In the pas few months, I've been in a very bad, very sad state of mind. In one of my worst moments, I decided that I needed an escape. I had to go. Anywhere. It didn't matter, as long as I got the hell out of this town. So I wrote on my Facebook page that I needed to go on a trip. Anywhere. And I asked for suggestions. That's when an old college buddy of mine suggested I go visit him in San Francisco. In just a flick of a credit card, my flight was booked. I was nervous. This was going to be a big trip and I hadn't flown by myself for a long time. But, it was done. The ticket was bought and there was no turning back.
Looking back now, one week after the trip is over, I do not regret making that decision on the fly like that. Talk about living on the edge! That was the most amazing trip I ever did so far. On a side note, The whole time I was there I had a song in my head. I was just looking it up to listen to it while I write this article. The song San Francisco by Scott McKenzie. I can't believe this. As I am writing this article, I just learned on the Google that the singer just died moments ago. Man, talk about a coincidence, and a bummer. Here's a video of the song. May you rest in peace and love, man.
So, not even a week after I'm back from one coast, I'm flying off to the other coast. The cool one. You know, the one where everyone is chill and laid back. The west coast. Unlike the east coast where everybody is just so damn uptight. But, man the lobsters and chowder are good!
Flying to San Francisco was a breeze. My flight left Friday morning at 8:30am. Everyone I know told me to be there 2 hours in advance at least! So that's what I did. My dear old grandpa (the tough guy who puts Chuck Norris to shame.) is an early bird, so he had no trouble picking me up at home and driving me to the airport in the wee hours of the morning. (Thanks again, grandpa! You're the best!) At the airport, security was a breeze. Having worked at a consulting company that flew me across Canada, I knew how to prepare myself. Security was a breeze. U.S. customs was even easier. I filled out the form properly and there was nobody in line, it was ridiculously easy. Twenty minutes after I crossed the front door of the airport, I was sitting at my gate, over two whole hours ahead of time. Damn! I could have slept an extra hour! Speaking of which, I bought myself one of those neck pillows. Needless to say, I slept through maybe half of my trip on the plane. The total trip time was about 6 hours. Not bad! That's about as much as driving from Montreal to Toronto, or Old Orchard Beach even! Except you get sleep and eat and read books and watch TV shows while you travel!
And the view is fantastic!
My college friend sent me all the info I needed ahead of time. I printed out his address, the path to his place from the airport by BART train (that's a commuter train/subway system) and he also sent me an itinerary to follow on my first day there to check out all the touristy parts of town while he was at work. He also hid a key for me in the hallway of his building so I could get into his apartment when I arrived. My plane landed around 11:30am (west coast time) and I got to his place a little after noon. It turns out he lives right next to downtown! Check out the view!
So I dropped my stuff, slung over my small sling backpack with a local guide I picked up at the airport and itinerary that my friend gave me and off I went into the city. I was so excited to walk around some new city and discover a new place. San Francisco is pretty easy to navigate too. The bay area, or the core I guess, is not that big if you walk north-south. East-west from the bay to the ocean it's a different story. Anyway, so on Friday afternoon, upon my arrival, I just went out and loosely followed my friend's suggested path and did a little tourist speed run. I'll tell you where I've been, but I'm not going to go into much detail. I will just talk about the most notable areas that I've visited. You can see the full album of my trip here. So here's a list of stuff I saw on the first day:
Market street : It's a nice looking street with big sidewalks and trees and tramway stations that would be an awesome area if it wasn't so run-down with hobos and abandoned stores, unfortunately.
Union Square : A really nice square among buildings where there were artists displaying their artwork and putting it up on sale. Also the first time I ever saw a real palm tree!
Chinatown/Grant Avenue : San Francisco Chinatown! Well, it's a Chinatown. Pretty much like any other I've seen. Tea shops, Chinese medicine shops, pastry shops, restaurants, convenience stores with weird stuff, dead animals hanging out to dry. Frankly, the Toronto Chinatown seemed bigger. But, it's still very beautiful.
