San Francisco/Napa Valley – 1

On arrival in San Francisco, we checked into our hotel and walked down from Nob Hill, down the steep sidewalk along Mason and Powell to Union Square and just beyond to the restaurant Chez Papa.  It’s nestled along the Mint Plaza just behind the big shopping centre WESTFIELD where we picked up the cell phone.  I had a good hamburger and we could do a bit of people-watching (locals smoking a joint and some street people).  But the previous day in Montreal we had a GREAT burger around the corner from my mother-in-law’s place called Burger de Ville.  Very simple menu, lots of free toppings (the usual like ketchup, but also sautéed mushrooms and other stuff).  Jaw-dropping good burger and worth seeking out.  There’s usually a line out the door.

Our first night in San Francisco we ate at Waterbar restaurant.  Obviously it’s a hot place to eat and it was packed.  But we arrived and were seated immediately…something we experienced at every restaurant we ate at (where we had reserved).  As a side comment, we received exceptional service every single place we went in and around San Francisco.  It was a welcome surprise compared to the often indifferent service we get elsewhere.  It just seemed as though everyone in each establishment had been trained to cater to the customer’s every wish and ensure satisfaction.

Waterbar is right at the water along the Embarcadero, close to the Bay Bridge, a stunning view from our window seat.  The restaurant boasts several giant cylindrical aquariums large enough to accommodate huge fish.  I started with the baby iceberg wedge salad stuffed with lots of tasty little shrimp and had tuna for my main course.  The tuna, unfortunately, did not live up to expectations and had lackluster delivery…taste-wise.  It was 2 nights in a row for tuna…the previous night at Montreal’s La Sirene on Jean Talon which turns into Dresden.  Sirene’s tuna encrusted with sesame seeds and served rare was a treat.


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