San Francisco in a day —

A couple weeks ago I was driving around San Diego with two colleagues. Between the three of us we probably are travelling internationally half of the year. I said — the world needs a guide for people like us who have three, six, 24 hours in a city.  The business traveller’s condensed guide to seeing the best a city like Tokyo has to offer. There is nothing more tragic than someone going to Paris for the first time in their life and staying in a Novotel at La Defense without seeing the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame. It’s just a matter of a taxi ride and the will to explore.

Anyway, I just wrote an email to a colleague on her way to San Francisco next week:

dinner at Brandy Ho’s — 217 Columbus Avenue near Broadway
spicy – like seriously f#$king  spicy
so don’t get silly and dare them to bring on the heat. They will poison you.

Deep fried dumplings
Chicken salad (ask them to substitute the noodles for the “thick” or “fat” noodles)
smoked ham with cloves of garlic
Bean curd with meat sauce
spicy eggplant

those are the must-haves for me. The rest is up to you

Then, across the street,  the Tosca
242 columbus. Booths or the bar
Irish Coffee is the classic San Francisco drink but I am not a fan
A Negroni — basically an Italian martini — straight up. And some opera on the jukebox …..

I used to bartend at a great place called the Balboa Cafe on Greenwich and Fillmore in the Marina District.
ancient bar with an awesome awesome restaurant.
The bloody mary’s there are made from scratch and are .,…. well. I make the world’s best bloody mary as a result.

That’s it.
The rest is sightseeing.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

5 thoughts on “San Francisco in a day —”

  1. It took me a while to get brave enough to tackle strange cities alone, but I learned to make it a point to use what little time I had, even making reservations ahead of time. San Francisco is on my “revisit, time there was too short” list, so I’m keeping your recommendations stashed. And I LOVE that there’s a jukebox with opera on it somewhere in the world.

  2. Nothing peeves me more than a business trip to a big city w/ no opportunity to go out and eat local. I’m sure the Eiffel Tower is nice and all but get me to a restaurant!

  3. Boy, I can relate. A few years ago I had the occasion to do a one-night visit with a friend/business associate in New Orleans. I had visions of delicious delta foods. Instead, he insisted on a retaurant with fired catfish, french fries, fried this, fried that, and all with ketchup! Yuck, what a disappointment.

    If he ever comes to visit me, I’m taking him straightaway to Burger King.

  4. Thanks so much for the tips David… I can report back that I did drag everyone to dinner at Brandy Ho’s. We got the deep fried dumplings, and I had the smoked ham with cloves of garlic… it was really good.

    I did not make it over to Tosca, but I did have not one, but two Negronis at a different dinner, sucked those right down, delicious.

    The one other place that had amazing cocktails was at The Clock Bar in the lobby of the St. Francis Hotel in Union Square.

    I would add that if you happen to have a car and 2 – 3 hours, you can go to and from Muir Forest… which I thought was fantastic. Had never seen the big redwoods and when I finally did, I let out an audible gasp. Amazing.

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