San Francisco – Day 2

Rain again…boo hoo…but alas, we didn’t let it ruin the day.

First Stop:

Squat and Gobble Cafe

2263 Chestnut
@ Scott & Pierce
415-441-2200

We woke up early to make our way to Squat and Gobble.   Again, this is one of these SF chains that I used to frequent in my old neighborhood (Lower Haight).  This location is a more civilized version of the one on Fillmore (which is probably the more fun of the two).  Known for it’s crepes, it’s a good stop for a quick breakfast bite.  Word of warning,  don’t drink the coffee if you aren’t used to a West Coast brew…I jittered my way around the city for hours afterward.  I had a crepe with chedder, mushrooms, onions and spinach served with crispy rosemary garlic homefries and James ate the Triple Gobble which is 2 eggs any style, two buttermilk pancakes and bacon.

Second Stop:

The Ferry Building

One Ferry Building
San Francisco, California 94111
(415) 983-8000

Dear New York,

I wish you had a Ferry Building.  I also wish you grew things The Ferry Building sells daily (see this map…click on California, then click on New York).

Love, Jess and James

This place is so wonderful and it is littered with little stalls full of great pastry, wine and mushrooms.  Yes, mushrooms.  Also, we went back in time to take the above picture. If you ever come to SF I implore you to make an afternoon of it and stop here.  The views of the bay and Bay Bridge are unparalleled and, even on a foggy day, are still pretty incredible.  We basically ate our way through the building, picking up goodies for our Napa picnic,  until we stopped at Hog Island Oyster CO. for a seafood lunch.

Cowgirl Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop

Boccalone Salumeria

Recchiuti Confections

Far West Fungi

Third Stop

Hog Island Oyster Co.

A few years ago we drove to their farm in Marshall, CA, about an hour and a half north of SF.  We got there about 2 minutes after closing (it sure was a pretty drive though) and didn’t get to eat any of the oysters they pull out of the water for you  – but our plan is to return there on Saturday.  They have a restaurant in the Ferry Building where we ate lunch. They, like Brooklyn Plated, serve off Heath.  We ate a mix of a dozen oysters and finished it with some clam chowder and oyster stew and I listed to James tell me everything he’s been learning about Oysters from this book.

They served us:

  • Hog Island Sweetwaters (CA)
  • Hood Canals (WA)
  • Chelsea Gems (WA)
  • Otter Creeks (WA)
  • Island Creeks (MA)
  • Old Salts (VA)

After Oysters, we needed sweets. So we finished our meal with a stop at Miette.  You might remember Miette from a failed cake I made a while back. Miette provided us with a yellow cupcake with lemon buttercream frosting.  I don’t generally even like buttercream frosting but this is incredible.

Fourth Stop:

SPQR

1911 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 771-7779

We met Dan and Lexi for dinner for the second night in a row (lucky us!). I made reservations at SPQR, which I’d been wanting to try for some time.  I know it’s changed hands over the last few years and many warned that it couldn’t possibly be what it was but, in all honesty, was one of the most memorable eating experiences I’ve had this year (I know we’re only three months in).  The menu is extensive with lots of offal and other parts (be warned) and the wine list intimidating but the staff is really friendly and helpful.  It’s a cozy space but well decorated with dark woods and marble countertops.  We split four starters and desserts and each had our own meal. Also, I apologize for the moody photos…it was dark in there!

Appetizers:

  • Burrata, peperonata, watercress & aged balsamic vinegar
  • Baked ricotta, braised leeks, balsamic brown butter & almonds
  • Pork belly croccante, sundried tomato, olives & gremolata (WIN!)
  • Fried surf clams, cherry pepper salad & agrodolce

Dinner:

  • Buckwheat spaghetti, suckling pig ragu, broccoli rabe & sarvecchio cheese (James) (WIN!)
  • Rabbit & truffle cappelletti ‘en consomme’, california asparagus (Jess)
  • Jones farm rabbit, bacon, gigante beans, savoy cabbage & cranberry (Lexi)
  • Lamb shoulder, chestnuts, mushrooms, parsnip & dandelion leaves (Dan)

Dessert:

  • Goat cheese & ricotta filled crespelle with orange sauce (WIN!)
  • Milk chocolate gelato, buttermilk crumble & candied almonds
  • Brown butter torta, meyer lemon curd & sicilian pistachio
  • Selection of Italian cheeses

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8 Comments

Filed under Dessert, Food Anecdotes, San Francisco, Travel Spot

8 responses to “San Francisco – Day 2

  1. SLG

    Don’t forget me! I will need a package of the Recchetti chocolate covered almonds upon your return!

