SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Some random thoughts about San Francisco and food that do not warrant their own post.
- Our hotel is connected to a Starbucks, Subway and In-N-Out Burger. The latter is busy all day long. It goes without saying, I think.
- Tuesday morning saw a failed attempt at breakfast. Mama’s in North Beach had a 30-person deep line, so we opted to go back on Columbus and sit down at La Boulange. The eatery has a dozen locations in the city and this one moved with military efficiency. The menu features pastries, quiche, stuffed croissants, and omelettes. The house-label coffee was serviceable, but did the trick.
If you ever find yourself on The Embarcadero looking for something to do, pop into TCHO. The little chocolate factory at the corner of Embarcadero and Green offers tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Their guiding principles are about innovation and making the world a better place. They do the fair trade and organic thing, but they’ve also international development funding to help cacao growers improve their crops. The tour guide teaches you how to taste chocolate, turning it from a simple endorphin rush into a visceral experience.
- The Wife and I treated the Ferry Building Marketplace as a buffet. A little mac-and-cheese from Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick, olive oil tasting at Stonehouse California Olive Oil, an extended stop at Boccalone (more on that later), and dessert stops at Ciao Bella and Miette.
- In terms of things I was REALLY looking forward to hear, Boccalone was in the top five. I first caught wind of Chris Cosentino‘s cured meat emporium on some Food Network show. The store’s logo and motto (Tasty Salted Pig Parts) stood out as a major to do. The store is small, as are most of the stalls at Ferry, but it is not to be missed. The salumi cone is the big walkaway item. Fresh sliced mortadella, cured pork loin and orange-fennel salami are served in an old-school water cone. The Wife and I took down three before we decided to buy meat to take home. Must. Stop.
- Wednesday saw us start at Starbucks for breakfast before heading to the Powell-Hyde line to ride the cable cars. We wandered Union Square, jumped to a bus line and ended up in The Mission. Lunch was at Tartine, a French bakery recommended by friends and regular dinner companion Allison Olley. The line, combined with the table free-for-all meant that I waited at the table while The Wife ordered. We should have ordered the extra-large slices of quiche, but ended up choosing their hot pressed sandwiches. While very good, the sandwiches are enormous and are served as three wedges. My sopressata with fontina and broccoli-rapini pesto was good. The Wife was overwhelmed by her mozzarella and tapenade selection, taking one wedge to go. That said, our 45-minute stay saw a consistent 20-person deep line entering the shop.
- If you are bored and want to see what we are up to, I’m loading photos to Flickr daily. I’m not captioning anything, so just make up what you think everything is.