Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Amazing Weekend

After our evening of wine and appetizers at J. Lohr Winery on Friday night, we left on Saturday morning for Santa Rosa and the Kendall Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival. More about that and the rest of the weekend later. This is about how we ended a great weekend in San Francisco.

As we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge heading home, we could see that the weather in the city was crisp and clear. I had seen a restaurant on Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives located on the pier that seemed perfect for such a gorgeous afternoon. Only I couldn’t remember its name. We found a parking place near Pier 35, which was pretty amazing for such a beautiful day. In 26 years here, I cannot ever remember being in SF when I thought it was warm enough to be wearing shorts (which I was – it had been 90 degrees in Santa Rosa). After walking around briefly with no luck finding a place that looked right, Larry checked his trusty smartphone and we determined it was Café Pier 23.

I had selected this location because most of the seating was outside overlooking the water. Just what I had in mind. Being on DDD, I was pretty sure the food would be diner food and I was hoping for fried clams. We were greeted with the news that there was a $10 cover charge per person. What! Not what I had in mind. Twenty bucks for the privilege of eating greasy bar food??!! I don’t think so. And I said as much. Very politely. There was a live band and I guess some people sit all afternoon and take up space. I convinced the attendant that we were really going to order food and she waived the cover. Again, another surprise- it was not crowded on such a perfect day.

We selected the last table in the corner with a perfect view of sail boats, sea gulls and sea lions. Unfortunately, no clams on the menu. But we did order calamari which was pretty good. We also split a shrimp and crab sandwich. It was served with a pungent wasabi cream. I put a little too much in some spots on my sandwich and got a good purging of my sinuses. It brought back memories of the first time I ever had wasabi. At a work event, a thick creamy green wasabi was served right by the tortilla chips. Thinking it was guacamole, I scooped up a big helping and popped it into my mouth. My head nearly exploded. At least it didn’t turn me against wasabi forever.

A perfect ending to the weekend, relaxing by the bay, basking in the September sun. The food was so-so, but given the mood of the day, I give Café Pier 23 on Sunday afternoon an A+.


  1. Great seafood eaten with pungent, sinus-exploding wasabi, while relaxing by the water. Does it get any better than that? I think not! ;)

  2. We were out there a couple of years ago so your description brought back a ton of good memories!!! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thanks, Kate

  3. It has been too long since I have been there, and I am pretty sure I have eaten at that same cafe, thanks for reminding me it's time to go back!