This post is long overdue, but better late than never! As you all know, I spent a week in San Francisco last month. It was supposed to be vacation with the manfriend, but it was more of a business trip, lol. I feel bad because Robby took time off work to hang, but hey, that’s what happens when two hustlers are in a relationship. We did find some time to relax though, just not as much as we hoped. We’re happiest when productive so neither of us are complaining! So, for those of you interested, here are highlights from my trip.
Bay Area Foodie Adventures
I talked a bit about my nom adventures a while back – click here for my favorite dessert places in the Bay – but I wanted to highlight some other restaurants for you guys because who doesn’t enjoy foodporn? I hit up Spro and Home because I love their food and drank, but new favorites are Chili House SF and Sweet Maple. I’m going to recap you guys on everything so let’s start from the top!
Spro: Brunch like a Champion
I wanted to get Spro’s Mash Up Toast again, but I decided to be adventurous and try something new. Robby and I got their Umami Bomb avo toast and their blueberry mochi waffles to share along with 3 different drinks. I’ve never gotten a bad dish here, and I love how unique their food is. They’re always pushing limits, and their creativity never ceases to amaze.
The boyf’s been raving about this toast for months so I walked in with high expectations. The Umami Bomb’s made with avo (obviously), black truffle citrus ponzu, furiake, black sesame, togarashi chili and ikura salmon roe on sourdough rye. It’s priced at $7.50 so it’s a cheap eat that’s SO worth your money. If you’re vegetarian like me, just ask them to make it without roe. Now, did it live up to its hype? Absolutely…but I still like their Mash Up Toast more. The blueberry waffles were good, but I probably wouldn’t get them again because I prefer their toasts! It all boils down to preference though – I just favor savory over sweet. I do have to say that they were the best moffles I’ve had though.
Now, the three drinks were as follows: their Strawberry Fields, their “Sangria,” and their Geisha (iced). The first, priced at $6, was made with muddled strawberries & mint, cherry-blossom green tea, rhubarb bitters, honey and rocks. The Sangria ($6) was made with cold brew, peach bitters, raspberry gum syrup, and frozen berries, and the iced Geisha ($5) contained ito en ceremonial matcha, organic honey and milk. The Geisha was my favorite by far, and I highly recommend it. It was definitely the most “conventional” drink we got, but there’s no shame in that! So what if I’m basic =P It was just the right amount of sweet, and I could seriously drink it all day every day.
Now, the first two listed were interesting because I didn’t know how I felt about them at first. Also, if you’re wondering why I keep putting sangria in quotes because it’s their take on the classic, and it doesn’t have any alcohol. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t a fan at first, but they definitely grew on me. And yes, I broke my no coffee rule twice while I was there: once at Spro and once at Home. So, will you love their “coffee cocktails?” I’m not sure, but I don’t think you’ll regret trying them so go wild friends because YOLO.
Sweet Maple: Brunch like a Champion…Again
Robby and I hit up Sweet Maple, located on 2101 Sutter Street, on a Sunday for brunch, and there was a line out the door for most of the morning. I don’t like to wait so I avoid super busy places like the plague, but I decided to be patient for once. Thank god I was because their food was really quite good. I’m bummed I didn’t get to try their millionaire’s bacon though – Robby said it was straight up obscene. If only I turned vegetarian AFTER my SF trip, lol. I got to try two different dishes though: their Big Hip ($11.50) and their Mushroom Melt ($15).
The former was their famous deep-fried French Toast, and we got it with a “fired banana” and candied walnuts for an extra $3. If you’re looking to splurge, definitely give this dish a try! It’s decadent though so you reallllly gotta like sweet breakfast entrees. The Mushroom Melt was one of the best veggie sandwiches I’ve ever had. It contained a mushroom medley, swiss cheese, aioli, and was served on a ciabatta au levain roll with a side salad. I’d definitely get this again, and I recommend it whether you’re vegetarian or not because it’s just really delicious. Also, for those of you interested, you can get bottomless mimosas for $20 a person as long as everyone at your table indulges.
