Monday, October 3, 2011

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco: Clam Chowder In A Bread Bowl Please!

To admit that we headed to San Francisco for the primary purpose of slurping and gobbling clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl for lunch may cause a few raised eyebrows and exaggerated gasps... But uhm, it's the truth. Not to see the Golden Gate Bridge nor the cable cars, but to have that hearty concoction of seafood-y goodness.

Overcast spring day in San Francisco.

For a non-foodie like the husband, it's something that he could scarcely fathom - but was forced agreed to do a sort of ridiculously long scenic drive from Sacramento to Los Angeles through San Francisco anyway so I'd shush. You see, that's what you call, for the love of food (and well, for the love of the wife).

One of San Francisco's icons.

Earlier that morning, we were in Sacramento bidding a bittersweet goodbye to my Persian extended in-laws. We just spent a three-day holiday in their wonderful home. The hubby's cousin reaffirmed us as we hopped in our rented car that our decision to do a detour's nothing short of fantastic. We took off. And like tons of other tourists in the U.S., we entrusted our fate to the ingenious GPS.

Souvenir shops aplenty near the wharf.

It didn't fail to take us to the destination we punched in. We amazingly found a parking slot not so distant from the wharf. After feeding coins to the parking meter, I seemingly drifted afloat, sniffing and tracing where the fishy aroma was coming from. Hubby, who defines "seafood" as canned tuna (and occasionally smoked salmon in a westernized sushi roll), didn't look like an enthusiastic chap. What I call fishy aroma, he calls fishy stench. And when I say clam chowder, he flinches.

Hello, love.

My unleashed excitement and rumbling tummy made me buy the soup from the first seafood stand we saw. It was $5 a bread bowl. We found a small space on a table nearby which we shared with fellow die-hard seafood Asian fans. Because of the spring chill, the clam chowder was no longer piping hot when I slurped. But it didn't disappoint. It was flavorful, thick but smooth, and it's got heaps of clam flesh. I fed Luna (who thankfully at eight months old didn't show any allergic reaction to it), and eventually the hubby. And they both loved it!

Musee Mecanique, or Mechanical Museum.

Soup was gone in a flash. The bread bowl, not so much for it was a bit stale. We lazily rambled around once we were done with our late lunch. Fisherman's Wharf is the home of San Francisco's fishing fleet, since the days of the Gold Rush. It's fascinating to know that descendants of the fishermen from that era could still be present and are engaged in the same livelihood.

Awesome collection!

Since I got all these fish-y thoughts running in my head, stumbling upon the Mechanical Museum seemed odd to me. Perched on the edge of Pier 45, it just looked a bit too random for the area. Since the admission's free, we curiously stepped in.

Laughing Sal, terrified entertained kids and grown ups at Playland at the Beach from 1940-1972.

True to its description by the entrance, the collection's massive. I couldn't even begin pinpointing the ones that I liked because there were heaps of them. While some are cool, others are just plain creepy. Like Laughing Sal and The English Execution. We didn't spend our precious pennies on the machines though and chose to erm, wait for fellow tourists to insert coins in the slots, then watch.

Vintage photo booth.

However, we did pay for snapshots taken in an old photo booth. The cost was almost the same as the clam chowder we just had, but it's something I've always wanted to do since I was young. For fun, not for actual ID picture purposes.

Uhm, if only I could remember where I kept this.

What a marvelous way to cap off our side trip. And I'm not just referring to the photo booth thingy but also to the quick shopping we did after. Might as well right? After all, that was one long detour.


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Ian | Going Places said...
October 5, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I miss SFO because of your posts. I had a nice family bonding memory at Fisherman's Wharf. It has been 11 years since my first visit in San Francisco! I wish to come back again and explore its charms.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 5, 2011 at 12:23 PM

That's good to hear, Ian. It's a nice place to visit with the family. There's something for everyone.

