Saturday, September 11, 2010

Touristy Labor Day fun part I

OKAY! Time to get back to business :)

Two Fridays ago (o my, has it really been that long??) marked the beginning of my fantastically full Labor Day weekend. My morning flew by since I had tons to get done at the office and the next thing I knew it was time to meet Jamie and his mom for lunch at Yank Sing.

I've mentioned Yank Sing in a previous San Francisco-related post and how much I adore their Shanghai Dumplings, so when I found out Jamie's mom was staying at a hotel across the street I just HAD to expose them to the deliciousness that is Yank Sing!

We went with some Shrimp Dumplings, Shumai, Shanghai Dumplings (tried hard not to get two orders), Potstickers (mediocre), Peking Duck (fabulous), Crab Dumplings (not really into these...think crabcake in a dumpling wrapper), Scallop Shumai (AMAZING), Scallion Pancakes (meh), Chinese Broccoli (can't go wrong here), Pork Buns (I didn't sample these, but they were baked instead of steamed and had some honey on top). Sound like a lot of food? IT WAS! Thankfully we had a long day of walking ahead of us ;)

After lunch, we hopped into a cab over to the Palace of Fine Arts. This was one of the first places I fell in love with when I first visited San Francisco. I know that sounds super cheesy, but there's just something about it that makes me happy and want to take tons of photos.
Even with construction on a foggy/cloudy day I think it still looks great.

We walked from the Palace of Fine Arts over to Crissy Field where we stopped for a quick caffeine fix before walking along the Promenade.
We lingered along Crissy Field before heading back so we could make it to Off the Grid by 5pm. What is Off the Grid, you ask? Well, I've been dying to check this event out all summer. A bunch of food trucks park at the Fort Mason Center from 5-9 on Friday nights and set up shop with some chairs and a bar area. Instead of trying to track down all these tasty trucks around the city, they're parked in one spot.

I was completely overwhelmed by all the trucks. So many delicious options! I eventually settled on a BBQ Sammy from Seoul on Wheels.
Verdict: I've had better sammiches and better bulgogi. I think I expected a lot of this sammich. It was pretty plain with a smear of mayo and gochujang, lettuce and bulgogi on a soft bun. Personally, I think a nice kimchi slaw would give it a good tangy kick. I'd also like a little crunch to the bun and maybe a moist/saucy pile of bulgogi. Just a thought.

Jamie ordered a Bulgogi Rice Bowl with Kimchi Fried Rice.
Same deal with the bulgogi and the rice was surprisingly mushy overdone. It made me miss the little yellow cart in DC :(

I will say that customer service at the cart was superb. Exactly what you want at a food truck: friendly, upbeat and fast service.

Once we had our fill of street food, we hoofed it up my favorite hill, through Fisherman's Wharf to Alcatraz Landing where we hopped on the ferry for our night tour of Alcatraz *insert scary music here*
It was a foggy evening so we couldn't see a thing as we approached Alcatraz (extra creepy). We arrived just as the sun was setting, hiked up a hill to the cell block and began our audio tour.
I must say, even though I got the heebiejeebies taking the tour in the foggy/cold night, I think the night tour rocks. There's a smaller crowd and they offer a few more walking tour options than during the day.

Just a little note: someone told me that there's a rumor Alcatraz might be closing in the near future (something about the tourist traffic causing the facilities to deteriorate??). Could be just a rumor or it could be legit. Anyone?

After all that walking (I can run for 5 hours, but for some reason walking always kills me), I decided to pass on my scheduled 20 miler (ehh, it's a holiday weekend ;p) and slept like a baaaaby that night.

The next morning, Jamie and I took a long walk to meet his mom at her hotel near the Embarcadero before heading to the Ferry Building for some Farmers Market fun. Yes, we braved the late morning crowds to grab some brunch and produce.

Jamie snacked on (as usual) his Prather Ranch Breakfast Sammich and I broke off to find a breakfast of my own. I headed over to the Primavera stall, but was in no mood to wait in line so I shuffled next door to the Namu stall. Remember Namu? Well they had some tasty Korean/Japanese offerings that piqued my interest. I eventually decided on the Korean Egg Toast (carrots, cabbage & eggs in soft scramble between pain de mi bread with ketchup, bacon, kewpie and garlic home fries)
Ennhhh, not my favorite breakfast, but it was filling. The whole thing was super greasy (as in see through my paper plate greasy) and it needed more flavor...something sweet or acidic to counteract the grease. Lesson learned. I'm sticking with Primavera from now on.

After brunch we wandered around the market to grab some ingredients for our wine country picnic and Monday dinner. As I've mentioned before, I'm always overwhelmed at the Ferry Building market since I'm not familiar with the vendors. This time I had a general idea of what I wanted and where I wanted to go.

Definitely wanted some golden beets for the picnic-friendly Israeli Couscous & Beet Salad, but couldn't find any. That's when I started chatting with one of the vendors about his beets and sampled a couple different varieties. He also threw in a white beet and suggested I grate some raw on top of a salad. Can't find that sort of personal service at the big box grocery.

Grabbed some greens, freshly made ciabatta, tomatoes and called it a day. Phew. Stay tuned for more Labor Day fun :)

1 comment:

Jamie said...

you didn't mention the second breakfast i had...kimchi tacos!