada City, California
110 South Pine Street
Nevada City, CA 95959

530.265.0260
Hours:
8am – 3pm 7 days a week

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The Kneadery located in Ketchum, Idaho

Angry bear wants to eat omelet eaters

While eating an omelet I face a mean looking bear with arms extended, menacing claws and a snarl that shows off large human eating size teeth.  I’m not afraid of a dead bear it’s just unnerving to be in a restaurant with an animal that looks like it wants to kill me in body and probably in spirit.  Maybe a slice of Kneedery’s organic Bigwood sourdough bread on top of the bears head followed by a tomato and lettuce would take the edge off.  The restaurant buzzes like a hive.  The server is polite but engages in short direct menu related talk.  I figure this isn’t the time to present my bear sandwich thought.  Instead I choose another chair at the table that faces this dowey eyed dead cow.  There that’s much better.

The Kneadery
260 Leadville Ave
Ketchum, Idaho

The Sweet Berries Cafe located in Homer, Alaska

Serve Me up a Microwaved Omelet laid out on a Plate of Chinese Panties
Sweet Berries Cafe Homer Alaska
The person who likes to microwave
eggs
while wearing
Chinese panties
wears a smile
stepping into the cafe.

The Sweet Berries Cafe
greets their customers
with something unAmerican:

American products,
cast iron, stainless steel pots,
oven mitts,
and blueberry desserts
line the shelves.

Despite his love for the beep beep,
love of radiation death,
and a love for the feel
of slave labor undergarments,
he loves The Sweet Berries Cafe.

Occasionally, a delicious omelet
made with fresh ingredients
strikes his fancy,
like the time
he stopped watching
iPhone cinema
to visit a movie house.

In an odd world surrounded by freshness,
stainless steel, and cast iron
he comfortably sits.
Underneath the layers of
Carhartt and XtraTuffs
that is Alaskan fashion,
a little pair of Chinese panties
keeps him comfy.
Sweet Berries Cafe Homer Alaska 1

Author’s note:
Special thanks to the friendly service at The Sweet Berries Cafe. When Kimmy, our server, found out we needed a ride back to Girdwood Alaska Backpackers Inn, she hooked us up with Lenny, owner of Kharacters Alaskan Bar. Coincidently, we had spent the previous evening at Kharacters listening to Yellow Cabin. The band with its distorted guitar, thumping stand up bass, melody driven keyboard, and the switching of vocals between the group made the music widely enjoyable. The female vocalist has a unique stylistic quality that separates the Siouxsie, Kazu Makino, Karen O, and Neko Case type vocalists from the ordinarily good. The band has a danceable beat that doesn’t wallow in the usual hippie type Alaskan crowd pleasing music that I’ve seen at every festival in Girdwood. The bar did not charge a cover. Instead, the drink price went up 50 cents when the band started. This way people who only want a beer or two and not sure if they will like the band are not turned away by an overly ambitious door cover.

Boise, Idaho: Merritt’s Country Cafe (video)

Click here to watch.

Traveler Brandon Follett is delighted to find a greasy cure for homesickness at Merritt’s.

Red Feather Lounge located in Boise, Idaho

Chirp, Chirp!!!!!!!


Thomas Paul at the Red Feather Lounge.

With the outbreaks of salmonella and e-coli, some eaters are starting to question the quality of veggies and meat sold in restaurants.  People are curious to know if the beef stuck between their teeth was fed too much corn and had to be dragged into the slaughterhouse by a chain wrapped around an ankle or did the cow finish its last meal of green grass, then skip with a smile to its death like in a Disney cartoon.

At Red Feather Lounge, the menu boasts fresh ingredients backed up by a list of farms at the bottom of the menu where the restaurant purchased the vegetables and eggs to make my delicious Huevos Rancheros. While digesting the Morning Owl Farm duck eggs, I start to ponder the question – which came first, the chicken or the cage?

