Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Travel: Snacking for the Soul Around San Francisco

As you might have all heard that San Francisco is a food haven? I completely agree to that statement. Also don't miss out on walking around as you never know what cool shops you might find. Though this time round I didn't get to try as much various type of cuisine as I have hoped, nevertheless I did eat to my heart content. My palate has been "teased" with various flavours, be it savoury or sweet. Don't think I would ever be able to settle for something less. LOL..
First stop, Warren Pears. Boy..oh! boy.. I couldn't stop thinking about these bad boys till right now. From my very first bite into them at the Foodbuzz Tasting Pavilion; where the oh! so sweet, juiciness and squidgy firmness of the pear still lingers in my mind and mouth till this very day. I actually went to a supermarket and bought a couple more to devour in these lovely pears. The only sad thing, is that they do not ship the Warren Pears internationally [sigh..] Hopefully they will one day and the cost wouldn't kill me.

Next, to something more savoury. Perhaps a typical American staple food I would say. But..but.. it's just so sinful and delish that I believe I could definitely go back the next day and have another. What is this? Do I sense some guess? If you guess it to be the Hamburger, you are absolutely right!
In and Out: Double Cheese Burger
Bonnie came over and took me out for a late night supper. She brought me to In and Out Burger. Oh yeah! it's going IN alright and not coming out. I will have to let you know that I am not use to late night supper but since I am on a vacation, I couldn't care-less about all those calories or thoughts like"oh! will that add more bulk to my hips?!?" I just know that it was so good that I clearly told Bonnie that I am not sharing the burger with her. But I did share my fries and soda. Okay, I had the Double Cheeseburger, and my friends; though I know America is a fast food nation, and how fast is this food prepared a not, I have not seen myself devour a hamburger that fast. The smokey-ness of the char grilled beef pati, topped with pickle, shredded lettuce, thinly sliced big red onion, melted cheese, their secret sauce and sandwiched in between fresh juicy burger buns was delightful. Did I mentioned I had this Double Cheeseburger at 11:30pm? So now you know.
Mitchell's Ice Cream
Hmm.. what's next or should I say before the Hamburger? Bonnie and I decided to switch things around just for fun. Instead of ending the meal with dessert, we started our hunt of late night supper with dessert. I could still recall, that night was pretty chilly and the crazy two of us went to Mitchell's ice-cream parlour. What can I say.. I am a sucker for desserts and I was after all craving for some good ol' ice-cream. If you asked me now, I believe I had the Chocolate Caramel Crackle and Butterscotch Marble and the combo if I say so myself, is absolute winner. Some crunch in the ultra rich creamy soft ice-cream gives that perfect balance of texture don't you think? If you are a traveller like myself, don't be shy to ask to try all their flavours. When I saw Dulce de Leche, I definitely tasted that one, and it was just so good. Slightly salty-sweet burnt caramel. Yummmm.. yummmm......
Chocolate and White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice-cream
Another ice-cream that is a must try or to be in your to-do list is Bi-Rite Creamery. I first took note of them while I was watching the Food Network channel back home and there was this lady who swears by their Sam's sundae from Bi-Rite Creamery. Since then, I knew this is one ice-cream parlour that I ought to check out while visiting San Francisco. Bi-Rite Creamery is on 18th on Guerrero Street. So it's perfect, cause there are more good food on this street.While I am not so adventurous to try Sam's Sundae, as you are to drizzle fruity olive oil over the rich chocolate ice-cream, I chose a safer route to something I know I will enjoy as much. Now why is the ice-cream so good? They use Strauss Cream to make their ice-cream and all their ice-cream is made fresh on their premises. Naturally I went with the classic flavours which are Chocolate and White Chocolate Raspberry swirl ice-cream. I really love how the Chocolate ice-cream is semi-bittersweet, rich and creamy and the raspberry add that extra zing into the lovely silky smooth which chocolate ice-cream. It came to my surprise that their ice-cream is not overly sweet. Perfect! Just how I like it.

