Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Quick Trip to San Francisco

For the first time in a while, we took a plane heading West out of Detroit :)  Andy had to go to San Francisco for a conference this week so we went a few days early and made a mini vacation out of it.

Although we only had two full days, we managed to eat a decent amount of delicious food.  And as per usual, the food is usually the part of traveling that I look forward to the most, ha!  This post might have more food pictures than people or the city!

We didn't see everything there is to see but with two days that's okay with me.   Since I get insanely motion-sick these days - it is getting worse as I get older, wtf!?! - I managed to avoid getting in any vehicles while in California.  In retrospect, it is kind of a bummer because, with our limited time in SF, we only made it within about a 2.5 mile radius from our hotel near the Powell BART stop.  But, I really hate feeling sick so I'll take a long walk, up hill - both ways - over nausea.  Plus, it is San Francisco, I'm sure we'll be back!

Our first day we walked through Chinatown before it was too packed and made our way North to get some fuel before exploring.  Andy took me to one of his family's favorite places, Pat's Cafe.

We walked 2 miles to get to this meal - and I don't think I've ever been hungrier!  It was so nice to come down this side of the hill and spot that cheerful sign...

The obligatory visit to Lombard!  What a funny street!

A perfectly awful hill to practice being a warrior...

^^ I'm only smiling because we were on our way dooown the hill...

Of course we ventured into the Ghiradelli factory.  SO much chocolate.

Fisherman's Wharf

After a little rest, I left my good camera in the room and we went up to The View Lounge on the top floor of the hotel .  Based on the lack of a photo it looks like I thought this Shirley Temple looking drink was more picture worthy than the actual view, but that's not the case!  It was a fun bar with a pretty good view and nice atmosphere but I was hungry so more focused on getting out of there!

We walked to Nob Hill / Russian Hill for dinner at Seven Hills...and yes we walked uphill the whole way.  It was so worth it though!  This place was adorable and the food was exactly what we were hoping for.

Arugula and Farro salad, with corn, tomato and feta

We always get the Tomato Braised Polpette, I don't know what it is, but appetizer meatballs are always so amazing.  They reminded me of the Polpette from Cafe Spiaggia in Chicago...

I always order the Pappardelle at Italian restaurants.  Usually it is wild boar ragu but this was a Calabrian sausage.  It was sooo delicious!

Surprisingly, the fish was just okay.  They said it would be cooked medium rare - which is the only way in our opinion - and it came out well done and tasting of the charred marks you see.  Luckily the currant-esque sauce it came with was tasty.

Since I'm basically a grandmother, we walked home after dinner and spent the rest of the evening reading kindles and drinking wine we bought from one of the many Walgreens near our hotel.  I started and finished my book this weekend, it is called The Guest Cottage.  It was an entertaining, easy and pleasant read that I recommend if you're looking for that sort of thing.  I had just finished Go Set a Watchmen and A Farewell to Arms so was in the mood for something 'easy' and this hit the spot :)

Saturday, we didn't rush out.  Like I said Andy was here for work so he was working while I enjoyed my coffee and book in bed.  We made it out of the hotel around noon and walked to have lunch in Hayes Valley at Chez Maman.  A very cute southern France themed place and the food was perfect.

I ordered the classic burger but added cheddar, egg and avocado because I couldn't decide which topping I wanted.  'All of them' is an acceptable answer, right?

Andy had "the best Croque Madame since Paris" :)

Ahh this burger was so good!  Served on ciabatta bread instead of a bun.  I loved it.

Fortuitously, Smitten Ice Cream was right around the corner!  And I tend to always have room for ice cream...

Smitten Ice Cream uses liquid nitrogen to freeze each cup once it is ordered.  The liquid nitrogen makes exceptionally small ice crystals and creates smooth, dense ice cream and it was exactly that.  A heavy little cup of creamy sweetness!

I went for the salted caramel.  I was tempted to try that sweet corn but she said it was reaallly sweet and as much as I love ice cream, I really love plain vanilla!  Salted caramel was close enough :)

After our lunch and ice cream stop, Andy unfortunately had to work for the rest of the day.  We had plans to go to Golden Gate Park and visit the Japanese Teahouse but we had to scrap them.  Instead, I went shopping with our cousin Emily at Westfield.  She said this Nordstrom is the best ever - and it was!  Our mall situation is mediocre at best in Ann Arbor, so I do most of my shopping online.  It was fun and oddly unfamiliar to see things, in person, in the store!  I scored a top from Madewell (LOVE) and some over the knee boots; I've been eyeing these but ended up with these.  Pretty proud of myself since I usually end up liking the more expensive of two options for some cursed reason!!!

Later we went to dinner with Emily, Aunt Laura and Uncle Trond, in the Financial District at Wayfare Tavern.  The decor was old timey and it was dark so the photos are kind of bad.  It didn't help that I had Aquaphor over the camera for the first picture, whoops!  Their "bread" is actually a 'Popover' (Yorkshire Pudding).  It's just a dough made of egg, milk and flour and the bread is filled with air:

This Prime Eye of Beef Tartare was so fresh and spicy!  Wow this was delicious!

Trond and Laura got the fish, Halibut & Seabass...

The rest of us ordered Chef Tyler Florence's famous fried chicken, served with a bundle of herbs, lemon slices.  It was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  The "secret" is that he bakes it for 2.5 hours at 200 degrees before battering and frying - nice move!  If I ever fried chicken (I don't) I would totally bake first too, it makes so much sense.

We ordered the Baked Macaroni & Cheese to share.  I couldn't tell what was a noodle and what was a blob of ooey gooey cheese.  It was divine.  I was only sad I didn't have more room to eat more!

The next morning I had to get up early to catch a flight home and take care of the wee baby Jules while Andy attended the conference.

See you tomorrow, my love!


  1. have always wanted to so to San Francisco.. have heard so many good things.. and your pictures and all that food.. put me on a plane now

    1. I know, right?! Just bring some good exploring shoes, goodness my legs were sore after just one day! Thanks for reading :) - Charlie

  2. Great shots! I love SF - such a beautiful & fun city! Looks like you guys had a blast!

    1. Thanks Meghan! We do tend to have a great time together :) Thanks for stopping by! - Charlie

  3. Replies
    1. Doesn't everyone? I can't wait to go back and explore even further (ahem, Napa, really!). Thank you :) :) :) He's definitely my better half! Thanks for stopping by <3 - Charlie

  4. Great photos! Seems like you had a great time♥♥

    1. Thank you, Summer! I love your post on Autumn goals! I can definitely help you with #4 & #5! I'm currently reading "The Invention of Wings" and it is darling; also starting "Anna Karenina" which looks intimidating in real book form but it's quite charming and reading on my kindle doesn't make it look as daunting haha. For #4, I just whipped up an low-calorie, simple, cast iron apple bake that I will be posting soon after we visit the apple orchard tomorrow! - Charlie


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