Home is where my stomach is

5 Jan

I have found my third home.

I know it doesn’t completely make sense to have three homes, but I’m in a point in my life where, as much as I may feel comfortable in one place, I have no issue with traveling anywhere or moving to wherever life takes me. Right now, Washington, DC is technically my area of residence. Orlando is my hometown, where I grew up for about 24 years. Now, after having visited the Bay Area twice in the past 4 months, I’m starting to feel like it just…fits.

A major reason behind that is probably because I’ve enjoyed the food scene so much there. I’m constantly finding new spots with delicious – and inexpensive – food. I’ve also revisited favorites that I first discovered upon my previous visit in September. I’ve grown accustomed to saying the “Bay Area” as opposed to just “San Francisco,” because there is really so much to do, see and eat in other cities like Oakland and Napa. But I’ll start with San Francisco, the epicenter of my fondness for northern California:

This is just one of many bakeries that I visited during the four days I was in the Bay Area. It caught my eye as a must-visit destination after watching a short film on the popular spot, located in the Mission. I realized how popular this place is upon arriving at 9:15 to find a line already out the door. In the rain. The line did move fairly quickly, and despite fearing that my friends and I wouldn’t find a table to sit and eat (seating is very limited), turnaround is actually quite fast.  As for the goods? Wonderful. I had a huge, flaky, buttery pain au chocolat and a morning bun that was crisp with sugar on the outside but with soft insides that burst of orange and cinnamon flavors.

Post-Tartine breakfast, my local friends and I had some time to kill and figured that being in the Mission already, why not trek over to Dynamo and try their infamous maple-glazed bacon apple donut? Nevermind the fact that I had already carbo-loaded myself barely an hour before, but a short bus ride and longer walk down several blocks was worth the taste. Maple and bacon already go well together, and so does maple and apple, so slapping those combinations into donut form just makes sense. And the flavors aren’t in your face, or overpowering each other. It’s a decadent donut, but it didn’t leave my teeth hurting afterwards.

Somehow I had managed to connect each meal to one another during my one-day jaunt in SF. Sweet breads at Tartine led to more carbs plus bacon at Dynamo, followed by more porky products at Boccalone. This small shop in the Ferry Market building is dedicated to, as they state, “tasty, salted pig parts.” It’s also a spot that I’ve heard and read about many times over, and has been featured on Food Network (Boccalone’s chef and co-owner Chris Cosentino is a host and regular contributor of some Food Network shows). After a long walk from Union Square, The Bf and I decided to grab lunch there. We shared their “word-famous” Salumi cone and “The Big Mouth,” a pulled pork panini with Incanto ragu (Incanto is Cosentino’s other restaurant). The meats in the cone were top-notch, and tasted very fresh. It includes one or two slices of three different salumi, each of which had their own infused spices and herbs. Everything was salty and rich, but in the perfect serving size. I loved the spiciness from the ragu and roasted peppers inside the Panini; it was very simple but full of flavor.

Along with visiting Boccalone, I had returned to my favorite little shop the Ferry Building, Miette patisserie, to pick up some chocolates for Mom and an Old-fashioned cupcake for myself. Alas, I scarfed that thing up the next evening when I was back in DC, without bothering to snap a photo or two for you.  But trust me when I say that some foods are worth waiting through a 5-hour redeye and an exhausting Monday before enjoying them. It was nice to have a sweet taste of one home, while finally having a moment to relax in another.

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5 Responses to “Home is where my stomach is”

  1. lemonsandanchovies January 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    I’m catching up on your posts. Glad to hear that you had such a great time here in the Bay Area. I, for one, would love to visit Florida sometime. It’s on my to-do list. Soon, I hope!

  2. honeybeeluvsjackfruit January 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Im pretty sure thats the same bakery I went to in San Fran (Tartine) and had the BEST pain au chocolate in my life!!! Nice post.

    • TheNoviceNosher January 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      Thank you!! I agree, I think Tartine’s was the best pain au chocolat I’ve ever had.

  3. Shan February 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    I adore Tartine. It is hands down the best bakery I’ve been to, ever. I could go for thier Banana Creme Tart, RIGHT NOW! (And, a trip to the Central Coast of California with just be an added bonus!!)
    Keep up the rockstar writing. Love it!

    • TheNoviceNosher February 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Thank you so much, Shan! I must try this Banana Creme Tart you speak of! Now I really can’t wait to go back…

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