San Francisco 2009, Part 2

This is a bit late in coming, but to continue my record of my adventures in San Francisco, V took me to Medjool for sangria on the rooftop for the view. The sangria sucked, I’m sorry to say. In fact, I made V drink the entire carafe. V didn’t complain:

I really needed a tripod, but this was the view through a 50mm lens; it reminded me a lot of Baltimore.

We moved onto Casanova Lounge where I partook of some beers. And took pictures of the ceiling because it was entertaining.

Me! V was extremely amused that there was a butt next to my head. The decor at Casnova is…interesting.

Friday morning I decided to trek over to Rainbow Grocery. Because I think going to grocery stores when on vacation is a fun thing to do. Rainbow Grocery was amazing. I thought I was spoiled with my proximity to Wegmans, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Super H, but, wow. Rainbow Grocery has EVERYTHING. There are so many signs saying “vegan”; it was incredible. Vegan cookies, vegan cakes, GOOD vegan cheese (Daiya and Teese, though no Cheezly, which is my favorite), and on and on and on. I’m not sure I can live without Rainbow Grocery now that I’ve been there.

Funny story about lunch after Rainbow Grocery. Earlier in the week, V had wanted to take me to a restaurant near her apartment that she’d always wanted to go to but had never made it to, but she’d been researching it beforehand and read on Yelp that they fried their vegan stuff in the same oil as the fish. She didn’t remember the name of the place, but I was perplexed about why they had vats of of oil they were frying fish in, because I was under the impression it was a burger joint she was talking about. (I think she thought it was.) Well, I’d always wanted to go to Weird Fish, so after Rainbow Grocery, I dragged her over there, and she said, “hey, this is the place I wanted to take you but they cook their vegan stuff in the fish oil!” So she asked the waitress if that was true and the waitress said, no, they have dedicated oil and cooking implements for the vegan stuff. Woo! V sort of surprised me by ordering a vegan meal; I think it’s the chico taco. She said it was really good.

I got the fried seitan and chips.

I’ve never had fish and chips before and I’m not sure it was really supposed to, but I know this tasted NOTHING like fish. What it tasted exactly like to me was my Thanksgiving seitan “turkey”. It must have sage or something in it. It was good, though not at all fishy, and it was a HUGE amount. I could barely finish one piece.

This is what it looked like inside:

Later that day I helped V pack up her belongings for her move to LA and I took these pictures of her Mission kitchen.

Now what you may be waiting for are my pictures and review of Millennium, the all-vegan gourmet restaurant in the heart of San Francisco (if you consider the Tenderloin the heart of San Francisco, which I do). Unfortunately I didn’t want to take my dSLR and my iPhone pictures SUCK. Badly. And there’s not much I can do to make them any better. So you’re going to have to suffer through this because I’m going to post them anyway because the meal was sooooo good. The pictures do NOT do it justice AT ALL.

Here’s V looking smart:

And me looking stupid:

For starters we got the house-pickled vegetables and the roasted beets glazed in balsamic and rosemary. DELICIOUS though the photo is atrocious.

They also provided free bread with a yummy “cheesy” tofu spread.

V ordered some Italian-sounding eggplant dish that this photo makes look like a disorganized pile of stuff but which was in reality nicely presented and which V – ordinarily a very light eater – ate every bite of, save the bit she reserved for me.

We got a side of garlic chard with caramelized onions to share.

I had the Korean BBQ tempeh with homemade gochujang.

It was excellent, though about the limit of smokiness that I like. I don’t think I’ve ever had properly cooked lotus root before because it’s the first time I ever really liked it.

We also killed a bottle of wine during dinner. For dessert, I wanted the peanut butter chocolate cake, but as one of V’s few defects is she doesn’t like peanut butter OR chocolate (I know, I know, WHAT?) I had to force her to get the sorbet sampler instead. I know one of these is fig but I don’t remember what the other two are. We also had Prosecco with dessert because we’re lushes.

An absolutely TERRIBLE picture of my cake, which came with a small scoop of sorbet and was amazingly delicious, although extremely rich, so much so I couldn’t finish it.

All in all an AMAZING meal, and even more amazing because I had fully intended to treat V since I more or less forced her to go with me, but she absolutely insisted on paying for everything as my birthday gift. Wow!

….aaand finally, speaking of birthdays, MARK TURNED 30 YESTERDAY!! I had a surprise party for him because I’m sneaky!! I had to have it in a bar because I couldn’t have pulled it off at the house, so I for once didn’t have to spend two entire days cooking before a party.

I baked him a cake at home …

… but couldn’t sneak it to the bar, so his mom came up with the idea of sneaking jelly candies into the bar and sticking birthday candles into them so he could blow out candles, be sung to, and thoroughly embarrassed.

One of Mark’s gifts, from his friends Brad and April …

… which was later used on my cake at home:

And with that I take my leave: we have guests who drove down all the way from Bethelehem, PA to be at his party and I need to get back to entertaining them!

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Last post from San Francisco

Today is my last day here in beautiful, wonderful San Francisco. I take a red-eye back home to Mark, Tigger, and Brachtune. My friend and I are hitting up the Haight today but although I think I am going to lug my camera with me, I won’t have a chance to post again until I’m home.

Last night we ate at an Indonesian restaurant. I had a “tempe” and tofu dish that looked like this:

Not a very good picture, I’m afraid, but I had to use the flash and I didn’t want to disturb our neighbors, who were pretty close to us, by taking more than one picture. As it is, they asked me twice if I am a food critic. They also suggested that posing as a food critic would be a way to get good service in restaurants. Anyway, after the meal I asked the waiter if they made the tempeh on the premises and he answered affirmatively. I could tell that it was homemade, though, without even asking. It just has a more lovely texture than store-bought. Theirs was even better than my homemade tempeh, but the somewhat unfortunate thing is that after eating their tempeh, and after making my own, and finding it so much better than store-bought, I’m not sure if I can buy it any more. The unfortunate part is I’m not that great at making it and sometimes fail. I am getting better though and I ordered more starter before I left, so hopefully soon I’ll be a tempeh master.

Yesterday I took a Victorian house walking tour because I love Victorian houses. That obviously has nothing to do with food, but I’ll share a couple of photos anyway since my posts have been so wordy lately.

This is a block in Lower Pacific Heights:

These are a couple of Queen Annes:

This is an Italianate house I thought was pretty:

Too bad the houses I saw on the tour ranged in price from 3 million to 30 million. Apartments in Victorians are 1 million. Oof.

Well, time to pack up and check out. I will surely be leaving my heart in San Francisco.

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