Tag Archives: san francisco

CALIFORNIA & the food therein

Ben & I, along with a couple of our friends, officially survived our trip to San Jose & San Francisco, CA. As you probably already saw on facebook (from the 180 some pictures I uploaded) we had a grand ole time. We also ate. A LOT. This post will be all about the food we ate. I will post more about our living arrangements at a later date.

Thursday evening we (a friend [Dawn] & I) flew from Austin into SJC (San Jose airport). It was pretty crappy weather in Austin when we left (cool & rainy), but our flight ended up only leaving about 15 minutes late. For me, that was awesome  as I tend to be cursed when it comes to flights being delayed/cancelled. It turned out not to be a terrible flight, but I learned that 4 hours is perhaps my max. flight time. The first 2 hours are easy breeze. Hour 3 is when you start to get uncomfortable & start thinking about how long you have been in the sky. Hour 4 I was just feeling all, “OMG GET ME OUT OF THE SKY I WANT TO BE DONE.”

But we landed just fine & no one was injured in the process. When we got out of the plane at SJC, we were a bit out of it. 4 hour flight + leaving at 6 + eating only ice cream at the airport for dinner meant it was 10 pm our time & we were starving. It was only 8 pm local time though so we met the boys (Ben & Dave) & went to get sandwiches at Togo’s Sandwiches. They were decent. I would say a bit less thrilling than a Jimmy John’s, but since we were starved, I ate the entire thing.

Friday I spent the morning eating hotel foods that looked like this:

Not too shabby fruit salad, raspberries, a danish thinger, yogurt & orange juice. I was off to a wonderful/delicious start. Later that day, we decided to head to down town San Jose to see what we could see. We went to this awesome open air bar/plaza area that Ben & Dave had been to a few times earlier in the week. We got some awesome pizza at Pizza Bocca Lupo. Ben & I split a pizza & both walked away mighty full. All was happy snappy. Then we decided to get some dessert. We went to Froyo Delight because it was close & not on what Ben & Dave deemed to be a scary block. As it turns out, it was mighty less than delightful for me. I was the only one that got the Strawberry. I was also the only one to puke A LOT. Luckily, we were back at the plaza before that needed to happen so all was well & good once I got it out of my system (GROSS times 100000). At which point I decided I should rid my body of all germs with this:

It was yummy & I felt much better after.

