Every so often, Adjusters head out to a team night of food known as Taco Tuesday. We go so often that the owners know we’re coming, and the crowd is always great fun. You’d think, with the theme of the night being ‘tacos’, that they would be some of the best in Berlin, but with every taco I try, I never get a sense of what I’m looking for, of a place I went to in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. Berliners do a lot of things very well, but tacos are not among them.
So when I found out that we would be going on a team exchange to our sister office in San Francisco, I was impatiently itching for a chance to return to my favorite spot, for another round of tacos.
It wasn’t just the office that was a break from the usual, but from the moment of arrival, the mood of the city felt different. More formal, more polite and more healthy than Berlin.
The team and I spent most of the first day settling into our new home and taking on the jetlag. On the next, Adjust’s team of backend engineers were found lazing in Dolores Park, until I dared to suggest, “let’s go get some tacos.”
After a short search online we were on our way, and it wasn’t long until we reached our destination: a small restaurant near a bus station, of all places. The painted façade must have been commissioned from a fifth-grade art class, and I got the feeling that, if a food safety inspector had come near the place, the doors would be shut immediately and permanently.
I rushed into the line and placed my order: two tacos with tripe, and two with cow tongue (good luck finding that in Berlin). In a few minutes, they arrived. Meat, cheese, onions piled on stuck together corn tortillas. I bit in and felt like time froze for a second, the rush of flavor brought back the memory from the past that I longed for so much. In short, the tacos, they were pretty good.
Later in the day we met up with the SF team and chewed away at our regular set of roadmap tickets while chatting about edge cases and support tickets with the customer success team. Aside from the food, this was one of the best parts of the trip, where we got to finally work with each other, rather than remotely on different sides of the world.
During the rest of the stay, between work we took trips to some offices of the giants of the tech industry, from Facebook to Google. We were tourists too. During our second weekend there, we took a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, where a pod of whales coasted the water below.
While the sights were memorable, I spent most of the trip thinking with my stomach, and SF proved to be very good place to focus on food. I ended up trying every kind of fusion burrito imaginable, Chicago-style deep dish pizza, vegan sushi (which worked surprisingly well), good steak, Mate beer, and some local wines. Also, of course, more tacos.
At our SFO gate, my coworkers and I chatted about the trip. The fully-funded “exchange” had been a success – as a means to connect with Adjusters who we don’t meet every week; as inspiration, perhaps; and as a means to live life a little differently. But, as my own personal achievement, there wasn’t anything better than being taken back to a place of food nostalgia.
See you again, San Francisco, as soon as I can.