Flipper’s Burgers, Caffe Trieste, and Mo’s in San Francisco

Flipper’s Burgers.  This one is located in Hayes Valley and I’ve been to it once before and got a superb sandwich called “The Suzie” which has eggplant, roasted red peppers, pesto, and cheese – so good I dreamt about it for years afterwards.  While I was tempted to fulfill my dreams of having that sandwich again, I really wanted breakfast.  Now that San Francisco is once again within reasonable reach – I felt comfortable skipping the sandwich this time knowing I can come back for it another time.

A really large man (in every direction) who was missing several key teeth took my order for a latte.  This man did not seem to be a waiter so I thought he might be a bored cook.

I’ve heard all kinds of raves about Blue Bottle coffee.  I had one of their lattes just before heading out to Flippers (just a couple of blocks away) and I have to report that I found Blue Bottle’s latte to be disappointing – the flavor was pretty good but not strong enough (more like a cafe au lait strength) and it came to me not very hot – a latte needs to be hot.  This latte, though, this one was PERFECT.  This is how I used to make them at the coffee roastery.  Perfect foam, hot as hell, with the espresso carefully suspended in a stripe between the foam and the milk.  Excellent flavor as well.

I ordered the salsa omelet and it was pretty good.  They were a little (a lot) skimpy on the sour cream but I still enjoyed my breakfast.  The potatoes could have been a little less dry but the flavor was good and, anyway, that’s what ketchup is for.

After my breakfast (which I actually ate at noon) I had to head straight for North Beach to meet my guys at Caffe Trieste.  I had to squeeze myself onto a Van Ness Muni and hopped off at Broadway.  Not wanting to have to climb over the enormously steep Broadway hill (though which the Broadway tunnel runs) I smartly clipped one block over to Vallejo.  And immediately found myself climbing the impossibly steep Telegraph Hill I had tried to avoid.  We will not discuss my idiocy in detail.  Once I made it over the mountain with splendidly red sweaty skin – I found my guys coolly sipping sodas at the outside tables of Caffee Trieste, that most famous of North Beach hang outs.  Max loves cafes so it was great to bring him to experience a classic.  He approved of it.

Philip and Max went to the Comic con south of Market and Max showed off all the loot he got from it: pins, post cards, a tiny piece of original art,  a tiny vampire doll made of string, and stickers.

He had a great time.  We sat and chatted for a while and tried to ignore the loud crazy old guy accosting customers and enjoyed the wonderful breeze finally kicking up.  I had expected San Francisco to wow me with cold foggy weather but instead it drenched me with muggy bright heat.  What a traitor of a city!!

Before leaving the city to go visit my dad in Marin Max really wanted to get a bite to eat.  We spotted “Mo’s Grill” just around the corner.  The food was pretty good but the place has about 4 tables total and it’s cramped so don’t be surprised if, while trying to figure out what to order, a Frenchman’s bony ass obscures your view of the menu in your hand.

I have missed San Francisco so much.  When asked if Max likes Portland or San Francisco better he says San Francisco.  I thought I liked Portland better but the truth is that nothing can really compare to my birth city.

But don’t worry my Portland friends – we do still love Portland because it’s an amazing and cool city that’s way cleaner than San Francisco.

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