Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home for a Weekend

I went home last weekend for Veterans day. Whenever I go home, I expect to have a nice, relaxing weekend and this is NEVER the case. Friday was full of appointments and visiting a friend with a broken leg in San Francisco, so lunch was on the go. I'd been hearing about a new french cafe that opened up in my home town for about 6 months now, but had yet to experience it first hand so Friday was an opportunity to try it for myself.

I give you La Boulange, a cafe and bakery in Lafayette. I got their club sandwich, a side salad with balsamic, and a dirty chai (Chai with a shot of espresso...try it! It's amazing!)

(I finally realized I have a camera with me always...thank you, iPhone)

I scarfed half the sandwich in the car before getting a few minutes to eat the rest outside in the gorgeous Bay Area fall weather before an appointment. Holy, moly! It was amazing!

They also carry a HUGE assortment of breads, pastries, tarts, you name it. Apparently they're the go-to salad joint in Lafayette now, too. My salad was just lettuce and balsamic, but they've got a bunch of fancier ones on the menu as well.

The night before, my sister also brought home pear, grapefruit, pistachio tarts for the fam bam for dessert. Also glorious. The grapefruit was a little weird and added a bitterness that I wasn't crazy about, but if you handed me a tub of the pistachio base I'd be eating it for days--no joke. It's that good.

Well...that is all for now. Fall quarter is almost over at school, and I could not be happier for that. Cruising to the finish line in June after the new year begins. In the meantime, mostly eating in and on the go from home.

3597 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA 94549

Now I'm going to jump back in time a bit, to the night before when I grabbed drinks with an old friend from American Conservatory Theatre's Young Conservatory. She lives in San Francisco now, and suggested Fly Bar on Divisadero at Fulton. It was my first bar experience in San Francisco and I wish I hadn't been so sleepy (5am wakeup calls for crew practice will do that to you once 9pm rolls around...lame, yes. I am old. Get over it.). I got a Mangorita (note: they only serve beer, wine, sake, and soju...which I'd never had before and is amazing). The soju in my Mangorita was smooth and didn't burn like tequila would have. No pictures, cause that was not on the forefront of my brain at the time. That's a work in progress.

762 Divisadero St. @ Fulton
San Francisco, CA 94117

Last feast of the weekend occurred at Jardiniere in San Francisco (note: I spent 3 of my 4 days at home in San much for relaxing at home!). The familia went out for dinner on Saturday to this adorable, Art Deco restaurant just around the corner from Symphony Hall, the Opera House, etc. As soon as we walked in, I turned to my mom and said, "I feel like I'm in the lobby of a Disney Cruise Ship," because it felt like we were in Ariel's domain. Ha. We opted to go just as the performance crowd was headed to their respective entertainment for the evening which, if you're not seeing anything, is the way to go.

Dinner started off with an escarole salad with persimmon, pear, currants, and hazelnuts. We all then split fussily with wild boar and kale (THIS WAS THE STAR OF THE in, we should have ordered 4 instead of 1). I would go back just for this dish. For my main course, I got braised veal shank with polenta and autumn vegetables. It was good--I wish my veal hadn't had so much fat on it, but I wasn't insanely hungry at that point so it didn't matter to me. Dessert included a cheese tray, chocolate panna cotta, and pumpkin cake to share between the 4 of us. Now, I'm not much for panna cotta but this chocolate panna cotta was to die for. Between that and the fussily, I was a happy camper. But the meal did not end there. They brought us miniature macaroons (the French kind, not the coconut kind which are far less impressive): chocolate, amaretto, and...oh...I'm forgetting the third...probably a berry or pistachio. But all glorious in their own way. This is a pricier, special occasion restaurant, but worth a trek into the city.

300 Grove St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

That is all for now. I am careening towards finals week so nothing fancy for a while, but stay tuned for recommendations for Whistler, Canada over winter break!

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