Restaurants & Bars 2

San Francisco Report

beetlebug | Jul 3, 2006 05:13 PM

Just came back from 10 days in Northern California. 2 of which I spent in San Francisco. Good timing on my part because it was raining buckets on the east coast.

Ferry Building - I love the Ferry Building. The variety of food, produce and chocolate. Started with lunch at Hog Island Oysters. When we arrived, I was in a panic because there was a huge line. Well, I was starving as we had just flown across the country and hadn't eaten all that much. The line moved quickly and we were seated within 10 minutes. We started with a dozen oysters. 3 each of the Hog Island kind and they were delicious. Plump and juicy. I only used a little bit of lemon and slurped them down. Perfect complement to the Acme bread. We also split the salad (argula I think) and the clam chowder. A nice touch was that they plated these separately for us. Both were great and hit the spot. I was especially impressed with the clam chowder. The bowl was filled little clams in the shells with a light cream broth and minimal potatoes. Just the way I like it. Many tables ordered the grilled cheese which looked fabulous. Unfortunately, we had to eat light because we had an early dinner reservation.

Before we left California, we stopped back at the Ferry Building for supplies for the plane ride home. A baguette from Acme and the Mt. Tam cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. Excellent travel fare.

Zuni Cafe - I've been slightly obsessed with Zuni Cafe after reading about the cookbook on the Home Cooking board. I've made a number of recipes from the cookbook and really liked them. I still haven't made the famous chicken but convinced my dining companions to share that dish as a side. I thought the chicken was good but not great. Maybe my expectations were too high. It wasn't as juicy as I thought it would be. The bread salad, however, was fabulous. I can't believe the flavors that went through my mouth as I ate it.

4 of us split the Caesar salad, polenta and shoestring potatoes. I thought the Caesar was excellent. Even better when they brought us anchovies to lay on top. The french fries were also tasty, crisp, light and perfectly fried. The polenta did nothing for me. But, I don't really like polenta anyway.

For entrees, it's a little hazy. We had wine and the dinner was the first of the trip. But dessert. I had the espresso granita and it was lovely. Strong coffee flavored shaved ice with whipped cream.

Overall, I was glad that I was able to try Zuni Cafe and would like to try more of their dishes. Thinking back on it, the things that really stood out in my mind were the recipes that I tried or wanted to try. Everything else is a bit of a haze.

Blue Bottle Coffee - In the past, I've picked up beans at Frog Hollow in the FB. But, I saw the BB cart at the Farmer's Market and decided to get a quick pick me up. They were closing but were gracious enough to make Americanos for us. That's when they told me about BB no longer being affiliated with Frog Hollow. So, we made a pilgrimage to the mothership in Oakland.

I think they just moved there because after getting fantastically lost (2 tourists, one car and one bad set of directions from google maps), we called. The woman who answered the phone had no idea where we were, but after many consultations with her and our map, we finally found the place. It was much smaller than I thought it would be but that coffee smell. I felt like I had died and gone to coffee heaven. We bought about three lbs of coffee including the Bella Donovan, Yemen, Chiapas and 3 Africans. So far, I've only tried the Bella Donovan but it's tasty. I found in the beginning that it needs more beans in the drip coffee maker or it tastes a little weak. I'm a fan of strong black coffee and once I had the proportions down, it didn't disappoint.

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