There are few things better than a perfectly timed trip - one planned with enough forethought that it hits just before you become completely fritz out at the hands of your frenzied schedule and just before you reach that dreaded point of escapism.
Near the end of March, I knew I would be in the need of a mini-vacation sometime soon. I thus booked myself on a trip to San Francisco a week into April. It was a perfect moment for me to step out for a breather - to enjoy a different city's dynamics and most of all, to eat through a whole hoard of unexplored, culinary delights.
Barely off the plane, my days were already chock full of scrumptious treats - SF really has such an incredible food scene. My first taste (after late-night Bi-Rite ice cream of course...) were the food tents and trucks at the Ferry building on Thursday morning. Roli Roti was the featured choice and our feast included:
Their spicy chicken sandwich on a pretzel roll...
Their famous porchetta sandwich (to which our sandwich maker added extra portions of the crispy pork skin)...
And their roasted brussel sprouts - large and crispy on the outside - and yes, that would be the radiant Californian sun providing me with the perfect, natural light to showcase my soon-to-be devoured treats.
After an afternoon pick me up at Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission, we treated ourselves to a culinary journey at Akiko, arguably one of SF's best sushi spots and hidden gems. After an Omakase of about 20 pieces, each one somehow topping its precedent, you are satisfied without being overly full, and also a little depressed the production is over.
Lucky for us, we had another production to go to right after dinner - an evening at the San Francisco Ballet. It is always interesting for me to see a different company, particularly one which is on the same level as Boston Ballet. It was a wonderful evening of three different, neo-classical pieces - a perfect end to a perfect meal.
The next day we went off to Palo Alto, I was given a tour of Stanford, my friend's obvious happy place. I found my own happy place not too far away at the Tin Pot...more particularly while enjoying a cookie monster and malt with chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone with a chocolate surprise waiting for you at the bottom. Yup - it was a mouthful.
Saturday was highlighted by a popup at the hands of Dinner Lab, a network of fine-tuned pop ups active in most major cities (though not yet Boston...ahem). Starting in New Orleans, and featuring chefs from all over the country, our meal was created by Chef Matt Heroman and the theme...reinvented junk food. My favorite dish was undoubtedly the Saturday Morning breakfast - pork belly over stone ground grits with a soft-poached egg (although not quite soft enough for me..) and red eye gravy - we were even given happy meal toys:)
My last day was spent hopping from one treat to the next. Arguably my favorite part of the day was the first stop at Tartine - famed french bakery in the Mission. Always a line out the door, it is well worth the wait. Their frangipane croissant was one of the best I have ever had and their banana cream tart was perfect on all accounts.
My trips always seem to go from meal to meal, to snack to drink...and this trip to SF was clearly no different. I am now back in the Bean, rested and satiated and ready to tackle the rest of the month of April..there really is nothing better than a perfectly timed, and appropriately food defined, trip:)