Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts

More Marlowe

It seems like destiny that my current (new) job is located almost directly across from my favorite restaurant, Marlowe.  And with the close proximity you'd think I'd visit every day.  But unfortunately it's a favorite of many and the long line out the door for lunch prohibits a lot of drop-in behavior on my part.  Fortunately, when I do have a break and can scoot out it's across the street I go.

Not only does Marlowe remain a favorite place for me but the mushroom soup has become a favorite dish. Who knew such simplicity (although I bet this is NOT simple to make) could be found in such a homey yet elegant dish?

To make this a truly decedent meal, add on a side of fries and aoli.  Oh, and don't take my spot in the lunch lineup!

Simple soup in fine form.  

500 Brannan Street
San Francisco CA  94107

Connections over coffee; Philz, Radius and Coffee Bar in SF

What's percolating?

The recent disappearance of my job caused a jolt of concern and then a burst of excitement as I realized I'd be "on the beach" during the summer.  Note:  on-the-beach is my reference to a virtual vacation a la 'workforce reduction'.   Shopping?  Lunch?  How ever would I fill my time?

Well, nothing as exciting as a trip to an actual beach.  After all, bills must be paid so I decided to dust off my resume and start networking.  

Coffee, tea, and more connections than I can count

In the new world of job seeking in San Francisco it seems a lot of coffee connections - or tea - are now the norm.  Don't get me wrong, I do love coffee.  But for quick, casual meetings in San Francisco it's no longer Peets or Starbucks although I always remain a fan of both.

While out and about talking about my skills (so many, so varied) my expectations and the weather (yes, it can be a topic) I ventured into more cafes, coffee houses and bars than I can count. As my parking bills stacked up, here's how the various places I visited stack up...

The coffee list

  • Philz (San Francisco, Palo Alto and Cupertino) is not just about coffee, the size cup or the temperature of the milk, it's about your taste preferences and mood of the day.  The person behind the counter actually seems to care about what you want and attempts to align that with the offering(s) of the day.  A casually cool place with a process that can feel a bit intimidating at first glance.
  • Craftsman and Wolves.  Wins the prize for most interesting items behind the counter including the "Rebel Within" which is a gooey egg inside a bacon-y muffin.  Oh, and the coffee is good too.
  • Radius Cafe.  Great outdoor seating which allows for comfort and sipping in the summer sun (if available).  Love the deviled eggs!
  • Coffee Bar.  Clearly a top choice for the tech set with an abundance of laptops and buzzy conversations about the next best idea or company.  Chocolate chip cookies worth noting (e.g., delicious) and hip vibe.  
  • Mavelous - small, intimate and reminiscent of a wine bar which is perhaps because they also sell wine along with a bevvy of coffee beverages.  Located on Market Street.
  • Sextant Coffee (SOMA).  Quality coffee in a beautiful brick/wood setting.
  • Samovar Tea Lounge.  Samovar is a welcome break from all the coffee, plus they have outdoor seating and a decent lunch menu.  For some odd reason I felt like I was on vacation while here.  Fun!
For what it's worth, my next gig is scheduled and I have two more weeks of daydreaming and quiet mornings.  However, I might skip the coffee for now and head to the hills for a hike.  

Happy summer!

Bistro Don Giovanni, Napa CA

There are many great dining choices in Napa but Bistro Don Giovanni always tops my list of favorites.    The setting is comfortable, whether you're sitting on the patio dining al fresco or seated inside by the fireplace on a drizzly day.   While the setting is key to the overall experience the food is definitely the star of the show; a blend of local flavor and Italian flair served up by the expert staff.

The only problem I have with Bistro Don Giovanni is that there are SO MANY choices and I like them all!  From pasta to fish and the starters it's hard to narrow my meal to just a few items.  This time we focused on the basics: a perfectly cooked burger, fig pizza with blue cheese (amazing flavor) carpaccio and a rich decedant chocolate mousse.  All basic but nothing bland!

The fig and blue pizza starter is absolutely divine!

Carpaccio done well

Chocolate mousse and biscotti
Bistro Don Giovanni
4110 Howard Ln  Napa, CA 94558
(707) 224-3300

West of Pecos, San Francisco

With items like pulled pork and corn on the cobb it's hard to go wrong at West of Pecos.  The easy going vibe and killer food at this Mission eatery really make this a sure thing (for me anyway.)

We were in the mood for a good lunch and West of Pecos definitely delivered once we finalized our order.  The menu includes so many interesting options it was difficult to choose just a few (we didn't) and the final spread took up the entire table (I know this is probably not a surprise!)

Although we didn't finish one item - the cornbread which my dining companion took home - I did manage to eat my way through most of the corn, both artichoke pieces filled with crab and shrimp plus the salad and toast gracing the plate.  Yes, I was stuffed.  But oh-so-happy on the way home!

West of Pecos
550 Valencis St 
San Francisco, CA 94110
 (415) 252-7000

Grilled corn with a sweet, savory sauce.  Sticky but well worth the mess!

Crab AND shrimp stuffed artichokes.  And the green salad in the middle? Really, really great.

Margarita with a spicy kick. 

Cornbread at its finest.  Yum.

Miette, macarons and more in Hayes Valley, SF

Hayes Valley is a very walkable, enjoyable neighborhood perfect for window-shopping and lunching.  Pair it with a Saturday morning and your favorite friends and you've got a fun way to play tourist in San Francisco.

First things first; if you arrive at a decent hour parking isn't too hard to find.  Both times I recently visited parking was no problem and the meters now accept credit cards.  Somehow paying $4 on your credit seems more palatable than plugging $2 worth of quarters into the old-school machines. 

Next, there are a few "must stops" on my local tour:  La Boulangerie (yes, the bakery now owned by Starbucks) and Miette.  The first offers up delicious almond croissants and turnovers - love the lemon - and Miette has enough sugar to make my dentist wince.  It's eye-candy at it's finest and a great start to the day for me.

449 Octavia St
San Francisco
(415) 626-6221

Miette treats:  delightful!
In addition to the bakeries mentioned I love some of the 
fashionable boutiques such as Azalea  (clothing for men and
women) and Azil (great jewelry at affordable prices).  Also, do
stop by the heavenly-scented bath/home furnishing store "Nancy Boy" to check out the unique items on hand.

There is so much to see in Hayes Valley.  Hopefully this will
motivate you to create your own visit to this urban playground
where you'll find many fine things tasty and fashionable.

Azalea Boutique
411 Hayes St San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 861-9888

398 Hayes St San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 551-1590

Azil Boutique
451 Hayes St San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 552-2335

Stylish jewelry at affordable prices!

Nancy Boy
347 Hayes St San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 552-3636

Chantal Guillon
437 Hayes St San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 864-2400

Macarons on display at Chantal Guillon

La Boulange almond croissants.  On my list of faves.