We went to San Francisco last weekend!
It was awesome. It was so awesome that I’m sort of regretting that I didn’t write about it while I was there, because now it’s kind of bumming me out that it’s over.
We stayed at the Hyatt, because Crockett had a conference that was there. That’s actually the reason we went at all – well, that and because I wanted to eat ALL THE FOOD.
That’s the Ferry Building outside our window, which is my favorite place in the world starting last Friday. It’s basically a gigantic building full of shops that should be called places-Emma-wants-to-eat.
We went to the Ferry Building before we even unpacked, and picked up the delicious victuals you see in the picture above.
Then, sufficiently fed, we headed to Swan Oyster Depot, a very old restaurant with maybe 20 seats and NO WEBSITE. I KNOW, RIGHT?
We, because we’re idiots, decided to walk.
It’s not that far.
But in San Francisco, it was very very far.
I wanted to hang out in Chinatown but we’d already walked up like 400 vertical miles, so we didn’t.
I knew there would be a line at Swan Oyster Depot. I’d done my research. (I’m not even kidding. Look at this Google map I made, with ratings for each restaurant based on my reading and hours open so I knew when we could go during our three days.) It’s only open during the day, and not on Sundays, so I thought out of the days available to us Friday afternoon between lunch and happy hour was our best bet.
There was still a one hour wait.
For reals, it’s just one long bar, with fresh seafood being prepared right in front of you.
I discovered something kind of embarrassing here.
I don’t really like un-fried seafood that isn’t wrapped in rice and seaweed.
I KNOW. WHAT KIND OF FOODIE AM I.
The food was freaking amazing, though. For seafood.
What? We had waited in line an HOUR and walked a mile and a half straight up, can you blame us for ordering half the menu? There was also a raw scallop dish after this, with lemon juice and olive oil.
We were full and tired, so we went to the Walgreens across the street and spent $22 on unlimited three day Muni passes. Because we’re geniuses.
Then we got on the trolley and I realized when they call them cable cars, it’s because there are CABLES under the STREETS. You guys all probably knew that, but I had no idea that a whole bunch of streets in SF have cables installed underneath. So weird.
After a few blocks, I made Crockett hop off onto a different cable car in the hope of making it to Pacific Puffs, a bakery that literally sells nothing but cream puffs. Sadly, it was windy and we were tired and my first view of Alcatraz distracted me, so we turned back towards the Embarcadero and our hotel thinking we’d find another cable car.
Something weird happened when we were in San Fran, actually. The weather was great. A little windy, but consistently sunny – no fog, no nothing – and everywhere we went, we saw people crammed onto all available grass with their faces pointed towards the sky. I literally just thought SFians loved the outdoors until like the third day, when I realized that they NEVER have weather like that. They weren’t hanging out outside because that’s what they do, they were hanging out outside because SUN.
Anyway, across the street from one of the parks full of sun worshippers we found The Park Tavern, where we ate fried brussels sprouts leaves and I drank sparkling wine and Crockett drank cocktails.
Then, despite it being like 8 pm SF time, we stumbled back to the hotel and did not leave it again until Saturday morning. Too much food and drink, y’all.
Saturday morning, we went to my literally tied-for-number-1-place-to-go, Craftsman and Wolves bakery.
I can’t even explain why I was so excited, but these pictures can:
It was all so good, I can’t even… I just can’t. So good. I carried all of these goodies around with me until they were gone, which didn’t take as long as one might hope.
Then, while we were on a bakery kick, I made Crockett stand in line again.
He’s in there somewhere, I swear.
I went less insane at Tartine - just a ham and Gruyere croissant and an almond croissant. They were transcendent, whatever, it was Tartine, it was like the best ever. It was totally worth standing in line for AND eating but it just wasn’t as exciting as Craftsman and Wolves.
Across the street from Tartine, we saw this car that was full of bees.
Yes, full of bees.
Escaping bees, actually.