One thing I'd like to mention, and I think it's totally worth it, is the China Trade Center. Specifically, some of the artwork that is in there.
There were these amazing pictures that were framed on the second floor gallery. Highly detailed, but they had a certain shimmer or sheen to them. As I looked closely, I noticed something weird, like thick threads or like grass blades. The lady that was there told me that these picture were actually made of hand woven silk! I swear my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it. People in high details were pictured in those frames and it looked like a photo. Chinese landscapes and paintings were reproduced in silk. Here's an example with a lion's head:
Little Italy : Basically that's right after Chinatown. They're next to each other. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary here other than a magnificent chapel.
Telegraph Hill/Pioneer Park/Coit Tower : That was a hell of a climb, but definitely worth it. The Coit tower looks really nice, especially on the inside. And the view around it is great too!
Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39 : A cool area with a pier full of fun stuff like restaurants, shops, candy, ice cream, junk food, amusements. A really cool place to hang out and fill yourself on high calorie junk food and sugar.
I just hung out on the dock of the bay for a little while enjoying the amazing breeze (read blazing wind) and wasting some time.
The Lombard street zig zag hill street : A hill so steep, they had to make the road go in zig zag or else cars would get stuck!
At that point my phone ran out of batteries and it was getting close to dinner time. My buddy was going to finish work so I decided to had home in case he might want to reach me. We had dinner plans that night. There was a Japanese ramen restaurant close by and I had to have some. So far I've had ramen in Montreal, Toronto, New York and now San Francisco. Where to next? I found this restaurant on yelp. It had lots of ratings and was pretty damn well rated. I had the katsudon pork ramen with miso broth with tonkatsu fried pork on rice with pork dumplings. Man was it ever delicious! The noodles were very tasty and the tonkatsu pork was crazy good. Just thinking about it makes me hungry. God I love ramen. My friend ordered the katsudon pork ramen with salt broth and some salmon-avocado roll. I bet it was just as good.
Oh god! I'm craving ramen so fucking bad just looking at the picture.
After dinner, my friend and I walked around for a bit. I mentioned to him The Cheesecake Factory earlier so he decided to show me what the place was like and its terrace with a view. It's a pretty awesome place, especially if you like cheesecake. The terrace had a nice view of Union Square and we could see the city covered in fog. Beautiful!
On my way back for dinner, I walked on 4th Street south of Market street and south of the highway. There was this store that was having a sale on messenger bags. I went in for a quick peek and they also had shoes on sale. They were nice! They look like Chuck Taylor All Stars, but a hell of a lot nicer and comfier. I looked at the price... TWENTY FUCKING DOLLARS?!?!? OH MY GOD THAT'S SO FUCKING CHEAP!!! So the next morning I came back and bought a pair (they're dark green) and a t-shirt. I checked out the store when I went to get my new shoes and it's basically a store that sells clothes, shoes, but especially messenger bags and all sorts of bike messenger accessories. The place is called Chrome and it's a super neat store! Too bad the closest one to Montreal is in New York city...
I came back and dropped my new SWAG and off we left for a quick breakfast at The Creamery. I had a delicious crepe roll with eggs and bacon with some ice tea. Afterwards, my friend offered to be my tour guide for the day so I followed him around town. First, we went to catch a streetcar and rode all the way to Golden Gate Park and got off on Haight street. Haight-Ashbury district is best known for its Summer of Love back in the 60's where hippies congregated in that area and a lot of drugs were used. It's all fuzzy now when people try to remember, really.
So we walked down Haight street and checked out a couple of cool shops. They sell some nice t-shirts around that area. I think it's one of the best places to get tie-dyes. Man, I regret not buying one, but my suitcase was already full. And I would've had to carry it around all day with me, which would've sucked. Oh well... Next time for sure! And there will be a next time, no matter what.
