Fool for France

I want to eat here every day.

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Sorry for the fuzzy image but you get the idea. I love my life in France, no question, but I’m just north of San Francisco right now, so I stopped into a place I’ve been wanting to try for ages and seriously, I want to move around the corner from this place and eat here every day. Keep the Louvre. I want a reliable source of good, cheap tacos.

There is how we were raised and then there is how that morphs into what we become. I was your basic white kid who morphed into your basic old white lady. 

The thing is, I grew up in a largely Hispanic neighborhood and spent a lot of time in Baja. So tamales, carnitas, guacamole, that’s all pretty normal for me. At home in Paris I have started slipping cumin into everything. I have been thinking I need to learn how to make tortillas because those Old El Paso things from the HyperU just don’t cut it.  In my souvenir pile are seed packets for cilantro and tomatillos.

The other thing is, I love a good coffee shop. Back in the day, you could smoke indoors. So the parents would settle in with their coffee and cigarettes and, just for a little while, stop arguing. It was heaven. To this day, eggs with hash browns, burgers and fries, my my my, talk about your comfort food.

Over time I developed a taste for something a little healthier than fried potatoes with everything but I still like the old stuff. So what a treat to find a coffee shop run by somebody who could have sat in my high school home room, who also morphed in many of the same ways. From the outside the Shoreline Coffee Shop looks pretty old school. Inside, nope. They stripped out the linoleum and the Naugahyde booths, preferring polished concrete and molded plywood seating. While the food is organic, local, all that correct bla bla, you can still get a plate of fries. And the mix of Mexican — their term — and Marin is brilliant. 

When I get home, just as soon as the cilantro and tomatillos come up, I’ll be making some of those duck confit tacos. And when I work out an acceptable approximation of their cumin vinaigrette, I might possibly share it. Maybe.

13 Replies to “I want to eat here every day.”

    1. It was. They used mild vinegar and olive oil. It is possible that there was a little grated Parmesan, too, but I may be getting a little inventive here. Maybe crumbled queso fresco? How will I find that in France? I’ll start with the basic ingredients and go from there.

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  1. Whenever I return to england the first thing I do is seek out an English Breakfast. All of it – eggs, bacon, beans, tomatoes, fried bread (yes really), mushrooms and sausage. It is not the same as a breakfast here. He is wonderful, English is the taste of my childhood and nothing will ever quite touch that.

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    1. Definitely. And California comfort food is this weird mix. Bacon and eggs, Mac and cheese, egg foo young, tacos, it could be anything. It’s great fun when I come back, weeks of eating my way through the options.

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        1. Really? You know we will want a full report. I find that while I remember those places fondly, I never actually enjoy eating in them now. These hybrid places are much more to my taste. They have become kind of a guilty pleasure because my birth family would never go to the Shoreline. It’s too expensive and way too healthy. It’s actually my assembled, adult “family,” to whom I may not be related who goes to them.

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          1. I will be writing a piece on the results of my research but I can report that the conversations around me were priceless and I could barely get off my stool at the end due to enormous food 😉

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          2. Wait until you have had a couple dozen of those meals. And check the older regulars. Too often they look like solid blocks of hydrogenated oil! “You are what you eat” never rang so true. Lol. Have some hash browns for me, okay? I must admit, I love that stuff.

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    1. Ah, Roger, such a pleasure to hear from your gentle self. Yes, as you so rightly surmised, Naugahyde is the pelt of the now-endangered naugha. So endangered are these temple guardians of Southeast Asia that they are sometimes even referred to as “mythical beasts,” placed in the same category as unicorns and dragons. Lies, Roger, all lies.

      Naughas once roamed freely in the forests just north of San Francisco, living on wild nuts and berries. During my childhood they were hunted for sport. Their sturdy and glorious pelts were dyed hideous colors and used to upholster the cheesiest of automobiles and coffee shops. By the time of the Summer of Love, a golden era now forgotten by all but a few wise elders, they were so rarely found that their sightings were greeted by astonishment, even skepticism. “Dude, seriously, it was the acid,” was heard throughout the land, a statement made by disbelievers, propagandists and Naugha hunters, bent on getting that last beast for themselves.

      The few remaining Naughas live in hiding now, in tight-knit communities shared with wood elves and the fabled foo dogs. May they be safe there until humans once again revere them as the sacred beasts they truly are.

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