Posts Tagged ‘ food ’

The Neighborhood Snippet Series: North Beach

You are where you live. 

San Francisco is a city full of the most diverse and talented individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  It’s not uncommon to get into a conversation about an app someone developed last night.  San Francisco – with all its wonder and uniqueness – is also a city that defines and stereotypes its residents greatly by where they live.

These stereotypes have led to hilarious Facebook pages such as Marina Girl Says, Marina Guy Says, and Russian Girl Says.  Despite the funny stereotypes of some of the neighborhoods, each neighborhood has its own unique culture and offers something so San Franciscan.

And with that, I like to introduce to you… The Neighborhood Snippet Series starting with North Beach.

North Beach, located north east of the city, is the Little Italy of the city.  Situated between China Town and Fisherman’s Wharf, this little neighborhood is always bustling with tourists and locals alike.  A jaunt down Columbus St. will take you back to Europe.  There are plenty of places to eat but only a few that are suitable.


Despite the endless amount of options available in North Beach, there are only a few places I would go in the neighborhood.  Here are some of my favorites in the area.

1) Tony’s PizzaIMG_0827 – While you’re there, can you save me a seat?

2) Don Pisto’s – Most likely one of my top places in SF

3) Mama’s – Great brunch spot if you have time to wait for an hour

4) Brioche Bakery and Cafe – I have a special place for Brioche.  When I was visiting SF for the first time, it was my go to place for breakfast before I started my day.

Sotto Mare, Park Tavern, Comstock, and The Station are on my list to try still.


One of my favorite areas to roam around in the neighborhood starts at Filbert and Grant and ends around the time you cross Columbus St.  In particular, I’m a fan of Therapy near Green and Grant.


North Beach has a great, low-key scene near Green and Grant.  There are about 4 bars in that area that offers an easy pub crawl.  Venture a little south of Grant, past Columbus, and you’ll be hit with neon GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS sign.  North Beach offers a variety of fun for whatever tickles your fancy or other parts of your body.

Maggie McGarrys, Tope are a few favs and if you see me there, come say hi… but actually don’t because of this, I’m super fearful of strangers.


Ah!  The misleading-ness of North Beach.  Despite its name, there are no beaches in sight unless you want to swim with the sea lions at Pier 39.  So hence, I’ve nicknamed the neighborhood, NoBeach.  As in there are no beaches in North Beach.

Interested in getting other neighborhood snippets?  Subscribe to my blog on the right.

SIDE NOTE:  A super important question crept up as I was writing this post… why do we crawl pubs and hop bars?  Why not pub hop and bar crawl?  Who wants to adopt club roll with me?

What are you doing tonight?  Rolling to a club.

Give it a few years… club roll will catch on.


7×7 Food List

Someone recently shared with me 7×7 The Big Eat 2012 List.  Needless to say, all I could think was “Challenge Accepted!”

I will, over the next few months, be entertaining you with stories of my hunt to complete this list alongside my stories on visiting all 50 states (by the way, I’m finally off to Vegas… and this time of USA legal age so no stories of me being yelled at by casino workers!!!).  I’ve done a few already so I’ll use my trusty brain to recall the experience and share it with you.  Be excited for the food porn photos to come… also let me define what food porn is because I had a coworker once where the conversation went something like this (verbatim of conversation may have been affected by time and memory lapse):

Whit:  What are you doing?

Me:  Oh looking at food porn.

Whit:  What?  Eww  why are you looking at that at work?

Me:  What?  How is food porn inappropriate… wait back up, what do you think food porn is?

Whit:  *she hesitates to speak”

Me:  It’s not naked people posing with food or doing things to food… it’s just photos and photos and photos of food and food alone.  OMG who do you think I am?  What do you think I do at work?  What kind of fetish do you think I have?

Whit:  *speechless and then tries to defend herself… other colleagues’ heads start to life up at this point listening to our conversation*

Since then, it has concerned me what my friends think I do at work… I don’t know what an appropriate picture would be to express my concern but it would go something like this:

Image courtesy of… and I guess Jersey Shores.

7×7 The Big Eat 2012 List

Volunteers and Fellow Food Hunters are welcome to join!

