On the ride back from Pismo Beach, we drove past Gilroy (home of the Garlic Festival). We passed the Garlic Farm, Garlic Shoppe and about 3 other garlic stands and could smell garlic roasting for miles. Intoxicating! We passed a lot of vineyards and around San Juan Batista the route we were on was surrounded by pine trees and it smelled like Christmas for miles. A far cry from the "interesting" aromas of New York City! We had dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy, a national chain that does decent family style (read: huge portions) of food. We had stuffed mushrooms, calamari, caesar salad, a Maggiano's salad (Iceberg and romaine lettuce, crumbled bleu cheese, crispy Prosciutto, red onions, tossed in our signature House Dressing, as per their website), Eggplant Parm, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Chicken Marsala, Roast Chicken, Tiramisu and an Apple Crostata. Not the best Italian food I've ever had, but tasty and dependable.
The next day, we drove up to San Francisco, where I met up with my friend Julia, and she showed me around. We started at Fisherman's Wharf
This is just one small fraction of the Farmer's Market in the back of the Ferry Building near Fisherman's Wharf. It almost puts the greenmarket in NYC's Union Square to shame. So much fresh produce to choose from and the farmers and vendors were very nice and wanted us to sample just about everything. Flavored salts, roasted nuts (butter toffee almonds, orange honey and lemon honey almonds, toffee made with coffee beans, red and green tomatillo salsas, homemade pickles, fresh peaches, heirlooms tomatoes that looked like they should be in a museum, kentucky beans, baba ghanoush, hummous, pluots, plums, etc... Really incredible stuff!
Organic pluots. They're a plum/apricot hybrid. Sweet, juicy and not TOO sweet. Very addictive!
This is a well known stop for tourists and those seeking tasty Dungeness crabs.
The man here had a wooden baton with which he cracks the crabs to order. People just stand there sucking down crab. It's a messy, wonderful thing to watch. He throws the baton in the air, twirls it around and makes cracking crabs into a real art form.
The iconic Fisherman's Wharf sign.
Doug and I in front of Stinkin' Pizza. I was naturally drawn in by the sign. Of course, I didn't try the garlic slice (duh!) but I sampled some of the cheese slice. It was okay, not great.
I found out that there is a Taylor's Refresher in the Ferry Building. Very excited, however my stomach wasn't up for a burger, so I passed and left very saddened. Perhaps on the next trip...
The entrance to the Ferry Building.
The menu at Taylor's Refresher.
The Black and White sign at Taylor's Refresher.
The Ferry Building has many gourmet shops and this one just dealt in mushrooms of all kinds. I thought that was pretty cool.
We stopped at Recchiuti Confections for some chocolate. I made a box of four that included Kona Coffee, Burnt Caramel, Ecuadorian Varietal and I don't remember the 4th one. The Kona Coffee was great with dark chocolate and a really strong coffee flavor, but the rest just seemed ordinary to me. I felt as though I had tasted them before in other chocolate shops.
We also made a stop at ACME Bread Co. as Julia said this had some really terrific bread. She picked up an olive roll and I got a Rye Raisin Rabbit. The Rabbit was a dark rye roll studded with raisins that reminded me a a slightly bitter,chewier, denser version of brown bread. We had those for lunch with some goat cheese studded with cranberries and some brie marbled with black truffles. Very, very, very good! If you go to the website for the marketplace, www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com,
they list all of the shops there and it's a place with great food and a great history.
Next up...pictures from the ball game at AT&T Park
<message edited by billyboy on Fri, 06/18/10 3:07 PM>