Last weekend, as I mentioned, we got away for our first night together without Hudson since he was born. It’s just an hour-and-a-half drive to San Francisco from Davis, so it was the perfect distance for a brief getaway (and we were missing the city). Aron’s parents were nice enough to watch Hudson while we were away, and Hudson loves being with them. And to top it off, the weather was beautiful! It worked out perfectly. Here are some highlights from the weekend…
Not far from our hotel, we made our first detour down Stevenson Alley to Yank Sing’s smaller location for dim sum (or deem-sum, as they say on their business card). It’s not the most affordable in the city, but we’d been told it is one of the best. Knowing that we planned to stop and snack often, we were careful to show restraint, but everything we had was wonderful. The house specialty is the Shanghai dumpling: minced Kurobuta Pork, scallion and ginger wrapped and steamed in its own broth. You place the broth-filled dumping onto a spoon, top it with vinegar and pickled ginger before placing it all in your mouth.
Next time we go, I hope to try their Peking Duck.
After a stop-in at the MoMA gift shop and a peek at Madewell, we boarded the F line street car (ours had come to San Francisco from St. Louis) and rode it down Market to Valencia, with the goal of browsing and dilly-dallying our way from 24th to 14th street.
My friend would have scolded me if I didn’t try her favorite, Four Barrel Coffee. No arm twisting was required.
There were all kinds of interesting shops to browse (The Voyager and Taylor Stitch were two favorites), cute restaurants to sample (I liked the look of The Little Chihuahua and Locanda), and interesting people to watch. I loved seeing people walk away with neatly tied up bundles of flowers from the flower truck, The Petaler.
We browsed the selection at Public Bikes (an SF-based brand that seemed to explode on the blogs when they first came out) and Aron test-rode a bike by Mission Bikes–who would be able to custom-make a frame for his 6’8 one.
We had intended to go back to the hotel between shopping and dinner but found ourselves at Foreign Cinema instead, for cocktails with a friend. Foreign Cinema was one of the first “fancy” dates Aron and I went on together in the city–maybe 12 or 13 years ago! (Wow. That math just shocked me.) It’s incredible to see how popular it continues to be. They have a covered courtyard where they screen foreign and independent films on a big white wall and the menu changes with the seasons. I hear the brunch is great. And it’s definitely a fun date spot.
Friends had recommended Bar Crudo, in the latest neighborhood to be heralded the “hot new scene,” Lower Divisadero (there’s a Bi-Rite opening there this week) for delicious seafood. And indeed I could have ordered at least four more servings of the Raw Crudo sampler. I wish I were having it right now.
From our room we could watch The Bay Lights, a light installation that will span San Francisco Bay through 2015.
After putting in our name for brunch down the block, we stopped in at Potrero Hill’s favorite coffee shop, Farley’s. Besides having one of the best chocolate croissants we’ve had (and definitely the best since leaving these guys in New York), it was the kind of place that makes you want to move into the neighborhood. Magazines and board games? And kids who play board games on their own while their parents sip coffee and read said magazines? Sold.
But we decided that that’s exactly what we could do with Hudson; better to use this visit to wait an hour, coffee from Farley’s in hand, for brunch at Plow. Once seated, we ordered half the menu, finished two-thirds, and declared it delicious.
Turns out at Potrero Hill is home to the true crookedest street in the city (it’s Vermont St., not Lombard!) so of course we had to check it out. It’s not quite as picturesque as the famous one, but it has crazy, honest-to-goodness, car-sickness-inducing curves.
We sighed a heavy sigh when leaving, already planning our next solo getaway, but I also thought a lot about how fun it’s going to be to show Hudson those cable cars.