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A Nice Lil' Sunday In SF

JojoA | Sep 12, 2005 03:41 PM

Couldn't have asked for a better Sunday in SF with a good combination of running and chowhounding.

I left home at 6 am to find a good parking spot near Rincon Park, the starting/ending point to the Run To Remember 9/11 5K/10K race, which circled around the Embarcadero between Pier 39 and SBC Park. The SF fireboat Phoenix putting on dazzling waterspray display on the water against a backdrop of the Bay Bridge and a just-rising sun exemplified how beautiful a morning this turned out in general, not to mention for a run. Afterward, I headed for the 24-Hour Fitness near Potrero Hill for a bout with the weights(which was more of an excuse to get showered up than any huge desire to put in more physical exertion.)

By the time that was all over, you can bet I was hungry, so I headed over to the Mission district to grab myself a burrito. I've gone through the Mission district a bunch as a kid in a car when my family used to live in the Excelsior, but this is my first time to actually walk through the neighborhood.

I found a parking spot pretty quickly near Mission & 23rd and decided to just walk down toward 16th to take in all the sights and sounds. The one thing I didn't realize was how long a walk it would be - by the time I made my way down to the 16th St./Mission BART station, my legs were pretty beat, so I headed back to find a place to sit and chowdown.

I ended up at El Castillito - one thing I noticed that caught my eye immediately was the spit of roasted meat they had by their grill (the only place I'd seen anything like that was at shawerma/falafel places like the now-called The Mediterranean in Concord).

I've read their other locations are supposed to be better, but the carnitas wet burrito I ordered here was just fine, thank you. I hadn't ordered a restaurant burrito of any sort in quite awhile, so I was a little bit taken aback to see how large this thing was. These days, I normally wouldn't be able to finish something that size, but I was famished enough to eat most of it. The watermelon agua fresca I ordered with it was really fruity and delicious.

I shared a laugh with a Latina lady sitting at the table next to me: we had independently put the identical setup of little tubs of salsa, eatware and napkins at both our tables and she was about to sit next to me until she noticed her newspaper on the other table. Also, I noticed later that while we were both waiting for our orders, she like I was sampling the salsas straight from the tub.

After that meal, I walked back to my car and headed up Mission a bit to Mitchell's Ice Cream (which keeps reminding me that I gotta stop at Good Frikin Chicken one of these days.) When I pulled into the parking lot, I had another lovely parking surprise - only ONE car in the lot! And when I got in, there was absolutely no one there; I felt like I had the store all to myself.

The window out front advertised their new lucuma flavor, and of course I had to try it out. It was really good - a creamy maply, almost caramel-like flavor. I purchased a pint of that and a half-gallon of Ube (or as my niece puts it, the "purple ice cream") and headed back to my stomping grounds north of the Carquinez Strait, a definite sweet end to a nice Sunday in SF.

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