1. Salt cod fried rice at Mission Chinese Food*
2. Roasted chicken and bread salad at Zuni Cafe
3. Dry-fried chicken wings at San Tung*
4. Carnitas taco at La Taqueria
5. Chasu ramen at Katana-Ya
6. Custard French toast at Nopa*
7. Morning bun at Tartine Bakery
8. Cellophane noodles with crab at The Slanted Door
9. Eggs in Jail at Outerlands
10. Kelvin-made ice cream at Smitten*
11. Pork sugo with pappardelle at Delfina
12. Porchetta sandwich at RoliRoti
13. Soup dumplings at Kingdom of Dumpling
14. Warm egg salad sandwich at Il Cane Rosso
15. Any seasonal flavor at Scream Sorbet
16. Katsu curry at Muracci’s Japanese Curry & Grill
17. Pizza margherita at Pizzeria Delfina
18. The $24 prix fixe at Cotogna
19. Benwaffles at Bar Jules (monthly)*
20. Salumi misti plate at Perbacco
21. Tonkotsu ramen at Izakaya Sozai
22. Vietnamese roasted pork sandwich at Saigon Sandwich
23. Duck and sausage jambalaya 
at Boxing Room (Thursdays)*
24. Loaf of bread straight out of the oven 
at Tartine Bakery
25. Pistachio meatballs at Zaré at Fly Trap
26. Spicy baby octopus stew at La Ciccia
27. Tuna tartare at Bix
28. Clam chowder at Anchor Oyster Bar
29. Amatriciana pizza at Ragazza*
30. Pupusas at Balompie Cafe
31. Prime rib at House of Prime Rib
32. Pork belly bun at Chairman Bao Bun’s truck
33. The Little Star at Little Star Pizza
34. Argentine beef empanadas 
at Venga Empanadas*
35. Salted caramel ice cream 
at Bi-Rite Creamery
36. Soft garlic pretzels 
at Absinthe’s bar
37. Whole wheat pasta with hen and liver at Flour + Water*
38. Burger and fries at Spruce’s bar
39. Egg custard tart at Golden 
Gate Bakery
40. Pierna enchilada torta 
at La Torta Gorda
41. Langos at Bar Tartine*
42. Maccaronara with ricotta salata at A16
43. Nojo sundae at Nojo*
44. Beer sausage 
at Rosamunde Sausage Grill
45. Duck larb at Lers Ros Thai
46. Secret Breakfast 
at Humphry Slocombe
47. Chips and salsa at Papalote
48. Seafood chowder at Bar Crudo*
49. Ginger snaps at Miette

50. Chicken soup with dumplings at Leopold’s*
51.  Pho ga at Turtle Tower
52. Carnitas at Nopalito
53. Tika masala burrito at Curry Up Now’s truck*
54.  Kouign Amann at Four Barrel*
55. A dozen Sweetwater 
oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co.
56. Chicken porridge at Bush Street’s Out the Door
57. Sandwich No. 1 
at Lucca Delicatessen
58. Pork shoulder fried rice 
at Sai Jai Thai
59. Hamburger at 4505 Meats
60. Huarache with cactus salad 
at El Huarache Loco
61. Spaghettini with tuna heart 
at Incanto*
62. Dim sum at Ton Kiang
63. Pozole at San Jalisco (Fridays)
64. Sand dabs at Tadich Grill
65. Cookies-and-cream cookie 
at Anthony’s Cookies
66. Paper masala dosa at Dosa
67. Meatloaf sandwich at Fatted Calf
68. Foccacia at Liguria Bakery
69. Omakase menu at Kiss*
70. Calamari with chorizo and black rice at Contigo*
71. Fried green beans at Coco500
72. Peanut brittle cookie 
at Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous*
73. Munsoned at Deli Board*
74. Faux shark’s fin soup at Benu*
75. Super carne asada burrito 
at El Farolito
76. Steak frites at L’Ardoise*
77. Fried chicken at Foreign Cinema
78. Bone marrow at Alembic*
79. Crawfish beignets at Brenda’s French Soul Food*
80. Potato latke with pickled beets
at Baker & Banker*
81. Pickled egg at Comstock Saloon
82. Breakfast eggs at Boulettes Larder*
83. Rice burger at Sandbox Bakery*
84. A cheese slice at Arinell Pizza
85. Sesame balls at Yank Sing
86. Fried chicken sandwich 
at Marlowe*
87. Coconut buns from King’s Bakery
88. Malaysian curry laksa soup at Betelnut*
89. Korean taco at Namu’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market stand
90. Albondigas soup at Mijita
91. Bacon-wrapped hot dog at a cart in the Mission
92. Chicken liver on toast at Frances*
93. Seven flavors of beef at Pagolac
94. Hawaiian Hangover cake 
at Bluestem Brasserie*
95. Deviled eggs at Park Tavern*
96. Ube ice cream at Mitchell’s Ice Cream
97. Green goddess salad at Prospect*
98. Chicken curry lunch special 
at Punjab Kabab House
99. Fried chicken and waffles 
at Little Skillet
100. Cracked Dungeness crab 
at Swan Oyster Depot

Curious to hear how the list fares out?  Want to learn more about San Francisco?  Just in a need for a good, sometimes bad, but never horrendous time waster?  Follow my blog!!!

