I wasn't going to start posting again until after Labor Day. Not that I'm not having a great time, was just ready for some time off. I could have written about the trip to Napa with The Prophet last week- a fine trip culminating with a picnic that found a feral cat stealing our Mt. Tam cheese and The Prophet chasing kitty to get it back- but I was in summer slack mode and was kind of enjoying it.
This weekend, however, was too much fun to not make note.
It didn't start that way. Megs, Karin, Luke, the babes, and The Prophet were all heading out of town. No one said it out loud, but I blame the release of the new Mr. Bean flick. LJR was gonna be at Shoreline and I was trying to shake off the end of a summer cold. I figured I'd read a book about distilling spirits, get some laundry done, and maybe treat myself to a nice dinner. As they say, nothing to write about.
Friday A.M. I get an e-mail from Mr. Bierman. He's at Detroit Metro about to hop a flight to SF for the weekend- some sort of work emergency. Next, I speak to Mr. Ryan and we kick around the idea of meeting up at a Giants game Sunday. From here the ball just kept rolling- a friend of mine has season tix for his company and Sunday's game against the Brewers were up for grabs. Next, LJR calls and she agrees to by my dream date for the game. From zero to having a life in less than 20 minutes.
Friday night I met Mr. Bierman at The Thirsty Bear where we sampled several of their house brews. After that we headed over to Dave's on Third Street. Dave's is a relic, an anachronism, a working man's bar in a city where not many people carry themselves as working class. We were quite comfortable there. Whiskeys were drank, stories were told, all that stuff that happens when you're lucky enough to spend a rare bit of time with a person whose company you truly enjoy. It was barely three hours we spent. Enough to do damage thanks to my cold and his time change and travel. But entirely worth it.
And, as a bonus, Mr. Bierman brought up the subject of Zip Sauce. Yes, I said Zip Sauce. Steak sauces are a very regional/national thing. Ask a Brit about whether he prefers Daddy Sauce, Harvey Sauce, or HP and you'll get a whole lesson in class separation. Go to Kentucky and you'll hear all about Henry Bain Sauce, go two states over and the locals have Cackalacky Sauce. Detroit's own is Zip Sauce, served at several old school steak houses to this day. Here's a note attached to a well circulated recipe
It's a steak sauce, it's a multi-purpose marinade. It's a varnish stripper. It's everything real men demand of an industrial steak sauce. Forget A-1. This is the real thing. Warning: zip sauce needs to be used only by real men and real women. If you're in doubt about what side of the fence you're on, you're in for a rough ride with this sauce. This is not something you want to just pour on your polite little ribeye. It will refuse to be placed on anything less than a 1.25" thick strip sirloin-- butcher shop stuff-- forget Kroger. Whatever you do, do not put a California freakin' vegetable medley anywhere near this sauce. It'll chase it off the plate, and then turn around and come after you. About the only thing it will tolerate on the same plate is a baked Idaho potato.
All week, I'd been thinking of a new lunch dish I wanted to serve. Roasted pork tenderloin served with a side of corn and tomato salad. I'd been batting around ideas for the sauce to put under the pork and hadn't come up with anything that really rang true. Mr. Bierman was talking about his first dinner at Lelli's on Woodward and mentioned Zip Sauce. Eureka! I almost kissed him square on the mouth, a big wet girly kiss, but I didn't want to spend the rest of my trips back to Detroit with his wife trying to fix me up with her hair stylist friends. Instead, we just drank more.
Saturday night, I headed down Polk Street undecided about where to eat. On the list of possibilities were Brick, Tajine, and O'Reily's Holy Grail. I've eaten at Tajine and really enjoyed the food. The Chef just got a great write up and even at 9:30pm he had a line out the door. So much for Moroccan. I was passing O'Reily's when I heard a New Orleans Jazz combo playing in their bar area. Unless you eat there yourself, odds are you won't buy that a white linen fine dining Irish restaurant is worth the effort. I ate there a year ago and the food was outstanding. Before it was an Irish restaurant, it had been an Ethiopian place with live jazz four nights a week. During the restaurant's run John Hunt, KT's dad, had played there regularly. Spotting the band, I wandered over to check it out, figuring I'd let John know what was going on- maybe he'd be able to get himself a gig there. I walked thru the door and there was John, playing trombone to a bar crowd of about 30. I got seated in the dining area, ordered the Guinness Beef Barley Soup and the Rib-eye Steak with Colcannon Potatoes (mashed pots with bacon, onion and kale), a glass of Seghesio Zin and had the nicest dinner while getting great floor show.
Sunday was the baseball game. If you don't follow sports, let me sum this up for your: The Giants Suck. This means that all the well-to-do season tix holders have bailed allowing the commoners, like me, a change to go to a game. The Bay Area doesn't have "fans" so much as it has people who like winners. The A's are a perennial playoff contender, but no one goes to the games much until the end of the season. LJR, of course, showed up with her mitt. She bats and throws right- I'm sure she doesn't give up an inch on the inside of the plate. We wandered a bit, drank a bit, and enjoyed the outing. Just to let you know, a beer at the ball park costs more than one at The Top of The Mark, $8 each. That's not for a Supergulp sized commemorative cup dealio either- nope, that's for a 12 oz Martzen.
After the game (Giants 5, Brewers 4) we met with Mr. Ryan and his nephew at Momo's. These two are the exception to my earlier fan/winner statement. This is because they are third generation San Franciscans and the Giants are truly their team. We hung with them for two rounds and then I drove LJR home on my way to visit Karin, Zoe, and Vincent.
My visit with the kids followed the usual track: dinner, take the wagon to the park, climb on the slide, take the wagon to the store, buy a banana and bottled water, go home, watch Elmo's favorite songs, pee-pee, say goodbye to Rocky as he drives away. One touching moment to share, however: at the park, there was a 4 year old, Brenda, who was climbing on the slide along with Zoe. Brenda's mom also had a small boy a bit younger than Vincent. She and I chatted a bit and the kids kind of played near, if not with, each other. Tired of the slide, Zoe and Vincent wanted to go run on the grass. While they did this, I sat on the little wall there. Brenda came over and sat down next to me. Zoe came over and got very close to me, on the other side, and said over to Brenda, "Not your Rocky." I don't think Brenda understood, thankfully.
All in all, a great weekend. And yours?
Go in Peace