Friday morning, first thing, Zung went down to the coffee kiosk in the lobby and got coffee, tea and pastries. We texted Nicholas and asked if he wanted to meet us for breakfast. He was up for it and we made plans to meet for breakfast at La Presse. It was about a ten minute walk for us. We were seated right away.
I think we all had the Eggs Benedict, because that is the only picture I took.
In my opinion, you can’t put too much hollandaise on eggs benedict. I often ask for extra.
We made plans to have breakfast with Nicholas again tomorrow. He said I should pick someplace closer to him. He will remind me of this again, and again, and again, tomorrow.
Zung and I go back to the hotel and talk with the doormen and ask about taking the cable car. The instructions I have to get to the walking food tour in North Beach/Little Italy say we should take the cable car. This is one of those iconic San Francisco things to do, so we decide we will kill two birds with one stone — get to the walking food tour and take a cable car to get there. We aren’t leaving for this yet, but we want to know what we have to do ahead of time.
What we do, is go shopping in Union Square again. We go to Macy’s and I get the Donald Pliner boots I tried on the day we arrived and I get a pair of boots for Susie. We also go to Victoria Secrets, one of my very favorite stores. We return to the hotel and drop off our packages in the room. The shopping bags are accumulating. We rest a bit before heading out to the walking tour.
The cable car stop is only a block away. The first car if full. It is taking awhile and I am starting to stress about getting there on time. The next car that comes does not have the destination sign I am looking for, but I ask the driver if they are going to where I think I need to go. He says yes. We get on.
I don’t get the charm factor of the cable car. It’s cold and crowded and the driver is kind of grumpy. Some people get on and he tells them it’s full. They don’t understand and he yells at them to get off.
Most of the views are nice.
I say “most” of the views, because I got a view of something I wasn’t planning on. I was looking at the houses as we went by and there was a house where there was a couple having sex right by the second story window for me and anyone else who was looking to see. Some things just shouldn’t be on display for a cable car full of people going by to see.
No pictures of that!
These are the controls. I’m thinking you have to be pretty strong to drive one of these things.
We got to the street I had written down as where we wanted to get off. I asked the driver who I should pay and he just kind of shook his head, and then I asked him what I should do with the money and he said I should buy myself a beer.
We arrived at the restaurant where the tour began and actually had to wait about 10 minutes before the tour guide was ready to go.
There was an interesting mix of people. A young woman and her four year old child. A newlywed couple from Australia — they were super friendly, some women from Denver who are running in the marathon on Sunday. Eleven people in all. Jim is our tour guide. He does a great job and talks about all kinds of other stuff in addition to food.
The Coit tower. We wanted to go see this, but this was as close as we got.
Our first stop is at a coffee shop.
I don’t drink coffee usually, so I have hot chocolate. Zung has coffee.
He says the coffee is good. The hot chocolate is good, but it is super rich, so I only drink about half because I know there is more food coming.
Jim takes us inside and tells us about the big fancy coffee roaster and how coffee is roasted. This is not a good picture of Jim, but it is a good picture of the roaster.
Our next stop is a catholic church. While Jim had lots of interesting stories to tell about the church, I wasn’t sure what it had to do with food.
We walked to a bakery. It was a very old bakery. Jim said they had been in business for decades.
This is one of the ovens. They are over 100 years old.
Look at that giant mixer.
There was a platter with breads and water and some macaroons for us to sample.
Look at the big mountains of dough.
Our next stop was a candy store.
We got a lesson in making fudge. They had all kinds of crazy flavors of fudge and taffy.
We were given sample bags to go and several of us made purchases here.
Our next stop was close by.
Here we tasted balsamic vinegars and more candy. They had the best chocolate covered caramels I’ve ever had. I bought some for us and some vegan ones for my best friend, Erika.
There was so much amazing looking food here. I wished I could have bought more. They gave out all kinds of samples too.
Next door was this store. No food, but we have a kitty named Lola, so we had to take a picture.
With all the sweet stuff I had consumed, I was starting to feel full. Jim next took us to an Italian restaurant for some pasta pomodoro. our final stop was where we had started and there we had some very thin crust pizza. It was really good. There were also cannolis, but we passed on those because we had dinner reservations in just an hour. The tour was supposed to last three hours, but with the late start and it went a little longer, it was 5:30 when we left.
We called for an Uber. Because it was a busy time for them, they were charging a premium rate. It was 1.5x the regular rate. you have to accept the higher rate to complete the request. We were feeling time crunched and happily accepted the higher rate.
The food tour was fun and delicious and something different from anything I’ve ever done before. I would definitely recommend it and I would do it again. It was $59 per person and we gave Jim a $20 tip. They have a tour of Chinatown that I would love to do.