So, now I’m bored. Bored of walking up hills, today it was Protero, to get amazing views of the Downtown and Bay. Bored of my own company, but now too miserable to even bother to enter into any chit chat with anyone. I decide a feast is in order and, after a bit of research online, I zip up my boots and head for 3126, 24th Street.
I find it with ease, the bright yellow painted sun from the website copied on the wall outside. http://sunriserestaurantsf.com/Welcome.html I gather it is a Salvadorian. I loved the way the friendly waitress pronounced vegan as beegan! I was one of three people sitting in the place, it looked very rustic with walls painted blood orange.
After the waitress left with my order, I got to and looked at the artwork. It was depicting scenes for some political movement that I did not understand. The owner openly welcomes people to use it as a community cafe, for cultural and political events. Tonight there was an African fundraiser planned and ten minutes after I sat down the place was nearly full to capacity. I felt guilty having taken a table for four and I felt so alone and silently wished I could vapourise behind the dusty curtains.
Two plastic platters were delivered to my table and I salivated at the dishes I had chosen. One plate had a shallow pool of black beans with slices of shiny, fried plantain, the other a sausage shaped tamale (cornflour stuffed with beans or veggies) and my first glimpse of a pupusas (stuffed mesa flatbreads). The pupusas were a quater inch thick, rustic round of corn bread. I had chosen mine stuffed with loroco,a small green, unopened flower bud. It was very doughy and tasted of beans, it was ok. The tamale was firm to the knife, I cut a two inch slice and took a (large) bite. It was dense and tasted of sweet and salty, floury corn. It was amazing. The plaintains came a close second with their subtle, honey sweetness and , starchy texture. Whilst not having me brought to the brink of reverentail tears (like a crispy dosa), it was good. Very good.
Photographs of the black, happy faces of village children were being tacked to the wall. They kept, sliding sideways before falling, heavily to the floor. The room was packed with mothers and families and I felt even more uncomfortable, perched at my table with three vacant chairs. I gratefully paid my check and left. At $15 with a tip, I thought it great value. If I had been in the company of friends and happily staying to enjoy the Latino music, perhaps even getting up to shake my bootie, I would of given it two thumbs up, one for food, the other for ambience. I carried my single, upturned thumb out into the busy street, now dark at only six pm, and headed down to Herbivore on Valencia. Two days earlier, upon pouring over their menu on the way home from a cafe, I spotted an assortment of vegan cakes. I wished God would forcefully shift my rudder in the opposite direction, my stomach already embarrasingly distended (I was thankful for wearing the floaty black dress today) . But I was set, like a missle and I was angry, angry at being alone so, of course, I wanted to make myself feel worse by eating cake (of course it doesn’t make sense, this was not a sensible moment).
The willowy breeze of a girl in Herbivore practically forced me to choose the carrot cake over the pumpkin pie. I was powerless to resist. A heavy slab of moist brown cake with a jacket of tofu frosting stared at me, throwing down the challenge. I smirked and stabbed it with a fork. Less than three minutes later I threw down my fork arrogantly and crowned myself victorious. This is of course utterly stupid as the cake really had the upper hand. I’d eaten every sticky, sweet crumb and I acutally felt quite sick and not one ounce a winner. Bugger. I wish I had more will power…..will power and a flat stomach!