Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it

Whenever I go on a trip, I make maps. Tons and tons of maps. On it is the name and phone number of the place I am going to, how to get to and from the hotel, and most importantly, the hours. I am a crazy planner. In addition to sightseeing, I also map out every confectionery store in the vicinity that is deemed worthy.

Since this was a family trip, I couldn't exactly commandeer the group and force them to go to a bunch of bakeries...or could I? Instead I was smart. I secretly made the itinerary around the bakeries. "Cable car museum? Sure...guess what, there's a cookie factory down the street..." Me=smart.First, the Ferry Building. The amount of sweet options were numerous. I spent most of my time at Miette. Known for their sweets, they had homemade meringues, macarons and marshmallows just to name a few. Their pastry case was full and I ended up choosing a Caramel Pot de Creme that was out of this world, that I must try and make someday. I also bought two cupcakes for the boys.

The cupcakes were good, moist - the frosting was just ok but the meringue frosting on the chocolate one was HEAVENLY. Yes, and I mean that. I could have eaten a few of these but sadly it was the Baby's and it was hard to wrestle just a bite from him as it was.
One of my main reasons for going to the Ferry Building was to go to Boulette's Larder. They have some of the most amazing cooking prep items and a lovely restaurant. But I was on the hunt for vanilla sea salt for a very special super secret baking project, and I knew they one of the few places that carried it. I could make my own, but I simply don't have the time. At $12/2oz., next time I will think ahead. Yikes.

Since the kids wanted to go to Ghirardelli for ice cream, I got a chance to stop by Kara's Cupcakes. I was impressed by the design, but the actual cupcakes left me flat. The cake was just ok and the frosting was definitely not my speed. Too greasy. But due to their prime location, I'm sure every day is a sellout.Back to Ghirardelli, even though they've gone global, the chocolate here is still superb. Free samples only help business because that day they were giving away their new chocolate peanut butter square. Good lord. It was better than a Reese's cup and I love those things. Since it was chocolate AND peanut butter the Kid was kept far away. The last thing we needed was a hospital visit while on vacation.

Finally, to cap off this dessert tour of San Francisco, my mom was insistent that I find the city's best scones. As a dutiful daughter I set out to accomplish my task, and I definitely found them. Tartine is known for their scones, but they should be known for ALL their baked goods. The pastries are simply amazing. If you don't believe me, ask the 20 people who were standing in line in the freezing cold before it even opened. I wish this place would get a bigger space with more tables, especially since 45 degrees PLUS a wind chill factor does not make for fun eating outdoors, especially with kids.Still, look at this pastry display. Unbelievable. And since there were so many of us we tried EVERYTHING. The croissants were perfect (you know how I am about those), the scones were up to the hype - fantastic. Light, and buttery, not too dry. We also ordered the open face Croque Monsieur, also great but my favorite of all was the morning bun. Sugary and sticky with cinnamon I could eat these everyday, my fat ass be damned. I recommend this place to anyone who goes to San Francisco, but beware, the parking and the seating is god awful. Still, don't be deterred, it's totally worth it.

This is how I travel. Whoever draws the unfortunate short straw of travelling with me is usually forced to come with me on these culinary adventures. I am currently booking foodie tours for 2009. Any takers? Pack your fat pants.

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Anonymous kat said...

love love love it. you make me happy. thank you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 2:20:00 PM  
Blogger The Food Librarian said...

Oh! What a fun trip...and soo perfectly planned! You are my type of traveler. I love the Ferry Building. Did you eat at delica? I love those wasabi mashed potatoes and I could eat a tray full of those roast beef sushi. Swoon. And Tartine? How fun! I borrowed their cookbook and made the Lemon Meringue Cake. Delicious but so many pans that I would have jumped on a plane and paid a lot for it instead. :) Sounds like a fun trip. I'm jealous!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 2:45:00 PM  
Blogger La Pixie said...

now I feel like I must go to SF. sign me up for the foodie tour. you obviously know what youre doing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 6:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just gained back the 8 pounds I have lost so far on WW. Thanks :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 7:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Jamie L said...

Hi Jenn,

You sound like me! When my friends came out to visit (and I live in the Bay Area) I had maps from the airport to the hotel, hotel to the airport, hotel to the Japanese Tea Garden, Japanese Tea Garden to Japantown. I planned out when I should I go to the Ferry buildings, how much the cable car would cost and the surrounding area for food when we got hungry.

And I thought it was just me. :D

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 8:53:00 PM  
Blogger Sizzle said...

And here I thought I was a planner. I look lazy by comparison to you. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 7:40:00 AM  
Blogger Super Mom.Super Wife. said...

You're my kind of traveler! I'm going to SF next week and I will have some time to explore the city on my own. Your reviews are extremely helpful! You just helped me plan out my food tour!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 7:51:00 AM  
Blogger me said...

next time you're in town, hit 'That Takes the Cake' on Union Street for cupcakes. Much much better then Kara's.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cakespy said...

Oh man I am TOTALLY bringing my fat pants! Thanks for sharing your finds, can't wait to check 'em out when we go this summer!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 5:33:00 PM  
Anonymous alibaba38 said...

Packed and ready!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Casie said...

I completely agree about Kara's (blech!)(or cat hacking a hair ball sound). I also agree with a previous comment the Takes the Cake on Union is 100x's better.

Excited to hear about the recipe including the Vanilla Sea Salt

Thursday, March 26, 2009 9:21:00 AM  
Blogger Yum-e said...

I can't wait to hear about this "super secret" baking project too! Please blog about it!

Now I want to babymoon in SF after your post. I think I'll go nuts there.

Thursday, April 02, 2009 4:19:00 PM  

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