CHEAP EATS The morning after Piggy and the Conch Shells got bonked in the first round of the playoffs, I packed a bag of ice and some turkey jerky and boarded a train for here. I had three days on that train to study my San Francisco team’s playbook, but of course I didn’t. I hobnobbed with stranger-than-life strangers, listened to Utah Phillips albums, wrote half a book, and just generally stared out the window.
The chunks de la Cooter were waiting for me in Emeryville, all turning five and shit, and just as cute as buttons, if not a little cuter.
Which is to take nothing away from the cuteness of my SF women’s flag football team, which was practicing without me, just then, across the water. Coach picked me up at BART next afternoon and we drove down the peninsula to buy a new bike for her because she only has six.
And this is how I knew that our beloved young team had — in only its third season — come of age. Instead of describing our new recruits to me in terms of how hot they all are, Coach first enumerated their various skill sets. So-and-so has really good hands, and such-and-such is super fast, and so on and so forth … who, if I remember correctly, excels in pass coverage.
Then, OK, she told me how hot they all were. Are.
I got to find out for my very own self the next morning, bright and early. Or I should say drizzly and early. Having spent the better part of the year this year so far in New Orleans, I was suffering from climate-shock, and could barely get out of bed without being wrapped up like a mummy.
Not entirely convinced I could run crisp routes in a sleeping bag, however, I drew a hot bath, stewed in it for a while, and then jumped straight back into my pajamas and put my uniform on over them.
Thankfully, by the time I got outside it had stopped raining, and by the end of the game — Us 25, Them 0 — the sun was almost even shining through the haze, and I was as happy as a clam, if not a little happier.
This team we beat, they weren’t no pushover, yo. They were understaffed, compared to us’ns, but they are also overtalented. Our league has four teams which could, I’m convinced, beat the 49ers, or at least the Raiders. And then four like ours who are having fun trying to score a touchdown or two.
As the saying goes: any given Sunday …
And last Sunday was ours. So, yeah: happiness and hilarity.
Oh, and hunger, because I had gotten up too late to eat breakfast. So I caught the first ride away from Crocker Amazon, which happened to be with one of my all-time favorite teammates, Cat E. Wampus, our pass-rush specialist who strikes popcorny thoughts of butter into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks. Never mind fear. One glimpse of her yellow-swirling spin move and they melt with confusion and throw the ball to me.
Wampus is a wrestler too. And a lot of other things too cool to mention in a restaurant review. Speaking of which, where we eventually wound up eating was the Precita Park Café, down on the southwest corner of Dog Shit Park, my old stomping grounds. Or I should say stepping gingerly grounds.
But of course this place wasn’t there before. It’s the latest venture of the Dolores Park Café and Duboce Park Café folks, who are apparently trying to corner the market on all the corners of all our parks.
Fine by me. It’s not the best food in the world, but it sure did hit the spot: eggs with sun dried tomatoes, pancetta, mozz, and basil, hold the mushrooms. They call it Augusto’s Scramble.
Comes with toast with real butter and strawberry jam. Spot spot spot.
And the coffee was good, and the biscotti I had by way of an appetizer, and the place is just all-around pretty great. Nice and bright and airy, with a little kids section, and if you see a shiny red really nice bicycle locked up outside, whatever you do DON’T STEAL IT. OK?
PRECITA PARK CAFE
Mon.-Sat. 7am-10pm; Sun. 8am-8pm
500 Precita Ave., SF.
Beer & wine
Follow L.E. on the Twitter: @lechickenfarmer