If I Knew You Were Coming, I'd Have Baked a Cake

Well, I knew he was coming, but I didn’t bake one. I bought one instead. Do you think I could make a cake as precious as the one below? Perhaps, but not under stress.

I thought about baking him a cake, but I’ve been known to impart too much meaning into such baked goods before. I thought about this one a little too much. So much so, that I ran out of time. So I bought one, which is nearly as good, meaning-wise, but less pressure, which is better.

I have a visitor arriving this week. A rather special one. He hasn’t spent much time in San Francisco and so it is up to me to show it to him. I’ll show him what I consider to be my San Francisco. The tricky part is figuring out just what that is.

I imagine there are those of you out there who have faced this problem before. A guest arrives. Their idea of San Francisco dining might consist of eating chowder from a sourdough bread bowl. Or Rice-a-roni. Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to have a guest who’s heard about dim sum and is game for it. That’s one meal out of the way. My guest will be spending nine days with me. That’s twenty-seven meals together. Hopefully together, anyway. What about the other twenty-six?

The pressure has been building. Inside my own head, I mean. I know it’s absolutely silly. I just want to show him, food-wise and other-wise, what it is I love about this city and what it has to offer. I will take him to a few of my favorite places, places that have meaning to me. I will offer him local foods that I love. The rest, I imagine will take care of itself. I will not be rigid. I will go with the flow.

To start things off, I’ve got a few of my favorite things already laid out for him when he arrives. Enter one Miette Sharfenberger chocolate cake, as pictured above. Also enter a selection of Michael Recchiuti chocolates as somewhat fuzzily pictured above. Nothing says “nice to see you” like a good sugar buzz.

We’ll have our first dinner at Frascati. The constant clackity-clack of the Hyde Street Cable Car line just outside the front door will send a rather rhythmic, not too terribly subtle message that, well, he’s not in Vancouver anymore (Such a world-class city!).

There are lots of other restaurants I want him to try, but time and budget won’t allow us to visit them all. Three more we’ll definitely be going to are:

House of Nanking, becuase I want him to get bullied by a waiter into eating great Chinese food.

Florio, because that’s my favorite little neighborhood haunt and the chef is a man who made me like tripe.

Kokkari. My guest’s family is Greek, so this visit is unavoidable. Besides, I want to eat smelt and lamb’s tongue again.

The rest will play itself out. Cowgirl Creamery, Blue Bottle Coffee, breakfast at Tartine, studiously avoiding Delfina, all that stuff will likely follow.

I would like to hear some suggestions from you, dear reading audience (sound of crickets chirping). Hellooooooo?


What smacks of this city to you? What is your San Francisco Treat? I’d like to know. I’ve got a few more meal slots to fill.

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