Dining highlights from my trip to San Francisco.
By Judi Gallagher
I left my heart and taste buds in San Francisco. Yes, there is the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Giants (worth checking out AT&T field, if only for the exquisite views of the bay and the garlic French fries), but the true way to experience San Francisco is through its culinary expertise. While I adore NYC and actually am heading there next after a week home to detox and have my cholesterol checked, this city by the bay takes sustainable farming, organic free range poultry and beyond fantastic Asian delectables to new heights, making it my favorite dining city of all times. The choices are near endless so I have chosen a five-day “eating frenzy” must taste list for anyone planning a vacation solely around a fork and knife.
Taylor Refreshers serves up to-die-for garlic fries, ahi tuna burgers and Silver Oak.
The waterfront is a perfect power-walk arena filled with majestic views of both Bay and Golden Gates bridges. While the farther piers host the typical tourist crab houses and Alcatraz t-shirt stands, I recommend choosing a walk around the indoor farmer’s market that houses the likes of a true Salumeria, Cowgirl Cheese Artisanal stand, which happens to be next to Acme Bread company (I see a picnic coming on) and Taylor Refreshers, the Napa Valley burger joint that specializes in Ahi tuna burgers and $250 bottles of wine country’s best cabernets. But most importantly, do not miss The Slanted Door Restaurant’s green papaya salad, which is a fantasy of flavors, along with fresh pan-seared halibut with fresh strawberry salad. Can’t get a reservation? The farmer’s market stall offers fresh spring rolls and their to-die-for papaya salad counter-style or to go.
The Cowgirl Creamery stall was amazing--albeit a little stinky from the cheese.
San Francisco is the home of the best Asian food in this country. Yank Sing is a dim sum (the Asian version of tapas) lover’s paradise, with Peking duck by the slice, melt in your mouth dumplings with special vinegar sauce and a staff equipped with ear pieces to keep each rolling cart brimming with freshly prepared Asian delicacies. Be careful, we dropped an easy $140 on lunch for three-- we just couldn’t resist so many offerings. If you are like me and can never get enough Asian food, hop on a cable car to Chinatown but do not stop until you find Hunan Holmes. Incredible pan fried dumplings, moo shu pork and spicy fresh green beans are just a few of the hundred dishes offered. Prices are very affordable, too.
Dim sum, anyone?
And now, the best for last- Restaurant Gary Danko. It’s known as the best restaurant in San Francisco, and I concur. I plan to give it its due and create a whole blog of the phenomenal experience. For now, I am rummaging through my suitcase looking for elastic waist pants for the flight home and prepared to pay the extra baggage fee the calories have caused.