Northside travels to San Francisco

Admittedly, I should have posted these pictures and written this months ago, but in my defense I didn’t have this blog in August.  In August, Jason and I flew to the sunny city of San Francisco for a week, giving ourselves a much-needed vacation away from humid Cincinnati (little did I know Jason was also planning on taking this trip to propose to me, which he did as the sun was going down in Sausalito, sitting on an old bench in a park by the marina. Needless to say, it was perfect!).  I had never been to San Francisco before, and other than it being a geographically and architecturally beautiful city+ being peopled by really nice folks + the city in which we got engaged, its food is AMAZING.

The open air markets (plural!) are busy, beautiful, and full of fresh food in ways that, being from the midwest, I hadn’t really ever seen before.   I was pretty in love with the markets.  As I’ve mentioned before I’m kind of obsessed with ingredients… I’m one of those people who handles and smells fruits and vegetables too much before choosing one, oops.  End verdict: San Francisco open air markets (almost) make me want to cook, even when I’m on vacation and staying in a hotel.

Two specific food items that Jason and I were blown away by in SF were the coffee and the sushi (unsurprisingly).  I am an un-apologetic coffee snob, working as a barista for a few years will do that. Example: a cafe with three to four varying sizes of cappuccino on the menu makes me sad.  We went twice for breakfast and coffee at Cafe Trieste in North Beach, and it was exactly what I wanted it to be.  The latte that I had was excellent: the pull was damn near perfect, the milk not scalded by heating it for a disgusting (sorry, this is now becoming rant-ish) full minute and a half, plus its served to you out of real cups.  Not to mention they serve fresh pastries!  We sat and ate and drank in relative silence, enjoying the sun and the people, taking our time with our breakfast the way you were meant to. Perfect.  I have to say that a big key to creating a lasting cafe environment where people take their time with the experience of their coffee is the ability to drink out of real cups.  It means that you must sit and drink, not always be on the go, rushing around.

After Jason proposed to me and I pretty much fell off the bench saying yes we went to celebrate at THE Best Sushi Restaurant I’ve ever eaten at: Sushi Ran.  I have to be honest, I don’t remember specifically what we ate.  That night is a happy whirlwind in my mind.  An awesome older woman  waited on us, and luckily for us she accepted our request to guide us through the menu by bringing us whatever courses she thought were the best that night, coupled with whatever wine and sake that she thought paired with each dish.   I think eating good sushi is a kind of cleansing experience, and this was no exception.  Eating at Sushi Ran after getting engaged is one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had to date.

I only had one bad food experience while in San Francisco last August, and I wont even mention what it was, it was so weird (it was a new, boutique restaurant in the financial district).  Looking at these pictures, and thinking about August, and then looking out the window at bleak February Cincinnati makes want to go grab Jason and hop on a plane right now! If anyone has any more recommendations on where to eat and drink on our next visit to San Franciso, let me know!  I want to get a little more off the beaten path next time and go exploring.