Wednesday, November 9, 2011

San Francisco Guide: Good Eats

One of our favorite things to do when exploring a new city is discover the best local food.  We spent the week before our departure scouring blogs for tips on restaurants off the beaten path offering good eats at a decent price.

I can only remember one meal that didn't absolutely wow us. For your sake (and theirs), I've left that particular spot off our list.  Enjoy!

Pizzeria Delfina
We walked a mile and a half for this pizza.
Up and down each hill, we repeated "I sure hope this is worth it".  It was.
We kept it simple with a Margherita Pizza. The tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil need not boast of their freshness. Their strong individual flavors paired together made me oh so happy. But what really took it over the top was the unexpected extra virgin olive oil sitting above the sauce.

House of Nanking
We waited in line outside this Chinatown restaurant for a coveted spot inside their cozy dining area. And by cozy, I mean cramped. We heard from locals that there is always a line to get in. Eric requested the House of Nanking for the remainder of our trip and continues to do so when asked what he wants to for dinner at our home in Alabama. Ha! 
We both ordered the classic Chinese dish Sesame Chicken which, to our delight, came with sweet potato wedges and loads of white sticky rice. 

El Farolito
We rode the bus to the Mission district, past hordes of people and eclectic shops and nearly missed this particular burrito place among many others in the area. We ordered at the counter and helped ourselves to chips and a plethora of salsa selections while our burritos were rolled. 
I should mention that while I have a special affinity for Mexican food, I also have a special loathing for burritos. I never order them because it seems like each bite brings out only one boring ingredient. Bite of rice, bite of meat, bite of beans, bite of sour cream. No thank you. 

I set aside my disdain based on recommendations and selected the Al Pastor Super Burrito. Oh my.  Favorite meal of the trip hands down. Every bite packed a punch of flavors making me wish I had the stomach to actually finish the thing. Eric ordered a Chicken Super Burrito with guacamole and almost did.  

Nick's Crispy Tacos
We were wet from fog and starving by the time we reached Nick's Crispy Tacos, which operates as a taco stand by day and a creepy red themed bar by night. When the menu read "soft unless otherwise specified" we were thoroughly confused and prepared for disappointment. 
Luckily, we discovered Nicks way (any taco made crispy with guacamole and jack cheese).  Yes please! Crispy at Nick's means two soft shells with the outer shell lightly fried once stuffed.  Folks, I've gotta learn how to make these at home. We both agreed the chicken tacos were the best, topped with complimentary green salsa squeezed from a bottle. We also enjoyed the homemade chips loaded with fresh pico salsa. 

Theresa & Johnny's Comfort Food
After a world tour our bodies craved a comforting home-style brunch. The sign out front reading "just real good food", the walls lined with vintage posters and gadgets, the couple drinking milk shakes before noon and the waitress with a healthy girth and hearty smile all invited us to relax and enjoy. 
I took comfort in a plate sized (extra thin) pancake, bacon and crispy fried french toast.  I still have no idea what that slice of bread went through but, suffice it to say, it tasted amazing. Eric relaxed with a giant breakfast burrito and a bowl of fresh fruit. 

We surprisingly spent almost no more money on food than we do here in Birmingham and enjoyed each meal as much as the one before. 

Do you have a city food guide you'd like to share?  Feel free to link in the comments below. 

Also, can you tell who obsessed over taking food pics based on these shots?  Ha!

*Another SF post coming soon!

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