But, the surrounding streets had some of the most beautiful houses in the city, without a doubt. My friend was leading me through this area where the houses were outstanding. Look at some of the details on the mouldings on these two:
From Haight street, we crossed Buena Vista park and reached Corona Heights park. We were climbing the red rocky hill from the back when suddenly this amazing panoramic view of the city just unfolded itself.
A picture of me taking a picture.
After I picked up my jaw from the floor, we climbed down and walked to the famous Castro Street and visited the gay village. You can't miss it. There's a giant rainbow flag over the neighbourhood. If you don't spot it, you might want to get your eyes checked. That area is a nice place, the theatre there is beautiful but honestly I was a little disappointed. The village in Montreal seems bigger and more vibrant with Sainte-Catherine street being closed down to traffic to allow pedestrians and with patios all along the street for the many restaurants and bars along with artwork and lights hanging over the street.
You REALLY can't miss it.
But, I got to visit Harvey Milk's headquarters, which has now become a Human Rights Campaign action centre and store with merchandise promoting equal rights for gays. This was not only a piece of history worth visiting, but for me it's also a kind of pilgrimage in a way for all my relatives and good friends who are gay/lesbian/bi/queer and who are continually fighting for acceptance and equality. I stand with you because you are all awesome people and have made my life so much brighter.
"Gotta give 'em hope!"
After walking through Castro, we headed towards Mission through Dolores park. My friend told me I might see some freaky people there, but that there is a really nice view of the city there. It wasn't too far off, basically just a few blocks away. And I still got to see some more amazing Victorian houses along the way. When we got to the park, everything seemed normal. Just a bunch of people lying in the grass being all lazy. As we walked long the side of the park we got to the other end where it became crowded an a little more... interesting. Did you know there's a nudist community in San Francisco? Like, IN the city? Yeah, they organise events in the nude. Well, it seems like a few of them were getting a tan at the park. The view of the city was nice though.
Talk about a view of the city with a full moon...
Finally arriving at Mission street, we went down to the Mission district. The objective? Get some Mexican food. I was told by an American friend that if I wanted to have good Mexican food, it was in the States, specifically in one of the states that border Mexico. Well guess what? California does. And the Mission district is the Latino/Mexican neighbourhood. I figured that was the best I'll ever have so far, so let's go for it. I was kind of expecting the place to be a little more vibrant. More lively. I was a bit disappointed. The area is run-down and unkempt. Big dirty billboards with missing letters, shady people selling even shadier food from the back of the shadiest minivan I've ever seen. Dollar stores, discount warehouse stores. Knick knack and imported cheap crap stores. It was all very corny and cheap. Hell, except for the food-poison minivan, this is just like Plaza Saint-Hubert! It's a shame the place is not being taken care of because it could be very beautiful and a lot more attractive to people. But I guess it still has its charm. It's considered one of the best places to hang out by hipsters. No kidding! I guess it's the vintage stores and the broken down look of the area that attracts ironic rich kids who want to drink PBR and hang out amongst the working class, amirite? (Ok, I'm just teasing. Chill dude. Your beard is curling up in a bunch.)
We got to our original dinner destination, but the place was closed for the afternoon and was only going to serve food starting at 6pm. We walked around a bit more, noticed a few other places to eat, but decided to wait. We weren't that hungry so we settled for a beer at the Rosamunde Sausage Grill. My friend told me about that place and said he went there before. Apparently they sometimes have a poutine-fest and the waiting line becomes ridiculous. So we go there and stand at the bar until the barman comes up to ask what we want to drink. I ask him what's a good local microbrewery beer he could recommend. He suggested the Anchor Steam from the Anchor Brewing Company, whose brewery was just mere blocks away. It's one of San Francisco's oldest breweries, if not the first, which was established in 1849 during the gold rush by a German immigrant. So that's what I picked. My friend, on the other hand, just asked for a plain amber beer and asked for recommendations. The barman stood up, all proud looking, and used his vast knowledge of the sacred brews to recommend something special. He wanted to suggest a special beer that very few people have heard of. Something unusual, imported, exotic and full of flavour. He told my friend, with all his assuredness, to get..... La Maudite. We looked at each other, then looked at the barman and said, well, sorry to burst your bubble, but we're from Québec you see and we've had this beer many times before. He just stood there, speechless. He then slumped his shoulders and said "Oh, well, uhm. Okay then." And promptly suggested something local. Man, the look on his face was priceless. I forgot what my friend had in the end, but it seemed good.
