Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blogging the AGU

Have had a passable (cheap) burrito, a pretty decent Thai dinner, brunch at Dottie's True Blue Cafe (perhaps surprisingly, it really was worth the wait) and a 28oz steak.

OK, I shared the steak, and that list covers both Saturday and Sunday's meals. We also took a tram ride, walked up Vallejo and down Lombard Street and have done a lot of shoe shopping. Both jules and I fall outside the normal size range in Japan, which made that a particular priority here.

I heard there was some sort of conference about to start. Hope it doesn't spoil our holiday. Still got a few more meals to fit in somehow.

SF is fun, but I have to make two complaints. First, coffee in the USA is awful. Weak but somehow also nasty-tasting swill. Yes, I'm sure there are some places to get a decent brew, but a large proportion of what we've had so far has been pretty horrid. I can only imagine that Americans actually like it like that. And secondly, the amount of smoke on the streets is obnoxious. Can't you introduce some Japanese-style laws and make the smokers all lock themselves into smoking rooms where they can all share the love with each other rather than inflicting their habit on normal people? (I know Japan hasn't fully sorted out the restaurant situation yet though, and Kyoto seems worse than Tokyo/Kamakura).


Steve Bloom said...

This sort of report is enough to make the Mayor's hair stand on end.

At least until the recent consolidation, there was a location downtown where one could see the signs of no less than four St. Arbucks. Even post-slaughter, they can't be that hard to find.

But (and you knew this was coming), there is the even better Peet's, branches of which are reasonably thick on the ground.

That said, most of the stand-alone establishments have pretty good quality stuff. Were your bad experiences with restaurant house coffee?


Steve Bloom said...

Oh, in the last couple of years there has sprung up a movement of micro-roasters who claim to serve the finest brew in the alpha sector. It is indeed good stuff, although the hippie ostentation can be a little hard to take. Anyway, this one looks to be easy access for you.

Oh yes, further steps on smoking are being pushed. One recent state-wide change banned smoking in cars carrying children. We should start seeing public space bans before too long, I think.

Also, if you have a chance for more sight-seeing, do poke your heads into the main library in civic center. Ook ook.

James Annan said...

I thought I might get lynched if I had mentioned that best coffee so far had been from the church of St. Arbucks. Have now tried Pete's which was also fine - I'm not really a coffee snob. That one in MOMA looks fun but I don't think we will have time to make the $18 museum entry fee worth it. The MOMA ground floor cafe itself was one of the horrid examples that prompted the post, along with Dotties, but in both those cases the real goal was food.

David B. Benson said...

Arn't you supposed to have tea @ Dotties?

James Annan said...

Ah, maybe that's it - it wasn't weak coffee, but strong tea!