Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Old Haunts

I get a MUNI pass every month so I can get to work everyday on the train. The first 3 days of the new month, the old pass still works. My girlfriend and I like to take advantage of this (she can use my old pass while I use my new one) to go places that are best reached by cable car.

Many of these I used to frequent when my sister lived up on Russian Hill, just blocks from the Powell/Hyde line. Last night, we went to a Zarzuela for tapas. I’m certain I haven’t been there since my sister moved away 7 or 8 years ago, but the place didn’t seem to have changed at all. It really feels like walking into a small restaurant in Europe somewhere. Though, my girlfriend who’s actually had tapas in Spain said it looked nothing like tapas restaurants do there. Given how much she enjoyed the food, I’d say that compared well, however.

We ate chorizo, stuffed mushrooms, goat cheese wrapped in eggplant, and a potato omelet thingy (pictured). I don’t remember the Spanish names, but my girlfriend ordered them all with impeccable pronunciation leaving me painfully aware of how long it’s been since my days studying Spanish in high school. We also had sangria, and bread with olive oil and olives… Yum.

If you’re looking for hipster, trendy tapas, go to Cha Cha Cha in the Mission or the Haight. Or, for the same money, you can have tapas served by a staff that looks like they go home to Barcelona every night after work. That’s Zarzuela.


For desert, we walked across the street to the original Swensen’s for ice cream. Another old haunt. (I took my two year-old niece there for ice-cream the day her younger brother was born. "Ice cream in my mouth!" Ah, memories) This also has not changed, probably since the 60’s. Yum. Save room after Zarzuela’s or make the trip up Russian Hill just for Swensen’s. It’s well worth it. I miss living a block away.


  1. The potato egg thingie is called tortilla espanola (with an enyay).

    I blush at the pronouncement of my Spanish skillz as impeccable...bless your soul.

  2. Damn you! Now I want tapas. There is no tapas in Iowa.

    Ah, life on Russian Hill. Good times...


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