Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Travel Log: San Francisco - Eat

In part two of our San Francisco recap, we eat! I'm a coastal girl who no longer lives on the coast, so I was very excited to eat some San Francisco seafood. Ciopinno, oysters on the half-shell, sushi—you name it, there's a 70 percent chance we ate it. Here are our top three favorite food experiences near the bay.

Andrew's brother found the Hollywood Cafe on TripAdvisor, so the whole family headed over there one morning around 10 a.m. There was a decent wait (I want to say 30 minutes or so) to get into the tiny restaurant but, I mean, look at the food. Just look at it. With complimentary bread and jam and breakfast specials ranging from the Marilyn Monroe (French toast and fresh fruit) to the James Dean (eggs, toast, fruit and a choice of ham steak, bacon or sausage), it is impossible to leave Hollywood Cafe hungry. It's also open for lunch, which I'm assuming is equally delicious.
My turkey and avocado Eggs Benedict with chipotle hollandaise and fresh fruit
Andrew's giant crab omelet, stuffed with crab, avocado, scallion and Swiss cheese with a huge side of hashbrowns
2.) Clam Chowder

Apparently (I had no idea and just spent like an hour reading about it) clam chowder is like chili or barbecue — there are longstanding rivalries involved, specifically between New England clam chowder, which is milk or cream-based with potatoes, onion and clams and Manhattan clam chowder, a tomato-based version introduced by Italian immigrants in the mid-1800s. It's serious, y'all. In 1939, a bill was even introduced in Maine to outlaw the use of tomatoes in chowder. But I digress. San Francisco clam chowder is traditionally New England chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl, and we ate a lot of it! (Sans the bread bowl — I've heard I'm missing out, so I'll have to go back.) For fun, check out this rhyming recipe for "chouder"—the first printed chowder recipe, from a 1751 issue of the Boston Evening Post. I took photos of every bowl of chowder anyone in our group ate on our trip, but I'll spare you and only share my very favorite.

California clam chowder from the Blue Mermaid with asparagus. Not sure what this means for the whole chowder debate, but it was delicious!

3.) Dungeness crab
Crab and melted butter. Need I say more? Plus, when you eat crabs, you get to wear a really cool bib. Look for this on lots of San Francisco menus or buy it off of street carts down by the bay.

Next and last on the San Fran recap is a hotel suggestion, more sightseeing and some light (but not on the wallet) shopping. In case you missed the See & Do portion of the trip, click here for my top three must-do recommendations for first-time tourists. So, what do you think? Who wins the in the New England vs. Manhattan clam chowder debate?


  1. Oh my goodness...all of this food looks so good. My husband is going there in a few weeks so I will be sure to have him read your post! And I didn't know there was such a chowder debate! I love em both. :)

  2. Everything looks fabulous.

    The best thing I ate in SF was duck fried rice.

  3. This all looks so good and is making me so HUNGRY!!! I love the picture of you in the crab bib.
    Since I fear we will never go on vacation again, I am living vicariously through these recaps.

  4. OMG! I left my heart in San Francisco. I have lived in the bay area for about 15 years. My favorite clam chowder place at San Francisco would have to be the one at Boudins. Yum! Your post just made me so hungry! =)