Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jet setting with Salty (Part I)

Did you miss me? I missed you. But I'm back now from our trip to San Francisco and do I have some treasures to share, or what? No really, I do. Mr.Mr. and I spent five days in the city gallivanting about the various neighborhoods, enjoying food, family, and pretty things. Having never been to San Francisco before, I knew only to expect high quality cuisine, good humored conversation, and plenty of fog. But surprise, surprise, we only had one day of seriously bad weather, and the sun came out in spades every other say... nary a wisp of cloud in sight.

While I took over 150 photos on the trip, I know the average time spent on this site is little more than five minutes. So I've picked only my favorite places and will break it down into days, focusing on the pictures and adding a bit of description for each. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy an in flight beverage.

"Make loaves not war." This is the motto at Arizmendi Bakery in Inner Sunset.

This small, co-op bakery and cafe offers a number of sweet breakfast-y treats, breads, and savory bites like focaccia and pizza. It happens to be a hop, skip, and a jump from Mr.Mr.'s brother's apartment and the friendly staff make conversation when it's not too busy. Traveller's beware- this popular spot has little seating and when the stroller brigade comes through, it gets a little dicey. My advice: dash in, dash out, tip your server with a smile (they don't accept cash or coins as a policy), and enjoy your cherry cornmeal muffin on your walk to to the MUNI.

Or, better yet- take a stroll through the Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum while you nibble on a flaky shortbread cookie. This beautiful place was filled with a massive variety of local and foreign trees, flowers, and plant life. We worked our way through half a mid-morning pizza at the edge of the duck pond and enjoyed the free entertainment provided by a flock of [casually] uniformed school children.

Xanthorrhoea Sp. native to Australia, looks like a modern art installation made entirely of wooden coffee stirrers. Also know as the grass tree, it had an odd, monochromatic progression of living to dead leaves that created a really striking, all-over sort of pattern.

This little jewel has no name- or at least none that I made record of at the time. It reminded me of a sea anemone with its brightly colored spray.

Having travelled at an early hour to make it to San Francisco by mid-morning, Mr.Mr. and I napped for a bit after our walk in the sun and then headed out for dinner to RNM in the Lower Haight. Sadly, I have no pictures to share but suffice to say, it was a fantastic meal. We started with one of their two rotating salads and their charcuterie plate (pâté, duck rillettes, smoked prosciutto, coppa salami, house made andouille, marinated olives, dijon and upland cress) which were both delicious. (I had to remind myself not to think about what pâté is made of a few times, but the taste worked wonders on my mental efforts.) After that, we moved on to split a creamy polenta entree and a braised lamb dish that left us scraping the plate and bowl respectively.

Mr.Mr. and his brother enjoyed martinis made with Junipero gin that earned high marks from both for its uniquely clean flavor. For dessert we enjoyed a lemon panna cotta garnished with blackberries soaked in some sort of potent alcohol. For my part, I would have skipped the garnish as it contrasted the lemon too strongly and detracted from the dish. If I had my druthers, I'd be hitting RNM as often as possible for their prix fixe menu offered Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30pm - 7:30pm. What a steal.

Stay tuned for Part II.

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