Tag Archives: San Francisco

San Francisco – Absinthe Brasserie

I’ve recently been told to write less, and just add more pictures. So this is my attempt on being a minimalist.The bread and butter was.. well.. just bread and butterSome beautiful and fresh oyster shooters with a spicy Bloody Mary sauce up in the top left.Phenomenal Duck Leg Confit Golden Peaches, Watercress and Goat Cheese.Beef CarpaccioBeef Short Ribs with Mirepoix, German Butterball Potatoes, with a Pinot Noir Jus.Alaskan Halibut with Sweet Shrimp, Mussels, Saffron-Chorizo Broth, Crostini, and Rouille.Grilled Skirt Steak Frites with Green Peppercorn Jus and Caramelized Onions served with Mixed Greens and Fries.Honey Upside Down Fig Cake with Fresh Figs and Ice Cream

Not Pictured: Yellow Watermelon Sorbet

Absinthe Brasserie Scores:
Food: 7/10 – Although all the ingredients in the entire meal were absolutely fresh, there wasn’t a single stand out dish that would expedite my return.

Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – A relaxing brasserie/tavern feel, having a relaxing absinthe based drink at the bar is simply divine.

Service: 7/10 – Nothing over the top, but servers were there when you needed them.

Value: 7/10 – With everything on the menu under $30, it’s affordable but doesn’t scream value.

Overall: 7/10

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San Francisco Megapost

It’s that time again ladies and gentlemen, for me to take you on an extraordinary photograzing journey through another amazing city. This time it’s the hella delicious city of San Francisco.We’ll start with some delicious breakfast/brunch items at Mama’s.

Mama’s Northern Italian M’Omelette is a hearty egg omelette filled with Pancetta, Mushroom, Fresh Basil, Tomato and Garlic Jack Cheese. Next up is their Smoked Salmon Scramble with Green Onions, Home Fries and a Bagel with Cream Cheese. Too be honest, I thought the best part was the bagel. The actual scramble was pretty uneventful. Finally the Piece de Resistance, the famous Monte Cristo. Basically a Ham and Cheese sandwich grilled up french toast style and served with a Raspberry Preserve. This thing is phenomenal! Maybe it’s my love of melding sweet and savory in the early morning, but I’d have to say that it’s one of my all time breakfast faves.

What you need to know that I eventually ended up eating ice cream for breakfast for the final 2 days. How awesome is that? Stop number 1, Bi Rite Creamery. Now I know usually there’s a nice little line that you have to wait in to get your ice cream. Not for me! I’m a pioneer! Cup of coffee for breakfast? No way! Cup of ice cream please!Armed with a unique set of rotating flavors such as crème fraiche, honey lavender, salted caramel, and balsamic strawberry, it’s clear why Bi Rite is such a popular favorite around town.

Me? I ordered up a special known as Kris’ Kombo. A heavenly sundae comprised of 2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream, drizzled with Blood Orange Olive Oil, sprinkled with Maldon Sea Salt and finally topped with fresh Whipped Cream. Is it safe to say that this was the best ice cream that I’ve had in my life? Yeah, it sounds mundane with plain Vanilla, but once all the simple flavors marry together. It becomes my favorite ice cream in the world.  Bravo Bi Rite!Another thing to note is that I also got a Snickerdoodle cookie. My advice, just stick with the ice cream.After filling up on delicious sundaes what else is there to do besides grabbing more food? We headed a few blocks up to the famous and now closing (because of neighbor law suits for noise and people complaints, yada yada) Ike’s Place for sandwiches.Things to note about Ike’s Place: Cons: Long line, no dining area, very messy sandwiches. Pros: Great bottled drink selection, helpful staff, you get a free lollipop (the caramel apple one), and lastly, out of this world delicious novelty sandwiches.Did I mention that the sandwiches were also ingeniously named? We ordered their famous Manage a Trois and the (Name of Girl I’m Dating). I know I’m going to catch a lot of crap for not remembering what the third sandwich was, sue me.The Manage a Trois was a sloppy combination of Halal Chicken Breast, Real Honey, Honey Mustard, BBQ, PepperJack, Swiss and Smoked Gouda. Despite the saucy-ooey-gooey-stickiness, the flavor was phenomenal. Maybe I should’ve ordered it on Italian Hero instead of the Sourdough, it could’ve probably kept the sandwich better in tact.Next up, the (Name of Girl I’m Dating) is made with Halal Chicken Breast, Honey Mustard, Avocado, and PepperJack cheese. A fresh, cleaner and just as appetizing sandwich when compared to the Manage a Trois.

