Do a quick google and you’ll see that San Francisco has inspired probably over 100 songs- and why the heck not? After spending a couple of days there, I could find a few good things to sing about too… we both agreed it was a city we would happily live in (if the American healthcare system and a few other things improved). I daydreamed about living in one of the charming terrace houses in the leafy downtown suburbs, wining and dining in the Mission District, shopping in the glitzy stores of Union Square, walking my dog (a prerequisite here it seems) in the Golden Gate Park or Presidio, and hitting the beach in the summer. Dreams are free eh?
But what did we actually do when I wasn’t daydreaming…
We spent a morning at Alcatraz, also known as ‘the Rock’, the infamous island prison. We strolled around the island, winding our way to the cell house at the top- the audio tour was awesome… great wee tidbits about famous inmates and escape attempts, as well as stunning views back to the city. The rest of the day was spent traipsing through the warren that is Chinatown in search of lunch, then popping out into the bright lights of Union Square for an afternoon wine break by the Macy’s ice skating rink.
The next day involved a walk across half of the immense Golden Gate Bridge (way more impressive than just seeing it on the Full House intro and many other movies!), a drive through Presidio which is the home of the Palace of Fine Arts- a picturesque pergola built around a lagoon, and a bit of calf-burning up the steep streets to find Crooked St.
After some pretty long days around downtown, we opted for local choices for dinner. We gnawed on some gigantic ribs at San Bruno’s World Famous Rib Shack– it was a no fuss kinda place; there were ribs, chicken, ‘links’ and sides… by the time we got there there were only ribs left which made the choice easy. The ribs were really tender and once we wiped off the blanket of sauce, you could taste a subtle smokiness.
But the find of the neighborhood was Aji Ichi, a family run Japanese restaurant which probably served us some of the best Japanese we’ve ever had. The sushi was fresh- we got the Alaskan salmon, rainbow, and dragon rolls- all filled with fresh crab meat- none of that crappy crabstick here. The yakitori was pretty good too… can’t go wrong with bacon wrapped asparagus. All washed down with a Sapporo and some plum wine.
The one night we ventured further afield we hunted down the SOMA Streat Food Park– a little area under the freeway lined with food trucks! There were burgers, sliders, mexican, bbq, korean fusion, sushi, drinks, dessert, and plenty of seating- outside or in the warm barn- the perfect food truck food court.
So as Tony says, I probably left a bit of my heart in San Francisco… and will be happy to come back for it any day.