San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers MarketThe Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco is one of the highlights of our trip. Each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday there is an overwhelming variety of vendors offering fresh produce, cheese, smoked fish, pasta, honey, jams, bread, flowers: a dizzying array of gourmet and artisan foods and wares!
The pastrami sandwich – tender, lean meat stacked high. Good news for Wise Sons fans: they just opened another location at the Contemporary Jewish Museum which is mere steps away from our favorite hotel, the SF Marriott Marquis.
No matter what day you go, you’ll find all kinds of treats at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Saturday’s Farmers Market offers the largest selection of vendors but be prepared to fight the crowds, it’s jam packed!
We’ve been to Oola numerous times. It’s usually our first meal in San Francisco after flying in from Hawaii. Oola serves dinner until 1:00 a.m. and since we don’t get to our hotel until 10:00 p.m. or later, it’s the perfect place for a late night meal.
This trip we decided to have lunch at Oola instead of dinner. The service was very good, better than we experienced at dinner. Maybe it was due to the restaurant not being as busy as it is during the evening. In any case, our server was much more pleasant and accommodating than the servers we had at dinner.Simple touches such as this cool water pitcher make Oola a fun place to dine at.
The arugula salad with goat cheese was tasty and fresh though very sparse and not very exciting. It seems they could have added some color to the dish, maybe some fresh beets would have brightened up the salad.
I had to order the ribs again but this time I was disappointed. They were overcooked and portions of the ribs were really dried out. Such a shame! We’re not sure if we’ll go back to Oola. With sketchy service in the evening and inconsistent food we’ll have to think about this one.
The service was fine and the food was tasty and reasonably priced. The restaurant decor was nondescript. The table that we were seated at wasn’t the most desirable. With a long list of favorite restaurants and so many new ones we’ve yet to try, we will probably not return to Campanula.
The duck ragu pappardelle is a staple on their lunch and dinner menu and it certainly deserves the attention. Fresh pasta and silky mushrooms with tender duck ragu, not too rich but totally satisfying.
Sociale is a lovely restaurant with exceptional service and food. Open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday and dinner Monday through Saturday, go ahead and book a table. You won’t regret it.
This was our second visit to Umami and once again the food was terrific, however the noise in the restaurant is truly unbearable. This time we were seated upstairs next to a table of 6 people. They were so loud that we asked our server to move us to another table across the room. I can’t blame the people entirely, the restaurant’s acoustics are inadequate, to say the least!
Umami is a fun place to go to with a small group of friends. The extensive menu has so many choices that everyone will be happy!
Alexander’s Steak House (Dinner)
We read about Alexander’s Steak House over the years and even walked by it once during our travels about town. This trip, John suggested we try it and wow! We were blown away on how good it turned out to be.
This is what I mean about the kitchen being entertaining. We spotted these tomahawk steaks waiting to be served. We have never seen anything like this before. Steak lovers paradise! Tomahawk chop for two is a 15 ounce dry aged rib eye steak.
Alexander’s ends the evening by bringing each table a big fluffy ball of cotton candy!
We had a great time at Alexander’s Steak House. The food, service and ambiance was spot on and we can’t wait to return.
Cafe Bunn Mi (Lunch)
Located on Clement Street Cafe Bunn Mi is a tiny restaurant that serves tasty banh mi sandwiches. A few tables inside with counter seating at the window and a few tables outside makes this a great place for a quick meal.
I love banh mi. The fresh French rolls stuffed with do chua pickles and lots of cilantro and a savory filling such as tofu or pork makes a wonderful and satisfying lunch. I hear there are many places to find good banh mi in San Francisco so we will seek them out on our next visit however if we are in the area of Cafe Bunn Mi we will certainly stop by for one of their fantastic sandwiches.
Tartine Bakery (Lunch)
Waiting in line at Tartine Bakery (the world’s greatest bakery? Yup!). We had to make the trek to Tartine because John is an artisan bread aficionado. He makes his own and once he got a hold of Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread book he was sold on the Tartine method. Even though it’s off the beaten path, and you have to stand in a long line, we had to try it.
After some time in line we were finally able to order our panini and score one of the few small tables. This is the spicy turkey panini with broccoli rabe pesto.Jambon Royale. Royale indeed!The pickled carrot was divine. We asked if we could buy some but were told it was only available as a garnish in the bakery.
We waited in line for some time and struggled to find seating, it was raining so the meager outside seating was not available. These are the best panini we have ever had because they are made with the world’s best bread and finest fresh ingredients. Despite the inconveniences it was worth it!