Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gastro tourism in San Francisco

Although my lovely hosts and best friends Mike and Marlis may not have signed up for it, I was keen to do a gastro tourism tour of SF to get caught up on all the hot new chefs and amazing places I’ve continued to read about during my time on the East Coast. I rarely have the luxury of taking a full day in SF to do any one thing, and don’t usually get picky about my restaurant choices when I’m with a big group or at a family gathering (since the people and the location are usually the top priorities).

So, Saturday we headed down to Fort Mason for lunch and some stellar views from Greens, the vegetarian restaurant that occupies part of building A. The food was divine, with all garden fresh vegetables and imaginative dishes. I’ve read about Annie Somerville's recipes for a while but the tacos, which pablano peppers and cherry tomatoes were the winners at the table for me. The linguine with zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallots, basil, breadcrumbs and pecorino had one of the most flavorful sauces I’ve had without a meet base. The hummus, and side salad with beets and goat cheese were also to die for.

We ventured around the city, taking in the ferry building, sections of SOMA, Hayes Valley (which included a quick stop at Absinth for some well crafted beverages) and Ocean Beach before heading off to dinner.

And what a dinner it was. I heard about Thanh Long from several of my NYC friends, who lived in SF at one time in the lives. Located all the way out on 46th Avenue and Judah Street in the outer sunset this succulent crab restaurant draws in serious crowds. The dinning rooms (one in the front and one upstairs) were filled with the smell of fresh roasted crab. Every table was packed with dinners feasting on king crabs and noodles – which was almost too much to watch as we waited for our table. Once seated we requested a couple of beers and a glass of wine and got to business. We ordered two crabs and some noodles for the three of us to share.

The roasted crab was perfectly cooked and must have been injected with butter and spices because every bite was flavorful and fresh. However they did it, they did it right!

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