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Monday, September 06, 2004

North Beach Wanderings

(Dusting some things out of draft)

No cooking (who could cook in that heat?) but lots of very pleasant eating and drinking.

B. and I went off to North Beach yesterday on a walk-and-nosh tour. I parked at Sutter Stockton and went through the tunnel, through the teeming mass of humanity that is Chinatown doing its Sunday outing for dim sum and groceries. I had to resist the siren call of dim sum, pastries, and groceries myself. After a cut over to Columbus, and resisting the siren call of Italian pastries, we met in front of SS. Peter and Paul and immediately headed off to the Liguria Bakery and apparently scored the last two pieces of onion focaccia, wrapped in paper and tied up with string. This was a bit of a sentimental journey for B. as his dad used to work Saturdays and bring it home as a treat. The place hasn't changed in all that time. I don't remember going in it when I lived in SF though (or it had been a while). It is across the street from Mama's, of "Tales of the City" brunch fame (well, to me).

We went off in search of Caffe Trieste, but misjudged the cross streets and ended up wandering in the heat. As we made another pass down Columbus I steered us into the Stella Bakery, which I had passed on the way up. We had iced coffee and tarts and provided "street color" for the busload of tourists that went by. I had my berries-and-custard tart and he had a pear-frangipane one.

Refreshed, we set out for City Lights, and had a restorative Anchor at the Vesuvio first. We browsed for a while and then went off in search of lunch. I was indecisive (it really was quite hot and my brain was fried) and we ended up at Figaro, which had excellent food (if screamingly loud music). My fried calamari was very tasty, as was the basil gnocchi. I also drank most of a pitcher of water.

After hearing high vespers at St. Francis, we saw "$1 Beer" at the SF Brewing Company. Turned out to be a bit misleading but the beer tasted good on such a hot day.

Dinner that night was onion foccaccia with parmesan and heirloom tomatoes. Ahhhh.


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