Not sure if mine really was an Anchor Steam. It looks too dark.
It's very close to the Black Watch by the Brasseurs de Montréal.
After an hour sipping on our beers, we decided to go eat somewhere else. We still had another hour to kill and we were hungry. So we decided to check out a place we walked by just before that claimed to serve the best tacos in the world. That's a pretty bold statement coming from a small little fast food joint. We decided we'd test these guys out. Inside the restaurant, I've seen cheesy diners that were better looking that this. Such as Quebec's famous La Belle Province greasy spoons. But the place was packed! Walking up to the counter we suddenly realised that we should definitely never judge a book by it's cover, or in this case, a restaurant by it's shady looks. The wall was covered with framed pictures of awards and 5-out-of-5 ratings and "Best place in .." pictures. Ok. We're definitely eating here. We had a choice between a burrito or tacos. They both came with different fillings. The house recipe specialty seasoned chicken or beef, pork, sausage, beef head (???), beef tongue (?!?!?!?) or veggie (that's even worse). We settled for a chicken taco and a beef taco to be able to taste the most fillings without filling ourselves too much with a freshly made mango juice.
My god! Those were the best tacos I've ever had in my life. The beef is actually chopped steak. Not ground beef. The chicken was cooked in this special Mexican sauce and was amazingly delicious. The tacos were stuffed with fresh home made salsa, avocado and grated cheese. There was a crunchy home made deep-fried shell covered with a soft shell so when you bit into it, it didn't crumble and spill all over your pants. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Best. Tacos. Ever.
After dinner it was getting late and we had a long walk back home and so we returned to my friend's apartment. After two days of non-stop walking, I was completely out of energy. I was sitting on his couch and I couldn't keep an eye open. So I excused myself and went to my bedroom. The second my head touched the pillow, I was gone to dreamland.
At nine am the next morning I was awake. Today was going to be another exciting day! We were going to go around San Francisco, across the bay and back, all by bike and ferry! Oh boy! But first, we gotta get breakfast. We have a big day ahead of us. So we went to Rocco's Restaurant and I got myself a big bacon and eggs breakfast. I was going to need it. The place was nice. The walls were covered in old pictures and newspaper articles about the different disasters that struck the city and celebrities that came to visit, etc. The waitress was this old lady and she was super nice, calling me "hun" or "dear". The breakfast was delicious and filling with awesome thick cut smoked bacon strips. Man, those were good! Nothing like bacon to start your day right!
After our meal we hopped on our bikes and headed to the start of the Wiggle. The Wiggle is a bike path that wiggles between the many hills in the city of San Francisco from Market street to the Golden Gate park. The city now has installed some signs to mark the bike path, but before any of that there was a trick to remember the path. The street names to remember were the following: Duboce, Steiner, Waller, Pierce, Haight, Scott and Fell, in that order if you're heading west or the other way around if you're heading east. To remember the order, heading west, the phrase was "Da Small White Pigs Had Some Figs" and heading east: "Fast Straight Hilly Paths Will Slay Dunces". Thank god for the new signage though as it makes everything so much easier. And it's cool to see that the city actually undertook that initiative and recognised the importance of this path for cyclists.
Toyota Priuses and other hybrid cars are super popular there. I saw a lot of them. That and classic VW Beetles.
