fancysffood.jpgI was at a restaurant in the middle of the day yesterday (very San Francisco), and when I ordered my broccoli soup the waitress immediately told me that besides the bacon it was “almost vegan,” which is maybe the only phrase in the English language that means absolutely nothing to omnivores and NoNovores alike. If vegans wanted to be ‘almost’ anything they would be pescetarians or mid-day vegetarians or bulimics.

In most cities this waitress wouldn’t have even used the word “vegan” in conjunction with something to eat, but in San Francisco things are a little different. Everyone here knows everything about food. When was the last time you witnessed a San Franciscan open a menu and shout, “Fuck yeah farro!”? If your answer is you’re witnessing it right now, you are correct.

They know how to spell radicchio, get jokes about squab, and hardly balk at lunch dessert. They love to talk about food, read about other people eating it, tweet pictures of it, and go to special stores to get it.

This is one reason San Franciscans like to go to out to eat so much. Around here, going to restaurants is a legitimate pastime like Running or Travel, and you know that because people frequently list it in their “About Me” sections.

It’s a simple truth that if a San Franciscan is not eating one thing they’re thinking about how they might eat another. Thank God for walking. If Muni wasn’t so shitty we might have a weight problem on our hands.

I’m not saying that Muni sucks because people eat so much, but it does kind of make you wonder which came first: unreliable public transportation or the quail egg on your tuna tartare.

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  • TedWilliamsBobbleHead

    the next column in this series should “Things San Franciscans Like: Talking About Themselves”

  • hannah

    @TedWilliamsBobbleHead:

    http://sfappeal.com/culture/2010/09/things-san-franciscans-like-observations-about-themselves.php

    Ramona is always one step ahead of everyone else.

  • cv

    Note that the Japanese and South Koreans have marvelous public transportation *and* tasty cuisine.

  • Soonerdiver

    The South Koreans and Japanese also have a government in place that cares about it’s people! They don’t leave them hanging on a tree limb to flap in the wind… and for that matter just about every major city (population over 1,000) has a better mass transit than San Francisco.

    I left the city by the bay in 1961 and Muni was an excellent system. You could virtually go anywhere in the city on the Muni; now…??? What is the two common factor that have changed over the years, why city government and unions of course.

    Good luck SF… you will need it and I truly do not think your new mayor is going to help a hell of a lot.

  • cv

    Well, it’s up to San Francisco voters to put the right people in office. Elected officials reflect the tastes and interests of the constituency (well, at least the ones who voted). When you have some like Chris Daly in office for years and years, that speaks a lot about the voting public.

    And maybe Muni could hire a Japanese or Korean to run MUNI. Just a thought.

  • netzard

    “Almost vegan” is indeed, very San Franciscan. What I love is the savvy waitperson who grasps that many a strident vegetarian has a little bacon habit on the side. They don’t call it the gateway meat for nothing…

  • GuitarTam

    In SF dining is a past-time for good reason, we offer one of the best all around epicurious offerings in the world. I had to laugh at Ramona’s note about the “almost” vegan soup.
    Isa (one of my current fav’s) on a recent visit offered me a “almost vegan” side.
    I shamelessly indulge in a wide variety of food offerings being a card carrying omni-vore.

    Business and dining are the perfect companions, and why I love to indulge in and out of town guests to the culinary variety our beautiful city offers all palettes.
    Bon Appetite!