SF 2012

Hello boys and girls. It’s Thursday afternoon, hopefully you’ve just finished lunch so this won’t make you too hungry, and you’re pleasantly surprised to see that I’ve updated two days in a row now. You didn’t want to do work this afternoon anyway, right?

Right. Because this is supposed to be a brief pictorial of what I ate during my three weeks on the west coast, but brevity has never been – and will unlikely ever be – my strong suit. I’m not even including everything! Some places are getting their own posts! Some are just hinted at here! But I couldn’t cull the photos down much. And I know you all love photos. Three weeks’ worth.

So you’ll just have to deal with it.

90% of these photos were taken with my phone (Samsung Galaxy S III, holla what! I love this thing).

65% of these photos have appeared on Instagram or Twitter or on the internet in some form or another already.

100% of these photos will turn you green with envy.



Approach into San Francisco.


Oatmeal raisin macarons made by SFG.


Eating lunch in a walnut orchard.


SF is just so beautiful.


Evolution Fresh just opened its first non-Seattle store, in San Francisco. Preview event with lots of healthy and surprisingly tasty offerings. Will probably post separately about it.


A genuinely inexpensive farmer’s market – $1/lb for really delicious grapes. You know it’s cheap when the tables are mobbed by old Chinese (Asian?) ladies.


Part of breakfast with SFG one morning at Tartine Bakery.


Arancini from Beretta.

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Snacks at the Foodbuzz Festival Cocktail Reception.


Sir Francis Drake really should be made out of jello.


Canele from Boulette’s Larder, but I had food poisoning and couldn’t partake.


The view on a foggy day from the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market.


Getting excited for an upcoming dinner.


Breakfast by SFG: pain au lait, poached egg atop potato cake with maitake mushrooms, guanciale from Boccalone, and crispy pork belly on the right.


What’s breakfast without mimosas? SFG knows my affinity towards the bubbly.


My favorite egg dish: spaghetti alla carbonara. For breakfast. Hey, it’s eggs and guanciale, so why not?


A Kaffir lime tree cries in pain: please stop picking my leaves for cooking so I can fruit more!!!
(If you know outside which SF restaurant this tree resides, I’ll buy you dessert from said restaurant.)


Possibly my new favorite oysters: Miyagi (there are some Malpeques on there… or Blue Points… as well, but who cares? Miyagi!!!).


A snack from Bi-Rite Creamery (salted caramel ice cream in a cone) before heading back to cook dinner. Well, to watch SFG cook dinner, I’m not that helpful in the kitchen.


Tell a classically trained chef you want a salad, and this is what you get: red&green romaine, figs, burrata and persimmons. Absolutely delicious, but not quite what I had in mind.

Buvette (the yummy “crust”/ring part of a rib eye) atop red wine braised purple cabbage, with figs and assorted goodies.


…. and then, left to my own devices, a real salad: purple cabbage, toasted walnuts, grapes, Asian pear, and a bit of cheese.


Dinner after service one night: pasta with a bunch of mishmash.


I was told Boulette’s Larder has the best canele anywhere. They were good. I have no further comment.

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Dungeness crab with garlic butter and garlic fries at Crabhouse at Pier 39.


Chilly day. I walked to Ghirardelli Square for a salted caramel hot chocolate. Too much salt, surprisingly, and still too sticky sweet.


A night in watching the SF Giants in the World Series. Root beer and bourbon? Um, yeah…

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My turn to make a late night bite after service: Dungeness crab pasta with tomatoes.
I plated the first one; then I was showed how to properly plate strand pastas.


Early morning walk to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market on a Thursday found us grabbing a Roli Roti sandwich and frankaroni (fried mac&cheese with hot dogs) from 4505 Meats.

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Dry AND wet fried chicken from San Tung. The dry was much better. Oh, and my fortune, which ironically caused me to “translate” it to read: “you like ugly things” ๐Ÿ˜‰


Bought a pint of coffee toffee from Bi-Rite Creamery. So good! I ate almost all of it before I remembered I was supposed to share.


