Hey everyone, the husband here! I realized that I haven't written an original post here in quite some time. I have been busy with new role of Lynn support coordinator! I do a majority of the cleaning and cooking around the house, as my hours at work at much more flexible than hers. So what better post than a food post!
The kitchen I have in our new apartment is absolutely perfect! I have broken it in with bread, donuts, muffins, and a whole slew of home cooked meals but the one I will be writing about today is extra special. This is a dish that we first tasted in the streets of Portland at a little shop called Nong's Khao Man Gai. Khao Man Gai is a very simple dish from Thailand (one that we had on our honeymoon and it was absolutely spectacular). The ingredients in this dish are very simple and clean, but that is what makes it so good! Essentially it is just chicken over rice with vegetables and sauce, but it is by far one of my all time favorites! So why isn't this meal in my weekly rotation? Well, the sauce is what brings the entire dish together, and I have been unable to recreate it.
After a great amount of inner turmoil, I can say with confidence, Outerlands is my favorite breakfast/brunch place in the city. There, I said it. Sorry Lynn. Brenda's is great, but there is just something about this place that speaks to me. The food reminds me of my childhood favorites, and those who know me, know I have a weakness for bread. The ambiance is great as well, wood lined walls with curved ceilings and curved lights protruding out of the walls. Not to mention the abundance of coffee gear lining the shelves that make this place feel like home to me.
Muffins, the longtime champion of the breakfast pastry game, has seen unprecedented innovation in San Francisco. November 8th was Muffin Sunday for Lynn and I, as we tried two of the more unique muffin creations the city had to offer.
Top: Coffee Cream Cruffin, Bottom: Ferrero Rocher Choux Bomb
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
Temple Coffee Roasters, Davis, CA
On our most recent trip to Davis, Lynn and I were having dinner with some friends and the conversations turned to our plans for the following day. When we told them that we planned to go into Sacramento to try Temple Coffee Roasters, we were delighted to hear that they had opened a shop in Downtown Davis.
Upon entering this hipster heaven we were warmly greeted by a barista named Uriah. We connected instantly as he began to work on my pour over coffee. I went through the rest of the line and paid before heading back to talk to Uriah.
The entire staff was incredibly friendly and extremely knowledgeable about coffee. This location doesn't have many power outlets, but I am thankful for that, it allowed Lynn and I to connect with our friends and hold lovely conversations as the rain painted the sidewalk outside.
The coffee was delicious, the atmosphere was cozy, and the staff made me feel like I was enjoying coffee in my living room with friends, rather than buying it in a store. If you are ever in Davis, make a pilgrimage to Temple, you won't regret it.
We have talked about many of our favorite foods here on C,C, & C, but there is one food (well drink) that has been strangely absent. That sweet, creamy, frothy tea drink from Taiwan, Pearl Milk Tea. Sometimes called Milk Tea, Boba Tea, Boba, but you know what it is, it is the perfect social hang out drink. "What should we do?" "Want to grab boba?" "Sounds awesome!" Just about every single one of my college friends have had this conversation.
The downside of this magical elixir is the price. Ranging from $2.75-$5.00, the cost of this habit can add up rapidly. I have tried in vain before to make my own, but never found success. Until now that is. When Lynn and I took our road trip to Portland (I know I have said that opening a lot, but it was an awesome trip). We started to consider what life would be like if we lived there. As we strolled around a street fair, perusing the booths of crafts and convections, we saw a girl walking towards us holding a tea drink with the signature boba fat straw. It stopped us both cold in our tracks. "What about milk tea? We can't live in a place with no milk tea!"
We visited a milk tea shop later that day and were sorely underwhelmed. That is when a fire was lit under me. I had to craft the perfect milk tea from scratch, in the event that I ever left the Bay Area!
Below are the final results of many rounds of testing. Enjoy.
$18 at Jook Time, San Francisco, CA
As college students in our final year of school, we are very aware of finances. Knowing that loans will soon be due and that we have some lofty goals ahead of us, we know that we need to save money where we can. Last year we were lucky enough to stumble upon Jook Time, a small dim sum restaurant north of Golden Gate Park.
Jook Time is not what you would typically expect from dim sum. Growing up in the Bay Area and having dim sum with my family friends, I grew accustomed to being seated in a large room with carts of food rolling past. When you walk into Jook Time, it is just a small counter displaying the food and a handful of tables. We have experimented with most of the menu, but after so many visits we know the best choices.
Four Barrel, San Francisco, CA
For the longest time, I have only had the Four Barrel coffee at Tartine Bakery but never at the store. This all changed when we attended the seven year birthday party at Four Barrel HQ. Let me start by saying that 4B knows how to party. $1 for any coffee, free cake and ice, cream, a petting zoo, free arcade games, need I go on?
Plain Beignets, Brenda's French Soul Food, San Francisco, CA
“Want to try this French food place in SF this weekend? It’s the most reviewed two $$ place on Yelp.” Lynn asked.
“I don’t really like French food.” I responded.
“Here, look at the menu. It’s more of a cajun, New Orleans type of place,” she said as she handed me her phone.
“What is a Bey Net (beignets)?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but it looks good!”
“Alright, lets give it a shot.”
Brenda’s French Soul Food has quickly become our favorite restaurant in San Francisco (everywhere else too? maybe…) The lines can be long for brunch, but if there is one thing I know about San Franciscans, there are only two things they wait in line for. the new iPhone, and brunch. This establishment works like a well oiled machine, with servers, seaters, and cooks flowing in perfect unison. The shop itself is small, but I have never felt as if we didn’t have privacy.
Anyone who knows me knows of my love of coffee. Coffee has grown into a hobby of mine. When I learned what truly good coffee is, I knew that I wanted to learn how to make it. Coffee brewing is vastly complicated, far beyond what type of coffee bean you use (but that play’s a big part in it). I have heard it said that a mediocre barista can make great coffee taste meh but a great barista cannot make mediocre coffee great. I say all this to explain why I am writing about this particular coffee shop. My fascination with coffee has led me to Seattle, Portland, Santa Cruz, Los Altos, Napa, Oakland, and of course San Francisco. So why Ritual Coffee?
Ritual coffee has the unique blend (see what I did there *wink wink*) of extremely high quality coffee, brewing expertise, and the creativity necessary to make their coffee stand out. Today I am going to highlight three of their unique locations that really define the ritual to me (see what I did there again.)
Verve Coffee, Santa Cruz, CA
Some of the best coffee outside of the famous coffee havens (Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, L.A.) is located in Santa Cruz, California. Verve Coffee Roasters is an elite shop in a land dominated by Starbucks and Peet’s. Fairly new to the scene, Verve was est. in 2007. They have quickly expanded and made a name for themselves with three locations in their roots of Santa Cruz and very recently, their first location in Downtown L.A. just opened. If you are looking for a good place to do some work while you enjoy some coffee look no further than their downtown Pacific Ave. location.