An Amateur Aces San Francisco

Adam Roberts, the Amateur Gourmet, is eating his way through my hometown, San Francisco, and doing a darned good job of it. In fact, he’s getting to all the restaurants I’ve been meaning to check out for the past, oh, year or so. And he’s doing it all in a week. Don’t you just hate those über-motivated culinary tourists?

Dinners at A16, Zuni, Ad Hoc—and rumors of a meal at Chez Panisse yet to come. And this is all after lunch at Tartine, and a full morning of oysters at Hog Island, bread from Acme, jam from June Taylor, champagne at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant—he even managed to squeeze in a Mission-style burrito.

When a New York upstart can roll into town and so prodigiously eat his way through my city, it only shows that some of us locals have been slacking on the job (must make reservations, now!).

Adam even managed to waltz his way into the bathroom at the French Laundry (and without reservations, no less). Have I been to the bathroom at the French Laundry? No, I haven’t.

How did he do it?

Well, he did have a bit of help from his army of Amateur Gourmet readers who wrote in with enough eating suggestions to put any culinary guidebook to shame. Was this Adam’s secret weapon in navigating the culinary maze of Northern California?

I guess I can take some small comfort in the fact that he did fall into the trap of bad pizza during his trip out here. Though it may be meanspirited of me, this redeems my standing and worth as a local, something that cannot be tarnished by a mere week of impressive eating by an out-of-towner.

You see, a local would know that, barring a few exceptions, there’s really only one place to go for supergood pizza.

Adam, for really good pizza, you gotta go to New York.

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