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We recently headed to SF for a short getaway from the city. Not only was the weather perfect in SF, but as you can imagine, so was the food. After days of gorging ourselves silly on as many crab legs, oysters and sashimi we could get our hands on, we stopped by La Torta Gorda one early afternoon in the hopes of curing an exceptionally nasty hangover from a particularly intense evening of mini putt (s/o Urban Putt!).
Dead and gone to seafood heaven. That’s what happened to us when we visited Swan Oyster Depot in SF a couple weeks ago. The 100 year old SF institution is known for its insanely fresh raw bar offerings, the casual and informal dining style and the long lines of locals and tourists eagerly waiting to get a taste. Named by the James Beard Foundation as an American Classic in 2000 and featured by Anthony Bourdain on The Layover, the restaurant receives hundreds of visitors a day that come from far and wide.
Directly on the drive into wine country, right before Sonoma proper, Alsian Station Grill sits across from Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vinyards. The Argentinian fare was perfect for the sunny terrace and we even committed the sin of drinking beer (Quilmes) in Sonoma. To accompany our drinks we ordered two orders of Baked Provolone served with fresh bread along with a Grilled Portobello Sandwich and Skirt Steak. All the dishes were extremely fresh and featured delicious dressed-down ingredients.
Hidden between Montgomery and Embarcadero, Hillstone is part of the Houston’s restaurant family and serves New American Fare that is true to fresh ingredients and big flavors. Reservations are essential – even with one there was a slight delay before we were seated. We started with a Iceberg Wedge & Blue Cheese Salad with Campari tomatoes and warm beets along with Oak Grilled Artichokes and Spinach Artichoke dip. The grilled artichokes were charred and served with a few simple dipping sauces – simple and tasty. The Spinach artichoke dip was a perfect dish to share, cheesy and thick. I usually don’t order blue cheese because I find the cheese overpowering but the blue cheese salad was actually quite creamy and well balanced (not too strong).
For entrees we began with Hardwood Grilled Trout which is cajun seasoned trout, served with seasonal vegetables, followed by Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with pommery mustard sauce, served with hand-cut French fries and coleslaw and finally the Flying Tuna Platter with mixed greens, avocado, mango and miso vinaigrette.
The highlight was definitely the Flying Tuna Platter (Above) which was seared perfectly. The mango and avocado complemented the tuna so perfectly that I found myself trying to get a piece of each component in every bite.
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Boudin Sourdough Bakery is a staple of Fisherman’s Wharf, one San Francisco’s many lovely tourism cesspools. Although you may be too cool to enjoy Fisherman’s Wharf, you may as well eat delicious food while being surrounded by tourists. It’s a simple concept of course. Fresh and delicious sourdough bread baked on site and transported around a busy restaurant by a series of moving ceiling trams and bread baskets on hooks… did I say simple? Although I’d never heard of Boudin, everyone else in line certainly had and were ferociously snatching up mugs, t shirts and other memorabilia from the gift shop.
Calling San Francisco’s financial district home is just the first of many unconventional characteristics of Wayfare Tavern. I came in early (6pm) on a Wednesday evening – without a reservation –
thinking hoping that I would be spared a walk in place at the bar, a table, the floor… anywhere. Not recommended! This place is extremely popular right now and was packed to the brim as soon as I set foot inside.
After boarding our flight, we finally got our meals … Just kidding. We wanted to let readers know that both Alex and I will be doing some traveling this summer so you can expect to see international food reviews on the blog very soon. I will be going to Taiwan and Singapore and eating my heart out – as the food is incredibly cheap in Asia – whether it be street food or night markets, while Alex will be traveling to Vancouver and San Francisco eating in a slightly more civilized manner (as opposed to gobbling up everything in sight, like I will). Stay tuned!