Monday, October 25, 2010

Tasting San Francisco

Some people are born with many thousands more taste buds than others!


News of this recent medical research is confirmation for what I’ve suspected since childhood. I would literally shiver and even gag in revulsion when forced to eat foods like prune whip or liver. I truly believed I might die from a disgusting taste.
If you're a foodie like I am, I'll bet you have more than your share as well. My husband Ted (he claims to be my late husband, saying Paul von Welanetz was my early husband) loves food too, thank goodness. So, next week we will be off for our favorite gourmet getaway, a long weekend trip to San Francisco where we often admire a view of the bay from a corner room at the historic Mark Hopkins Intercontinental.

We like to leave our home in Corona del Mar early on a Friday morning so we arrive before two in time for our favorite dim sum (literally, “to touch the heart,” so I find it irresistible) at Yank Sing at 49 Stevenson St between 1st and 2nd. (A second, much larger location is in One Rincon Plaza, but we prefer the intimacy of the smaller restaurant.)
The moment we are seated, a glass pot of steaming jasmine tea appears fore us to sip while we choose small plates from an unending parade of passing carts. There are steamed dumplings (shrimp, scallop, lobster, chicken and vegetable, spinach, snow pea shoot with ginger, garlic, and sesame oil), fried tidbits (stuffed crab claws, shrimp toasts, egg rolls), or steamed white buns to fill with crisp Peking duck, scallions and tangy Hoisin sauce.
After eating our fill of this succulent light fare, we share a dessert of sesame balls and mango pudding, and emerge energized for a walk and shopping in nearby Union Square.

Saturday morning the Ferry Building Marketplace is the place to be. That’s when stalls of local vendors surround the city’s historic 1898 clock-towered structure now a permanent home to 40 plus restaurants and upscale food purveyors ( Since 2003 this has been turned into the shrine where the city’s population worships the region’s culinary delights.

Ted and I sample our way through the stalls. I can’t resist joining the long line at Primavera for one of their four or so Mexican breakfast entrees. Owner Karen Taylor studied with famed cookbook author Diana Kennedy in Michoacan, Mexico, and offers a delectable menu that includes chilaquiles with scrambled eggs and several kinds of tamales and the best tortilla chips ever.

Ted can’t resist the yogurt at the Saint Benoit stall, especially the honey or fresh plum flavors. The pale pink crocks in which the yogurt is sold have plastic lids and make lovely souvenirs. We drive home with a back seat filled with treats including the sensational sesame glazed walnuts from Alfieri Farms and white cheddar from Point Reyes Cheese Company

For the first time we'll try some of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in North Beach. Tony won first prize in the World Pizza Cup in Naples for his pizza margherita.

Our tastebuds are off on a happy San Francisco adventure! We'll keep you posted!

1 comment:

  1. I see Divine Fudge in my email and I cannot wait to read and see all the new wonderful things. I have made some of the delicious receipes. Diana you are such a love and your cooking inspires me to do the same. I cook with one of my sister in laws and I always feel the warm spiritual smells in the house. My other two sister in laws do not like to cook and will actually have Thanksgiving dinner catered for a family dinner. This year it is in our home and I cant wait to smell the turkey and trimmings.
    The brothers love coming to our home for a home cooked meal. xxoo Gerry