So we followed that route across the beautiful city, still amazed at all the beautiful houses, until we reached the Golden Gate park's Panhandle. It's a little strip of a park that's about a block wide that starts at Baker St. and eventually reaches the Golden Gate park. The Golden Gate park was such an amazing park. The trees there are beautiful. Ranging from some shorter exotic tropical trees to some giant colossal trees that are bigger than anything I've ever seen up here in Canada. (Than again, I haven't been to British Columbia yet. But, that'll be for next year, maybe?) I stopped along the way to take a look at the Conservatory of Flowers, the California Academy of Science, the Fine Arts museum, the Spreckels Temple of Music and the Japanese Tea Garden. We were lucky to catch the Golden Gate Park Band playing at the temple of music. Also, the Japanese Tea Garden looked very interesting. Too bad we didn't have a lot of time. It would've been so much fun to visit. Also the Botanical Garden looked like a really fun thing to do next time around. The vegetation was simply amazing in that park.
We kept on pedalling across the park on John F. Kennedy drive and heard some music around mid-way through. There was a music festival going on. It was actually the Outside Lands Music Festival. Looking at the website, they had quite a lineup. There was so much stuff going on that weekend. I just wish I could have used the famous ninja shadow clone jutsu and be everywhere at the same time! Anyway, after a long while we eventually reached the other end. God damn that park is huge! Such a wonderful place though. I was in awe at the sight of the huge tall trees in there. A funny thing I noticed at the other end were the huge windmills. Apparently they were build sometime around the early 1900's to pump water from an underground source to supply the park with water for irrigation. Over time they were abandoned for electric pumps and were just restored last year.
Just across the boulevard ahead of us, I could see the ocean! The Pacific ocean! My friend and I just tied our bikes down on a rack nearby and we walked down to the beach all the way to the water. The sand was so fine, it was like flour! The wind was strong and chilly and I could smell the ocean breeze. In a matter of 2 weeks I actually touched both the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean! I've been coast to coast across America! How cool is that?
We then went back to our bikes and started on what was going to be the toughest part of our trip: biking up Sutro Heights to El Camino Del Mar and up Clement Street following Bike Route 10 and eventually reached Bike Route 95 back on El Camino Del Mar and went across the Presidio to the Golden Gate bridge. Oh LAWD have MERCY! My legs never worked so hard in my whole life! That was quite the hill climb. But, the view was worth every calorie spent and every drop of sweat.
Where we came from
Where we're going.
As we got closer to the bridge I was getting more and more excited! That was what this bike trip was all about! Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge by bicycle! When we finally got there, it was more than just a bridge entrance. The place was turned into a whole tourist attraction area, and with reason, because the view was absolutely surreal! I can honestly say that when I was looking at the bay and the bridge and, well, the whole scenery, it just looked like someone made this incredible painting and it was placed in front of my eyes to trick me. I had never seen a sight so amazing in my life. (Apparently Yosemite park is even better.) Seeing the bridge in all its magnificence, its sheer size and height was unbelievable. The fact that its head was hidden in the fog coming from the Pacific made it look even more majestic. And the cliffs on the far side with their sharp, defined ridges made the whole scenery look even more outstanding and beautiful. I could have stayed there all day staring at this picturesque view.
I still can't believe I actually crossed that bridge!
At this point we were pooped from biking up from sea-level, all the way up the Presidio to the bridge and a little hungry and thirsty. So we had a drink of water and a couple of granola bars. But, those tiny bars were in now way enough to replenish our energy. Whatever, I need to burn calories anyway, especially with the dinner that was waiting for us that evening. After a break we got back on our bikes while our cardiovascular rhythm was still up and pumping and engaged on crossing the bridge. My friend had warned me, from his own experience, to dress well for that part of the trip. He had a bike satchel where we had stuffed our hoodies so we put them on. Thank god for that. The temperature on the bridge must've been something around 15 degrees Celsius! There were tourists who had rented bicycles who were wearing nothing but shorts and tank-tops/t-shirts and I'm pretty sure they must've frozen over before they even reached the other side. The view from the bridge was breath taking. Both the view of the bay and of the bridge itself were amazing. The wind made it hard to hold in place long enough to take a stable shot. The coolest thing though is when we got to the first set of pillars, my friend was looking up and he noticed how the bridge was cutting through the fog like a knife. Check it out!
