We’ve been back from San Francisco for a couple of weeks now, so we’re overdue for posting about our eating adventures there. We were there only for a little over two days, so we didn’t get to explore much but found plenty to enjoy.
Shortly after we arrived on a Tuesday afternoon, we went to the Ferry Building. Holly had been there before, but I had not. It’s an indoor market similar to our local Reading Terminal Market, only more posh. We wanted to sit out by the water for a late lunch and ended up at Hog Island Oyster Co. We shared a bowl of San Francisco Clam Chowder and a great salad with Little Gem lettuce, strawberries, fuji apples and hazelnuts. It was a lovely afternoon of enjoying lunch and some wine while sitting by the bay.
However, as the afternoon progressed, it started to get chilly, so we migrated inside the Ferry Building and luxuriated over wine flights at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant. While we were there, Holly picked up a bottle of No. 209 Gin, one of her favorites from her west coast life.
We hadn’t done much planning as far as meals went, so we went back to our hotel room to research a place for dinner. We didn’t feel like wandering far and found Colibrí Mexican Cuisine. One of our goals while in California was to get our fill of Mexican food, so we were easily convinced to give it a try. They have an incredible Tequila selection and make some inventive drinks with them. Unfortunately, they don’t list their drink menu on their web site, so I can’t get my facts straight, but their cocktails are excellent.
We began our meal by sharing the fish tacos. I had the prawns with a tamarind mole sauce with a corn cake, and Holly had pan seared duck breast in a delicious green mole sauce made with pumpkin seeds, tomatillos, nuts and spices.
Alas, Colibrí is a rather dark restaurant, so we don’t have much in the way of pictures.
On Wednesday, we went to breakfast at Sears Fine Food. Holly had the famous 18 Swedish pancakes which come with lingonberries. Another goal was to have as much seafood as possible, so I had the seafood omelet that was stuffed with crab and shrimp.
Holly then had to go to her conference, so I spent the morning in Golden Gate Park, primarily to go to the deYoung Museum but I also went to the Japanese Tea Garden. I found myself getting rather frustrated in the tea garden because it was overrun with barely supervised school children. It was certainly harshing my Zen. I decided to head back to the hotel to find a place for lunch. I actually wound up getting back around 2 and a lot of nearby places were closed between lunch and dinner, so I wound up back at Colibrí. We had dinner plans, so I just had the Pozole Verde. Colibrí also serves complimentary torillas with 3 different kinds of salsas, so it made for a nice lunch. I may have had a Tequila cocktail or two. I went back to the hotel room to wait for Holly to get done with her conference. By the time she was done, we still had a couple of hours before dinner and she was curious about the drinks I had at Colibrí, so we went back yet again. It was a nice reminder that we really enjoy good Tequila and that we need to get to Xochitl and Distrito more often!
After our afternoon cocktails, we met up with an old friend of Holly’s who took us out of the downtown area and to B Star Bar in Inner Richmond. B Star is a small and excellent Burmese restaurant. We shared several dishes, most notably the Tea Leaf Salad, the Samusa Soup, the Pumpkin Pork Stew and the Ox Tail with shiitake mushrooms and gai lan over mashed potatoes.
Thursday, we went to breakfast at Dottie’s True Blue Cafe. Holly had the Black Bean Cakes with eggs, grilled cheddar corn bread and home fries. I had the Lamb Merguez Sausage, Roasted Garlic, Tomato, Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelet. I also swapped out my toast for the grilled cheddar corn bread. Everything was delicious and the coffee was notably good.
For lunch, I had plans to meet an old friend, and conveniently, our lunch plans coincided with Holly’s lunch break at the conference. We met at Johnny Foley’s which is a fairly standard Irish Pub. It was good but nothing exceptional and nothing we can’t get at home.
We ended our trip on a high note at Pesce in the Russian Hill neighborhood. It serves food in a Venetian cicchetti style similar to our local C19 but with a greater emphasis on seafood. Holly and I really enjoy places that focus on small plates because we like to try a lot of things. We loved everything at Pesce, especially the Melanzane (Grilled eggplant, taleggio chesse, tomato-basil vinaigrette), the Cioppino, the Grilled Asparagus, and the Biscotti with Vin Santo for dessert. We’re still trying to figure out why we never see Biscotti and Vin Santo on the east coast. It’s not like there aren’t a million Italian restaurants in Philadelphia.
Although short, the trip was a success despite the fact that we didn’t plan anything. Our next big trip will be Chicago at the end of June and we’ve both been there a few times and know we’ll have a great time. Until then, all Philly all the time.