Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3

Ok, its about time I got around to this.....the final installment of Ryan and I's trip to San Francisco is by far the most important! The food! 

Unless you've been there, it is hard for me to explain the scrumptious cuisine at every turn in San Fran. From fresh cherries, to homemade ice cream, to authentic Sicilian cuisine, we left about 5 pounds heavier, and a whole lot happier :) 

The breweries and wineries might bring people to CA, but the food makes them stay. 

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

Even though it felt like we spent an entire day just to get to San Fran, only to arrive at 10am, Ryan and I were energized when we arrived! We were pumped to be there, to see our friends, to explore, but most importantly, we were HUNGRY! After settling in a bit, we walked around the corner to The Plant, Jessica's favorite organic spot (with some damn good juices too)! We munched on delightful fish tacos, kale salad, coconut tempeh and udon noodles while planning our weekend together.

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |         Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

After our rather large meal, and weekend plan, we started walking back home and spotted a little gelato spot. We suddenly realized we had to fill the hollow spot in our legs, so we stopped in...

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |
Black cherry pastrocchio and lemon gelato

Then it was off for our beer tasting at Lagaunitas and Russian River in Santa Rosa. I thought Ryan was going to cry, he was so happy to be there. We couldn't waste another moment, so decided to all try different beers and share. (And yes, as you probably figured out, I was NOT very good about my gluten free diet that weekend).

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

At Lagaunitas, I tried Etwas kolsch, Brandy Barrel Aged Stout, Lucky 13 and Schemed Saison. The saison was my favorite! At Russian River, we ordered the ridiculous 16 sampler and these amazing pizza bites made with their signature Pliny beer. Yes, these were worth EVERY calorie!

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

After several beers and stuffing ourselves with pizza bites, it was bedtime for the Southern travelers.

Jessica thought it would be a great idea to run the Lyons Steps the next morning...not so great after about 22 hours awake, plus many drinks. This straight up kicked my butt, and Corey's!! Jessica and Ryan were running circles around us. (Sorry to call you out Corey, but I couldn't be alone on this one)!

We picked up coffee and treats at Chestnut Street Coffee Roastery and got ready for our trip out to wine country. After a few wedding venue stops (which were amazingly gorgeous), we stopped into Healdsburg Bar & Grill for a much deserved cocktail and late lunch.

I should pause to explain that bar food in wine country is VERY different than in the South. They actually have local wines and produce on their menus. And, not everything is deep fried or covered in cheese! I enjoyed a refreshing John Daly cocktail and a grilled asparagus salad with green goddess dressing, pea shoots and radish (apologize for the picture qu.

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |         Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

Ok so maybe there was some deep fried food (like deep fried bacon and truffle fries) :)

We then headed over to Jessup Cellars, which we all know about already, to taste the finest of Napa! Afterwards, we rushed home, threw on a jacket (because San Francisco is about 20 degrees cooler than wine country) and ran out the door to the Giants game, with a quick stop into 21st Amendment.

This was our second Giants game...the first was the day after we got engaged. Always a blast, mostly because I can find gluten free nachos and good wine there.

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

The next day was left open to explore the city a bit more. We headed over to our favorite area, the Mission for the country's best ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery. As we turned the corner and saw the very long line, we popped into Bi-Rite Market for a few snacks while we waiting in line. I picked up small bag of vibrant cherries and a beet salad, perfect for a little picnic in Dolores Park, which was the happening place that Saturday!

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |      Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

Then, the moment I had been waiting for...Omnivore's Books on Food. Who would have thought that a little simple book store would get me so excited. Well, folks you don't know me very well then! This book store only has cookbooks, books about food, books about drinks, historical books on types of cuisine, and more. We spent over an hour in there perusing through these mouthwatering pages.

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

Then it was the moment that Jessica (other Jessica) had been waiting for...our special dinner. Pause for a second to discuss my little friend here. To say she loves to surprise he friends is a HUGE understatement. This girl lives off of them, and she always finds a way to make it amazing and thoughtful. She made reservations at La Ciccia for my birthday dinner. My mouth is watering just thinking about this meal!

The restaurant is barely visible from the street. You walk through the door and can't even see into the restaurant because of a large curtain. There was so much suspense leading up to it, that when I finally walked through the curtain, I felt like I was literally walking into Sicily. Most of the staff didn't speak a lot of English, just enough to recommend the perfect wines and menu items. The place probably sat about 50 people and was packed the entire time we were there. 

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

Some of the dishes that we endulged in:
  • Baby octopus stew in spicy tomato broth
  • Squid ink pasta with lemon
  • Semolina gnochetti with pork and aged pecorino
  • Seared lamp tenderloins drizzled with cooked grape must
We dined like royalty that night, and I will never forget it! (Sorry I don't have a lot of pictures, but it was a very small restaurant with even smaller amounts of light.)

Before our sad departure, we made one more stop, Fort Mason Farmers Market. It was packed full of colorful and vibrant produce and tasteful treats, one of which was a gluten and wheat free bakery, Flour Chylde Bakery.

Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |        Kettler Travel Journal - San Francisco Part 3 |

Bye San Francisco....for now :) See you next year :)

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