Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our First Trip into San Francisco

We got up, had breakfast, and took the Caltrain into San Francisco today. On the weekends the trip is about 70 minutes, although the morning commute during the week makes it only 44 minutes. It didn't seem long at all, and we saw some great scenery on the way in. (I've been to San Francisco before, but have only done a few touristy things, and Jonathan had never been)

We got off at 4th & King, and proceeded to take 4th all the way to Market, then Market to Embarcadero. We walked through the Financial District (seriously, bank after bank down both side of the road), and spent some time at Pier 2/Ferry Station. There was an arts & crafts fair and a Farmer's Market going on, lots of different things for sale. Inside the station were meat markets, restaurants, bakeries, two creameries, even a caviar shop. We walked through it all, and onto the pier, where we got a great view of the Bay Bridge. From there we took Mission (parallel to Market) back to 4th, watching a dog get loose from a jogger and nearly get hit twice. She finally caught him a few blocks later.

We stopped in Metreon (a center with several restaurants, a couple stores, an AMC 15 movie theater, and an arcade) for lunch. Jonathan saw that Sanraku had wonderful reviews (and I saw it mentioned in Frommer's as well), so we stopped there. We were seated quickly (not very busy for noon on a Saturday), and were served nice, cool water while we read the menu. Jonathan chose the Sushi Special, and I went with the Sashimi and Chicken Teriyaki Combo. We had piping hot miso soup brought out, and it was pretty good. We hardly had time to finish the coup when our entrees had arrived. My sashimi (raw fish without the rice) was 5 pieces of chef's choice, and I was glad to see three big pieces of tuna and two slabs of salmon. The tuna was very good, among the best I've had. The salmon was a bit much on its own (I should mention I struggled to pick up a piece with my chopsticks, it was so large!), but still good. The wasabi was good, but the ginger was a little off. My chicken teriyaki was in a delectable sauce, and the rice it came with was good and sticky. The salad was a bit much, mostly since it had a strange dressing (not ginger, not soy, something I had never before encountered with Japanese cuisine). Jonathan's special came with 6 pieces of nigiri and 6 pieces of California Roll. However, a California roll out here is not what it is in Florida. Here it has crab, avocado, and cucumber, rice on the outside, and sprinkled with roe. His nigiri ranged from tuna to salmon to tamago (like a sweet egg omelet with a custardy taste) to shrimp to whitefish to a roll of just roe and rice. The tamago was different, but overall he enjoyed the selection.

After lunch and wandering Metreon, we spent a good deal of time in the Sony store. If you can call it a store... there were tons of games you could play (PS2, PS3, and PSP), and many other products on display (televisions, cameras, MP3 players, all kinds of stuff). I played Little Big Planet and a Twisted Metal-esque game, while Jonathan tried Sonic and Star Wars. Wandering through the store, we saw the Sony Rolly, a dancing MP3 player. You put your ipod inside and it synchronizes its moves to match the rhythm of lyrics of the music. They had it set to Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend," and I found a video online that makes it seem all the more impressive since they have three going simultaneously!

After the Sony store we headed out and back to the Caltrain. We were both tired on the ride home, but it was a great first experience!

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