Make sure to jot down this street peeps which is 18th on Guerrero Street. Apart from Bi-Rite Creamery, I felt like I hit a jackpot. Right across the street from Bi-Rite is Delfina and Pizzeria Defina, then on the same row of Defina right in the corner is Tartine Bakery and Cafe. If you love pastries, you must go to Tartine. Grab their eclairs or freshly baked butter croissant. It is flaky and really delish, and their eclair will satisfy your crave if you are in need of a choux-pastry, filled with fresh piped vanilla bean cream and coated in chocolate. You will notice that if you talk to any San Franciscan, these are some of the places named.
Since I am rekindling my fond memory on 18th Street, let me now show you what a great meal I had in Delfina. Delfina is a casual fine dining place, with a menu which I think they update on a monthly basis. I noticed on their menu, which is a piece of paper with all the good food listed, has a month and year printed on the top left corner. The restaurant is a little small and seating is close to one another and is usually full house [from what I heard]. So make sure to make a reservation before heading there. Luckily for Larissa and myself, we managed to get a seat since we just walked in without any prior reservation made before hand. Lucky us! Since there was only just the two of us, we decided to order 2 different main course and share them. The beauty is make sure to mention to your serving waiter/waitress of the day that you are sharing, so when they serve your dish, it would had been equally split between 2 people.

Big question.. what did we order? We ordered the Veal Raviolli with Citrus Sage Brown Butter Sauce and Roasted Liberty Duck. Let me see how should I put it down in words for you.
Veal Raviolli with Citrus Sage Brown Buttersauce
These little pockets maybe small, but they are filled in full on flavour. The filling which is a mixture of veal and possibly some pork, is just so tender and seasoned really well. The raviolli is cooked just to perfection and the sauce is absolutely divine. You cold taste the brown butter, lemon zest, and sage. It was so good that I think to satisfy my crave, I will need to at least have 20 of these little devils.
Roasted Liberty Duck
Well I never had the chance to cook duck breast. And if I ever have the chance, this is definitely one dish that I would love to re-create. The duck breast is lean, and if over cooked, it will be rubbery and dry. However, this Roasted Liberty Duck is fantastic. The pomegranate sauce drizzled over this crackling juicy tender duck gives that extra zing. Makes it all light yet wholesome. You could just taste everything that is put into this dish. The balance of crunch from the slightly salted duck skin really gave it texture and topped with some fresh pomegranate, adds that little juicy pops. The combination of POM juice used is just brilliant. A classy dish indeed.

Lets continue walking together with me in my memories right now and another place to take note of is Union Street and Chestnut Street. From Japan town, walk two blocks towards Filmore Street and grab bus no. 22. While you are in the bus, absorb some of the view and look out for Union Street. There are some nick knack shops, small boutiques and if you are as crazy like me over Cream Puffs, then you are at the right place.
There are two little gems to check out while you are on Union Street. One being Pacific Cream Puff. This quaint little corner shop in blue, only specialises in Cream Puffs, or giant size profiteroles in my eyes anyway.Sadly I didn't take a photo of my Cream Puff, as I just couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it. By the time I was done, it hit me that I didn't snap a photo for you. No worries, I think the photos above is good enough. Be sure to pop over to get yourself some lovely piped fresh cream puffs if you're there. Yummm... [Why am I drooling while describing my food adventure to you? Oh! my.. I got to go home and make me some puffs.]

