The Post-Vacation Blues. Yup, that’s what I have right now, thanks to the most amazing, relaxing and all around wonderful trip that J and I took to San Francisco to celebrate our 10th (!) wedding anniversary. Every minute was so magical that I literally stopped several times during the trip to try and soak in as much as possible.
Sure, we’ve both been to San Francisco plenty of times- my sister lived there for a decade, and J grew up in nearby Marin. Somehow, on this particular trip, everything just fell into place. The weather was downright spectacular, with the warm sun beaming down each day as early as 6:00am and the skies staying clear all night long. Our lovely friend Jen just happened to be leaving SFO just an hour before we arrived, then leaving a few hours after we had to return to Los Angeles, so she left us her car at the SFO parking lot to use, for free, all weekend. Everything we ate was ridiculously delicious, and the wine flowed late into the night. It’s as if the City By the Bay was smiling down, making everything perfect, just for J and me. *sigh*
Ok, enough waxing sentimental. This is a photo-heavy post, so I’ll try to keep the editorial short. Here’s part one of our trip, in photos and few words:
First we decided to forgo getting a hotel and opted, at the advice of my sister, to find a rental on AirBNB. BEST decision EVER! We fell so in love with “our” Russian Hill apartment we wished we could buy it and move in forever. It was so nice not to live out of a suitcase. The house had floor to ceiling closets, a fully stocked kitchen, heated bathroom floors (yup, they were awesome!) and a view that made every morning and evening extra special.
Our first meal was at Boccalone, the famed all-things-pork outlet of Chef Chris Consentino.
Here’s my sandwich: a panino of prosciutto, pickled vegetables, jalapeno and cilantro- their take on a Vietnamese bahn mi.
Saturday morning, it was all about the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. My sister had been telling us about the Primavera stand’s chilaquiles but I’d never gotten a chance to try them, so we set out on a mission. Primavera boasted one of the longest lines at the market, but they moved people through quickly. We decided to get one order of the chilaquiles and one Swiss chard tamale.
OMG. No, really…OMG. Best chilaquiles ever. The chips were drenched in the most delicious sauce yet kept their crispy texture, the eggs were cooked just to the point of being softly scrambled, the avocado was creamy and fresh, and the beans- don’t even get me started on those! Slightly smoky from a touch of chipotle, I could have eaten three times the amount. You’re looking at a perfect plate of food, folks! The tamale was equally- yes, equally- delicious with soft, light and savory masa stuffed with green chard. We were so happy…especially since we got to eat while looking at this:
We strolled around to look at all of the incredible produce, trying bites of satsuma oranges, spoonfuls of honey yogurt…it was a feast for both the eyes and the palate:
Of course, there was no shortage of goodies inside the Ferry Building as well, like these cauliflower-like mushrooms:
All sorts of baked goods…..
All kinds of chocolate….
We ventured back outside and noticed another loooong line….and discovered the culprit:
That beautiful roll of meat, my friends, is porchetta. Gorgeous pork rolled with herbs and spiced, wrapped in fatty pork belly and roasted on a spit until the outside is crispy and the inside is juicy and tender. We did what any responsible person would do, of course- got in line and got a porchetta sandwich:
Slices of the juicy meat and crispy skin were layered with sweet, caramelized onions and fresh, spicy arugula on a crusty ACME roll. Um, yup- it was pretty ridiculous! Since we’re not complete gluttons, we shared one half and gave the other half to a very happy guy.
Later that weekend we hit one of our favorite spots, Nopalito, for a quick snack. We’d have eaten more, but were carefully plotting to eat at multiple places each day, so we held back and just got something small. Here’s our glass of horchata and some crunchy spiced garbanzo beans:
….and one of my favorite dishes: Panucho de Pollo al Pibil- a black bean stuffed tortilla topped with citrus-achiote chicken, cabbage, pickled red onion and salsa habanera.
So that wraps up part one of what I can confidently refer to as one of the Best Trips Ever! We’ll continue back down memory lane – next up, lunch at Chez Pannise and our anniversary dinner at Bar Crudo- stay tuned!