Coming off of a 5 month travel hiatus, we'll celebrate with a pub crawl through one of the United States' most interesting cities. Since it's much easier to navigate this city without a car, that makes our limitations a bit less.
Accessibility, however, puts some of those limits back on as we find no way in to our first planned stop, the Buena Vista which is the originator of the Irish Coffee.
It's a long trip via BART and MUNI trains from our hotel in Pleasanton, so we're thirsty. Luckily, I remember a bar from another trip far in the past nearby in Ghirardelli Square.
At McCormick and Kuleto's (part of the McCormick and Schmick's chain), we are able to indulge in our Irish Coffee. It's much better than I remember the Buena Vista's version to be, too.
Another benefit of drinking at McCormick and Kuleto's is the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling views of the San Francisco Bay. From the Golden Gate Bridge on the left to Alcatraz on the right, the scenery is stunning.
Fifteen minutes of walking will get you to our next stop on the crawl, my favorite neighborhood bar in the city. La Rocca's Corner sits in a flatiron shaped building on the corner of Columbus and Taylor.
It's a bit a of dive but a friendly one. I've never been here without getting into some great conversations with the locals.
Bartender Sil, who's been here for over 30 years, will be drinking with you and is happy to tell you the history of the place.
No longer owned by the La Rocca Family, who's only survivor is near 90 and suffers from dementia, the new owners are still interested in not changing a thing about this drinkers paradise.
We have a couple of shots chased by a hefeweizen for Letty and an ale for me. The drinks are great, the company at the bar even better.
Our last stop is probably the most disappointing of the three. Gott's Roadside is a hamburger stand in Napa Valley. They's expanded to include a new location here in the city at the old Ferry Building at the end of Market Street.
The beers are good, as are the burgers, but are way overpriced at this crowded and very noisy location. Although we enjoyed the Napa location, this one is more of a mall food court atmosphere and not nearly as nice.
As a bonus, we tasted some beers at the O.co Colosseum the next day which, although a decrepit and outdated facility, has an outstanding array of beers on tap. The better so you don't notice what a crap hole the stadium is.