Showing posts with label san francisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san francisco. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2011

For cheese lovers: Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick

While B and I were wandering, looking for some good snacks in the morning, I stumbled upon Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick, a take away eatery/cafe located inside the Ferry building. It was the word milk bar that caught my attention.

Right next to it is its big sister store, Cowgirl Creamery, which is a cheese paradise.  If I was allowed to bring back kilos of cheese to Canada, this would be the place. 

Sidekick offers light meals and snacks such as sandwiches, soups, salads, all in which have cheese.  They have a variety of flavours for their organic milk and lattes. I'm a hardcore cheese lover so this is YUM + FUN type of discovery!

Contemplating what kind of soup we should get, between the tomato bisque and cheese dumplings in broth, B and I agreed to go with the latter.  The soup arrived looking similar to a French onion soup without the cheese baked on top.  Instead, the cheese curds, or 'dumplings' were in the bottom.  The broth was quite mild and the cheese dumplings tasted more like gnocchi.  There was a bit too much scallion and not much flavour.  Maybe we should have gotten the other one instead.

The earl grey panna cotta was begging me to try it, and so I did.  It had a wonderful, yet subtle aroma of earl grey tea with a soft, pudding like texture.  I had to get it again the next day.
Do I have something on my lips?
Getting too excited here with a hot cup of spiced chai flavoured milk in my hand.  Not too sweet, and very comforting.

For my second trip back to Sidekick, I once again got the earl grey panna cotta, and this delicious sandwich with ham, thick slabs of cheese and mustard.  I believe the cheese was Mozzarella, but it was very soft and very creamy, almost like Brie without the smell.  I guess my only regret after the second time going is that I haven't tried their grilled cheese sandwich (which I could only imagine would be amazing).

If you are sightseeing around the area and craving a snack, I highly recommend getting some here.  Maybe try the grilled cheese and let me know what ya think!

Cowgirl Creamery on Urbanspoon

Lunching at the oldest restaurant in Cali; Tadich Grill

The night I arrived San Francisco, my youngest sister B had already gone for her first meal in the city.  I asked her to bring me back some food since I was exhausted and had not eaten.  She presented me with a very large serving of bread pudding soaked in vanilla cream and caramel.  Then, she proceeded to rave about the wonderful meal she had at Tadich Grill. I dragged her back the following day for lunch.  I needed to find out what this place was all about.  

Known as the oldest restaurant in California and having been opened since 1849, the restaurant is considered to be one of the oldest businesses in the US and an establishment which captured the history and development of San Francisco. 

 The ambience carries an Old World feel to it.  The restaurant has one long counter at the bar that extended from the front of the restaurant to the back of the kitchen.  There are also small tables on the other side of the restaurant.
While we waited, I started off with a glass of Bloody Mary.  I love drinking in the states, the ratio seems to always be half and half, nice and stiff. 

 B ordered herself a clam chowder.  It was very traditional and hearty.  The soup was quite thick, very creamy with a lot of clam meat, potatoes, and other veggies.  It went great with crusty sourdough.

 I ordered what B ordered the night before, dungeness crab and prawn a la Monza with rice.  It was delicious.  The casserole was filled primarily with large chunks of succulent crab meat.  It was baked in a zesty tomato-based sauce with some spices to it and topped with grated parmesan.  The 2 prawns were large.  They were cooked well to maintain that "crunch" and were not rubbery.  I wish the side didn't come with brussel sprouts.  I never liked it as a child, and I don't think I'll ever acquire the taste for it.  Added some lemon on top, and I just went off.  It was a rather large portion but I finished it all, and I enjoyed every single bite of it.

Just when we thought we were full, we couldn't help but notice this enticing fume coming from the gent sitting next to us.  He ordered what appeared to be a steak tuna, perfectly seared with rare centre.  It smelled and looked so good we thought about ordering one too.  Unfortunately, we couldn't bring ourselves to do it.  I wish P was here, it would've happened.  When we did tell P, she demanded we go back there, but B refused to do so the 3rd time in a row.

