My wife was in San Francisco for work this week and I had a four day weekend for Labor Day. It seemed like the gods were telling us to make a vacation of it, so we did.
San Francisco is an awesome city. Beautiful scenery, great food, cool little shops. We started the day by going to Sweet Maple, a breakfast and lunch place that apparently starts filling up immediately upon opening. Fantastic coffee (probably the best I’ve had in the States), and their Southern Eggs Benedict (with chipotle hollandaise and chorizo) was delicious. Most astounding though was the Ur-Bacon, a dish they call “Millionaire’s Bacon”. Imagine thick slabs of bacon, thick enough to need a fork and knife to eat, covered in syrupy brown sugar and black and red pepper. The description doesn’t do it justice; it is what all other bacon aspires to be.
After that we did the touristy thing: Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ferry Building. The early part of our day was filled with kitsch, bread bowls, and outdoor fruit stands. Not a bad way to spend the morning.
In the afternoon we made the pilgrimage to Endgame in Oakland, a game store that really has no equal. Clean, elegant, spacious, filled with a wide variety of gaming products, staffed by friendly people. The entire second floor appears to be a gaming space. Chris Ruggiero (who works there and also worked on Race to Adventure) gave me the celebrity treatment, taking my picture (with Bulldogs! in hand) out in front of the store’s sign and giving me a handful of Endgame dice to take with me. I also picked up a copy of the Leverage RPG, which I’ve been wanting to pick up for quite a while. Chris suggested we make a stop at the Trappist, a local bar; we did, and the beer was excellent.
After that we went to Borderlands, a sci-fi, fantasy, and horror bookstore with adjoining cafe. I must say, I like this store quite a bit and wish we had something like it in Pennsylvania; the shelves were covered with little recommendation cards and the selection was outstanding. I came away with a copy of the Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia (for research).
We ended our day (well, I say we ended it but the day’s not really over yet) at Gracias Madre, a vegetarian Mexican restaurant in the Mission. Do yourself a favor: go there. Their food is phenomenal, the wait staff is friendly and efficient, and what their drink menu lacks in variety it makes up for in quality.
Overall, a very satisfactory first day in San Francisco. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!