Home: Where Latte Art is ACTUALLY an Art
I have so much love for Home, it’s not even funny. They currently have two locations in the Bay: one on Noriega and one on Clement. I’ve been to both, and they’re super consistent with their food and drink. They’re open from 7-5PM Monday through Friday and 8-5PM on weekends, and they have the prettiest lattes and toasts. Each location has different menu offerings so definitely make sure to check out both in you’re in the area.
I ordered the following to share with the boyf: their Birthday Cake Latte ($5), their Organic Matcha Tea Latte ($4.75), their Iced Lavender Latte ($4.75), their Seoul Much Avo toast, their Let’s Avo-Cuddle Toast, and their Br-avo toast (all three toasts were $7.75 FYI).
Seoul Much Avo was topped with spicy kimchi, seeds and avo, Br-avo came with bacon crumbles, radish and avo, and Let’s Avo-cuddle had baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, avo and red pepper. I tried the first and third and loved both! I was sad to see that their condensed milk toast wasn’t available here – I had it at their Noriega location, but I can’t remember what it was called, lol. That was probably my fave toast of the bunch, but Let’s Avo-cuddle was a close second.
Chili House SF: Kung Pao Tofu for the Win
Low key bummed that I missed their famous tea show – I don’t know if that’s what it’s called, but basically tea ninjas acrobatically pour drinks for their guests – but the food here was the bomb.com. I’ve been following them on IG for the last few months so I was ecstatic when they invited me in for a tasting. They sent out a bunch of different dishes for me and Robby to try, and everything was nomtastic. Here’s a list of everything we got: Peking Duck, Green Onion Pancakes, Soup Dumplings, Kung Pao Tofu, and Lotus Root with Chili Pepper.
I obviously didn’t get to try their duck or soup dumplings, but Robby said they were both delicious. It’s hard to pick a favorite plate, but if I HAD to choose, I’d go with the Lotus Root because it was healthier – the tofu was deep fried – and spicier. I really loved the texture of it, and the crunch was strangely addicting. The tofu really was special though! The presentation was beautiful, and the flavors were on point. I highly recommend both, especially if you have a vegetarian in your midst.
They’re located on 726 Clement Street, and their sister restaurants, Z & Y Restaurant and Z & Y Bistro are located in Chinatown. Remember to call ahead at least 1 day in advance to get their Peking Duck – they only sell 20 per day – and go with an empty stomach because you’re gonna need the extra space. For those of you interested, I’m currently working on a guest post for Dining Traveler on my favorite Asian eats in SF so make sure to keep an eye out. Chili House is definitely on the list though so consider this a sneak peek!
Cavallo Point Staycation
For Robby’s birthday, his sister generously got him a gift card to Cavallo Point for a fancy schmancy staycation. He works pretty much 24/7 so the R&R was well-deserved. This luxury hotel was located right next to the Bay with a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge – the weather wasn’t ideal, but we were only there for a day so it didn’t really matter, lol. Their guest rooms were bougie AF, but I’m not surprised because a night’s stay is like $500-700 depending on the season. They have a full-service spa with an outdoor pool and guests get free wifi, breakfast, and parking. They also have a complimentary wine hour daily so definitely remember to take advance.
Room service was actually reasonably priced, but the food didn’t blow us away. We wanted to get Halal Guys, BUT we weren’t in their delivery range, lol. I was hangry by the time our noms came so I forgot to take pics, but we got a cheese plate, a melon salad, steak frites, and a huge bowl of truffle fries. The salad and cheese plate were meh, but the fries were SO good, and the portion size was humongous. After dinner, we (ironically) spent our time working on a campaign. We got a last minute gig for Nomtastic Foods so we were editing photos and working on our write-up all night. So much for R&R, ha!
