At the back of the hill

Warning: May contain traces of soy, wheat, lecithin and tree nuts. That you are here
strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton.
And that you might like cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Monday, July 23, 2018


The best way to light a cigar when one does not have a Xikar or Lotus torch is to heat water on the stove and place the stogie with the tip in the flame under the kettle. Which I standardly do when my apartment mate is out at work -- tomorrow and Wednesday morning, when I get up late because it's my weekend, that's exactly what I shall do AFTER firmly shutting the door to her quarters and opening windows -- but that wasn't an option this evening.
So I had my post-work coffee and cigar separately.
I was on the front steps with a smoke I may resume long after midnight. Not a very good cigar, but the company representative wants feedback, so I'll let him know that it pissed off three people, and one charming young lady strolling past actually smiled at me. It's decent.
Three angry muffins, one lovely smile.
That's good.

During the day, while I was greedily finishing the last load from the tin of Dunhill Dark Flake which I opened last week, Joshua from Alabama strolled in, and we chatted. He needed two things: 1) something non-aromatic so that no one goes ballistic at the one place in downtown SF where a man can smoke indoors, and 2) a better recommendation for Chinatown eating than the glib recommendation (based on word-play) than I had thrown into the air last week.

For the first: Arango Balkan Supreme. It's lovely stuff, and great fun to jes' power through a bowl. Plus it's guaranteed to keep Mister Post from having conniptions. I mentioned the time I was smoking a pipe ghosted with Very Cherry (yeah, sometimes I'm a fruity pervert), and Mr. Post came past looking for the offender huffing ghastly stuff. Even though I was at that time enjoying something civilized in my pipe, that faint whisper was enough.
I blamed the young fellows outside vaping.
And mentioned caramel flavour.
Damned hippies.

[Note to self: When heading to the cigar bar, do NOT bring a pipe that reeks of vanilla custard. Nor the last briar in which you smoked Molto Dolce to torment a coworker.]

For the second, these:


['ling naam siu gwun']
631 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone: 415-982-7877

On the corner of Commercial, between Sacramento and Clay. Probably the best Cantonese food in the city. This is where you take your out-of-town relatives. A bit expensive.

['king to tsan-kwun' *]
839 Clay Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.
Telephone: 415-397-6269

Between Waverly Place and Hang Ah Alley, just down from Stockton, up from Grant. Good family style Cantonese, nothing exceptional, but the kind of restaurant that you will happily go to again and again.
It's my kind of place.

['gong san po siu laap siu sik']
801 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133.
Telephone: 415-982-3516

On the corner of Powell and Broadway. Roast duck, roast pork, soy sauce chicken. Yeah, no other reason to go there. It's roast meats, chilluns.
The roast duck is fabulous.

['seung-hoi fan-diem']
640 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94133.
Telephone: 415-982-0618

Not Cantonese, obviously. But if you wanted Northern style dumplings (蒸的韭菜水餃), this is the place. And Shanghai food is very good, so definitely a lovely choice. One of these days I may take a date there.


['ging seng']
662 Commercial Street, San Francisco, CA 94111.
Telephone: 415-398-2838

Between Montgomery and Kearny, around the corner from my bank. Excellent place for lunch-time groups, might be a good idea to make a reservation. Deservedly crowded around noon. Very nice.

['do hou chaa sat']
808 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133.
Telephone: 415-392-2828

Just up from Stockton Street. Good food, great prices, eccentric service, and congested old people. Seriously. Gramps should NOT eat the black bean sauce spareribs because it makes him hack, but it's so good .....

['yeung seng chaa sat']
49 Stevenson Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.
Telephone: 415-541-4949

Opposite no. 1 Ecker Place, in a narrow alley between Market and Mission Street. Expensive, but extremely worth it. This is the show-case dim sum restaurant in the city, and excellent if you have an expense account.
Also a good place to take your snooty mainland relatives.

['yuet hoi hoi sin taai jau lau']
655 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.
Telephone: 415-495-3064

Right across the street from the U. S. Passport Office, south of Market about four blocks. Brisk business catering to large family groups, and most of the white folks haven't heard of it. There may be excitable rug rats running around on weekends .....

Several of the bakeries and bakery restaurants are also nice places, but there might be nothing there that visitors recognize, and while the staff would love for strangers to make happy discoveries and enjoy the food, explaining it in English in a way that someone not familiar with the genre can relate to might be a little beyond their skills.

Chinatown is a perfect area for lunting, because the residents aren't easily triggered by such things. And you might get the occasional admiring glance with a pipe. Tomorrow I shall be wandering around late at night smoking the "pipe for watching rats in Spofford Alley".
Prior to a weekly pub crawl.


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


  • At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Don't tell the world anything about Arango Balkan Supreme. This sleeper is grand stuff and has a wonderful, creamy mouth feel. Let's not turn it into the next Unobtainium.



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