Another short entry for a half day since the afternoon, evening and night were taken up with NOWD. In deference to our resident foodie Kay, we had brunch reservations at Boulette’s Larder, this upper-end kitchen shop and occasional restaurant in the Ferry Building. Right away we were seated in a bad spot way away from everyone else. We ordered some beignets and while they were tasty they were a far cry from New Orleans style beignets. Meg and I ordered this to die for Paris tea which I wish I could remember the brand of and it came in individual little tea pots that were super cute. Everyone then ordered something different and, in my case, made a grave mistake.
I ordered a steak salad, assuming it would be thinly sliced, shaved almost, steak. As the waiter brought everyone’s order out (and not at any close time together either so if you go here don’t expect to be eating at the same time as your companions) I began to worry. And just moments before the waiter came back, I mentioned I hoped the steak was well done. Everyone agreed it probably was since it was on a salad. Oh how we were wrong. Paces away from the table and I could see the slimy pink insides and held my hands up to prevent him from even approaching me with it. He actually tried to push through me and sit it on the table while I could only mumble “no, no, no.” Meg stepped in and sent it back telling him “No pink at ALL.” Some time later, after everyone else is already done with their meals, he appears again with more pink meat. It took everything I had not to vomit and the girls quickly pulled the plate away.
Then the bill comes and includes the steak salad. I was getting more and more angry at this point. We’d been treated terribly since coming in and now they wanted us to pay not only for bad service but unedible food as well? If they didn’t want to cook it well done, fine, chef’s have their issues. But all they had to do was say that and I would’ve ordered something else but they didn’t. The Brit was being a gentleman and didn’t want to cause a fuss and was just going to pay for it. Meg and I kind of had a fit and finally finding my voice, I spoke up and pretty much told him he was insane if he expected us to pay for that. He left, came back a few minutes later and said the chef had taken the steak salad off (as if they had done us some great service).
I was starving and the girls were off to see the touristy sites so Jay offered to help me find food. We walked just a few paces away and found a place offering a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup as a lunch special. Simple, easy. I ordered it and waited for it to get done. Once it arrived, we searched in vain for a table that wasn’t covered with pigeons. Seriously…pigeons were sitting on the tops of tables where people were eating INSIDE the building. Absolutely disgusting. Finally we found an empty bench in a hallway and sank down. I unwrapped my sammie, drooling nearly I was so hungry, and found it was not grilled cheese. It was some weird white cheese on sourdough with pink tomatoes and some weird herb sprinkled on it. I tried to eat it, I did. But really, it was gross. I decided to try for the soup. Tomato soup can’t go badly right? I mean, I even like tomato basil so surely…. um, nope. This stuff was like marinara sauce. I mean, it had every single italian herb in it and the whole thing just reeked of Pizza Hut. I was trying to smile, to make the best of it, but when Jay started saying something about smelling pizza I knew it wasn’t meant to be.
An interesting sidenote to my eating (or not eating) adventures: this lady comes and sits on the bench next to us while I’m trying to pretend to eat. And she starts chanting. It’s this low, creepy monk-like chant saying “Peace on EARTH. PEACE on earth.” Creepy as can be. Not uplifting, not joyous. Just like she’s chanting a curse or something. So freaky.
Anyway, so still starving but unable to handle anymore of the freaky chanting chick, we head outside deciding to grab a Lombard Street cocoa before I head back to write and Jay does more touristy things. I’m feeling pretty down at this point: tired, hungry, disappointed and suddenly not looking forward to the evening at all. I was just all sorts of depressed really. We stepped out onto the walkway behind the ferry building and I took a few shots of some birds (pretty ones not ugly pigeons) and then spotted a rainbow. Stretching across the bay it was super hard to see with the heavy cloud cover and drizzling rain but it was there. And it made me feel a bit better. Made me think that maybe this day would turn out all right after all.
Feeling a bit more cheered, we hailed a rickshaw ride (because I hadn’t gotten one with Meg yet) to go down to Ghiradelli Square for the cocoa. On the way, though, I spied something out the rain cover that made me bounce with glee:
That will actually get its own entry but let’s just say my day was improved by about a million percent. After a visit to the caravan, I decided to skip the cocoa and go write and get dressed. After all, NOWD was now mere hours away.