Ok, so I have finally overcome my laziness about writing up the fabulous day that encompassed 5 different food stops. Here's how our July 3 was spent.
We got up early and walked from our house up to La Farine for morning bun (for me) and apple croissant and plain croissant (for my boyfriend). (I had warned him in advance that this would be a day full of food, but he still insisted on 2 pastries, and since he has the metabolism of a flea, he could handle it.) Then we walked half a block to Royal Coffee for a latte to go. Consumed La Farine pastries with great gusto -- their morning buns are the perfect combination of doughy/sticky and crispy. Mmmm. While I like Royal Coffee's lattes, I'd still have to say that I prefer Peet's, but alas they weren't conducive to our route.
We walked down to Rockridge BART for a quick ride to downtown Oakland for dim sum at Tao Yuen on Webster (?). I'd had dim sum here before around lunchtime, and it was great. This day it was good, but nothing outstanding. I ate my hom soy guk (fried dough ball w/meat filling) a little too fast -- should have ordered more, since I felt that was the best of the lot. We got some white nectarines at a market around the corner, and walked back to citycenter to eat our goodies in the sun. I'd highly recommend some fruit after a dim sum breakfast, as it really cleansed the tongue and palate.
We jumped back on BART and headed into the city because we had an appointment at Macy's to do our wedding registry. Since I love to cook as well as eat, it dovetailed nicely w/our day, though it did rush our morning stops a bit. I would have preferred some time for people watching at Royal, and a sit down dim sum place, in retrospect.
After another registry stop at Crate and Barrel, we walked to Saigon Sandwiches for roasted and steamed pork bahn mi. These were as good as always. I also bought some fried spring rolls, but these were not that hot. The dipping sauce was good, but the wrappers were a bit chewy, since I don't think they were made on site. My boyfriend had never experienced the delights of bahn mi, so it was fun to share this chowfind with him. (Maybe there were some 'hounds ordering while we were sitting there eating....?)
We took BART back to Union Square area and did some shopping and sitting (the feet were getting a bit sore by then). Then BART to 24th/Mission for a quick walk to Lorca. The generous reception that Patrick received a few months ago was not an exception. Everyone working there was very nice, even though we'd gotten there before the kitchen opened. We had some sangria, and then shared a plate of 6 tapas (for $13!). Chicken and Banana skewer, serrano ham, manchego cheese, sauteed shrimp and veggies, a yummy tortilla (potato and onion omelette) and one other that I should have written down... All were served (except the skewer) on toasted slices of bread that were rubbed with tomato. We debated whether to get another round of food, but agreed to go back for dinner sometime instead. We passed on Chowhound greetings to Natalia, who remembered Patrick's visit earlier in the year.
Back on BART for a ride to Montgomery Street and then a walk up to North Beach to L'Osteria del Forno. After about a 45 minute wait, we were seated -- there is no waiting list here, so you have to be prepared to wait in line. We were surprised that the line was still long at 8:30 on the day before July 4, but decided to commit to the wait. (They also only take cash, so you should be prepared -- fortunately, there are plenty of banks nearby). We shared an order of the sweet and sour onions -- which really brought out the green apple taste of the Pinot Grigio that they offer by the glass. Then we split a sausage pizza -- this was about the only point in the day that I started feeling overly stuffed! Pizza was quite good, but I think I was feeling so full at that point that I'd like to try it again on an empty stomach.
Fortunately, I recovered from the meal sufficiently to get a cannoli from the bakery a few doors down -- sustenance for the walk back to BART.
A great day -- I think all of the walking we did really helped the amount of food not to be overwhelming. Plus, we tried to drink quite a bit of water throughout the day, and I had planned enough non-eating activities that helped space the meals out a bit.
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