Thursday, 28 April 2016

Tout Sweet - SF

I picked up some treats at Macy's as a souvenir (I'm a big fan of edible souvenirs).
20160427_111646 20160427_111644Macarons!

They survived the plane trip much better than I did (it was a bad idea taking a red-eye from SFO to CLT then CLT to YYZ).

Clockwise from the top yellow: Exotic Banana, Burnt Caramel, Raspberry Hibiscus, Lemon Yuzu, Peanut Butter & Jam, McEvoy Olive Oil, Lime and Sea Salt and Sicilian Pistachio & Ceylon Cinnamon
The Exotic Banana was a very accurate description - it had this hint of exoticness (tropical notes?), but it also tasted like a regular banana.  Even though I'm not a big banana dessert fan, I actually really liked this and would eat it again.
Burnt caramel unsurprisingly tasted exactly like burnt caramel (can't say I was a fan of it). 
Raspberry hibiscus had a flowery note, but the flavour was predominantly raspberry.
Lemon yuzu had a nice citrus punch and a light lemon flavour.
Peanut butter and jam tasted like they used really good quality peanut butter and instead of using jam in the middle as the filling, they had jam in the feet of the macaron.  It was interesting, but I didn't really like it.
Mcevoy olive oil, lime and sea salt - I liked this! It was such an interesting and fun combination and I didn't really get overwhelmed by the olive oil taste (which I'm not a big fan of). 
Sicilian pistachio and ceylon cinnamon: I thought the cinnamon overwhelmed the pistachio in this case and I love the taste of pistachio desserts, so this was a miss.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Nabe - SF

I was trying to get a Lyft to the Golden Gate Heights Mosaic Stairway/16th Avenue Tiled Steps from Mission, but I ended up at the Hidden Garden Steps instead (the GPS was a little confusing and both my Lyft driver and I had no idea where we were going LOL). Still pretty cool! I actually started at the top of the hill and walked down to find out that I was at the Hidden Garden Steps. 

Afterwards, I met up with my friend and we went for a lighter and healthier Japanese meal (since we were both feeling a little sick from Coachella) before I went to catch my red-eye flight back home. 
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We got the Shabu Shabu with Wagyu Beef, vegetables and udon. 
Wagyu beef was so tasty with all of the marbled fat...mmmm

This was great comfort food with veggies, beef and soup! Then after we finished all the meat and veggies, the server came by and mixed some rice, egg and a few other ingredients with the leftover broth to finish. 

This was pretty yummy too! It was the first time I've had shabu shabu like this!

Overall: Good experience at Nabe! I had yummy wagyu beef, the server was really nice and helpful and I learned something about shabu shabu that I didn't know before. 

Philz Coffee - SF

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Fisherman's Wharf, City Skyline, the Bay and Balmy Alley

I was a little worried I was lost in Mission (a district in SF) after wandering away from Balmy Alley - but I found a coffee shop and WiFi! And interestingly enough, this was a coffee shop recommended to me by another friend who visited Mission a few years ago:
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Turkish Coffee
It came with mint on top and they customize drinks - so I got mine with less sugar. 
It was a strong bold coffee with a nice aromatic smell and the coffee shop was cozy and really fit in with the artsy-feel of Mission. 

Cheesecake Factory - SF

For more on my day exploring SF, check out my Travel Blog!
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Union Square and Lombard Street (and my cool Lyft experience around town). 

I actually bought my Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory on the top floor of Macy's, but I didn't really get around to eating it until I was near Lombard Street (so I could enjoy the view)
I love the Cheesecake Factory - the cheesecakes are AMAZING.
This one in particular had so much oreo flavour and the cheesecake part was so delightful. And to top it all off, it had whipped cream and an oreo cookie! Heavenly...the downside was that this was 1,370 calories - which is INSANE - but it's a nice treat every once in a while (well - it's a treat I only get in the US). 
The Cheesecake Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Art's Cafe - SF

Cute neighbourhood cafe run by a nice Korean couple. I actually came here twice (the first day for breakfast - April 26 and the second for brunch/lunch - April 27). 
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The cafe is quite tiny, but super busy and there's diner chairs only. 
The diner table had laminate on top of these postcards from customers who've travelled around the world. Very quaint!
Hash brown sandwich with sausage and scrambled eggs with toast. 
The food is simple, quick and filling - no frills here. 
Interesting hash brown sandwich: the hash browns were nice and crispy on the outside like a potato latke but thin. 

Daily breakfast special: Pancakes, two eggs and sausage
The pancakes were huge, but unfortunately rather bland and flavourless until you poured the syrup on. 

Art's club sandwich with fake crab meat and avocado and bacon and a ton of fries
Pretty good with toasted bread - all this food for under $10! 

Overall: Good, cheap, quick and simple diner-style food at Art's Cafe! I can definitely understand why there's a line-up outside most days. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Taquerias El Farolito - SF

San Franscisco - Oakland Bay Bridge at night


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Apparently they have some of the best burritos here - so we went for dinner/late night eats.
While we were sitting here enjoying our food, we were also entertained with 'La Bamba' by this lovely musician:
Pretty awesome!

Carnitas burrito
The carnitas was okay, but I felt like it needed some more sauce. 
My friends got the Al pastor (marinated pork) which was REALLY GOOD and the beef tongue and it was amazing.  The chicken burrito didn't have a lot of chicken unfortunately and it was a tad dry, but the carne asada was really good.
The other ingredients in the burrito were really good.


Overall: It was excellent value for money considering how much stuff was in the burrito (and it was quite filling) - I think I would recommend the al pastor, carne asada and the beef tongue for meats! :)

B Restaurant & Bar - SF

After a busy morning and afternoon in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
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We eventually came back for Happy Hour in SF at the B Restaurant & Bar right above the Moscone Center North and overlooking the Yerba Buena Gardens:
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Happy Hour means $1 oysters!
We ordered 30 first, then ordered an extra 15 - since they were so cheap and yummy!
The oysters were pretty good plain or with a little lemon and even better with the sauce (on the left) and they were so easy to eat. Delicious! We also got to sit on the patio and enjoy the slightly chilly sunshine. 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Monsieur Benjamin - San Francisco (SF)

We caught the 6pm flight from LA to San Francisco on Virgin Airlines (which was pretty cool! they had a really interesting safety video that actually kept me watching until the end).  Once we dropped off our stuff, we went back out for dinner. 


Steak Tartare with Flatbread
A rather interesting presentation. I'm surprised they didn't break the huge flatbread into smaller dip-able pieces. 

Escargot Bordelaise
The garlic butter sauce was so yummy! The dish was rich, delicious and went down so smoothly. 

Steamed Mussels
Could definitely taste that hint of beer in the sauce and the bread was great for soaking up the flavour as well. 

Marrow Bones "Blue Ribbon"
Rich, decadent and quite tasty! 

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Crêpe façon gâteau: Lime cream, crepe and strawberries 
At first, it seemed like a strange combination (but I love limes - so I knew I wanted to get this).  The combination of flavours worked out well! The tangy lime and sweet strawberries were wrapped in a crispy crepe with crunchy bits inside.  Every bite was different and had all the flavours bursting in each spoonful.