Chocolatiers & Dim Sum

John Street, Chinatown, check out the kids playing soccer. Friday right after work.

Life is too short not to enjoy little drops of happiness (my translation of dim sum, dian xi, or dot and heart) and CHOCOLATE, which, if dark and eaten in small amounts, is good for you. So my resolution this year: more good chocolate and more dim sum.

The chocolate companies in San Francisco, a very subjective, opinionated guide:

Ghirardelli (geer-ar-deli) 150 years old, wow. Also in beautiful building. I used to be a snob, then I discovered that they have some great marketing and packaging, which is half the battle with small happinesses called bon-bons. They have tiny little travel-sized mint patties. Individually wrapped. Brought a box to Minnesota and it helped me endure a funeral.
– (adopted from Berkeley) Scharffen Berger. Recently bought by Nestle. My favorite taste-wise, and has a great tour. Real foodies started this company.
– Joseph Schmidt. Soft spot for this tiny little place in the Mission/Castro neighborhood, because that’s my great grandfather’s name!Once, they burned something in their kitchen and we got tons of free chocolate. That’s like, better than any snow day. At Noe and 16th Street.
– Alfred Schilling. I think they closed! Will research. Used to be near Flax on Market.
San Francisco Chocolate Factory
XOX, on Columbus. They have some trippy truffles, Earl Grey, for example. I’m still frustrated that you can’t get a sampler, though.
See’s. Tried and true! Ole grandma See’s. I brought a box to China. I really approve of the free sample they give you, and the service is amazing. Old school, old as time, old as Ghirardelli (gear-ar-deli, not Jeer…)

Dim Sum

Big restaurants:
– New Asia: on Pacific at Stockton. Great for huge groups, there’s always seating. Super cheap.
– Yi Bin (one tree) up on Pacific, left hand side walking up the hill before Powell. Cheaper than New Asia
– CityView on Commercial Street. More high rent and someplace you can respectfully take your parents without them thinking you’re too cheap. All of the food was completely fabulous, and very nice selection, rivals Yank Sing entirely. More authentic, though. Big round tables, cloth tableclothes (dining is theater, etc.)

Small takeout:
– the place on Stockton at Jackson, the southeast corner. I got two of each: siu mai, 1 pork bun (fabulous), spinach turnover steamed, very good. Have to remember the names of these places. This lasted for 2 meals, and was 1.25!!!
– the place on Stockton, right hand side, the second to the last bus stop before the tunnel. Further proves the theory that bus stop dim sum places are the best.