Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So What Was the Most Beautiful Thing

…we saw that day?

Was it the San Francisco skyline?
Or maybe the sail boats on San Francisco Bay with their brilliant white sails against the azure blue sky?
Then again, could it have been the grand spires of the Golden Gate Bridge?

The container ship MSC Camille, sailing under the flag of Panama

Before I answer this, let me back up a few hours.

It is our first full day in Lodi, CA, which is about fifteen miles east of Rio Vista, the home of Chuck’s cousin Barbara. And after Chuck pleaded (actually little pleading was necessary), Barb agreed to drive us into San Francisco for what has become a traditional picnic lunch by San Francisco Bay.

Our first stop was Fisherman’s Wharf where I again lamented the “chainafication of America” as exemplified by the Applebee’s on the Embarcadero just across from the wharf.
But some of the wharf’s history remains—especially at Sabella & La Torre, our destination for the Dungeness crab portion (three large crabs, to be precise)—of our picnic lunch.
“The story of Sabella & La Torre begins with the Sabellas in 1927, when Luciano Sabella and his son, Antone, opened a small seafood stand at Fisherman's Wharf.

“After World War II, Antone sold the stand to his brothers, Frank and Michael, and his nephews, Tony and Louis La Torre, and though the business eventually expanded into a sit-down restaurant, not much has changed in the time since.

"’We still cater to a lot of locals and longshoremen, we're still doing the fresh crabs and fresh fish, and we still take pride in the business,’ says general manager Don McFarland.

Frank Sabella is still going strong—he turns 101 in October—and the same goes for his family's bread-and-butter” (Janny Hu at

Next it was time for a brisk walk—brisk, because the parking meters in San Francisco are expensive, and we fed ours the minimum—to Boudin Bakery for a loaf of crusty sourdough.

“After more than 30 years of being an inconspicuous bread shop in the heart of Fisherman's Wharf, the Boudin Bakery was super-sized a few years ago. The new, ultramodern, 26,000-square-foot flagship baking emporium is now nearly half a block long, housing not only their demonstration bakery but also a museum, gourmet marketplace, cafe, espresso bar, and restaurant.
"The Boudin (pronounced “Bo-deen”) family has been baking sourdough French bread in San Francisco since the gold rush, using the same simple recipe and original ‘mother dough’ for more than 150 years. About 3,000 loaves a day are baked within the glass-walled bakery; visitors can watch the entire process from a 30-foot observation window along Jefferson Street or from a catwalk suspended directly over the bakery (it's quite entertaining). You'll smell it before you see it: The heavenly aroma emanating from the bread ovens is purposely blasted out onto the sidewalk” (
Our shopping done (Barb had already assembled the other necessary elements for our picnic), it was time to hurry back to the car and head off to Crissy Field.

Could the most beautiful sight have been the iron sculptures at Crissy Field?
We reached the picnic area and spread out our feast. And then, there it was, the most beautiful sight of the day—a heaping mess of cracked and cleaned Dungeness crab awaiting our attack.
And if you are wondering whether we devoured all of this crab, yes we did.
Without breaking a sweat. Without taking a breath. Without engaging in idle chit-chat. One minute it was there and the next minute all you saw was a pile of empty shells, an empty chardonnay bottle, and a quarter loaf of bread.

So what do we do after such gluttony? Well, one thing we did not do was stop by the Fitness Court not far from our picnic table.
As I said in an earlier blog, there’s always room for ice cream, and so, after repacking the car, we are off to Mitchell’s Ice Cream located in the Mission District of San Francisco

“Founded in 1953, Mitchell's Ice Cream is a San Francisco treasure. Mitchell's has consistently churned out high-quality, super-premium ice cream…and shows no signs of slowing down.
“Focused on handmade, small batch ice cream, Mitchell's prides itself in using high quality ingredients and being a cut above the rest. And their commitment to quality and creative flavors has clearly paid off, given the long line always outside the door…. The ice cream at Mitchell's is denser than you'll find in your typical shop, and a lot more interesting. Mitchell's specializes in tropical flavors…in addition to featuring indulgent flavors with swirls that bring to mind Ben and Jerry's. Their flavors also have a nice creaminess, owing to the high milk fat content (16%)” (
Mitchell’s offers the standard flavors of chocolate, chocolate chip, coffee, vanilla, strawberry, and rocky road. And there are seasonal flavors like Irish coffee (spring for St. Patrick’s Day), cantaloupe (summer), espresso toffee crunch (summer), peach (summer), egg nog (fall and winter), and peppermint candy (winter).
But what sets them apart are the exotic tropical flavors. Flavors like Buko which is a form of coconut or Lucuma which is a tropical fruit native to Peru. There is Halo Halo which is “…a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits…” (

Have you ever heard of macapuno? Neither had I. “Coconut sport (known as macapuno in the Philippines, where it is primarily produced) is the fruit of a very special, unique and rare variety of naturally occurring coconut tree that in physical appearance looks exactly like any other common tree, but the difference is in the contents of the fruit. The soft white gelatinous meat, which has a nutty taste, is usually devoid of any coconut and is cooked in a sugar syrup” (

Both Chuck and I went the two small scoop route. His was a scoop each of red raspberry sorbet and Thin Mint ice cream.
Since I tasted neither all I can report is that said both were very good.

I ordered a scoop of another seasonal flavor—pumpkin—plus a scoop of ginger ice cream.
The pumpkin tasted like Thanksgiving. The ginger tasted awesome! It contained little bits of ginger root that, when bitten on, exploded like a flavor bomb in my mouth.

During our five-plus years of traveling, we have eaten some wonderful meals. We have eaten wonderful meals in restaurants. We have eaten wonderful meals in the homes of our family. But nothing can top Dungeness crab when eaten in sight of the Golden Gate Bridge. That is the ultimate 5.0 Addie experience.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.



eyad ammar said...

اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

eyad ammar said...

اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك
شركة نقل عفش بابها
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بحائل
شركة نقل عفش بالظهران
شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش