For this week’s Fiesta Friday I am bringing a slide show for all of the cooks to sit back and enjoy. This week I have not cooked a single dish. I have been happily stationed in San Francisco with my folks who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, taking long walks, eating lots of toast and burgers, meeting new friends and having an overall A+ time. Let’s take a look:
Tartine Bakery & The Mill:
These are two places I have wanted to go for quite some time. I have all 3 of the Tartine Books as well as the recent book from the Mill’s owner, Josey Baker. That’s his real name, and . . . . indeed he can bake. I enjoyed both places very much, although I found the wait and atmosphere at Tartine to be less than my ideal.
Burgers, Tacos, Walks & Drives:
I hit up 4505 Meats & BBQ in Alamo Square and also checked out “Super Duper Burger” in the Marina. 4505 is a butcher shop in the Mission that has a truck at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market with the “Best Damn Cheeseburger” (and it is), and they recently opened their first brick and mortar place, which they have ingeniously designed: All of the seating, save a couple counter seats inside where you order, is located in the “parking lot” in which they have placed wooden picnic benches and around which they have erected a chain link fence. No floor washing for these guys!!! Also stopped one morning for a change up breakfast at My Father’s Kitchen (Vietnamese “comfort food”) near UCSF Medical Center; peeked into House of Nanking and Namu Gaji, and looked around at Bi-Rite Market in the Mission. Also did some taco research at Tacolicious in the Marina.
The unfortunate bad experience of my trip was a never ending series of repeat loops through the Presidio trying to get back to Cow Hollow. Due to construction my GPS was not fully informed or helpful and I almost cried thinking I was going to be forced to get onto the Golden Gate Bridge to go to the East Bay and then return to the City via the Bay Bridge. Not to mention the gridlock traffic nearing the bridge that I sat through on each loop. I considered abandoning my car, even hoped I would run out of gas so that the tow truck could deliver me home. Alas, after about an hour I did make it home.
Patty & Ngan!!!!
The definite highlights of my trip were meeting Patty Nguyen and Ngan Sequiter (that’s not her last name but the address of her wonderful blog “Ngan Made It.” I drove out to Napa and met Patty at Gott’s at the Oxbow Market and man did we ever have a fabulous, easy time chatting and eating for about 2 hours. Patty blew me away with her warmth and humor . . . and surprising touch of irreverence and impishness . . . AND she sent me home with not 1 or 2 but 8 homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They. were. delicious. Later that evening I met gorgeous couple Ngan and her hubby. The only thing better than the food at the restaurant they selected, Piccino’s in the Dogpatch neighborhood, was the company. I felt so lucky to have met them and man did they feed me well: salad, meatballs, braised greens, 2 pizzas and dessert. Ngan has publicly committed to fashioning a meatball just like the ones we ate which were super delicious, so be sure to keep current with her blog because the meatballs are sure to be fantastic. Awesome peeps.
Parents & Anniversary!
It was so nice to spend some time with my parents who were celebrating their 50th. I had to get them a couple donuts (they look like wedding rings in away, don’t you think?) and rouse them out of bed on the big day. We also hit the Brazen Head for dinner, an old and very small watering hole/steakhouse in Cow Hollow.
“Keiken Wa Keiken” — (an experience is to experience, words spoken to Alyssa by her father). Finally, I met an IG friend Alyssa. She’s a young whippersnapper born and raised in Santa Monica just like me, just graduated from Cal and working at Acme Bakery and the de Young Museum. I checked out a cool Modernism exhibit and we chatted about Bianchi bikes, baking and Santa Monica. I made some jam for her, as well as for my other 2 new friends.
All in all, I felt so lucky to have this opportunity to take this trip and will cherish the memories and tastes forever!