Three bygone color schemes. The first, which takes several variant forms, is fairly common, the second I've found only at the Wun-Tun House. The third — widely attributed to Peter Max but more credibly to John Alcorn — survives in many pop-culture collections but is seldom seen in public, and even the market where this psychedelia was sited may no longer be a going concern. See also this Bronx bombshell.
7Up signs San Francisco (From an August 2011 visit)
Shown mainly for the coincidental visual echo of camera-loving photographer by sandwich-loving camel (click for a closer look). Also, from the other panel of this mural, around the corner: submarine-sandwich congestion on the Tiburon-bound lanes of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Stop & Shop Market 3000 Mission St. (at 26th St.), San Francisco 415-550-0950 (From an August 2011 visit)
This painted sign was uncovered in 2010 during construction of a "progressive American" restaurant called Commonwealth. Though the typefaces and street lamps suggest an early 20th century birthdate, the folks at Hunt's may have been nodding to the past when they commissioned this sign, just as did the folks at Commonwealth when they preserved it.
The donut shop opened in 1952, according to this atmospheric if rambling account of the Mission District at midcentury. The sign may have faced a parking lot then, as it does now; Hunt's itself stood at the corner of Mission and 20th.
Hunt's Quality Donuts Surviving painted sign at 2224 Mission St. (18th-19th Sts.), San Francisco (From an August 2011 visit)
This location of the Indian-Pakistani mini-chain Shalimar, like its fellows, serves no alcohol. The restaurant's online profile reflects its teetotaling status, but the even under heavy cover of white paint, its sign — a holdover from some previous tenant, years ago — displays a familiar Tenderloin come-on.
Shalimar 532 Jones St. (Geary-O'Farrell Sts.), San Francisco 415-928-0333 (One of several locations) www.ShalimarSF.com (From an August 2011 visit)
La Borinquena, in Oakland, Pepito's, in Richmond, and Belmar and La Palma, in San Francisco, each self-identifies as a "Mexicatessen." (The hyphen hops around, and sometimes is absent altogether.) It's a meme that I've seen replicated only in the Bay Area, without affectation.
Mexicatessens San Francisco Bay Area (From an August 2011 visit)
Two scoops ($3.20), both coconut — but not the same flavor. Nearly hidden at the bottom of the cup is buko, which contained shreds of young coconut, just as did this buko pie. On top is macapuno, commonly called coconut sport, a naturally occurring variation in which the coconut water is supplanted by additional, softer meat. (Sometimes the explanation is less felicitous.) The macapuno is smooth, and sweeter.
Mitchell's Ice Cream 688 San Jose Ave. (Valley-29th Sts.), San Francisco 415-648-2300 www.MitchellsIceCream.com At the San Francisco Street Food Festival (From an August 2011 visit)
Scotch eggs ($3) may have been introduced to Nigeria with the creation of the Royal Niger Company, in the late 1800s. They've long been naturalized in that West African country; as adapted by Chiefo Chukwudebe, the sausage-meat layer contains flecks of spicy red and green pepper. These might not fly in the British Isles, but they were more than fine with me.
Chiefo's Kitchen 2948 Folsom St. (25th-26th Sts.), San Francisco 510-689-6096 www.ChiefosKitchen.com At the San Francisco Street Food Festival (From an August 2011 visit)
The brighter of these slippery slabs is a nian gao, steamed glutinous rice flavored, in this instance, with sweet potato; its drab companion was cut from four shallow layers of gelatin, of unknown provenance ($1 total). Both, like many other items displayed by this Cantonese storefront, were dotted with sesame seeds.
Wing Sing Dim Sum 1125 Stockton St. (Pacific Ave.-Jackson St.), San Francisco 415-433-5571 (From an August 2011 visit)