Last Saturday was a perfect day to romp through the city and enjoy the pleasures that can be had in San Francisco. My dear sis came for a visit, and after a cup of coffee we headed to the Ferry Building where we promptly got on line at Blue Bottle for more.
Waiting for an individually brewed cup of drip coffee takes forever, especially when you catch a whiff of that alluring coffee aroma wafting over the long line and my thirst for a cup of coffee kicked in with a vengeance. To alleviate the wait I dashed over to Arlequin’s stall and purchased a beignet filled with a maple cream and bits of bacon. Whoa!! I have long been a fan of their beignets, which are more like the Italian version of the filled donut with a granulated sugar coating. This maple custard filled creation was a great example of the versatility of silky pastry cream, and the salty, smokey bacon chunks really offset the sweetness of the pastry. My sis wouldn’t touch it and I think she’s beginning to realize the depth of my bacon addition. It is a good thing I don’t work near Arlequin any more, that could be dangerous. And, yes, I *am* ignoring the fact that it is technically within walking distance of The Roost!
After that first squishy sugary-savory bite and when the world resumed its revolutions around the sun our coffee was ready. We perched on a bench, inhaled the steam rising off the surface of our cup and took that deeply rich sip and said to each other, “Life is good….”
As we enjoyed the brew, we could only admire the produce on sale that day because we had other plans that afternoon. It is such torture to only look and not bring anything home. The Zen Center’s stall is right by the front coffee stand and I was touched with the perpetual care they take with their produce, even post-harvest. The produce was gently arranged, misted, rearranged and talked to in a loving manner. One worker wore a flower behind his ear, another dipped her face into a bouquet of flowers, then into a nosegay of herbs, like a giant butterfly. Their newly dug potatoes were gorgeous and plump and I made mental note to get some next week without fail.
We wound our way along the side of the Ferry Building, past the Fatted Calf and their temping rillettes, behind the Roli Roti truck (I had to physically restrained from joining the line for a porcetta sandwich) and onwards to the rear of the market. We had a rendezvous to dine at the Primavera stand.
The line to order and the wait to pick up the food at Primavera seems intermidable but there is so much going on around you that time seems to pass quickly.
We quickly scoped out the available seating and through some miracle scored two seats at a nice table. Eventually, the orders were ready for our chilaquiles, scrambled eggs and refried beans, and we also treated ourselves to two luscious pale pink cups full of agua fresca – watermelon and lime juice this time. Some people pray before they eat. I take pictures. Not only do I take pictures of my food but I impose upon the graciousness of complete strangers and take pictures of their food too! Our table-mates had porter beer batter fried fish tacos, and allowed them to be photographed before they took a bite. Despite the succulent appearance of those tacos I am never disappointed by ordering the chilequiles. They make their own tortillas by hand, fry them up into chips, and then use a variety of dried chiles to make a rich sauce, which is tossed with the hot torilla chips. This is a mere side dish to the fluffy, buttery scrambled Petaluma eggs, intensely rich frijoles and their signature chipotle salsa.
After breakfast and the mandatory stroll through the rest of the market and a macaron from Miette, we strolled down the Embarcadero to the ballpark, passing by the new space port for the city.
I tried hitching a ride but alas, takeoff wasn’t for a few decades!
We arrived at the park extremely early as it was a bobblehead day, and not just any bobblehead, but Joe DiMaggio bobblehead day! Although we arrived at 1:15 (for a 6:30 pm game), the line to enter was already to the little dog park. We plopped down on the sidewalk to chill out and wait for the rest of the group, and a sweet dog, Destiny, jumped into my lap. She was the sweetest pup ever and made the long wait a lap-full of fun. She loved AB____ too!
Three hours later the line was past the pier way down the road and despite the fun of waiting (haha) we were so happy to get in the park early with armfuls of the coveted toys. Because it was Italian Heritage Day, and all my friends in attendance are Italian, our special treat from the Giants was a limited edition Joe DiMaggio bobblehead, so we ended up with two! It is fun being in the park early, the players were having batting practice on the field, the sun was still out, but just briefly, as the fog was imminent. It is my tradition to stroll along the Promenade level and enjoy the action. The kids play in the mini ballpark, scoot down the slide shaped like a soda bottle, loyal fans angle for fly balks in the bleachers, strong armed hunks try pitching and you can stuff a Teddy bear. I would rather stuff myself and after our long walk and longer wait breakfast seemed a long time ago. We passed the Shiboygan brat stand and I charmed my way behind the scenes to snap the Onion Man, grilling onions and kraut for our dinner later.
A little break was in order and we found a cafe table behind the scoreboard and enjoyed chatting with other fans and our friends while quaffing Belgian white beer with orange slices and fried local calamari. Only in San Francisco!
If only our team had played as well as our hot dog tasted. But there is always tomorrow, and it was fun to sit with AR and celebrate her birthday, as well as my sis’s!
Truly, a Giant day!