San Francisco: My weekend download

I got back last night from my weekend getaway in San Fran with a girl friend. Not my usual trip where I was jam packed with reservations here and there, knowing exactly where I was going to be at every second; more of a wing it type trip and it was AWESOME! This was our shopping and eating trip. Or maybe it was our eating and eating trip…

We stayed at the Westin St. Francis in the heart of Union Square and it was perfect. Definitely ask for a room in the new tower but great to be so central, rooms were fine, service was good and no complaints (which is a bonus for me).

The minute we left the room we set off for our first meal at the restaurant that came recommended by my friends Mom; the Woohouse Fish Co. We walked 45 minutes up Market Street through a little bit of a dodgy part of town, but it was WORTH IT!!!! Make your own arnold palmers with simple syrup, great decor (unlike the more trendy one we saw in Pacific Heights later on), and I had a crab and shrimp stuffed artichoke and she had the amazing and buttery crab roll and fries which was to die for. See photos to prove it. Amazing.

We shopped till we dropped that day (I had to go back to the hotel for a quick rest and to do some work) but she kept trekking on.

We then decided to try to get into the famed Slanted Door a night before our real reservation because we wanted to do something else Saturday night. After several phone calls to see if we could get in (they said they were fully booked), because I was panicked we wouldn’t get in, we walked right in and were seated in less than 60 seconds. Hostesses on the phone are so full of it! As usual, this modern Vietnamese hot spot pleased me just as it did 10 years ago when it was located in The Mission District. Now with it’s fancy digs at the newly restored Ferry Building, the food is the same, turnover is quick and if you can get in, you’re in for a treat. We had the crispy imperial rolls, their most well known dish, the grass-fed estancia shaking beef and the zuckerman farm asparagus with trumpet mushrooms. YUM!! Read more about their incredible shaking beef here in the NY Times.

Saturday was a long day, and my feet were hurting, so I have no shame in saying we were in the room at 8 pm fully fed watching a pay per view movie. We started off the day with amazing coffee and pastries from an institution in The Mission called Tartine Bakery on a nondescript corner with a snooty staff but great people watching. We had to indulge in what everyone was eating, their morning bun which was buttery dough filled with cinnamon and orange, coated in sugar and warm from the oven.

Then we were off for our 4 hour excursion, again, the recommendation from my friend’s mom for Chris Milano’s Foodie Tour, of The Mission. He is a food lover with a personality that will knock your socks off, a competitor on the Food Network and killer tour guide (they also do these in North Beach and China Town). We were lucky enough to get Chris as our guide where we went to about 6 local eateries, all family owned with some 3rd and 4th generation cooks who told us their amazing stories. We had latin food from panaderias (delicious coconut bread), chicken enchiladas, brain tacos (I was the ONLY ONE out of 15 that opted for the beef), amazing fresh squeezed juices and a lot more, all mixed in with a history of the neighborhood, local market delights and 4 hours of amazing culture. I HIGHLY recommend you do a tour like this if you like food and want to try seeing a city in a different way.  Makes me really want to do one here in LA. Also, one of the highlights on this tour was Balmy alley and all of the exquisite murals. I loved this one.

After buying new shoes for my aching feet, we hit up E & O Trading Company right by our hotel because my friend is obsessed with The Best Thing I Ever Ate, on the Food Network and had to try their Indonesian corn fritters. It happened to be happy hour and they were divine and went straight to my tush.

I had a fabulous time, I was able to walk through Union Square, The Mission, Noe Valley, China Town, North Beach, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow and the Marina. So yes, I walked off all of the fattening food I devoured and now need to see an orthopedist for my heel/foot problem.

Good bye San Francisco!



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