So Day 2 of my ice cream for breakfast adventure led me to Humphry Slocombe. Now if you thought Bi Rite had unique flavors (which I did), the ones at Humphry Slocombe will absolutely blow your effing mind. Flavors include Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Secret Breakfast (Bourbon and Cornflakes), Red Hot Banana, Balsamic Caramel, and lastly Jesus Juice (a sorbet comprised of Red Wine and Coke, go figure).Another great stop in San Francisco is their weekend Farmer’s Market at Ferry Building. With fresh food and a ton of vendors, it’s one of the biggest outdoor markets that I’ve been to. We ended up stopping at a vendor that created fresh sandwiches with produce obtained from the other purveyors at the market.Their Sockeye Smoked Salmon on Sourdough with Cream Cheese, Onions, Capers, Lemon, and Lavender Salt was jaw-droppingly good. The open face sandwich embodies the pure freshness associated with outdoor markets.Head up a few miles and you’ll hit the famous Pier 33, which you have to stop and grab some Clam Chowder. Lucky for me I bought a sourdough roll right before I left the Ferry Building. So I had something to slop up the warm chowder.Finally, my journey concluded in famous Chinatown. And what do you have to get when you’re in San Francisco Chinatown? That’s right, the Egg Tarts or Dan Ta’s at Golden Gate Bakery. After what seemed liked a half-hour wait (which I’ve been told is relatively short), I got my hands on a couple piping hot Dan Ta’s. Now, I’ve traveled all the way to Macau to grab a few bites of their famous Portuguese style Dan Ta’s, but can I tell you a secret? The ones in SF are better. The custard was perfect, albeit a tad hot, but hey, it kept me warm on a cool San Francisco night. Just thinking about that flaky crust makes me want to ask my pilot to divert this flight up to San Francisco (I’m writing this on the plane by the way). My favorite part of these Dan Ta’s? Standing outside and exaggerating my orgasmic face after slowly savoring each bite and making the people in line suffer while they wait patiently (or at least they try) for the next batch. What an asshole.

San Francisco – Wayfare Tavern

What more can I say about chef Tyler Florence? He is my culinary god that I worship day and night. I can safely say that he is one of the sole reasons that manifested my food obsession. The days of Food 911 and Tyler’s Ultimate were the good days of Food Network, unlike the new-age shows dominated with cupcake decorating and cake building. Maybe it’s all the Bourdain I’ve been reading, and his hatred of everything Food Network. Whatever it is, I’m growing further and further away from this once sacred channel. Sorry about the side rant, where was I? Oh yeah, when I heard Tyler (we’re on a first name basis now ok?) opened his new restaurant Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco, it instantly rose to the top of my restaurant bucket list.As I made my way into restaurant, my jaw literally dropped, flabbergasted. Seeing Tyler stand in the kitchen with his arms crossed, I felt like a young teeny-bopper seeing Bieber for the first time in person. Screw Bieber-fever, this was Tyler’s Ultimate Fever. We’re lucky enough to be seated at a booth next to the open kitchen, I saw Tyler wave at me (not us, just me). However, I thought he was waving at somebody else, disregarded the gesture, and refocused my attention to the waiter. Again, I peeped over at the kitchen, and Tyler waved again. Acting like a dumbfounded idiot, I reciprocated with the most awkward wave that I will remember for the rest of my life. Sigh.

The meal started with warm buttery popovers that were crusted on the outside and ultra soft on the inside, served with some softened butter. Just awesome. I love when restaurants actually are meticulous and put some TLC in the bread they serve.

While sipping on some amazing Napa grown wine, a flurry of dishes is brought out before us.

