Saturday, September 10, 2011

San Francisco.

I went to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago! I had been dying to get there, for many reasons. I wanted to see the beautiful city and sights, of course. But you guys know me... you know I love to eat. I was also excited to sample all the great things San Fran had to offer, food wise, too! Since Chris has to be at the field right around lunch - and since that field was in Oakland, 20-30 mins away from downtown San Fran where we were staying - he had to leave every day around 1pm. That left me to do a lot of exploring on my own. I don't mind that, but I definitely want to go back and eat explore the city with him soon! I had a list of places I wanted to go, including both touristy things, shopping, and restaurants to try. I did a lot of it, and below I have outlined the entire list that I have. Please feel free to write them down for yourself, or pass them along! I've already given my San Francisco "list" to about 6 people, so I hope they found it as useful, fun, and tasty as I did! Enjoy my post on one of my new favorite cities! If you have any San Fran recommendations, please leave them in the comments below!

This was my first stop on the trip. My friend Melina took me to to the Balboa Cafe for brunch. It was FABULOUS! Her family owns some wineries you definitely need to check out here.

Their bloody mary is probably the best one I've ever had, to date!

We both ordered the Eggs Florentine, which was wonderful!
I would recommend this spot to anyone! Their dinner is great, too, I hear!

Such a beautiful view from Ghirardelli Square!

Do you think I would come to Ghirardelli Square and NOT have a hot fudge sundae??? 
You all know me better than that now! ;)

I had heard so many great things about this place, I had to go! It didn't disappoint!

Their menu is on the wall when you walk in. The wait was 30-45 minutes, which wasn't that bad considering you can't make reservations. 
They offered me a glass of wine while I waited, too!

LOVED these warm marinated olives!!

We chose the Broccoli Raab pizza, which was a unique departure from what I usually order.
I liked it a lot! Next time I want to try the clam pie or the prosciutto pie! I heard rave reviews on both!

My little honey and I did make it to brunch at Zazie. This cute place came highly recommended to me by my sweet, foodie friend Tara. (Thanks Tara!) Really loved this place! I had the BIGGEST cappuccino I've ever had! Look at the size of that mug, bigger than my face!

I had the eggs benedict "la mer" which was incredibly tasty!

Chris had the "Greece" eggs. YUM!
If the weather is nice, be sure and sit on their back patio! It's so charming, like a secret garden!

You have to make it into Chinatown while in San Fran at least once!!
Upon the recommendation of my friend Tara - who RAVED about this place - I went to
R&G Lounge in Chinatown. She said there were two things I "Had" to get:
1. The Lychee Martini (above)  and  2. The Salt & Pepper Crab (below)
The martini was great, with the unique flavor the the lychee being the perfect amount of sweet!

Here is the main course. I wasn't expecting the WHOLE crab, shell and all. The waiter laughed at my reaction but assured me that this was one of the most popular things on their menu. I asked him the best way to go about eating it, then DUG IN! Wowza! It was amazing! SO full of flavor! Glad I went to R&G Lounge for such a unique meal!

Out of all the places I had on my list to go in San Fan, this was #1, The Press Club.
Their motto says it perfectly: The Press Club is a wine bar and lounge that offers California's finest wines and beers in a sophisticated and social atmosphere. Press Club's seasonal menu of small plates and thoughtful pairings offer the ultimate wine experience in one of San Francisco's most notable destinations. 

Each month, Press Club features 2 vintners in addition to their normal wine menu.
When I was there, the above menu was one of two being featured. I love sparking wines and champagne, so I wanted to try this flight. 

My favorite of the 3 was the brut rose!

I was asking about the "Hell or High Watermelon" beer that was on the menu, because I had read about it in a magazine. I was curious, so they let me try it! It was SO good, and I am not usually a beer drinker!
I was getting hungry, so we ordered something that went well with the beer....

A cheese plate, with fresh fruit and their house-made plum jam! I chose 2 cheeses:
The Humboldt Fog (which they had paired with the Watermelon beer) and the Flagship Cheddar.
AMAZING!! What a perfect pairing! They know their stuff at the Press Club, for sure!

A small section of the cheese menu.

Look at this cute little street I happened upon while shopping! 
It's completely closed off, and there is a restaurant in the middle with outdoor seating!

Here are my other San Francisco suggestions, in addition to the ones above:

- RN74 (A Michael Minas restaurant)

- The Slanted Door: This was another recommendation that came HIGHLY recommended by many, many people and blogs. It's located in the Ferry Building, which I will tell you more about later. Go here for lunch, drinks, or dinner! They have a creative cocktail menu and great food, so I hear/read.

- Hog Island Oyster Company (also located in the Ferry Building) 

- 21st Amendment Brewery: Enjoy craft beer here; this is where the "Hell or High Watermelon" beer is from! Also try the "Monks Blood beer"

- Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery (located in the Haight-Ashberry district) Great food & unique beers. Try the "Pride of Brant Hill Beer"

- City Beer: Good place to find interesting craft beers, but you can also sit and have some wine & cheese, too, if that's more your thing! 

- Le Trappe: One of Anthony Bourdain's picks!!

- Bourbon & Branch: A speakeasy type bar with cool cocktails.

- Amarena: Read about this place on a blog and really wanted to go here, but I just didn't have the time! It has a great happy hour, but instead of drink specials, there is a free pasta bar! Yummy food!

- Tartine Bakery: Visit the famous bakery for their treats and baked goods. Also heard their "Fromage blanc, banana, and membrillo" sandwich is amazing! 

- A16 (wine bar): My friend Melina recommended this place, as it is one of her fave places in the city!

- Red Door Cafe (per my friend Tara) : Go to this place, if only to see/meet the owner, who is said to be VERY fun and entertaining! This was Tara & her friends' favorite dining experience on their visit! Plus there are great views of the city!

- The Ferry Building Marketplace: I absolutely LOVED coming here! It's basically an upscale certified California Farmer's Market. The market is widely acclaimed for both the quality and diversity of its fresh farm products, and artisan and prepared foods. It is renowned throughout the country as one of the top farmers markets to visit. On any day, especially Saturdays, some of San Francisco’s best known chefs, and most famous farmers, can be seen at the market. Chris and I browsed and tasted our way through the entire market! Definitely stop by Blue Bottle Coffee Company for a cafe au lait... the best cup of coffee I've EVER had! No joke! 


  1. I love San Francisco! Lindsay, you're killing me with all of this phenomenal-looking food! I'm crazy-jealous of your traveling adventures.
    xo Josie

  2. San Fran seems amazing! Hope to visit it soon!

  3. looks like an amazing trip - i've been out to san fran and wine country twice and just loved both times.

  4. good food= good life! girl, i am drooling. especially over the Eggs Florentine!!!! great shots!