The restaurant maybe old fashioned but they kept it real.  I respect the fact that they managed to keep the place busy all these years and have a lot of loyal and returning customers.  Not many successful business are able to last this long.  I will definitely come back.

  Tadich Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday binging trip in SF and Bay area

Shortly after we had an epic brunch at the Fat Lady, we decided to walk to off and went over to Jack London park located just a few blocks away.  Little did we know we would be tantalized by the fresh produce and food stands at the farmers market being held that day -__-''

Look at these beautiful heirloom tomatoes! I wish I could bring them all back with me T_T and they were so cheap too.  The little tubs were only $3 and something.  They also had fresh salsa and it was amazing.  

We knew we were stuffed, our bellies still full of food.  Then, we walked by Copper Top Ovens Pizza with a portable pizza oven.  The fire oven gourmet pizza was made fresh as you order, and my sister's gluttony got the best of her.  Half a pizza for only $6.

She ordered the daily special which had mascarpone cheese, pomegranate, and pear all infused with truffle oil.  How could you resist!! We ate the pizza down by the pier, which, by the way, was so delicious and worth every penny.  If we weren't so full, we would've enjoyed it much much more.  

There were too much food temptations going on at the farmers' market so we started walking back to the car.  On the way, I stumbled upon Home of Chicken & Waffles.  I took a peak inside and this place seems to be the real deal! If I wasn't on the verge of throwing up at this point, I would've gone in and order me some fried chicken and waffles.  My trip would've been complete. So sad T_T

We headed out to another popular touristy place in SF, Fisherman's Wharf.

We weren't thinking about ordering food, it had been less than 2 hours since a big brunch and half a pizza.  But of course, we ended up snacking again at Nick's Lighthouse and ordered typical seafood snacks popular in this area.

Prawn bisque
Crab cocktail
Calamari and fries
Side story: While I was standing on the street munching on calamari, someone threw a piece of food at a seagull.  The poor bird ended up being shoved aside by a seagull bully who caught the food in his mouth instead.  The seagull who got shafted squealed and pecked the other seagull  bully on the bum.  I thought it was the funniest thing how much alike they are to humans.

Nick's Lighthouse on Urbanspoon

After a quick stroll and snacking, we headed to Chinatown, our final spot for SF trip.  We were recommended to try out Golden Star, a vietnamese restaurant best known for their pho.

I'd like to point out the fact that I was a bit confused.  In the states, these are called "spring rolls", but in Canada, they are called "salad rolls".  I asked our American friends what you called the deep fried rolls, which are spring rolls in Canadaland.  "Egg rolls", they repied.  Ah, I see.

Those are huge beef balls!  They were pretty good; not overly chewy with a hint of pepper and sesame oil.  The broth was also good, but quite light compared to other pho places in Edmonton, the best location other than Vietnam to go for pho.

Whoa guys, we broke away from the usual pho and vermicelli bowl that day.  Someone actually was hungry enough to order a whole meal to herself, catfish in clay pot with a lot of rice.  This was a really authentic dish and we don't usually find it in all vietnamese restaurants.  The catfish was steamed in the clay pot and as a result, the meat was tender, moist, with lots of flavours and aromas from other herbs and spices. Yummy.
Golden Star Vietnamese on Urbanspoon
We really packed all those meals in a short period of time and our bellies hated us for that.  No regrets though, San Francisco is another city next to New York that offers so much diversity and more culinary adventures are waiting to be discovered.  Until next time!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco recap

This was my second annual trip to Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco.  Last year, I packed my bag and journeyed to SF for the first time without knowing anyone or what I was getting myself into.  It was a great experience.  I met a lot of fellow food bloggers and kept in touch with some.  