A Day in Charlotte, North Carolina

I arrived in Charlotte Thursday night before the Martin Luther King long weekend to visit my friend Chadd from Queen’s University and my exchange school Universite catholique de Louvain.  Chadd was out of town working until Friday night so I decided to spend the day on Friday getting to know Charlotte.

The day began by walking into downtown Charlotte along Tryon St., which on a map is actually uptown and can cause a lot of confusion among directionally-challenged tourists.

Please turn to your left and take in the beauty that is…

The Bank of America Stadium!

Walk a little further and you’ll hit The Green which Charlotte Tourism describes as…

“Giant books and pages as well as a walkway of magical sounds enliven this literary-themed wonderland of a park. Colorful benches and the fantasy Fish Fountain offer areas to relax.  Dine alfresco or indoors at restaurants along the park. “

…but my pictures pretty much captures all that you’ll see.

It was cute and probably my favourite part of the city although that title wasn’t hard to get.

Next, I had lunch The King’s Kitchen recommended by many Yelpers.

The King’s Kitchen is a not for profit restaurant where proceeds goes back to the community.  The food was fresh and absolutely affordable.  For $9, I got a plate full of southern fried chicken, spinach, butternut squash, and mac and cheese and corn bread and a biscuit to start!  I absolutely recommend checking this place out if you’re ever in the city.

Nom nom nom

After I finished lunch, I continued to walk around town but after a few blocks I realized I had reached the end.

So I decided to walk along the other two major streets – College St. and Church St. but that also didn’t take very long.

Still having 4 hours to kill before Chadd got off work, I hopped on this little bus.

Gold Rush Transit Trolleys are free and WARM!

So I took the free bus from…

… Where the large circle is to where the arrow points to.

And then from…

… Where the circle is to where the arrow points to…


I was almost that “bus rider” that falls asleep on the bus and going round and round with it.

… Back to where I started.

I then proceeded to do the same thing with the Red line but I’ll spare you the details and my horrific graphic design skills as it doesn’t get all that exciting and I’m sure you can predict how that went.

I want to say the rest of my weekend in Charlotte was amazing but I wouldn’t know because I convinced Chadd and his friend to road trip it down to Charleston with me.  By convincing, I mean peer pressuring them to priceline a hotel after they’ve had one too many 2AM in the morning.  I should feel bad for coercing them but I really don’t.  Evil?

Another state to cross off my list.  47 left.

My Anti-Climatic Experience With In-N-Out

For the past two months since I’ve lived with my housemate, she’s been raving on and on and on and on about In-N-Out Burger.

In-N-Out Burger is a fast food chain that is popular in Southern California and is what Tim Horton’s is to Canadians, In-N-Out is to SoCals.  Here are some reactions you’ll get if you mention In-N-Out to Californians,

Get it animal style.  It’s the best burger EVER!!!!

It’s like fast food but like really really high quality fast food.  Oh you’ll love it.

So, finally one night we headed over to In-N-Out because she was craving it and I was desperate to try something Californian and prove to myself (and everyone else) that I’m totally a local.  And here is how my meal went, graph-wise:

Note my level of excitement on trying something truly Californian.

My mood after I just ordered my meal and waiting in anticipation.

My meal... om nom nom

After the first bite...Ohhhh...Hmmm...

Marci is waiting for me to gush about the food but then notices my reaction.

It’s, you know, a really Californian thing, people get off the plane and the first thing they have is an In-N-Out Burger

Oh, how I can hear the defensiveness in her voice.

It’s not bad, it’s just…

People love it so much, there’s an iPhone app for it.

There’s an iPhone app for it?  Do you have an iPhone app for it?

She pauses

Yes but it’s because it’s so popular in SoCal that you need it for roadtrips

I smile at her in what I hope was my best encouraging, not judging you smile.

I get it, it’s like Tim Horton’s for us.

Ya but like the food is actually good.

Woah… back up Californian.  I just stared at her with my best evil eye which wasn’t really scary because when a Canadian gives you the evil, we just look like a puppy that’s going to lick you to death.

My housemate musters…

Well, the timbits are okay.

Everyone is entitled to their food opinions and no one is right or wrong when it comes to their food choices but in this case, Marci’s wrong.  In-N-Out wasn’t life changing and Tim Horton’s will forever be the first thing I eat when I get off a plane in Toronto. #sniff