Thoughts on the Pier

10 May

By Martin Telleria

San Francisco State Journalism Student

For the past semester I have had the privilege of covering the North Beach/Fisherman’s Wharf area. While both offered countless attractions that do nothing but benefit the greatness that is San Francisco, I must say that Pier 39 was what I enjoyed the most. On numerous occasions I took the opportunity of using a writing assignment as a date night. I spent a day a day at the Pier with my buddies taking in the sights and enjoying the food. Regardless of whether or not I came with the solitary purpose completing an assignment, one thing I noticed was that I always had a great time.

The people, the atmosphere, and the delectable eats all come together here to create an environment that leaves visitors in awe and understanding why this is one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world. Great for kids? Check. Great for hanging out with friends? Check. Great for taking a girl on a date? Check, check, and check. Pier 39 has it all.

The single biggest impression that was left on me came from the first story I wrote. It involved people sacrificing, caring about others and not themselves, and more than anything, believing in something bigger than themselves. The Marine Mammal Store, a non-profit organization that donated all profits to the wounded animals in the bay, epitomized what it meant to do what makes you happy, not what makes you a boatload of money. In a cash-driven society, the story these people tell truly puts into perspective what is really important in life, what the true meaning of success is. It’s not about what can make you rich. It’s about what brings you satisfaction in life.

For any guys out there who so happen to stumble upon this blog: bring your girls here. Don’t settle for dinner and a movie. If you really want to impress take her for a stroll through the Pier and cap it off with any one of the great restaurants in the area. She’ll love it. And trust me, so will you.

For any groups of guys who are thinking of something to do, take a tour of strip clubs in North Beach. Ya, I said it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a strip club. Especially not for a group of guys out on the town. Remember this, however: Strippers are people too. Respect them as women. They’re their for your enjoyment, it’s true. But they have reasons for why they do it. Some need the money to pay for school. Others to provide for their families. Treat them as you would any other girl.

North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf offer anything you need for a good time. Now just go out and enjoy it.

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The Sea Lions Of Fisherman’s Wharf

9 May

Our fascination with them is endless. We’ve all seen them, countless times, lazily laying there in all their glory. They don’t do anything, ever. Ok fine, maybe every once in a while they’ll push each other off. But aside from that, they offer no discernible form of entertainment, sleep being their most popular activity. Yet we come back. Over, and over, and over again, we come back. Come back for another glimpse of those vaunted Sea Lions who fascinate us for reasons we’re not quite sure of us. All we know is that if we’re in the area, we need to see them.

The Sea Lions have been a staple at Fisherman’s Wharf for years and have become one of the biggest tourist draws in the area. Their fame extends far beyond San Francisco, so much so that when they mysteriously disappeared a few years back, widespread panic ensued. Turns out, Fisherman’s Wharf isn’t their home. The Sea Lion you saw yesterday probably isn’t the same Sea Lion you saw a year ago. They are migrating animals, always on the move. The disappearance was a result of a shortage of food. They had to go elsewhere to feed. These lazy creatures apparently aren’t as lazy as most people think.

Regardless of their habitats, it is still unclear as to what makes these Sea Lions so special. You can go to any zoo around the country if you really wanna see a Sea Lion that badly. But nope. We flock in droves to see THESE Sea Lions. Maybe it’s like buying name brands over generic. We buy because the name is so big even though they taste pretty damn similar. And we come to the wharf because these are so famous, even if we’re not sure why. Regardless of the reasoning, the Sea Lions are a crucial part of the wharf. Next time you go to the wharf take a stroll to the back and take a look at the crowd. Good luck trying to get close enough to the Sea Lions for a decent picture.

Date Night at Boudins

9 May

Dinner and a movie has become the prototypical date these days, the movie offering a safety net in case people can’t find much in common to talk about during dinner. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a girl to a movie, I personally prefer to take mine out and enjoy her company. While reporting on the Fisherman’s Wharf/North Beach neighborhoods all semester, I realized that instead of just coming here to do homework, I could actually bring the girl and enjoy myself without the stress of worrying about what I’m going to write about.

A good date shouldn’t have to be planned (unless you’re going to a fancy restaurant where you need a reservation). You should be able to go anywhere and do anything and still have a great time. This date began at Boudins Sourdough Bakery & Cafe, where we enjoyed exceptional Clam Chowder and Cioppino. While the chowder itself wasn’t anything special, it was the bread that really blew me away. Crunchy on the outside but nice and soft on the inside. Bread the way it’s supposed to be. The Cioppino was great also. The sauce was delicious and the seafood that came with it complimented it perfectly. Nice little place to take a girl on a date.

Aside from just the food, Seeing the bread designs at Boudins is a treat as well. Alligator, turtle, and many other animal shaped sourdough pieces are shown off at the front. Seeing the wonderful creations just adds to the experience.

With dinner over, the rest of the night simply consisted of strolling through the wharf and enjoying each others company. In a city that provides such amazing sights, you really don’t need to plan out anything extravagant. The city will take care of that. Just come prepared with a hot date and enjoy each other’s company. If she doesn’t enjoy a date in Fisherman’s over a movie then clearly you’ve got the wrong girl.

The Crab House in Fisherman’s Wharf

3 May

By Martin Telleria

San Francisco State Journalism Student

After being sadly let down by the quality of food at The North Beach Restaurant in North Beach, I decided to prolong my next outing there and return once again to Fisherman’s Wharf, where the Pier Market had previously blown my mind. I decided this time to sample the Crab House, mainly because that’s where all my buddies wanted to go. And I’m never one to turn down crab.

