I am told this place is an institution so it became a must to visit. But for what I discovered was not just a venerable food joint but also the memorabilia – a mounted poster of the Beatles’ last concert for instance. In fact, the place is a hall of old posters, chronicling the notable events of San Francisco city. I sat below a piece of signed white fence paling obviously ripped away after the Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants at Yankee Stadium in December 28, 1958.

Going locovore I selected Dungeness crab cakes and a glass of J Vineyards and Winery Pinot Gris 2007 (AUD 12.60/50) from Russian River-pale green yet the big super-ripe style, 14.5%, the typical pear fruit gris with loads of texture and acid to match, under cork, very acceptable; www.jwine.com . Entree was Petrale sole; oh so sweet and delicate, sautéed, heaps of tiny capers and tarragon splashed around, and diminished by a glass of Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir 2006 (AUD 11.50/50), from Carneros, big, sappy, rounded, 14.3%, losing brightness and definition compared with its pinot brothers in the next state – the Willamette Valley-honest pinot, not great, www.chandon.com.

If you go to Perry’s plan on arriving half an hour early to browse the walls. Union Street is the new chic shopping street often not discovered by tourists – clothing and furnishings mainly though quite a shop few vacancies suggested the impact of the GFC. Perry’s, celebrating 40 years of business, 1944 Union Street, www.perryssf.com; 14/20; go for lunch, AUD 37.80 px, in this very green city where the toilet towels are unbleached paper and sparingly-dispensed to reduce tree-felling. And I walked out yearning to watch a ball game, not back to ’58 and thought about who donated the paling when the place opened in 1969.

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