Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Chinese New Year... with cheesecake

We took the Caltrain and the BART into San Francisco this afternoon for the country's second-largest Chinese New Year Parade. We headed from the Powell Street Station to Chinatown to Union Square Park, figuring that would be an excellent place to watch the parade since it goes completely around it. But, the place is closed off tightly (and it wasn't when we came into town, so they must have cleared it out just a short while before), with policemen not letting anyone through. So we found a decent spot to stand. We were about 3 people in from the street, and it was only about 4pm (the parade did not begin until 5:30). Jonathan suggested that he try and get a reservation at one of the restaurants that are on the nearby roofs. He headed off to see what he could find out and I held our spots. Turns out that the wait for a patio seat at the Cheesecake Factory on the top of Macy*s was about an hour, which would seat us when the parade began. So, we took it and proceeded to wander Macy*s for about 45 minutes.

We were seated at exactly 5:30, and our waiter (Joe) was kind enough to switch us from a center patio table to an edge table, so there was just a wall of glass between us and the world below.  We also had the opportunity to dine exquisitely at a restaurant that we don't normally go to, as it's quite pricey in Florida. For some reason, the prices here were on-par with those of a Chili's. We had the Firecracker Salmon Rolls, which were spicy salmon rolled in spinach and dried in a wonton wrapper, served with a sweet chili sauce and cabbage (delicious sauce, the salmon was kinda overpriced otherwise). I had the Hot Turkey Supreme, which was humungous (I don't think I even ate half before having it boxed up). It was an open-faced sandwich served with fresh fries... it was brioche bread, turkey, spinach, tomato, and bacon, all covered in a white cheddar sauce. I loved it, and thought the cheddar cheese sauce was delicious. Jonathan had the Grilled Skirt Steak with mashed potatoes, corn, and onion strings. He quite enjoyed the steak (it was in a mushroom sauce, so I wasn't a big fan), and we both thought the mashed potatoes were amazing. The onion strings, notsomuch. We also had to splurge the $7 to share a slice of the Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake. It was phenomenal: fudge cake, chocolate cheesecake, vanilla mascarpone mousse, and chocolate, with whipped cream and surrounded by chocolate and vanilla syrup piping.

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