Nothing beats exploring the 7 Hills of San Francisco on two wheels. Here are some highlights from the year’s rides, 2010. Our favorite route? Castro to the Marina. . .
Mobile street food vendors have become something of a phenomenon here in San Francisco and beyond. From whoopie pies (gobs) to paella, from Korean tacos to Indian burritos, local entrepreneurs have focused their business on a specialty dish or two and have taken their food to the streets, via bikes, carts, backpacks or trucks. While most rely on social networking to broadcast the time and place one can find them (facebook, twitter and their own websites), the organization “Off the Grid” has emerged to not only bring a bunch of the vendors to a single location but also to provide a venue for live music and fun for a ‘foodie’ crowd (oh, and they sell booze).
It’s a weekly street food festival and it’s a blast!
The particular mix of vendors changes from event to event. As of this post you can find festivals weekly at the following times/locations. Check out the Off the Grid website for details.
Thursday Nights: Upper Haight
Stanyan and Waller Streets, San Francisco 4-8.30pm
Friday Lunch: Civic Center
In Front of City Hall, 11am-2.30pm
Friday Nights: Fort Mason Center, 5pm-9pm
When celebrity chef Elizabeth Falkner (of Bravo’s Top Chef fame) puts on a bake sale . . . you go! She did just that a little over a week ago at the bar in her swanky SOMA restaurant, Orson. To my delight, Falkner personally served the goods at the noon hour sale, including the cupcakes for which she is known, brownies, artisan desserts, Parisian macarons and more.
Emblematic of her signature approach to pastry cooking, the line between sweet and savory was a blurred one. Chocolate could be found layered with miso in one gorgeous example, basil flavored parisian macarons in another. Desserts like these put her Hayes Valley restaurant Citizen Cake on the map and bolster her reputation as an inventive, experimental chef. While the Hayes Valley location closed earlier this year, the pop-up sale coincided with the opening in June of a new Citizen Cake, on Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights. I look forward to checking that out, soon!
Cups and Cakes Bakery does a “Happy Hour” on Mondays, Saturdays, and if my co workers are making a cupcake run, well I see no reason not to tag along. So, today I did. Two for one. Oh yes, I did!
12 July 2010
Went back for more and had a great chat with the owner. She’s been approached by the producers of television’s “Cupcake Wars” to send in an audition tape. I hope she does because she’d rock that contest! Fingers crossed for you.
Flavors I bought today, Chocolate Chip Cookie dough (brown sugar cake with the chocolate chips in the frosting) and Mud Cake, a gorgeous chocolate cake with a fluffy chocolate frosting, not ‘too’ sweet and rolled in chocolate cookie crumbs (!), finished with gummy worm.
Saturday was a great day for a walk, and my partner and I went to Noe Valley.
No trip there is complete without a stop at the Noe Valley Bakery.
The funny part is, having stopped to eat my cupcake at the corner of 24th & Noe, a singularly ambitious little Girl Scout came up to me with her rehearsed sales pitch, “Hey mister, want to buy some dessert today?” She then paused (seeing that I had the cupcake in my mouth while she said it ) and got the funniest look of embarrassment on her face! My partner said, “You’re a tough little business woman, aren’t you.” Her pride was now kindly restored, and she replied with a longgggggg sighhhhhhh and an eye roll, “That’s what they tell me.” And with that, and a determined 180° accomplished with a lift and turn on one toe, she marched right back to her street corner to wait for the next fish.
So- sorry kid, I’m a cupcake kinda guy. That’s how I roll.