Friday, February 9, 2018


I can't think of a better place for an extra special birthday celebration than in San Francisco. Last Sunday was my birthday and we did what we always do when visiting the Bay Area, we went to The Glide. I may be somewhat of a spiritual tourist at times but attending a service always puts me in a happy and elevated place. 

The message is one of justice, compassion, equality and inclusivity. The wonderful "Glide Ensemble" and the "Change Band" get you off your feet for some joyful singing and clapping. I always spot visitors from around the world. I highly recommend it for your next San Francisco trip.

We left the gritty tenderloin district for Market Street passing the famous John's Grill on Ellis Street. The almost 110 year-old restaurant was a setting for author Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel, The Maltese Falcon. The 1941 film of the same name is on my very favorite list. Can't you almost envisage Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade walking these streets?

Market Street was busy with visitors on this beautiful day. The "Hobart Building" and it's classic revival style built in 1914 proudly stands out next to its boring modern neighbors.

Our destination for lunch was Yank Sing on Stevenson Street for their amazingly delicious Dim Sum.

Carts filled with Dim Sum delicacies constantly pass your table. They all look irrestible but restraint is needed as your bill can be very expensive! Pictured above is their famous "Shanghai Dumpling and it is fabulous!

A short walk away from Yank Sing is the famous Palace Hotel on New Montgomery Street. When it opened in 1875 it was billed as the largest and most luxurious hotel in the world.  It was rebuilt in 1909 after the fire from the 1906 earthquake gutted the structure. The "Garden Court" is pictured above where Marla really enojoyed the small combo playing "Satin Doll", a favorite song of her father.

We felt the spirit of a cherished friend, Ferol Jenkins, on this 7th anniversary of her passing as she loved this hotel. This is where we should stay our next trip!

Walking back Market Street we passed the beautiful "Phelan Building" that is reminescent of New York's "Flatiron" building.

The Phelan Building was badly damaged by the earthquake and fire of 1906 and rebuilt in 1909.

Market Street after the earthquake and fire.

This was my great grandfather's art gallery and framing shop on 4th street off of Market Street in 1905. Owen Boe is in the center of the image with the great mustache. The earthquake destroyed the building and he was forced to borrow a horse drawn cart to take his inventory across the bay to Oakland by ferry. He eventually reestablished his business on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland. He often painted with his friend and fellow Norwegian artist, Carl Jonnevold, a realist style painter of note.

I looked up at this building on Market and saw the prophetic "1906."

We noticed a crowd lining up to for opening day of "IPPUDO" restaurant on Yerba Buena Lane. They are famous for their ramen dishes. A representative from the Japanese based restaurant came out to talk to Marla about the company.

The famous "Hearst Building" is at 3rd and Market. Built in 1911 by William Randolph Hearst, he established the largest newspaper and magazine empire in the world. Citizen Kane, 1941 quasi-biographical movie directed by Orson Wells, was based in part on the life of William Randolph Hearst. The infamous Patty Hearst is his granddaughter.

Westfield San Francisco Centre was our next stop for some shopping.

Marla and I were both very impressed with the layout and merchandising of Bloomingdales in Westfield.

Many people were lined up at the Powell Street Cable Car turnaround to take a ride.

 Gary Danko was my choice for a birthday dinner splurge. We ordered Kir Royales at the bar while our table was being prepared. I can't say enough superlatives about this restaurant from their polished staff to the amazing cuisine. We found it fabulous from start to finish and highly recommended!

Their corkage was a hefty $50 for the bottle of Nickel & Nickel cabernet I brought from home. They have one of the greatest wine lists in the country! Click on the link for a look at their wines. 
Their head sommelier is very knowledgeable!

My favorite dish on my 5-course tasting menu was the Seared Filet of Beef with Potato Gnocchi, Olive Oil, Swiss Chard and Stilton Butter. Deelish!

Marla adored her duck!

A certified cheese expert brought out a sensational cart of cheese from around the world. I asked him to make an assortment for us and it was sublime!

We shared four desserts between us! I began with the dessert on the menu, Roasted Pears with Gingerbread and Nutmeg Ice Cream while Marla enjoyed the Grand Marnier Soufflé with Blood Orange Sorbet and Two Sauces. Then they brought out more sweet treats for us and a birthday cake. I am very proud to say we actually ate EVERYTHING!

We love old-school dining for special occasions and Gary Danko checked every box for us! They even do a delicious flambéed dessert.

I hope you enjoyed our San Francisco weekend.

Images: Dick Gentry, Examiner

No comments :

Post a Comment