A little overcast today but to be expected.
The Pork Store Cafe
1451 Haight St
(between Ashbury St & Masonic Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94117
There really is no place on earth like The Haight, even at 9 AM on a Friday. I’m never surprised by what and who I find lurking around there. What I am always surprised by is how much I love The Pork Store. For a place where your elbows stick to the tables, it sure has a lot of history and some serious breakfast eats. James had the Huevos Rancheros and I had the Piggy Special with 2 eggs, 2 pancakes and bacon. And don’t forget the biscuits.
Naan N’ Chutney
525 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-3445
This place is a prime example of why you should not judge a book by its cover. I used to live on Fillmore and Page and there are MANY Indian restaurants in this neighborhood, including one of the best rated in the city (Indian Oven). I’ve tried them all and found that Naan n’ Chutney was, by far, my favorite. Not to mention the least expensive! We ordered the lunch portion of Chicken Tikka Masala and Daal with Naan.
Café du Soliel
200 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94102
I owe this place a lot. I spent most of my time here as I wrote my MA thesis…so it was only fair, for the memory’s sake to at least stop in for a cup of coffee. I mention it because they actually have tremendous open-faced sandwiches. You can settle in and, for just the charge of an overpriced super-caffeinated cup of coffee, spend the whole afternoon. It also has some outdoor seating and always seems to be sunny in this little corner…unlike the rest of this particularly chilly neighborhood. Gotta love micro-climates! Also, that’s a picture of our Mustang in front of my old apartment…in case you were wondering.
1517 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709
Chez Panisse is Alice Waters’ masterpiece. This was the night of Alice (after the meal we went to see “Alice in Wonderland”). This is a wonderland of experiences (see what I did there?)…it never disappoints, even for the simplest of dishes. This was a particularly special night as we were celebrating my friend Ashley’s birthday. Her boyfriend Alex has an exceptional knowledge of wine (it is also his job) and I was surprised to discover you can bring your own bottles (for a corkage fee). Without fear of hyperbole, this was the best meal yet. The service was exceptional. The food was unfussy but standout, highlighting pairings and preparations. The key idea being slow food here. We shared a bunch of appetizers and then our own dinners.
We started with a bottle of Bollinger RD Champagne from 1985. The color was extraordinary, although you can’t tell from the pictures; a golden honey color that I’ve not seen on a champagne before. After the first course he opened a bottle of 1980 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac (Bordeaux). I’m not sure we’ve ever drank anything that old or ever will again. It was quite an experience and I had to share because we felt so fancy. Not to mention some probably the best wine I’ve ever tasted.
- Hog Island Sweetwater oysters
- Pizzetta with leeks, Lucques olives and fontina
- Bellweather Farm sheep’s milk ricotta and prosciutto with grilled chicories
- Sunchoke Pudding souffle with celery root, wild mushrooms and creme fraiche
- Soul Food Farm chicken al mattone (under a brick) with butternut squash gratin, kale, cardoons and capers
- Grilled Elliot Ranch lamb leg, loin and chop with fried shoestring potatoes, turnips and black olives
- Bittersweet Chocolate pave with caramel creme
- Kaki Farm blood orange sherbet and blood orange ice cream