When I was in college, my roommate introduced me to Kierkegaard's theory of the despair of infinitude. It was complicated in an existential sort of way, but over the years, I've adopted a variation on the term -- the despair of infinity -- to refer to the overwhelming sensation I feel when faced with too many choices. Trying to pickout an outfit for the first day of work after a big shopping spree? Despair of infinity. Time to whip up dinner and the fridge is full of food? Despair of infinity. Back from a year in Russia and sitting at a bar, perusing a beer list of 6 drafts and 20 bottles? Praise capitalism in all its glory -- but that's despair of infinity nonetheless.
The despair of infinity comes upon me almost anytime I have to decide where to take visitors to dinner. When I was new to San Francisco, it was easy. We simply went wherever I had not been and, especially if it was my folks, could not afford. Over the years, I've exhausted most of the San Francisco icons with repeat visitors, and moved on to personal neighborhood favorites.
Since Indian summer is the best time for visitors, I thought I'd share the places on my short list. Where do you like to take visiting family and friends out to eat?