Mission Dolores Pick-up

Okay, not that kind of pick-up. Though by the energy at Pizzeria Delfina, that was probably also happening at one of the more popular dinner spots in San Francisco’s hip Mission Dolores neighborhood. One of the many advantages of having relatives in San Francisco was not only their extra room (hotels, like rent in this crowded city, are super costly), but also their intimate knowledge of the local eats. With a middle grade child of their own, plus our two kids, pizza and salad seemed like the logical choice, especially on a week night.

I pulled out a couple bottles of Rockpile Ridge Zinfandel that we had picked up in Sonoma to accompany Delfina’s high-end pizza and famous arancini, figuring it would help augment the family catching-up we were all looking forward to.

While the girls prepped the salad, our cousin’s husband and I jumped in the car for the pick up. Since they lived high up on a hill, there were times when I could barely see over the car hood when turning down a particularly steep incline. With no parking in site, he circled the block while I went in for the pick-up.

One summer while in school at Columbia, I worked at a well-known Brian McNally restaurant at the Royalton Hotel in Manhattan. During one of our daily staff meetings, when he told us his (thus ours) overarching restaurant goal: To create a restaurant that has a hard-to-define “buzz.” Energy; joy; excitement. Hard to define, but easy to spot.

As I waited for them to finish the arancini, I realized Delfina certainly had that buzz; so much positive culinary energy in such a small space. Picked-up mission accomplished, I jumped back into the car headed back up the hl as the fog floated over the valley like a ghostly hand. Back at the house, we enjoyed crispy artisanal pizza, fresh salad and numerous bottles of California wine. Over the next five hours, we caught up while the kids watched a movie; exhausted from many stories and a very full day. With the cool bay breeze filtered in through an open window, we slept like logs; with another day in the Bay Area ahead of us.

To learn more about our thirty day adventure across America, check out our other publications WHERE DO WE FIT IN? and 30 CUPS ACROSS.

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