Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fillmore Street

I am on the West Coast for this post taking in some much needed Vitamin D...oh and to visit my family of course.  After a very early morning wake-up, followed by six hours of travel, I arrived very, very happily in Oakland, CA.  The sun was shining and the temperature was incredible.


I do realize that this weather is not common for the Bay Area, and especially uncommon for early spring. Deciding to soak it up while it lasts, we headed out to one of my favorite parts of San Francisco- Fillmore Street. 


This neighborhood is full of nice (yet pricey) boutiques and independent shops 


and restaurants, including the brand new, and much awaited Bun Mee Vietnamese Sandwich Eatery.  


I walked up and down the street, stopping to browse here and there.  It was so refreshing to see everyone out walking, shopping, eating and drinking in this long awaited warmth. 


About this time, having been awake since before dawn on the East Coast I was needing a little refueling.  We made a stop into a fabulous grocer, Mollie Stone's, for a few essentials:


 A super protein vanilla Odwalla, some dark chocolate-covered black sesame candies, and some wheat sesame mini bread sticks that just looked really good to me at the moment.  I was imaging them with some soft creamy Taleggio and a crisp glass of white wine...but, wanting to stay awake for the rest of the day,  I drank the vitamin packed Odwalla instead.  It really hit the spot and gave me some needed energy to continue on my oh so strenuous journey.   

After zig-zagging in and out of more shops and testing out roughly 5 different hand lotions, I was excited to see Citizen Cake, the iconic San Francisco bakery.  


I just had to make a quick stop in.  After trying to decide between the decadent Smores brownies 


and the pistachio mousse, the Mochamisu, a delicate espresso drenched, chocolate-covered Tiramisu cake was screaming my name. 


It was so light and fluffy...just like a cloud!  There are no calories in clouds, right?  


   As the sun was beginning to set, and as the buses were beginning to let off larger groups of office workers coming home from downtown, it was time to stop wandering and sit down for a proper meal, San Francisco style. Our choice was SPQR- an exquisite, but homey, place with Italian inspired cuisine. We started with a refreshing glass of Sicilian white wine, 


fried whole young fava bean pods with a spicy aioli,


 and a crostino with burrata, and chili honey toasted hazelnuts.  


I happily finished off the crostino.  After all, I didn't want my dining companions to be too full for their main courses. 


We then ordered a few pastas, and a delicious hearty roasted vegetable salad.  


We also had a delicate fillet of roasted idaho red trout with grapes, almonds, parsnips, and bacon brown butter.  But we finished off the meal with a small, but yet powerful glass of Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria.  This is a sweet white dessert wine from Sicily and tastes like you are sipping on a rich orange nectar of honey, chestnuts, and dried apricots.

    
We left SPQR after our amazing meal, though the restaurant was still filled with people enjoying the night. 


   Walking back to our car in the warm night air, we talked about when we could come back.     

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