San Francisco Treat Pt. 2

12 Nov

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts from Elite Cafe | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Continuing onward after logging 13.1 miles, Al picked a great place for our post-race brunch: Elite Café. I had the Cajun Style Braised Beef Hash with Poached Eggs and even though the eggs were overcooked, the hash made up for it as did the cinnamon sugar donuts we ordered as our brunchatizer. I just made that up. Is that catchy? We had mini biscuits with strawberry butter too. Wait, are you lost? Did you miss Part 1?

Bi-Rite Creamery | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
I then made my second food demand of the weekend: Bi-Rite Creamery stat. This joint is famous. People stand in line for 30 minutes to buy a scoop of ice cream. We stood in line for 30  minutes to buy a scoop of ice cream. It was worth it. Everyone raves about the salted caramel, but Ricanelas (cinnamon with snickerdoodles) and Mint Chocolate Chip are my favorite. Thank God it was fall and they had Pumpkin too! Pumpkin ice cream is tricky, I love pumpkin, but I rarely find a pumpkin flavored ice cream that doesn’t overdo it on the flavor. Bi-Rite nailed it; combined with a scoop of Ricanelas I was a happy, happy half-marathon finisher.

Grilled Cheese from Boudin | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Monday morning started with a banana chocolate chip pancake from Eats. Then, since we had to go to Fisherman’s Wharf again anyway to tour the TCHO factory, we stopped by Boudin to get lunch. Their grilled cheese is damn good. At first glance I didn’t think it had enough cheese, but when you have perfectly toasted, good quality bread like Boudin sourdough, that’s not a huge issue, plus, upon first bite, I realized there were probably two if not three different cheeses sneaking around in there, including a very strong Parmesan.

I’d been looking forward to our next stop all weekend: TCHO. That’s pronounced “cho” and it’s my favorite chocolate in the whole wide world. Ghirardelli is nice and all and has lots of great flavors, but TCHO is far and away the best pure, simple dark chocolate I’ve ever had. That’s not to say it doesn’t have flavor though. TCHO’s chocolate has four different notes based on where the cocoa beans were harvested (fair trade, slave free): Nutty, Chocolatey, Citrus and Fruity. They also have two milk chocolate flavors and a new “Mokaccino” flavor.

I wish I had pictures from the factory tour, but we weren’t allowed to take cameras. We WERE allowed to wear hair nets. If you’re going to go to San Francisco and you have your heart set on touring a chocolate factory, let me give you a tip: Ghirardelli doesn’t have one. TCHO does. Ghirardelli chocolate isn’t actually made in San Francisco. TCHO chocolate is. It is a small factory, so it doesn’t have a Willy Wonka wow factor, but it’s a really small, intimate tour that imparts so much knowledge about how chocolate is made. Half of the tour is watching a video and listening to your tour guide speak, which I wasn’t so crazy about, but it does end with a tasting of all their chocolates.

Croissant Bread Pudding from La Boulange | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
We closed the day with a stop at La Boulange Bakery to grab my much hyped Croissant Bread Pudding, a.k.a. the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  You know what? I think I may have built it up too much in my mind, because it didn’t bring me to my knees like I remember. It actually tasted a little different. And I finished it wondering if I’d made an error in bestowing the  title I did. But here I am, a week later… and I find myself craving it again.

Dynamo Donuts | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
When it comes to Al and I, a morning flight means one thing: donut run. I’d recently downloaded this new App for my phone, Chef’s Feed, that gives food recommendations from acclaimed chefs. Two Bay area chefs had raved about Dynamo Donuts, so Al and I were on the scene. Since I was going to spend all day on an airplane, I figured three donuts wouldn’t be overdoing it: Vanilla Bean, Carrot Cake and Spiced Chocolate.  Winner, by a landslide, was the Carrot Cake donut. Vanilla Bean had an orange taste and Spiced Chocolate was too spicy for my palate. Dynamo is convenient because it’s on the way to the airport, but I don’t think I would seek it out next time.

Al and GG Bridge at Sunset | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Goodbye San Francisco. I have yet to find a town that tops you for good food, not to mention friends willing to run a half marathon with you. Let’s do it again soon.

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