Beginning with the Seared Sonoma Foie Gras served with roasted plums, tarragon and sea salt on grilled sourdough. What a phenomenal dish. The plums were sweet and succulent and a perfect complement to the buttery foie gras.Next on tap was a pretty similar dish, but something that I always order in the Salt Roasted Bone Marrow. The marrow is plated over a bed of Parsley-Shallot Salad with a Veal Demi-glaze on a Sourdough Toast with Molasses Butter. I’ll have to confess that I do love the foie gras more than this dish, but the bone marrow was no pushover either. I just think it was missing the unique element of something sweet to balance the saltiness.Our final appetizer was the Santa Barbara Sea Urchin from their raw bar. The sea urchin is presented on top of a Sweet Corn Puree, Bread and Butter Pickles, and Chervil. The dish was absolutely superb, and epitomized San Francisco dining with the use of fresh, in season, ingredients. The lightness of the sea urchin and sweet corn paired perfectly with the saltiness of the previous ones.On to the main events! This is Tyler’s rendition of Steak and Eggs. A Petit Filet Mignon topped with Soft Eggs, with toasted Dungeness crab, Asparagus, and a buttery Béarnaise. He should’ve called it the most decked out Egg’s Benedict in the world. Again, you notice the quality of ingredients in every bite and the perfect execution of every dish.The Wood Grilled Chicken Paillard is an artistic masterpiece of colorful ingredients served with Marin Organic Tomatoes, Frisèe, Bacon Lardons, Watercress and a drizzle of Roasted Chicken Jus. Honestly, if this is the kind of dishes that farmer’s eat, you can call me Old McDonald, because I’m putting on my overalls and carrying out my pitchfork.Finally, comes my dish, their Organic Fried Chicken dipped in a Buttermilk Brine, served with Roasted Garlic, Crispy Wood Herbs, and Lemons. To quote Usher, O-M-G! Drop everything you’re doing and fly out to San Francisco, make your way into Wayfare Tavern and order the most amazing Fried Chicken you’ll ever have in your life. The chicken feels as if it’s quickly fried and then finished off in the oven, since there’s no oily residue at all. The herbs and crust are simply divine. Every bite I smear the roasted garlic like it’s butter and squeeze some of the fresh lemon. This is in a whole different class of Fried Chicken, screw Shake and Bake, KFC, Popeyes, even the highly touted chicken at Blue Ribbon doesn’t compare. Mr. Florence, I see you in an even higher light.You might ask yourself, can this meal get any better? And my answer to you would be yes! (emphasis on the exclamation mark). Along with the three entrees, we also ordered a couple of sides, which included the best Macaroni and Cheese in the world. The Baked Mac and Cheese is laced with Jack Cheese, Garlic Breadcrumbs, and topped with Chives and Smoked Olive Oil. The cheese not only had extraordinary flavor but also had the perfect consistency, not too thick and not too watery. The use of larger macaroni pasta was a magnificent touch. Please, no more, this food-gasm is unbearable (in a great way).Our final dish was the Creamed Corn that was also topped with Smoked Olive Oil and Chive Blossoms. Continuing with the theme of the day, flawlessly executed and just marvelous to eat. I honestly think I’m running out of synonyms for this entry.But wait! There’s more! You thought that was all that we ordered? Keep dreaming, I have to end this momentous night with some dessert. Enter Big Papa’s Banana Cream Pie, filled with Banana Custard, Vanilla Wayfares (get it?), and topped with a Toasted Meringue. I’ve always loved banana cream anything, but just imagine Marie Calender’s Banana Cream Pie stepped up a few notches and that’s what we get here. Although it is a bit sweet, sharing this dessert amongst a few friends ends up being the perfect finishing touch.On our way out, we’re even presented with little Ginger Snap cookies that would’ve made the Keebler Elves quit their jobs.

I truly can’t say much more about how utopic the night has been. I enjoyed beyond a doubt one of the best meals of my life with some of the greatest people (Thanks Tiff and Vanessa). My only advice about eating at Wayfare Tavern (which would’ve made my night complete) is what I learned at the end of the meal. Is that Tyler loves meeting his guests and fans and is a very approachable individual. If you were like me and were simply waiting for him to come around and interrupt your meal, you’d be at a loss. Our waiter told us that we should’ve asked him to meet Tyler. But this only gives me more reason to head back to San Francisco and visit Wayfare Tavern Again.

Wayfare Tavern Scores:
Food: 10/10 – My first and quite possibly only perfect score. Not only did I enjoy great food, it was a great experience.

Restaurant Environment: 10/10 – To personally be at your restaurant shows a lot and how much you care about your actually restaurant.

Service: 10/10 – A kind staff and great recommendations, helped garnish a perfect score.

Value: 10/10 – To set this straight, you can’t enter Wayfare Tavern thinking Dollar Menu, but for what you get. I’ll gladly pay my first born.

Overall: 10/10