I'm in San Francisco this week, eating my way across the city and catching up with lots of old friends. Although I haven't lived here since June of 1996, some of my favorite people and restaurants remain. It's been a great, relaxing, filling time in a fantastic food town, and maybe the only place I could come to visit, and feel like I'm still at home while simultaneously being on vacation.
I headed off the plane on Saturday afternoon, straight into brunch with AnnandDerek and Jen at Foreign Cinema on Mission Street. Always making an appearance on friends' recommendation lists of "Good restaurants that have opened since I last visited" (although I think it's been open 7 years?) sitting outside here in the secluded screening area on a sunny Mission day complimented the bloodys and small-plate, pretty brunch. One cannot go wrong with Duck served with poached egg.....Saturday night found myself and the Jens Janian and Moffitt in North Beach dining at Bocadillos, a Spanish tapas place. Sixty-five dollars per person included 2-$40 bottles of California Grenache, with the food highlights including grilled quail, and big ol' shrimps-with-the- heads-on, and a pintxos bocadillo of chorizo with a walnut parsley spread.
Sunday was shopping on Fillmore Street at Jeremy's, a great spot for discounted designer clothing. (I scored a pair of green Sigerson Morrison flats for $155 SIZE 12 so they fit! whee!) Lunch on 16th Street at my favorite falafel place ever in Truly Mediterranean, where $5.95 gets you hippy food fleshed out by grilled eggplant and potatoes wrapped up in lavash. Fabulous and filling......Dinner and the second episode of the Sopranos at AnnandDerek's (aka the Cleans, aka the Beldens) Victorian manor on Oak Street was the best part of the day. Dinner was prepared by the supremely talented former chef, current food stylist and artist Ms. Belden making us a savory osso bucco, with the continually charming Mr. Clean providing great conversation and much laughter.
*...was a summer in San Francisco." So said Mark Twain, and that truism remains. Damn, no wonder I left. Its so often a bone-chilling, damp cold in SF. Get some insulation and heaters in your houses, people!