Weekend in San Francisco
Tue, 07/14/09 6:34 PM
Flying all the way to San Francisco for just a weekend may not be the brightest idea ever. But I found a real cheap direct flight and I hadn't been here since 1996, so..... I spent quite a bit of time in the Mission District, which is a mostly Hispanic neighborhood. Lots of interesting architecture, like Mission High School. Cool art, too. This is just a small part of a mural found on a church. I also took a self guided tour of Mission Dolores, founded five days before the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. If it looks familiar, (especially the cemetary) Jimmy Stewart followed Kim Novak here in the Hitchcock classic film, Vertigo. The Mission Dolores Basilica. It is equally impressive inside the basilica, but my photos came out too dark. I sat down in the small chapel and listened to a service in Spanish for a few minutes. All of a sudden, I heard all this music behind me. They had a choir, with guitars and other instruments, playing in the loft. Not being in a hurry, I sat there and listened for a while, since the music was so beautiful! Another nice mural on the mission grounds. Very close to the mission was a large park, with lots of palm trees and hundreds of people enjoying the summer day. Obviously, I had to do some eating while in the area. Bi-Rite Creamery is reviewed here on Roadfood. The place is easy to spot, since there were many, many people sitting outside, licking their cones. Here is a partial list of the available flavors. I also like the fact that they write the names of the flavors right on the glass, which makes things so much easier. Certainly some interesting flavors, but I went with the banana split. The vanilla ice cream was soft, light on the tongue and extremely delicious and the carmelized bananas were a nice touch. But that thick hot fudge sauce is what I will remember most. Not sure how to describe it, but they obviously use very high quality chocolate for it. Whatever you do when you visit, make sure you get something with hot fudge on it! In fact it was so good, I spotted that they have jars of sauce for sale. Being a huge mint lover, I grabbed a jar of the mint chocolate sauce to take home. If I had room in my suitcase, I may have tried to get them all home! Once I try it, I will report back how it was. You'd think that sundae would be enough, but I soon found myself back in line again. This time I snagged a cone, with one scoop of salted caramel and one of mint chip. The contrast of the sweet and the salty was excellent. This is really, really good ice cream! I noticed they had a sign that said no dogs allowed, other than service dogs. Then a guy walks in, with a small dog in his backpack. I had to take a photo of it, without giving away the dog was in there and I ended up with this: Yeah, I think the girl behind the counter was onto him. This is one of my favorite Roadfood pics I have taken in a while. To me, it looks like the dog is saying, "Shhhhh, don't tell her I'm here!" http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/6285/bi-rite-creamery Another stop was at Taqueria San Jose. It is conveniently located a half block away from the 24th & Mission Bart (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station. They got off to a great start with me by having cool art on the walls and refreshing fruit drinks, like this strawberry. I ordered the carnitas platter. Unfortunately, the rice, the beans, the guacamole were all inferior quality. They tasted like they came from a fast food place. That is the bad news. The good news is that I loved the carnitas (roast pork). Extremely soft, tender and juicy, with especially flavorful crispy parts. I was shocked by how good the meat was and how poor the sides were. I did try and eat the pork with the provided small tortillas, but since all I was going to eat was the pork, I just ate it by itself. Sitting in the corner, next to the open windows, I had a great seat for all the passersby on busy 24th Street. This place gets high marks for atmosphere. But the food gets a mixed review. http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/3293-3357/taqueria-san-jose A woman sleeping on top of a van? Why not! Walking around for a few hours builds up an appetite, so I also stopped to eat at St. Francis Fountain. This restaurant looks and feels like it has been here forever. Anyplace that makes this many kinds of milkshakes, is well on their way to earning my love! Here is my raspberry shake. This thing was so thick, that even with the double-barrelled straw action, it was almost impossible to suck it up. This was a spoon drinking shake, which is just fine with me! Plenty of raspberry flavor, too. The Sterns recommend a sandwich called the Forty-Niner, which they describe as a cross between a club sandwich and an egg salad sandwich. Uhhhhhh, okay. Willing to try something new, here is what I ended up with. Not something I would want to eat all the time, but this was quite interesting and good. Despite how black the bacon was, it wasn't too overdone and crispy. The lettuce and tomatoes went extremely well with the fresh egg salad. Lightly toasted sour dough bread, too. This definitely gets a thumbs up. The staff was made up of what we used to call in the 80's punks. All the waitresses had multi-colored hair, with piercings and tattoes. Kind of interesting for an old fashioned soda fountain. My service was excellent and I could not have been treated any nicer. http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/6257-6398/st-francis-fountain Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 07/14/09 6:43 PM>