The Salvadoran asked me if I'd like to order wine even if we had already said no when the waiter asked for our drinks and starters earlier. I didn't want to have wine alone. He didn't want to have alcohol that night because he had to resume working after dinner. Wine makes him mellow, relaxed, and diminishes his focus. I suddenly thought about the bottle of Edna Valley chardonnay we uncorked last night and how great it tasted paired with my nouveau chicken adobo.
This is the third time we've been to Gialina since it opened last winter and it is starting to be our favorite. Being less than a quarter of a mile from where we live also helps. We try to support anything local especially those neighborhood and mom-and-pop restaurants and cafes. Besides, we are not really a big fan of branded and chain restaurants.
While waiting for our salt cod cake and portobello mushroom pizza, I looked around the crowded place and I noticed that there must be around fifteen tables inside. Everyone had ordered wine, well, except us. Perhaps the Salvadoran didn't want to be the exception and is probably the reason why he asked me more than once about ordering wine. The queue of people waiting outside seemed longer than the last time I checked. I'd like to think they're from another neighborhood. The pizzeria was crowded considering it was a Tuesday evening.
Before we finished our last slice, I thought about something. Glen Park is not a popular city neighborhood when it comes to shopping, dining and touristy stuff. It is more sleepy than hip, more village than city. This is one of the city neighborhoods to go to if you want to observe San Francisco locals in action. I think people outside the city have only heard of the name Glen Park because it is another stop on BART and MUNI, between the 24th St Mission and Balboa Park stations to be exact. A neighborhood cheese store, a taqueria, a crepe place, and a good restaurant called Chenery Park are probably the only reason why people come here but I think that is changing.
Judging from the wait time in this restaurant, Gialina is probably going to put my sleepy neighborhood in the city map once and for all.
(The picture was taken during an early morning flight out of San Francisco International (SFO). The day started out rather gloomy but the blanket of morning fog was slowly burning off as seen in this picture.)