Thursday, March 10, 2011

City by the bay part II

We left off at the end of my first night in SF. After the unreasonably late excursions, pre-sickness and touch of alcohol it is safe to say there were many reasons I should not be feeling in top shape the following morning. A had gotten to bed a handful of hours before me and was also a little groggy, but washed up nicely and went to meet Other A at a cafe across the street where I joined them. A cruller and some soybean milk and we were on our way to a morning of talks. Even though I wasn't feeling any better than when I woke up, I managed to drag myself into a taxi with P and V and head to Chinatown for some dim sum lunch. We got there early and the restaurant, whose name escapes me, had not started cart service yet. I managed to order some of my favorites nevertheless.

Taro fritters!
Shrimp dumplings! Not my favorite, but pretty tasty.
Custard buns (favorite)! Sesame balls.
 We walked off lunch up and down Chinatown's steep streets, enjoying the scenery.

I remember those.
These melons... they is not for you...
After a quick workout and a shower back at the hotel, I was feeling a little better and spent the afternoon productively conferencing with my labmates. We all went out to a Tex-Mex chain for dinner (I won't repeat the name here out of mild disgust) and A and I turned in early to freshen up before our talks the following day.

The final day, we got up and gussied up and ran straight to the conference, arriving by eight to hear a good friend's talk. A spotted an organic coffee bar on the way and we doubled back to it during the break for much-needed breakfast. Two ham, egg and cheese bagels and some lattes later, we felt much better. I ordered an apple, orange and carrot juice that spawned raw juice cravings for weeks afterwards. I figure one can't go to California and not hit up a juice bar. For lunch we joined arms with an adjacent lab group and hopped a few blocks down to the Whole Foods. No sooner had I walked in than I noticed the massive amounts of west coast beers. A frenzy of pictures ensued.

I don't see most of you back home...
Then, of course, I saw the Russian Rivers and all bets were off. Three hours later I would be dragging my carry on-sized but solid frame suitcase back to this Whole Foods, purchasing at least 10 bomber-sized bottles and taping, wrapping, and packing them in the eating area among wide-eyed locals watching me throwing my overflow of underthings and conference clothing into a strategically-brought duffel bag. But before that, I ate lunch.

I have had Whole Foods sushi before in both Chicago and Boston and, may I say, it never tasted this good.
A shrimp and a salmon roe are missing... in my belly.
Eel, we shared.
Rainbowish roll, also shared. Could I have eaten it all? Probably.
Ironically I only got a few bites of each platter before I had to run back to the conference to proof my talk. Everyone else enjoyed them immensely. The subsequent talks went off without hitch and we returned to the disappointing Tex-Mex chain for dinner before taxi-ing back to the airport. Our flight didn't leave until late so we all claimed a table at Perry's and ordered drinks to bide the time. This is where I met the Bench Pinot Noir.
The perfect end to the trip.
I will have a story about the Bench Pinot Noir later as I am now in the possession of what was 4 but is now 2 bottles and these bottles are technically not available for purchase.

No comments:

Post a Comment