Yelp saves the day!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by deltadude, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. deltadude


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    Cook At Home
    You will have to bear with my story until the near end for Yelp discussion...

    Sunday my wife and I celebrated our anniversary. We live 100 miles from SF and like to go to SF a couple of times a year or for special occasions. So off we went to SF for a SFballet performance and hopefully some fresh seafood.

    Our first stop would be a tiny seafood restaurant in the Castro district off Market. One thing we generally try to do is find places that the locals like to eat at, this would be our first experience at this restaurant. We wanted clam chowder and either some crab cakes or split a Crab Louie salad or possibly a fresh Dungeness Crab Roll. We settled for clam chowder and crab cakes. You need to know I think I make some pretty good clam chowder. The chowder we had was NOT good, it was barely ok, If you want to know what good clam chowder should taste like go to Swan's Oyster Depot on Polk st. Next the 3 perfectly cooked crab cakes were ruined by very faulty chipotle sauce. I should have known better to ask for the sauce on the side, instead the kitchen did their styling with 3 large stripes of chipotle making it tough to get if off. It was a good thing we were running late and only had minutes to get to the ballet, find parking, etc. So eat/check and a long brisk walk to our car.

    The SF Ballet performance was exceptional (I really don't know it's not my thing), my wife showed her deep appreciation for the ballet surprise, making it very special. Ok from here our day sort of goes down hill. 3 days of our 10 day honeymoon, many many many years ago, was in San Francisco, we ate at one very nice family Chinese restaurant in China Town, but have not returned. I wanted to find that restaurant, I told the wife, they would greet us and welcome us back remembering we were newly weds 30+ years later. Ok weak smile, we laughed though. I wasted about an hour on this quest, until she declared ENOUGH, lets go shopping.. The problem was it was now 5:45pm and Sunday, most of the shopping centers close at 7pm, all except one shopping area Fisherman's wharf. I really didn't want to go there but my wife wanted to buy me something, and was determined. So pier 39, worst tourist spot in SF. We parked and my sweetie wanted a cafe mocha, Boudin's seafood was next door, so instead of coffee, I went over and got a cup of Clam Chowder, good, not as good as Swan's but a big improvement over the lunch chowder. Next we found the specialty store so my wife could buy what she wanted. Now time for dinner.

    I called the restaurant I had chose only to discover that it was closed! What a mistake on my part, no problem I always try to have a backup plan, next call that Sea Food 41/2 star was closed! Thats what I get for last minute 2am planing. I had recently joined the Smartphone generation, I had downloaded Yelp's Android app and need HELP fast. It was 7pm, we were a bit tired, no long drives, but we want Sea Food, we wanted it within a mile, and we wanted it to taste good. Punching in the criteria in Yelp pointed to Pier 39's Crab House Rest & Pier Market Sea Food Rest. Crab house was rated 4 stars out of 5, Pier Market S F had 3.5. We had walked by the Crab House earlier and I looked at some of our favorite dishes and they were expensive, usually I have been disappointed at expensive tourist restaurants. Price would be the consideration since we were now tired and now would just settle for a good meal. Pier Market wasn't crowded, we were escorted to a nice window table with a view of the harbor. A excellent waiter took care of us, everything was prompt and tasted very good. Beer and a heaping platter of fried calamari sounded good, with either cocktail sauce or their sweet & sour sauce. The sweet & sour sauce worked and added a nice kick, to the tender squid. We remembered that on our first night in SF on our honeymoon she had sea bass, and I had Cioppino. No Sea Bass on the menu, but Ahi Tuna and Cioppino were on special, both were nice size portions and tasted excellent. I would have liked a little spicier broth, but it still tasted very good, and tasted better toward the end as the pieces of seafood broke apart.

    Yelp saved the day. I have been using Yelp at home on my PC for a couple of years, having Yelp on my smartphone available for my emergency was a great help.

    BTW, if you don't have a smart phone and need information, you can use your cell phone's text to request info from Google. Text message your search query to 466453 (GOOGLE)and google will text message back your results. You can learn to use the query 466453 here. It really helps if you are picking up someone at the airport, you can find out when the flight lands and be in front rather than pay for parking.