Wednesday, July 27, 2011

San Francisco Food Destinations

Whenever my friends visit San Francisco, they always want to EAT. Sure, we do other things too- see the sights, visit museums, check out live music venues, bar hop... but the common thread is food! Perhaps I just take it for granted, but San Francisco is definitely a food destination.

By food-touring San Francisco, not only do you get a chance to eat some good food, but you also can experience the culture of the area. Every neighborhood has its distinctive style and people, so be sure to schedule a wide variety of destinations in your tour. I like to bring people to the tried and true places, but also take advantage of the opportunity to try new places as well.

Some of my favorite food destinations in SF:

Tartine Bakery
Mission/Dolores Park
Tartine is one of those must-visit places. If I were to open a bakery, it would be very similar to Tartine. It is quintessentially French (although the portion sizes seem a bit more American at times-- they are huge!!) Fun fact: their puff pastry for the croissants take about two days to make! There is nearly always a line, but don't let that deter you because the line moves relatively quickly. Everything is executed well and the tables outside are great for people-watching. Or you can grab your food to go and eat at Dolores Park nearby.

Favorite items:
Banana Cream Tart
Chocolate Croissant

Smitten Ice Cream
Hayes Valley
I know many will disagree but I favor this place over BiRite Creamery and Humphrey Slocombe. BiRite is a little too mainstream for me and Humphrey Slocombe a little too out-there. Smitten is the happy medium for me. This little pop-up type store doesn't have any seating, but on a nice day it's very pleasant to sit outside on the benches of the park surrounding this place. The ingredients are very fresh and some are quite unique (Chocolate with jalapenos?). Plus, it's so fun to see them make my ice cream to order with liquid nitrogen, so satisfying for the kid in me.

Favorite items:
Vanilla with Cocoa Nib Pralines

Pizzetta 211
This is an underrated pizza place in the city. With only a handful of tables inside and two tables outside, the atmosphere is very intimate and adorable. This would be a perfect date place. The pizza is thin crust, just the way I like it. There are traditional pizzas, like tomato basil mozzarella, but the restaurant also branches out into more unusual combinations as well. The menu changes weekly but some items stay the same.

Favorite items:
Farm Egg, Bacon, Corn, Cherry Tomato, Chipotle Creme Fraiche
Rosemary, Fiore Sardo Cheese, Pine Nuts

More to come!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

One Ingredient Berry Ice Cream

Being a single girl in my twenties, I realize I have the luxury of eating whatever I want, no matter how crazy. I don't have a family to cook for, so if I don't feel like cooking a proper meal, I don't have to.

In San Francisco, we've finally been getting the summer promised to us. We've had weather up to mid-70, which is pretty much as good as it gets for SF summers. Finally, I no longer have to curse my iPhone weather app when I wake up every morning...

Today, I decided to try a spin on the "one ingredient ice cream" that has been taking over the blogosphere. Thekitchn made a post about making ice cream by blending frozen bananas. Personally, when I read the post on thekitchn and reddit, I really didn't think much of it. I've been eating frozen bananas since I was a kid precisely because the texture is exactly like ice cream. I've just been too lazy to blend them!

My take on the phenomenon disqualifies it from being "one ingredient." But it's still tasty, easy, and relatively healthy as long as you don't eat tons of bananas. I winged the measurements, but I would say I used two parts bananas to 1 part of each berry. I added just enough liquid to allow my crappy blender to process the solid frozen fruit.

Berry Banana Sorbet

Mix diced frozen banana, blueberries, and strawberries in a blender. (I prepared the frozen banana by myself, frozen berries are from Trader Joe's.) Add a little milk or orange juice. Blend until smooth, serve immediately by itself or with some granola.

A big bowl of berry banana sorbet and some Kashi... perfect summer lunch. Enjoy!