Part II – Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Saturday morning finally brought some sun! I could not wait to get to the Ferry Building.
The Ferry Building is home to many artisan shops and eateries (Cowgirl Creamery, Acme Bread Co, Slanted Door, etc). On Saturday mornings, the area around the building also hosts an amazing farmer’s market. The Boy immediately hit up Blue Bottle for coffee and Roli Roti for a 9am porchetta sandwich. He has been talking about this sandwich since having it a year ago on a previous SF trip. He was all smiles as he devoured the salty, satisfying, fresh sandwich. I had some soft scrambled eggs and toast from another small stand near the entrance to the farmer’s market. From there out, we just wandered through the stalls and enjoyed the tastes and sights.
At one point, I turned a corner and saw some familiar looking faces. I realized I was looking at Jenna and Kath. Kind of a creepy moment – I have read both their blogs at one time or another and have recently really enjoyed following Jenna’s CA adventures. I wasn’t sure if I should say something or not? Finally, I introduced myself as a reader and said some quick hellos. They were there for the Foodbuzz Festival. Check out all their blogs for more SF goodness. Nice meeting you ladies!
After the Ferry Building there was some more walking and some football watching at a bar near AT&T park. AT&T park sits on the Embarcadero. Gorgeous views.
Saturday night dinner took us to Zuni Café (1658 Market), a restaurant well known for their ‘California cuisine’. California cuisine is frequently described as a fusion of various cooking styles focusing on fresh/local ingredients. Although the Zuni Café space felt slightly dated to me (we were seated in the upstairs loft), I had a really good meal there. The Boy and I did the infamous roast chicken for two. The meal takes an hour to prepare, so we had lots of time for wine and appetizers (a Ceasar salad and steamed clams). The chicken was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The crispy, dense bread salad served with the chicken was divine. The Boy was originally skeptical of a $48 roasted chicken – however, I think the execution of the dish changed his mind. I am glad we sought out Zuni Café and California cuisine.
On Sunday morning, we made our way to the Napa Valley. Along with another couple, we hired a car and driver (so nice for a day of wine tasting!). We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on the way – more great views.
We visited Domaine Chandon (sparkling wine house), Pine Ridge, Goosecross, Del Dotto, and Honig. Yes – we consumed a ton of wine. I probably enjoyed Pine Ridge the most – the reds there are so nice and the guy pouring tastes was knowledgeable and very friendly. We purchased wine at each stop.
We ended the day with an ahi tuna burger at Taylor’s Automatic Refresher. Yum. This place was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives awhile back. The ahi was rare, topped with a gingery slaw. The sweet potato fries were crisp and addicting.
There were plans to do a casual dinner Sunday but I promptly passed out when we returned to the hotel. The Boy grabbed some California Pizza Kitchen take-out later in the evening, as it was close to the hotel. The pizza wasn’t bad, but certainly not our most memorable meal in the city.
Monday morning brought the last of our San Francisco trip. We ended on a high note by making our way to Dottie’s True Blue Café.
This is a great little spot located in/near the Tenderloin. We had a bit of a wait at 9AM Monday morning (about 30 mins) but we decided to stay and eventually grabbed seats at the counter. The kitchen is tiny and we watched the line cook work with precision and grace as he pumped out dish after dish of eggs, potatoes, etc.
I had cinnamon pecan french toast and The Boy had a lamb sausage and spinach omelet. The portions were quite large. My french toast held gooey pockets of cinnamon and the lamb sausage in The Boy’s omelet was unique and well seasoned. I can’t eat like this every morning (totally stuffed) but it was a fun way to end the trip 🙂
After breakfast, it was a train ride back to SFO and a five hour plane ride home.
I can’t wait to go back.
(On another note, The Boy and I chose to ‘ship’ our wine by packaging it well in our suitcases and checking them. PA leaves you with few other desirable options. We have used this method before and had no problems. However, on this trip, we had a casualty. A lovely Del Dotto Pinot Noir broke in The Boy’s bag. It was in a box wrapped in mounds of tissue paper and newspaper – somehow, most of his clothes were fine, as the paper soaked up all the liquid (wonderful, tasty, expensive liquid). Ugh! He plans to complain to the airline – however, we realize we also took a risk. Anyone out there share in my annoyance with PA wine shipping rules?)