Most birds that I have been introduced to have names like Chipper the parakeet, or Henrietta and Karl the lovebirds.  These birds live in cages, and after the newness wears off, seem to annoy their owners who have to selflessly feed and clean their cages with only the thanks of a helpless little bird in a cage to gawk upon.

I don’t quite understand the fascination with the caged bird.  I can understand the corporate farmers with their beakless small caged birds because money can make any crime bearable for the majority.  As I consider the question of non-capitalist bird owners, my thoughts float away to the zoo.  I envision a couple on a date:

A man looks at the zoo birds.  “I wish I could have one of those bald eagles in a really small cage on my night stand, do you?”

The woman replies, “Yes.”

The man grabs her hand and says, “How do you feel about going back to my love nest?  You can meet my lovebirds.  I named them Joy and Happiness.  Even though they are lovebirds, I keep Joy and Happiness in separate cages across the room because I like surround sound.  For dinner I’ll prepare foie gras.  We’ll stuff ourselves ‘til our stomachs become as bloated as a goose’s liver.  Afterwards, I’ll put on my yellow Big Bird outfit.  You can tie me up and ruffle my feathers.  I want to be your lovebird.  Chirp, CHIRP!!!”

The woman, “Okay.”

Not realizing his date likes to pretend she’s an insane cat named Sylvester who kills birds for pleasure, the next morning the man makes omelets more slowly than usual. He hobbles over to the refrigerator and takes out a white styrofoam container of eggs.  With pride he opens up the container containing the aryan eggs.  He looks at her with excited eyes, “I figured you would spend the night so I bought an 18 pack.”  As he cracks the eggs, he recites his poem.

“Millions of hens raised for their eggs
spending their lives in battery cages
stacked tier upon tier in huge warehouses
no blue ribbons for these laying hens

seven or eight birds to a cage
not enough room to turn or spread a wing
stacked tier upon tier in huge warehouses
beakless and stressed is a look that never wins

no thoughts of blue ribbons for these laying hens
stacked tier upon tier in huge warehouses
beakless and stressed is a look that never wins
tier upon tier in hu-u-ge warehouses

I love the machine that provides the means
to force chickens to produce cheap eggs
stacked tier upon tier in huge warehouses
not enough room to turn or spread a wing”

The woman starts to purr and rub herself against the counter.  The man stops singing.

She is now on all fours crawling toward him, meowing.  He turns off the stove.

Flapping his arms like a chicken, he runs to the bedroom to put on his yellow Big Bird outfit, yelling, “CHIRP! CHIRP!!!”

Morning Owl Farm ducks

Morning Owl Farm ducks

Strazzilicious Omelets (guest omelet review)

written by the Strawberry Girl

Dear Friends,

To usher her way into her sophomore effort, the Strawberry Girl decided to take her Fieldwork into another direction. In keeping with the omelet theme, she decided to declare her favorite omelets in some of her favorite American towns. Beware; the Strazzie ‘best of five’ general voting criterion, which is quite subjective…and created, voted, collected and compiled by the same person. Still, the Strawberry Girl can’t help but share some of her best cross-country omelet memories; the good, the bad and the OK.

BOISE, IDAHO

3 ½ Strazzies; Boise is definitely the most affordable of the five reviewed restaurants.

Best Bang-For-Your-Buck Omelet: the super-sized omelets of the historic Trolley House (1821 Warm Springs Ave., 208-345-9255) are enough to conceal a small child and made from the freshest ingredients the Strawberry Girl’s ever had in the Treasure Valley.

Best Non-Traditional Omelet: the reasonably-proportioned omelets soufflés of Bardenay (155 E Riverside Dr., Eagle, ID 208-939-5093) are deceiving at first, but the taste and presentation of each ingredient really gets to be enjoyed.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

4 ½ Strazzies; San Francisco is the hometown of the Strawberry Girl…need we say more?

Best Hangover Omelet Period: Dottie’s True Blue Café (522 Jones St, 415-885-2767) is hidden in Civic Center Plaza, where urban decay and cheap rent meets hipsters- and Dottie truly does know how to satisfy the groggy-headed morning-after crowd.

