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Thursday, December 31, 2009

One last Gibraltar before XMAS...


Christmas eve was somewhat quiet in the city.  It was nice to have my coffee spot, CENTO, to take care of my morning fix.  But what was even more exciting was to go sit at the bar at TOWN HALL with friends and have a nice lunch that included great beer and great food.  I sat with my friends Bill and his husband Douglas, whom were my hosts at upcoming Christmas dinner.  They were eagerly planning out their menu and all the stops they needed to make that day, to make it complete.  So, the lunch was inspirational.  I ordered a Midas Touch beer from Dogfish Head Brews & Spirits.  I felt it paired well to the House smoked corned brisket, melted fontina cheese, Russian dressing and pickled cabbage on levain. But I also managed to scarf down half a Ale battered Alabama catfish, tartare sauce and field greens from my friend Bill, whom was full only a few bites in.  And eat most of his sweet potato chips. I was hungry and it was the holidaze, I kept telling myself.

After lunch, the boys went off food shopping and I ventured to the Ferry Building for last Xmas gift shopping.  Thursday being Farmer's Market at Ferry Building offers up the legendary Blue Bottle Kiosk.  I of course, needed, one last Gibraltar before the holiday began and most businesses shut down.

Fast forward to the Castro for happy hour at 440 Castro.  I was amidst many chums drinking brews pre-Xmas dinner with friend Bob at 2223 Market.  Who knew that this would be the first of 2 meals I would end up having that evening.  Thank goodness I just settled on the Pork Chop and got no starters.  Midway through dinner, another invitation for Oyster Soup came up at a friend's Xmas eve soiree, he was throwing.  He insisted we finish our course and cab over. We certainly did.  It was certainly an interesting cast of characters at my friend John's home.  We had plenty of libation in us but the wine seemed to endlessly pour.

Xmas morning and hungry and in need of my fix of high quality coffee, made-for-me, and knowing I can't have that, was rather disappointing.  I got over it momentarily when I discovered a place to grab breakfast on Xmas day.  I am not really a breakfast guy anyway, but, I love the Swedish famous silver dollar pancakes at Sear's Fine Foods on Powell in the Union Square District.  We hit the place up at just the right time, before the crowd built.  I know this because when we left, it had the usual line-around-the-block thing going on. I had my 2nd caramel macchiato of the year from Starbucks, to take it one step further. I was doing things out of my comfort zone and making the most of it.

I cabbed it over to Bill and Douglas' for the 2pm call time.  Of course, I was the first to arrive.  We began our drinking journey with champs. And then on to white wine.  The evening of indulgences I like to call it. The cheese, the pate, the potato & leek soup, the paella with fresh lobster and fresh crab amongst chorizo and amazingly done chicken.  Need I say more?  Let's also note and admit that I attempted to watch Inglorious Basterds, which looks amazing btw. But, I woke up in a drooling state 40 minutes into viewing and ordered a cab home and tucked in bed for the evening without the party hopping plan I had planned.

The next night was a surprise b day party for my friend Angie.  The 3rd installment of the Angie Xmas extravaganza.  The first was the ice skating event a few backs back followed up by the pre-holidaze dinner just the weekend before. This night, as all nights requires patience and breathing but the end result was and is always awesome.  Sort of a metaphor. And I'll leave you with that...

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