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Saturday, March 25, 2006


It was a weird day in my part of the City today.

First, this weather has been more erratic than Paula Abdul. Is it going to thunderstorm or is it just going to be a heavy mist? Is it sunshining now? Cold? Warm? Windy? Is she happy or is she just drunk?

I don't get it.

Then, down at the baseball park, 25,000 youth shocktroops (and their shepards) for the New American Taliban are having a rock and roll/hip hop prayerfest which they say is "non-political", uh, except for that part where they held a rally on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, where, incidentally, 2 years ago the evil gays launched the Marriage Equality movement in the United States. But really, "we're not political".

(This just in: Bruce just got back from the Safeway closest to the prayerfest and said it was "nuts" and "packed with those damn Christians". The clerk at the checkout told him it was the same last night and that "they had stolen so much stuff, we had to call in extra security guards.")

Over at Moscone, the esteemed Learning Annex was holding a Get-Rich-Quick sideshow, uh, snakeoil, uh, scam artist, uh, "sucker born every minute", uh...really, I mean seminar that attracted thousands of true believers to worship and pray at the feet of secular capitalists priests like Donald Trump, Suze Orman, Tony Robbins, and the rich-dad-poor-dad guy.

Being a mere mortal and lowly human being, part of the animal kingdom as much as say, a hairy-eared dwarf lemur, the response of fight or flight kicked in and realizing I was outnumbered by jackasses, I jumped onto the L-Terrible (Taraval) and quickly headed towards the opposite end of town.

As if I had died and went the towards the light (Carol-Anne) at the end of the tunnel, when the train exited the underground at West Portal station, beams of sunlight shone down upon the sidewalks and the MUNI cars.

Uh, is the city giving these people extra sunlight cause they're wealthier and more politically connected? Is that why they call this area of town the Sunset? I may have to enact the Sunshine Law and find out.

The train let me off at 20th and Taraval, where it just so happens there's a cute little ol' hofbrau sitting on the corner. It's called the Chick-N-Coop and it's one of the few non-Asian restaurants in this little strip of a neighborhood within a neighborhood that looks down over the Pacific ocean.

The Chick-N-Coop looks like it has been there since the neighborhood was predominantly white. These days, that part of Taraval is predominantly Asian, with Asian politicians (and politicians), tropical fish stores, nail salons, and plenty of Asian places to eat like "Banh-wiches", "New Loi Mandarin Cuisine" (menu features a pork dish called "Ants Climb Up The Tree"), and "Szechuan Taste Restaurant". I guess you know where I'll be headed for dinner and lunch pretty soon!

Walking into the Chick-N-Coop, I was stunned by the clean and fresh scent in the air. The room wasn't dark and it was spacious.

Am I in the right place? First thing's first. I must pee.

That ride was long, and so I quickly set my coat and umbrella at a table and rushed to the men's room.

Oh, yeah. This is definitely a hofbrau alright.

After washing my hands and heading back out, I grabbed a tray and looked at the menu. You could buy a whole chicken here, but I stuck with the ¼ chicken. It came with mashed potatoes and gravy, as well as a side salad (got the ol' mac salad again!).

There were other meats to choose from, but I wanted to keep it real at the Chick-N-Coop, which is why I went with the chicken. The women behind the counter seemed pleased with my choice, although they were generally nice, so who knows. I couldn't make out the language they were speaking in to each other. It was like Spanish, but not Portuguese or Italian. Definitely not French.

Is there a colony of Esperanto speakers out in the Sunset?

As I sat at the table, I noticed the "frills". While the chair I sat in was off balance, the tables were clean, the chairs were all wooden, there were five-and-dime Hellenistic art pieces scattered about, and a lot of silk flowers and dangling plastic ivory.

This place is totally girly!

But yet it was a hofbrau!

There were the meats, sliced by hand, and the sides. There was sports (the ice skating championships) and even beer on tap (Budweiser and something frilly and wine cooler-like). There was a bar that inched one step away from being a silk Fern Bar, but the menus over it with the daily specials were dingy and old school.

This place was like the Lifetime of hofbraus. This could have been the hofbrau frequented by Jessie, of Murder She Wrote, or Bea Arthur in whatever she's in.

This place is definitely unique. It is perhaps the first and last and only feminine, XX-chromosome, Helen Reddy-listening, hofbrau of it's kind in existence.

In fact, let's dispense with male-centric paradigms. This isn't a hofbrau.

It is a hof-frau.

And being a hoffrau, let me just say that the roast chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy are exactly the same dear ol' Mom would make. The roast chicken is plentiful (although the breast is a little dry) and perfectly roasted and still on the bone. It tastes straight from the oven (or in the Chick-N-Coop's case, the rotisserie). The mashed potatoes are fresh-tasting, with small chunks of unmashed potatoes still floating around the mound that is topped by a meaty gravy.

But wait, because Mom loves you extra special, have a little macaroni salad while you're at it. This macaroni salad was made with extra large pieces of pasta and a few more herbs, because Mom thinks so much of you. It's good, in that Mom way.

But Mom ain't no doormat. You know, she raised you kids single-handedly while putting herself through school so that she could get a better job and provide for you and put you through college so that eventually you could have your own kids and home without going through the struggles she had to endure.

That's why Mom is charging you for this meal. You owe her...$6.95.

Now hurry on up or you'll be late for class.

Just leave your tray on the table.



At 10:49 PM, Blogger Steve Portigal said...

I've been into one Chick N Coop (in that neighborhood south of 280, right before 280 hits 101), and it was pretty fun/funny. There's a great looking one in Daly City, as well.

Pictures of both of 'em are at http://flickr.com/photos/steveportigal/search/text:coop/

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Dive said...

Those pictures are great!



At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they were speaking Tagalog.

At 7:52 AM, Anonymous lelandwong said...

I can make better chicken that that! And when chicken's on sale, a whole chicken can be had for $2. just season it and bake it at 350 degrees for an hour or so.


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