Anonymous said...
October 5, 2011 at 1:06 PM

San Francisco has got to be one of my favourite cities on earth and yes, clam chowders over at Fisherman's Wharf are heavenly. But more often than not, I would rather hop to the other side of the road where there is a Hooters hehe.

lakwatsera de primera said...
October 5, 2011 at 1:13 PM

love the snapshots at the old photo booth, at first glance, i thought it was a father and daughter photo shoot, (nasa likod pala si hippie mum :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 5, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Drew, I know a handful of people who consider San Fran as one of their fave cities in the world :)

blissfulguro said...
October 5, 2011 at 2:01 PM

ako din! akala ko father-daughter shots lang sa last photo ko rin lang na-realize...:)

Manila Girl said...
October 5, 2011 at 4:02 PM

I miss Fisherman's Wharf! :-( There was a restaurant there we usually went to whenever we were vacationing in SF - the eat-all-you-can one, I forget the name. Haha. Clam chowder hungerrr!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 5, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Claire, I blended with the background. Dark eh. Hahaha!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 5, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Manila Girl, didn't come across an eat-all-you-can resto. Sayang.

AJ said...
October 5, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Hate to say this, but my seafood definition agrees with your husband's. And the smell, I'd flinch as well. :)

But that soup (and bread bowl)...that could nourish for a day!

And the photo booth - we had a lot of that in the 80s. That was how we actually got our ID and passport pix. Now they're just for fun. It didn't seem so fun then. :p

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 5, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Clam chowder's not really seafood-y so the hubby liked it. I can't remember having my photo taken in such booth in the 80s, cause my parents preferred those shops who give you the negatives of your snapshots so you could just have 'em reprinted if need be.

rache said...
October 6, 2011 at 2:13 AM

Gay! Oh my God! I loooove the vintage photo booth picture of your hubby and Luna! I thought they were made of wax! Luna looks like a living doll!!!!!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 6, 2011 at 6:17 AM

Hahaha! Yeah Rache, it kinda looks creepy to me. They do look like wax figures!

outonvacation said...
October 6, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Luna is so pretty..mana sa mom :) insert into my checklist...clam chowder at Fisherman's wharf

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 6, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Haha! Naks. Thank you ;p

Markyramone said...
October 6, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Clam Chowder's a tongue twister. Cool old photo booth, I wanna visit SF too to track the trails of the "Beat"/Beatniks generation.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 6, 2011 at 4:03 PM

"Beatnik" as defined by Jack Kerouac, Marky? Haha.

joan | the backpack chronicles said...
October 6, 2011 at 5:21 PM

That laughing Sal definitely looks creepy!! It made me think of Chucky.

Ang ganda-ganda ni Luna. She looks like a doll!!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 6, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I agree Joan! Sal looks like Chucky's mom. Scarrry!

Malditang "Kura"cha said...
October 6, 2011 at 10:53 PM

oo nga. Akalain mo andun ka? hihih! Ok lang yan girl, bawing bawi ka naman lagi sa DP mo. hihih! Gondo gondo kaya!

Chris said...
October 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM

That museum looks creepy, but anything served in a bread bowl counters creepiness. Every Christmas my Mum makes a great spinach dip inside of a cob bowl. It's heavenly.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 7, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Oohh, Chris can we come over your mum's house?!

Nelieta said...
October 7, 2011 at 9:59 PM

This looks like a wonderful outing! I have never tasted a seafood soup it really good?

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 8, 2011 at 6:44 AM

Hi Nelieta, it actually didn't taste too seafoody because it's creamy. It really is good, you should try it when you swing by it.

Seair said...
October 8, 2011 at 10:27 AM

aww my second home! definitely worth visiting just for the clam chowder!

Micamyx|Senyorita said...
October 9, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Awww ang cute ng old photo booth pictures! <3 Baby Luna, uwi na dito gagawin kitang artista! :P

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 10, 2011 at 7:41 AM

Yey! Mica, can she also star in one of your short films?

Lea said...
October 29, 2011 at 3:17 AM

Lol. My husband's definition of seafood is also canned tuna and salmon. He calls shrimps and crabs - "bugs". haha..

Enjoyed your post. Thanks!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 29, 2011 at 6:20 AM

Hahaha! I love "bugs". Thanks for dropping by Lea.

outonvacation said...
January 4, 2012 at 10:58 PM

ooohh sourdough bread from Boudin + Clam Chowder...Missing San Fo :)
Luna is so so pretty hihihihi

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 5, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Hihi. THanks! I miss clam chowder already!

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