Tag Archives: San Francisco

Fly Away to San Francisco: Part 5

22 Mar

We’re going to skip ahead to our last full day in San Francisco. Why? I don’t need to tell you why, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want!

…Just kidding.

Anyway, like I was saying, our last day in San Francisco was spent on the other side of the Bay in Berkeley. We took the BART from downtown and as soon as I came above ground I thought I was back on the East Coast. In fact, I swore I was in Cambridge, Central Square to be exact. And then Harvard. And maybe some Porter and definitely a splash of Davis thrown in for good measure.

It was kind of amazing and scary all at the same time.

The next time we come to the West Coast, I plan on spending a lot more time in Berkeley. So many amazing sounding restaurants stretched before us. Coffee shops galore. Crunchy granola. Lots of crunchy granola.

For lunch we decided to stop at Cheeseboard, which was highly recommended to us by two of our local friends.

Cheeseboard is a co-op and their menu is tiny. One pizza special. One dessert special. One salad special. $3 beers. That’s it. A whole pizza will set you back $20 and it feeds between 2-4 people. They list their pizza specials on their website so you know what they are going to have for the week.

The special for this particular day was red bell pepper, onions, mozzarella, feta, kalamata olive tapenade, garlic oil, and italian parsley. They only serve white pizza, so no sauce. But don’t worry, it doesn’t need it.

The pizza was pretty freaking amazing. I loved the saltiness of the olives with the stringiness of the cheese. The sauce was not missed at all. It was a huge burst of flavor in my mouth. There wasn’t much talking while we consumed our pizza.

But that’s ok! Because we got to listen to one of the live bands that plays there every day! It was a beautiful day outside, so the windows were open and there were tables outside.

Cheeseboard was definitely a great finish to our stay in San Francisco and makes me itching to come back to explore the awesomeness of Berkeley!

Cheeseboard Pizza on Urbanspoon

Fly Away to San Francisco Part 3

9 Mar

After our lunch at Boudin Bakery we decided to head up to Coit Tower.

But first we had to climb a lot of stairs.

I mean, A LOT of stairs. And people LIVE off of those stairs. I mean, #1, I would LOVE to live there, but I just have to say, how the hell did they MOVE?!?!

But I digress….

When we got to Coit Tower, before getting onto the elevator to the top I noticed a ton of murals on the walls.

Hubby explained to me that the murals were part of the Public Works of Art Project that were commissioned during the Great Depression. Basically, unemployed artists were hired to create these murals. They surround the entire bottom floor of Coit Tower and they were amazing to look at.

After taking the elevator up to the top of Coit Tower, we got a 360 degree view of San Francisco. I have to admit though, I was kind of enthralled by all the change on the outside of the windows.

I noticed that there were a lot of Guatemalan coins, which I thought was amusing. But you don’t want to see pictures of coins now do you?

After all that climbing we decided to head back to M&K’s apartment. We had an early dinner because we were heading to see Avenue Q at the Opera House. By the way, if you haven’t seen Avenue Q, YOU NEED TO SEE IT RIGHT NOW. If you tend to be inappropriate on a daily basis (like I am) then this is right up your alley.

For dinner we decided to stay in the neighborhood and go to Piccino. Piccino is a lovely and small classic Italian pizzeria that feels like a coffee shop. Maybe because when they aren’t a pizzeria they are actually a coffee shop. Huh.

They served their water in a milk bottle and I just couldn’t get over how cute it was.

Depending on where you were sitting in the tiny restaurant you could practically see everything. Since they are mainly a pizzeria the pizza oven dominated. I also noticed that they had a single induction burner which I thought was cool.

We weren’t very hungry so we went with a shared pizza. We got a classic Margherita pizza which was tomato sauce, mozzarella and dried oregano. What seemed to set Piccino apart based on all the reviews I had read is that you have the option of adding egg to your pizza.

Runny, yolky, perfectly soft EGG on pizza. I would like to hug the person that thought of this idea because it totally MADE the pizza. I thought the pizza was great, but there was a little too much tomato sauce and not enough mozzarella. I was also disappointed that there was no basil on the pizza. Other than that, the dough was chewy and crisp and wonderful.

For dessert we shared the special blood orange upside down cake with homemade vanilla bean whipped cream. This.Was.Amazing. The blood orange was sweet, the cake was extremely moist, and the whipped cream tasted like vanilla air. I wanted to eat 3 of these.

Because I wanted to stay awake for the show I ordered some of their coffee which is brewed by Blue Bottle Coffee Company in San Francisco. Coffee is considered the nectar of the gods on the West Coast. I could go on a tangent about how Boston is lacking in great coffee houses but I won’t. Just know that this coffee was some of the best coffee I had ever had.

Piccino is definitely worth the stop if you are in the neighborhood. And whatever you do, ALWAYS order your pizza with an egg.

 

Piccino on Urbanspoon

Fly Away to San Francisco, Part 2

7 Mar

Our first full day in San Francisco was a day of really being a tourist. After finishing breakfast we hopped on the MUNI to downtown San Francisco. Let me tell you Bostonians, the MUNI, is EXACTLY like the MBTA. Another reason why I felt at home while I was in San Francisco. I felt like I was getting on the Green Line at some points. But I digress.

