Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Chow-DUH! (Masu Full of Saké part III)

Sweet Irony!

It started raining. Hard. We were in shorts and tee-shirts. We considered for a moment the purchase of the cheapo San Francisco Rain Slickers® that all the Minnesotans and Nebraskans were shelling out 17 bucks apiece for, but instead we ducked into Walgreen's, the place that always has good deals on cheap vestments. A couple of three dollar sweatshirts later and we were set.

We strolled around the pier for a while until E decided that she needed to take me to Hooters. Yes, there is a Hooters on Fisherman's Wharf. And, though my statistics may be skewed by the fact that the test group is populated by only one subject, I'd have to say it's the best Hooters I've ever been to. After being seated by our paid-to-be-flirty waitress we ordered a couple of beers. E decided that the clam chowder here would be better than at Alioto's. It was kind of a dare. So I took the bait and we ordered it.

A big mistake

Ladda mussy, that was the wrong thing to order. It reminded me of the days when I worked at Nation's as a teen. The day we did clam chowder was the day no one ordered the soup. So it would sit in that huge vat just simmering slowly all day, as if they were trying to render it down to clam chowder stock. This one had been in the pot so long that the potatoes were disintegrating! We pushed it aside laughing, and our waitress was kind enough to take it off of our bill (go Hooters!). Since E had the camera she thought I should get a photo with our waitress. Our waitress thought I should get one with her and a couple more girls. So they crushed themselves to me while another employee tried in vain to work our camera. By the time he got the shot they were well pissed at having been made to reverse-cop-a-feel me for so long! I won't publish the picture so that I can protect the innocent.

Hooters is an interesting place. There are a lot of guys there who just come to have a meal (or a few dozen beers) all by themselves. If you're lonely or your wife is out of town this would seem to make sense. Also if you are into standard-as-it-comes dinner fare, you could do worse. This guy's cheese steak looked pretty damned good, and I don't even like beef!

We figured that the best thing to eat there for our tastes would be the wings. We ordered them extra, extra spicy and that's how they came. Just thinking about how spicy they were makes my glands tighten now. It was nice that there were a few drumsticks in there too.

Having had enough of opaque leggings and light beer, we made sure our waitress got her tip (she was going off-shift) and left out the place, E commenting that she didn't see why other women get so upset about the place. It's just some chicks in shorts and tees that are barely even revealing and padded from head to toe. It's not liquor in the front, handjobs in the back; it's rough-hewn wood paneling, girls in knee-high socks, cheap beer and fried food. A friend of mine was talking about renting out this particular Hooters for his birthday, and his girlfriend of three years almost left him! Of course he was doing it to piss her off, but the insecurity that shows must run pretty deep.

We headed back towards Pier 39 to see how we could round out our day. After the rain let up, there was renewed interest in the combination bungee-and-trampoline on the boardwalk. Having the benefits of a)working out every day b) being full of beer c)having grown up with a trampoline next door and d) having trapeze experience, you know I was down for a whirl. Six bucks and I was trussed up and doing backflips while people looked on. I think I sold the next six people on trying it. They sucked, but at least they had fun.

We decided to try Chic's, an upstairs affair on the pier and pretty unremarkable from the outside. It has a very long bar inside, and Maîtresses D' who think they are in Broadway shows, prancing around in furs and singing to themselves. The bartender on this particular night was pretty cool and treated us like we didn't look like we'd just been washed in by the tide. We ordered - what else - clam chowder. Honestly, it was the best cup of the day, although possibly the worst photo I took all day:

Note the massive tip from the huge spender on the guest check at top left. We left this guy a nice tip and called it an evening.

Now, the only thing left to do to mark ourselves as true tourists was to ride the cable car. We just made one and took it back to Powell station. The ride was great. The conductor let E ring the bell at every stop (though she could barely reach it) and there was a nice couple from Vancouver that we told about how I'd lied at the aquarium that morning telling them I was an international student from Canada to get the discounted passes.

We had stowed our bags at the hotel for the day so of COURSE we had to go back there and have a drink at La'zeez. We vowed to retun soon although we haven't, but I have a feeling that will change in the near future. I may even start to enjoy visiting this city on a more regular basis.


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