Thanks in large part to the Passport Lifestyle discount card, Saturday morning rolled around and my wife and I decided to hit one of our favorite early morning spots-Parkhouse Eatery on Park. The Passport is the great little card my wife gets as an awesome benefit at Qualcomm (yes, working there is as good as everyone says). It gets you something in the neighborhood of 50% off tons of great places. Not the point of the story, but thought I’d share. What follows is a sordid tale of a fairly unlikely scenario, a questionable use of bacon.
To really set this stage, a few important background details must come first. It was unseasonably hot, maybe 85 degrees already at 8:00 on a Saturday morning. If you live in Arizona or Texas please stop laughing and empathize, dammit. Native San Diegans struggle with “weather”, which I loosely define as anything that disrupts my ability to wear shorts and a t-shirt and be utterly comfortable. We aren’t wimps, as such, just temperature-challenged. Anyhoo, so in mid-city San Diego very few places worth eating open early. Snooze over in Hillcrest is one major exception. They should teach classes to other restaurants on service because theirs is superlative, the food is very good and they recycle or compost something like 90% of their waste (not making that last part up, my treehugger friends would be proud). With so few options, one of our go-to spots is a little place in University Heights called Parkhouse Eatery. And on this–again unfairly warm– morning we decide we’ll earn the decadence and set out on the 2.5 mile walk, hills and all, in the morning heat. I tell this part of the story not to engender loads of sympathy but to be explicit about how borderling ravenous we were by the time we sweated our way the restaurant for a half an hour beforehand. I will absolutely cop to a bit of whining about the whole ordeal, actually. But as has repeatedly been true in our marriage, my wife was right in this decision. By the way, you’re dead to me if she ever finds out I said that.
So, we finally make it to Parkhouse and I am all set for our “usual.” This routinely involves two items: sun-dried berry pancakes and a delightful interpretation of biscuits and gravy that is made with an otherworldly pancetta gravy with sausage chunks. There’s a picture below, but I’m not a photographer so you’ll have to take my word that it is really just that good.
One of my foodie friends is much better on the camera, so I need to recruit her to help make the photos look as good as they taste, but I swear it’s that good. I could, as it turns out, also rave about the berry pancakes. I’m not a berry guy. I probably prefer most of my fruit in smoothies very early in the morning before I realize I’m having it. But the ones at Parkhouse have a little sweet compote or something that nudges them into a the realm of tasty. Even the actual sun dried berries add a nice punch. No, they aren’t just raisins, smart a#$. But all this brings me to the point of this post. We were all set to indulge in our usual bits of goodness and out of nowhere our server pipes up “the special today is a peanut butter & bacon pancake, which…” –everything else sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. What’s this bacon dish, you say? Something cooked in the nutrient of the Gods? I was wooed by the siren song of bacon and quite honestly didn’t really listen to how it was to be prepared.Significant mistake.
It turns out, putting peanut butter and bacon together inside a pancake doesn’t actually work. Honestly, it was a worthwhile thought, great on originality, but kind of an epic fail. Every bite was like being kissed and punched at the same time! The bacon gently says I love you and then the peanut butter immediately kicks you in the shin with disdain. The two flavors are not like ebony and ivory, they are much more like the odd couple, actually. Fortunately we had the foresight to only order one of the deceptively untasty cakes and since what we had was more than enough food, all was not lost. I suppose the big takeaway from this little endeavor was not to be tricked by the addition of bacon to a dish–it doesn’t always work.