Every year the Muse is asked, in her other life, to predict restaurant trends 3 to 5 years from now. This always gets the Muse a little worked up because there is a wide gap between what she sees coming down the road and what she would like to see coming down the road. The first trend I would like to see return, to San Francisco at least, is the return of the fountain, a la Blum's. New York has Serendipity and we San Franciscans have, well, nothing. Yes, bits and pieces exist here and there. Fenton's in Oakland is the closest to what Blum's was - a good combination of savory sandwiches and over the top ice cream creations. But Blum's had more to offer. Blum's was a pink spun sugar fantasy come to life. It had a gift shop. It had shocking pink banquettes. It had surly waitresses. And it had cake. Not those plastic looking, multi colored and tasteless layered cakes offered in cafes around Union Square. No. They had Blum's Famous Coffee Crunch cake. (This legendary cake is so memorable that Nancy Silverton has included a recipe for it in her latest cookbook.)
Blum's was partly a restaurant for the ladies who didn't work and spent their days going downtown to shop, meet friends and get home before the children came home from school. It was also the highlight of a day spent in THE CITY for those who came from across the bay.
So here is what the Muse would like to see in Union Square: a pink soda fountain with freshly baked layer cakes (NO CUPCAKES, PLEASE), a decent club sandwich made with thick bacon that does not declare its pedigree, and a tall, hot fudge sundae served with a pitcher of hot fudge on the side. How hard could this be to realize?