USA Day 10: Washington DC to San Francisco

We got up early because we had a 9:44am flight to catch – so we had to leave our hotel by 8:00am.  The hotel was very nice and booked us a driver to take us to the airport.  Dulles International Airport is 28 miles from our hotel – so a taxi fare would have cost us $100.  This still cost us $75 + tip – but it was a lovely car, and a smooth ride.   Interestingly, Dulles airport is one of the most sterile airports I have ever seen.  There are hardly any retailers or advertising at all. It’s very clean and shiny!

We got aboard our flight – and settled in for the 6 hour trip! We also gained 3 hours – which would make it a long day.   I had breakfast on board – nothing fabulous to report there!

Once we arrived in San Francisco, at around 1:00pm – we were disappointed to find that 1) it was raining, and 2) our room was not ready!   Not an auspicious start.   We were a bit hungry by that stage, so hit a local Thai noodle bar and had a quick and easy meal.  We then went for a quick walk around the town, oriented ourselves to our location down on Fisherman’s Wharf.  This is tourist town – no doubt about it.  The strip is full of tourist shops and restaurants.

We finally checked into the hotel – and Oh. My. Goodness.   We had a palatial suite – it was huge.  Almost the size of our apartment – in fact, it would be pretty close.   We feel like superstars!!

Our palatial suite at the Argnonaut Hotel

Our Kingsize bed with views of the bay.

As long as you don’t mind a slightly nautical theme!

After lounging about in our suite for an hour or so – it was wine reception time.  This is a nice touch that the Kimpton hotel chain has – between 5 and 6 pm they offer free wine in their lobbies – so guests can relax and mingle!!   We met a more “mature” couple from Mooloolaba, Queensland – Max and Kathy. They were very chatty – but gave us a good tip about a restaurant in Washington, Ping Pong. They described it in the same glowing terms that I described Jaleo, and the website looks good – so I better keep a record.

And now, it was dinner time.  Fortunately, I had done my research beforehand – and along with my friend Iona’s notes and a travel article from the Delicious magazine – I had already mapped out most of our eating journey here.   Tonight – we were going to eat at 1300 on Fillmore.

1300 on Fillmore

1300 Fillmore Street  
San Francisco   California   94115
(415) 771 7100
Open:  Sun-Thu  4:30-10:00pm; Fri-Sat  4:30pm-midnight
Gospel Sunday Brunch: 11:00am, 1:00pm

This restaurant serves “soulful American food” – specialising in Cajun food done in fine dining style.  We had dressed pretty casually – and everyone came in wearing power suits – so we felt a little under dressed. The funny thing was though – because the food was ribs and chicken, etc. – all these power dining types ended up eating with their fingers.  You can’t feel intimidated when people are doing that!!!

Complimentary corn bread with roasted jalapeno sauce and butter – this was amazing stuff.
The best cornbread ever! Crispy on the outside, sweet, fluffy and crumbly on the inside.

Andrew’s starter – Bourbon smoked pork belly, with egg and beans – it looks like breakfast!!
Look at the gorgeous unctuousness of that egg though!

My starter – the house specialty – Barbecue shrimp and creamy grits.
The grits are ground corn – so it ends up being a lot like textured polenta.  Really lovely dish.

Andrew’s main – another specialty of the house – Black skillet fried chicken – buttermilk whipped potatoes, pan gravy and two “biscuits”.  Yes people, that’s half a chicken done colonel style – but better, because it had been marinated first!!

My main was recommended by the waiter – because if you’re eating southern food – you’ve got to eat meat!    This is maple syrup braised boneless beef short rib, served with crispy onion rings and fresh horseradish – chive mashed potatoes.  The meat just fell apart.

Chocolate beignets with chocolate sauce, and mocha foam – which was amazing!!
I really didn’t need this – but in the interests of research, dear reader – I felt that I had to indulge.

We were stuffed!! But I am happy to report that this was an amazing meal.  The elements of each dish were beautifully executed, and the result was food that lifted the bar.  Everything was consistently good, from the cornbread to that mocha foam. I highly recommend this restaurant – but make sure you eat a light lunch!

1300 Fillmore on Urbanspoon

We were so full, we decided to walk the 2.6 miles home – the good thing was that it was mainly downhill on the way home.  I cannot believe the hills here – have a look at the road below – see how steep it is?  On Fillmore Street  – there was actually stairs instead of a pavement!!

Fillmore Street at night

These streets are steep!