This year, I'm a big(ger) girl and the second time going wasn't as intimidating.  I ended up being too comfortable and mostly interested in what the festival had to offer.  I didn't bring as many cards, and since I met some people from last year, I didn't make as much effort this year to meet as many people.  Not very proactive or social, I know.  I also didn't take as many photos, often too caught up in conversations than paying attention to what was going around me.  The only thing I made sure I took pictures of was..the food!  Not very good ones either.  My camera sucks and I hate it so much >:(

Friday Night:
Goody bag
There were other gift bag stuffers not featured in the photo, 2 Godiva coffee bags, Cascade dish washing tablets, and a chocolate cake mix -__-''.  Last year's goody bag was way better : S

Welcome reception and dinner at Terra Gallery
This year's welcome reception seemed more upscale as it was held at Terra Gallery, a popular space for hosting events.  It was open bar, yay! I got to try Hell or High watermelon ale and it was amazing, tasted kinda like jolly rancher but not too sweet.  I wanted to bring a case load back to Canadaland.  Along side the booze, was an island of hor d'ourves, mostly different flavours of hummus by Sabra.  They were pretty good, and there was an interesting wasabi flavour.  The dessert hummus, coconut and chocolate, was a no go.
After over an hour since the event commenced, we were called upstairs where the buffet dinner awaited us.  Hundreds of hungry food bloggers raced upstairs and quickly swarmed around each station.
Glazed pork belly with broccoli puree
Pan-seared scallop
Tuscan beef stew and brown sugar butter roasted chicken

meatloaf muffin and whipped potato, salt cod cake, beet ravioli, mac and cheese, kale leek ricotta tart
potato brocoli soup, butternut squash orzo
Lentil salad and ceviche shooter

Too much food, too much booze.  I was near state of coma.  After the dinner, I called it a night.

Afternoon at the Tasting Pavilion at the Metreon
It was another afternoon of endless food and booze sampling.  The event was 3 hours long and I didn't expect that I would be there from beginning to end.  I must say that I'm glad I stayed around. Godiva Coffee had an awesome booth, giving out sample bags of their flavoured coffee, chocolates, and pumpkin latte.  Some were not so great, such as Jimtown where the lady gave us a dab of oil from their spreads for samples.  No, Thanks.  

One of my favourite sponsors, Alaska Seafood, they always have the best food.  

Redwood Hill Farm, a family-run goat cheese producer.  Their cheese was delicious! So creamy, and soft.  MMmmmmm

Vignette Wine Country soda, non-alcoholic varieties!
Bloom Gin and their lemon honey concoction.  I couldn't have just one!!

OMG Tyler Florence! He was a really nice guy.  I was one of the last few that made it in line.  They ran out of cookbooks to give out, so I got his portrait instead. 

More food ensued...
Chocolate stout from 21st Amendment and Three Twins organic vanilla ice-cream. 
The best part about this event is that near the end, the sponsors would give out products to take home (that they weren't handing out earlier).  I witnessed some people leaving with cases and cases of stuff.  I left with 2 bags, but I had to carry them around and packed them on the plane.

Gala Dinner hosted by Alexia Foods
Shortly after,
2 hours later, after I walked through the rain, I ended up at the gala dinner hosted at the Grand Hyatt hotel.  More feasting about to commence.

I didn't like the organic fries.  There was a contest going on for which flavours would take the prize, but the fries themselves weren't even crispy.  I usually love deep fried food, especially fries, but I don't know about them.  I probably wouldn't but the brand at the grocery.

Appetizers included butternut squash risotto bites, roasted wild mushroom samosas, and vegetable maki roll.
Tyler Florence came out and performed a cooking demo. for the next hour.  The only thing I learned was how to make a brine.  

First course finally came out, Bibb lettuce salad with honey roasted pear, glazed pecans and blue cheese vinaigrette.
I had to scoot out of there so I quickly scarf down the main course, filet mignon with lemon roasted prawns, peppercorn jus, mashed potato, asparagus and heirloom carrots.  I didn't stick around for the dessert, but I heard it wasn't very good.

It was a dine and dash.  I didn't come back for the farewell brunch on Sunday hosted by Godiva Coffee.  Overall, I thought last year's event was better, definitely the goodie bag and the gala dinner were way better.  My favourite part of the festival was probably the Tasting Pavilion.

What I got from the Tasting Pavilion...

479 black truffle and white cheddar popcorn.. Only 70 calories per bag!
Of course, I couldn't fit all that in my luggage T_T I must say these were way better than the goody bag!