I Left My Tastebuds in San Francisco

Okay, well I know it’s cruel to make you wait, but before I get to the food, let me first touch on something I accidentally left out of my last post about my San Fran vacation.

Someone asked me about the famous sea lions at Pier 39, and why I didn’t have any pictures of them. Wellllll, let me tell you about one of the saddest days ever.

Eric and I did go to Pier 39 to see the sea lions, but instead of sea lions, we saw this:

Saddest. Day. Ever.

Apparently for a few months in the summer the sea lions venture off from the docks to go breed and do their thing. But it’s okay, I made friends with some other sea lions, instead.

Okay, so, not the same, but I told Eric it just meant that we had to take another trip back to San Fran sometime:).

Anyway, on to the FOOD. In honor of WIAW, here is some of the amazing food I ate on my trip. This is obviously not all of the food I ate, but just some of my favorite foods.

On our first day, we had the life-changing donuts I mentioned last week, but had to include a second time because they were that good. Seriously, these things were amazing. Warm, fresh, and filled with chocolate almond custard. I have not had donuts in years, but I contemplated never eating again after having one of these, because I figured nothing would ever top it.

I’m slightly embarrassed to say that on our way back into San Fran from Sonoma, we may have stopped by the market building to pick up a half dozen of these to bring back on the plane. I just couldn’t leave San Fran without eating another one of these, and plus I wanted to bring home some of the joy to my sister!

Later that night we went to Brenda’s French Soul Food. This meal was one of my favorites of the trip. Affordable and amazing french soul food? Yes please!

Eric got the a shrimp po boy, I got the sweet potato dumplings with shrimp and crawfish, and we split some watermelon iced tea, hush puppies, and a buttermilk biscuit (with the best house made strawberry jam ever). Ah. May. Zing.

Another highlight of our trip was a food tour that Eric and I did through Gourmet Food Walks. It was a bit pricey, and I almost didn’t sign us up, but I am soooo glad I did. It was a walking tour, and they took us to SEVEN food stops. Yum.

Sooo much good food (not all of which is pictured). The first stop on the food tour was a fresh ice cream stand, where we had peach ice cream. We got to talk to the owner, and she said they got their peaches from the ferry building that morning. Awesome!

There was also some charcuterie (not pictured), belgian fries with 22 sauces to sample (my favorite was the white truffle ketchup, yum!), pistachio and strawberry macroons from a french bakery (my favorite tasting of the tour!), chocolate, a cheese and fruit plate with wine pairing, and–Eric’s favorite–a rum drink at Smuggler’s Cove.

Smuggler’s Cove is a rum tikki bar and, like most of the restaurants in San Fran, focuses on using real ingredients. No sugary syrups in your drink here! Sitting at the bar and watching the bartender make the drinks was pretty intense. I think making my drink took him longer than it takes me to blow dry my hair in the morning. I don’t mind paying $10 for a drink that actually takes 10 minutes to make…

Apparently Eric is not the only one who loved Smuggler’s Cove, the bar and it’s drinks has gotten all kinds of crazy awards and made all sorts of lists. I have to say, I approve. And we may have stayed for one more drink once our tour was finished…

Our food tour guide was a San Fran food blogger, so I made sure to grill her for restaurant suggestions. She said that one of her favorites was Zazie, so we trekked on over there, using every form of San Fran public transportation available, but it was SO worth it.

Gingerbread pancakes with bosc pairs and lemon curd. To die for. And Eric got French toast with caramelized bananas and walnuts (and you know I stole a couple bites of that). Oh yeah, and a latte that came in a soup bowl. Awesome.

My favorite meal of the whole entire trip, though, was from a little inconspicuous Indian restaurant in Sausalito.

If you have never used the Yelp app, you need to download it…yesterday. It became my new best friend on the trip. As Eric and I came out of Muir woods, we wanted to stop for lunch. I pulled up my Yelp app, and scanned it for nearby restaurants with good ratings (and few dollar signs).

When I saw that Avatar had 413 reviews with a 4.5 star average and only two dollar signs, I knew where we were eating lunch.

As we walked in to the restaurant, I saw this sign on the door. Pretty cool! I liked it already.

