Last week we met some friends in San Francisco/Sonoma for a little vacation. I'd say we spent most of our time walking and eating. Here's a (long) recap of our food adventure!
Our first day was mainly spent traveling, but that evening we got in some good food. We visited The Stinking Rose for dinner. I like that their tag line is "We Season Our Garlic With Food." We started out with the bagna calda or "garlic soaking in a hot tub." It had been cooked to a soft texture and was genuinely delicious when mushed on some of the provided bread.
Jeff decided on the meatloaf for his entrée. He thought it had a good garlic flavor and was a good meatloaf. I chose the garlic braised boneless short ribs for my entrée. They were just the right amount of garlic for my taste and they were cooked to the point I didn't need anything but a fork. The mashed potatoes were also a great texture and I enjoyed eating them since we were off keto for the week.
After dinner we wandered around Nob Hill to find dessert. I ended up with a tiramisu gelato from Alimento and Jeff had a cream horn from the bakery next door. Both hit the post-dinner sweet spot superbly.
We walked from our hotel near Fisherman's Wharf all the way over to Dynamo Donuts in the Marina. We had a bacon maple apple donut, an orange ginger donut(not pictured), and a latte. I enjoyed the maple bacon apple donut. I think the addition of apple was a welcome change from the usual maple bacon. My favorite part of this meal was the latte. I'm no coffee expert, but it might have been the most creamy and otherwise delicious latte ever. I didn't sample the orange ginger donut, but Jeff approved of it.
We stopped at the Blue Mermaid Chowder House for a light lunch since we had a food tour scheduled for later in the afternoon. We started with a seafood platter which had a nice variety of tasty seafood. I saw the crab roll on the menu and had to order it. All in all, it was exactly what I expected in a crab roll. We also sampled the chowders(not pictured). They were probably my favorite part of this meal since it's not often you can eat so many different kinds of chowders in one meal.
Later in the afternoon we went on the North Beach food tour from Explore San Francisco. Our first stop was Café Maccaroni where they served a tasty pasta dish called puttanesca.
Our next stop was possibly my favorite of the whole tour. We had a delicious cannoli from Cavalli Café. Just thinking about it makes me want to hop a plane back to SF to get one.
Our tour guide thought it was necessary to point out pizza other than the well known (and expensive) Tony's, so he took us to Golden Boy Pizza. I'm more of a thin/hand tossed crust person and this pizza's crust was a little too thick for my liking. I will admit I enjoyed being able to watch the pizzas come together, though.
We were too stuffed after the food tour to have dinner, so we headed over to Ghirardelli Square for ice cream instead. We split a cookie bottom sundae and a drinking chocolate. It was just as sweet, creamy, and delicious as the last time we visited in 2008.
We started out with breakfast at the Black Point Café. I had a chocolate croissant and a dirty chai. I also discovered I've been drinking dirty chai for years without even knowing it. Jeff had a breakfast burrito and "bees in the trees." I'm still not sure what a "bees in the trees" is, but he liked it.
We hit up some food trucks for lunch. This is a barbecue sandwich from KoJa Kitchen. I wasn't crazy about the bread, but the barbecue was quite good. I also really enjoyed the steamed pork belly buns, miso buns, and bao chips from Chairman Bao food truck. The chips were probably my favorite for their saltiness.
We had sushi for dinner at Zushi Puzzle. We started with fried soft shell crab. I can't go anywhere without ordering it and it definitely didn't disappoint here. We ordered several rolls, all of which were fresh and tasty.
We also ordered the omakase for four. I was quite pleased with the variety of fish we received since it included fish from as far as Italy as well as fish from Hawaii. Jeff couldn't leave without ordering some monkfish liver nigiri either.
To finish our day, we ended up at Ghirardelli Square again. I had the same cookie bottom sundae, but Jeff had strawberry ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle bowl. It was quite delicious also.
The next morning we tried a breakfast spot recommended by our food tour guide called Mama's on Washington Square. It's one of those places people line up to get into an hour before it opens. We were lucky enough to get the last table of the first seating. I went classic with buttermilk pancakes. They were wonderful. Jeff had a sausage and pepper omelette. I didn't try it since I'm not very fond of eggs, but he said it was tasty. He also enjoyed the homemade jam.
After breakfast we stopped by the Liguria Bakery across the street again on recommendation from our food tour guide. This was possibly the single best decision we made the whole trip. It's a hole in the wall bakery that sells several different kind of focaccia. We bought rosemary garlic and green onion. Both were amazing, but I'd make a trip back just to pick up more green onion it was so great. I realize this picture doesn't do them justice since it looks like bread in a bag, but we were too busy stuffing our faces to be bothered with picture taking.
That afternoon we headed over to the Ferry Building and ate our way through it as well. Our first stop was Boccalone to get a salumi cone. I can't say I've ever seen something like this before, but it tasted great and I liked that there was enough for the two of us to share. We also got a fried chicken sandwich with an egg on top, but I can't remember where we got it. It had a bit too much fennel for my liking, but it was otherwise exactly the type of fried goodness I was craving. Finally we hit up another stand for lemon and chocolate filled cannoli style donuts.
We split dinner between two different restaurants. We never miss In N Out Burger when we're near one, so we had burgers and fries. I'm not sure why I find them so enjoyable. Next we headed over to The Codmother Fish & Chips which was recommended by our cool hop on hop off tour guide, Chris. Jeff said the fish was as good as our tour guide made it out to be and I liked the "chips." They also offered deep fried food as dessert. I tried to get a deep fried Twinkie, but given the Hostess bankruptcy they didn't have any. I went with deep fried oreos instead. They were a wonderful combination of sweet and fried goodness.
We left the city headed for Napa and Sonoma. Our first food stop was V Sattui Winery in St. Helena. They were having a barbecue for Mother's Day so we decided to sample the food as well as the wine. Jeff got jalapeno poppers. I got really excited when I saw the brick oven since I hadn't had real pizza since going on keto in January. I ordered a pepperoni pizza and I was extremely happy with it. The crust was fluffy and a little crunchy, the pepperoni was abundant, and the cheese was just right. My delight ended when a bird overhead pooped on the last piece. Birds can be so rude! Jeff was excited to find a porcetta sandwich on the menu. The meat was delicious, but there was a bit too much bread.
We visited The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma for dinner. We started with grass-fed steak tartare. This was my first time having it and I thought it was pretty good. I expected the steak to have a gross texture, but it seemed exactly the same as it would be if you touched a raw piece of steak with your hand. The only part of the dish I didn't enjoy was the capers. Jeff opted for the duck confit for his entrée. He offered me a bite and it was fantastic. I was apparently feeling super adventurous and had the duck egg raviolo. It was different, but delicious. Essentially it was a fried duck egg covered in a sheet of pasta with some veggies. I was surprised about how tasty it was, especially since I dislike eggs.
We split a bacon bourbon with a hint of orange juice. I'm not really into bourbon, but this was so tasty with the hint of orange juice. I also loved the piece of bacon as garnish. We overdid it on dessert(and apparently couldn't be bothered to stop eating for pictures). We had: profiteroles, chocolate caramel tart, and vanilla pound cake. My favorite was the tart because, well, who doesn't like chocolate?
We had breakfast at the hotel before heading out to the airport. I realize hotel breakfasts are typically nothing fancy, but I was super impressed with this pancake machine. I'm not sure why, but I find it amazing that I can push a button and less than a minute later it pops out a pancake. It was even decent tasting!
Surprisingly, we didn't gain 20 pounds in less than a week. All in all a great trip with good friend and fabulous food. I can't wait to go back and have more delicious eats!