I could eat!
31.12.2015 - 31.12.2015
Food. Beautiful satisfying delicious food. Comfort food. Gourmet food. Fresh food. Not so healthy food. Whatever the choice, it's all delicious.
So far this trip, we haven't done a lot of dining out. We've made some memorable meals at home, which have been just as satisfying. We've been getting up pretty late (by my standards) and not actually getting out of the house till after 10:30 or 11 a.m. There's been pastries and coffee at La Boulangerie de San Francisco.... I had a very memorable mushroom and bacon croissant and a humungous bowl of latte there. The cafe itself isn't overly decadent but it certainly has the San Francisco style about it. Wooden chairs and tables, a busy vibe and a magnificent display case of all things sweet and savoury. A pastry-aholics dream! The prices are incredibly reasonable. The aforementioned croissant and bowl of coffee was around $7.00 all up. They also had a great range of baguettes filled with all kinds of lovely stuff. I sampled a prosciutto, edam, fig and rocket baguette. It was a mini baguette measuring about 7cm long and quite narrow. The size was perfect. Cost $4.50. There are all kinds of pastries, choux puffs, tarts, pies and scones, soups and grilled sandwiches. In fact, the perfect place to stop by for a quick meal. Lots of shared tables and the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for them. No sign of the slightly offhand approach some Aussie establishments have. That's one thing I'm particularly impressed with. The service everywhere over here is exemplary. These people get paid pretty much a meagre salary but you can tell they truly appreciate being employed by their attitude towards their job. It says such a lot! (Slacko Australians take note!)
Continuing on with the theme of bakeries, we decided to go to Tartine. Tartine is quite famous in San Francisco. It's located in the Mission at the corner of 18th and Guerrero. This place is an institution. It's very small and seating is at a premium. We waited in line in the chilly morning air for about 30 minutes or so before we could even get in the door. The aromas keep you going when you think you might give up and leave. The cabinet displays an eye-popping array of savoury and sweet cakes, pastries, muffins etc. It's always packed. The service is fast and efficient and genuinely enthusiastic. Three of us ordered ham and cheese croissants, croque monsieur, banana cream pie and berry and seasonal fruit brioche bread pudding. We couldn't manage the banana cream pie so we brought it home with us to have later. The croissants were so buttery and flaky. The croque monsieur was very tasty but I have to say not quite as good as last time I was here. The brioche pudding was literally to die for. The ultimate comfort food. Unfortunately we couldn't get a table to sit at so we stood at the bar which runs along the window where you can see all the people waiting in line to get in the place. And they could see us...chomping down on all the things they could only dream about at that stage. Some comical banter between us and them ensued. Oh and the coffee was GREAT. Well worth the wait to get in. We've driven by many times and there is always a big queue half way down the street to get in. There's a couple of cookbooks that are well worth having. 'Tartine' and 'Tartine Bread'.
The banana cream pie recipe is in there along with the Brioche Bread Pudding. Other delights are Lemon Meringue Cake, Passionfruit and Lime Bavarian and Lemon Buttermilk Pudding Cake. Lucy also made the flakiest, butteriest pastry for our Beef and Red Wine Pie, from the Tartine cookbook. You won't believe how much butter actually goes into it but oh my, it was the best pastry I've ever tasted!
A quick trip to Sausalito one day for lunch found us at "Fish". Most of the seating is outside to take advantage of the glorious summer weather but this day was bloody cold so we were lucky enough to grab a table at the counter. The kitchen is a hive of activity. Once again there was a queue out the door but it didn't take long before we were able to order. I would say from ordering to sitting down, our food arrived within ten minutes. Once again, service was great and nothing too much trouble. We ordered fish and chips. Fast, fresh and fantastic. Accompanied by a cold beer.
Our visit to Sausalito was a quick one. So many tourists it was almost uncomfortable. I always avoid the tourist traps when I come here as my main reason is to visit with Lucy and soak up the local atmosphere, so no tourist traps for me. Sausalito is a very pretty place but I don't remember it being so commercial from my days living here back in the 70's.
Fish and chips for lunch!
Late yesterday afternoon we went to the movies so opted for a takeout pizza for dinner. Pizzeria Delfina was the choice. With a couple of glasses of
Scribe (winery) Reisling. Perfect. This is true artisan pizza at its best. Not an excess of soggy, heavy topping and certainly not like bloody Domino's with a hot dog stuffed crust! I couldn't imagine anything worse! This was light and crispy tender. Not too filling but very satisfying. The flavour said it all. Top quality ingredients don't need to be disguised under bucket loads of cheese and oily crap. Once again, Australian pizzerias, take note! (Except for Mr. McGee's Spaghetti House at Sippy Downs - Rick does a FABulous pizza).
Pizza from Pizza Delfina
I have to say, no one does breakfast quite like the Aussies. The only place I could find a fresh and healthy breakfast was when we prepared it ourselves at home. Unless of course you like waffles, pancakes and all manner of greasy things which are quite easily found. No disrespect intended, my USA friends, but I don't know how you can start the day eating so many carbs and fat. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bacon and egg breakfast but the addition of all the other stuff is just too much for me. When Lucy's dad visited us for a week, we had a great breakfast on Christmas Day. Aussie style.
Scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, pancetta, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes,
with avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish.
I have another two weeks here. I'm looking forward to a trip to Napa soon. Lots of good food and wine to try!