Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hog Island!

Last week, Conery got a hankering for oysters.  For those of you who witnessed Conery's 2009 oyster bender, you know that nothing stops that man when on a culinary mission.  He did some research and found a place where I could meet him in the City after work.  The place had to serve fresh, local oysters.  There were a few contenders, but the Hog Island Oyster Company won out.

I drove up from work to meet him.  It took me about a half hour to drive from Palo Alto to the City as I left work just before 4:30.  I had driven as far north on the peninsula as the airport (SFO), but I hadn't gone any further.  The drive and vistas were gorgeous.  Unlike driving into the City from the East Bay, this drive didn't contain a threshold (the Bay Bridge) before entering.  You round some hills, and BLAMMO...there she is.  

The oyster place is at the end of Market Street in the Ferry Building.  The area is called the Embarcadero.  The Ferry Building is just north of the Bay Bridge and is a historic building.

Looking up at the clock tower

Looking back toward the Bay Bridge
Conery took a bus from work to the Ferry Building and figured out the parking situation for me.  He was waiting in front near the valet stand, which was really the only option other than circling like a vulture for an hour trying to park on the street.

We headed inside and bought some gluten-free baked goods from the Mariposa Baking Company kiosk.  The girl was super nice and helped Conery figure out where the oyster place was; plus, our friend Josh can't eat gluten, so we wanted to pick him up a treat.  She even threw in a free loaf of cranberry bread.

There was so much going on in the building...all kinds of shops and the entrance to a ferry which crosses the Bay.

We got distracted checking out the tasty salted pig parts shop called Boccalone.

Some cured pig parts

The building was completely renovated in 2003 and looks amazing.

The thoroughfare
When we got to Hog Island, there was a line as it was happy hour.  They run HH specials, and it's apparently a big draw.  You get to the entrance to the place through an open common area, which seems like you are in the grocery store just off the thoroughfare.  Conery snagged us some beers from the bar of another seafood restaurant, which seemed like it was connected to Hog Island. We drank our beers in line and chatted with an older couple behind us.  They were in SF for a rare book collectors' conference.  The husband disappeared and came back with a lovely gold bag of chocolate from Recchiuti Confections, which they claim is the best chocolate in the City.  She is French, and he is American.  They have been married for a long time and chatted our ears off.  It definitely passed the time though.  

We had the option to sit inside or outside.  Sitting outside meant you were seated faster, which is what our new line friends chose as she is "hot blooded".  We still have our Florida legs and would not have enjoyed our beer and oysters outside.  The view was pretty awesome with the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island as the backdrop.  We were too engrossed to take any pictures.    Visit us, and we'll take you there.  

When we finally got a table, we were sitting on the other side of the window from our new friends.  This led to silly pantomimed clinking of glasses through the glass.  

The oysters were super fresh and tasty.  There weren't any Saltines or horseraddish - staples in every oyster place I've been.  They had delicious crusty bread, which they make onsite.  There was also this lemon, garlic concoction which coupled with the Tapatio or Tabasco sauce did the trick.  YUM!!

Our new friends stopped on their way out and said goodbye.  She introduced herself, but I haven't the slightest idea what her name (or his) was.

1 comment:

  1. It sure sounds like you both are loving the new life style and the area we can't wait to visit maybe have Jim set up a wine tour I will pass on the oysters. The food carts are much nicer looking than the ones I have inspected.
    Love your blog and love you both. Mom