15 November 2012

Eating in Little Italy

When my sister told me we were going to San Francisco, we discussed places to have dinner.  She was very keen on having some Italian food.  She is currently taking Italian at school so she wanted to try some of their food.  I am going to admit, I am not a huge pasta or pizza fan.  But that's nothing a little cheese with an extra side of cheese and wine can't fix right?  I want to apologize in advance for the lack of pictures.  I was starving, and was the only one that did any of the 4 hours of driving.  Did I mention the hike through Lombard Street was before dinner?  I know my sister was constantly killing her iPhone taking pictures but I don't have access to her phone and she hasn't posted pictures for me to steal from her.  She emailed me her iPhone photos, so I will be sure to credit the pictures she took.

Pilfered from their website.

We got to the restaurant fairly early so we beat the dinner crowd and didn't have to wait in line to be seated.  I was cold and my normal feeding time had already passed so I wasn't feeling so well when we got to the restaurant.  (Low blood sugar problem I am assuming.)  So I ordered clam chowder, it was really good.  I didn't bother taking a picture of it because it was just typical clam chowder, very tasty but still just clam chowder.  People on Yelp* suggested the cioppino which is exactly what my mom and sister ordered.  It was the perfect serving size to share.  My husband ordered the clam and mussel steamer, I had a few bites of his dinner.  It was pretty darn good, I kind of wish I could go back and take a taste of what my mom and sister had.

Open kitchen line so you can watch the cooks.
Oysters on the half shell; west coast kind.  I really wish my sister would have ordered some east coast ones.  Just to see if there is a taste difference. (iPhone photo)

My mom and sister getting ready to dig in wearing their amazing paper bibs.

Cioppino after it was half devoured. (iPhone photo)

And a crappy picture of the clam and mussel steamer.
Though the food was excellent there were some points that detracted from the experience.  So much that I even posted my first review on Yelp*.  So here comes the bad part:

1.  There was a cook that was eating while he was cooking.  It's against health code!  He seriously was cooking and in between stirring this or that he was popping food in his mouth.  Since the kitchen line was open we could see it all!  Gross!

2.  This is a generalization and shoot me if you want but I know it to be pretty much 95% true.  No matter what kind of restaurant it is, the cooks in California are 95% of the time Mexican.  Japanese food, Mexican cook.  Italian food, Mexican cook... but I digress.  Right behind my mom a waitress decided to carry on with the cooks in Spanish talking about partying, drinking and cursing up a storm.  Now maybe not anyone else in the place understood them but half of my table did.  I didn't pay no mind to it.  But my mom was really disgusted that she had to enjoy her dinner with potty mouths carrying on right behind her.  :(  Had I known it was bothering her sooner I would have told them all to shut the hell up.  We were not raised around curse words, it's a dirty habit I picked up somewhere along the way.  So I could see why my mom was not pleased.

3.  Discard plates.  They brought 2 plates for shells and when they started to get full they took them away.  But they never bothered to bring new plates for the discarded shells.  Luckily I had finished my clam chowder so they used my old bowl to toss shells in but then the busser came by and took that too!  So I finally just moved the cioppino bowl off of the plate it was on and had my family use that to discard their shells.  What did they expect us to do with the discarded shells?  Pile them on the table?  Pile the discarded empty shells on top of the good food that had yet to be eaten?  Their service was lacking to say the least.  On to our next destination!

Borrowed without permission from sanfranciscodays.com
E' Tutto Qua is another Italian Restaurant, but we weren't ready just yet for second dinner.  We were merely in search of an after dinner coffee and snack.  It had gotten much colder since we had gone in to have dinner so I was happy that it was a short walk to our dessert destination.

Photo with the hubs before he departed for his own adventures in Fairfield. (iPhone photo)
My mom and sister enjoying dessert oblivious to what is behind them. (droid photo)
As I was eating my dessert and talking with my family I noticed directly behind them, across the street was a place called Hungry I Club.  And a few other similar clubs and an adult book store.  I kind of chuckled because we had been there long enough to have started eating before we paid any attention to the surroundings beyond the windows.  I don't think anyone would have noticed had I not said anything really.  Later on, the two chairs you see behind my mom and sister ended up occupied by two winos drinking booze while lounging out in the cold.  It was a very diverse neighborhood.

Here is the cannolo my sister had.  I had the same thing but I think hers looks prettier. (iPhone photo)

Did you know that cannoli is the plural form of cannolo?  I did not.  So when people say that a shoppe sells cannolis they are actually super duper wrong.  They are trying to make an already plural word even more plural?  Pluraled?  Plurarlized? Hahaa.  This place was really fun, the energy was infectious.  Since my sister is learning Italian I sort of wondered why she didn't try practicing her Italian by ordering her dessert in Italian.  Shy probably.  But you can't really learn to do something well if you don't practice.

On our long but less hilly walk back to our hotel I saw a street sign I couldn't pass up.  It was cold and I forgotten to wear (or even bring) gloves so I was very disinclined to take pictures.  But this was too cool, so my hands had to suffer the cold!

Say that street name five times fast.  Now take two shots and try again haha.
  Edit:  Forgot to give you all another Black Friday vid to scare you into staying home instead of going out to be trampled.

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