Monday, March 29, 2010

Theater of the Street San Francisco

I am a product of the suburbs but on occasion I like to escape to the city. The last two days were another of our "runaway weekends." I booked Saturday night on and got a great bargain for $76. We ended up at Club Quarters on Clay St. It is rated at three and half stars and is quite unique. Our room was effectively a studio apartment and had a mini kitchen with all the tools you need to make meals. Internet access, coffee, purified water and fitness center are all free. A price I like! I know I will return here soon.
Club Quarters San Francisco
Mini Kitchen
I had a notion we could see a play or movie but had already spent money on accommodations. I decided to go to the "theater of the street." If you keep you eyes and mind open in San Francisco there are great theatrics everywhere and you can be an observer or a participant. We had a great dim sum lunch at Imperial Palace and followed our ears to a free show by local martial artists The Hung Sing Gung Fu Club . The first video is what I like to call battle of the bands Chinatown style.

This second video is of a spear swallowing and spitting Lion. Watch closely at the end.

After escaping the spear spitting lion we decided it was time for a rest and hiked back to the hotel. After a little break and some computer research we felt to compelled to hit the streets again. Just a few blocks away is North Beach, ground zero for exciting people watching. I had heard of a speakeasy style bar called 15 Romolo and after some searching located it just off Broadway on steep alley/street. Look for the Basque Hotel sign. We peered into the dark room and when our eyes adjusted we found ourselves the first customers of the evening. They offer some really great "mixologist" style drinks and trendy bar foods. I had a Pimm's and April had a Sangria. Both cocktails were crazy good!
15 Romolo15 Romolo

Pimm's Cup and Sangria

We had a chat with the affable, talented bartenders and found out the place gets crazy later on Saturday night. The food menu was not available for another hour so we quaffed and headed out into the daylight. Speaking of theater, the beautiful crew of the next door gentleman's club were just arriving and socializing on the sidewalk. Good heavens, those tall shoes look dangerous!

We walked down Columbus watching the dressed up people headed for fun. The local beat cop sported a big mustache and longish hair reminding me of the seventies when I arrived in the Bay Area. We passed City Lights bookstore and Vesuvio bar, legendary San Francisco landmarks. With no definite plan for dinner we scoped out the many restaurants along the way and landed at an old favorite Macaroni Sciue Sciue. Practicing a random act of vegetarianism we ate the vegetable antipasti and what we thought was going to be pizza but turned out to be a flat bread with tomato, mozzarella and arugula. Great choice by accident.
Antipasti and my half of flat bread

The real star of dinner turned out to be roasted garlic bread dipping sauce. I am going to try to recreate this at home because it was so good! No vampires here.
bread dipping sauce
On our short walk back to the room we passed another street barker. He was not a shill for a strip club but for Scientology. Maybe too much theater for me.

Update: this post has been changed to reflect the animal depicted in the video above is a lion and not a dragon as originally stated.


Zoomie said...

What a fun time! The drummers sounded like chaos at first but after a few moments, I began to discern the rhythm. Nice beat, but hard to dance to. :-)

Greg said...

Zoomie- It definitely was chaotic. I know there is some meaning to this drumming. Got to do a little research.

cookiecrumb said...

In the dipping oil, is that all garlic (and red pepper flakes, I'm guessing). Ye gods!

Greg said...

Cookiecrumb- Yes indeed it is a lot of garlic. The waiter said the garlic was roasted but it still had some sting of raw garlic. In my experiments so far the best method is almost like poaching the garlic.

Mary said...

It sounds like a wonderful escape. The food looks spectacular and the accomadations welcoming. I found your blog by accident but having paged through some of your posts I know I'll be back often. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Greg said...

Mary - Thanks for stopping by.

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