Do you ever get those days where all you want is to be comforted...surrounded by familiar faces, things and food? I've had a couple of those days. Does that mean I'm homesick? Naw, I don't think so.
The beginning of the week was full of leftovers and a repeat attempt at my Warm Lentil Salad since I still had half a package of lentils that needed to be used. Exciting, right? To toss things up a bit, I decided to take a mini adventure after work on Monday. Where did I go? To a running store, duh!
There's no denying that I was spoiled by working at an awesome running store in DC, a mere half mile from my apartment. I've been searching for good running stores in San Francisco since before I started packing my first box. One store kept popping up again and again...enter Fleet Feet San Francisco!
My prerequisites for a go-to running shop:
- Friendly, non-condescending staff - just because someone walks into a running store doesn't mean they are a hard core runner. Don't judge me because I'm not super fast.
- Must carry one or more of the following essentials: Mizuno Wave Inspires, Balegas, Feetures, Nuun, Nike Fundamental Race Day Shorts, Mocha Clif Shot Gels
- Running group with fun people that run a variety of paces
- Easy to get to
- Have a legit shoe fitting process - dude, I loved the store I worked at. I will judge.
Conveniently (sort of) located in San Francisco's Marina District, the tiny shop definitely had almost everything I was looking for (apparently nutritionals really don't have a home in the store so I was directed to a larger sporting goods store - I appreciate the honesty) and the staff was great. I chatted with a couple people, including one of the owners, about the group runs and the half marathon training program to feel things out a bit, and everyone was really nice. Unfortunately, the store's group run is too hard for me to get to during the week :( I did learn that they do these things called "Sunset Runs" - non-competitive races on select Thursday nights. It's $10 to register, you get a shirt, run 5 miles with a hundred or so people and the proceeds go to charity. Score.
I'm checking out the run on May 20th so I'll definitely report back. Also checking out the first training group session this Saturday...very excited! It'll be tough to find a replacement to my store, but that was a whole different situation. I spent a crapton of time there working and not working...how could I not love it?
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes...comfort. It all hit me yesterday - I only know 4 people here and of those 4 people only one is a good friend, one is a friend I haven't seen in a long time, one is an old coworker friend and the other is an old coworker. Yeeh. I mean, I knew I'd have to make new friends, but something just got to me last night. I was sitting at work and realized I didn't know what to do with myself that evening. It's not like I was overloaded like I was in DC...packing in a ton of things into my day. For some reason all I wanted to do last night was call someone to grab a last minute dinner or drinks or run or wandering. I can't do that here...not yet at least. *big big BIG sigh*
O well. What did I do? I craved comfort. Comfort in the kitchen. I did a grocery trip and decided to make that Rosemary Polenta with Spicy Garlic Shrimp I make o so much...
This time I sauteed some broccolini for some green
and did a combination of that last attempt with lemongrass and the usual spicy garlic shrimp.
Not my best work (I still think my lemongrass one was the best), but the polenta and the big cookfest comforted me. Yes, I was comforted by my complicated, 3 pan meal.
After basking in home-bodyness, I agreed to check out this thing called Alpha Bar with a friend of mine. Basically you follow this group on Facebook or their blog (though it's not really updated) and see what bar they are going to next. It meets every other Wednesday at a new bar...they start at A and go to Z (tonight they were on G so we went to Green's Sports Bar - conveniently located a block from MY NEW APARTMENT!!) We're both sort of in the same boat (she moved out in January) so we were into the idea of meeting up with a social group at a random bar...seemed like a good idea?
We planned on grabbing a quick bite to eat, but I got there late since I was swamped at work (seriously? Week TWO) and apparently Green's does not serve food (but you can bring a pizza in?). We wandered a couple blocks down and found ourselves at Nick's Crispy Tacos. I know, I know you're probably thinking 'hasn't she had enough taco??' The answer is no. There is never too much taco. Especially fish taco.
After grabbing some cash at the ATM, friend snagged a spot at the bar and ordered us $3 margaritas (yum) while I stood in line for our tacos! We both decided to give both types of fish tacos a shot: the Pescado (baja style fried fish in a corn tortilla with salsa, lime mayonnaise, cilantro, cabbage & onions)
AMAZING. I usually don't like fried fish tacos, but this was perfectly crisp - not at all soggy. The toppings were great, squeeze a little lime, drizzle on some of the red and green sauce...perfect with the mayo/salsa/slaw. A tad messy to eat, but SO worth it.
the Grilled Fish (seasonal fresh fish served with tomatillo and pico de gallo salsas, cilantro, cabbage & onions in a corn tortilla)
I almost got just the grilled fish because I didn't even see the fried fish one at first glance! The grilled ones were ok...they were really no match to the fried ones. I think it's the toppings. Seriously. There were just a lot more fun and flavorful ones on the fried ones. Indeed.
By the time we got out of there (hey, it was a long line!) it was a little after 9 so we booked it over to the bar only to realize that we had no idea what to look for. I guess the whole bar runs specials on Alpha Bar nights, so there's a mix of regular bar goers and people there for this event. Long story short, we got there, grabbed a drink and caught up with each other. HA. So much for meeting new people. Oh well, there's always the next event!