The recipe for the perfect San Francisco weekend is a universally acknowledged truth amongst those who live here – and given that the only other point SFers can agree on is that rent = poop emoji but a million times shittier... you know it's gotta be quite the beloved recipe.
Okay, bad call writing about such unsavory emojis right before introducing you to lots of amazing food. Sorry. Rent always gets me in a tizzy. I'll give you the secret weekend recipe to smooth things over, how 'bout that.
First, brunch. The non-negotiable. After stalking OpenTable the minute Lauren sent me her confirmed flight itinerary... lo and behold, I snagged a table for four at Foreign Cinema, the Regina George of San Francisco restaurants. Red carpet entrance, and all.
Hanna and her fella joined Lauren and me, and we started off with cocktails.
A side of thick-cut slabs of smoky bacon slow-cooked in brown sugar. Every bit as insane as it sounds, and Hanna declared it the best bacon she'd ever had. High praise!
Hanna's lavender goat cheese baked with potatoes and Early Girl tomatoes was also a sight to behold! Gorgeous dish, and a delight to the taste buds.
Lauren and I both opted for the poached eggs with crispy duck confit and white butter beans. Oh my DANG. In Lauren's words, how could even the beans be this amazing!?
The two of us have long had a knack for ordering the same exact thing at brunch, going so far as to test ourselves at times by refusing to say what we're choosing until the waiter asks. We kept the tradition going all weekend long, much to our amusement. Some things never change.
Ooh, and the piece de resistance. (And a peek at Alex's Champagne omelette in the back.)
An order of the Baguette French Toast with caramelized Asian pear, huckleberries, and brown sugar-orange butter to share. I'm surprised that it didn't cause a fistfight though because we all had a revelatory moment during our first bites... holy heck, it was bomb. Buttery bites of baguette gently soaked with a not-too-sweet syrup that tasted like autumn somewhere exotic. Seriously, a revelation. The best French Toast we've ever had. It took all of the good manners that our parents ever taught us to not bicker and pull each other's hair for the last bite.
Lounging somewhere outdoors.
An unwritten rule in San Francisco states that if the sun's out, then you better be as well. Every park in the city is packed on sunny weekend afternoons, and for good reason.
It's just so... glorious. Nothing else could possibly compare.
Lauren and I were treated to peeks of the Blue Angels air show three days in a row. In the Marina on Friday (above), on a ferry to Sausalito on Saturday, and then whilst relaxing in Dolores Park on Sunday.
(Ingredient 2.5 would be participating in unofficial San Francisco holidays like Fleet Week, Santa Con, Bay to Breakers, Bring Your Own Big Wheel on Easter, or any other occasion that allows day-drinking and costumes.)
Dolores Park on a sunny afternoon feels like you're back in college. Impeccable people-watching (it's like the Mean Girls cafeteria on steroids), music pumping, dogs running around, champagne and beer aplenty, AND-
The freshest rum-and-coc(onuts) you could imagine!
College, I tell you. In fact, San Francisco is such a small world for those of us who went to university in the Bay Area that on any given afternoon spent in Dolores, you're bound to run into friends from school. Literally, it's the extension of college.
The third ingredient: exploring new additions to the foodie scene.
Lauren and I met up with our friend Rajiv on a Friday night to check out Barzotto, the hip new pasta place in town. San Francisco foodie Instagrammers have been teasing me for much too long with images of hand-pulled noodles and hearty Italian goodness. At last, it was my turn.
We each picked a hue of wine (rose for me, did you even need to ask), and then dug into heaping servings of what I like to refer to as, everything worth living for.
I take pasta very seriously, and can't think of any idea more genius than a restaurant wholly dedicated to it.
After debating all day (seriously) what I'd choose, I finally went with the bucatini with pancetta which was so phenomenal. Satisfyingly al dente, with crunchy pancetta every bite - it was the perfect Friday dinner. Except that it made me so sleepy that I struggled with the concept of hitting up bars right after. Shocker.
Lauren and Rajiv both decided on the Fazzolletti with slow braised beef, mushrooms, and rosemary. Slippery, delicate handkerchief noodles coated thickly with tender beef, silky juices, and a generous stropping of parmesan. Yum.