After spending over a week in SF, my love for the city grew, along with my waistline. Despite the miles I put on my shoes, the city walks were no match for the amount of indulging and imbibing I participated in. Food ended up becoming the main focus of the trip. I visited many bakeries, coffee shops and a had a mini world tour of restaurants ranging from Italian, Southern, Indian, French, Mexican and Amsterdam inspired Falafel. It was delightfully satisfying but my Levi’s are feeling a little snug these days. Here are some images of some of the culinary delights of SF, please excuse the crappy iPhone images.
The closest thing to a Parisian bakery I have experienced since visiting France 2 years ago. Tartine looks, smells and feels like a French bakery in a multitude of ways. The line snakes tightly through the entire bakery, vaguely scented with unshowered travelers mostly masked by melting butter and slightly burnt sugar. The employees barely have time to look up from the pastry case while they stuff brown paper bags with flaky croissants and freshly baked baguettes. Tartine definitely lives up the hype and is worth going out of your way to try. I only wish I would have purchased a baguette to snack on for the rest of the day.
Frangipane Croissant from Tartine in The Mission, this is France in a pastry.
Morning Bun from Tartine = my own personal heaven. The morning bun combines all of my most favorite things in a pastry, flaky dough, loads of butter, cinnamon and sugar and a hint of orange zest. If only every morning could start out this good. Sitting outside along 18th Street makes for great people/dog watching. I could have stayed here all day.
Brown Butter Biscuit with Espresso Butter from Biscuit Bender in the Ferry Building. Brilliant. Sweet or savory, they’ve got you covered. These babies are everything a biscuit should be, crumbly, buttery and just waiting to be slathered with espresso butter or their homemade bacon jam! This cup of Swan Neck Kettle Pour Over Coffee (good gawd, just writing that makes me feel like a total a-hole) was good but a little weak and probably not worth the 15-20 minute wait in line. However, we were asking for it by going to The Ferry Building Marketplace on a Sunday afternoon. I do appreciate the craft and philosophy behind Blue Bottle Coffee.
The Matcha Green Tea Cube Cake from Craftsman and Wolves is fancy and pretty but I’m not sure how it tastes. This place seemed to takes themselves pretty seriously in presentation and price. The sparsely stocked dessert case was lit up more like a jewelry store than a bakery and the cakes seemed almost too highfalutin to actually eat. The peanut butter cookies were pretty good, though. If I’m feeling particularly ostentatious, I may get dressed up like Audrey Hepburn and go back for a cube cake sometime. Unfortunately, I don’t think Dayn will join me for this, he was not a fan of C+W and he hates costumes.
On a side note, how did (______) and (______) become popular names for hipster restaurants, design firms or high end handmade Americana craftsman leather goods shops? Who sets this trend?
Coconut French Toast prepared by my darling cousin Sekani at our temporary apartment on Potrero Hill. This was probably my favorite meal of the entire trip. Our beloved cousins came over for a big ol’ family style brunch. Sekani washed his hands, rolled up his sleeves and became my sous chef (actually I think it may have been the other way around) the moment they arrived. Don’t let his size fool you, this kid knows a thing or two about French Toast and even has a few culinary tricks up his sleeve already…he asked me for vanilla and cinnamon! Love him.
Falafel Salad from Liba Falafel Food Cart in SOMA. Ohmygoodness, this is like no other falafel I have tasted, the recipe is based on the falafels served in Amsterdam. Bonus…the cart is equipped with a toppings bar, so you can cram it full of, tzatziki, hummus, pickles, moroccan carrots, fresh feta, etc! On a sunny afternoon, there is nothing better than copping a squat on a sidewalk with some tasty street food.
Brown Sugar, Rosemary & Black Pepper Crusted Bacon BLT at Market and Rye. The bacon was unreal, I think I may have to make this at home. Yum.
Burrata on fresh polenta at Piccino in Dogpatch. A bright and clean space with a solid basic Italian menu. They set a good baseline with the Pizze Margherita.
French Onion Soup from Chez Maman on Potrero Hill. A teeny little spot serving up authentic French food at a fraction of the price of their fancier French-ier counterpart Chez Papa.
Dosa from Dosa in The Mission. Real deal Southern Indian fare in a comfortable non-kitchsy space. We went to dinner with a friend from India and he ordered a smorgasbord of his favorite comfort foods from home. Everything he ordered was phenomenal.
Fried Chicken from Farmer Brown in The Tenderloin. Serious Southern comfort in the heart of one of SF’s sketchiest hood. The breast was and worth weaving through the crackheads and prostitutes of the loin.
If you need me, I will be workin off that muffin top in daily hot yoga classes from now until I go back to San Francisco. Totally worth it.