A mish mash of leftovers from cooking together, for my lunch one day.


Plum frangipane tart from Mission Pie.


Birthday morning breakfast by the chef: persimmon and figs topped with poached egg.


Birthday lunch! Find out more about it tomorrow.

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Birthday wine tasting at Copain! Beautiful grounds.


Waking up the morning after to this still brought a smile to my face.


The truck parked in front of Fremont Diner. Note the driver.


I wasn’t feeling well when we returned from Napa/Sonoma, so SFG made me a carby, stewy dish as requested. Hit the spot – Basque style chicken. Yum!


I’m not sure I’ll ever get over this – it’s hard to find Barilla out there, and when I do find it, it’s regularly $2 or more for a pound! What the heck! And dried pasta in general is super expensive. Ugh.

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I saw this stand inside the Ferry Building one Thursday morning and snagged a cannoli shaped donut with lemon creme. It was chewy and perfect, so good that I went back a few days later and got a pistachio creme filled one. Also good, but I preferred the lemon creme one.


Ken Ken Ramen on a Wednesday; they only had tonkotsu so I didn’t get to try the shio (they’re only open 4 days a week!). Sufficient, but that egg was probably one of the best ramen eggs I’ve ever had. Seriously – so creamy, so good, so perfectly that shade of cooked…


Another Roli Roti sandwich. Because I can.


Dynamo Donuts – maple bacon apple cider donuts. I’d wanted the sea salt caramel ones, but they were out – so the really nice guy working gave me two maple bacon for the price of one when I sadfaced.


Banh mi thit pate from Saigon Sandwich. And again. One more.


This furball followed me everywhere.


Oxtail stew in the style of regular beef stew, served with a baked potato and topped with creme fraiche.


For a friend’s birthday dinner, hit up Lers Ros. Terrible photo of the first of the goodies; everything we ate was delicious.

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Breakfast one morning, I checked out Gott’s Roadside at the Ferry Building. Fried chicken on a biscuit with jalapeno cheese eggs and whatnot – pretty pretty good. Too much biscuit.


Told you, furball followed me EVERYWHERE. He climbed up into my lap repeatedly. I’M ALLERGIC.


Leftover oxtail stew in the cup, topped with creme fraiche, a baked potato also with creme fraiche, and a big pile of roasted Brussels sprouts from the farmer’s market.


Breakfast by the chef: sunny side up over potatoes and guanciale, some porcini sausage from Boccalone.

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My last full day in SF, I saw these shirts at Target. My trip had already been extended by a week due to Superstorm Sandy, so I was feeling a lot like the first shirt. The second shirt just surprised me because I don’t recall seeing pigeons in SF… that’s like, a NYC thing. To me it is anyway.


You haven’t lived till you’ve seen a whole fluke be prepped and cleaned. That’s a lie. I could have lived the rest of my life never having seen this guy go through the process.

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My last dinner in SF: starter of my new favorite oysters, Miyagi, dressed simply with lemon. (There were more, I only took a picture of one.)
Homemade gnocchi with lobster, uni, radish, in a lobster uni sauce.
Fluke over blue grits alongside assorted roasted vegetables.
And the dessert was made by yours truly – yes, I made dessert for a super accomplished pastry chef, because I challenge myself like that (and it fell short) – roasted mini pumpkins with purple loosestrife honey panna cotta, topped with roasted pumpkin seeds. My first time working with gelatin sheets, and I used a touch too much, so it was a little firmer than I’d have liked. However, the flavor of the honey was really nice.


My last breakfast, made by the chef: pain au lait, greens topped with a poached egg and uni lobster sauce cum Hollandaise. DELICIOUS. (I asked if I could lick the plate. He didn’t turn around though so I didn’t.)

