Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for San Francisco.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
San Francisco is such a great tourist city that we never tire of visiting – great views, interesting museums, fun shopping and exciting restaurants.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near San Francisco you can see these species: Virginia Rails, Common Goldeneye, Burrowing Owls, Long-billed Curlew, Whimbrel, Dowitches and Cinnamon Teal.
The Golden Gate Audubon Society (goldengateaudubon.org/birding-resources/birding-site/) shows several birding areas and the species we’re likely to see.
SF Bay Wildlife (sfbaywildlife.info/species/birds.htm) links us to fellow birders and societies.
Towhee (http://towhee.net/birdsf/index.html) offers very practical tips on bird varieties and our behavior.
Shopping: Union Square and Bush and Sutter Streets are prime shopping areas. Other shopping attractions are the trendy shops on Fillmore and Union Streets in historic Cow Hollow, and the area around Columbus Avenue and Polk Street, where you will find hidden treasures.
Transportation: San Francisco gives you two sites for getting around town and the area: (sfmat.com) or (bart.gov).
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) – Your connection to more than 500 stations in 46 states. For online information and train schedules visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)
Day One: It’s time for lunch at Zuni Café - L&D: Daily, 1658 Market St, 415-552-2522.
Dee and I shared a Frisée salad with fennel, black mission figs, pistachio picada, and shallot vinaigrette.
Then we had the famous roasted chicken for two with warm Tuscan-style bread salad. Note: One should not go to Zuni and not have this dish.
We had a bottle of Qupé “Bien Nacido Reserve – Block Eleven” Chardonnay that went well with the salad and the chicken.
Following lunch we visited the De Young Memorial Museum - Tu-Su: 9:30-5:15, F: 9:30-8:45, 50 Hagiwara TeaGarden Dr, Golden Gate Park, 415-750-3600
The De Young Museum is the fourth-most-visited art museum in North America, and the 16th-most-visited in the world.
Housed in a state-of-the-art, accessible, and architecturally significant facility, it provides valuable art experiences to generations of residents and visitors.
We have seen some wonderful exhibitions here worth the visit to San Francisco alone. Don’t mis the sculpture garden.
While in the Golden Gate Park we went to the Japanese Tea Garden – Daily: 9-6, 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, 415-752-1171
It’s beautiful with streams, pagodas, ﬂora, and a tea house where you can enjoy tea and the setting.
On a recent visit the grounds people were trimming some bushes, and gave us a cutting that we took back to Pennsylvania and planted in our yard.
For dinner we chose Range - D: Nightly, 842 ValenciaSt, 415-282-8283.
For starters we had the spiced tuna confit with cara cara oranges, lucques olive tapenade and California caviar.
Then Dee had the olive poached flounder with yellow fin potatoes, sautéed puntarelle, clementines and garum vinaigrette.
I had the rainbow trout with baby tokyo turnips, broccoli rabe and carrot vadouvan.
We had the ’05 Benanti Etna Bianco mainly in memory of our recent journey to Sicily. It was a great match for the fish.
Day Two: Breakfast was at one of my all time favorites Sears Fine Foods - B,L,D: Daily, 439 Powell St, 415-986-1160.
After juice and coffee we went with their “World Famous18 Swedish Pancakes” served with warm syrup, bacon and ligonberries.
Next we pulled our “go-to-jail” card and went to Alcatraz Island – “Hornblower Alcatraz” loading, Pier 33, M-F:9:30-2:45, Sa-Su: 9:30-2:15, 415-981-7625.
Alcatraz Island achieved fame as a prison and now serves as a tourist attraction. After visiting San Francisco many times Dee convinced me to visit this site. It’s worth the effort.
When returned from the island we decided to visit Coit Tower - Daily: 10-5, 1 Telegraph Hill, 415-362-0800.
Excellent views, fascinating WPA artwork painted in the 1930s. This is a very interesting place to visit.
After a short walk to Union St. we caught the bus to Cow Hollow and another favorite place to have lunch – Betelnut ( – L&D: Daily, 2030 Union St, 415-929-8855.
For us there are 2 must haves on the Betelnut menu. The first is the chili crusted calamari and the second is the glazed pork short ribs with garlic thai basil.
We like the 2008 Navarro Gewurztraminer to compliment this spicy food. Union Street in Cow Hollow has lots of fun shops and boutiques to window shop and browse through.
After this exhausting window shopping it’s time for a libation and nibble at St. Vincent – M-Sa: 6 PM to 10 PM, 1270 Valencia St, 415-285-1200
We had one order of Snowdrop, a grassy Colorado goat cheese. Dee enjoyed a glass of the unusal Movia Brda “Veliko Bianco,” from Brda, Slovenia and I had a glass of Copain Anderson Valley Pinot Noir “Les Voisins,” California.
Dinner was at Cotagna - L: M-Sa, D: Nightly, 490 Pacific Av., 415-775-8508 – located next door to Quince where we have dined several times before and after their move.
We shared an order of Monterey Bay sardines with cauliflower & pine nuts accompanied by glasses of Prosecco di Trevisio, Extra Dry, Trevisiol.
Dee had the pappardelle with lamb ragu, and I had the Wolfe Ranch quail & pork belly.
We had a bottle of Maremma Toscana, “Mongrana,” Querciabella 2009 from their creative $40 list.
Years ago our friends, John and Marilyn, introduced us to The Buena Vista Café – M-F 9am-2am, Weekends 8am-2am, 2765 Hyde St (@ Beach), 415-474-5044,
The historic venture started on the night of November the 10th in 1952.
Jack Koeppler, then-owner of the Buena Vista, challenged international travel writer Stanton Delaplane (shown above) to help re-create a highly touted “Irish Coffee” served at Shannon Airport in Ireland.
Intrigued, Stan Accepted Jack’s invitation, and the pair began to experiment immediately. Check out their story online. We have met many interesting travelers here enjoying their Irish Coffee.
Day 3: The Tartine Bakery – B, L: Daily, 600 Guerrero St., 415 487 2600 was our breakfast stop.
Dee had a slice of quiche and I had a croissant. Trust us it’s worth the effort to get here.
After breakfast we decided to visit the Ferry Building -M-F: 10-6, Sa: 9-6, Su: 11-5, One Ferry Bldg at the foot of Market St, 415-983-8030,
This was an alternative breakfast stop with lots of options. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays there is a wonderful Framers Market that features an array of artisan street food: wood-fired pizza, grilled meats, sandwiches, and tacos.
The next stop was the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - M-Tu: 11-5:45, Th: 11-8:45, F-Su: 11-5:45, 151 Third St, 415-357-4000,
The SFMOMA is closing in June, 2013 for a $550 million expansion until early 2016. We will keep you informed where special exhibitions are taking place under their direction.
It was back to one of our favorites for our last meal on this trip, Boulevard - L: M-F, D: Nightly, 1 Mission St, 415-543-6084
We shared the Monterey abalone & charred Spanish octopus with hearts of palm and pasta fregula. We each had a glass of Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley.
Dee had the Pacific sea bass with celery root mash, crushed hazelnuts, and sautéed spinach. I had the seared butter poached quail breast and pancetta dressed legs with quinoa, wild rice, buttered pecans and baby carrots with mint.
Our wine was an ’08 Beckman Syrah, Purisima Mountain Vineyard.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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