My Favorite Place to Eat in the Whole World

May 29, 2013

– I like a good oyster buzz early in the morning. –

I am an indulge-er. I enjoy doing nothing in the most profound way. I like lolling around in bed way longer than is decent. I like shopping. I like eating. I like kissing. Nudge me and I’ll crack open a bottle of champagne for breakfast. It takes very little for me to walk into the front door of the middle school, announce that my son or daughter has a surprise doctor’s appointment, then whisk them away to an afternoon at the movies. Very little to get me to stay and drink coffee with you for hours. Very little to get me to nap, or sit in the sun, spend too much on shoes, or take a bath.

I indulge. Arrest me.

— The front of the line at Swan’s Oyster Depot. Some have waited for hours. —

– Why order a dozen when a dozen-and-a-half is 50% better? –

Indulgence is at its very finest at Swan’s Oyster Depot in San Francisco. I am nearly breathless as my husband and I decide to call in sick (like who would I call anyway?), make a U-ie off the highway, turn south past the Golden Gate Bridge toward the hole-in-the-wall-cum-oyster-palace on Polk Street.

Part of the indulgence is that the lunch line for Swan’s eighteen coveted seats is so damn long that you need to go either very early or very late to stand a chance. If you’ve ever experienced the heart-pumping effects of protein pounding dozens of oysters and chasing them down with a pint of beer or two all before 11:00 a.m., then you know what I mean. You start giggling like Sheryl Crow until the sun comes up on Santa Monica Boulevard. You’re drunk. You’re full. It’s still sunny.

– They hand out a sign to the last one in line they’ll serve. Psst…keep handing the sign to the next guy! –

Lunch at Swan’s (whatever time it occurs) means giving in to the desire to do nothing but celebrate the day. A dozen-and-a-half oysters. Six cherrystone clams. A sea urchin if they have it. A couple of Anchor Steams. Salmon sashimi if they’re mixing some up. Crab guts that only the Japanese customers (and I) eat. A couple of (top secret) tumblers of private stash tequila. Louie Salad.

And a few stolen kisses.

– Sea urchin and crab guts. White girls eat cool stuff too! –

– If you look very closely you’ll see the secret stash of house-aged tequila. DO NOT tell them I told you! –

– And remember, indulgence always costs something. And Swan’s only takes cash. –

Take your boots off before you come in here!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

M Sharp

This is my fav post yet! Poetic!
My mom used to take me out of school early for no reason at all other than she was the boss of me and she could. Don’t judge my indulgent runon sentence.

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Jennifer Solow

Thanks for the love!! That sentence deserves the run-on! PLUS she was the boos of you (as all moms are…of their kids…running-on now….)

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Stewart Putney

We are with u on this one…we also prefer the 11am slot…makes a good excuse to relax the rest of the day. Didn’t know about the tequila. Sounds even better now.

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Jennifer Solow

Yes–Putney. I prefer the early slot myself. More time to digest before dinner!

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Martin

Crab guts? You and Shoko have that in common. Seven years in Japan and I still can’t stand the stuff.

I could eat raw oysters all day long, though.

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Jennifer Solow

I knew I liked that Shoko!! Gut-eater!

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Isabel

Love this post! Read it while eating breakfast (which was very confusing to my stomach, looking at oysters but getting Greek yogurt). And you’re a sweetheart foodie secret agent to share all the inside tequila dope with us.

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Jennifer Solow

Thanks to all my west coast posse…coming out to represent! I’ll have to apologize next time to the Sancimo brothers for spilling the beans on the tequila stash!

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Tom

Great post makes me want to leave work and go to Swan’s…matter of fact…Oh I read your Blog every week and LOVE IT!

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Jennifer Solow

Thanks, sweetheart.

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John beach

That was fantastic! They really did break the mold, mrs. Solow.

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Jennifer Solow

What mold?

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Medora

My friend Peggy introduced me to Swan’s a few years ago‚Ķ..we stood in line for 30 minutes at about 3pm. Best oysters, crab, and the best part were the stories of the family members who work there!

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