Once we’d had our fill of ogling the bees (which actually took kind of awhile and basically ended because the car owner came back and I got embarrassed for staring at his car), we walked north east towards our late lunch reservation. On the way we stopped at Maven for delicious cocktails (mine were charmingly called The Original Whisper and Death in the Afternoon), Haight & Ashbury to see the Ben and Jerry’s that’s there now, and a dog festival that really made me miss my girls.
We made it to our late lunch reservation at Nopa with two minutes to spare, and promptly ordered all of the food.
Seriously, like, all of it.
This goat cheese bread pudding (savory) came with lightly dressed broccoli rabe and strawberries, and it was heavy but so delicious that we ate it all anyway.
We ordered the burger, because I did my research, damnit, and the burger was the thing to get.
I loved every bite of the 1/3 that Crockett gave me while claiming it was 1/2.
He got sick later, so, you know – reap and sow etc. (Just kidding, babe. You totally gave me 2/5 of the burger.)
The smooshy plate under the burger is butter basted over easy eggs.
You can’t go wrong with any of those words.
Then it was four and we were full, so we strolled to the Fillmore (just to say we did) and then went home and napped for like three hours.
Then we went out for more drinks and food, but everywhere we drank (Burritt Room was super cool and kind of odd to get to, so I felt like I knew a secret when I led Crockett straight there) they were no longer serving food. And then Crockett’s stomach started hurting, so we came home, and I tried to get the hotel restaurant to feed me but THEY didn’t have food either, so…
I ordered pizza to my hotel room. In San Francisco.
I’m a little embarrassed, but it had feta on it and was pretty freaking delicious.
On Sunday, I had ONE goal – brunch at Central Kitchen. Everything after that was in Crockett’s hands, since I’d been driving the metaphorical tour bus between various eateries and drinkeries.
Fortunately, Central Kitchen ended up being Crockett’s favorite restaurant of the trip.
We started with this nose to tail rabbit dish – pate, terrine, mortadella, pistachios, kumquats, fresh peas… it was a whole thing. Plus, it was gorgeous.
(This really was the third course, because we started with some french toast that our waitress recommended and that I didn’t photograph because Crockett would have eaten it all if I’d paused for breath. Not because he’s a big eater, he’s usually not – just because it was … I’m running out of ways to say delicious. Damn you, San Francisco.)
The third coarse was poached eggs, polenta, and confit hen. Not chicken, you pleebs, hen. (Got me.) Why are more things not confit’d? More things should be confit’d. Let’s all take that to heart.
On our way back to find a streetcar, we stumbled across this street fair on Valencia in the Mission District. People were outside playing music and doing demonstrations and generally being very street-fair-y. We walked past a bar that was on my master list that is normally closed on Sundays, but they were open for the fair, so we stopped in for refreshments. St. Vincent specializes in local craft beer and wine by the glass that you can buy a bottle of to take home. We were one of only two couples there, and it was dim and relaxing and fortified us for the next part of our journey.
Which was to take the street car straight west to see Ocean Beach.
It was windy and miserable and we spent two minutes there, then got on the next streetcar to come home.
I mean, beautiful, but windy and miserable.
Finally, Crockett wanted to ride bikes from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge.
I also wanted to, except in the way that I super didn’t want to, because I’m an enormous baby.
I only fell once, though, and I only cried like four times, and we did make it, so there’s that!
For our last night, we took the advice of the chef at the Empire, otherwise known our local favorite restaurant in the world, and tried to get into The Slanted Door. It was at least an hour wait for a table, but they serve the whole menu at the bar, and being bar people we just plopped on down and ate.
We had spring rolls, pork spare ribs, halibut and scallop ceviche with plantain chips, and california yellowtail. They were all from the appetizer and raw bar menus, so I’m glad we didn’t bother getting a table.
Basically, it was amazing.
Here’s the thing. By Saturday, I had run out of superlatives. It just seemed like our whole lives were walking around in the sunshine and waiting for there to be a tiny bit of room in our stomachs so we could shove something else delicious in there. It was a great few days.