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Restaurants & Bars 15

Hasta la Vista … literally

Stanley Stephan | Sep 9, 200312:20 AM

On a sunny Saturday morning in August at 9 am I left San Francisco for my new home in Vista California (about 35 miles from San Diego).

I cruised by the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s market one last time before getting on the Bay Bridge and heading to my new destination. Cheery green and yellow trolleys criss-crossed in front of the Ferry Building while shoppers strolled around stalls on a perfect day with the sky cloudless and blue. A wonderful last snapshot to press into my memories.

I want to thank everyone on the SF board for keeping me entertained, educated and well fed. I found Chowhound in what was to be the last few months of my mother’s life. You kept me distracted and it was often the only sunshine I had during those dark days.

Thank you for the glimpses into so many types of ethnic families. While writing this I started to mention posters individually, but I’m afraid I’d leave someone out, so I cut that part out. Thank you all.

My last formal dinner was at, of course, Bizou. My last actual food was a few box lunches from Desiree. I finished the last of the Desiree cookies while driving through the grapevine. Last breakfasts were at Town’s End with those fabulous fresh peach Swedish oatmeal pancakes and at Woodward Gardens. Someone posted that Woodward Gardens was serving breakfast. They have wonderful baked goods. I’ll do a post later. But if you are in the vicinity of Woodward Gardens on a weekday morning (closed Monday), I highly recommend stopping by.

I’m planning to return in about a year (with real luck around the time the sparrows return to Capistrano which is sort of near my new home. Hopefully I’ll be flying back to my home in SF). However, fate sometimes has different plans for us.

What do I miss so far? …. ANDRONICOS. What a surprise to me. Not the cheeseboard, not Berkeley Bowl, not the farmer’s markets. I miss having that market that’s a step above the chain groceries.

Thanks to Chowhound’s influence, I am bypassing the sea of chains and scouting out the little mom and pop joints. (This must be where chains retire to. There are places I haven’t seen in years like Love’s). I have pigged out on Mexican food in my new home. They have all these little independent drive thru 24 hour Mexican food places where you can get horchatas and even menudo. I am still amused that you can pick up menudo at a drive thru. I am still contemplating if the fries covered with cheese, guacamole and carne asada will kill me if I order it.

About 75 miles from LA, I’m thinking of scoping out the Beverly Hills Farmer’s market. Will I be competing for the tomatoes with Demi Moore or Arnold? Or will I need to travel to the Malibu farmer’s market for that?

Discovered Churrasco, or Brazilian BBQ (link to review on Calif board below). Basically huge skewers of sizzling meat roasted over a pit of glowing red-hot coals (there are about 20 different cuts of beef) brought to your table by meat runners where huge hunks are hacked off … there’s also a lot of bacon involved … and you keep eating meat until you raise a red flag on your table to stop. I think they have laws against this sort of thing in the Bay Area. It’s the anti Thomas Keller … sort of a meat dim sum. Really excellent though. I’ve been three times so far. Their beef ribs give Memphis Minnie’s brisket real competition in terms of tender, juicy, flavorful beef.

BTW, I’m really a woman. I’ve had girlfriends that have had some horror stories about the internet and even a relatively harmless site like Chowhound gets its crazies. Many of the Chow regulars knew my identity. However, to the few men and women who flirted with me in a few e-mails, that’s why you didn’t get a response. Being a sensitive “man” attracted a few gay guys and some women, neither of which is my cup of Celadon.

So if I don’t have a heart attack from all the beef or Mexican food, I hope to be back in about a year. I’ll be following the SF board to keep updated.

Thanks again and chow for now SF.



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