sfo food wrap-up: street food & more

There’s no shortage of great eats in San Francisco.  It’s a mecca for food lovers.  Along the way, we sampled some incredibly tasty things.  Most of our eating ended up being on the run, in between activities and tours.  Here’s a rundown of those delicious things we had the pleasure of discovering as my San Francisco posts come to a close.

Boccalone (Ferry Building)

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Ah yes, the famous Boccalone, easily recognizable if you’re a big fan of the Food Network and are familiar with Chef Chris Cosentino.  While exploring the Ferry Building and looking for a quick snack before dinner, we shared their famous Meat Cone filled with various cured meats.  A place that sells Tasty Salted Pig Parts gets an automatic win from me and this cone was all things salty, piggy, and oh-so-delicious, a perfect pick-me-up to wake up our senses.

Miette Patisserie (Ferry Building)

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Looking for something sweet to balance out our salty pig snack, we spotted Miette Patisserie.  I instantly gravitated to their beautiful display of all things sugar and unicorn rainbow lollipops.  This shop has some serious eye candy for the serious sweet tooth.

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In the end, we settled on a couple of their cupcakes, a carrot cupcake and a gingerbread cupcake.  The carrot cupcake was everything a carrot cupcake should be – moist, well-spiced cake with a tangy and not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting.  Oh, but the gingerbread cupcake.. now that is something special.  Even Mark, self-confessed “I don’t really like desserts” guy was so into this cupcake that I had to fight for my half of it.  Flavoured with dark stout, ginger, molasses, and probably sprinklings of unicorn essence, the cake was moist and boldly spiced, topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting.  I learned later that the gingerbread cupcake was voted the best cupcake in America by the Food Network and I can definitely see why.  This is no ordinary cupcake, people – go have it if you have a chance!

RoliRoti (Ferry Building Farmer’s Market)

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Hands-down, one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. RoliRoti is the famous gourmet mobile rotisserie that was featured on an episode of Eat St.  Since then, I’ve dreamed of getting my hands on their porchetta.  The universe was kind and generous, and my dream was finally fulfilled.  RoliRoti operates a stand at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market on Thursdays and Saturdays, and we just happened to be at the right place at the right time.  The line-up was huge and it took a while to get through, but the wait was so worth it.  Thick, juicy, and incredibly tender, well-seasoned slices of porchetta are topped with generous pieces of pork crackling (OMG) and topped with a healthy handful of arugula.  The ciabatta-style bun is the perfect vehicle to hold all the porky goodness together.  This was everything I dreamed it would be and more.  Every bite was as delicious as the last and I wished it would go on forever.  Do try this if you can.  It is really just SO FRIGGIN’ GOOD.

SoMa StrEatfood Park

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I was delighted that this ended up being the lunch stop on our bike tour.  I’d read about the SoMa (South of Market) StrEat Food Park, but didn’t know if we’d have time to make it down.  Again, the universe was kind and generous, and when the universe is kind and generous, I get to have a tasty party in my belly.  The park has room for 10 food trucks that change daily.  Oh yes, they’re open 7 days a week, have free WiFi, washroom facilities, and ample covered seating.

We were very hungry and a little bit overwhelmed; it’s hard to choose when there’s so many options.  In the end we settled on two of our favourite foods – pizza and tacos.  We ordered a simple meat pizza from the Firetrail Pizza truck, complete with a mobile wood-fired oven, and a couple of tacos from Tacos El Tuca.  The pizza was simple and no-frills, just what we needed.  The crust had a nice chew and lots of crispy bits from the oven.  I had a regular taco with juicy roast pork, made spicy, which came on two soft corn tortillas and the usual fixings.  It was messy, it was saucy, it was spicy, but best of all, it was tasty.  Mark opted for a loaded taco that came with more toppings and a side of tortilla chips.

The park is a casual place to relax and try out what the food trucks of San Francisco have to offer.  It’s a must-visit for hard core food truck lovers.

Bacon Bacon Food Truck

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If there’s ever a food truck that has my name written all over it, it’s gotta be the Bacon Bacon truck. It’s all things bacon.  How can anyone go wrong with that?  If I could only pick one food truck to eat at in San Francisco, it would be this pork heaven on wheels.  It almost didn’t happen because of our tight schedule, but – here’s a common theme – the universe was kind and generous once more (whatever I did to please the universe, I must learn the ways so I can keep being gifted like this).  We were just about to head into the Asian Art Museum at Civic Centre when I saw the Bacon Bacon truck pulling up.  Oh, what is this?  The truck is stopping here?  It just happened to be the location of that day’s Off the Grid, groupings of food trucks at various neighbourhood hubs serving as street food markets.  Since it was nowhere near the lunching hour, we headed into the museum for a wander, and all the while I was thinking about getting my hands on some Bacon Bacon goodness.

We emerged from the museum and saw that large crowds had gathered near the food trucks.  The line for the Bacon Bacon truck was the longest, but it gave me time to figure out what I would get.  In the end I settled on the Bacon Fried Chicken sandwich.  Yes folks, chicken crusted with bacon and then deep-fried.  That’s an artery explosion waiting to happen, but what a good way to go.  It came with a spicy slaw and bacon mayo, because there was clearly not enough bacon in this sandwich already.  The chicken was crispy and juicy, with the bacon crust providing its signature saltiness.  It was a tad on the rich side, I gotta admit; I was wishing for something bitter or for the slaw to have a bit more acid to balance it out, but at the end of the day, it’s a bacon-fried chicken sandwich.  Epic win right there.

Cafe Capriccio

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We had quick breakfasts at this quiet and casual neighbourhood cafe a couple of times.  Caffe Capriccio is located in North Beach on a quiet street, and it serves the usual breakfast standards like bagels and pastries, as well as some heartier items like quiche and paninis.  It seems to be a neighbourhood favourite as a lot of patrons were greeted by name.  I stuck with the sweeter pastries (almond croissant, blueberry danish), while Mark got more substantial items like the Lox Bagel and Ham & Cheese Croissant.  Everything we had there was delicious and it was nice to be able to have a quick bite in the morning in relative solitude, because this introvert needs her quiet time before being unleashed into crowds of other humans.

Humphry Slocombe (Ferry Building)

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Now we’re back at the Ferry Building where we started our food journey – what a perfect ending.  Humphrey Slocombe is known for their interesting ice cream flavours and its interesting name.  It was our last day in San Francisco and I had yet to try a scoop of ice cream from this shop, so I convinced Mark that we needed to go back to the Ferry Building and have some ice cream, even though it was only 9:30 a.m.  The timing worked perfectly as there was no line-up because who eats ice cream at 9:30 a.m.?

I got a scoop of the Harvey Milk & Honey, which came with bits of graham cracker.  Rich, creamy, and so decadent with an excellent mouth feel, the honey flavour was just divine.  Mark picked a salty chocolate (I can’t find the actual flavour on their online menu), which was a little bit too salty for our tastes.  The chocolate flavour was excellent and the texture was just the same as my scoop, but the saltiness ended up overpowering the chocolate and the palate.  A bit of miss on that one sadly, but we still ate all of it because wasting ice cream is blasphemous and just so not done.

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