Posts filed under SF Big Eat

Big Eat Day 13-Double Date with Jordan Knight

A few weeks ago I called my friend Lisa with some good news. "I got us tickets to go see our boyfriend perform in SF. Be prepared to Big Eat beforehand." This made Lisa very happy. I submit Photographic Exhibit A.

Obviously our boyfriend is Jordan from NKOTB. I know that many of you do not understand my love for them. Judge me as you will. We've been in an imaginary relationship for 20+ years now. It's safe to say I'll be loving him forever. Ahem.

"Emily you are so awesomely notorious baby. I'm so glad you are my imaginary girlfriend. You are a rockstar. Now I will sing you a sex-ay song in my falsetto voice."

I am just sane enough to realize that my "relationship" with Jordan is almost entirely in my head so I have no problem stuffing myself with food before hooking up for our annual visit. This is the best part about imaginary relationships. No worries about garlic breath or distended stomachs.

#38 The Little Star at Little Star Pizza

My friend Jeannie hypothesized that Little Star was the reason she gained 20 lbs when she moved to the city. My formative research shows that this is a strong probability. Quality deep dish pizza is few and far between on the West Coast and Little Star shines in our barren deep dish pizza wasteland.

The pizza itself has all the important components. Pleasingly oozy? Check. Chock-a-block with fresh ingredients and flavor? Check! The crowning glory was the amazing cornmeal crust that tasted light and crunch and airy like it was made out of the freshest croutons in the world. Lisa and I spent 20 minutes discussing its merits and frankly I'm not sure that was enough time.

Verdict: Go eat pizza. Bring your stretchy pants.

#39 Puka Punch at Smuggler's Cove

Waiting around for concerts to start is a waste of my limited leg power so we decided to have a little Sunday night happy hour at Smugglers Cove. I was disconcerted as I dragged Lisa to a building that had no markings, blacked out windows and a very uh "suggestively" dressed woman entering the building. She was not going to be pleased if I accidentally dragged her into a brothel. She hates it when I do that.

Despite our concerns we entered the creepy building.  Our jaws immediately dropped open like cartoon characters. Smugglers Cove is like crossing the threshold from San Francisco to Pirates of the Carribbean. It is three stories of Captain Jack Sparrowness.

The specialty at Smugglers Cove is rum (duh) and the menu is like a textbook on rum with little piratey drawings. We were instructed to try the Puka punch which was both giant and satisfying but what I really wished we could try was a drink that was being set on fire behind us. FIRE! Cinamon scented FIRE!

Verdict: Who cares what you drink there? This place is an ex-per-ience and there is rum! Toss some back until you are just punch drunk enough to walk yourself safely to see your "boyfriend". Not too much though. The girl next to me at the concert was drunkenly slurring "I just NEED Jordan in my LIFE" to the security guards. My friends, that is amusing but way too drunk. No more rum for her.

Posted on March 20, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 12-Sactomofo

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. Sacramento has a burgeoning food truck scene and every few months a local group has been organizing a mobile food festival called Sactomofo. The third incarnation was located within walking distance of my house. Even better? There was a Big Eat venue on the list of out of town attendees. Thank you so much Sactomofo organizers for bringing Chairman Bao to me!

#37 Pork Belly Bun at Chairman Bao

The upside of this scenario is that I did not have to figure out how to find this truck on a random day in San Francisco, the downside is that Sactomofo is crazy busy with hour-long lines at all the trucks. Not exagerating at all, Sacramentans are food truck crazy.

By the time we got to the front of the line everyone around me was getting grumpy. "This better be worth it" grunted the guy behind me. I couldn't help thinking the same. I was hungry cold and very concerned that I would be dissapointed.

I needn't have worried. It was extraordinary. Chairman Bao does a modern take on buns. They have two kinds baked and steamed. The baked are split in half like a sandwhich and the steamed are rolled up like a puffy taco. If I had to choose one to love forever in domestic partnership I would go with the Big Eat list and pick the pork belly. The pork was absolutely luscious and piled with pickled daikon to cut the richness. The bun itself was both toasted and soft. I feel jealous of myself just by looking at the picture. Memories....

This is an example of a steamed bun, I don't remember exactly what these were. One was tofu and one was, uh, something else delicious? It was all so good that everything dissapeared before I had the chance to store the wonder of each one in my long term memory.

Ugh, more mystery deliciousness. I'm sorry dear readers. I've failed you! I have no idea what kind of bun this way, all I can say, is eat it!

Verdict: I waited in line for an hour to eat this and I didn't get pissed. Instead my friends and I shoved them in our faces with a glee that is almost indecent. If that's not a glowing review, I don't know what is.

Posted on March 11, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 11-Birthday Big Eat Part 5 of 5

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. On my birthday my friends took me to the city to make some hard-core headway on this list, it was fun. I wish you had been there with us. :)

Our original plan for my birthday was to eat a little, walk around a little, eat a little etc. We totally followed the plan, except for all the parts that didn't involve eating. We literally ate all day. I'm sure you can see from the pictures that we didn't have any fun at all.

