A crucial part of the Duke in Silicon Valley (DSV) program is exploring our passions. Students applied to this program for a wide variety of reasons, including learning how to build a company, being immersed in the entrepreneurial spirit of the Bay Area, and taking advantage of the opportunity to spend a summer on the West Coast. Although all of these benefits influenced my decision to participate in this program, I always knew that they were secondary to the truly profound motivation that drew me to this mouthwatering opportunity: the food.
And I have not been disappointed. The delicious creations, crustaceans, and dishes of Asian persuasion that I have enjoyed over the past couple of weeks have been a testament to the Bay Area’s tenacious pursuit of culinary innovation- and excellence. Although the DSV program has been the most rewarding academic experience of my life, I believe the only thing that has gained more from this experience is my palate. After all, where else can you eat sliced jellyfish? (Not that you want to.)
The saying goes, “Some people eat to live. Others live to eat”. I am an unwavering member of the latter. As I walked down Castro Street for the first time earlier this summer, I decided to use Yelp to find a great restaurant to start the summer off right. To my amazement, and delight, I realized that there were over 30 restaurants within .2 miles of where I was standing. From that point on, I not only knew that I had made the right decision to come here, but also that I had a daunting task in front of me: I needed to try all of them. And so my culinary excursion began.
As a group, we decided to start with the classics. Because most of the students in the program are from the East Coast, many of us had only heard tales of the enigmatic fast-food chain known as In-N-Out. Alas, I had already expressed my undying devotion to Five Guys. Unsurprisingly, however, the stories were validated: the food was incredible. From that point on, we strategically made our way down Castro Street, trying all of the restaurants along the way. The diversity of food was amazing: there was Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Italian restaurants on just one block! And this was not just quantity, the quality and authenticity of the food at each location was even more impressive than the last. Here are some of the highlights:
(Apologies if some of the picture seem to have bites missing. I tend to eat first and think later.)