Another place I heard which was good and if you are into cuppies, is Take That Cake. It's along Union Street too. Not to despair, I have a cuppie prepared to share with you. See how much I go through to write this food journal for you [can you support me a little more now?..LOL]. Not complaining at all, since the walking burnt off pretty much what I ate before I hit the next stop [or so I thought..hmmmm]. The other cupcake shop I hunt down was Kara's Cupcakes on Scott Street .
Fleur De Sel
I never had cupcake as breakfast before, and let me tell you this is the first of such by myself. I walked in, and couldn't decide which to choose. So what's the hype over Kara's Cupcake? I think what I am drawn towards to is their light, fluffy and super moist cupcake. I think I could hear myself going.. mmmmMMmm..oooOOoooo...mmmMMMMMmm, and chomp away my cuppie. I chose Fleur De Sel. It's a chocolate cupcake with caramel filling, dark chocolate ganache frosting and fleur de sel. Sprinkled on top of the dark chocolate ganache frosting is some sea salt. What a perfect balance. It just tones down the ultra richness of the cupcake..finger licking good. It's pretty orgasmic.
Well, all good gastronomy do have to come to an end. After a long day of shopping and walking around along Chestnut Street, I thought of having tacos at first. Instead I walked in Pacific Catch. I am certain I made an absolute right choice at the end, because on my very last day in San Francisco, I went back there to grab my lunch since I know I will not be coming back anytime soon. I am sold by their idea of combining bold sauces, spices and cooking preparations of Asia, Latin America and Hawaii with local California ingredients to create a new kind of fish house. The end result, divine, delish and left me wanting for more.Needless to say, I am now hooked to their secret spicy rub covered sweet potato fries, and still crave for them. And they serve it with Jalapeno tartare sauce. One word, YuMMMMMmmmmie!!

I have to say though, my San Francisco gastronomy trip is coming to a close. But wait.. wait.. I am not done, because this is something that I think should be talked about solely on the next post and perfect to conclude my trip. So stay tune!



  1. Oh wow that ice cream is EPIS lol! Thanks for the post x

  2. It seems like you were able to try quite a lot of food while you are in SF! In-n-out is my kids' favorite burger and I take them as a prize once in a while. I love their milkshake. =) I can't wait to read your next post!

  3. What a nice post, Jo! Great looking at the photos of that very "tempting"food!:)) Looks like you enjoyed your stay very much!!!

  4. Oh, my....you found the most yummy spots to dine! Another great SF post~

    PS...I saw the beautiful fabric you gave Elisabeth on her blog...love it!

  5. Jo-I'm so glad that after I left you behind, in SF, that you totally had such an a amazing food adventure. You certainly found your way around the city, even taking the bus to get around.
    Love all the amazing food finds...the roasted Liberty duck looks magnificent, and those yummy cupcakes...no wonder you had one for breakfast, ha, ha, you are too much, didn't "miss a trick!"

  6. Mmmm I love food in San Francisco! You've mentioned some of my favorite spots as well as quite a few new ones I haven't visited! Oh man I could go for an in-n-out burger right now (and it's 9:30am!!!!!).

  7. I’m slowly working my way down to all the post I’ve been missing and I’m so happy I did. I didn’t want to miss out on the SF trip you took. The first thing I see is IN AND OUT Burger. OMG the memories…I love that burger place. Next time your on this side of the states make sure you order something off the menu…the so called “secret menu”. I’ve read about it and this time I’ll give it a try. Would be fun.
    I’ll have to check out the places you went also since I’ll bee in SF coming January. One more month to go..

  8. Hi Jo-Thank you so much for your sweet comment. Your trip look like it was amazing!! My mom was so lucky to have met you:)Your baking is incredible. I hope you are doing well. xo

  9. We were crazy huh? Eating dessert first then a burger, but it was so good and I had a blast with you. In n Out is definitely a must for out of towners, fast food is usually not this good! Miss you girly!

  10. Everything looks delicious...but I LOVE In-n-Out burgers! Whenever Honey Bunny and I get to California, it's the first place we go! It looks like you had a delicious time in San Francisco! Thanks for sharing your amazing pictures!

  11. You are having a food feast every day!!! nice places and good food.....
    I have been in Kara's cupcake and they are like a piece of heaven fluffy and moist. Nice post, thank you for sharing.
    Hope to see you cooking soon!!! x

  12. Wow! You and Bonnie covered so many places in one day. How many yummy things you had in that one day.:-) Wish I could join you too. We will meet next week and we are going to miss you a lot especially in eating parts.


Hey foodies! THANK YOU for leaving me with sweet comments. I hope to inspire you like how you inspire me. Cheers~

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