Food and Shopping

Our trip thus far – the first thirty-six hours – has been fun, mostly a mixture of food and shopping.  After arriving Thursday evening and eating dinner with Anita, we had a good first night’s sleep.  We left mid-morning in brisk weather and walked to Tartine, the excellent cafe at 18th and Guerrero.  Finding it with a line out the door, we turned around and walked back to Market Street, eating instead at the seventy-year old greasy spoon grill, It’s Tops.

This place is excellent.  I’m not sure why – they claim it is their grill – but the buttermilk pancakes have an amazing flavor.


Two eggs, scrambled, with links and hotcakes.  Tawn went for an avocado omelet with home fries and buttered toast.  We had all the calories one needs for a day in a single meal.

P1120735 Afterwards, we headed to Discount Builders’ Supply to shop for cabinet knobs for our fireplace.  Lots of choices but nothing that caught out attention. 

Continuing down Mission Street we ended up at Union Square with a short list of things to locate. 

One of these was the Mario Batalli signature line of dutch ovens, available at Crate and Barrel.  They were selling the 4-quart model in lime green, a color they seem to be trying to clear out of inventory, for 30 dollars off the normal $89.95 price.  Considering that cast enamel dutch ovens go for $170 or more in Thailand, this seems like a good value. 

Right: Tawn in front of a flower stand near Macy’s Union Square.  I used to be very impressed with the flower stands in San Francisco but after seeing the flower shops in Bangkok, I’m not as “wowed” these days.

Below, Tawn in front of the Westin St. Francis Hotel.


P1120745 After completing some errands we returned to Anita’s for a mid-afternoon rest.  Later in the afternoon we caught CalTrain down to San Mateo, where we had dinner at Ryan and Sabrina’s, a chance to see their newly remodeled kitchen.  Left to right: Chris, Tawn, Sabrina and Ryan.


Left, Ryan and Sabrina take a dish of tofu off the stove.

It was really nice to enjoy a home-cooked meal.  Tawn and I were saying earlier in the day that we hoped our time in SF wasn’t just one restaurant meal after another.  As much as we enjoy the restaurants here, too many meals out means too many additional kilograms on the waist.

Here’s the elegant meal we enjoyed:

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The food was as tasty as it was beautiful and we had a really nice visit with Ryan and Sabrina.  As jet lag started to take its toll, Ryan drove us back to SF.  We arrived back only to find a trio of other house guests getting ready to head out to meet Anita for some event.  We were too tired to join and instead headed to bed.

25 thoughts on “Food and Shopping

  1. The food looks delicious and you and Tawn look happy (or do you only smile for the camers?). Get over the jet lag fast so you can resume the hunt for cabinet knobs. Many retailers in my town are doing deep discounts now instead of waiting until after Christmas. The mall was dead this last week – the only people there were the mall walkers and some kids hanging out at the food court!

  2. very nice weather in SFO!!! compare to the winter wonderland here in Vancouver…..cold and snowy…’s been snowing for some days and it wil be more…cos when I was flying from HK to Vancouver this evening…..once we approached the N American coast line….we saw the snow….till landing……. have a great holiday!!

  3. @TheCheshireGrins – Good question.  Braised foods, baked beans, roast chickens.  I really need to research a bit.  I just know that I keep running into recipes where I need a pot with a really sturdy base so I can cook low and slow without scorching the food.  Dutch ovens are supposedly good for that.

  4. Aw…you guys are in town!!! Wish I could see you guys, but alas, I’m with family in Irvine with the family for Christmas. Hope you enjoy your stay here! Hopes it’s not raining too much up there! We’re getting rain down here too but it’s nice and cool enough to justify wearing coats down here. :o) Which reminds me, I like Tawn’s trench and watch. He’s always so well put. Where’s the Sartorialist when you need ’em? Hope you guys enjoy your stay! Wish I could wander Union Square with you guys too! :o) I don’t really know the area very well, but I do recall stumbling in and out of restaurants around there. I think there was one called Michael Mina’s which was really delish in Union Square. Then again, you guys are SF natives so I’m sure you know where to go. :o)

  5. Yours was a much anticipated visit, but long work hours at my day job prompted some delays at finishing up. As always, Sabrina whipped up a fantastic meal. Hopefully next time you visit, our home will lose it’s construction feel.

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