We were all pretty hungry so we settled on the crab feast. I gawked at first at the price: $100; I remembered about a second later that it was for four people. $25 a person for a crab dinner really isn’t bad at all. So pricewise the Crab House passed my test.

The crab was delicious. The meat was slightly sweet, which I loved, and the secret garlic/butter sauce was great as well. My only problem was that I was still hungry after all the crab had been heartily devoured. When you go eat with three other dudes, however, a meal meant for four people probably won’t be enough. I won’t fault them for that.

For as good as the food was, I have to give the service a D. Minus. Screw it. It’s an F. We had to wait 15 minutes to be seated. I know that doesn’t sound long but when you go at 4:30 p.m. and there’s tables all over the restaurant? It’s 15 minutes too long. The food took forever to get to us. It might have seemed longer because I was starving but I still don’t like waiting over 20 minutes for my food when I go out to eat.

All in all, the food was great, the service sucked. I’d come back for the crab and hope that by some miracle the staff had been replaced by some semi-competent workers. If not, at least I’ll go in expecting to wait a lifetime for my food.

Testing the North Beach Restaurant in North Beach

1 May

By Martin Telleria

SF State Journalism Student

North Beach is synonymous with Italians. Italians are synonymous with good food. Therefore North Beach must have good food. While covering the North Beach/Fisherman’s Wharf are of San Francisco this semester, I made it a point to indulge in all of the best restaurants North Beach had to offer. And seeing as how I really had no idea where to start, I decided why not go with the North Beach Restaurant. I figured that any restaurant that was gutsy enough to go by the same name as the area it’s in had to be either really good or really stupid.

My first and only trip to the North Beach Restaurant left both me and my date underwhelmed. The food wasn’t horrible. Most of it was actually pretty tasty. But in terms of bang for the buck? No way.

If I’m going to spend an arm and a leg for a meal, I want to be floored by the food. Suffice to say, I was not floored here. The crab cocktail was decent but nothing out of the ordinary. And for 16 plus dollars the wow factor definitely was not there.

Good luck finding an entrée under 20 bucks here. They have spaghetti for you stingier folks out there. Anything else and I hope you brought your big boy wallet. We went with a pasta and fish dish. The fish dish, a halibut in a lemon sauce, was probably the best thing we ate all night. That, I must say, was absolutely delicious. Fish seems to be their specialty because the pasta clearly was not. The linguine with clams wasn’t bad. It was just forgettable. For the price I’m paying I don’t want food to just be passable. It has to be brilliant. They got 1 out of 2 right for us.

The atmosphere is definitely nice and the wait staff was very helpful. But I don’t go to a restaurant for a good atmosphere and wait staff. Those things are expected, in my opinion. I came to sample some good Italian food and left disappointed. Better keep looking for that great Italian food.

Dining at the Pier Market

21 Apr

By Martin Telleria

San Francisco State Journalism Student

One of the best things about Journalism is the wonderful places that it happens to take you sometimes. While interviewing a bartender at the Pier Market in Fisherman’s Wharf, I decided to have a bite before I headed out. Turned out to be the best decision I made all day.

I was feeling pretty hungry so instead of ordering one entrée like a normal person, I got two. I couldn’t decide between the sweet and sour calamari and the honey bbq shrimp so I just ended up getting both. Both were absolutely delicious. The texture of the calamari paired with sweetness of the sauce just explodes in your mouth. This was the first time I had ever had calamari with anything other than cocktail or tarter sauce. I don’t know why other restaurants don’t offer this option. The best calamari I ever had. The shrimp was a little more standard but still delicious. I’d had honey bbq shrimp so it was nothing new. This took nothing away from how it was prepared and cooked, however. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The shrimps, just like the calamari, were perfect.

The only regret I had was that I didn’t have a chance to sample the fish. The menu featured 4 different ways with which they could prepare your salmon, mahi-mahi, snapper, trout, and my personal favorite, swordfish. While the calamari and shrimp were indeed scrumptious, my next visit to the Pier Market will have to involve me consuming any of the delicious options on the fish menu. When this happens, expect another entry in this blog about the Pier Market.

The location and set-up of the Pier Market were perfect also. Located at the very center of the wharf, it’s easily accessible to anyone visiting the Pier on a given day. Once inside, the first thing one notices is the bar, which is fully stocked. The seating features both indoor and outdoor options. On a nice day, go ahead and enjoy the beautiful San Francisco weather.

If you’re in the city and looking for a great place to eat, the Pier Market is the way to go. Great staff, great location, and great food all combine to provide a perfect dining experience. Recently voted by Kron 4 as the best seafood restaurant in San Francisco, you know it’s going to be good.

The Girls of Your Dreams Await.

11 Apr

By Martin Telleria

San Francisco State Journalism Student

Know as one of the top tourist destinations in the country, San Francisco is home to various forms of entertainment. Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit tower, Ocean Beach, and the home of the World Series Champion Giants, AT&T park, all offer vast amounts of leisure for visitors and natives alike. When one would like to experience something a little different, however, one spot comes to mind: Broadway. Lined along the strip in the North Beach neighborhood are countless clubs that offer entertainment through the night. Beware, however, because the entertainment at these clubs is not everyone’s cup of tea. Naked women rule this domain as men from all around converge to bask in their splendor. The strip clubs of Broadway are a great place for groups of men to end their night on the town. Follow the map and take a tour through the best of them.