Two back-to-back travel posts tells you two things - 1) I've been a busy girl and 2) I haven't been able to dream up exciting new recipes. BUT, that also means I'm getting inspired left and right from the delicious new things I've tried, so I can't wait to get cooking and sharing this month.
If you remember my trip to Seattle a few years ago, you'll know that when Luke and I travel, it's all about the food. San Francisco was certainly no exception! This trip was hastily planned (about 1 week in advance!) so we were at the mercy of our friends in SF (or those who used to live there) to give us some great recommendations to get us started. They delivered! Below are a few of the highlights:
|Pardon the Instagram pic!|
I was in SF 2 days before Luke, so I didn't want to wait to start the eating adventures. I visited Slanted Door after a loooong work day and sat myself at the bar for a treat. The bartender was SUPER helpful, and after explaining that I wanted to try a few things, he mentioned they could do half portions of most of the menu - score! I ordered up half of an Imperial Roll, which featured pulled pork and shrimp, served in a lettuce cup. So many delicious flavors and textures, I'd highly recommend it! Note that it's extremely messy to eat, so consider yourself warned :)
After a failed attempt to go to the recommended Mama's (the line was SUPER long, especially for a Thursday morning!), we walked across the street to Cafe Divine. What a lovely little cafe in the Italian neighborhood of SF (another surprise, I didn't know they had such a thriving Italian community). I ordered the chai latte and waffles. But not just any waffles - they had bacon, cheddar and chives on top. The waffle wasn't belgian style, which was nice for a change, and they had a lovely crunch. Very filling, but very delicious.
Several people recommended this spot, so Luke and I went preparing ourselves for a long wait followed by delicious food. Wait we did, but it was worth it. The hostess was lovely and kept the wine coming while we waited, and then we sat at the bar and enjoyed the company of those left and right of us along with a phenomenal bartender. The pizza looked amazing, but we couldn't resist ordering the 7 course tasting menu. All of their pastas are made in-house, and we weren't disappointed.
|Great view of the kitchen at the bar|
It wouldn't be a trip to the coast without some sushi! We visited the Osaka in the Castro neighborhood, which had such a fun vibe. I was surprised by the over-the-top rolls, but quickly got over that and chowed down :) If you like simple sushi, this isnt' for you. If you like a mix of textures and tastes, definitely go here!
Visiting Napa was the top of my list, but I wanted to do it as easily and affordably as possible, while also trying as many wines as I could - a tall order! After weighing our options, we went the uber-tourist route and did a shuttle tour with Wine Country Tour Shuttle. Our favorite winery of the day was V. Sattui, which had a huge menu to taste from along with a lovely deli and cheese counter so you could assemble your own picnic to enjoy on their grounds. Luke was also a big fan of the Andretti winery - and not just because it's owned by a famous ex race car driver!
|Cheese counter at V. Sattui|
|Enjoying the vineyard at Andretti|
Located in the heart of the Haight area, this was a fun spot to visit. Not only are their beers spot-on (the Sarah's Ruby Mild was flavorful but not too heavy) but their pub-fare was responsibly sourced and delicious. Highlights included the Devil-on-horseback (bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with cheese) and the chorizo sausage over baked beans and a fried egg.
Come here for the breakfast pizza! The crust is perfectly cooked, and it's topped with gruyere, ham and 2 eggs. We also added on truffle oil for a special something (I think it needed it). Things to skip - the breakfast cocktails. $9 for a mimosa is too steep for this Austin gal!
|Be sure to add the truffle oil!|
|Loved all the colors at the market|
Like any good Austin foodie (or any foodie for that matter), I love visiting local markets to see what produce thrives in that area and meet the growers. This is bar far the BIGGEST and COOLEST market I've ever been to. So many vendors crammed in side-by-side, all with the freshest produce possible. And since it's California, the variety is insane. I was on sensory overload and got lots of great tastes, and I hope to come back here some day with a kitchen nearby so I can really shop my heart out :)
|Luke enjoying our peach from the farmers market after a bike ride up to the Golden Gate bridge|