Best Vegan Omelet: Though not an omelet in the traditional sense, the substituted egg for tofu at Herbivore (983 Valencia St. 415-826-5657) is so hearty and flavorful, it’s a nice break from the norm.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

4 Strazzies; the Strawberry Girl apologizes- she was not forth coming. She is, in fact, part Apple.

Best Manhattan Omelet: Overlooking bus Canal and Broadway Streets, 416 B.C. (416 Broadway, 212-625-0981) serves a traditional Bulgarian dish called a kravarma, which is a hearty vegetable goulash wrapped in a thick egg crepe.

Best Brooklyn Omelet: Maggie Brown’s (455 Myrtle, 718-643-7001) reminds the Strawberry Girl of the old TV show Mel’s Diner, only with great food!

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

3 ¾ Strazzies; Vegas is an out of control, landlocked, gangster’s paradise and home to some great restaurants; for both the disconcerting palette and the no-nonsense diners.

Best Vegas Omelet Period: There is absolutely nothing pretentious about this establishment; the name and the reputation speak for themselves. The Omelet House (702-384-6868, 2160 W Charleston Blvd.) is a Vegas chain that has three equally awesome locations, but the Strip is the Strip.

Best Vegas Casino Omelet: The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino has every freaking type of restaurant you could possibly crave; all open 24/7 and all mean business. But Raffles Diner (3950 Las Vegas Blvd., 702-632-7406) stole the Strawberry Girl’s heart and further fueled her fantasy of time-traveling for a martini brunch with the Rat Pack.

 

Chef Lou’s at 8th Street located in Boise, Idaho

Breaking Habits

chef-lou-omelet.jpg
Saturday morning, I call Chef Lou’s at 8th Street to find they serve breakfast all day. I like this because time and sleepiness are usually the biggest enemies of omelet eating. I go back to bed and sleep in peace.

My first Chef Lou experience was at the impressionable age of 12. I rode in the back of my parents’ vehicle to the Western Idaho Fair. Between the goats, amusement rides, and hordes of people, I tasted my first Chef Lou meal–an ice cream potato. As a kid, the best way to celebrate the ending to a great Idaho summer was a plate of ice cream styled with cinnamon and whipped cream to look deceitfully like Idaho’s famous tuber.

Now I celebrate the end of summer with a leisurely bike ride down the Greenbelt from Garden City. The beginning of fall is one of the best times to cruise the Greenbelt: the aspens are changing color, the water levels in the Boise River have dropped to expose riverbanks, and there is less traffic to clog the narrow paved trail. My ride takes me through the Anne Frank Memorial and past the Library! to historic 8th Street.

Something else you should know about Chef Lou: besides being the proud parent of the Idaho ice cream potato, Chef Lou runs the popular Westside Drive-in, voted Boise’s Best Drive-in for the past eight years. As you know, many successful drive-in restaurant owners tend to a pattern of clogging the roadways with more drive-ins or locating smaller versions of their restaurants in truck stops or airports. Chef Lou has broken this trend by opening Chef Lou’s at 8th Street, which is not another Westside Drive-in but a one-of-a-kind restaurant located in a pedestrian friendly area of downtown Boise.

Chef Lou’s resides in one of the old brick buildings on 8th Street. We settle into a comfy booth, and the host brings out a carafe of freshly brewed coffee. Footballs fly across three television screens placed in a feng shui way throughout the restaurant so that not a single diner will miss out on the televised action.

If you are trying to break a Saturday football habit of not showering, drinking cheap beer, eating cardboard pizza and taking long trips to the bathroom with your fantasy football magazine, then Chef Lou’s might be a needed change. A person can watch his or her favorite team while enjoying an omelet and frothy cappuccino.

