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Saturday at Ferry Building Market

Cafe' | Mar 30, 200508:43 PM

First a visit to the many produce, bakery and fish stalls in the front and back of the Ferry Building talking with the vendors and tasting samples of cheese, fruits, vegetables and olive oils, then:

San Francisco Fish Company: Whole Dungeness Crab ($13.00) which they completely and graciously cracked and which was consumed at one of eating counters overlooking the hallway so the parade of visitors could be watched as I talked with a very nice local about her favorite restaurants in the city.

Golden Gate Meat Company: Three smoked spare ribs ($2.00) consumed at one of the stand up tables that was shared with two grandmother-like women who raved about the pot pies they had purchased at Golden Gate.

Mistral: ½ duck($14.00) where they offered duck juice. Must admit a preference to the Chinese preparation of duck over all others: it seems more complex, and balanced, in flavor. But the crispy well herb skin was irresistible and the flesh moist and tasty and the server behind the counter kindly wrapped leftovers in tin foil.

Boullettes Larder: Hot chocolate($4.00) made from Scharffen Berger dark chocolate that is turned into a ganache and blended with cream. It is so thick that if cooled down turns into a pudding-like consistency. (hopefully I got this right. A very charming, knowledgeable young woman explained the process. I must add she was so welcoming and informative that later when I returned for chocolate I mentioned it to the shop owner). And into the hot chocolate dunking:

Scharffen Berger chocolate chip cookie ($1.50) oddly, bereft of chips with atypical cookie dough. Too bad because the rich thick hot chocolate formed a lovely coating around the cookie.

Acme Pain de Mie/Milk Bread($2.50) which is almost like an egg bread dough with cinnamon, currants and sugar. It is small loaf of bread, which was a wonderful dunk and even better by itself. The Pain de Mie is fantastic. No unnecessary sugary overly sweet syrupy goop, no sugary white frosting. Simply, wonderful cake-like bread, cinnamon, currants and sugar. And at $2.50 it was a gift.

Peets for an expresso, which was added to the last 1/3 of the hot chocolate.

Many thanks to the many chowhounds on this board who recommended the hot chocolate at Boullettes and cinnamon rolls at Acme otherwise I would never have known to seek out these wonderful things.

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