I made a quick trip to San Francisco a few months ago and managed to cram in some serious eating within just a few days. This was my second time to visit the Bay Area and I still have yet to encounter a bad meal out there. We made the rounds to Bar Tartine, Frances, Scream, and, of course, Blue Bottle. You simply can’t make me pick a favorite bite, but these snapshots offer a glimpse at the highlights.
1. & 2. STATE BIRD PROVISIONS. This place has been topping national “best-of” lists for over a year now, and I can honestly say it lives up to the hipe. I won’t go into too much detail about what we ate here – because, honestly, what didn’t we eat? Some items can be ordered a-la-carte, while the majority of small dishes are passed through the dining area on a custom dim sum cart. The desserts were totally up my alley – maintaining simplicity while showing a restrained creative edge. The strawberry granita with poached persimmons and tapioca was simultaneously comforting and refreshing while the peanut muscovado milk needs to be packaged into a keg and put on tap in my house. Now.
3. BOULETTE’S LARDER. I just love every single thing about this place. The commingling kitchen and dining area. The copper pots. The ever-changing menu. The owner’s enormous Hungarian Puli asleep under my table. The crunchy, custardy canale. The pistachio macaroon. Every. Single. Thing.
4. NAMU. It may be a tourist mecca, but I can’t avoid eating at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. This time around, I hit up a Korean/Japanese stand and snagged an awesome “taco” complete with kimchee and a seaweed wrap.
5. GOLDEN GATE FORTUNE COOKIE FACTORY. I honestly had no idea people were still making fortune cookies by hand. Loe and behold, they are doing so in a tiny alleyway factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The alluring smell will lead you there from blocks way.
6. MARIPOSA BAKING CO. We’ve being doing loads of recipe testing over here in preparation to add gluten-free items to our menu. Of course, plenty of “research” is also required, so I was thrilled to stumble upon this entirely gluten free bakery dishing out everything from bread and bagels to pies and pop tarts. Baking sans wheat can be tricky, but these folks were good enough to bring me back twice.