Because I love to eat, and because my boyfriend loves me, he took me on a 24 hour eating bonanza up in San Francisco to celebrate my birthday. I had a list of places I'd been wanting to try based on Chowhound recommendations, and he lined up as many of them as possible. Here's what we ate, in order, in 24 hours:
* Gary Danko (Wow. I don't know what else to say but wow. The food was good but I think the main draw is that eating here is an EXPERIENCE. It takes 3 hours, you have 5-10 waiters taking care of your every need, and they have the most relaxing bathroom in the world. One thing I was surprised by was the noise level. Between the two of us, we ate Horseradish Crusted Salmon Medallion with Dilled Cucumbers (my BF loved it); Indian Vegetable Vindaloo with Toasted Cashews and Basmati Rice (PHENOMENAL!!!); Butternut, Gruyere and Onion Confit Tart with Greens (ok but the greens were way oversalted); 2 cheese courses (fun!); Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Mango Coulis, Meyer Lemon Sherbet and Madeleines (good but not to die for); and Caramelized Banana Cream Tart with Milk Chocolate Ice Cream (also good but not to die for). I would like to give a special mention to the BUTTER that came with the bread. It was amazing!! I have never tasted butter that good. I don't know why it seemed so special, but it just had an incredible flavor. The wine list is pretty overwhelimg but we settled on a $25 bottle of Sula Chenin Blanc (from India) which I loved (I tend to like sweet wine) and cost the same as the corkage fee (do I sound cheap? That's because I am.). I'm really glad we went but probably wouldn't go back because I'd rather try something new.)
* Mario's Bohemian Cigar (had the obligatory cappuccino (YUM!!!) and grilled eggplant sandwich. The food was great and the atmosphere is really cute.)
* XOX Truffles (tried many different kinds -- based on most of them I didn't believe the ranking as one of the top 10 chocolatiers in the country -- but then I tried the French Roast and THEN the Caramel and I changed my mind based on those two flavors... one thing I didn't understand was that I love Earl Grey tea, I love chocolate, and I love chocolate cookies dipped in Earl Grey tea... but I just couldn't stomach the Earl Grey truffle. Weird. Truffles are 75 cents each, or 20 for $7 (which is 1/4 pound), and you get one free sample with your purchase.)
* Taqueria Cancun (on Mission; has awesome vegetarian burritos that include rice, beans, salsa, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, and hunks of avocado PLUS a basket of chips + salsa (two kinds: salsa fresca and avocado/jalapeno) for the low, low price of $3.20... discovered this when my sister moved to the Mission last month and have gone there every time I've visited her since (so this wasn't technically on my list of Chowhound reqs). I haven't been as impressed by the meat burritos but the veggie one is fantastic and the tortilla is toasted and crunchy, which I love.)
Is San Francisco a great city or what????