I guess now that we’ve made it past the six-month mark, I can mention my darling, handsome, funny, romantic, artistic new gentleman companion, F.
Places we’ve eaten at that were new to me:
Taqueria San Jose. Mission near 24th St. Good burritos at good prices.
La Taqueria. 25th St. and Mission. This is supposed to be the best taqueria in the entire country. They don’t believe in rice or tofu. Their burrito is basically a big pile of meat wrapped in a flour tortilla. The meat in the one I had was rather tough, but flavorful. They don’t serve chips with their burritos, but you can order them on the side. The chips come with a huge amount of wet salsa dumped on top and quickly become soggy. We haven’t gone back there, but probably will at some point.
Heung Yuen. 22nd St. between Valencia and Mission. A favorite of F.’s for several years and now a favorite of mine. Tasty Chinese food served with alacrity by very pleasant people, at excellent prices. I particularly like their garlic eggplant and a pepper beef chow fun dish.
Roosevelt Tamale Parlor. 24th St. however many blocks east of Mission. A place F. had remembered fondly from decades ago. We had a nice time there, but haven’t been back. It’s dark and small and relatively expensive, meaning more than the $8-15 per person we usually spend for dinner.
Teriyaki (not sure if that’s its actual name, but that’s what it says out front). Potrero between 16th and 15th streets. F. eats here regularly. The California rolls are good, ditto their prices.
Mekong Kitchen. 18th St. a bit east of Castro. Neither of us liked what we had very much and it was kind of expensive.
Ali Baba’s Cave, at the corner of Valencia and 19th St. Mediterranean food. The hummus was smooth and wonderful. The falafels were hard as rock. F. had some sort of chicken wrap that he didn’t care for.
In other dining news, my chaplaincy class buddy and I tried Old Jerusalem, on Mission between 25th and 26th streets, which we both absolutely loved. Delicious, fresh Mediterranean food. We also tried Baobab, on 18th St. east of Mission, which we both hated. African food. Everything we had was yucky. We also didn’t like The Front Porch, on 29th St. off Mission, which serves Southern food. It was quite expensive and the chicken was flavorless once you got past the coating. Now and then, I’ve come upon references to boiled peanuts and always thought they sounded wonderful. They are repulsive. At The Front Porch, anyway, they are boiled in the shell and when you open the shell, you have liquid everywhere, and the soggy texture of the peanuts is exceeded in unpleasantness only by the horrible flavor.
Now, here is what would probably be good, just off the top of my head: roasted, salted peanuts heated in avocado oil and topped with mayonnaise. Yes, I just thought that up all by myself! By the way, I bought a jar of mayonnaise made with avocado oil yesterday, which I thought was going to be awful, but I think it will be perfectly satisfactory. It tastes good. The brand is Primal Kitchen. It’s not organic because apparently there is hardly any such thing as organic avocado oil, but the eggs, egg yolks and vinegar are all organic.
This past Friday evening, my chaplaincy buddy and I went to Yamo, a hole in the wall on 18th St. just west of Mission where they serve Burmese food. It was delicious and very inexpensive, but when we left, our glasses were coated with a sticky film of grease. We understood then why so many people were getting their food to go, though that the place literally seats only seven people may also have something to do with that.
Tom and I tried Burma Love, on Valencia St. not far from Market, which has a clean, modern feel. The service was great and the food was good, but I didn’t find the main thing I was hoping for, which was fantastic garlic noodles, now that the Valencia St. location of Sunflower has closed. The garlic noodles at Burma Love were about one fourth as good as Sunflower’s, but cost twice as much. The best thing at Burma Love was an appetizer of garlic shrimp, which was delectable. Twelve dollars for eight shrimp.
Places F. and I have eaten at that I had already eaten at: La Cumbre, Esperpento, La Santaneca de la Mission, Café Ethiopia, and We Be Sushi; he took me to the latter for my birthday. My favorite meal at Esperpento lately is roasted potatoes with aioli, and garlic shrimp. F. and I have also been to several potlucks at Thomas House together, hosted by the community that runs the soup kitchen.
Other things we have done: Visit Pittsburg. Take a beautiful drive, on another day, along River Road between Pittsburg and Sacramento. Go to the Alameda County Fair to see Tower of Power. Go to AT&T Park for Opera at the Ballpark: The Marriage of Figaro simulcast from the opera house. Go swimming at Lodi Lake. Go to a summer evening party hosted by Steve and Julie in Sacramento. Visit various parks and Ocean Beach. Visit a large abandoned shipyard. Cook and eat meals together. He makes wonderful eggs and many different kinds of potatoes, and we have had several dinners of baked salmon and veggies with fruit for dessert, using my father’s baked salmon recipe.
We’ve seen some movies: Magic Mike XXL, which I liked a lot. I liked the first one, too, particularly Matthew McConaughey. He’s not in the sequel, but it’s very respectful of women, of women of size, of African-Americans. It has some genuinely lovely messages. Prior to that, we saw Spy, which we both liked, and, at the Castro Theatre, we saw Double Indemnity. We also saw the heartbreaking documentary about Amy Winehouse. Beforehand, I played F. both of her CDs, so he’d have some familiarity with her music. We watched all of season three of House of Cards (streaming from Amazon), and now we’re watching season one, which he had not seen before. Plot points that escaped me the first time through are now much clearer.
On my birthday, F. and I were at a bus stop at Castro and 18th and some people came along and said it was name tag day—would we care for name tags? F. said he would like one if it could say “Us” on it. I got the same thing and we received an “Awww!” or two as we made our way from place to place that pleasant afternoon.