Monday, May 17, 2010
The ferry building in SF is iconic. Originally just for ferries, now it's home to the most well-known farmer's market in San Francisco. On a beautiful Saturday morning, who can resist? The farmer's market isn't restricted to fresh fruits and vegetables, or even the delicious tapenades, hummus, nuts, and freshly baked breads. There are also a ton of food stands that rival fine dining restaurants. It's pricey, but it's definitely worth a try.
First up: Namu. A modern Korean food stand. There are breakfast items like French toast, fries with toppings, okonomiyaki and other goodies.
Namu's "original" Korean tacos. I guess this is probably a jab at Kogi (which I'm not a huge fan of.) These are good, but not really tacos by any stretch of the imagination. They are made up of two sheets of nori, some rice, some galbi beef, and chopped onions and kimchi salsa. These have a ton of potential. The flavors really work. However, it could use a bit more punch. The portion is tiny, and at 2/$5 they aren't cheap. They are literally bite size (okay, maybe two.) It would be great if they used a big sheet of nori, more rice (rice is cheap right??), more beef, more salsa/kimchi. It would make for a more satisfying bite. Nevertheless, I liked these reasonably enough.
I also tried the gamja fries. These looked great- perfect drunk food- fries covered with salsa, beef, salsa, some mayo, pretty much the same stuff as the tacos. They were disappointing though- very greasy and not in a satisfying way. I think they were around $6.
Next: 4505 Meats. A meat place, with lots of hot dogs, sausages, burgers. Apparently they are really famous for their hot dogs with chicharrones. Unfortunately I didn't try that, but I will next time. Instead, I tried the burger. At $7 it is not bad, but of course small. The meat is juicy and the patty is toasted and crispy at the edges. It's a pretty good burger, all in all. Made of fresh ingredients and done just right, which is what a ferry building lunch should be about.
Roli Roti is a hugely popular stand. There is always a huge line. I made the mistake of getting the rotisserie chicken and rosemary potatoes. I was tempted by the short chicken and potatoes only line. While perfectly adequate, it was your basic roasted chicken with tender skin, crispy herby skin, complemented with rosemary potatoes. Delicious, but not what everyone was waiting for. The porchetta sandwich is the real star, which I will get on my frequent trips to the area. They also have pork knuckles and a variety of meats which they seem to rotate. At $6 (I think) this was a steal compared to the rest of the market!
Finally, inside the market I have tried the oysters on the half shell. It was my first time trying raw oysters. I really like cooked oysters and I loooove sashimi, so I didn't think it would be a problem. However, the taste was really slimy and fishy... it's probably supposed to taste like this but I just didn't like it! You get an oyster and you can help yourself to any condiments for just $1.50.
All-in-all, visit the ferry building for free samples, fresh produce, and a nice lunch as well! I recommend bringing friends so you can try multiple items. No, I did not eat all this by myself!
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94111