Monday, February 13, 2012

24 Hours in San Fran

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, nope...Coffee, beer, and wine, yep! This is what my day consisted of on a sunny Saturday in the city.
It's the morning of the Chinese New Year parade, the year of the Dragon begins. Chinese parade:
Coffee: This spot was shown to me by a local. You would never find it otherwise because this hidden gem are really hidden. I guess in S.F. it's cool to look like you dan't care if you have customers. In this city, strangely this is what gets you more customers. Also my local told me that San Franciscans want to wait in a line. If you are waiting in a line it means that the food is good. If there is no established line when you arrive, keep walking. That place you don't want to be seen at.  Go figure but hay, when in Rome... Also this place was minimal. No honey, no soy milk, no lids, no straws, no fancy orders period.
Beer: That coffee should keep you going in the chilly mornings until the fog burns off and then it's time to get serious. Located just below the Height on the corner of Hayes and Octavia is the clostest thing you can get to a real outdoor German beer garden. 1 liter beer steins, handmade pretzels, picnic table seating, no winches. Plus there is always a line here so you know it's good. Bier Garten:
Beer was accompanied by delicious Japenese noodles eaten at a hole in the wall restaurant in Japantown. The best noodle bowls and be sure to ask for the chili sauce!
Wine: I discovered that wine really is the best accompaniment to garlic and you have to really like garlic to eat at The Stinking Rose. This mostly Italian style restaurant puts garlic in everything on the menu, including it's 40 clove chicken. Warning! Don't go here on a date. I had the gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce which was decadent to say the least but I highly recommend it but don't recommend the Bagna Calda. It is NOT real Italian Bagna Calda, not even close to it.
The Stinking Rose:
An early eaving showing of Beach Blanket Babaloyn followed by a nightcap at the famous Condor Club (where my family's name is on a plaque on the door for being the first owners) and our night is complete. What a say the least!!
The Condor Club:

I Found My Heart in San Francisco

  This never gets old, driving across the Golden Gate...
One of our first stops over the bridge was the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. A bit like a Planet Hollywood with all of the movie props on display but good food and great wine.
 Director's Cut Pino Noir and penna Putenesca.. word on the street is that they add extra oak chips to the wine in the barrel to increase it's oaky taste.
 The Godfather's Oscars...they probably make the wine tate better.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Sugar Mafia

 I'm still traveling in the States and as usual I am so excited to eat all of my favorite foods and also cook and share some Italian dishes that I have learned by being an expat. The problem is this, SUGAR. It's everywhere in America. It's in everything, places where you wouldn't expect it! Like these Del Monte stewed tomatoes. 3rd ingredient: High Fructose Corn Syrup. Why? Are tomatoes not good on their own? Do we need them to last on the shelf for 100 years?
Kroger sweet golden corn, 3rd ingredient sugar.
This Mott's apple sauce has 2 forms of sugar, high fructose and syrup.
I could go on and on pulling everything out of the pantry (which I did the other day out of shock and horror) but you get the picture. Just when did sugar creep into everything we eat? Take a note form Italy my fellow Americans, fresh is best. Easier said than done but totally worth it.

But hay, dentists, Congratulations!