Does Gott's directive absolve me of any personal responsibility?
And for said brunch we headed to an outlet in the Ferry Building that we'd missed the last time. I had memories of excellent seafood from my last trip to San Francisco (for Cinnamon's wedding), and here was Gott's menu promising fish and chips, calamari and Ahi tuna. So, I followed my genetic programming and headed to the waterside for some fruits de mer.
Face-off between the salad and the fried calamari
The calamari was clearly fresh and wonderfully succulent. The fried batter was wholesome with a grainy, powdery touch. The salad and the garnish that came with Frangelico's Ahi tuna burger were fresh and crunchy. But the winner has to be the side of garlic fries.
Fries smothered in herby garlic butter
I absolutely love the aglio, and the powerful punch of garlic wrapped in silken butter with a foil of parsley on crunchy fries was just perfect for me.
The second highlight was that the seemingly-plastic drinks containers were actually made of compostable plant material! Isn't this so much better than a derivative of $104 crude?
Made in the USA, like many other great, innovative ideas
After plenty of walking, we found ourselves, late afternoon, in the Castro district. Here, we stumbled upon Marcello's. Initially, my London instincts told me to run away from ready-made pizza being sold by the slice, but my foodie radar told me to stay. A large, thin-crust topped with sliced mushrooms and pesto melting into each other was all it took for me to change my mind.
The Italian theme continued, as we wandered out of Marcello's and into a nearby deli, A. G. Ferrari. Studying the deli counter all the way to the end, we came to the desserts. A torta di mandorle was selected, given Frangelico's love for all things almondy.
Jam packed with almonds
It was too nutty for me (despite the layer of jam), but Frangelico enjoyed it. It reminded me of two things from very different parts of the world: Spanish turrón duro (the crunchy variety) and powdery almond squares from India.
We didn't make it out of the deli before we'd somehow starting trying the Italian cheeses on display. I was particularly intrigued by the parmigiano reggiano, which was advertised as being the best parmesan the owner had ever found (and it was right in his ancestral home town of Borgotaro all along). I just had to try this, but the salesperson declined, because the blocks were all wrapped up and they didn't have any samples. When I mentioned that we were from London, I think he took pity on us, and he agreed to let us try the parmesan. It was a smart move on his part, because one tiny cube and we were sold. It is the most stunning parmesan I can remember having tasted.
The story of the parmigiano
We went on to have a fabulous Mexican dinner with KB later in the evening, but I didn't have my camera with me to show you proof. It was an excellent evening, catching up, talking about Singapore, London and San Francisco, hearing about Californian spiritual retreats, and exchanging stories about Cinnamon ;) KB then very generously gave us a tour taking in Presidio Heights and Crissy Fields, from which we had a wonderful, haunting view of the Golden Gate Bridge by night. Heading back downtown, we switched places, and she let me drive her car down Lombard Street! The evening ended where the day had begun, and we stopped at the original Swensen's (of Plaza Singapura fame for some of us) for some vanilla and lychee ice creams.
KB, thank you for a wonderful evening, and I really appreciate you trusting me with your car! Cinnamon, you really have some great friends - thank you for sharing them with your sisters.