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San Francisco Bay Area San Jose Santa Rosa Sunnyvale Trip Report Healdsburg

A Toronto Chowhound's trip report: Sunnyvale, San Jose, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and San Francisco


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Restaurants & Bars 12

A Toronto Chowhound's trip report: Sunnyvale, San Jose, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and San Francisco

prima | May 13, 2013 11:43 AM

Tao Tao
We lunched at Tao Tao, which is famous for their Chinese Chicken Salad. It was unlike other Chinese Chicken Salads I've tried. This one included rice in the mix. We also shared Wor Won Ton Soup, Tao Tao Beef and Lemon Chicken. I really liked their Wor Won Ton. Very reasonably priced. We shared the lunch specials of each dish, rather than ordering a la carte.

San Jose
Minato in Japantown
Met up with a friend at Minato, which had become a tradition when I'm in San Jose. Friendly service and good food.

Hunan Taste
This place is an old favourite for us, and some people in my family have been going here for 25+years. We ordered the Mo Si Soup (pork, bean curd and greens), the Hunan eggplant with meat sauce, dry sauteed string beans without meat sauce, and the Seafood Delight.

El Molino Central
I finally made it to El Molino Central, after having it on my list for at least 3 years. We tried the pineapple agua fresca, the guacamole, the chile relleno, enchiladas suizas and skirt steak tacos. Everything was delicious, and I look forward to visiting next time I'm in the area.

Mateo's Cucina Latina
This place worked well for our group of 11. We shared the fried smelts, halibut ceviche. I tried the fried oyster salad, and ordered at duck tamal. Others at the table tried the saddle of lamb, the salmon in mole, various tacos. Chef Mateo visited each table while we were there. I liked everything I tried, and would return next time I'm in Healdsburg.

The Spinster Sisters
We had a weekday breakfast at The Spinster Sisters. I enjoyed my asparagus, bacon, mushroom and fontina scramble. They offer a Golden State hash, with golden beets and corned beef, which I thought was a neat idea.

San Francisco
Ferry Building and Saturday Farmers' Market at the Ferry Building
I had time to walk through the Farmers' Market, but was too short on time to stop and buy anything. What an amazing selection of produce. At the Ferry Building, I picked up some dark chocolate English toffee for gifts at Miette,as well as some locally made chocolate bars.

Saha for dinner
We decided to go the prix fixe route at Saha. Our group of 4 ordered: the kale and quinoa salad, the fattoush and an Egyptian pureed spinach soup for our starters, a crab stuffed artichoke, fava bean cake, Yemeni style okra and seafood stuffed kibbeh for the small plate, and the lamb tagine, vegetable tagine, couscous royale and lamb mansaf for mains. I loved the lamb tagine, and preferred it to any version I've ordered or made. Lavender creme brulee and a coconut/mango/passionfruit mousse for dessert. Quite a loud space, and not too much atmosphere, but great food. I'm glad we went to Saha.

Dim Sum at Great Eastern
We needed to leave SF by 10 am, and I discovered Yank Sing, Lai Hong Lounge and City View open at 10 am. I started searching for dim sum options open before 10, and found Dol Ho, Great Eastern, and a few others. We went with Great Eastern, and were very happy. For those who haven't been, Great Easter uses a menu checklist, rather than carts. We enjoyed the cilantro shrimp dumplings, sticky rice in lotus leaf, fried turnip cake (both fried and steamed are offered), steamed bbq pork buns and shrimp paste stuffed eggplant.While Toronto often prides itself on its dim sum, I'd say the 5 dishes were ordered at Great Eastern was better than what we'd find in Toronto at a similarly priced restaurant. Our 5 dishes came to just under $21, including tea.

Andale at SFO. Huevos Rancheros. Pretty good for an airport breakfast, if you ask me!Took a chicken burrito for the plane, which was better than anything United was selling.

Thanks to everyone for all their comments and recommendations.

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