Saturday we made the adventurous trip from San Jose to San Francisco via the CalTrain (which I deemed the cowtrain because that is what I thought everyone was saying). Once we got in & settled in San Fran, it was about lunchish dinner time & we ventured out to a place called Nopalito. The food was good & the atmosphere was welcoming. We did have a bit of a scare though when Dawn found a piece of glass (about the size of a dime) in her food. 😦  it really sucked because that really makes you judge a place as you think, “hmmm wonder what I just ingested.” Like I said, the food tasted grand, but I cannot say I would actually recommend this place. They did give us free popsicle as dessert that were AWESOME, but still, not sure it is worth risking your life over.
Later that night, we met up with some of Ben’s old work buddies that live in CA. We were supposed to eat at Brenda’s French Soul Food, but as it turns out, it was pretty close to the “tenderloin” & they did not take reservations. For a party of 9, that turned out to be a no go. We walked around the area (heading away from the tenderloin area) & ran into O3 Restaurant & Bistro. This turned out to be quite a happy mistake because I got AMAZING $9 ribs. SOOOOO good. They were also awesome & let us just rowdy folks just walk in & push a bunch of tables together. Two thumbs up for them.
Sunday we decided to stick a bit closer to “home” & checked out Bean Bag Cafe. I think we ended up eating there a total of 4 times during the trip. Maybe more. DELISH sandwiches, WONDERFUL fruity smoothies, & AWESOME breakfast foods (bagels, banana bread, hash browns, pancakes, omelets). The place itself is a bit tiny, so go early or on the “off” hours if you want a seat inside. But if you have to sit outside, it really is not that bad either 🙂 This is the view:
We also decided to check out a place called Chili Pies & Ice Cream. I had gotten over my fear of frozen yogurt things from earlier in the trip & we were all in the mood for something sweet. If you are going to be in the area. GO HERE. EVERYTHING = YUM. I recommend the chocolate peanut butter pie & bittersweet chocolate ice cream. I meant to take a picture of how pretty it was, but I got distracted by the deliciousness:
Monday was our touristy day when we ventured to Fisherman’s Wharf & Alcatraz. Before our boat ride, we decided to get some sea food & tried Scoma’s. When they say freshest sea food in San Fran, they mean it:
That is a man cutting up the largest hunk of fish I have ever seen. The views from inside the restaurant are amazing too:
It was probably the most expensive place we ate at the whole trip, but HOLY MOLY was it worth it. We did the lunch deal, which was $25 for an appetizer, main dish & chef’s choice dessert. I had clam chowder for my appetizer. It was amazing. For main course I had a salad with fresh crab & the tiniest most incredible shrimp I have ever eaten. It was amazing. & then for dessert, our chef chose chocolate mouse. It was amazing & looked like this:
It was incredible. I absolutely recommend this place. Since it is a bit more pricy than most of the places in Fisherman’s Wharf, it was much less crowdy & touristy than all the “Joe’s Crab Shacks” in the area. Skip those. GO TO SCOMA’S.
After a day at Fisherman’s Wharf & Alcatraz we needed a bit of unwinding. We decided to have a late dinner/drinks at Tsunami Sushi Bar. I shoved a ton of spicy sushi things into my mouth (all of which were yummy), but the highlight of the night was the Umeshu Plum Sake:
 Dawn got it heated, I had it cold. I thought hers tasted like tea & mine tasted like juice. I prefer it cold, but would not turn it down either way. SOOO GOOD.
Tuesday we had another breakfast at Bean Bag Cafe before Ben & I ventured off on a bus tour of San Fran complete with trip across the Golden Gate Bridge. As it turns out we got on the wrong bus tour & ended up seeing ALL of San Fran. (As in much more than we had originally planned to/wanted to). After the never ended bus tour (that actually turned out to be decent), I was cold, tired & starving. We decided to check out the restaurant associated with the Chili Pie place. It was called Green Chili Kitchen. While I loved their pies/ice cream. I was not a fan of their actual food – skip their dinner, get the dessert. Their nachos were ok, but the chicken in the taco tasted like chicken boiled in water. ZERO flavor. Very meh. After having a whole week of awesome food I should have expected at this one let down & I would say this was it. Maybe it was because I was grumpy, but I was much happier when we got ice cream after than I was at dinner.
Wednesday was our last day in CA. We had to head from San Fran back to San Jose on the CalTrain again. Before we left San Fran though, we checked out a place called Herbivore. I do not fully understand this place because they claim to be Vegan, yet had a ton of meat products. I got some spring rolls & a yummy peanut sauce. Ben got some chili that was very good. The food was good, but the atmosphere threw me off. There was bar/dance club music at a place that seemed way too chill for that. I said & I quote myself, “I feel like I should have on less clothing & be dancing.” It was not really appropriate for a late lunch…. or ever. But that is absolutely a personal preference.
Once back in San Jose we went straight to the airport & enjoyed a bit of Ruby Tuesday’s & enjoyed some “normal” food (ie- chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, burgers & fries). Dawn & I also got some Lavender Plum adult beverages since the boys had beers. The drinks were good, but I grabbed the little lavender tea bag that was in my drink & threw it in my water – & THAT was awesome. Lavender water was the high light of my Wednesday for sure. I also think it helped to relax me a bit before the oh so long plane ride home.
All & all we had an awesome fooding adventure in California. I came home happy & very full.
I consider that a GREAT vacation.
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