Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Food Consciousness #2 - I'm Back!

i returned last night from a mini-break (four days) in San Francisco/Sonoma.  my boyfriend Matt and i and the two dogs embarked 11pm thursday night and arrived (ugh) about 10am friday morning in Sonoma.  yeah, it was a rough drive, and there were a lot of stops, especially for the dogs.  our first stop was D's Diner where i ate a delicious burger, and Matt had their famous breakfast burrito. consequently, that was not my first burger.  after watching the numerous in-n-outs that were flying past on the I-5, i demanded that we stop at the next and i had my fave #1 with onions and a dr. pepper.  no animal fries this time as it was 2 am and a road trip. afterwards, we finally made it to see Matt's brother, girlfriend and their new baby girl. after sleeping most of the day to recover, i awoke and we all had a delicious persian dinner of rice, braised chicken, ground spiced turkey, steak and yoghurt.  

the next day we woke early for some delicious scones (strawberry, ginger and white chocolate and plum, nectarine and honey) and tea at the Wildflour Bakery.  afterwards we headed to Doran Beach, where the dogs got to run in the waves, eat seaweed, and dig little holes to hide their heads in.  it had been cold up until this point when the sun started to burn off the clouds.  once the dogs were thoroughly salted, we headed for a quick burrito and then back home.  after sitting on the deck and getting some sun, we headed into town for lunch at East West Cafe where i dined on a delicious salmon benedict.

then we headed to San Francisco to meet up with another brother and his family.  they have two boys and one in particular went crazy for the dogs.  we all chatted and made a great dinner of burgers, grilled vegetables, and salad.  afterwards we walked to the nearby store and got some ice cream.  we opted to stay the night.  now here's where it turned bad.  the next morning, Matt wasn't feeling well, so much so that he was throwing up and stayed in bed the whole morning sweating and shaking.  the only strange thing was during dinner when he felt his lips tingle while eating the eggplant.  no one else felt strange.  he wanted me to have fun anyway, so i headed off to the castro street faire where i walked and walked and god that's a big street faire.

i came back and proceeded to read A Year In Provence by Mayle in its entirety while Matt recovered.  i love perusing people's bookshelves, and this happened to be on my, "i'm supposed to have read this already," list.  by this time it was afternoon and we walked to a nearby pet store for dog food.  once the dogs were fed, we walked back through the street faire and had crepes at the Squat & Gobble.  we people watched, ate, people admired the dogs, then we walked to Dubose Park and had the dogs run around.  at this point we made dinner plans with Matt's friend Eric, and we headed back.  

after a nice nap, we met up with Eric at Osha Thai in the Mission.  We dined on spring rolls, pumpkin curry, chili basil beef, and coconut rice.  we had one of those great catching up conversations, talked about where we lived now, how SF is changing, new projects we're working on, and just enjoyed the atmosphere, food and company most of all.  upon leaving we noticed the 826 Valencia store (of Dave Eggars fame) and Paxton Gate, a store which had a full size taxidermied African Lion on display in the window; we would be back the next day.  we said our goodbyes and went back.

we awoke to our last day in the bay area, and met upstairs with the family for a last breakfast.  the kids were off to school, parents off to work, and we decided to go to Tartine since those two stores wouldn't be open until noon, and we'd have to be on the road by then.  Tartine is probably the best bakery i've ever been in.   while Matt waited outside with the dogs, i stood in line and made my choices: shortbread, chocolate oatmeal cookie, coconut macaroons, pain au chocolat, croissant, soy chai latte all to go.  once we got into the car we started eating, and that croissant was so flaky and buttery, i will never have to eat one again until i go back.  the chocolate was the good kind of dense and bitter, and the shortbread melted away as i swallowed.  mmmmm.

the road trip back was quiet.  we stopped by Pea Soup Andersens for the traditional pit stop and a "pea" then made our way through the grapevine, and back to LA.  

it was a much needed trip; a return to normalcy and simplicity for me, and the realization that again i want something MORE.  i am quietly plotting to move to the bay area, SF in the next five years.  working here is too important to both of us to just pack up and leave at the moment, and so it will be time well spent career wise.  by then i hope to be teaching, and perhaps Matt will be running a satellite design house.  goals are good.  


p.s.  while we were in SF for those two days, we didn't have anything with us, as we left it up north.  it was only supposed to be a day trip, but with Matt getting sick and wanting to catch up with friends, well, we ended up wearing the same clothes, no dog food (which we later found in the car anyway) and no camera (iphone died) to take pics.  please note all the photos are from flickr, but are authentic to the subject.  

p.p.s. THANK YOU to Dan, Ziba and Sepideh and Mark, Emily, David and Benjamin for being great hosts!

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