Jan 22, 2014

The Hills of San Francisco

Hello, friends! I just came back from a nice trip to Northern California. It was lovely. Temperatures were in the 70's and the days were filled with bright sunshine. I got to see lots of good friends, drink lots of wine and eat good food. What a difference a flight back home makes because it's been snowing all day long and it's going to be terribly cold for the remainder of the week.

At least I have my sunny photos to share with you to remind me of the warmer parts of this country!

After two flights, I made it to San Francisco, where I went on a search for my missing suitcase, which delayed me by about 45 minutes. I finally arrived in the city (with my luggage), quickly checked into my hotel and ran to the Ferry Building. I was so hungry! And I had dinner plans in about 2 hours. I needed something to tide me over that didn't completely stuff me.

Chris Consentino's Boccalone was just the ticket. Mmmm....meat. I ordered the salumi cone, which was just enough food to keep me from eating everything in sight before dinner.

I had a product review write-up that needed to be submitted, so I headed back to the hotel to complete it. I decided to stay at a hotel for one night to relax and get some much needed alone time. Loved it.  

I stayed at the Le Meridien Financial District and got upgraded (yay, SPG!) to a corner room that gave me some gorgeous views of the Transamerica Building, Coit Tower and the San Francisco Bay

That night, I met up with two of my former co-workers who had both relocated to SF some years ago. We had dinner at Per Diem. The restaurant was a happening little spot for the after work crowd. Two of us shared the Burrata on a Grilled Crostone which had honey, sea salt and toasted almonds. It was ridiculous and I am going to totally make my own version of it! So good!

Per Diem's Burrata on grilled crostone
Source: Yelp.com

Unfortunately, my entree was not yummy. I had the porcini mushroom pappardelle. It was dry and didn't have much flavor.

After dinner, it visited my friends' workplace and then headed back to the hotel for a 3.1 mile run on the treadmill. Hooray for hotel gyms!

My plan to sleep in on Friday morning was dashed by some screaming homeless people, so I went out in search of dan taat (egg tart) in Chinatown

My usual place was closed until the weekend, so I headed to Eastern Bakery instead. Such yummy goodness for a little more than $1!

The rest of the morning was uneventful because I had some errands to take care of. Hello, Union Square.

I did stop by Native Juice Co. for some healthy nourishment. I knew that the next few days would be filled with booze and heavy food so I thought some fresh juice would be a good thing to have this morning.

Kale in Comparison - kale, cucumber, apple, fennel, lemon, mint

I made it back to my hotel to check out and then meet up with one of my UCLA roommates for lunch. I specifically requested Mexican food for lunch. The east coast is not known for having stellar Mexican food and I was dying for some of the good stuff!

We went to Pisto's in North Beach, where I had an order of Mexican corn as well as lengua and al pastor tacos. Everything was great, but I especially loved the fresh corn. I could eat that every day.

After lunch, it was time to put on my sneakers because I had some urban hiking on the agenda. I walked with my friend back to her work and then I continued on to the Filbert Street Steps.

The first section of the Filbert Street Steps

This set of steps has three sections and eventually leads all the way up to Coit Tower, along the way is a garden, which is home to a flock of parrots, as well as residences. Coit Tower is one of my favorite places in San Francisco, so I had to include it in my visit. 

Once I reached the top, I discovered Coit Tower is currently closed but will reopen in the spring. I wasn't too disappointed though because there were still great views at the bottom of the tower, including of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Coit Tower, Garden along the Filbert Street Steps, the Bay Bridge

At the bottom of Coit Tower, there was an old Asian man sun drying some meat on one of the fences! So awesome.

Going down the Filbert Street Steps

After that quick but strenuous walk, it was time for me to grab some coffee. I just had a few more hills to tackle! 

Going up!

More hills = more great views!

Before too long, it was time to hit the road and make our way to the Napa Valley! More on that later! 

1 Sausalito
San Francisco Ferry Building #21
San Francisco, CA 94111

Per Diem
43 Sutter Street
San FranciscoCA 94104

1310 Grant Street
San FranciscoCA 94133

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