The other Saturday we had absolutely no plans which is quite unusual for us. It was getting to be about lunch time, the sun was out and our tummies were rumbling. That means just one thing — time for a family food adventure! We headed straight to the Mission District. Serendipitously, there was no line at Yamo (teeny, tiny, Chinese-Burmese, cheap eats hole in the wall) so we grabbed a couple of the 8 or so stools at the counter, put Luca on our laps and tucked into some Burmese tea leaf salad and these tasty cold noodles. Just the right thing on a hot day. We checked out the hipster scene at Dolores Park and then capped things off with iced coffee from my #1 favorite caffeine stop, Philz, just a short ways up 18th street. Buonissimo!
- Yamo Cold Noodles (“cold noodles mixed with house special flavor, onions, cabbage, cucumber, and chicken”) — Enjoy them at Yamo for a mere $5.25. I’m eager to try re-creating these at home. Got any favorite cold noodle recipes Yumminess readers?
- Here’s a video that pretty much captures the vibe that is Dolores Park on a sunny day. The view of the city from the top slope of the park is one of the best vistas in San Francisco!
Clearly, Luca knows what’s good for him. We agree… Yamo, had us at “Burmese Lunch Counter”. Yamo isn’t what you’d call kid-friendly given the cramped quarters and the fact that the seating consists of only a few stools at a counter. But for a food adventure, there are no obstacles!
So, with Yamo on our minds and kids in the backseat, we headed out for a spontaneous Mission mini-adventure. The Gods were smiling on us – we had no coins for parking but we found a relatively inexpensive parking garage on 16th and Hoff (ingeniously called the “Hoff & 16th Garage”) which happened to be right in front KidPower Park! And voila, our plan presented itself: takeout from Yamo at the picnic tables nestled next to the park’s burbling fountain, shady trees and lavender bushes.
Yamo is quick and delicious. Also, ridiculously inexpensive – nothing costs more than $5.25!! Watching the ladies cook your meal as you stand in the narrow, dark alleyway of the restaurant is pretty intriguing. (Next time we are bringing our hubbies for a date and a notepad to “learn” to make some of the recipes). After much debate, we decided on Burmese chicken curry and beef noodles. (We pretty much wanted everything on the menu.)
The Mission is such a vibrant setting for an urban stroll and picnic. First off, the weather is sunnier and warmer than most other neighborhoods in San Francisco, and then there are the amazing murals. Our children love looking at them as much as we do. And KidPower Park turns out to be a hidden gem right in the heart of everything. At first glance, it’s a typical city playground but you soon discover there is something “magical” (a favorite word around here these days) about it. We love that it is enclosed on all sides (no runaways) and split into 3 different sections making it feel bigger than it actually is. Spectacular murals surround it and it felt like we were in wonderland. There is a little community garden in the back and a fountain that add to this little gem’s appeal.
You could easily while away the better part of a day within a 3 block radius of this park and while we were enjoying our impromptu picnic we couldn’t help thinking about all the other great things left to explore. From food, to quirky shops, to parks, the list is long so you can guarantee we’ll be back for many more Mission adventures!