The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

Happy Hour at Johnny Foley’s Irish House

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 6, 2010

To round out our layover in San Francisco, the Husband and I wanted to get a local San Fran beer in the city before heading back to the airport.  Back in downtown, we plugged in “beer” into google maps and found Johnny Foley’s as a spot not too far away from the BART station.

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Once we entered, we went through the door that said “bar” (I think the other was for the restaurant) and were greeted with a host stand advising that we would be seated by the host.  He asked us if we’d be having dinner.  Since we were only having us a drink, he seated us at a “bar.”  However, this bar was merely a shelf, near the bathrooms, with three stools in front of it.  Hmm.

We took a look at the beer and wine menu and were disappointed to see that they had only one local beer – Anchor Steam.  The others were the more traditional Irish brews or American beers (which makes sense for an Irish bar, but with a great beer selection in San Fran, we were hoping for more diversity).  The Husband decided to go with the one beer (even though he’s had it before – he was hoping to try something new).  None of the beers were speaking to me, so I decided to order a California wine.  I went with the BV Century Cellars. (Looking at the online menu, I’m so disappointed the menu in person didn’t match! I would have gone with one of my fav Chardonnays – Toasted Head).


Blah! This wine was not my cup of tea!  I rarely dislike wines I try, but this one had a watery first taste, and then an aftertaste I didn’t enjoy (I couldn’t pinpoint the flavors).  I ended up barely drinking half before we left 😦

Overall, we were unimpressed with our experience at this bar.  If there were happy hour specials, we didn’t know.  Our waitress barely gave us the time of day, since she “knew” from the beginning that we’d only be having drinks.  Who’s to say we didn’t plan on having multiple drinks? That could have easily added up to the cost of a dinner.  But we weren’t given the chance.

The only positive of our experience was the decor.  Lots of things for me to play with the DSLR on.  Particularly in our corner (where lighting was poorer), I got to play with more settings attempting to make better photos (definitely not great photos).  So, if anything, check out this pub for its decor.

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One last tidbit to add to our mood, although not the bar’s fault, is a “fee” added to our bill.  A 4% service fee for a “healthy San Francisco?” Really?


I think this photo of the Husband explains our feelings.


Okay, that’s all from San Francisco.  Follow us as we explore Australia!

Johnny Foleys on Urbanspoon

Posted in Bar | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Lunch in Chinatown – New Ka’s

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 6, 2010

During our layover in San Francisco, the Husband and I decided to check out Chinatown.  We’ve both been craving Chinese, believe some of the best Chinese food to ever be found is in a city’s Chinatown, and with San Fran’s Chinatown being one of the biggest (if not the biggest), we knew this would be a sure bet! We wandered around the streets and came upon New Ka’s on Grant Avenue where a lovely women invited us up the stairs to the restaurant.

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Upon being seated, we were presented with the dim sun menu, conveniently located on the table, with lunch specials on the back.  The dim sun came in three price ranges, but we paid little attention to that as they brought the dishes out from the kitchen to choose from.


We ordered  a pot of tea and some glasses of water.  We loved the tea! It was possibly some of the best tea we’ve had in a while.  Loose leaf, which floated to the bottom when settled.  Warm and flavorful.


We were confused at first about the dim sun order (being brought out to the tables to choose from), but quickly and eagerly selected a few to try.  We started with dumplings (pork perhaps?) and eggrolls (veggie).


Having heard good things about pork buns, they were on my “must try” list.  The Husband then chose pork and shrimp steamed dumplings.

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Our last item from the dim sun menu was fried pork dumplings.  We then ordered a lunch entree to split.  It came with sweet and sour soup, which the Husband enjoyed.

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Our entree of choice was the cashew chicken with steamed rice.  Lots of veggies, chicken, and cashews!


We were quite satisfied with this lunch and glad we made the decision to go to Chinatown.  It hit the spot and filled our craving and prepped us for the rest of our adventure in San Francisco!

(P.S. I’m loving using our DSLR for food photos! I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to my point & shoot!)

New Kan's on Urbanspoon

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Layover = Opportunity for Adventure

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 5, 2010

Hello friends! The Husband and I have made it to Australia 😀 From where we left off, we left Las Vegas Wednesday morning and flew to San Francisco.  Once there, we checked our carry on bags at a convenient store in the International Terminal, jumped on the BART (San Francisco’s metro system), and headed into the city with plans of exploring.

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We were impressed with the advertisements in the BART, boasting of all of the events one could take the train to, including a restaurant week of sorts.  Too bad we’re a few weeks late!


Upon debarking in the downtown area, I saw my first cable car!  When it reaches the end of the street, guys actually have to spin it around on a lazy susan of sorts 🙂

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As we explored, I found all sorts of fun looking transportation.  Classic buses..


Little cars… all with their wheels turned toward the curb to prevent runaways.

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The Husband and I love just walking around a city.  Luckily, we have a similar attitude toward travel and as long as we have good walking shoes and a general map (in our case, our gps in the phone, to double check whether we should head north, south, east, or west), oh and of course a camera, we’re set! All that stopped us along the way were photo ops 🙂 We loved the architecture of this city!

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We were impressed with the steepness of the hills 🙂 Got ourselves a good workout before sitting on a plane for 15 hours! We got a good view of Lombard Street where the road is so steep, the cars don’t go straight down (look toward the top of the photo).


Colorful houses and apartments.  (Anyone watch Full House in the 80s? Don’t these houses remind you of theirs?)


Beautiful churches interweaved between more modern buildings.

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After finding Chinatown for lunch (post coming later today!), we headed toward Fisherman’s Wharf.  We arrived at Pier 39, which the Husband mistakenly thought was Fisherman’s Wharf, and we explored what they had to offer.  Before we realized our mistake, I was quite disappointed in the commercialization of the pier.  Once we realized it though, I found it to be quaint 🙂


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As we headed west along the water, we happened upon the actual Fisherman’s Wharf.

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We saw a great view of Alcatraz (definitely on my list to visit the next time we’re in San Fran).


Next on my list was Ghirardelli Square.  Thanks to the big sign, we easily found our way!


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The target audience of the square was clearly my demographic 🙂

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While we worked up a sweat climbing the hills, the breeze chilled us near the water so we were craving some hot chocolate.  We made our way into one of the Ghiradelli cafes, got a free Caramel Chocolate sample (yum!), and ordered hot chocolates.

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The Husband ordered the Drinking Chocolate (I think!) and an almond biscotti.  His drink was rich and delicious, but a bit much! We shared it and couldn’t finish it.  I ordered the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.  It was so good! I love salty and sweet together and highly recommend this.  Oh, the almond biscotti was heavenly.  This was a perfect treat to warm us up!

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After Ghirardelli Square, we continued exploring the city as we headed back toward the downtown area.  We had planned on getting a drink and dinner downtown, but neither of us were hungry.  We settled on a drink (another post later today!), before heading back to the airport.  After a bit of train confusion (we got on 2 wrong trains before getting the correct one to the airport), we headed through security and settled in at the gate. 

We were able to use miles to upgrade to business class (yay for frequent travel!) and had a wonderful flight on United to Sydney.  We were able to sleep, ate good food, and enjoyed everything the flight had to offer.  We arrive in Australia refreshed (minus needing a shower!) and are enjoying catching up with the Husband’s brother 🙂 Stay tuned as we start our awesome vacation! (With San Fran eats coming up later today!)

Posted in Architecture, Sites, Specialty, Travel | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »