My kind of Sunday

There are few things I enjoy more on Sundays than having a huge meal and then being a lazy ass the rest of the day because of it. I mean, that’s what brunch is all about for me. Get together with friends, eat enough breakfast food to make up for all the breakfasts-on-the-run during the week, drink too many mimosas and Bloody Marys, and then head back home to do my best Jabba the Hutt impersonation. That’s Sunday bliss right there.

While it wasn’t brunch but instead a late lunch that turned early dinner (so, dunch you might call it), that’s pretty much how my Sunday turned out last week. A friend/coworker who’s way more in the know than I am about San Francisco’s million and one great places to eat suggested we go to  Suppenküche, a German restaurant in the Hayes Valley. I, of course, am always down for A.) food with friends, B.) eating somewhere I’ve never been, and C.) German grub, which as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of. Continue reading

Morning at the farmers market

The Ferry Building is fast becoming one of my favorite places to hang out in San Francisco. With all the great food and interesting places to eat and shop, all under one roof, I have yet to get tired of going. Since I’ve been here I’ve gone at least once a week, sometimes twice. When I woke up yesterday morning, I knew that’s where I’d be heading first during my Saturday wanderings around town. The reason: Saturday’s Farmers Market.

I originally went for something specific, but when I got there it turned out the vendor I was looking for wasn’t there this week. At first I was upset because I’d walked all the way over there for nothing but once I started looking around at all the other stuff there I was glad I came. Fresh produce, baked goods, cheese and meat products—everything regional, straight from the farm, and most of it organic.

Everything looked incredible but I was particularly blown away by the fruits and vegetables. It was like I was seeing them for the first time. Had peaches always been this big and round, the color of a fiery sunset? Definitely not the tough, dinky ones I bought at shitty supermarkets in New York.

Continue reading

I love it when you call me Beard Papa’s


Beard Papa's cream puff

When people say “You’ve got to try this” I seldom argue, especially if it’s in a city they know better than I do. And since I’m very much still getting my bearings around San Francisco, exploring neighborhoods, reading up on local foodie hotspots and eating my way around town, I’m very much open to any suggestions people have. When a friend said I had to have one of the cream puffs he bought from Beard Papa’s there wasn’t a whole lot of arguing on my end. Continue reading

Sandwich love

I’m not what you’d call a hopeless romantic but if there’s one thing I believe in, it’s love at first bite.

This weekend, sitting on a bench at the pier, with the warm sun on my face and a cool breeze blowing through my hair, I absolutely fell head-over-heels in love the moment I bit into a sandwich from Il Cane Rosso, a small sandwich shop and rotisserie in San Francisco’s Ferry Building. It was one of those moments straight out of a movie. Time slowed down and I got all googley eyed as little cartoon hearts burst out of my head. Birds were chirping and there might’ve even been a full orchestra playing. But I couldn’t tell you what else was happening in the world around me because all I had eyes for was the beautiful and ridiculously delicious half of a sandwich I was holding in my hands, the other half still wrapped in brown paper next to me.

Beef brisket sandwich from Il Cane Rosso

Beef brisket sandwich, this is me professing my love to you. Where have you been all my life? Continue reading

Sandwich and chips… in bar form

I wasn’t specifically looking for something to continue last week’s over-the-top sugar rush supermarket finds, but that’s just kind of what happened while I was waiting in line at Trader Joe’s this weekend. There I was, minding my business, patiently waiting while the lady in front of me slowly unloaded the entire contents of the Trader Joe’s produce section out of her shopping cart, when I saw it sitting on a shelf in the checkout lane: PB & J Bar.

The name, the bright colors, the contents... I was sold.

Say whaaat? I love peanut butter and jelly. What is this about a bar?

I picked up the bright magenta box and examined it, turning it over in my hand to see what was in this crazy thing.

“PB & J are sandwiched between milk and dark chocolate then sprinkled with potato chips,” the box told me.Holy mother of candy bars…”Potato chips? Yes, crisp delicious potato chips,” continued the box, answering my thoughts. “This means you have it all— sweet and salty, smooth and crunchy. Lucky you.”

Lucky me indeed, I thought, throwing it in my basket.

