Thursday, January 30, 2014

Long Weekend, Part Two: Margherita Pizza and Hats

Last Friday, I made the mistake of not eating anything before we left to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum. It was about eleven a.m. and with several cups of coffee coursing through my system, it didn't seem to be an issue, and for most of the museum trip, it wasn't. Seeing as I figured that visit would only take two or three hours, I assumed we'd have the chance to stop for a snack.


Four or so hours in to touring the exhibits, I was well on my way to full-on hangry (you know, angry & hungry), which meant I had little patience for stupidity or City driving. Lucky me, City driving was what lay in my future. Now, Dave has this unnatural ability to go all day without eating, and, as such, doesn't really understand the all-consuming loathing I develop for humanity when hangry. At the same time, he *has* developed a sensitivity to it, and learned to adjust accordingly. Smart man.

Anyhow, we were meeting our friend for dinner at 5:30 p.m. and I had to maneuver my way through lots (of people with death wishes) of city streets and up and over the INSANE San Francisco hills. She lives in Chinatown, and is one of those lucky individuals that has a garage in San Francisco. To my continual dismay, it's a tandem garage in this tiny alley where I let her park my car and pretend to not see her come within inches of poles and door frames. Not that you'd notice a couple of dings on my otherwise unwashed car. She wanted to take us to dinner in North Beach.

Now, North Beach is actually code for hipster central. In San Francisco, however, I will refrain from my normal deck shoes and hipster rant and how they BELONG ON DECKS because some of these people might have actually been on boats or were heading to them. Still, my sensibilities are always pushed to the breaking point when confronted with hipsters and I must suppress my natural desire to groan whenever I see one. Else North Beach would have been one continual groan for hours.

We went to dinner at this pizza place called Tony's Pizza Napoletana ( on account of them having the "best Margherita Pizzas" ever. Okay, I might be exaggerating, but it is award winning. According to the menu, they only make 73 of these pizzas a day, and the waitress said they usually run out by 6:30 p.m. Lucky for us it wasn't 6:30 yet, eh? Apparently, they have a line out the door at noon when they open. In addition, they have a pizza by the slice place next door, and run a pizza making school upstairs. With seven (or some obscene number like that) different types of pizza ovens, they make almost every kind of pizza imaginable.

We got there right around 5:30 p.m. and were offered a thirty minute wait for inside or immediate seating outside. Hangry Zan was all up on that outside seating thing, and after our friend confirmed the presence of heaters, off we went. And sat on a hill. I was a little leary of my water glass sitting there, the water tilted to one side. It really wasn't a huge hill, but until I had a beer in me (on an empty stomach - not the brightest idea), I kept giving it the side eye daring the glass to tip over.

Taken from since
I forgot to take a picture of the tastiness
Since we were there because of this awesome Margherita Pizza, that was our order. Although three hungry people (two who hadn't eaten a bite that day) can demolish a twelve inch round pizza in no time. We wound up ordering a Diavolo as well on the waitress' recommendation (me and the waitress bonded over that pizza - Spicy for the win!), and polishing it off with a couple of beers, a Caprese salad, and meatballs. Oh man, that was some tasty pizza, but I'm a Neapolitan pizza fan.

Finally, after all that food, we made our way towards the hat shop. I mean, the whole point of this trip really was hats. Specifically, buying me a hat from Goorin Bros. with the gift certificate Dave gave me for Christmas. His intention was for me to spend the gift certificate on a hat and customize it to exactly my specifications. I'm not entirely sure how one goes about buying a custom hat, but that's what he wanted me to do. Hmmm.

You know there are two kinds of people who wear hats: the ones who do it because they think it makes them cool, and the ones who actually are cool. Two of the workers in the store were of the first type (their clothes and attitude just didn't match the attitude of the hats), and the third exuded cool with a waxed mustache and the kind of attitude that says come have a beer with me. Or whisky. Because whisky is manly.

Apparently, the store was running low on hats after the Christmas season. Still, I'm sort of glad they were because I tried on a bunch of hats which I wouldn't have otherwise. I guess I went in with the intention of buying a black hat and putting some kind of custom color band or ribbon or something. Dave, however, has been moving away from wearing black all the time, and convinced me I ought to try on hats in - gasp - actual color!

Now, I've always been a hat person, and (not tooting my own horn, but actually doing so) I've rarely found a style that didn't work for me. I actually found several styles that looked terrible! Huh.

After much looking back and forth and finally convincing myself to NOT buy a black hat, we settled on a teal cloche. The band and feathers were already pretty awesome so there was need to customize (especially since it would have de
stroyed the awesome feather decoration!), and I was left with slightly more than half of my gift certificate to spend. Finally, after a little more browsing I picked up several berets (also not in black), paid, and we went on our way.

To end the night, we headed to this overpriced beer bar that had the same beer I'd been drinking at Tony's for twice the price. Um no. Instead, I had an uninspired IPA that left me feeling like I'd walked in to some kind of joke about hipster bars, spending too much, and getting a PBR for twenty bucks.

We wound up heading back to our friend's condo, watching tv for a few hours, and then heading home.

The moral of the story: Overpriced beer bars are overpriced beer bars. It will probably be an overpriced beer bar if it looks so cool hipsters are there. ;)

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