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Weekend in San Francisco

Weekend in San Francisco

This past Saturday, Mrs. SFO and I were off to San Francisco for a Sunday family event.  Naturally, we decided to move just as Virgin America starts SFO-DEN service.   Oh well.  I've always enjoyed VX but it's been a while... probably around 4 years ago since that's when we moved to Denver.   And VX is offering a very attractive First Class fare of only $398 round trip.    And kudos for snagging the closest gate to the terminal, A39. 

Denver-San Francisco
Virgin America 865
11:35a-1:30p (sked)
12:20p-1:45p (actual)
April 30, 2016
Seats 2DF
Nice to see a proper priority boarding with First Class invited to board first.    

Yeah, the cabin is pushing 10 years and a little dated but it still looks good and is still way better than most non-transcon domestic cabins.  Loads of leg room, leg rests and nicely reclining seats.  And nice mood lighting.

Mrs. SFO bundled up with snow and 30 degree temps and an open door somewhere blasting cold air into the plane.  It didn't help that we had a 45 minute mechnical with the door still open and an Flight Attendant that refused to serve snacks/munchies... "Sorry, we can't open the snacks until we're in the air."

Today's flight attendant was clearly in a bad mood or just not interested today.  A word that rhymes with "witch" comes to mind.  At least she followed protocol and used the curtain to separate the galley from the cabin.

Bloody Mary to start.   No menu, no hot towel, no snack basket.  But a choice of Butter Chicken or Spring Pea Risotto.   

Interesting rope divider between the cabins.  That and an announcement for passengers to stay in their own cabin worked pretty well.  And the one interloper from the back of the bus that tried to use the F lav was promptly banished back to Y. 

Mrs. SFO and I both had the Butter Chicken.  Wow, one of the best domestic meals of the year.  Absolutely delicious.  

Good, fresh salad.

Excellent warm roll.

And the Butter Chicken was a wow.  Just right balance of Indian spices, not too hot, not too mild... braised butter chicken thigh marinated in tomato, ginger, garlic, onions, fenugreek leaves, paprika, garam masala and yogurt. Served with basmati cilantro lime rice, aloo jeera, diced blanched potatoes with toasted cumin seeds and cilantro, grilled green zucchini and mango, red bell pepper, cucumbers and salsa.   We both loved, loved this dish.

Can you tell?  

The Lemon Rasberry tart was good although a little dry.

Great meal on a virtually private flight with only one other F pax. But this FA needs an attitude adjustment and/or some training.  My Bloody Marys were fine but no offer of wine during lunch. The seriously annoying safety musical and boarding/taxi music was enough to cause Mrs. SFO to remark that she didn't want to fly VX again... until service from our amazing FA on tomorrow's flight home.  LOL.  Uber worked perfectly today and 4 minutes after I ordered our car, we met our driver outside of Door 6.   72 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  What a spectacular day in San Francisco.  

WIth light Saturday traffic, we were at the Four Seasons on Market Street on less than 20 minutes.   Chose the FS as we wanted a change from The Campton Place.  That plus a great Amex FHR rate of $395, free breakfast and $100 food credit.  

Nice room with an apparent upgrade to the top floor and south view. 

After we settled in, we headed out for Mrs. SFO777's favorite hobby... spending money on clothes.  LOL.  How come the weather was rarely this nice when we lived here??

Back at the hotel to rest up before dinner and a comlimentary bottle of prosecco and chocolates.   

For dinner, we decided to stay and try the in house restaurant, MKT... as in Market to Table.   But wouldn't then be MTT??  Not good sign when there are no a lot of patrons at 7pm.  Not sure why as the service and food were outstanding.

My Charred Octopus was out of this world.  Amazingly good, among the best I've ever tasted.

Mrs. SFO had the crusted halibut with artichoke, fennel and dandelion greens mezcal creme.

My lamb ragout rigatoni was delicious.

Expresso martini for Mrs. SFO.

And dessert.

The next morning we headed out to Market to meet our Uber driver, as a few groupies waited for the Portland Trailblazers to board their bus to the Coliseum and Game 1 with the Warriors.

After our granddaughter's First Communion, we headed for lunch at Osha Thai at The Embarcadero.    

Across the plaza, what is more San Francisco than a protest march?

After lunch, pics from our Uber as we headed back to the hotel.

And the Howard Street Fair, or more appropriately the How Weird Street Fair.   Can't believe we lived in the place for 10 years.  



We checked out at 4pm and our Uber driver Benson was waiting to take us to the airport. 

As we had more than an hour to kill, we headed for The Admirals Club where I am a member. 

Gourmet food, Admirals Club style.  Ha.

At around T-40 we headed out for the short walk to Gate 52.  

VX 870
May 1, 2016

One of the best domestic flights of the year. Our personable FA Chris was the complete opposite of the witch that served us yesterday.  
Flawless service from start to finish. And another amazingly good meal.  And the fastest catering employee I have ever seen.  Unloaded a dozen carts/contatiners and loaded the new ones in under 90 seconds. We gave him a round of applause when he finished.

Mini amenity kit.

And a menu today!

The Grilled Peruvian lomo saltado marinated beef tenderloin steak was delicious and the preparation with paprika and cilantro roasted Yukon potatoes, sautéed pepper medley, onions, tomato and jalapenos, cilantro jasmine rice, lomo saltado sauce and spicy ahi verde sauce... a wonderful combination of flavors. Even the Terravant 1903 Cab was drinkable unlike the swill that AA serves.

A great flight in every way, from service to comfort to food.  Sad to realize that the days are numbered for this great product as VX will disappear into Alaska which will surely kill it.