Eating San Francisco

There are so many wonderful places to eat in San Francisco that I often wish I was a bottomless pit. As I’m not, I’ve devised a strategy that works well for me. It involves my husband Richard. He eats, I taste. It’s perfect. Here are a few of the places in San Francisco I tasted today.

Plow in Potreo Hill serves up breakfast and brunch to happy diners. If you go on Sundays, be prepared to queue up. There’s always a line thats worth waiting in.

Four Barrel Coffee

Named one of the coolest coffeehouses in the country by Travel + Leisure magazine, Four Barrel roasts their own beans in this vintage German roaster.

Bi-Rite Creamery

Handcrafted ice-cream with flavors such as Toasted Coconut, Roasted Banana, and Orange Cardamon, make Bi-Rite a San Fran favorite.

“We make all of our ice cream by hand, in small batches, on 18th Street. In the bak­ery adjoin­ing our ice cream kitchen we make every­thing that goes into our ice cream, whether it’s brown­ies, peanut brit­tle, marsh­mal­lows, or the snick­er­doo­dles for ricanelas! We have lots of home­made top­pings to jazz up your ice cream includ­ing almond tof­fee, gra­ham crack­ers, and spiced pecans to name just a few of the most pop­u­lar (and don’t for­get to ask for our deca­dent home­made hot fudge to top it off!)”

Straus Fam­ily Cream­ery, only 45 miles away, deliv­ers all of the organic milk, cream and eggs for our recipes. Our salted caramel, roasted banana, honey laven­der, and other fla­vors draw lines that wrap around the block!”

To be continued…

 

Eat your Vegetables

Ubuntu

One Michelin Star 2010
One Michelin Star 2011

I stumbled upon Ubuntu in Napa, California, two years before they were awarded their star. I don’t remember where I first heard about the place, but I knew I had to try it sometime. Ubuntu is a vegetarian restaurant like no other. When I took my son there and told him it was strictly vegetarian, he grew wide eyed. But after our dinner, he said it was one of the best meals he’d ever had. Their young chef Aaron London, is truly gifted and his story is quite interesting.

After getting in trouble with the law at age 14 (he’s vague on the actual incident), London began cooking to kill time while under house arrest. Then something clicked. His food was so good that his probation officers, whose visits were supposed to be a surprise, would call ahead to give London a heads-up so he could fix them a snack.

“I’ve always been super high-energy,” he says, “but before cooking I didn’t know how to express myself. By the time I got out of my room, I was hooked.”

The loquacious London, born in the Sonoma County town of Graton, routinely bicycles 60 miles before work and enjoys his weekly hamburger. At first, his personality seems at odds with the painstakingly plated dishes he serves at Napa’s Ubuntu, a vegetable restaurant whose menu is riddled with unusual ingredients such as “sunchoke dirt” and “kohlrabi noodles.”

2011 Rising Star Chef: Aaron London
March 13, 2011|By Sophie Brickman, Chronicle Staff Writer of SF Gate.com

Ubuntu
1140 Main Street
Napa, Ca.
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Greens

Since 1979 Greens has been serving up fine vegetarian fare in it’s waterfront location at Fort Mason in San Francisco. They were pioneers in establishing vegetarian dining and elevating it to a fine dining status.

Ricotta Corn Griddle Cakes

Fig and Melon Salad

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

Greens
Fort Mason
San Francisco, Ca.

San Francisco Treat – Tartine Bakery & Cafe

It’s 9:00am on a Sunday morning, and a line has already formed outside Tartine Bakery. I can’t help but wonder, does anyone sleep in on Sundays anymore? I make my way to the end of the line and try to wait patiently. But I’m dreaming of a hot and steamy bowl, (yes, I said bowl), of cappuccino to start my day, so patience is not so easy to come by this morning.

Once in, ahhhhhh, so worth the wait!

My friend Linda gets one too!

Tartine is very family friendly. You see happy little kids all around.Shortly after this photo was taken, this little girl devoured her entire croissant!

And I pick a Croque Monsieur for my breakfast (and lunch too). The most flavorful mushrooms and tomatoes on a slice of their famous bread, topped with Gruyere cheese. It is the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich.
Thank you Tartine! You never disappoint me.

Pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt and her husband, renowned baker Chad Robertson, are the co-owners of Tartine Bakery and Bar Tartine in San Francisco. They both trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Elisabeth and Chad traveled, trained, and cooked in France and upon their return, opened Bay Village Bakery in Point Reyes Station, California. Using a wood fired brick oven, they baked bread and created rustic, elegant pastries using many of the techniques they had learned abroad. Chad’s bread garnered the attention of Alain Ducasse, who wrote about the couple in his book, Harvesting Excellence. After 6 years of baking in the countryside, they relocated to San Francisco to open Tartine Bakery in 2002. Elisabeth was named Pastry Chef of the Year in San Francisco Magazine. Tartine Bakery is continually rated in the Zagat Survey as Best Bakery and Best Breakfast in San Francisco. Elisabeth and Chad were nominated for James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chefs in 2006 and 2007, and won the award in 2008. Their first book, ‘Tartine’, published by Chronicle Books, was chosen by Corby Kummer of the Atlantic Monthly in the New York Times list of selected top ten cookbooks of 2006. It was also nominated for a James Beard award for the photography of France Ruffenach. Tartine Bread, Chad’s second book, published by Chronicle Books is out now.

600 Guerrero Street San Francisco, CA 94110 t. 415 487 2600
Monday 8-7 | Tuesday, Wednesday 730-7 | Thursday, Friday 730-8 | Saturday 8-8 | Sunday 9-8