Friday, October 17, 2008

San Francisco

Tomorrow, I will be 33 years old. Although the purpose for this blog is not really to discuss travel, it's my birthday and my blog and I'll do what I want. So, here goes.

The place that I'd most like to be on my birthday I visited this past week for the first time...San Francisco.  Four days ago today I was sitting in Golden Gate Park, cursing the locals jogging past with their dogs and wondering if there's a teaching hospital my husband could transfer to. Frankly, I'd move there even if I was only qualified to wash dishes. 

What do I love most about the city, you say?  
The food.  Oh, the glorious food.

More specifically, many of the city's best restaurants take time and immense pride in combining simple and, when possible, local ingredients to yield what is heaven on a plate (and the tasty California wines doesn't hurt it a bit). Instead of hiding fantastic meat and cheese under heavy sauce, they allow these tasty morsels to shine.  The roasted young chicken at Fish & Farm, for instance, takes center stage; it comes with panisse, sweet & sour gypsy peppers, and basil.  And that's it. Ironically, I think the fewer ingredients you use, the more difficult it is to make a dish tasty.  There's more than one restaurant in town that has mastered this skill down to a fine art. 

Some may find some of the menus a bit pretentious even if they claim they're not.  One restaurant advertises itself as "unpretentious northern California cuisine" but, upon inspection of the menu, I can't help but chuckle while reading over listings such as "seared cage free hudson valley foie gras with serrano ham, orange braised celery root, and huckleberry coulis."  I mean, come on.  

But, you know what?  I don't care.  It tastes incredible.  So, I embrace my environment, snap my fingers at Farallon's sommelier, and order up a buttery Cutrer to wash down my yummy duck liver.  Oh, happy day. 

Alas, I didn't take pictures of the aforementioned food, I was too busy gobbling it up.  Here are some random pictures from my trip.



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