(San Francisco, Day 1)
Before the Mayhem 2011 tour, my wife and I decided to take a little vacation to San Francisco (one of our favorite places in the USA). Our tattoo artist, Kahlil Rintye lives there; some of our favorite food and cocktail spots are out in SF; and the scenery is really something special to us - so it seemed like since the tour started so close by, we ought to indulge a touch.
The flight left and arrived early, our bags arrived early, the hotel checked us in early, everyone in town seemed to be smiling, the sun was shining (I felt like Joseph Gordon Leavitt in 500 Days of Summer when that dance-scene-in-the-street happens) - it was an unheard of sort of travel day for me (I’m used to some crazy delays and issues). The agenda of the day was to get in, eat, and go get tattooed by our buddy Kahlil, at Tattoo City on Lombard. Last vacation Ash and I took, I stole most of the tattooed time, so I knew I would be donating all my hours to her (I wasn’t up for the pain today anyhow… I wanted to eat).
The mini-vacay was a short one - we’d have about 3 days total there, then a flight to Orange to stay with our good friends Kenny and Hollie, then drive to San Bernadino to meet for the Mayhem tour.
Our first stop is a place we’ve eaten at several times in the past already, The Grove - a local, all organic cafe sort of place in the financial district. It’ really great stuff, and having had most of the menu already - I knew we’d be in for a good meal.
The opening act was a massive squeezed-to-order orange juice that they make on site - delicious (I’m a Florida-kid: I know my orange juices); I had the Huevos Rancheros, and Ash had the Breakfast Burrito. I’m a sucker for anything Mexican-food-based - it’s probably one of my top favorite ethnicities on the globe; Grove’s Huevos had eggs, chips, beans, cheese, avocado, and a thick-colored tomato-based sauce that’s not unlike salsa. The Breakfast Burrito is a mammoth - it has rosemary potatoes, eggs, cheese, and various little greens and onions - it’s a seriously good thing. Everything at Grove tastes fresh and clean - simple flavors, but in a nice setting (non-pretentious, sort of higher end looking cafe’ thing). Great stuff.
We grabbed a cab and headed to Tattoo City, where Ashley was Tattoo-Machined for the next 4-6 hours or so - Kahlil was adding to her Japanese-style sleeve of Japanese floral patterns. That ¾ sleeve is going to take quite a few visits… Kahlil did my left arm and half of my right arm - the left arm took 24-28 hours total to do a full sleeve. I was happy to skip being needled to submission.
We took a recommendation of Kahlil’s to hit up Puerto Alegre in the Mission district to grab some more Mexican food (did I mention we love Mexican food? We had a lot of Mexican food in SF).
Chips, salsa, and guacamole greeted us initially - and I wanted the Puerto Alegre Cadillac Margarita - well, we both did. The Margarita was damn good - it was their “high end” one of the night, all made with top-shelf tequila. You could hardly taste the tequila - dangerous stuff. Delicious stuff.
The mains of the night for us were the Enchiladas Poblanas, Red (Mole) and the Chicharones En Salsa Roja. The Enchiladas were chicken, made with that tricky-to-describe-chocolate mole’ sauce with the poblanas peppers mixed in to it. I’m certainly a fan of mole’. Chicharones is fried pork belly (I believe??) cooked into semi-crispier bits with a spicy sauce - it was intensely good, and intensely filling - it came with house-made tortillas to stuff the concoction in to.
Beyond stuffed and buzzed, we walked a little bit and grabbed a cab back - early night for night 1.