Tuesday, April 9, 2013

San Francisco: A week long eat-a-thon

View from Alexis' office

I just got back from visiting one of my best friends in San Francisco! We had a great time together; walking around the Mission, visiting the California Academy of Sciences, sunning in Dolores Park, and eating lots of delicious food!

DAY ONE: Thank god I walked a lot. 
My friend Alexis had to work so I was left to my own devices and walked around her neighborhood. I went up and down both Mission St. and Valencia St., which are two of the "main drags" in the Mission. There was so much to see! And I ate a lot too :)

I went out for breakfast with one of my friends who is from around San Francisco but I didn't take a picture of my meal. I hadn't thought of doing a photo essay of everything I'd eaten in SF until after breakfast. Breakfast was really good though, I had cornmeal pancakes and bacon! And a super over-easy egg that was inedible. 

I wandered around Valencia and Mission Streets and luckily my cousin recommended Papalote to me for lunch. I got the most delicious tacos I've ever had! Slow-cooked pork covered in green chile sauce and then topped with lettuce, tomato and some kind of pickled vegetable. The salsa that is served on the side of every meal is absolutely, hands-down the best salsa I've ever had. It is spicy but not too spicy. Creamy but not rich. And smoky but not over-powering. If you are going to San Francisco you need to eat at Papalote.

Tacos chile carne with a side chips and salsa.
I was absolutely stuffed after eating delicious Mexican fare for lunch but I totally got two scoops of ice cream from Humphrey Slocombe later in the afternoon. I got two recommendations to go there and I couldn't pass up the opportunity. So I ordered one scoop of their Vietnamese coffee and one scoop of black sesame. The ice cream scooper commended me on my choices saying I chose "sophistocated flavors". He also had a stellar waxed handlebar mustache.

Freezing outside of Humphrey Slocombe eating my "sophistocated" ice cream.
For dinner we went to Cafe Tibet in Berkeley. Alexis is also a baker (check out her website Flour(less)) and we had to deliver cookies to a customer in Berkeley and she had been wanting to eat at this restaurant for a while. It was really good! I've never had Tibetan food before so I have nothing to compare it to but I really enjoyed everything we ordered.

Curried potatoes

Cabbage and carrot salad with sesame dressing

Tibetan garlic bread
The bread was kind of plain and was only good when dipped in the curry sauce. I was sad it wasn't more garlicky.

Combination plate of momo
Alexis got the dumplings or momo and they were so tasty! She got a combination plate with meat and veggie stuffed momo.

Lamb curry
DAY TWO: Clever girl.
Once again, Alexis was working but this time I met up with my friend Justin and we took the ferry to Tiburon. The ferry ride was great! We drank wine/beer and looked at the scenery. I saw Alcatraz Island, Angel Island and Sausalito from the boat. We went to Sam's Anchor Cafe to get seafood. We both ordered cioppino and it was absolutely delicious!


After finishing our cioppino we sat drinking wine and enjoying the view of the bay. Little did we suspect that the seagulls had other plans. Having finished all of our food we were unconcerned with the threat of the seagulls. One of the seagulls started making a horrendous "SQWWWWWAAAAAACK!!!" behind us. While it had the attention of everyone in the vicinity, it's partner in crime swooped in, knocked over our bottle of wine (all over me I might add), and stole a package of butter. BUTTER! Not bread or seafood but butter. I was mostly upset that we had been duped by two seagulls. It was just like the part in Jurassic Park where the Velociraptors out-smart the humans. One of the Velociraptors is in plain sight, distracting the humans while the other is lurking behind the palm fronds. I was the Australian in this scenario. The restaurant was very nice and gave us a half bottle of the wine we were drinking as an apology for the seagull incident. 

I was feeling a little under the weather after my Tiburon adventure. I'd like to say it was the shock from my close encounter with death from sky raptors but more likely it was sitting out in the sun all day drinking wine instead of water. Alexis and I ate at this little sushi restaurant by her house called We Be Sushi. Soup is my favorite meal. Hands down. If I were told I could only eat one kind of food for the rest of my life I would not hesitate for a second. Soup. This udon soup made me feel a lot better. 

