Saturday, October 09, 2010

What exactly is Dim Sum?

Today was spent exploring....starting with Chinatown.

As we walked amongst the hanging lanterns and brightly colored street displays, we worked up an, we headed to a Dim Sum restaurant that had been recommended.

Not knowing exactly what Dim Sum was, we looked around to see what the other patrons were eating.  The first thing that Dave said to me (in a concerned voice) was that everyone was using chopsticks!  There wasn't a fork to be seen.

We then noticed the waitresses walking around with carts loaded down with a variety of dishes.  We were to pick what we wanted and the item was then stamped on the little card at our table.

The first thing that we tried was the shrimp roll.  It was basically a dumpling with shrimp inside.  It was very good....but, Dave was struggling with the chopsticks.  I tried to give him a lesson on how to hold them....but, he couldn't coordinate his fingers to get it to work correctly.  He wasn't sure what to do but I said to just ask for a fork....which we finally did....and, he was able to eat his shrimp dumplings!  I must admit, he was quite frustrated to not be able to master the chopsticks, but I assured him that it was quite alright.

We then got some mushroom dumplings, some egg rolls, rice, and some big crab claws...and then  some Chinese doughnuts.  It was an interesting lunch and very enjoyable.

After lunch we came up a local bar with a Pittsburgh Steelers sign out front.  Dave, being a HUGE Steeler's fan had to check the place out.  He loved it.  Of course there were four or five flat screen tv's in this very small bar....all of them playing football games!  So, we both got a beer and sat for a while as Dave felt like a part of the "Steeler Nation"!

Later on in the day there was an exhibition by the Blue Angels, the Navy's precision flying corps.  These pilots fly their jets in all kinds of formations...pretty amazing.  We went down to the pier to get the best view of these jets as they flew over the bay. I tried to capture some of the formations on my camera...but, they were so fast that it made it quite difficult. 

Without realizing it, we planned our trip during "Fleet Week" which is a big to-do here in San Fran. Fleet Week celebrates San Francisco's roots as a famous Navy town and has been celebrated each year since 1981. So, the town was in a celebratory mood and we found ourselves part of it!

After the Blue Angels, we headed back to the hotel so that Dave could catch up on some of the day's football games, of course. 

Then came the big dinner decision.  I found a cute place called Mona Lisa that served clams and mussels and crab, etc. with an Italian flare.  Dave, on the other hand was playing around with Google and found a hole in the wall place that sounded good to him.  What to do?

Well, I gave in and we went to his place....and, I am so glad that we did.  It was a family owned joint that had people waiting in line to get in.  The owner was so funny as he kept the people in line happy by offering small glasses of wine for free. Music was playing....some of the waitresses were was joyous.

We were seated after a few minutes and began to enjoy the loaf of delicious bread that was put in front of us. We ordered some raw oysters that were great...and, then Dave ordered a special of the night, a flounder dish with lemon and capers.  I went for the big (and, I mean BIG) bowl of Ciopinno...which is basically a seafood stew chock full of clams, mussels, shrimp, crab, scallops floating in a wonderful tomato broth.  You know the kind that you just have to use your bread to sop some of it up. Oh, it was yummy....and, filling.

I knew that we would be "eating" our way through this town.

: )

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