Near the other end of the bridge I also had a much closer view of the amazing hills on the other side. I was completely entranced by their beauty. It's just the way that the mountains are cut and with the light and the shadows, it gave them this majestic look.
While on the bridge, the air an the wind was super humid. My clothes felt like they were all cold and damp. But, the second we were across on the other side, it was hot and a lot drier. My clothes dried up almost instantly. We immediately had to take off our hoodies because we started to sweat from the heat and the exercise. Across the bridge we had yet another amazing view. I swear there are no lack of awe-making jaw-dropping sights around the San Francisco bay area. It's just such an amazingly beautiful place.
We kept on going along the shore of the bay, on our way to Sausalito to catch a ferry, passing through Fort Baker. If there are any Trekkies reading this, you probably know this is where the Starfleet Academy is located. I'm not a big Star Trek fan though, so I didn't make a big deal out of it, but it's still cool and I'm sure this'll give me some geek cred!
It looks like there's enough room to land a star ship in there.
Sausalito is a very nice looking town (what a surprise) that was built on the hills along the shore of the Richardson bay. It was pretty impressive to see all the houses on the sides of the hills all around us. That's awesome because everybody in town gets a nice view!
Unfortunately, there were so many tourists on bicycles that day that all the ferries for the whole evening were booked solid! The guy that was there told us that we could always go to the town of Tiburon to catch the next one which leaves in an hour. The problem is, Tiburon is directly across Richardson bay. It'd be faster to swim there than to bike there. And, our legs were already burning from the pain of biking all the way there. We had no choice. We either had to gun it and bike all around the bay, under an hour, to catch the next ferry, or bike our way back across the bridge and back home. We thought, well fuck it! We made it this far, might as well go for the ferry. We can do it! Only, half way there, it seemed like every little inclination felt like hell. We couldn't pedal anymore. My butt was starting to get sore from the bike saddle and my thighs had this very strong burning sensation. We eventually, painstakingly, got there, only to find out that the ferry we were supposed to catch couldn't accept any more passengers with bicycles. Anyone on foot was allowed. Well, DAMN! All this rushing for nothing! The next ferry was going to be there in about an hour and a half to two hours. We were starving so we tied up our bikes and went looking for a place to eat. It was nice getting off the bike a little, but it still hurt just to walk. I cringed every time I had to go up/down some steps.
A crane! Let's study it and create a new fighting style based on how it moves!
We walked around a little and Tiburon looks like a super posh version of Sausalito. Everything looks expensive, but the whole place is so quiet and relax and the hills are a little less steep. We eventually stopped at the closest tavern (more like an expensive bistro) and had ourselves something small to eat, just enough to recover a bit of energy for the last stretch without ruining our appetite for dinner. Then we went back to the pier and just sat on a bench and rested. We couldn't do anything else anyway. Finally, the ferry was back, people got back in line and we were loaded up on the boat. We parked our bikes and went up on the top and sat to admire the view. And boy, what a view. As we left Richardson bay, the sun was starting to set and we could see the fog starting to roll off the top of the hills near the Golden Gate bridge. It was such a magnificent sight.
The wind was so strong that if you faced it head on, you had trouble breathing. The wind rush was so intense, and so cold. Again, thank god for our hoodies. In the distance I noticed we were going to pass by Alcatraz. I was pretty excited. I was going to see the prison island up close! And we did! Man, that place looks run down. But, it's so impressive! I can't believe some people had the guts and the courage to actually escape from there! First you had to escape from the building. Then, hide from the guards and find your way to the edge of the cliff. Then dive in shark-infested water and finally swim across the bay back to the shore! talk about extreme!
