Monthly Archives: June 2011

Traveling Eats–San Francisco

It is no secret that San Francisco is known for its many different cultures of food–from China Town to Little Italy, this city has amazing food written all over it. And, while we were there, we tried a little bit of it all.

Our first day in San Fran, we spent most of our time at Fisherman’s Warf and Pier 39. I know, we are total tourists, but we wanted some fresh seafood and to see the sea lions! For a quick lunch, we stopped by the Crab Stand for some fresh clam strips. I am really not a huge fan of anything breaded or deep fried, but sometimes on vacation, you just gotta let go! And I have to say, these were some of the most delicious and fresh clam strips ever. Even the breading was light and crisp. Oh, and don’t forget the tartar sauce and mini bottles of wine. This made for a great, quick lunchtime snack.

That night was all about getting the most fresh seafood piled on our table as possible. Right on the warf by all of the fresh seafood stands, there are several smaller restaurants–it was quite difficult to narrow down which place was going to be the best, but we ended up at Sabella’s and LaTorre’s. I am pretty sure that we would be getting the same crab and shrimp anywhere on the warf, but this place was pretty great. Well, actually, let’s just say the seafood was pretty great. We had a full crab and peel-and-eat shrimp that were spectacular–the clam chowdar was ok and the salad with bay shrimp was alright. But the crustaceans took the cake and put us straight into a seafood coma! Be prepard to spend some $$ at this place as well. We spent about $100 when all was said and done, but the seafood was definitley worth it. You can’t get anything that tasty in Salt Lake. 🙂

The next day we experienced foods from all parts of the world. We started the day in Chinatown and found the most amazing Dim Sum eatery called You’s Dim Sum. For about $6 we got fresh potstickers and dim sum that will make your mouth water. The atmosphere was nothing to brag about–all the tables and chairs were mismatched and there was hot sauce in a tupperware container on the table that I am pretty sure would have melted my soul–but the food was excellent.

Later that afternoon we made it to the Little Italy part of the city where we found the most amazing coffee shop, Cafe Greco. I am a fan of Illy coffee and espresso, and I am a firm believer that coffee shops who stick with this brand are usually the bee’s knees. This was a great little afternoon spot for kicking back, sitting on the patio, and people watching.

Cafe Greco also is right up the street from a delicatessen that sort of blew my mind. Molinari Delicatessen, was by far, one of the coolest places we went to. I have never seen anything quite like it in Salt Lake City. This is probably due to our strange liquor laws and the fact that we can’t just sell wine in an Italian store like a normal city. The shop held all of my favorite things under one roof. I was in heaven. My boyfriend ordered a pricuitto and fresh mozzarella sandwich and I stared at the cheese and olives for a good half hour. I could put a bed in the corner and live in this place! AMAZING!

We ended the day with some sushi that was recommended to us by locals at a bar we had gone to the night before called, Nara Sushi. It was pretty ok. Nothing that really blew my mind–and the atmosphere was more like what you would find in a strip mall and not a highly recommended sushi restaurant. The sushi was good–the sake was good. But nothing was really amazing. I think my boyfriend enjoyed it quite a bit, but something was a little lackluster. I have a feeling there are better sushi joints in the bay area. 🙂 Just my opinion…which is kind of what this site is all about!

Overall, the eats in San Fran were optimal. Get yourself some fresh seafood and spend an afternoon checking out the Molinari Delicatessen. Ms. Maven says so!

Next up: Sonoma! 🙂

Traveling Eats–Lake Tahoe, North Shore

I think that most of us can agree that a good portion of the reason why we travel is to EAT! The past month or so before we left for vacation, I had been doing a very strict 1200 calorie a day diet (it is almost bikini season people!!)–so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to eating vacation food. And, like they say, California delivered some of the best meals I have had in a long while. So, here are some travel eating tips if you find yourself in Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, or Sonoma County anytime soon!

Lake Tahoe was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Despite it being a bit chilly both days we were there, we managed to stay warm sailing and hiking, and eating some great food. Pizza was first on our list and we found a great little spot called CB’s Pizza and Grill on the North Shore where we were staying. This joint was recommended to us by our cabin staff, and they were right on the money. The lasagna pizza was killer–and if you check them out on Yelp, you will see that their burgers are also one of their specialties. Also, believe it or not, the homemade chips and salsa were killer. The service was also fantastic.

The next day, before our sailing trip, we were craving Mexican and found this cute restaurant known for its tequila selection, The Blue Agave Mexican Restaurant and Cantina. Who doesn’t want a margarita before getting on a boat? 🙂 The food here was mediocre. My shrimp fajitas were pretty good–with a lot of flavor; however, some of the other menu items such as the enchilada and the tamale were a little bland. BUT, this was one of the best margaritas I have ever had. My suggestion? Check this cute waterfront siesta out in the evening for pre-cocktail and apps before hitting up your dinner–somewhere else.

Now, let’s talk about the real food in Tahoe: Spindleshanks American Bistro and Wine Bar. This place is quaint, dimly lit, romantic, and the food is incredible. I hadn’t had a meal this great in a long time. We started off with some local wine, of course, and ordered the Pan Roasted Artichoke to start. This was the most incredible artichoke I have possibly ever eaten. It was whole, steamed, and then garnished with parmesan, sundried tomatoes, and the most amazing aioli on the planet. This artichoke is what foodie dreams are made of. AND, it was only ten bucks.

Then came the main dishes and they were beautiful. The presentation was simple, classy, and made my mouth water. I ordered the Pan Fried Rainbow Trout with a Mushroom, Potato Cake, a Bacon Spinach Sautee,
& a Roasted Garlic Beurre Blanc ($19.00). My boyfriend ordered Ginger Lemongrass Brick Chicken with Asian Slaw & Mushroom Potstickers ($21.00). Flavor explosion. Great service. This was exactly what I was looking for! Each of these dishes had texture to die for and flavor components that were very well thought out. This chef gets my 2 thumbs up.

On the way out of Tahoe the next morning, we decided to eat breakfast at The Old Post Office, which we had heard a few rumblings about. And since breakfast/brunch is my favorite meal ever–I wanted some eggs benedict! This place is super cute, the service was prompt and pretty okay, and the food was what you would expect from most diner type places. This definitely seemed like a locals diner though, and I could tell right away that most of the tables were regulars. So, that is always a good sign. Also, the hollandaise sauce I have to say, was pure heaven. A little citrus in hollandaise never hurt anyone! I would recommend this place for a quick, decent breakfast.

All in all, the food in North Tahoe was great–just what we were looking for and full of flavors that compliment snow or sun. If you find yourself there–make sure to check some of these great places out!