My Favorite Cupcake…

 

We live in a city over-run with cupcakes shops.  I don’t know if this trend has taken such a strong hold across the entire country or we are unique here in San Francisco, but within less than a mile from my own house I have at least 4 cupcake devoted bakeries!  But alas, my favorite cupcake does not live in my neighborhood, but my all-time favorite cupcake is in of all places, touristy Union Square.

It’s at a little shop on O’Farrell at Powell, right in the craziness of it all, called Cāko Bakery.  This morsel of goodness is called the Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcake (click the link to see how it should look since mine got a little smashed in transit!) and I honestly crave it and find myself at Cāko pretty much anytime I am in Union Square.  As I’m writing this I’m actually trying to come up with reasons why I need to go back to Union Square (or their second location in Japan Town) again today just as an excuse to get another one of these cupcakes!
Eating Our Way Through Chicago

While I know I already shared my foodie itinerary for Chicago, I thought now that we are back from our trip I'd let you know what we thought and if everything on our original itinerary lived up to the hype.  So first things first....WE LOVED CHICAGO!  As a reminder, I hadn't been there since I was a child and Christian had never been.  So it was pretty new for both of us...and to be honest we were expecting to like it, but not much more.  But after a day in Chicago I was talking about wanting to move there, and I love living in San Francisco and left Massachusetts because I hated the winters...but Chicago is that cool.  I honestly felt like the greatness of the city would outweigh any awfulness of the winters that I had heard about...but Christian disputed and insisted he wouldn't move to Chicago with me so I had to let it go.  But really, such a clean and vibrant city with amazing architecture and waterways.  If you haven't been, go.  Preferably in the late spring or early fall from what I hear.

So, our foodie itinerary.  How did we fare?  Very well if you ask me.  While we may not have made every destination on our itinerary, we made it to the important ones and let me just say, we ate extremely well while in Chicago!
Bar Bocce

I don't know if there's anywhere in the world I'd rather be during the Fall than in the Bay Area.  Fall in San Francisco is always spectacular, and this year has been no exception.  Bar Bocce, in Sausalito is one of the best places to experience this phenomenal weather.  Grab a glass of Prosecco from the bar and play a round of bocce on their water-front court while you wait for a seat on their great big outdoor patio and you have yourself an afternoon!

If you happen to get to Bar Bocce a bit later in the day or didn't hit it on one of our spectacular fall days have no fear...they have a great big fire pit and cozy fleece blankets for you to wrap around yourself while you stare wistfully at the shimmering water and idyllic house boats.

So...how's the food?  Well, Robert Price of Buckeye Roadhouse and Bungalow 44 is in charge of the kitchen so you're in good hands.  But like so many restaurants with amazing spaces and views, the food doesn't quite live up to the ambience.  It's good food, but not great food...but the spot is so fantastic that I do always find myself coming back for more.  Some of our recent samplings from the menu...

Umami Burger Arrives in San Francisco

Most of us living in the Bay Area know that there is a, shall we say, friendly little competition between those of us living in San Francisco and those living in L.A. Why? I'm not really sure. They're such different cities they're honestly hard to even compare but the back and forth continues. Which city is better? Nor Cal vs. So Cal? The prettier people? The smarter people? Which is better...having prettier people or smarter people? The best restaurants? It goes on and on. Silly really, but it's here to stay.

So when I heard that L.A. import, Umami Burger was opening it's first northern CA location in my neighborhood I was intrigued to say the least. So intrigued that Christian and I popped in for lunch on day 2, right in the middle of their soft launch. So not really fair to assess the restaurant in it's entirety so early but since we did check it out I thought I'd share:
Tantalizing Tomales Bay

Tomales Bay on the Pt. Reyes National Seashore is one of our favorite day trips.  We first discovered it when training for a 340 mile, 5-day bike ride from Eureka to San Francisco about 2 years ago and immediately fell in love.  It's only ~40 miles from San Francisco (although with all of the curvy, country roads it takes about 90 minutes to get there) but feels a lifetime away from the city life.  Amazingly beautiful scenery, relatively untouched wildlife and some of the best Bay Area gastronomic treats around!

