Cafe Zuni & Taking the Good With The Bad in San Francisco

Cafe Zuni, San Francisco

A friend of mine was in town from Montreal for a conference and messaged me to have dinner. This also happened when a sorority sister who lives on a remote island in Alaska was here for a conference. Lovely and unexpected visits are a bonus to my location and I suspect this will continue to be a frequent occurrence. In addition to people visiting for business from far away locals my local friends always want an excuse to come to the city, so I am often hosting visitors. I am rarely alone and am meeting lots of new people as well.

My friend from Montreal was a pleasant surprise in the middle of the gloomy but necessary storm systems that have rolled through the Bay Area. He walked into my apartment and said, “Your living my best life.” I’ve heard this before. Living in a modern apartment in a metropolitan city is a long way from the suburbs where we met and raised our children. Not that children’s birthday parties, swim meets, backyard barbecues and soccer games do not hold their charm.

Living my best life was the original purpose of moving to San Francisco. It is still my objective, but I’m not quite there yet. Nevertheless we had a drink and took an Uber to the legendary Zuni Cafe.

Zuni opened in 1979. In its early days, the restaurant occupied only one narrow storefront of the triangular 1913 building. The dramatic corner storefront was home to the eye-catching Red Desert cactus store, with twelve-foot windows and sand on the floor. The original owner liked the southwestern theme and plastered the interior to look like adobe and named the new café after the Zuni, one of the indigenous Pueblo peoples of Arizona and New Mexico. Zuni Café’s earliest menus were inspired by the cookbooks of Diana Kennedy and Elizabeth David; but they were limited by a kitchen that consisted of little more than a toaster oven, an espresso machine that doubled as an egg-cooker, and a kettle grill in the back alley. Things evolved and now Cafe Zuni has a piano player and two James Beard awards.

Cafe Zuni, San Francisco

The cafe has a very warm atmosphere and we sat near the piano player as the rain poured down outside. We started with fresh citrus and beet salads. I ordered the snow crab fettuccini which was also delicious. Afterward, we went back to my building and played pool on the mezzanine. Then, my daughter called to see if we wanted to meet her and some friends for a drink. It was for me way too late for this, but she insisted that we were only 4 minutes away. So, we jumped in another Uber and went. We had a ridiculously good time.

The city is not all bad.

Love and blessings.

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