The menu does not offer a predestined omelet selection. The omelets at Chef Lou’s are similar to fantasy football. I agree with the football fan who wants all his or her favorite players on one team. I like my omelet veggies and cheeses to not be limited by the Denver omelet team or the meat eaters omelet team. Chef Lou lets the omelet connoisseur create his or her fantasy omelet with a variety of different cheeses, meats, and veggies. I overheard one football fan say, “My first football fantasy was to be the player with the ball and have all those large men chase me and then pile up on me. Now my football fantasy is to have all my favorite football men wrapped up in an omelet for me to eat.”

Besides the bright televisions inside Chef Lou’s, the brick walls boast black and white photos of an older Boise. The pictures leave the omelet eater and football fan with a sense that Chef Lou’s will be a Boise establishment for generations to come.
chef-lou-room.jpg

Cricket Cafe located in Portland, Oregon

Jesus tastes mmmm good
cricket-cafe.jpg

At the Cricket Café in Portland, Oregon, I have to keep pulling myself upright. The slick booth and gravity keep dragging me to the floor. I’m suffering from the indulgence of a night out on the town. The hangover has rendered me almost speechless, and I can only stare at my friend, Eric, across the table.

eric-and-omelet.jpg

The only thought my mind is willing to contemplate: ‘What the hell was I doing last night?’ I’m too old to be living this lifestyle. My throat is sore, nasal passages burn, head hurts, and stomach feels queasy. The omelet is good but bed sounds better. I should be feeling upbeat and happy about trying fake sausage in my omelet for the first time.

I am not a god-fearing individual, but an odd thing takes place at the Cricket Café that many Christians claim can happen in moments like these. I hear the door open and look up to see an angel. The woman does not have large angel wings but large breasts and a t-shirt that reads “Jesus.”

I never had faith in the divine, but the way I’m feeling I’m willing to take a chance on the idea that Jesus might use angel breasts and silkscreen to speak to me. I decide to open my heart and listen for Jesus’s soft voice. This is what I hear:
“Brandon, I want you to become a disciple of consumer Jesus. Everything you purchase must be in my name. This includes everything from automobiles to plastic toys and ashtrays.”

All of a sudden, I see a flash of light and these images.

truck_jesus.jpg

jesus-coach.jpg

jesus_ashtray_l.jpg

I feel like the Apostle Paul thrown off his horse.
“Jesus, I will give my life to your ministry of consumerism. Lord, can I do more than just max out my credit card in your name?”

Jesus appears in a business suit. “Yes, son, you can help me with my specialty food line. I need a product as popular as cheap fast food hamburgers and tastes as good as bacon. I want you to promote my new line of food on Earthworm Envy. Here’s my idea based loosely around that fake sausage in your omelet. You eat a fake pig. Why not eat a fake Jesus?”

last_supper.jpg

He opens his Last Supper lunch box and pulls out some drawings. One drawing shows a stick figure cutting Jesus open with a fork and knife. Another shows Jesus’s open chest cavity with little lambs inside wearing dollar sign necklaces. In the last drawing, a stick figure has a little lamb on his fork and says, “Jesus tastes like lamb.”

Jesus proudly proclaims, “I was the first to promote fake meat. Do you remember my words at the Last Supper? Take this bread and eat it, for this is my flesh.” He straightens his tie, raises his arms and continues, “Consumer Jesus disciples and heathens need Jesus fake meat. There’s a lot of evil and money to be made in this world, and if I can’t be in the sinners’ hearts, then at least I’ll be in their bellies! Can I get an Amen?”

Poof! Jesus disappears and my body quivers. I feel rejuvenated and bounce up and down in the booth like a young 22-year-old with a hangover drinking Red Bull. I eat the rest of my omelet with a glow and start muttering, “Amen, Jesus is my CEO and he tastes mmmm good!”

Palmer Cafe located in Stanley, Idaho

Hallelujah, Processed Food

photo taken at Sawtooth Fish Hatchery

While pedaling to lower Stanley, Idaho for an omelet, my eyes keep following the Salmon River. Right now, a majority of the Fish and Game salmon are returning to the fish hatchery. This is a remarkable feat because they float all the way to the big wide Pacific Ocean, and then for some reason, they decide to swim all the way back to where they are born in these large cement bathtubs.

