So finally I can confess: my trip to San Francisco was really a very special, secret mission on behalf of the spouse of one of my favorite people. Celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary this year, my mission was to photograph their early life together in San Francisco: the places they dated, went to school, the church they said their vows in, the homes they lived in, their favorite restaurants & haunts, the hospital their children were born in…about 40 locations between Muir Woods & Carmel. And now that the book of images has been presented, I can put my week in San Francisco “out there” without worrying about my blog being read before the big day & giving the game away :-)
The first stop on Day 1 was “Favorite place for dessert” – The Toy Boat Dessert Café. Located on Clement Street in the Inner Richmond neighborhood the Toy Boat is a fun & crazy place to eat, & I am certain that later in the day it is a fantastic place to hang out with friends. I can’t think of many funner food places I’ve been to. Even the sign hanging in the window has a sense of humor.
Since it was breakfast time when I arrived to photograph the cafe, I decided to turn it into a Big Breakfast Adventure. It was 7:15 am & I was hungry. Turns out that was a really good idea as I ended up devouring one of the best breakfast bagels I have ever eaten. I asked the delightful young man running the counter to make me his favorite breakfast. Here’s what he came up with:
Oh yeah, it was good :-) It wasn’t the hugest breakfast ever but it hit the spot, especially when paired with a steaming mug of hot(ish) chocolate. It was a pretty grey & chilly morning so this was a fantastic comfort food breakfast that made everything feel right with the world. Plus I was sitting in a brightly colored room filled with every toy from my childhood I could remember. Nostalgia at it’s finest! And I swear that this place has not been decorated, re-painted or re-modelled in 25 years so it was fun imagining my friends hanging out there on those exact seats & looking at those exact tiled walls.
Toy Boat has an eclectic array of toys, posters & other long-ago childhood paraphernalia lining the walls. It’s a very fun, cute neighborhood place wrapping around the corner of Clement. Monday morning at 7:30 am clearly isn’t it’s busy time, although a few other customers did drift in for their coffees & breakfast sandwiches to go. All of them were clearly regulars, chatting with great familiarity while their order was prepared.
Not only did the guy running the show that morning make me a fabulous bagel & a warm, wet mug of chocolate, but he also let me use the staff bathroom & photograph the cafe from every conceivable angle. And all before 8 am on a Monday morning. Note to self: must go back to the Toy Boat for dessert – along with the toys, it’s what they’re famous for.
Casual, fun, good food, great atmosphere & cheap. What more could one want in a neighborhood eatery? Thanks go entirely to the spouse who sent me on this whole San Francisco magical mystery tour. I am sure that I never would have found this place, never would have eaten here had it not been on “the list” of things to photograph for this project.
That same lovely person was also responsible for recommending a lot of the other places I ate at while in San Francisco. There’s nothing quite like word of mouth.