San Francisco

Katie and I had a wonderful weekend in San Francisco! Friday afternoon we hopped on a Continental flight–no upgrade, but no complaints. Upon checkin at our hotel in SoMa we walked around the city for awhile before meeting some friends for dinner. After just a little walking around it was easy to see why people pay so much to live there: great weather, ubiquitous walkability, and unending restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. There also seemed to be a large homeless population–you could pick worse places to live outdoors!

Our dinner was at Ramblas Tapas Bar in the Mission District. I can’t remember the myriad tapas we had but I do remember that everything was fresh, organic, local, and delicious. I had an organic stout beer to start and then one of their seven-deadly-sins-themed cocktails (Pride) afterward. Katie had a basil lemonade and a Pride cocktail but we also sampled the sangria ordered by our friends. It was a very pleasant evening and a great way to start off our trip.
Saturday we woke up early and hit the streets for breakfast at Farm:Table. There’s nothing like starting the day with blueberry bread pudding and telling yourself it’s good for you because it’s so fresh and natural! We headed north to the coast, which required a great deal of ups and downs. As we planned on eating a lot, we didn’t mind the extra exercise!
From there we could see the Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance so we decided to walk to it. It turned out to be several miles away but our walk took us through parks, along the coast, and by beaches. It was such a gorgeous day that a walk was just what the doctor ordered. We checked out Fort Point (just below the bridge) then made our way back in time for a late lunch at Ghirardelli Square. Lunch was pretty simple–a sourdough baguette and some cheese–but dessert was divine–dark chocolate cupcakes and a chocolate shake!
We continued along Fisherman’s Wharf to Pier 39, where we were delighted to see the sea lions. A brisk walk back to the hotel was followed by a very necessary nap! This revitalized us enough to head out for the evening. First we met up with some other Rice alumni at the Top of the Mark, a swanky jazz bar with great martinis and a phenomenal view.
A trip to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without a meal in Chinatown so our next stop was dinner with some more Rice alumni at R & G Lounge, which was highly recommended. It was described to us as a place where Chinese would take their visiting mothers for dinner–very authentic but nicer than a dive. I didn’t know what I was eating on some of the dishes but it was all very, very good! After such a day we didn’t have much left in the tank for anything but hitting the sack.
Sunday was more of the same. This time we walked to Golden Gate Park and once again the weather was perfect. We spent some time in the Conservatory of Flowers and Japanese Tea Garden before winding our way back to the hotel. En route we had lunch at Underdog, which specializes in ridiculously good organic, vegan hot dogs. We didn’t know quite what to expect there but we were so glad we made the stop.
After another nap we checked off a major to-do item by having dinner at The Stinking Rose in Little Italy. It lived up to all expectations with garlic hanging from the ceiling and permeating every dish. We shared a bottle of Cakebread chardonnay, an order of bagna calda [sic] and vegetarian lasagne, which left enough room for garlic ice cream afterward. So, so, SO good!
Monday morning Katie returned to Houston while I remained in town for the Investors’ Circle conference–the subject of another post in itself. In our brief time in San Francisco we walked 15+ miles, enjoyed great weather, caught up with old friends and ate a LOT of excellent food. That pretty much describes the perfect trip for me and I hope for many more to come!

Published by Bryan Guido Hassin

These are the musings of a global cleantech entrepreneur. This blog began as a way to document my experience during the IMD MBA in Switzerland and now is the place where I publish eclectic thoughts on business, politics, fitness, entertainment, travel, wine, sports, and . . . whatever else is top of mind.

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