Our first stop? The cable cars obviously! Whenever you think of San Francisco the first thing that comes to mind are the cable cars. They are insanely expensive ($5 a pop!) but we grabbed a day pass for $13 each which gave you unlimited trips on the cable cars and MUNI so it was incredibly worth it.

Holy hills Batman!

After a bit of a wait we made it onto the cable car. Riding on the cable cars really made us realize just how incredibly hilly San Francisco is. I mean, I knew it was hilly, I just didn’t realize it was that hilly.

The cable car dropped us off within walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf. Fisherman’s Wharf reminds me a lot of Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market in Boston except with more t-shirt shops and greasier food. We walked along the pier and saw some awesome views of Alcatraz

and the Golden Gate Bridge.

We weren’t particularly hungry for lunch just yet so we walked over to Ghirardelli Square.

We obviously went to the Ghirardelli store where we bought some delicious chocolate and shared a small dish of strawberry ice cream with dark chocolate Ghirardelli sauce. It was, in a word, amazing.

For lunch we decided to stop at Boudin Bakery & Cafe. San Francisco is obviously known as the place to get sourdough. We unfortunately did not try the clam chowder in a bread bowl because we were still a little full from breakfast, but it looked amazing.

You can get all kinds of amazing sourdough breads from Boudin. They even have bread shaped in animals that are available for purchase. They were very cute.

They also sell Californian olive oil and other regional specialties. While we waited for our sandwich to be made I browsed some of the offerings and really wanted to buy a ton of stuff! But I resisted.

For our light lunch we decided on the simple Turkey with Havarti Cheese on a classic sourdough bread. The sandwich was simple and exactly what we needed after a heavy breakfast. The bread really was amazing. We ended up buying a 1lb loaf to take to Lake Tahoe with us.

If your stomach allows, I would definitely recommend trying the clam chowder in the bread bowl for 2 reasons, 1. to see if San Francisco chowder is as good as Boston chowder and 2. to eat it in a bread bowl like we do in Boston.

Even though this is in the most touristy part of the city, Boudin Bakery & Cafe is a must try. Don’t even think about missing it.

Fly Away to San Francisco Part 1

5 Mar

Where do I even BEGIN to recap my amazing trip to San Francisco? I don’t even know how I’m going to do it, but I’m going to try. So here goes!!

Hubby and I had been wanting to go to San Francisco FOREVER. Friends raved about it. Hubby’s cousin and wife live in San Francisco and offered to host us whenever we decided to visit the Golden Gate City. So we finally decided to head out there in February which happened to coincide with a weekend of skiing and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe. How could we say no!

We landed in San Francisco and witnessed just how strict the traffic enforcement ladies were at the airport while we waited for hubby’s cousin to pick us up. We had an AMAZING lunch at Chez Maman which is located in Potrero Hill where we stayed for our trip. Delicious paninis, honest to goodness crepes, and an adorable genuine French owner. LOVE.

We decided to keep things low key for the day (and for the entire vacation really) and hung out at M&K’s (that’s hubby’s cousin and wife for future reference) condo for a bit to destress and just hang out.

They have a really nice view

We watched a hilarious Samuel L. Jackson movie (Unthinkable, in case you were wondering, and no, it wasn’t hilarious on purpose) and then eventually decided to head out to dinner where we ate surprisingly good Indian food, played some terrible foosball (I suck, M excels at it), maybe saw a mullet or two, walked in on a “Magic” gathering, and played some slightly better Big Buck Hunter.

Successful start to our vacation if I do say so myself.

Thursday was a day of good eats. We started our day with a hearty breakfast at Just For You Cafe, on the edge of Portrero Hill and the Dogpatch.

Just for You Cafe is just as cheeky as it is good.

With some retro posters and a list of their homemade specials, Just for You Cafe would fit in perfectly either in Allston or perhaps Davis Square.

We obviously had to try the beignets (1 for $1.65, 3 for $4.25). These perfect pillows of fried donut goodness were, in a word, AMAZING. I was expecting the beignets to be on the smaller side, but these things were HUGE, and not to mention topped with about an inch of powdered sugar. Yep, we certainly ARE on vacation.

If that wasn’t belly busting enough the hubster went for the biscuits and gravy, topped with 2 eggs over easy ($8.95). While it certainly doesn’t look attractive, it was pretty damn tasty. But really, how can you go wrong with biscuits and creamy gravy?

I went a classic route with 2 eggs over easy, some homemade whole wheat bread, home fries, and homemade turkey-apple sausage ($9.95). The sausage was excellent, with big chunks of apple and overall goodness. The bread had that taste that only comes with freshly made bread and the eggs were cooked perfectly.

The service was stand-offish, but not in a bad way. They pretty much leave you alone but will still re-fill your (delicious) coffee without being asked.

This was a great start to our first full day in San Francisco. Stay tuned to see how the rest of our day went!!

Just For You Cafe on Urbanspoon

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