Can't wait for the leaves to change colors!
Poor blog, you are neglected aren't you? I have been really uninspired lately. I cannot string words together to make a sensible paragraph that people would read and understand, hence the weeklong silence.
However, I know I owe you a post so here goes.
I had a busy weekend, interesting really. It was my birthday last Saturday and here's how I spent the weekend.
Got woken up by phone call from in-laws overseas calling to greet me a very happy birthday - they never fail to remember important dates, am so blessed.
Left the house about 11 am and had breakfast/brunch date at Waffle Stop, the one I like to have breakfast at. I've taken my mother to eat here over the years and only last Saturday did I realized that the name of the restaurant was Waffle Stop. You know what I thought its name was all these years? Country Waffles. Duh! The sign says Waffle Stop, Country Cooking. So apparently I mixed up the sign and came up with my own name for the restaurant.
Like always I ordered 2 sunnyside up eggs, a side of hash browns, and wheat toast. My husband went for the omelette. He couldn't finish his order so we had a little to-go box. I knew I could finish that food I ordered. It's the same one I get each time I eat breakfast here. And the same quality of food they serve each time. Plus I simply like the fact that they have the same crew/servers for like forever. I like it when people who do their jobs wonderfully keep their jobs.
It was nearly 12 noon when we got to the church. I had to go there because Sunday was my day to dress the altar and we dress the altar on Saturday for the Sunday service. However, there was something going on inside the church. I had to wait for them to finish; they finish at 12, thankfully.
Then another problem, I misplaced my key to the sacristy. Thankfully, my fellow altar guild member Marguerite was at church meeting with some people about finances (she's also our bookkeeper) so she opened all the doors for me :)
It wasn't a meditative time for me this time, cleaning up the altar and preparing all the items needed for the service because there were a lot of people still loitering about the church.
But I managed to complete the task in the least amount of time.
And then we drove to the city for a little visit to the Farmers Market. We encountered a little jam on the roadway since the Giants are at home, plus it's always traffic in the weekend around here anyway.
We arrived at the Alemany Farmers Market nearly 1 pm and the whole place is starting to shut down. We knew that! But the good thing about coming during this time is that many of the veggies have lower prices so we snag what we need at a discount, which satisfied our budget-conscious pockets.
Lunch was next in the itinerary. From the Farmers Market we drove to the Mission District. I love driving around the city, so many things to enjoy, the architecture, the restaurants that we passed by, the people going about their daily life.
We easily found the place, and luck of all luck, we had snagged a street parking. Of course street parking cost an arm and a leg, but still we got parking :)
Esperpento was the site of my birthday lunch with hubby. We both have dreamt of eating there since we heard of it from Check Please Bay Area, a local show about dining about town. It's a Spanish/Tapas restaurant. When we entered the place (it's a 2-storey), I easily felt at ease. I loved the cool ambiance and the casual atmosphere. Walls were decorated in Spanish plates and posters and there is a clock on the wall showing Spain time.
When we got there there were four other tables that were occupied, the rest were empty, but this was a small restaurant to begin with. It was past 2 when we sat down and read the menu. I love tapas or small plates. It's like having only appetizers. That's what I love. I'm not an entree kind of diner. Give me appetizers and I'm all set and happy.
We first ordered a sangria for moi and Barcelona beer for hubby and we got some tapas:
Gambas ala Plancha - grilled jumbo shrimp
Cazuela de Pescado con Almejas - snapper and clams cooked in spanish sauce
Patatas Bravas - spicy potatoes
Escalivada - roasted eggplant, peppers, and onions
Jamon Serranon - canape of Spanish cured ham on toasted French bread with tomato and olive oil
Estofado de Conejo - rabbit stew
We also ordered a side of rice, which we never touched, it's sitting in our refrigerator right now.
Small plates can easily fill you up, it did us. The gambas were good, but the ones we tasted in Barcelona were superb. The snapper and clams in tomato sauce was wonderful as well. We sopped up the liquid with the free bread they give. The patatas bravas was excellent, I love the spicy aioli. The roasted eggplant was yummy too. The rabbit - well I'm going to say it, it really did taste like chicken. If I didn't know I'd say I was eating chicken. The canape was likewise very good.
Overall, this was a good meal. I would be coming back here if I find myself in this neighborhood someday. Plus all those food and chocolate mousse for desserts and the drinks only came to about $50.
We had to take some home on a to-go box. I was not hungry when we came in, but believe me I ate more than I needed that day.
We left the restaurant and put more coins in the parking meter, left the food in the car, and walked around Mission. Walking around Mission is wonderful, it's like a different place. I felt I was transported to a Hispanic town, it's no longer San Francisco here. It's Mexico, it's Honduras, it's El Salvador. This is a vibrant neighborhood, restaurants next to each other. We walked several blocks for an hour and spotted 2 of the restaurants we wanted to eat at. Now we know where they are located.
In our itinerary for the day, we also included a little sunset watch on the waterfront, but the day was windy and cloudy and very cold I didn't think there was sun all day and I reckoned no sunset to speak of either.
So we went to Chinatown instead. We walked some more in search for a wind breaker. My husband was shopping, I thought it was for him. It was for me for our upcoming trip. I don't need a windbreaker, I'd rather get those cheap ponchos for when it rains.
On the walk back to the car, I found myself in need of a bathroom. You know Chinatown, there isn't any public bathrooms. You have to be a customer. Since we were stuffed still we didn't go to any restaurant, but we passed by a bar and so we ordered a Chinese Mai Tai and I got to use the facilities :) and enjoyed a wonderful libation.
After we crossed the bridge, hubby asked if I wanted some desserts, like the chocolate mousse at the restaurant didn't happen, so I said yes. WE both had this little bakery in Solano Ave in the city of Albany in mind. We got us a little breakfast bun and a slice of brownie. That was worth the drive.
Sunday was church and I got to feed the church members as it was also my day to host coffee hour.
After church, my mom took me and hubby to have some Chinese lunch at this little known place in El Cerrito. Mostly Chinese come here. On Sunday, I saw an African-American couple, us, and a white guy. The rest were Chinese. The food is wonderful, my mom loves it here. We had 5 different dishes, so there were to-go boxes too. But the minute we left the restaurant I started to have a little stomach gas pain. My husband wasn't feeling so well either. Too much MSG probably.
We went to drop mom off then off we went to buy some tools, power tools :) and then it was time for COWBOYS AND ALIENS. If you haven't seen this movie, I suggest you go and see it. It's a well made movie with outstanding cinematography.
The bad part about the weekend? I didn't get to blog at all :(