Brew, surf, and foie with Robert and Cole in Pacifica
Despite rumors to the contrary, surfers are full of wisdom we learned on a gray morning in late June.
Robert Patterson and Cole Emde were our surfing senseis. We met at Robert’s house in the Mission before driving off together just south of the city to sleepy Pacifica. As opposed to Ocean Beach in SF whose massive waves are only to be conquered by the most experienced of surfers, Linda Mar has a wider range of surf spots and can be enjoyed by noobs and experienced surfers alike.
We had been surfing on Maui before, but on a giant beach with really long breaks and slow waves. Basically beginning surfer paradise. The California coastline is a whole different ocean. The waves are massive and swift. You start paddling when you see the wave coming up behind you, but before you can get enough speed to catch it the wave has already passed underneath you, lifting you skywards and back down into the ocean’s little water pocket, like a comfy furrow. But even if you don’t catch any waves it’s still marvelous to sit there floating near the shore at once surrounded by other surfers, but also utterly alone, at peace. You see why people devote their lives to this sport.
Robert is the owner/part owner some of our favorite small businesses in town: Voyager and Revolver, clothing stores, and Ken Ken Ramen and Black Sands brewery. Cole is the brewmaster at Black Sands and a homebrewing teacher and enthusiast. The project at Black Sands began as a way to connect commercial brewers to the homebrewers. They publish all of their brew recipes so that friends can try to make them too and the brewing happens right there in the back of the cafe. If you’re there at the right time you can even smell the sweet grainy smell of a mash or boiling wort. They also have an awesome cocktail program and delicious delicious brunch Saturdays and Sunday. On the weekends they also have a brewshop out of the garage next to the cafe where you can purchase all of your homebrewing necessities. Theirs in only the one of two brewshops in SF which is kind of mindboggling.
Surfing is also great exercise. There’s a significant ab workout (if you can manage to stand up on your board at all) There’s also the paddling. Ceaseless paddling. So the best thing to do after a pleasant time in the water is obviously to have a nutritious meal. We drove away from the beach and up the cliff just as the fog began to burn off and parked just above beautiful Shelter Cove. Once upon a time a public beach and destination for sun hungry San Franciscans, it’s now privately owned and used by guests renting cottages on the property. We fired up the burner.
It was a simple, but decadent meal: toasted English muffins, fried eggs, foie gras and fig spread joined by a Summery melon salad drizzled with SF made honey, yogurt, and sprinkled with chopped up pieces of dark chocolate. A strange combination at first, but actually quite refreshing and delicious. The sun came out finally and dried our hair, sensation came back to our toes warmed by coffee and good company.