I spent the last weekend to paddle at the San Francisco Dragon Boat festival. It was my team’s 4th visit to the festival and I was excited because it’s always a great weekend away with my team. The most difficult thing is that I’m so busy dragon boating that it doesn’t leave much time for food exploration. But because San Fran is a place that’s easy to return to, I’m never that worried about missing out on the good stuff.
7:00am – Early departure from Bellingham meant we arrived early in Oakland, with plenty of time to explore.
11:30am – It’s hard for me to go to San Francisco and not go the Ferry Market building, so that was our first stop.
After wandering around trying to decide from many amazing choices, a menu item caught my friend’s eye, “bacon meatloaf sandwich”. Being a bacon lover like me, she was sold. My brother said he’d order one too (to share) so I was free to order the meatball sandwich.
Of course I needed to grab a cone of meat from Boccalone.
And a coffee from Blue Bottle.
2:00pm – If I wasn’t so tired, this would have been the time I would used to go shopping or explore more sights, but instead I napped.
4:15pm – On my last visit to San Francisco with my team, I discovered a great Japanese curry place. I wasn’t running back to repeat (because that just means one less discovery) but my brother and another friend convinced me it was worth a return visit. They were right.
7:10pm – Admission, hot dog, soda and a bag of peanuts to watch the Oakland A’s take on the Baltimore Orioles in a battle for a wild card spot, all for $16. How could I say no?
Saturday morning & afternoon – Race day 1 and our host team, the Kaiser Permanente Dragon Healers spoil us with food. Breakfast was warm scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit and delicious home-baked goods. For lunch we had barbecue chicken and ribs with delicious mashed potatoes. We are so lucky they keep agreeing to host us.
7:00pm – Overwhelmed by the amount of planning I had to do for an upcoming trip, I enlisted the help of my food loving team to help organize our team dinners. I am fortunate that not only did they pull through, I was delightfully surprised by our first team dinner at Anh Hong restaurant. When I first looked at the website, I was pulled in by the promise of “7 kinds of beef”, I only glanced at the website. To me, Vietnamese food is about pho, lemongrass and crispy spring rolls. Boy was I wrong.
Even before finishing the meal, I declared this to be the best Vietnamese food I’d ever eaten. And I’ve been to Vietnam! Thank you Sharon and Jason for organizing this meal!
Sunday morning & afternoon – Again, we were treated to a delicious breakfast by our hosts and for lunch we were served a whole roast pig. My team won the visitor’s consolation race and placed 3rd in the Competitive B division. I rewarded myself with a treat that helped soothe my throat made sore by so much jubilant screaming.
Coming home with hardware makes a fantastic race weekend even better.
7:30pm – On our last visit to SFO, 2 years ago, we discovered a wonderful Peruvian restaurant called Limon with a set menu that accommodated us in a private room downstairs. We had such a great time, we wanted to go back, unfortunately the room was no longer private, and the food didn’t seem as plentiful as our first visit, but the food was still great and it didn’t stop us from having a great team dinner.
Monday 12noon – At the Oakland airport, suffering from a night of over-indulgence, I was happy to find something to soothe my ailing. With only a Chili’s and a bad Chinese take-out to choose from, I was forced to scour the menu. Luckily I saw “Chinese porridge” which I hoped would be congee/jook. Made to order, this turned out to be exactly what my weakened stomach needed.
The end of my San Francisco weekend also means the end of my dragon boat paddling season for this year. And although I’ll be sad not to be on the water at least twice a week with my team for the next “few” months, it’s nice to know I can go on vacation without fear of having to miss a Monday or Thursday practice. Thanks to everyone on Team LifeScan for making this such a wonderful weekend, and for our “best season ever!”.
American Eatery – 1 Ferry Building, shop 33
Muraccis Japanese Curry – 307 Kearney St
Ahn Hong – 808 Geary St
Limon – 1001 South Van Ness Ave