Pork belly slider
After all that wine tasting, (see here and here) you want a bite to eat, so here's a quick reel of the delicious nibbles we had on our trips out to Bay Area last year.
If you're in need of a snack, Biergarten had some delicious options on the menu. They've got great bar food like house-made pretzels, but they get even better when stuffed with things like salami and brie.
The pork belly sliders (at the top) were also pretty fantastic, but order those quickly because they'll run out.
Pretzel stuffed with brie.
Then again, maybe all you need is beer to switch it up from all that wine.
If you feel like you need a beer as big your head, they'll happily help you out.
Or maybe you're looking for cocktails instead. Some friends pointed us the direction of Comstock Saloon, and we were not disappointed. (Thanks Drew and Lucy!) Not only were the cocktails great (and if nothing catches your eye, they'll create something for you) the food was also fantastic.
These Pigs in a Biscuit with crispy pork on homemade biscuits with cole slaw, are pretty sure to please just about anyone. (Well, any meat eater.)
The rabbit 3-ways; celery salad & pepper vinegar.
Or if you're feeling a little more adventurous, go for the Rabbit 3-ways and get a little sampler of a terrines, rillettess, and a couple of fried bites.
They also had some beautiful entrées like this Salmon with Cauliflower and Salsify Purée .
For something, truly and completely different, Bar Tartine, in the Mission, is making some really interesting food. Chef Nicolaus Balla draws on influences from all over the world on this menu (with maybe a little extra from Hungary and Northern Europe) and practically everything they can possibly make in house, they do. There's incredible attention to details and a lot of creativity. The dishes here really push the envelope, and although not every dish is successful, there are flavor combinations that are completely surprising.
This Nokedli with farmer’s cheese dumplings, fresh corn, and huitlacoche was my favorite dish of the evening.
And this Langos, a fried potato bread with garlic, sour cream and scallions, was a comfort food I never new I needed . . . like a giant, savory funnel cake.
If all of that seems a little out of your culinary comfort zone, Tartine Bakery is quite the classic patisserie and filled with delicious pastries and bistro classics. Not to mention, fantastic coffee.
For brunch in the Mission (somehow, we kept ending up in the Mission) we had very good luck sans crowds at Grub. Greg got a breakfast burger–the burger was good, but almost everything is better with an egg on top.
I had a very satisfying plate of Huevos Rancheros. They overcooked my egg–which seems to be my curse at brunch–but on the whole was quite delicious. And hearty. This kept me going throughout most of one of our flights back to NYC.
We also had several good meals on the other side of the bay in Oakland over the course of the trips.
My extremely beloved friends Brady and Jonathan took me to a great brunch at the Boot & Shoe Service.
I really enjoyed this Breakfast Pizza with cherry tomatoes and house-made sausage and an egg–and like I said, in my mind an egg will always add that little extra someth'n, someth'n. Their baked goods are also worth the splurge.
Or maybe you prefer your baked good surrounded by Indonesian art and furnishings. Just walk across the street to Monkey Forest Road.
Brady and Jonathan also took Greg and I for Korean at Sahn Maru. No frills, just really good.
Dak goo Ee & Bul Koki: BBQ chicken and marinated beef in mild sauce
Finally, no trip to California is complete without taco stand tacos or In-N-Out Burger. . .
Taco from Tacos Mi Rancho enjoyed in front of Lake Merritt.
. . . or both.
And if by now you're thinking that maybe even just reading this post puts you in dire need of a workout, it might be time to go for run in Golden Gate Park or around Lake Merrit in Oakland.
Golden Gate Park
Greg and I also managed to get out to Muir Woods. It can be a little crowded with tourists, but they have some lovely, easy hikes amongst the redwoods, within a very easy drive from the city.
And I'll leave you with a few more images from our hike . . . you know, to work off some more virtual calories.