As we opened the door, we saw that the place was PACKED (at 1:30 in the afternoon). I figured it was a good sign. We were seated at a diner-like bar, where we struck up a conversation with a lady next to us–she said she ate there 3-4 time a week! She told us the restaurant was family owned, and we met the mother and brother that run this restaurant (apparently the brother’s wife and another family member run a few other restaurants in the area).

According to Yelp, 67 reviewers had mentioned the pumpkin enchiladas, so my decision on what to order was easy. I know what you’re thinking–enchiladas? At an Indian restaurant? With pumpkin in them? Erin are you smoking the crack again?

Well, 67 Yelp reviewers don’t lie. These things are stuff-the-whole-plate-in-your-face-at-once good.

Unbelievable. If I lived here, I would definitely eat these 3-4 (or 7) times a week.

Have you ever accidentally stumbled on an amazing restaurant?
(If you have and it’s in DC you better tell me which one;).


About Erin @ untilyoutri

Runner, triathlete, food lover, and happy blogger!
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51 Responses to I Left My Tastebuds in San Francisco

  1. Holy crap, I barely made it through this post because I am working on losing weight. I think I just drowned my computer.

  2. How about you go back annnnd take me with you! you can be my tour guide =)

    Happy WIAW Erin!!!!

  3. Awww no sea lions!!!! I’m so jealous your food looks so good!!!!! 🙂

  4. Lauren says:

    looks so yummy! but stop smoking the crack 🙂

  5. All of your eats look amazing! I would love to go on a foodie vacation to San Francisco – I’m trying to get the hubby on board. If we go, I’ll certainly be hunting down those doughnuts and those gingerbread pancakes.

  6. The pumpkin enchilada actually looks delicious! Too bad that restaurant isn’t closer to us!

  7. Heather says:

    I heart the food u ate especially the gingerbread pancakes!!!!

  8. Chuck says:

    I may have just salivated all over the keyboard… will you bring me next time! And trust me, you didn’t miss much with the sea lions… They’re actually rather unappetizing lol!

    • Aw, I was sad. I am an animal person, so I loved seeing the baby birds on Alcatraz and stuff:). We have to go do Escape from Alcatraz sometime!! Although I’m scared to swim in that water…

  9. Allison says:

    Wow, looks like a very tasty trip! I didn’t even know that food tours existed, but they sound like a great idea! I’m researching this for my next vacation. 🙂

  10. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Everything is amazing!!!! I don’t know where to begin. I was definitely swooning over the 1) Donuts 2) Drinks from Smugglers Cove and 3) Eric’s French Toast – I’m now starving.
    I giggled at your frown face in front of the lack of sea lions – I would have been so bummed too. Now you’ll definitely have to go back!
    Ooh I love stumbling upon surprisingly good restaurants – one of my favorites is Audrey Claire here in Philly – its 2 blocks from out house so one day Joe and I popped in while walking home and had one of the best meals here in Philly. Plus it’s a BYO – bonus!

  11. 321delish says:

    oh. my. gosh. this is insane. your blog post today is the new tastespotting.com haha

  12. OH Erin!! SF looks lovely!! And delicious!! I am seriously drooling at these eats!! Well done!

  13. Jillian says:

    Donuts definitely = joy……man I’m going to hide in your suitcase the next time you guys go to see the seals =P

  14. Stephanie says:

    i might just go to CA now for the food. I mean why else right?

  15. Blond Duck says:

    I want to eat it all!

    The best place I remember in DC was the Palm.

  16. janice says:

    those doughnuts look glorious!

  17. I love your blog it is so interesting! WIAW rock:)

  18. Sad day about not getting to see the sea lions! Definitely means you have to take another trip sometime. 🙂

    Looks like you guys definitely ate well while you were there! 🙂

  19. Patty says:

    Wow!!! Them are some good eats!! Too bad you didn’t get to see the sea lions…

  20. Peanut Butter Bandit says:

    I see fries! And macarons! YUM!!!

  21. wow!!! amazing eats…..and I’m feeling your pain about the sea lions 😦

  22. jeri says:

    I’m seriously drooling over here. I want to eat the pictures…..

  23. Blond Duck says:

    I hope you’re having a great week!

  24. Priyanka says:

    We are planning a trip out west in December, I cannot wait to go to SF! Seriously Erin, all this food is making me hungry after a good dinner I had, not too long ago.

  25. I’m seriously drooling look at all that food! YUM!

    So sad that you didn’t get to see the sea lions. They were the highlight of my trip in May!

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