Saturday, January 3, 2009

SF: food in review

Some of the highlights:

Saigon Sandwiches is a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese sandwich shop in the Tenderloin District. Pick your way past the winos and panhandlers to get to this small little convenience store-like shop. Order the delicious pork or chicken sandwich, which comes with hot, thinly sliced meat on french-like bread made with rice flour, fresh cilantro, carrots in a delicious vinaigrette, hot peppers, and a flavorful mayonnaise spread.

It was DELISH.

We ate our sandwiches outside in front of the Asian Art Museum (a block or two south of the shop.)

For more upscale Vietnamese food, Out the Door is the take out version of the Slanted Door restaurant. After a full day of window shopping I stopped in at the food court in the San Francisco Shopping Center for a large portion of fresh rolls stuffed with with sliced pork and shrimp, rice noodles and cilantro, and the spinach noodles with peanut dressing. Very light, very fresh, and very delicious.

After wandering around the fabulous foodie hall in the Ferry Market Building, I stopped for some take out dim sum at Yank Sing. The dumplings were perfectly steamed and/or pan fried, and the fillings were flavorful and tasty. Portions were large, however, so I recommend you buy some to share!

In search of fresh egg tarts, I stopped by Golden Gate Bakery in Chinatown. As usual, the line was out the door and filled with locals and tourists alike. When I got to the front they had just taken out a fresh batch of dan tat - hot and steaming from the oven!

For some of the best (and most expensive coffee) try The Bluebottle Coffee Company, a block or two south of the San Francisco Shopping Center, past the sketchiness, and behind the Old U.S. Mint. If you cut through Jessie Street you can even avoid most of the winos and panhandlers. I recommend the New Orleans style iced coffee if you like your iced coffee sweetened.

If you prefer tea (and lots and lots of pink), I recommend afternoon tea at Crown and Crumpet. Be prepared for sensory overload, this little place is chock full of pink, sparkly, and very girly decor. Most people who have not been here before spend the first several minutes dazed by their surroundings. While not the best tea sandwiches I have ever had (I hold tea at the Ritz as my bar), the atmosphere is totally worth it. Service was friendly and attentive, the teapots and teeny tiny cupcakes were adorable. The tiny side shop has a great selection of expensive tea acoutremonts. If you have a chance to chat with the owner, she's a bundle of energy (and very excited to have just opened up this new tea shop!)

Saigon Sandwich
560 Larkin St
(between Eddy St & Turk St)
San Francisco, CA 94102

Out the Door
865 Market St
Westfield San Francisco Centre
(at Cable Car Turnaround)
San Francisco, CA 94103

Yank Sing (restaurant and take out)
Rincon Center
101 Spear St.
San Francisco

Golden Gate Bakery
1029 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA

Bluebottle Coffee Company
66 Mint St. (corner of Jessie)
San Francisco, CA, 9410

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