Last week, I had my first experience of an SF tradition--late night dining at the Grubstake. In 6.5 years of living here, I'd never been. But last week, after getting off a shift at Cantina at about midnight, I went over there with my wife (who was also just getting off work) for a bite. We were starving, but stayed away from the Portuguese specialties like linguiça, the famous pork sausage. Instead, we just had a burger and some of those fried jalapenos filled with cream cheese. These were a novelty to Christie—who was disappointed not to find them more spicy—but were familiar to me, as they're common back in Texas, where I grew up.

But, of course, Grubstake is really all about people putting food in their bellies after they've been out drinking. And, right on cue, at about 12:30 a.m., the crowds of rosy-faced boys and girls started to file in. I got in on the act by trying Sagres, a Portuguese beer. It was a standard sort of lager and made very little impression—certainly nothing to make me want to hurry back to the Grubstake. Who knows… it could be another 6 years before I find myself back there.