Sunday, March 16, 2008

ORS, San Francisco

Here it is laundry-list style and primarily food focused, covering the period of March 1st through March 5th:

ORS + San Francisco
  • Seafood pasta at a third rate steak and seafood joint charging first rate prices: pasta was overdone, sauce was unremarkable, but my hunger was vast so I ate the whole thing. The others got different kinds of steaks and found them completely average as well.
  • Homemade gnocchi with a very tasty gorgonzola sauce in SF's version of Little Italy at a restaurant called Pinnochio's. Tortoise, Ferret and I basically tore through the antipasto platter as well. It got to the point where Tortoise and I were fighting for olives and Ferret had to switch seats so he could attack a different, less-devoured platter. This night set Tortoise and I up for subsequent trashing of a coffee shop the next morning.
  • Doughnuts and breakfast sandwiches at Barbary Coast every morning of the conference. This coffee shop was situated across the way from our hotel (the very pleasant Powell Hotel) and provided us with the stamina to last through morning sessions. We drank weak watery coffee for two days before we caught on to the 'Americano.'
  • Chicken sandwich at a peculiar burger restaurant nestled in an empty carnival-ish place. This sandwich tasted quite average but the presentation made it memorable. It was basically a gigantic piece of chicken (possibly an entire chicken) held in place between two normal-sized buns. Holding this contraption was tricky and consumed a lot of my attention. I think I went through an entire factory's worth of napkins.
  • In 'n Out is always a must when in California with Ferret. I might not have gone there on my own, but once there, I thoroughly enjoyed my cheeseburger and chocolate shake. In the end, I decided that I prefer McDonald's fries after all. It might not be as fresh but I love that crazy deep-fried outer crunch. Yummy. After eating burgers, Ferret, Tortoise and I were transfixed by the street spray-paint guys. It was a frenetic form of entertainment. Tortoise especially was frequently amazed at how the guy would seem to mess up only to show a second later that the mess up was part of his master plan. It was amazing!
  • There is a New Delhi in every city and San Francisco was no exception. It is starting to be a tradition that we eat Indian food once at every ORS. This place was just super delicious (pricey but that is no concern when meals are reimbursable, whooo!). We ordered lamb vindaloo, saag paneer, chicken marsala and a sampler of grilled meats and fish and ate until we fell down basically. The samosas we had for an appetizer was also tasty but the other appetizer was just onion rings more or less. And not even crazily delicious onion rings. After one bite I refused to waste valuable stomach real-estate on it. There was a funny moment involving the food bill that I won't get into here, but it was amusing.
  • The school lunch was frankly disappointing. I only enjoyed it as an opportunity to ingest some desperately needed greens. As usual, we sat with a certain person. This is becoming another tradition (less pleasant than Indian food).
  • The last day of the conference was pretty happy times for us three animals. It included the gimmicky clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls (really did not live up to expectations, the clam chowder tasted straight from the can and the bread lacked true sourdough flavor. Ferret and Tortoise really enjoyed using theirs to double as napkins though). We wandered through a Museum of old arcade games at the Wharf and watched the sea lions for a long time. Then we started to walk to Ghirardelli Square only to be side-tracked by a luxurious lawn. After a pleasant 45 minute nap, we continued on our way to the Square and I had a most delicious warm brownie sundae. I can't be at all objective about this b/c my hands were shaking, possibly from low blood sugar, so this sundae was pretty much the most delicious sundae ever. We then deposited Tortoise back at the hotel and Ferret and I made our way to the airport.

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