Finally, we arrived at pier 39, grabbed our bikes and got off the boat. It was time to complete our journey and go home to get ready for dinner later tonight. At that point, my ass hurt so bad I couldn't even sit on the saddle anymore. I had to stand on the pedals the whole way through. My legs were just about to give up. Thankfully, we went around the city along the Embarcadero. We passed in front of all the piers and under the bay bridge. The funny part is that there is a big fountain on the Embarcadero called the Vaillancourt fountain. Vaillancourt... That name sounds pretty French Canadian. Indeed, the fountain was designed by a Quebecker name Armand Vaillancourt! The fountain was named.... oh jeez... Quebec Libre? Really? I hate it when our local politics are taken abroad as if to get some sympathy from the world. Apparently, the statue started to have a whole other meaning over time and became a symbol of expression for the common people through art and graffiti. Also, they had to turn it off at some point because it wasted too much water.
Eventually, we took a turn towards the downtown financial district until we reached Market street and eventually got home. Here's a map showing the trip that we made. Total distance: ~50km/30miles.
We sat for a while and rested our poor legs. I took a well deserved hot shower, got myself all dressed up and we took a cab (there was NO WAY we were walking there) to the restaurant. I heard of the place through Yelp! and eventually found a video on Youtube featuring the place with none other than Anthony Bourdain! He was right about Joe Beef in Montreal, so I trust he couldn't be wrong about this place in San Francisco. The restaurant is called R & G Lounge. Take a look at the video:
I saw this video before I flew off to San Fran, so I took note of it. I also noted the crab and the martinis. That night, to say thank you, I was going to treat my hosts to a great dinner in one of the best restaurants in town. We actually had to reserve a the day before and we were only able to get a table close to closing time! That worked out perfectly for us though, considering how much time we wasted on the ferries that day.
First things first, the drinks. We each ordered a martini. My friend ordered a French pear martini, his partner a lemon drop martini, and of course, being the purist that I am, I had to go for the leechee martini. I love martinis and mine was delicious! We started off by having salmon-avocado egg rolls as an appetizer. (No pictures. Sorry! We were too hungry!) Then we ordered the famous salt and pepper crab. I don't think I've ever eaten something as messy as this. The crab legs are covered in tasty greasy batter which you gnaw off the shell before cracking them open with a nut cracker. Then the flesh inside is moist and oh-so-tasty! Deep frying really gives meat this moist flavourful taste and it's no different with crab meat. Simply amazing.
Following the crab, we received the rest of our order: Peking duck, fresh prawns with candied honey walnuts and mixed vegetables deluxe. This was a helluva feast! And I've never had such high quality Chinese food before in my whole life. The Peking duck was so tasty. The skin was crispy and the meat was juicy and delicious. Sandwiched between those little steamed buns with hoisin sauce it was just amazing. The shrimps really surprised me. They're taken fresh from their aquarium. I've never had fresh shrimps before and I gotta say, you really can taste the shrimp taste a whole lot more. It was such an experience! This was, without a doubt, one of the best meals of my life.
I was just finishing up on the tasty crab when the rest of our food arived.
Everytime I look at those I think about them fookin' prawns!
After such a good meal, we were completely stuffed. I picked up the tab and, frankly, for 3 people with the tip, it was pretty god damn reasonable! The service was impeccable and the food was the best Chinese food I've ever had. Definitely worth it! So, we cleaned up (thank god for moist towelettes) paid and took a cab home. I can tell you that I slept very well that night. I could have been lying down on a bed of nails and still would have fallen asleep. I was so tired from this wonderful weekend, but it was a good kind of tired. The kind from spending so much energy on doing awesome stuff.
The next morning, I felt really sad. I didn't want to go back. This was such a nice place. The people were great, the sights were amazing, the weather was amazing. The very aura around this city is calming and soothing. I truly left my heart with the city of San Francisco. I cannot wait until the next time that I will visit this city. I also have my friends to thank for this amazing weekend. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have had so much fun. And I thank them for welcoming me into their home and having me stay over. That made everything so much easier. Thank you a million times!
I'll miss you San Fran!