I didn’t even wait till i got home. The weather was sunny and warm (for a change—it’s been unseasonably cold here in San Francisco) so I just ripped into it while I walked. It was a pretty plain looking dark chocolate bar and even when I bit into it, all of the ingredients (peanut butter, raspberry jam, potato chips and milk chocolate) all kind of looked like they had been through a blender. It wasn’t until I really chewed the PB & J bar that I could make out the individual flavors—the fruity tartness of the raspberry, the subtle bitterness of the dark chocolate, the hint of saltiness from the chips. It was interesting but not as crazy as the packaging might suggest. And the salty part, which is what really makes this bar unique, wasn’t as pronounced as I would have liked. Had I not known the potato chips were ground in there, I probably wouldn’t of suspected anything.

All in all, not bad. But I think I’ll stick to regular ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (sans potato chips) instead of the condensed bar form.

Recommendations from a crazy cabbie

Combination pizza from Golden Boy

To me there’s nothing new about crazy cab drivers. After growing up with a dad who once worked as one and then spending the last year of my life in New York, the world capital of lunatic cabbies, I’m hardly fazed by them. But taking food recommendations from one? Well that was new for me. Continue reading

Some sparkle with my sugar

Mini cupcakes from Kingdom Cake

I swear it’s not that I go looking for cupcakes. The cupcakes find me

Well no, I guess that’s not entirely true. I’ve definitely gone in search of cupcakes on many a lunch break or a Friday after work or on any other number of random occasions. BUT several times it’s happened that I’m not even thinking about them or about food at all (yes, it happens that I sometimes think about other things), when all of a sudden I bump into some new place that I just have to stop at and check out.  Because as the old adage goes, don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today, right? (Ok, so maybe that’s not what it was referring to but I’m applying it here anyway.) Continue reading

A fungus among us

Mushrooms, so many mushrooms!

Some people like them, some people hate them and others don’t really care either way, but I fall squarely into the group that absolutely loves them: mushrooms. My love for these earthy fungi goes all the way back to childhood. When other kids screamed pepperoni at parents and teachers who asked what topping to get for pizza parties, I was usually the only one to quietly suggest mushrooms instead.

While meandering through the Ferry Building Marketplace I came across the perfect place to revel in my love for mushrooms: Far West Fungi, a small shop dedicated to all things fungal and edible. Continue reading

Sweet magic

I was roaming around Whole Foods looking for a snack when something caught my eye. Sitting among individually wrapped brownies, cookies and other baked sweets was something labeled “Magic Bar.”

Memories of a college visit to Amsterdam immediately resurfaced in my head. But no, it wasn’t like that. San Francisco may be stoner friendly, but they’re not exactly selling pot brownies in the Whole Foods bakery section yet.

Abracadabra! Magic Bar!

It looked like a blondie and I was amused enough by the name to want to try it. After buying it, peeling off the plastic wrap and biting into it, I quickly realized what the “magic” was here—an intense sugar rush. In between bites, I turned the chunky square over in my hand, counting at all the different ingredients. Cookie crust, graham cracker, coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts, caramel and possibly even sweetened condensed milk.

I think a lot of people would find this Magic Bar sickeningly sweet and somewhat excessive. The sugar content wasn’t listed (Thank God. In this case, ignorance is absolutely bliss) but I’m willing to bet it was astronomical. But with a sweet tooth like mine, this candyish baked treat was nothing but pure magic.

And finally, a burrito

Starting off the weekend with a burrito and a beer

In California, or more specifically as it relates to my story, in San Francisco, there’s a lot of talk of amazing Mexican food.  The word best gets used pretty frequently. The best burrito, the best taqueria, the best this, the best that.

So naturally, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. After consulting a few food blogs and other websites, some SF locals, and my handy dandy Lonely Planet guidebook, the name I kept getting was La Taqueria. Other places popped up here and there but none with the same frequency or hardcore following as La Taqueria.

“Best Mexican in the Mission!”

“Their burritos are incredible!”

“Ohmygod my favorite!”

When a friend from New York came into town for the weekend and suggested burritos, La Taqueria was an obvious choice since she’d also heard it was a must on the San Francisco food circuit. Continue reading