Sunday, December 13, 2009

San Francisco - Day Three

Sunday, as you may know, is Dim Sum Day! At least, it is in my family. Having Dim Sum on Sunday was the only real plan I had laid out for our trip. This final full day in San Francisco can be described in five parts.
  1. Dim Sum Meal. (YUM!)
  2. Post Dim Sum comatose state. (uugh...)
  3. Walking around town shopping, trying to work off some of that Dim Sum Meal.
  4. Complimentary wine by the fire, as described in San Francisco - Day One post.
  5. Late night dinner at an Irish pub.
After rummaging around in my purse to locate the crumpled napkin on which our bartender at Li-Po had written her restaurant recommendation, we set out at around 10:30 AM on a brisk and beautiful day. Upon arrival at Great Eastern, we took a number and stood around to wait. The lobby was half full and everyone seemed in good spirits. Lots of families chattering loudly in my people's language so I knew this place was for reals.

There were no ladies pushing carts, hawking their wares. We ordered like at a sushi restaurant, marking the number we wanted of each dish on a piece of paper. Turns out, the food is a bit fresher this way. Also turns out, without having actual dishes on the table to gauge, we way over ordered. It was all so yummy, we tried to eat it all. One of the ladies chuckled at us when she brought out one of the last dishes and we groaned. They never brought out the final dish -- I think they knew we couldn't fit another morsel into our very full bellies. We were so grateful they took it off the bill. The lobby was super crowded as we left the restaurant. So glad we showed up on the early side.

It started to cloud over on our way back to the hotel but no rain yet. We stopped in a few Chinatown trinket shops. I wonder what you have to do to be part of the Leather Club?

Sergio shows off our leftovers.

We dropped our leftovers at the hotel and set out again. It started to rain, which gave me the excuse to run into various clothing shops. (Shopping spoils for another post.) After wandering around for several hours in the wet weather, wine by the fire was a welcome respite. We retired to our room for a nap and also ended up watching War of the Worlds on TV. It was 10PM when it ended -- and still raining! We were a bit defeated by those pesky raindrops and decided to save the Starlight Room for a future trip. Finally hungry, we headed over to The Irish Bank Bar, located next to the hotel, down a long, dumpster-lined alleyway. This is the same alleyway where we spied someone testing out their fishing pole on Day Two. The bartender was actually Irish! It was nice and cozy, and most importantly, the kitchen was still open.

Sergio drank two Guinness. I had two Margaritas. See pics on left are of us afterward, in the hotel elevator. Look how happy Sergio is!

He also had a Vegetable Quesadilla and I had a Pureed Red Pepper soup. We sat next to a French couple who was having trouble getting the ketchup out of the bottle. I reached over and exercised the technique I learned from Linda Tang more than a decade ago. Works like a charm every time. They were quite impressed.

I did a little bit of packing and we turned in. I haven't had a margarita in perhaps...6 months? Is that possible? The tequila hit me a bit harder than I anticipated. Well, I probably should have had something more substantial than soup. Egads I love soup though.

I didn't want to trip up the happy narrative above with the following story, so I place it here at the bottom.

While waiting for our table at the Dim Sum restaurant, we saw a funeral procession inch slowly along the street. It stopped right in front of the restaurant, mourners got out of the caravan and stood on the street. Paper note offerings were thrown up into the air, flurrying like giant square snowflakes around the small huddle. Their faces were so stony and sad. We could see tears glint on their faces. Then, they all climbed back into the black automobiles and it proceeded past. I don't know why they stopped there. Maybe this was the guy's favorite restaurant. I was fascinated and struck by the juxtaposition of watching the dignified and solemn scene from inside the loud, boisterous restaurant.

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