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So SFO has a yoga room apparently. I did not check it out. And the second, I guess I was more focused on taking a picture of the words as opposed to the actual set up, but it’s hands free (no handle) and I had to laugh as I’d actually brought a refillable bottle with me, and been disappointed on my way out to Minnesota, then SF, that I couldn’t find a freakin’ water fountain from which to fill my bottle. I wasn’t going to drink bathroom tap water, so the bottle stayed empty until I was at the apartment. But on my return trip home! SFO had this nifty thing, so I totally filled my bottle and enjoyed.

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Then, because I was upgraded to Virgin’s Main Cabin Select, I was able to enjoy all the snacks and food items (and alcohol!) for free. Do people really pay all that much extra for a few more inches of leg room and food? Because the people in my row weren’t really taking advantage of it. I admit I totally pigged out on snacks – Pringles, 365 Popcorn (which is really good), the snack boxes, a couple of mini bottles of Bombay Sapphire… and this salad with sad pears that was only sufficient because I really wanted raw veggies, and a “holiday” sandwich with turkey, cranberry spread, cheese, and stuffing that was alright, but had a lot of room for improvement. (One of the guys next to me had half a pb&j. That’s a menu item, yes, but I’m pretty sure it’s for little kids. And the guy next to him was drinking Bailey’s over ice. Like, whoa.) So I enjoyed Main Cabin Select, but I don’t know that I’d pay an extra $100+ to fly it.


The sun setting – I would say “and the approach back into JFK” but that’s a lie, because I landed close to midnight.

Hope you enjoyed getting a taste of the things I ate in SF over three weeks! Some of these places will be getting their own extended post. There’s a lot more SF eating posts to come! And tomorrow is the BIG one that you’ve ALL been waiting for… :)

Happy eating!

Beretta on Urbanspoon Boulette's Larder on Urbanspoon Bi-Rite Creamery and Bake Shop on Urbanspoon Crab House on Urbanspoon Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop on Urbanspoon Roli Roti on Urbanspoon 4505 Meats on Urbanspoon San Tung on Urbanspoon Mission Pie on Urbanspoon Ken Ken Ramen on Urbanspoon Dynamo Donuts & Coffee on Urbanspoon Saigon Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon Lers Ros Thai on Urbanspoon Gott's Roadside on Urbanspoon


  1. says

    That walnut orchard photo literally made me catch my breath. What a heavenly setting!! I STILL haven’t made it out there to SF–it’s on The List!

    • says

      I KNOW!!! The first thing I said when I saw it – and that isn’t even the best photo I took – was, “Oh my god, do you do weddings here? It’s GORGEOUS!” and they laughed. It’s a private orchard so I’d have to fancy talk the owners. Maaaaaaaaybe? Hahaha. They’d make a fortune!

  2. ellen says

    we stayed at sir francis, and that’s what we said.. hmm jello . the food looked delicious!!! love love. I was sooo hungry when we went to ad hoc..and that fried chicken was darned good to me. but i would say, i haven’t had that much fried chicken. don’t generally like fried anything.

    • says

      Haha yeah it looks just like Jello! Fried chicken is one of the dishes I’ve had so often and so many places that I’m comfortable ranking it… Addendum was good but not amazing, comparatively. Personal preference of course!

  3. beth grossman says

    where did you get food poisoning from; that event with the tastings? Thats why i hesitate to go to those type things; they usually don’t have proper refrigeration/handwashing.
    I can’t believe you ate raw oysters right after food poisoning.

    • says

      I went to Hops & Hominy after the tasting (and after a bar) and had fried chicken while incredibly inebriated. Upon examining my memory once I started getting sick, I realized that the fried chicken hadn’t been fully cooked and was the likely culprit of the illness. If memory serves, the raw oysters I had was a good 2 or 3 days later… and I wasn’t going to let a little food poisoning stop me from enjoying food when I could :)

      I’m surprised that you feel tasting events don’t have proper hygiene… they’re usually done by caterers and my experience with caterers has been that they are diligent about cleanliness. Not so much about keeping food hot or not overcooking meat, but cleanliness, yes. :)

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