Have you recovered from the epic feast for the eyes that was roadtrip eats, part I?
Are you ready for part II?
I hooope so... This one will be a little tamer, I promise.
We now find ourselves in San Francisco - specifically, Chinatown.
We'd been for dim sum at City View a few years ago, and had nothing but good memories. We had to go back this time. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Chinatown on a side-street, it's nothing spectacular from the outside. But the delicacies being peddled around on steaming carts on the inside... are another story.
To sum this experience up, we were hungry when we went. Really hungry. There absolutely no time to make mental notes on each dish that was ferociously gobbled up seconds after it hit the table, so excuse my hazy descriptions. What I do know: chicken above was spicy, sweet and the perfect combination of crispy/tender.
Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf is a dim sum favourite of mine. City View's is piping hot and full of flavour.
Pan-fried shrimp and scallion dumplings were the yummiest little bites. Succulent, savoury and perfectly-crisp on top.
Steamed BBQ pork buns are another go-to for me. These were pillow-soft, with steamy, sweet fall-apart BBQ pork hidden in the middle. Heavenly.
...And then we started gobbling so quickly that I couldn't even take pictures anymore. This 'aftermath' photo was all I could muster - and doesn't come close to relaying the frenzy of this meal. Patrons of the table could be heard to speculate afterwards that they barely remembered parts of it, it went by so fast. The food, we remember though, was spectacular as always. Take our word for it.
It's a miracle we even had the energy to laugh afterwards...
My parents have been coming to Caffe Sport as long as they've been coming to San Francisco.
(Believe it. It's been around since 1969!)
A little family-run spot in North Beach, it's full of quirky, old-school charm and garlic.
Literally, there's garlic everywhere. Take for example, Exhibit A below, where garlic hangs from the walls in bushels. If you know me, you'll know that this is by no means a complaint.
As 'regulars,' we know our order (pasta, pasta and more pasta) without looking at the menu. Still, we pretended to skim it for good measure.
(I swear I own other clothes than this leopard cardigan. I swear!)
Pasta con Vongole comes with an ample amount of juicy clams in a creamy, garlicky tomato sauce topped with sharp parmesan cheese.
Pasta con Pesto is served with a simple yet unbelievably flavourful sauce of basil, garlic and parmesan that magically manages to be both light and creamy at once.
But the real star of this Caffe Sport meal, ladies and gents, is the Scampi All'Antonio.
Aka humongous, juicy, fresh prawns in a white garlic sauce with zucchini.
Two things should be made very clear here: if you don't like rich sauces, opt out of this one. And if you're not a garlic fan... stay very, very far away from anyone that's even tasted a bite of this meal. Pretty sure Caffe Sport uses an entire wall display of garlic per serving on this dish. The sauce is so garlicky it's almost spicy. And it is perfection. Down to the very last spoonful.
You can bet that the fam-jam, once again, shamefully scraped the plate clean. It was a collective decision and we weren't even that ashamed - plus, no one was offended by anyone else's post-meal aroma!
If you love home-style Sicilian cooking, put Caffe Sport on your San Fran list. Just be prepared to stand at least ten feet away from anyone you talk to for the following 24 hours. Worth it.
Coming next: a contender for my favourite restaurant of the trip. So good, it got its own post!
City View Dim Sum
662 Commercial Street, San Francisco, CA
574 Green Street, San Francisco, CA