Summer in San Francisco

I was told that my last post seemed super angsty.  I didn’t mean it that way.  I guess I felt guilty more than anything else.  It’s hard to spend 5 years believing in something and then start to have doubts.  But I have minimal angst about eating what I want to now.
I also didn’t intend to ignore my blog all summer.  I was really busy with 2 jobs—teaching art to little kids at a summer camp and teaching an art history class online—and also spending precious time with my boyfriend.  Not to mention sightseeing.  It’s kind of nice to be in a place for a few months—long enough to do some things that are off the beaten path, but short enough to give you a sense of “carpe diem.”  That said, I certainly wish I were back in San Fran now.

I, of course, ate some WONDERFUL food this summer but didn’t photograph all of it.  Here are some highlights:

We visited Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant again.  We started with wontons and hot & sour soup.

Noor likes that they bring a big container of water to the table.

Then we had the String Beans with Soy Beef and Basil.  Yum.  This was the best faux beef ever.  I’m usually pretty wary about vegetarian beef, but it was even better than the “chicken.”

However, the Kung Pao Soy Chicken (with extra peanuts) was really good too.

On a different night we decided to try the OTHER vegetarian Chinese restaurant (God, I LOVE San Francisco!): Shangri-La.  It was equally delicious but more nutrition and health-focused.  This place is good, but I think I prefer Enjoy’s veggie takes on Chinese-American classics.
We tried the “Beef” with Broccoli and the “Abalone” with Black Mushrooms.  Both were delectable:

One day we went down to San Jose to see our friend Scott, and he suggested lunch at Ike’s Lair in Cupertino.  I like Ike’s!  They have halal meats, along with vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes.  I got the Pumpkin: vegetarian breaded chicken, pesto, mushrooms, avocado, and I added artichoke hearts and asked for no cheese.  They were very cool about my special order and didn’t make me feel like I was inconveniencing them at all, even though they were super busy. 

I need to take a moment here to say that my boyfriend is amazingly sweet.  Most mornings he got up early to make Peet‘s coffee, breakfast, and a to-go lunch for me. 

He also went to the farmer’s market for me on Thursdays since I had to work.  Look at these beautiful heirloom tomatoes (which may or may not have turned into delicious BLTs).

He also got me some wonderful spinach ravioli from Lucca’s Ravioli Company.

My friend Jane made me a lovely stir fry with veggies from the farmer’s market and eggs from her backyard.

We visited Village Falafel in Cupertino.  The falafel wrap was excellent!  I loved their really thin pita bread. 

This place on Clement Street in San Francisco is heaven. 

…and there’s a place next door with fresh-squeezed watermelon juice.  It’s the nectar of the gods, I’m telling you.

Clement Street also has an amazing Russian bakery with these poppy seed pastries that are chock-full of poppy seeds!  Clement Street might be one of the best foodie streets in America.  It also has a Russian deli with really good borscht, a German bakery, an Irish bakery, a fancy sit-down dim sum place, an Indian buffet, and much more.

One day we tried Taqueria Cancun in The Mission.  Their sign out front claimed that they have the best vegetarian burritos in town.  They were really good!  …but…I still prefer the vegetarian burritos at La Palma.

In celebration of our anniversary we had a picnic in the town of Sonoma.  It was absolutely lovely.

Another day we had a feast with Noor’s cousin at our favorite Mediterranean Restaurant: Zaki Kabob House in Oakland.  We had Falafel, Egyptian Salad, Beet Salad, Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, Tabouli…and that was just our appetizer course!  I also had the Moujadara: spiced lentils and rice with caramelized red onions on top.

Of course, no matter how full you are, if you’re in Oakland you have to visit Fenton’s Creamery.  In addition to their famous ice cream, they always have a few flavors of sorbet, which makes me very happy.  On this particular evening, they had a brand-new plum sorbet.  It was possibly the best sorbet I’ve ever had.  It had a super concentrated fresh plum flavor that wasn’t too sweet.  Noor got me a pint to take home, too, and I discovered that it was very refreshing with 7-Up (like a float). 

I spent a day in Palo Alto and had a nice lunch at the Cool Cafe (next to the Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford campus).  They had a yummy vegetarian mushroom burger.

One night we ordered a Vegetarian Indian Pizza from Golden Gate Indian Cuisine and Pizza.  Yep, I LOVE San Francisco!  It was weird but delicious!  It had Special Spinach Curry sauce, fresh Ginger, fresh Tomatoes, Red Onions, Fresh Garlic, Cauliflower & Eggplant Bhartha with Mozzarella Cheese.  It was even better cold the next day.

One night I made Yaina’s black beans and rice and fried plantains for Noor and impressed him with my ability to make perfectly fluffy rice.

There is a lot of good Japanese cuisine in San Francisco.  Tani’s Kitchen is our favorite.  It’s a bit of a dive, but the service is friendly, and the food is solid, and it’s super cheap!  You can easily get a hearty meal for under $10, which is pretty amazing in San Fran.  On one occasion I had a vegan meal of salad, inari, and a cucumber roll.  Yum!

That is just a small sample of some of the wonderful food I ate this summer.  It was amazing!

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