At this point we were feeling full which is natural. If you don't leave the Ferry Building full of delicious food, you did something wrong. We decided it was time to take a break from regular eating. It was time for tea and snacks.

#35 Soup Dumplings at Shanghai King

I had never tried soup dumplings before but my two friends with Chinese affiliations were very excited about them. Betty was actually very excited about the whole menu at Shanghai King and in charge of the ordering. This resulted in us somehow accidentally ordering a whole "pre-dinner" meal at Shanghai King. That Betty, she's so bad she's good!

Soup Dumplings are exactly what they sound like, steamed dumplings filled with soup. You eat them very strategically with chopsticks to hold the dumpling and a spoon to catch the soup.

They are not only fun to eat but they are delicious with a capital D. I usually do not care for brothy soups, but this liquid was just like heaven. I swear I heard the Cure playing as I bit into the first one.

Verdict: Eat them please. You will be smiling like these two if you do.

#36 Pistachio Meatballs at Flytrap at Zaré

After "tea" we had to haul-ass to meet our dinner reservation at the only "fancy" dining establishment on our agenda. We reasoned that after a hard day of non-stop eating it was time to have a relaxing sit-down dinner. Zare is a sort of Persian/Mediterranean style restaurant that is decorated in a very classic San Francisco style. It's all about moldings, candles and burgundy walls. A perfect end to the night.

The task of eating pistachio meatballs somehow devolved into the bone-marrow, pulled lamb, pisco sour, pomegranate martini, deconstructed lemon meringue pie scenario as pictured below. To be quite honest I cannot recall much about the meatballs specifically but Zaré as a whole was a lovely experience. The service was perfect and the ambiance was classy yet relaxing. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.

Verdict: I think the insane aftermath of our meal will tell you all you need to know about Zare. Go there. Eat anything and enjoy!

Thanks so much for following along on this culinary adventure. I hope that it gives you some great ideas for the next trip you take to San Francisco!

Posted on February 19, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 11-Birthday Big Eat Part 4 of 5

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. On my birthday my friends took me to the city to make some hard-core headway on this list, it was fun. I wish you had been there with us. :) #33-Ahi Burger at Gott's Roadside

Ahi Burger at Gott's Roadside

Gott's roadside is when the crazy-town eating started to kick in. I don't remember being hungry at this point, which is not to say that I didn't want to eat more! Gott's is a hamburger import from Napa, it's kind of a farm to fast food kind of place. The ahi burger was refreshing, the tuna was seared well and the Asian flavored slaw gave it nice texture. On a normal day I would've been super-happy eating a sandwhich of this caliber, but... it was Big Eat day. A strange day when good food, suddenly seems... average.

Verdict: The ahi burger is good. I would eat it any day, but it did not change my life.

#34-Warm Egg Salad Sandwhich at Il Cane Rosso

During the process of procuring the Ahi Burger my friend Betty was left unsupervised in the Il Cane Rosso line where she was tasked with getting the Egg Salad sandwich. Despite the fact we had already eaten about 3 full meals she still came back with the sandwich AND a panzanella salad. What can I say? She can't be tamed.

If none of us was blown away by the Ahi Burger, the blame can be placed on the Egg Salad Sandwich. It was so unique. The bread was almost like a focaccia crouton and the creamy salad was perfectly seasoned with tarragon and other (hmmm, it's good, but what is it? fresh herbs). In a million years I would never have chosen to order this menu item. Quite frankly, I thought it sounded gross but it's discoveries like these that make this adventure worth it. It's so exciting to try something new and love it!

Verdict: Yes it sounds gross but it's not, it's the opposite of gross. It is marvelous!

PS-The panzanella was rockin too.


Posted on February 12, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.

Big Eat Day 11-Birthday Big Eat Part 3 of 5

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. On my birthday my friends took me to the city to make some hard-core headway on this list, it was fun. I wish you had been there with us. :)

#32 Sweetwater Oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co.

The SF Ferry Building is paradise. What is better than eating delicious food while looking out at the Bay Bridge? But scary things lurk even in paradise and when we came upon Hog Island Oyster Co. I knew my moment of reckoning had arrived.

Sweetwater Oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co

I'm not an oyster virgin (I had some crazy deliciousness when I was in NOLA) but I do have a tendency to develop food neurosis. This happened immediately prior to eating these beauties.

As I got ready to slurp the oyster my brain went crazy like this

"OMG. Are these things alive? Is it going to start wiggling in my mouth. I can't handle that. Maybe it will wiggle down my throat. Holy crap! I have to eat it anyway, it's on the list. I'm supposed to be brave and try new food experiences. EAT THE OYSTER. JUST DO IT WUSS."

Obviously, it was a very calm moment. Get ready to experience it in picture format.

Verdict: The experience was very harrowing. I have no idea if they were good but I ate one!

Posted on February 5, 2012 and filed under Project EAT, SF Big Eat.