Exploring San Jose
I literally just published a post on the best (and worst) eats of San Jose so I’m not going to spend too much time talking about food since you guys can click here for deets. It’s a pretty long post though so if you don’t want to read through everything, here’s a summary: get the Peachly at Bubbly Teahouse, the chocolate waffle cone with dulce de leche ice cream and Watermelon Agua Fresca at Ice3 Creamery, and the truffle mac ‘n cheese + empanadas at Flights. Those were, hands down, the best dishes I had there.
My favorite place by far was definitely Flights! I thought they had a really interesting concept, and I loved the food and service. And avoid Thaibodia like the plague, friends – I know that’s harsh, but if you read my SJ recap post you’ll understand why. If you’re looking for a nice but affordable place to stay, The Row’s a great option – not TOO expensive and they had a cool contemporary vibe going on. I also loved that they offered free breakfast & parking and had fruit infused water available 24/7 in the lobby.
Lifestyle Network TV x Aina’s Hawaiian Pop-Up Dinner
Man, I don’t even know where to start. This was definitely the highlight of my trip. This pop-up dinner was unforgettable, and it was quite possibly one of the best food experiences I’ve ever had, like in my entire life. We got a message from Aina super last minute about their collab with Lifestyle Network, and we were available so we agreed to go together since we rarely get the chance to attend events as a couple. A few hours later, we got a message from Lifestyle Network TV regarding an interview. Apparently, the dinner was being filmed, and all the guests at the Chef’s Table were going to appear on their show. We didn’t know what to expect but we decided to go for it because… why not? Now, Robby’s been to Hawaii several times, but I haven’t. It’s definitely on my bucket list, but I walked in with no knowledge whatsoever about Hawaiian food, lol.
We were interviewed by Emmy award winner and foodie, Lanai, and he, along with Chef Jordan, spent the evening educating us on Hawaiian cuisine. The dinner went on for several hours, but we savored every minute. Robby and I took a bajillion photos, and I know this is really bad, but I decided to eat meat just that ONCE because I thought it’d be hella rude and weird to just sit there, especially since it was being filmed for a TV show. Le sigh.
…the food was so good though. It was an epic last hurrah for sure! We started off with some sashimi (topped with shiso leaves and togarashi) – I haven’t had fish in years for personal reasons, but I decided to be a good sport and try it. This was my least favorite part of the meal only because I’m not big into eating raw anything anymore, lol. Then the real meal began! Spam Musubi, Pipikaula, Lomi Lomi Salmon, Kalua Pork Belly with Hand Pounded Poi, and Lillijoi Haupia Pavlova.
Each and every course blew my MIND, but my favorite was the spam and the Pipikaula. The former was made with homemade spam then topped with ikura, Hawaiian chili pepper, Alaea sea salt ogo, Maui sweet onion, sea asparagus and green onion. The latter was shoyu cured wagyu served on a beef tendon puff with black garlic and bone marrow flan. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how good everything was! To read more about the meal, click here to read Robby’s recap. He went all out so definitely take a look-see.
Netflix and Chill…and Pizza
For my last night in SF, Robby and I decided to just chill and do nothing aka watch movies and edit photos while intermittently cuddling. We had thousands of pictures to edit at that point so we had our hands full. We’re big into horror films so we hit up Hulu and saw sh*tty movie after sh*tty movie, lol. Why is it so hard to find one that’s actually scary? Anywho, we ordered Giorgio’s – I featured them here a while back as one of my must-tries – and pigged out on pizza for my last meal in the Bay. We usually get their special, but we went with mushroom. It wasn’t as fatty as their special, but I actually liked it just as much, if not better! They have the best pizza in SF so I highly recommend checking them out if you find yourself in the Inner Richmond.
Anddd that’s it for today. Damn, 2300+ words! I’m sorry this was so long-winded – hopefully you guys enjoyed this recap because it took me forever to write, lol. As you can see, I spend a lot of time in the Bay so definitely reach out if you have any questions regarding food or activities. I try to do and see as much as possible every time I go so I can definitely help you plan trips and whatnot. Until next time, friends! For more on food or travel, click on their respective tabs. And make sure to check back on Monday for new content. Sending so much love from the DMV!