Ooh, my favorite!

Happy holiday weekend!
September 3, 2010, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Food, Restaurants, San Francisco

Bruschette of fava bean & pecorino – one of many dishes from Beretta last night

It’s a holiday weekend! I hope you have some great plans with friends and family ahead of you; perhaps enjoying the last bit of summer with a barbecue or picnic.

My crazy awesome younger brother and his sweetheart are here to visit us this weekend and I have been dying in anticipation for the past month. As usual we have quite an itinerary of eating excursions. It started last night at Beretta where we had the fava bean bruschetta above (lots of other pics coming soon), but the pinnacle will be the Grand Tasting at Manresa on Saturday evening.

Like me, my brother has become quite a foodie. I think I may be partly to blame for this as I introduced him to some sort of a pork belly foie dish at Coco 500 a few years ago. I don’t remember the dish exactly, but I think that may have been the turning point for him. Sadly, since he’s in Seattle we don’t get to eat together very often, so I’m positively giddy thinking about being with him for his first tasting experience. (This will also me my Lova’s first tasting so I’ve been bouncing off the walls at the thought of having him with me. Really three of my favorite people are here with me and I’m just so happy – if only mom and dad were here, then it would be complete.

SF Street Food Festival
August 24, 2010, 9:01 am
Filed under: Food, Green, Restaurants, San Francisco

The second annual SF Street Food Festival was this past Saturday, and as promised we stopped by to sample some small bites from some of the city’s most popular restaurants and street food vendors. We had a really nice time. The weather was a little gloomy but it was a nice way to spend a lazy Saturday morning. Since we got there early (around 11:30) we were able to stroll around without too much hassle from the crowds.

After about an hour it got a little crazy and it became really hard to navigate through the lines. Fortunately by that time we’d had our fill of snacks, so we hit the road and went up the street to Beretta for a relaxing lunch.  It was fitting because Beretta had one of our favorite snacks and drinks.

Here’s a peek at our what we got into at the festival:

Beretta – Spicy marinara pork slider and ginger, lime soda

So good. Tender and flavorful slider with the most amazing soda ever. I’m so inspired to start making my own summer spritzers now.

Flour & Water – sausage and white beans, melon proscuitto salad

Surprisingly Flour & Water had a nice little menu. Definitely what I would consider one of the city’s most overrated restaurants, they did step out with a nice housemand sausage and melon salad.

Hapa Ramen

This was our first stop to try to warm up a bit. It was a nice broth with some tender pieces of pork but the noodles were not great.

La Mar – ceviche

Clean and nice!

Kung fu tacos
Overrated! Just didn’t get it. Korean flavors served on a corn tortilla. No thanks. Gimme one or the other, Mexican or Korean.

Perhaps one of my favorite things about the festival was that nearly every container and utensil was compostable – barely any plastic used at all. There were stations like the one above set-up throughout the area and many of them had people on hand to help make sure you were placing your garbage in the right container. So cool!

Happy Friday!
August 20, 2010, 2:22 pm
Filed under: Food, San Francisco

Welcome to the weekend! Another crazy work week winds-down and I couldn’t be more excited. Tomorrow we’ll be making our way out to the San Francisco Street Food Festival. Not excited about the impending crowds, but my hesitations are completely trumped by my enthusiasm for the culinary delights that will be served by over 50 vendors for $8 and under!

After reading that last sentence I realize that I may be a bit too excited; you see, I’ve been let down by events like this before. Perhaps I should put myself in check but remain cautiously optimistic – just in case, right?

So that is my sexy event for the weekend. What will you be up to?

Pizzeria Picco
August 16, 2010, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Food, Restaurants, San Francisco

Not the greatest pictures (from my phone) but I had to share because we had quite a lovely Sunday, complete with the most awesome dessert I’ve had in a while.

A trip out to Larkspur to visit our friend Dom quickly turned into a lunch date when I realized Pizzeria Picco was right down the street. Foodie Friend Brian had been talking about this place for a while, but I just hadn’t had the chance to make my way up north until yesterday.

It was a beautiful day and the pizza was great! Oh how I love wood fired pizza. (For my Seattle friends, it was very similar to Tutta Bella. But only the Columbia City location, not the others which are just not as good.) I was so busy eating that I didn’t take pics of the watermelon feta salad, or the burrata beet crostini, or the bacon braised kale pizza. I did however remember to take a pic of the tiny remaining pieces of the margherita pizza with calabrian chilis on the side.

I had been eyeing the dessert menu before we even left the house, and was especially intrigued by one of their specialties: organic Straus Dairy soft serve ice cream drizzled with DaVero extra virgin olive oil topped with a light sprinkling of sea salt. I was all set to order when this magically appeared after a mix-up on a different order. What a happy coincidence!

The ice cream was wonderfully smooth but also had the perfect amount of bite; I could almost chew it and that was a beautiful thing. The sweet and savory flavors were perfect: the olive oil was silky and fragrant and the granules of sea salt offered a bit of crunch and a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the ice cream. Ah, so happy!

Another lovely weekend come and gone…I can’t believe it’s Monday again.

Happy Friday!
July 9, 2010, 12:48 pm
Filed under: San Francisco

Market Street, downtown San Francisco

Welcome to the weekend friends. I hope you have some lovely plans ahead of you. My Seattle friends are enjoying quite the heat wave, and I must admit that I’m just a tad jealous.

I’ll be bopping around downtown and over in Berkeley this weekend. My dearest foodie friend Brian is moving away in the next few weeks, so we’re packing in as much eating as possible before he’s gone. I’m completely devastated but at least he’s going out with a bang. I’ll be sure to share anything juicy with you. TTFN, ta ta for now.

[image via sideshowbob]

Dear Zuni Cafe,
July 1, 2010, 6:51 am
Filed under: Restaurants, San Francisco

I have been a loyal patron of your restaurant since my first trip nearly two years ago. With every friend or family member I have visiting I have raved about your wonderfully juicy and succulent chicken, and assured them that the $50 price tag and the hour wait is well worth it; and indeed it was.

While each of my visits has been a success with my guests, it is only because the chicken has rescued the day. I cannot help but feel that your staff truly believes that they are doing me and my visitors a favor by allowing us to dine in your establishment, and that I should be grateful to have gotten a table (even with a resevation.) Growing up in the restaurant industry I was taught that a patron is a guest, is a friend, is a partner. At Zuni Cafe, we are often treated as a bother, as a nuissance, as a drag.

I regret to say that after my eighth and final visit the chicken could not rescue the day. I understand that you’re a San Francisco institution, but I can no longer look past the lackluster menu, under-seasoned appetizers, soups, and salads, and the cold and insincere service. I have the chicken recipe, and I’ve made it at home several times. I will continue to rave about your chicken, but only the one I make at home with all of the love that’s missing when I walk through your doors.



June 15, 2010, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Gift guide, San Francisco

Do you remember walking into the toy store when you were young, and the wave of euphoria that would come over you as you eyed the zillions of potential items you’d have to first test out, and then decide which you wanted to persuade mom and dad to take home with you? I haven’t felt that way forever, and I’d kind of forgotten about that feeling until we went for a little Sunday trip to Japantown’s New People center.

New People is a gorgeous glass front, three story building in the heart of Japantown that boasts all things J-Pop–and not just the typical kitschy trinkets you often associate with Japanese  culture–but really cool and interesting toys that you won’t find just anywhere.

The building hosts a cinema that screens contemporary Japanese films, a small cafe serving Blue Bottle Coffee and Delica snacks, a retail space with Gothic Lolita and other Harajuku-style clothing and accessories, and the New People Store, which is where I had my flashback. Now that I think back, my sweetie and I must have looked insane, or maybe I’d even venture to say rabid with giddiness. We’d each go our separate way for a minute, then attempt to casually stroll back (when what I really wanted to do was run) to take turns showing each other what we’d found. We did this for a good hour.

One of the toys that caught my eye was the Aerobase “micro MUSEUM series” models that you assemble from pre-cut parts on a sheet of paper or metal.  They’re tiny, tiny but so cool. The perfect gift for model lovers, but it’d really be a great little project for anyone since not all of the kits are super intense.

Image via New People

Image via Aerobase

I was dying to sneak in a few pics, but they’re pretty explicit about cameras in the stores. (The packaging on some of the stuff was gorgeous!) It would have been a bit overwhelming anyway, I would have left with a ton of pics, and of course not being able to pick a few, I probably would have posted them all. Really, there was that much cool stuff! In the end, here’s a pic of the goody bag we took home. We really did a good job in practicing restraint and left with a few gifts for friends.

Our goody bag!

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