What a week! Spent four glorious days in San Francisco this past week and enjoyed it immensely.
Golden Gate Bridge Photo by: Mathieu Le François
The only part I wasn’t too thrilled about was being accosted literally every block. It was sad to see so many people in dire need, at one point I had a guy begging for the water bottle I was carrying. Not exactly a lovely picture.
Mat and I went to a few gluten free restaurants: Pica Pica, New Delhi, Old Siam, and Whole Foods.
We arrived just after 1pm, figured the lunch rush would be finished, but were wrong. The restaurant was tiny, just four tables on the left side and one wall of stool seating on the right. When ordering, you’re given a number and left to scope out a table. It’s a first come first serve basis and you better be quick on the draw or someone will beat you to a table.
Both of us ordered:
MAIZE´WICH (grilled sweet cornbread) La Vegetariana: tofu, avocado, sweet plantains, black beans, spicy sauce.
- Pica Pica La Vegetariana Photo by: Lidia Le François
It was incredible and worth the walk to a shady part of town. Most of the vegetarian/gluten free restaurants were in rougher parts, which discouraged us from going, perhaps next time we’ll be braver.
New Delhi Restaurant:
New Delhi restaurant served the most delightful Channa Masala, Spiced vegetables and basmati rice both Mat and I had ever tasted. Fragrant, incredibly tasty, the spices and food were cooked to perfection. Another bonus, every meal item was gluten free and vegan. Even more convenient, it was located right across the street from our hotel. Phenomenal! We ate here about three times.
The Old Siam Thai Restaurant:
To switch it up I took a chance on the Thai restaurant next door to our hotel, The Old Siam Thai Restaurant, and was pleasantly surprised. They really worked with me to customize my meal, I didn’t take a picture of it as a scarfed it down too quickly. The meal consisted of: Ho Fun rice noodles, veggies and tofu. I asked for no soya sauce as it might contain gluten. They looked at me funny and suggested it might not be tasty, but oh boy it was delightful!
Who would have thought finding prepared gluten free, vegan items would have been so hard. Mat and I had to scour the store looking for something and it took us about twenty minutes. We were hesitant to eat from the salad bar, as cross contamination is very hard to control, it’s impossible to tell if someone used a different tong on a gluten free item. I would have imagined there be dedicated ‘stations’: mainstream organic, vegetarian, gluten free, etc. I brought this up to the manager and he agreed this would be helpful.
We ended up with a prepared Indian dish: Eggplant, Goan black-eyed peas curry with Basmati rice pilaf. It was pretty darn good; I abhor eggplant, and I ate this happily, the meal had the right amount of spice and seasonings. Thankfully there was a microwave in the eating area; couldn’t imagine eating it semi frozen. The packaged boasted it was vegan and gluten free – sold! The company doesn’t have a website, but they do have an email on the package: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m definitely going to keep and eye out for their items at grocery stores.
Fresh India Cuisine Eggplant Photo by: Lidia Le François
We also discovered new (to us) and different Larabar flavours:
- Chocolate Coconut
- Peanut Butter Chocolate chip
- Carrot cake
Holy cow are these good. I highly recommend trying these gluten free vegan bars, they’re exactly what they say they are and nothing added. The taste profile is simple, clean and honest. No weird aftertaste and there’s clear piece identity.
Just as Clorox owns Burt’s Bees, General Mills owns Larabar, surprisingly true. You really have to dig around to find this out, but it’s there in the FAQ’s. Its too bad Canadians can’t order Larabars online.
While we were in the same section we found another bar we highly enjoyed, Bumblebar.
Here’s a borrowed picture from commutebybike.com
The Chocolate Crisp flavour went over very well with both of us. The Cherry Chocolate flavour was a bit soft, but still flavourful. We’ve yet to try the Original Flavour with Hazelnut, it’s sitting in the cupboard, I’m sure it will be equally delightful. The Bumblebar was thin and long compared to the chunky Larabar. Both are satisfying and filling. I wouldn’t be picky if offered either. Depends if you want to support General Mills or Bumblebar, which is still family owned.
This is how we ate our way through San Francisco. We also went on a fantastic day trip to Muir Woods where we saw centenarian trees and deer.
Muir Woods Photo by: Mathieu Le François
Minus the lady, sorry, I suck at editing photos.
The SFMOMA was amazing and we bought bento lunch boxes in the giftstore – of all places. All in all, it was a great trip and I’d go back there in a heartbeat.