It was another quick trip. (What an opening line. It sounds like “It was a dark and stormy night…”) But quick trips seem to be the only type we make out to San Francisco nowadays. At least this one was for a happy occasion – Pop’s 82nd Birthday! Since only three of us six kids actually live in San Francisco, it’s just about the only time all six of us actually get together anymore. It’s a wild and crazy time when everyone gets together! The kids, the grandkids, the great-grandkids… We are not a quiet family…

We flew in Thursday, and immediately headed to Big Joe’s on San Mateo Ave in San Bruno for a burger. Now, if burger quality is judged by the amount of napkins needed whilst enjoying a perfectly grilled burger, Big Joe’s comes out waaaaaay on top. I used easily a dozen for my “Joe’s Burger” a half-pound burger with avocado, bacon, and cheese. Not a diet plate by any means! Damn, it was good! It’s the type of burger that has to be cut in half to even begin to try and eat it, and one has to take bites here and there to finally get it in ones mouth. It’s just too huge to chomp right into. Stuff goes sliding about, hands get greasy and messy… It’s pure heaven!

It seems every trip west is a food-fest of some sort, and this was no exception. We stopped by and visited with Pop and then headed over to my sister Eileen’s for dinner. Knowing we had gourged ourselves at Joe’s, she mad a simple but rich split pea soup with homemade cornbread. Yum-licious! It was still early by California time, but late by Pennsylvania time, so, fully sated, we headed to bed.


Friday was another fun food day! We headed down to Redwood City to see our friend Deb who works at DreamWorks! After a tour of the studio, we got to eat in the commissary! Free Lunch! It was “Tailgate Party” theme in honor of the Super Bowl. There was so much to choose from! I had grilled sausage on a really great french roll, potato salad, iced coffee… There was fresh fruit everywhere, salads, nacho bar… These folks know how to eat! sadly, Deb finally had to get back to work, so we headed back up the penninsula…

We did a bit of shopping at our favorite lamp store – Lamps Plus. (I really wish they would head east! We stopped in and bought a new light for the kitchen. It should be shipping any day now… ) Then into the city to meet everyone at the local watering hole.

Saturday was Pop’s official Birthday – and the official party! That, of course, meant lots of food! We headed out shopping early. Not only was it a Saturday – my least favorite day to grocery shop – but it was also the day before the Super Bowl. Junk food junkies were everywhere!

Loaded with supplies, we headed back to Eileen’s to start cooking. The party was at Judy’s, but Eileen has a better-equiped kitchen. We did a baked ham, stuffed eggs, macaroni salad, potato salad, spinach dip in a hollowed out french boule. Loaded up with our goodies, it was off to Judy’s.


Judy lives in San Mateo, just down the penninsula from San Francisco. Great weather, great old houses. She has lemon and tangerine trees in her front yard, camelias, jade plants. All the typical west coast flora that I miss! And a great house built in the ’30’s.

More food started arriving. Debbie made a great ambrosia, and a huge crudite with every assorted vegetable imaginable. Sadly, Mike dropped half of it in the street bringing it in. Oh well. At least the dip survived!

These trips are too damn short – and we eat waaaay too much. I love the second part!