 

Typically when we head to Tomales Bay, we pack an empty cooler and make our first stop in the town of Pt. Reyes Station...home of Cowgirl Creamery, Bovine Bakery, Marin Sun Farms and many other well-known Bay Area food treats.  This is the perfect place to pick up all of your picnic fixings to go along with those delicious Tomales Bay oysters you'll be adding to your bounty a bit further down the road.  If you haven't been to Pt. Reyes Station before, beware...you'll have a hard time making it out of this adorable town and onto your next stop!  

Incanto

I'm embarrassed to say that I've lived in San Francisco for almost 5 years and last night was my first time eating at Incanto. I've heard so many good things about executive chef Chris Cosentino's food (and have been following his career for a while) that I was honestly a little worried Incanto wouldn't live up to the hype I had built up in my mind...but not to fear, Cosentino's food and my first Incanto experience absolutely delivered!

If you don't know much about Chris Cosentino there is one important thing to note in order to be prepared for the Incanto menu.  Chris is a big part of what I will call the "whole animal" movement...meaning he is passionate about using every part of the animal in his cooking.  Snout to tail if you will, including all of the delectable organ meats that I personally love so much.  Take a quick spin to his site, OffalGood for all of the delicious and gory details on his work in this area.  For me, and my dining partners for the night, this was very exciting and we tried our hardest to sample as much as we could on our visit.
…and, we’re Live! Check out SavoryGirl on TV!

CPBAphoto

Woo, hoo!  The Check, Please! Bay Area Season 6 Opener featuring yours truly aired a bit earlier tonight and if I do say so myself it was a pretty great episode!  As promised, I have posted the link to the episode for those of you who missed it: Online Season 6 Opener of Check, Please! Bay Area...did you watch?  What did you think?!  Are you going to Saha ASAP?! Since my post on Tuesday I’ve had quite a few questions about what the Check, Please! Bay Area experience was like...especially after my “I hope I’m not a total fool after all of that wine they fed us in the green room :)” line!  So here goes, for those of you interested I strongly encourage you go submit an application yourself!
SavoryGirl on Check, Please! Bay Area this Thursday!



I have some exciting news to share...your very own SavoryGirl is on the Season Six opener of Check, Please! Bay Area on Thursday at 7:30pm on KQED!  5 other airing times as well...check below!

I have to admit I love being on camera, especially when talking about food!  The restaurants reviewed on the show are as follows...along with a slight teaser regarding what I thought about each one, but you’ll have to tune in to get the full scoop:
Zero Zero



Continuing on my pizza theme this week, time to talk about Zero Zero!  Now I know Zero Zero has been open almost a year now, but somehow Christian and I just haven’t been able to get there until now. What was the occasion?  My best friend’s husband was in town for work and staying at the W so we wanted a good place nearby...enter Zero Zero, yippee!

The risk?  Our friend Jeff is a New Yorker, born and raised...so he knows his pizza.  Given all of the hype and positive reviews I was confident in our choice (although I did find myself wishing that we could take him to Una Pizza Napoletana where I 100% knew he would have been impressed! But we were just there and I have weird rules...I digress).
Una Pizza Napoletana



Pizza is a hot topic in this city...we’re always disparaging ourselves against the East Coast, but to be honest I’m racking up so many amazing pizza places these days that I’m considering hosting a “Margherita-Off” sometime soon to truly determine who my favorite is!  Una Pizza Napoletana has without a doubt joined my growing list of faves...

If you haven’t heard of this place give it a quick Google and you’ll quickly see that there is a lot of hype and back story...but the one key piece of information is that Anthony Mangieri, the owner and pizza maker, developed a cult-like following when he had his original pizza shop in NYC.  That’s right, folks, the New York pizza crowd loved his pizza...intriguing to say the least!    So Christian and I went and tried it out this past Friday and while we’ve only been once, here is what we found: