Monday, November 9, 2009

Why I heart San Francisco Part I

Hello Hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and I can't wait to read about everyone's FoodBuzz Festival recaps!

As you already know, I passed on the whole Festival to hang out with a friend of mine and although I really wish I had a chance to meet up with fellow food bloggers, I don't regret my choice. The past couple of trips to San Francisco have been crammed with touristy activities and I've loved it. I really didn't have an agenda for this trip, except maybe confirm that I really do want to move ;)

After my 3 hour nap and 5 hour flight on Thursday, Selin and I grabbed coffee and planned our weekend meals - yes, food is always the first thing on our minds! To kick off the weekend of eating, we headed to A16 in the Marina.
It took me awhile to put two and two together, but Selin had mentioned this place when Jamie and I were out over Memorial Day weekend. She raved
about Monday night meatballs and apparently the pizzas are some of the best in San Francisco. It's other claim to fame - one of the Next Iron Chef competitors, Nate Appleman, was co-owner and executive chef until this summer.

We decided to split a
Romaine and Chicory Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil (no pic b/c well, it was just a plate of greens!) and Funghi Pizza (roasted mushrooms, smoked mozzarella, grana padano, garlic, oregano, wild arugula).
The salad was so
fresh and light tasting! So simple and delicious...just what I needed after the wedding meals. The pizza was fantastic - several varieties of mushrooms, just the right amount of arugula and a hint of fresh garlic. They had a dish of chili oil at the table and it gave just the right amount of spice!

We also had a glass of wine with lunch (hi, vacation!), though I forget exactly what we got. The waiter was so knowledgeable and gave us a couple suggestions based on what we said we liked - I guess it's kinda standard living in the area, no? I think it would be weird if they didn't know their wine!

After a long and light lunch (a little pricey, but worth it), we stopped at Miette on the way back to the car so I could sample my very first macaron (not a macaroon)
This little
hazelnut sucker was $1.75 but really yummy! I might like these even more than macaroons! The outside is a little chewy and the inside is a nice creamy contrast - who knew I was missing out on such a great treat all this time!

We vegged out for a bit and did some more food planning before Selin headed to a class, and no napping! I braved the bus for the first time and made my way to Union Square to meet Quinn and
Allison from Green Dog Wine. Kudos to them for hanging out shortly after arriving! We walked over to Otis Lounge, which was a little too loud for a Thursday night catch up, but we stuck around for a couple glasses of wine before heading to Dell'uva in North Beach.
A glass of wine later we were ready to call it a night. I was so glad to get some catch up time with Quinn and meet Allison!

The next morning I was on my own and I actually devised a plan for the day. Huge deal for me since
I'm not a big planner! I was feeling good so I laced up the sneaks and went for my first run since the marathon. Totally against the advice of my physical therapist (I'll fill you in on that later) and doctor, but whatever, it was a 1.5 mi run AT MOST.

I ran in the rain/mist along the Embarcadero blasting Britney (hangs head in shame...sort of...not really :p) and felt great. My destination? The coffee I've been craving since Memorial Day!!
Blue Bottle Coffee!!! I love this coffee so much. I
neeeed it here! This was the first time I've gotten it at the stall in the Ferry Building, but there's a great view of their 'drip' coffee process (but I didn't take this picture)
Perfect end to a
refreshing mid-morning run! I wandered around the Ferry Building for a bit with my coffee before heading to the BART station to begin my journey for the best Banh Mi San Francisco has to offer.

One of Selin's friends mentioned this place that serves some crazy good Banh Mi and I knew I HAD to check it out. I trekked out to Civic Center/Tenderloin for Saigon Sandwich...the line was a good sign in my book (well, this picture doesn't show it) ;)
I waited about 15 minutes in line for this little
$3 roast pork sandwich. Why? Because a) banh mi is freaking amazing and b) I only heard rave reviews about all the sandwiches at this place - even the tofu!
I had to BART and bus back to Selin's (there are like
2 stools in the whole restaurant) and I couldn't stop thinking about the yummy sandwich I had in my hand. Could not wait!! I finally unwrapped it and snapped a quick picture to capture my glorious lunch
Ok yeah, it just looks like a roll.
AMAZING. Totally worth the wait. The pork was flavorful and moist, the bread was perfectly crusty on the outside and squishy on the inside, the sauce was to die for and the pickles/veggies/peppers were incredibly fresh tasting. I could have eaten two of them :[ I'm going back next time we're in town and trying the roast pork and pate combo.

Dinner was a homemade southwestern-inspired salad with roasted chicken before we met up with some of Selin's friends at Rogue Ales Public House.
To kick things off, I started with a
Dead Guy Ale - which I really just picked on a whim.
Apparently it's their most famous brew...I may or may not have had it before. Either way, it was fantastic. And followed it up with the
Morimoto Imperial Pilsner
I forgot I don't really like pilsners and this one was a pretty intense one. It had a cool glass that was printed like this bottle, but really, that was the best part of it. Ah well. We bounced around to a couple other places, including the west coast equivalent of the Big Hunt - North Star Cafe.
I confirmed it by ordering a ton of Black Velvets and loving them. HA.

We closed the evening with some pizza from Golden Boy - totally beats Pizza Mart any day.
It's definitely thicker pizza (I'm a fan of thin crust), but it's SO DELICIOUS. As with almost every restaurant I've been to in San Francisco, they use all local and organic ingredients...and I'm learning that it always leads to better tasting food! The line was INSANE and you order from that front window. Here's what it looks like without the mad rush
Overwhelming regardless of large crowds fighting for pizza...I just pointed at one w/meat and veggies on it. Tasted like the best thing on the planet :)

Phew. That was a ton in one post! Stay tuned for pupusas, wine tasting and Korean 'tacos'!!


Anonymous said...

Wow, you really do plan your eats! You should a travel agent for restaurants ;) ha, if that makes sense?! I'd employ you - I usually just go to whatever is close!

everything looks deeelicious!

Morgan said...

I heart San Fran!

Girl you took an eating tour!!!

Karena said...

Dude, this is EEEVVERY vacation haha. I'm such a food nerd!