Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Off the Map: It's Time for Us to Invest in a "Service Dog"

Sam's Sundae -- Bi-Rite Creamery, San Francisco, CA
Bi-Rite Creamery

At this point, we should not be surprised by the lines the form out the door at San Francisco eateries, but somehow, they continue to flummox us.
Specific Directions Should Not Be Needed in Order to Procure Ice Cream
The sad part about our journey to Bi-Rite Creamery is that we passed the place less than an hour and a half before, but we decided to bypass it in favor of Ike's Place, considering that we had yet to eat anything but sugar all day.  When we return, prepared to indulge in what is finally our final dessert of this trip, there is a line stretching all the way to the street corner, complete with barricades and everything.

These San Francisco people really need to find something better to do with their time than wait in line all day.
Or Really, They Just Need to Learn to Be in a Rush in Order to Do Nothing, Like Us
We wait in line, grumpily, for about twenty minutes, all in the name of eating Sam's Sundae, as recommended by Aida Mollenkamp on the SUGAR RUSH episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate.  Vodka had tasted this sundae during her last visit to San Francisco, and she proclaimed it to be quite delicious, so if nothing else, at least we know we're not wading through this crowd of people for a 1 star dish.
Thank Goodness for Small Favors
In front of us in line is a mother and daughter... and their dog.  And not a small, cute, portable dog -- one that is carried in a bag and no one ever knows is even there (aka Vodka's dog).  No.  This is a pit bull.  A not exactly well-trained pit bull, being led around by not exactly well-trained owners.  After at first leaving her no-more-than-nine-year-old daughter in line by herself while she went to fetch the pit bull from the car, the mother returns with this misbehaving terror... and proceeds to DRAG IT INTO BI-RITE CREAMERY WITH HER.
Not only are there signs posted everywhere that such dog accompaniment is not allowed in the store, but the mother/daughter duo isn't even trying to be fast about the process.  They are up at the counter TASTING EVERY FLAVOR OF ICE CREAM, while their dog proceeds to lounge on the Bi-Rite carpet a solid six feet behind them.

No wonder San Francisco is always in some sort of line.  Because NO ONE FOLLOWS THE RULES.
The obnoxious mother is confronted by a Bi-Rite Creamery staff member about the dog being in the shop, when he asks her if it is a service dog.

"Yes," she replies, barely yanking the leash any closer to her body.

We can promise each and every one of you that this dog is NOT a service dog.  This woman is a LIAR.
And One That Needs to Learn That If You're Going to Lie, Do So QUICKLY, Without TASTING EVERY ICE CREAM FLAVOR
By this point, we are fairly irate, and frankly just flabbergasted, at the injustice going on in front of us.  Ginger forfeits the line to grab us a place to sit, while Vodka pushes past the Pit Bull Patrol to order our precious Sam's Sundae.  
Move It Or Lose It, Health Code Violators
Said sundae consists of chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, olive oil, and sea salt, which sounds like an odd combination (and it is), but it somehow works.  
Truth Be Told, We Never Really Met a Sea Salt We Didn't Like
Vodka asks for two spoons at the cash register, and with Ginger no where in sight, all but assures that the Bi-Rite Creamery staff thinks she's lying about having a "friend" ("Oh sure, you're absolutely not going to eat that all yourself" --their inner commentary).  Vodka hauls the bowl off to our corner table, and we dive in.
Vodka's Extra Spoon for Her "Imaginary" Friend, Ginger
Now, in theory, we shouldn't like this sundae much -- we're not that into chocolate ice cream, and Bi-Rite's version is about as chocolatey as you can get.  When it's offset by the oodles of whipped cream, streaks of olive oil, and sprinkling of sea salt, however, it's surprisingly tasty.  
Especially Tasty When Our Toes Aren't Being Covered in Dog Slobber
The proliferation of whipped cream means that we get some in each bite of ice cream, which is obviously our preference, and the sea salt is the component that makes the whole thing fairly delicious.  
Pretty Much Give Us a Bowl of Whipped Cream, and We'll Give You a High Star Rating
Ginger is slightly put off by the floral flavor of the olive oil, but all in all, we are fairly pleased.  Not necessarily pleased enough to ever, ever wait in that kind of line with America's Worst Dog Owners again, but pleased nonetheless.
Seriously Bi-Rite? You Have Rules About Napkin Use but Not Dogs LOUNGING IN YOUR STORE
Ginger goes back to the counter to fetch the bathroom key (which comes attached to a GIANT spoon), while Vodka refills her water bottle with the inexplicably WARM water coming out of the fountain.
Scalding. The Water Was Scalding. In a WATER FOUNTAIN. We Should Sue
Is Bi-Rite Creamery worth a visit if you're doing a drive-by and the place is empty?  Sure.  But once it's gone to the dogs?  Avoid the place at all costs.

Bi-Rite Creamery's Sam's Sundae: 4 stars

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