Tuesday, May 1

San Francisco Lunches

During our trip we tried to sample a variety of cuisines, from street food to gourmet, from vegetarian to carnivorous, from China to California. Yeah, I organized the sights/tours/activities around the location of the various eateries. I'm not embarassed to admit that :) Here are the highlights:

Panini at L'Osteria del Forno

Lunch at a small Italian cafe. I had a panini with fresh mozarella, tomato, basil and lettuce; Ian had pancetta instead of mozarella. The rosemary foccacia was just lightly toasted, the sharper basil and creamy cheese paired superbly well.

Pasta at Wolfgang Puck Express Marketplace

Chicken bolognese in the basement of Macys. Fresh pasta cooked al dente, topped with basil and parmeasan. There was too much sauce - I like pasta that doesn't have to be slathered in sauce. If the pasta is fresh, it should be the focus. I would have liked less sauce, more herbs and better bread. BTW, I didn't buy anything at Macys - they were having a "sale", but the prices were still ridiculous :)

Quintessential San Franciscan Meal at Boudin Bakery

Clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Chowder was good but the clams were overcooked. I HATE OVERCOOKED SEAFOOD! Sourdough was fresh, but I would have liked the bread to have been warmed up. It was a day with cold wind, and eating outside by the water would have been more enjoyable if the bread was warm.

Street Food

Fallafel in a pita. Messy but tasty and, as a bonus, vegetarian! I think I had the equivalent of four servings of vegetables in this one sandwich - they packed it really full! The tahini tasted fresh and so did the tzatziki. I ate this outdoors at the United Nations Plaza, surrounded by columns listing the dates when various countries entered the UN.

Caribbean Tapas at Cha Cha Cha

We didn't try the various tapas; instead, we opted for their lunch specials: BBQ pork with roasted potatoes (Ian) and blackened salmon with salad (me). Good lunch, but when the tables around us were getting small plates, we were jealous and wished we had tried some of those.

Dim Sum at Yank Sing

For our last lunch we went to what is often called the "best dim sum in SF". Well, if it's the best, it's also the most expensive! It was organized in the traditional way where servers would try to entice you with carts or trays full of appetizing plates and baskets. Once a selection was made, they would stamp a code on a card which would be tallied up for your bill at the end of the meal. Ahh, yeah. We got caught with a huge bill. But the food was delicious (I have to keep reminding Ian of that!). The dishes were:
- crab cakes
- chicken/mushroom buns
- spring rolls
- cod wrapped in something
- steamed shrimp dumplings
- duck
- steamed dumplings with a small soup inside them (this was very cool and delicate)


Other lunches included interesting pizzas, sandwich take-out, and Chinese at the airport. I forgot to take pics of those. Stay tuned for dinners...


  1. OMG... Clam Chowda and Sourdough bread, two of my most favorite things, together in one meal!! That is seriously awesome.

  2. It was delicious! We were also supposed to try fresh street crab (they cook and crack it right in front of you and serve it on sourdough), but we ran out of time...next time I guess.

  3. I love these pics..

    One comment about this whole taking pictures at restaurants thing.. I have an impression that when you take pictures of your food at restaurants, you get better service because people are scared you're a critic. I think it's true.

  4. I think so - especially when I would write down the dishes and ask to look at the menus again. One place even gave me a copy of their menu!

  5. Okay, next time I travel... you must come with me! That was some fantastic looking food.