A person can identify a fish hatchery salmon from a native salmon because the Fish and Game make sure to exclude the adipose fin from their salmon.

Cruising past the fish hatchery with my eyes still focused on the river, I see a bald eagle sitting on a post. We both happen to be looking at the same stretch of river. I feel bad for it because this week the Fish and Game have stopped stocking the Salmon River with rainbow trout for the season. I suppose it’s time for the eagle to fly south where it’s warm and where the rivers are stocked year round. Taking a closer look at the bald eagle, I notice it has all of its body parts. I don’t think the eagle was hatched by the Fish and Game. I yell at the bird, “Shoo, shoo, fly to Alabama where it’s warm.”

Our eyes meet, but I don’t think the eagle understands. It remains sitting on the post. I suppose we are too different to connect. The eagle has mom and dad eagle parents; I have mom and dad human parents. With so many animals and fish bred in captivity, I bet test-tube babies can commune more naturally with nature, both being conceived in a similar sort of scientifically engineered environment. If I were a test-tube baby, I would want my animal spirit to be a Fish and Game hatched salmon. Like the fish hatchery salmon, when I have lived a full life, I will feel a tug on my heart and crawl to a rest home to die. Like the farm raised salmon in the grocery store, when I die, someone will come along and add some pink to my cheeks so that I may look presentable at my funeral.


I arrive at lower Stanley in time for breakfast. Choosing a restaurant in lower Stanley is easy because it does not have sprawl like upper Stanley. The town has to compete for space with Highway 75 in the middle, mountains to one side, and the Salmon River to the other.

The restaurant I choose, Palmer’s Café, is adjacent to a whitewater rafting company. I notice the person next to me eating pancakes off of disposable breakfast ware. His snow-white fork and knife do not have a smudge. His clean silverware a reminder that my hands are dirty. I get up to use the bathroom.

The men’s room is shared between the café and raft company. On the wall there are pictures of rafters in unsafe floating situations.

I think it odd that a raft company would voluntarily post pictures of possible drownings. The only other time I saw this odd advertising was in Thailand. The cigarette companies have to place a picture showing the consequences of smoking. So while lighting up, you get to admire tubes coming out of someone’s mouth and nose. The person looks like they could have lung cancer. I don’t think this form of advertising has slowed down the smokers or rafters. Teenagers and young adults love to flirt with death in the form of smoke and water filling the lungs.

The bathroom looks as if it hasn’t been cleaned for a while. The smudge of poop on the toilet leads me to this conclusion. To add to my horror, the soap dispenser does not have any soap.

The dirty bathroom reminds me of Anthony Bourdain’s cleanliness comments in Kitchen Confidential:
“I won’t eat in a restaurant with filthy bathrooms. This isn’t a hard call. They let you see the bathrooms. If the restaurant can’t be bothered to replace the puck in the urinal or keep the toilets and floors clean, then just imagine what their refrigeration and work spaces look like. Bathrooms are relatively easy to clean. Kitchens are not. In fact, if you see the chef sitting unshaven at the bar, with a dirty apron on, one finger halfway up his nose, you can assume he’s not handling your food any better behind closed doors. Your waiter looks like he just woke up under a bridge? If management allows him to wander out on the floor looking like that, God knows what they’re doing to your shrimp!”

Despite agreeing with Mr. Bourdain that poop on the toilet seat should raise a red flag, I have already ordered my food and I’m hungry enough to risk an afternoon of being sick. Don’t get me wrong, thoughts of dirty fingers touching my omelet scare me. I calm myself by visualizing latex-gloved fingers cracking eggs, American cheese protected by plastic wrap, beans spooned out of a freshly opened can, and salsa squeezed out of a tube. I can’t believe I’m saying out loud, “Thank god for processed food!”

Here comes my omelet on a paper plate. Oh, fuck. It looks fresh.

Somewhere in Cambodia (short film)

I’m eating a Cambodian-style fried egg omelet when I hear an oink-oink…


click photo to watch short film