Udon veggie soup, vegetable tempura, and seaweed salad

DAY THREE: Carbo-load. 

Alexis and I started the day off right...coffee and doughnuts! Dynamo doughnuts not only had very tasty doughnuts but they were so creative! We got spiced chocolate, maple bacon apple, and a seasonal doughnut that had a cardamom custard filling!

Spiced chocolate, maple bacon apple, and hot crossed bun with cardamom custard and orange glaze
We walked around Valencia Street after breakfast and worked up an appetite just in time for lunch! We went to Delfinas and got one of the tastiest pizzas I've ever had. The crust was fantastic and their homemade sausage was absolutely amazing. So flavorful.

Sausage pizza
We met up with some of Alexis' friends in Dolores Park and enjoyed the sun and some beers! I love visiting places outside of Hawai'i so I can drink micro-brewed beer! Speakeasy was one of my favorites.

Delicious local beer enjoyed at Dolores Park
We had a fairly food-filled day so we decided to share an appetizer for dinner. Tot-chos are my new favorite  junk food. We went to Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem which is a bar in the Mission (not to be confused with the all muppet band). We ordered the sweet potato "tot-chos". Tator tot nachos. My mind was blown into pieces. I will be posting my own homemade version of this dish in the future. Stay tuned.


DAY FOUR: Fried pickles are brilliant. Nobel prize brilliant.

I started to forget to take pictures of everything I ate in San Francisco at this point. But I definitely got the high points. Alexis and I met up with my cousin and his girlfriend at Southern Paw BBQ. Southern fare is so tasty and this restaurant put a nice spin on most of their dishes. I enjoyed the brie mac & cheese and the fried pickles especially.

Brie mac and cheese, fried pickles, cornmeal hush puppies, and fried catfish

DAY FIVE: Ethiopian food junky.

Hawai'i has the best Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, basically all Asian food cuisine readily available. So when I leave the islands I try and get food that I cannot have anytime I want. I absolutely love Ethiopian cuisine. Injera is one of my favorite breads. It's so sour and I love the texture. Alexis and I went to Cafe Ethiopia and it was one of my favorite meals of the trip! I had such a hard time deciding which dish to get that I decided to get the meat/veggie combo plate, 2 types of meat dishes with one vegetarian. It was so delicious I couldn't stop eating it! We also got another plate of injera and I ate most of that as well as everything on my plate. I have found a good injera recipe and will hopefully be posting my attempt shortly.

Dorowot, kay wot, and mesir wot on injera

DAY SIX: I was so hungry!

So Alexis and I didn't eat breakfast (still full from the day before) and went to the California Academy of Sciences. One of my friends from Hawai'i is the Assistant Dive Officer there and we went to see him and all the amazing exhibits. If you are going to San Francisco you MUST go. The aquariums and the butterfly/aviary alone are worth the price of admission. But back to food. Alexis and I were so hungry afterwards that I forgot to take pictures of our food before we ate it. We went to a restaurant that my friend had suggested near Golden Gate Park called Social. We got meatballs in marinara sauce and sweet potato tempura french fries. They also brew their own beer so we got delicious beer with our meal.   

What used to be two meatballs

What used to be sweet potato tempura fries

DAY SEVEN: Day out with cousin Dan.

My last day in San Francisco I went on a city tour with my cousin Dan who has lived in Sf since 1997. It was really great to catch up with him. We met for coffee first at Philz Coffee. I got the medium roast Philharmonic with soy milk. It was very very strong but also very tasty. Then we walked over to the Mission's Kitchen. I love Mexican food and this breakfast was awesome! Chorizo scramble with rice and refried beans. Perfect start to a long day of walking.

Chorizo scramble, rice, and refried beans
I had such a great time in San Francisco and ate a lot of amazing food. If you are going to San Francisco I would highly recommend all the of establishments mentioned in this blog post. If I hadn't walked everywhere I probably would have gained 15 pounds. As it is...I only gained 10 or so! :) Totally worth it!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Claire,
    Love your journal and pics of your SF trip!!! I think I may have gained a pound or two just reading your descriptions and viewing the photos of all the amazing food! Love that you embraced such a beautiful place so fully! When's your next trip??? :)