There's something nice about not having to get up at a certain hour, but at the same time, when I'm on vacation, I want to savor every waking moment. Saturday started at eight with a nice cup of coffee from the hotel, enjoyed in bed with the morning sun dousing us like content cats.
I had already made a request for our breakfast destination and Tyler was on board. We weren't headed to a diner, but instead a french cafe named Cafe de la Presse. We had passed it the day before on our way to China Town. It reached out to me and I couldn't say "non". With its sidewalk seating, old French charm interior and waiters with long black aprons and fresh pressed white shirts, who could resist?
A short walk from our hotel later and we were promptly seated. "Would you like to sit indoors or outside?" the host asked. I almost requested indoor seating since there was a chill in the morning air, but no, we needed the full experience. We took a table outside and were so pleased to have done so.
The first thing we needed was some more caffeine and something to warm us. A mocha latte for him (surprising choice if you know him) and a tea for me. Oh, and you really can't not not have a pain au chocolate.
We ordered from our french waiter who made us smile every time he addressed us as "Madame et Monsieur".
I really can't go out to breakfast without ordering eggs Benedict and today was no different. It came with two perfectly poached eggs on a toasted English muffin and thin slices of ham, next to some of the best potatoes I've ever had and a bit of fresh fruit. Tyler had the same thing, but with lox instead of ham. I think there seems to be a lox pattern emerging.
We'll be going back to this establishment again because it just has that certain "je ne sais quoi".
It was absolutely a necessity that we eat such a good meal because now came the journey across the city to Cow Hallow and a visit to a certain house that belonged to a certain movie character that went by the name of Mrs. Doubtfire.
While there was some groaning during the long walk, after we accomplished this monumental task of walking over twenty blocks, going up and down, we passed some stunning houses and beautiful architecture. When we looked back on it, this was one of our favorite parts of the trip, just walking through the neighborhoods.
Steiner Street came upon us and we could feel the smiles on our faces grow. Maybe it seems silly, but it was so cool to see the house that plays a role in such an iconic 90's movie.
Just down the hill is Cow Hollow, a shopping area surrounding Union Street. There are lots of pretty places to shop and eat and has a really young, hipstery feel.
We stopped in for coffee at Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, secretly really just needing their restroom.
An iced coffee later and we were walking towards a large dome that interested us both.
The Palace of Fine Art as it's called, was originally built in 1915 (reconstructed in 1965) and is a site to be seen. For a second you feel like you're in a different country, with its much older feel.
Tyler was getting antsy for his lunch by this point. I picked the breakfast place after all. Little Italy in San Francisco is now one of my favorite places. It's pretty large and has lots of food options. We made a direct route to a well known little gem called Molinari Delicatessen. It's been around since 1896, so they're obviously doing something right.
When we arrived, an older lady was ordering her meats for the week in Italian. Looking around, hearing that romance language and smelling the meats, fresh pasta, and wine, transcends you across the Atlantic and to any town in Italy. We took a number (everyone must take a number!) and then ordered our sandwiches.
Fresh pesto, turkey, mozzarella, peppers, what else could you want?
A very happy young man with a little sandwich on his lip. I scarfed down mine too, but I was quickly distracted by this beauty owned by the neighboring restaurant's owner.
A pop into our hotel to relax for a bit before dinner was exactly what we needed (after a visit into a few stores in Union Square of course).
For dinner, we were back in Little Italy. Tony's Pizza Napoletana is world famous and apparently the whole world wanted dinner when we did. We waited for two hours before getting a table! Luckily there were other bars and restaurants where we had a drink and then later a stroll in a nearby park.
Tony's pizza has won awards around the world, but his Margherita pizza has won first prize in Naples, Italy. The downside is that they only make a certain amount every day, so by 10pm it was no surprise that they were out. Expecting that to be the case, I decided on pizza diabolo (spicey pepperoni) and Tyler chose a pizza with egg, prosciutto and mozzarella.
The verdict? The pizza was good, it was, but.....I'll come back early in the day to try the famous award winning pizza next time, because these weren't as special as we'd both hoped.
The night grew late and we headed back, through the lit streets into China Town, past Cafe de la Presse, and finally down a hill to out little sanctuary in the city.