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San Francisco is a magical city.  You are close to everything you would ever want:

  • The mountains (or at least it feels that way if you are from Houston)
  • National recreation
  • Art
  • Night life
  • Wine country
  • Culture
  • Ocean and beach

And the list goes on.  But one thing that sucka punches you in the face, and we have to share with you, is the food!  We are hungry in San Francisco.

Part one of our journey brings us to the Fisherman’s Wharf.  It’s lit up, crowded, and littered with chain restaurants.  In other words, its just downright touristy.

Once heralded for its fresh seafood and authentic cuisine it has now been replaced by Rainforest Cafe, McDonalds, and Ripley’s something or another.  The street performers are out for your donations and many will do anything, including scaring the [edit] out of you.

I continued on to experience what I came here for: clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.  After sampling several of the vendors lining the main drag, we found that Nicks #5 was the most adequate.  And I say this with out much enthusiasm, for none of them blew me away.  I should have gone with Stef’s suggestion to try Boudin Bakery’s, but I was too stubborn and wanted the street experience.

I tried this many years back and fell head over heel in love with the dish.  This was about 11 years ago.  Did quality go downhill or did my palette change?  I don’t know.  Nick’s, unlike the others, was actually pretty good, but I was looking for a little something more special.  I am going to blame the tourist trap and the good ol’ American tradition of sacrificing quality for efficiency and cost effectiveness… and probably a hint of “they truly don’t give a damn”.  The once passionate, quaint feeling bay experience has been replaced with overtones of an amusement park.

With that said.  I do love the clam chowder and sour dough bowls.  Nick’s offered a nice dish that I am sure to get next time I am there.  It’s like a San Fran tradition, “gotta get my chowder bowl fix”.  Just don’t try to scare me.

Stay hungry Houston, and when you are in San Francisco, go get a chowder bowl.  Just don’t spend the day at the wharf as  San Francisco has much more to offer.


Oh!  I love the “getting to eat the bowl” part.