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San Francisco

Posted Aug 13 2009 7:52pm
Ah, to be home and bask in the glow of a beautiful vacation. Of course, I would love to still be on that vacation, but good things only last so long. So here's a quick recap of what I ate and some of what I saw.

Note: My camera failed me once again. The battery ran out as I was driving to San Francisco. I realized at that moment that I had not packed the charger, probably thinking that I wouldn't have great access to electricity for a good part of the trip but forgetting that batteries occasionally need to be recharged. Brilliant. So here are my shameful, but hopefully acceptable, photos from my cell phone.

Day 1:

I went all out and ate at Millennium, a super fancy vegan restaurant inside The Hotel California right around the corner from my own somewhat fancy hotel. I sat at the bar and watched into the kitchen and had amazing food.

Raw Zucchini Napolean
w/ cashew-corn filling & almond Romesco sauce

Green Salad w/ candied cashews and coconut-mint dressing

Almond-Chocolate Cake w/ raspberry sauce

Day 2:

I walked all around the city, mostly to check out as many restaurants as I could. Even if I couldn't eat in them all, I at least wanted to see their menus in person.

I had a quick lunch at Bang San Thai, where I was curiously the only person in the entire restaurant besides the staff.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Pumpkin Curry

Also walked up to visit Tante Marie, a SF culinary school, so I got to see some of the city and the water.




That night I met up with some friends in the city and visited Saha, an amazing Arabic fusion restaurant which is not exclusively vegan but does cater to the more adventurous vegan palate.

Behold:

Vegan Bastilla

Bastilla (b'steeya) is a traditional Moroccan dish of a savory phyllo roll stuffed with squab, ground almonds, sugar, and various spices like cinnamon. The vegan bastilla pictured above was entirely savory, stuffed with various delectable vegetables and served in a saffron sauce. As a foodie you can probably imagine that I ordered this the second I saw it on the menu and practically gushed to my waiter about it.

Day 3:

The Mission. What an awesome neighborhood. It's funkier and has more vintage, independent, and overall cool stores than the regular downtown area does. And TONS more vegan food.

First I visited the Mission Dolores, the 6th oldest Mission church.



On to the food.

Found this amazing place called Herbivore, an entirely vegan eatery with some seriously inventive things on their menu. It's a cross between a serious sit-down place and a casual order-at-the-counter and seat yourself type of place.

Green Juice
made with celery, apple, spinach, parsley,
mint, ginger, and lime

Grilled Seitan Shawarma
w/ onions, tomatoes, hummus, hot sauce,
pickles, tahini, potatoes & eggplant

Then I went next door to a shop called Xanath, which advertised new vegan frozen treat flavors.

Orange Pomegranate &
Saffron Orange Lemon

That night I met a friend for some tapas near the marina, and we happened to be practically next door to The Plant Cafe, a place I'd been wanting to check out. It's basically a vegan Panera or similar cafe. They had some really interesting stuff on their menu and I decided to splurge.

Raw Raspberry "Cheese"cake

This was the only thing I was really disappointed about. It totally said raspberry on the menu, but don't let the crappiness of my cell phone camera fool you--this cake is totally blue. It didn't even taste like raspberry. The crust was almost non-existent and it didn't have that bit of tang or flavor interest that I expected. I still ate the whole thing!

Overall, SF has some really amazing places that cater to all different kinds of eaters. I can't wait to go back and try some more!
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