  2. Kate E.

    I was hoping you’d go to SPQR!! Back when I wasn’t totally broke, I used to go there probably every 2 months or so to get my fried Brussels sprouts fix (sometimes it was fried cauliflower instead, not the same but still delicious and fried). I’m pretty sure it’s #1 (at least in the top 3) on my personal list of favorite SF spots.
    And this probably sounds dumb, but I often went to Hog Island not for the oysters but for their grilled cheese with all sorts of delicious gooey Cowgirl Creamery cheeses. Unbelievable. (If I liked oysters, I’d probably love the place even more!)
    You guys are having such a delicious trip!!

    • you know what? The brussel sprouts aren’t even on the menu anymore! I was so angry since everyone loves them.

      I had every intention of eating a grilled cheese at Hog Island but after oysters and soup my belly said”no thanks” – I was mad at it.

      What are your other faves? We have reservations all over this land but I could be persuaded to try some new things…

      • Kate E.

        Oooh, I love this question. 🙂 I think my top faves are (in no particular order):

        * Nopa in, well, Nopa/western addition — I went here almost as frequently as I went to SPQR. The menu changes often but the food is always, always fantastic. The bar is really great, too. This was my go-to restaurant for when people were in town, as I consider it to be quintessentially “SF-y.” It gets packed quickly so I would often try to get there super early, like 5:15 or so, and drink at the bar until dinner service began at 6:00. 🙂

        * Andalu in the Mission — small plates, absolutely delicious, especially the fried mac and cheese (to die for, and you just might since it’s FRIED mac and cheese)

        * Firefly in Noe Valley — just really quality food (not a ton of options, but also not very expensive), great service and excellent wine recommendations. It’s also one of the comfiest dining experiences in SF, in my opinion; very warm, cozy and relaxing.

        * Luella on Hyde Street (up on a hill) — again, excellent food (the coca-cola braised pork is insane) and superb service. I’ve never left there feeling anything besides completely satisfied and happy. The ambiance is rather romantic, too.

        * Eos in Cole Valley — skip the main dining room (nice, but unnecessary) and go to the adjacent wine bar where you can get some excellent wine (including some interesting flights, like the “Chardonnay Deathmatch”) but MOST of all you have to try the mushroom dumplings in a sauce that is, I imagine, mostly butter but don’t think about that. Dumplings + sauce + bread for dipping in sauce = basically heaven on earth. (I know, I get a little swoony when talking about good food!)

        * Terzo in the area where you’re staying, the Marina — I’ve only been once, for my birthday one year, and I really loved it. I like other places more (see above) but I remember being impressed with the food (and wine list) and feeling warm and relaxed.

        * Incanto in Noe Valley — This is super authentic (I believe, anyway!) Italian food. I don’t think there was one meatless item on the menu. Really good food, and the most extensive list of Italian wine maybe ever (the wine list was like a phone book).

        Other favorites:
        Favorite baked goods — Tartine in the Mission (I’m sure you know about that one)

        Favorite sweets — too many to count, but one of the best is Bittersweet in upper Fillmore (a few blocks north of SPQR). Just truly excellent quality sweets (especially chocolate, of course)

        Favorite wine bar (for strictly wine) — The Hidden Vine, downtown. It’s in kind of an alley, and downstairs (which sounds shady, but it’s not). It’s just really comfortable, totally not snooty, and there are really wonderful servers who will talk to you forever about the wine if you want. Also, they put these little paper disks around the stem of each glass with the name of the wine you’re drinking, so if you really liked one, you can just take the little paper with you and buy a bottle in the future. (I always forgot which wines I liked at wine bars because, um, I drank wine all night!!)

        Favorite coffee — Philz in Castro (though it’s incredibly strong, too; that jittery factor you mentioned earlier is out of control!)

        Favorite sandwich — Ike’s near Dolores Park. Honestly, just such good sandwiches. Only problem is, it’s been getting a lot of press these days and sometimes the line is down the street! If you go, definitely go on a weekday (maybe tomorrow…??). I mean, he puts fried mozzarella in sandwiches. It’s ridiculous.

        Wow, that’s a lot of information, so I’ll stop there. I’m excited to find out where else you’re going!!

  3. cia

    These posts are just so much fun to read. I am sitting here in the cold NYC night wishing I was having a Bay Area eating adventure with you two (and lexi and dan!)…

  4. Wow Kate, thanks! I’ve been to a bunch of those places…I wonder if we ever crossed paths and didn’t even know it! We’re eating at Andalu on Saturday…more to come!

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