Friday, June 11, 2021

Coming Home with a Detour in San Francisco

Some of the biggest waves in the world call the north end of this bay home. When the winter weather is pulsing, it's not uncommon to see 60 foot waves. The largest wave every surfed here was a 68 foot monster by Carlos Burle in 2016.

Courtesy of Shalom Jacovitz via Wikimedia

Mavericks is a legendary beach with a great break but it's not pumping so hard today. Still, I just want to drive over there to show Tim where it is.

It's a windy bit of driving through small streets in the industrial section of Half Moon Bay. We find the parking lot where it's another quarter mile or so of walking to the beach. We'll leave it there for another day. 

It's time for one more meal before we head home so we head to Sam's Chowder House, a very popular seafood spot halfway between Mavericks and downtown Half Moon Bay.

The restaurant opens at 11:30. It's 11:15 and there's already a lineup at the door to get in. We are lucky to get the last handicapped parking spot in the lot.

Once opening time passes, it's a quick process to get our table and order. Tim and Letty share a large bowl of chowder and a plate of calamari. Me...the landlubber...gets a cheeseburger and fries.

It's good but maybe not so good as to warrant such a big crowd that always shows up. Service was excellent, however.

It's time to drive home and Letty has had one request for the next time we're in the Bay Area. 

She is a devoted baker of sourdough bread, always looking for ways to refine and improve her loaves. I think they're perfect just the way they are but she's not so sure.

Tartine, a chain of bakeries based out of San Francisco, is generally acknowledged to make the best sourdough of all. Letty wants to stop by and pick one of their loaves up to compare to hers.

From Half Moon Bay, it's about half an hour's driving to get to San Francisco. The evolution from rural coast side to crowded, urban city takes place at an accelerated rate as we drive up highway 1, through the tunnels, into Pacifica, Daly City, and the crowded hills of the city.

We find the bakery on the corner of 18th and Guerrero. I drop Letty off and plan on circling the block until she's done because parking in this none-too-car-friendly city is very difficult to find.

One lap of the busy block and, low and behold, someone pulls out so I squeeze our big van into a tiny little spot a couple of doors down from Tartine.

Soon, Letty is back with her bread and a few desserts she grabbed and it's back on the road, crossing the five mile expanse of the Oakland Bay Bridge to the freeways of the east bay. Heading through Berkely, Pittsburg, and Antioch, it's not too much longer until we've finally left the hectic traffic of the Bay Area behind and are on the familiar, easy driving country roads of the Central Valley heading home.

When we get back, we pull out the bread and taste. The verdict? The crust tastes a little burnt and the airy bread between is really no match for my wife's tasty sourdough.

The desserts were very good, though.

Darryl Musick

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