Faves and raves by Padraic Wheeler (Click the picture see Padraic’s faves)
YEARS IN THE CITY: Two, but he snuck into The City a lot as a teen, which ought to count
OCCUPATION: Business development coordinator at Organic
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Davis-raised, NYC-educated; like the rest of the men in his family, the phrase “What did you do today?” is actually pronounced, “What did you eat today?”
FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT
Blue Jay Cafe
WHERE: 919 Divisadero St., between McAllister Street and Golden Gate Avenue
WHAT: Hipster take on soul food, and it’s oh-so-good
INFO: (415) 447-6066 or www.bluejaysf.com
Perfect place for a hangover brunch or late-night dining. Staffed by friendly, knowledgeable locals. I am obsessed with their cheeseburger; the secret ingredient is beets mashed into the beef, which makes it so juicy. I’ve even used this technique when grilling at home!
FAVORITE SUNNY SUNDAY NAP SPOT
Lawn outside Conservatory of Flowers
WHERE: 100 John F. Kennedy Drive
WHAT: Plenty of green grass, flowers and statues
Why cram into a small city park when you’ve got all of Golden Gate? A quick bike ride through the Panhandle, and there’s the conservatory in all it’s blooming glory.
FAVORITE SANDWICH SHOP
WHERE: 300 Francisco St., between Stockton and Worden streets
WHAT: San Francisco institution, serving since 1926
INFO: (415) 433-2882
This was always our lunchtime stop back when I’d come into S.F. with the family as a kid, and I still love it. Get the Italian combo on the Dutch crunch bread.
FAVORITE HALFWAY POINT ON A JOG
WHERE: John F. Kennedy Drive
WHAT: Golden Gate Park’s tallest monument
Sprinting to the top of the hill, a quick chance to stretch and catch my breath under this gigantic 19th-century relic. There are definitely worse ways to think, “Ugh, only halfway done with my workout,” than looking down at beautiful Rainbow Falls.
FAVORITE AFFORDABLE LUNCH
WHERE: 123 Second St., between Mission and Minna streets
WHAT: Vietnamese deli with great lunch deals
INFO: (415) 342-7588
Delicious shrimp and chicken spring rolls make for a quick, cheap and relatively healthy workday lunch. Grab a box of three spring rolls for less than $5, then head into the giant lobby of 101 Second St. for an honest Financial District lunch escape.
Sentinel Building, Columbus Tower
WHERE: 916 Kearny St.
WHAT: Landmark building on the border of North Beach and FiDi
Such beauty, such grace! After a late-night dinner in North Beach, I love seeing thiscopper-green building waving me off, almost as a “Thank you, come again!”
FAVORITE PLACE FOR A DRINK
WHERE: 1145 Folsom St., between Langton and Seventh streets
WHAT: South of Market bar with hunting-lodge-themed décor and delicious specialty cocktails
INFO: (415) 863-2840 or www.bloodhoundsf.com
My favorite gay-friendly straight bar. When I’m here, I can pretend I grew up a good ol’ Midwestern boy, back from a day of huntin’ or fishin’, ready to relax over a game of pool and a bacon-infused bourbon.
FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOCK AND DELIGHT OUT-OF-TOWNERS
WHERE: 824 Valencia St., between 19th and 20th streets
WHAT: A Mission-based curiosity shop
INFO: (415) 824-1872 or www.paxtongate.com
When friends and family visit, I always take them to Paxton Gate. With just the right amount of crazy taxidermy, exotic plants and original jewelry from local artists, there’s something from everyone. I’m addicted to the found-image buttons sold right by the cashier.