Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MYMYCoffee Shop

On Thanksgiving morning I was quite shocked that so few places were open for breakfast. I mean this is San Francisco, a tourist town. We luckily found that the MYMY Coffee Shop was open. We had been here before a few months back and thought it was pretty good, so we decided to start our holiday off there. A good thing about MYMY is that there never seems to be a line. The one time we went before, we were sat immediately and this time too. Plus whenever I walk by, there are tables open or the wait doesn't look long. I live by Red Door Cafe and I just don't get why people stand around for over an hour for food (and sometimes in the rain). How did this become the status quo?
Back to MYMY! The cafe is small with about 10-15 tables and a counter looking out to Larkin Street. The place is basic and resembles a classic coffee shop. I like their use of orange. We both ordered the Eggs Benedict, my eggs well done, John's poached traditionally. The eggs were done perfectly and the hollaindaise sauce done well with just a touch of lemon. The big problem I had with our meals was that our english muffins were chewy and stale. We really had to saw through them with our dull table knife to get a bite. Quite disappointing. The hash browns redeemed the dish though. Just shredded potatoes with nothing else. Crispy and delicious. Overall the food is average. This is a great breakfast spot if you don't want to wait in line. It's classic coffee shop food, nothing fancy but filling. Get the OJ, it's fresh squeezed and very refreshing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

San Francisco Railway Museum

I've lived in San Francisco for 4 years, but have never rode on one of San Francisco's historic streetcars. I've rode on plenty of cable cars, but never the cute streetcar that runs the length of Market Street. So last Saturday, John and I headed out on a mission to ride the streetcar and it was fabulous. We hopped on the F line car at Van Ness and Market. We didn't take the first one because it was packed with tourists and I wanted my ride to be perfect. So we waited a few more minutes for a nice empty street car with only two passengers, one of which was a total Asian cougar with yellow thigh-high patent leather boots. I knew we picked the right car for my first time when I saw her.

The streetcar ride is a completely different experience than the cable car. It's not as loud and much more comfortable. The inside of the cars have the "history of streetcars" plastered on the inside which makes the ride not only entertaining but educational. Plus once you hop on, you feel like you've been magically transported back to the turn of the century.

We took the car all the way to the end at the Embarcadero and magically at that same spot is the San Francisco Railway Museum. The museum serves as a visitor center that tells the history of streetcars and cable cars and how they are used today in San Francisco. The museum is small but very entertaining. We spent about a half-hour looking at all the historic pictures, watching a historic film of a streetcar on Market street days before the big 1906 earthquake, and playing conductor on the full-size replica streetcar. We also managed to buy a streetcar magnet. A new treasure.

Next time you are looking for something random to do in the city or want to learn a bit of history stop by the San Francisco Railway Museum on Steuart across from the Ferry Building. It's best to pretend you are a tourist so that the docent will give you his entertaining spiel on the history of the streetcar.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oakland Grill

The Oakland Grill served me up some of the best brunch that I've had in a long time. They do breakfast and they do breakfast right. Plus they have $1.95 mimosas so you can't go wrong!

On Saturday, John and I ventured to faraway Oakland to meet up with our friends Danielle and Brian (and baby Molly). As we followed our navigation, it took us to a somewhat industrial part of Oakland (what part isn't really). Much to our surprise smack dab in the middle of produce packing central was the inconspicuous Oakland Grill. We sat upstairs overlooking the open-air kitchen and long narrow restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised to be sat right away on a Saturday at 11am. (If there is one thing that annoys me, it's droves of people waiting for breakfast.)

The menu is pretty standard for any breakfast establishment. You got your standard eggs, pancakes, omelets, Eggs Benedict and a few other specialty-type items like Crab Benedict and Huevos Rancheros, but nothing out of the ordinary. The food was superb for breakfast food. Hot, fresh and delicious. I ordered my poached eggs "well done" and they came out perfect. Danielle ordered a breakfast combo that closely resembled a Denny's Grand Slam, why mess with something if it isn't broken.

The mimosas are a true selling point for the Oakland Grill. With other breakfast places charging upwards of $7 or $8 for a single mimosa, Oakland Grill has really cornered the cheap mimosa market in the area. We each enjoyed 2 mimosas each which cost us $16, but if we had mimosas at Fat Lady down the street, we would have been out a whopping $56.

Oakland Grill is a great breakfast spot to hit next time you find yourself hungry and in Oakland.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ti Piacera: Killer happy hour on Polk

Ti Piacera has been my go-to happy hour for quite a while now for many reasons. For starters, it's on Polk, so it's generally accessible for friends to meet there coming from all directions after work. Second, the happy hour is super cheap. Wine is $3 a glass and pretty good. You get a choice of Sangiovese, Merlot or Chardonnay. It's not the best of the barrel but it's pretty darn good for $3 a glass. They also have $3 draft beers for the non-wine drinkers (gasp!). And the main reason I go there......they have the best carpaccio. It is absolutely melt in your mouth delicious. The carpaccio is thinly sliced and topped off with capers, sliced red onion, arugula, parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It's so good that when my friend Amy and I go there, we get our own. Neither of us want to share with each other.

I haven't sat down for dinner at Ti Piacera but I can definitely recommend their happy hour as one of the best in the Polk area.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dinosaurs- Vietnamese sandwich heaven

Dinosaurs Vietnamese sandwich shop in the Castro is a great find. The sandwiches are not only delicious but cheap. Being able to get a banging sandwich for $4.75 in San Francisco is quite a deal.

We wandered upon this place last Sunday and I have been thinking about it ever since. John was a bit tentative about the whole Vietnamese sandwich place as it's not his normal 'turkey and swiss on Dutch Crunch" kind of sandwich, but he was pleasantly surprised. Ordering is quite easy as there are only a few choices, chicken, pork, tofu, etc. John and I both enjoyed the chicken. He went with just the meat and sandwich bread as he was still a bit weary of the place. I ordered the chicken sandwich just as it is on the menu with sliced jalapenos, pickled radishes, shredded carrots, fresh cilantro and just the right amount of mayo. It was delicious! Be aware that Dinosaurs puts all the toppings on their sandwiches, so specify if you want a variation of the norm. The meat was delicious and the toppings fantastic. My favorite part was the pickled radishes.

Dinosaurs has outdoor seating so be sure to check out the place when you can take a seat outside and enjoy the Castro's sun.