Our guest blogger Melinda is back with part two of her blog about our trip to San Francisco.  Enjoy!

With a goal to eat our way through San Francisco, we had to rally after our dim sum food hangover and decided an afternoon of shopping was just the cure we needed.  After a quick walk from Yank Sing down Market Street with diversions at Anthropologie and The Gap, we boarded the 45 Muni Bus and rode like locals to the boutiques on Union Street in Cow Hollow.  The jewelry at Mingle won us over at reasonable prices and both Stephanie and I walked out with lovely necklaces.

We worked up a proper hunger and headed down to the Mission for a flavorful experience at Limon Restaurant.  The ceviche, yucca fries and seco de castillas (beef short ribs) won our hearts and stomachs.  We split 5 plates amongst the 3 of us and racked up a bill about $75.  We left fully satisfied and I filed it away as a solid choice to give guests a taste of Latin flavor in the Mission.

Monday was Disneyland day from beginning to end.  We never stepped foot in the theme park, but we got our fill between a visit to the Google campus and an exploration of the Walt Disney Family Museum.  Our trip to Google involved a guided tour by my main man featuring the crazy good free cafeterias, fresh squeezed juice bar, slides, meeting bikes and playing amongst the operating system statues.  You can’t walk around without an escort, but if you know someone or know someone who knows someone, take advantage of seeing the magic that is Google.

Testing out the slide at Google.

Testing out the meeting bike at Google.

Stephanie poses at Google.

 

As if we didn’t eat enough at Google, we stopped by In & Out Burger on the way back to the city for good measure.  Maybe it was because we were full or maybe because only Stephanie was an In & Out virgin, but we decided it wasn’t worth all the hype.

The Walt Disney Family Museum on the other hand exceeded my expectations.  I’m not a Disney fanatic myself, but I figured I’d tag along.  We utilized our AAA membership to get $5 off the $20 admissions ticket.  The museum boasted several interactive exhibits, tons of original drawings, several movie clips and a model version of Disney’s dream community.  The Disney family owns and operates the museum, putting in a lot of their own time and money.  It’s very well curated and worth the steep price even without the discount.

The bench where Walt Disney came up with the concept for Disney World.

From Peter Pan to Smuggler’s Cove, we moved on to decidedly adult libations.  The notoriously packed and award winning rum bar delivered the one two punch for happy hour.  Our secret was going on a Monday for happy hour to score seats.  The building is barely marked and we walked past it before back tracking and looking more carefully for the address.  It was well worth the hunt though and I personally recommend the drink named after a red head (the rum made me forget the specifics).

At Smuggles Cove

Indian Ice Cream. Yum.

We laid low that night, taking advantage of one of the hundreds of delivery options (ah, the joys of city living!) before the girls headed home.  They may not have left their hearts here, but I think little pieces of their stomachs remain and I conjure their help as I continue to nosh my way from bay to breakers.

 

First of all, we’d like to thank our friend Melinda for having us as visitors in her new home in San Francisco!  Secondly, we’d like to thank her for writing the guest blog below and also invite you to check our her blog, Palindrome at Home.

I warned them not to call it Frisco Bay.  That was my big piece of San Francisco advice when Denise and Stephanie recently came out west for a visit.  I didn’t even charge them for that gem.

View from the Presidio

After a full trip, we can offer you a few more pieces of advice too.  I’m a newly minted resident of the city and was anxious to show off the travel goods.  I only had a short list of attractions crossed off on my to do list, so it was the perfect opportunity to try new sites.

Anthony Bourdain suggested our first stop at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market.  I hadn’t thought to suggest it since it almost strikes me as an errand – but remembering back to my first visit, it’s truly impressive and a must see for foodies.  East Coasters, eat your avocado loving hearts out.

After farm fresh samples and a late lunch, we summoned our dessert stomachs on the way to the Bombay Ice Creamery.  We also had to summon our courage as we walked past barred windows.  I was buoyed with confidence since I had been to the neighborhood before to adopt our kitten, but if I didn’t know the area, I would have been tempted to turn around.  Perseverance turned out to be the key as we looked high and low before finding it behind the abandoned Sherwin Williams.  The first case of hard pack ice cream was full of normal and, I’ve got to be honest, disappointing flavors.  Again, we pressed forward and it turns out the second case was where the angels were singing and playing harps.  After a few samples we went with the shop keeper’s suggestion: a double scoop of chiku and mango-rose.  The chiku was spicy yet tropical while the mango-rose was an intriguing blend of sweet and floral.  We took in the Bollywood version of The Sound of Music while finishing our treats.  Talk about a hole in the wall – it delivered big time!

Stephanie & Melinda enjoying Bombay Ice Cream.

When the girls said they couldn’t leave northern California without a redwood sighting, I hit up some coworkers and the National Park Service website to find the best spots.  Muir Woods was the clear winner at only 30 minutes outside of the city, massive redwoods and a free parking day!  We saved $5 but had to walk about an extra mile each way due to the overflow of other hikers seeking the same deal.  It all evened out with guilt free dessert later that night though.  Win, win.

Redwoods

We consulted with friends who are self acclaimed West Coast Foodie aficionados.  After a weekend of awesome noshing, we have to endorse them as well!  Our first dinner was a knock out of the ball park at Burma Superstar.  Denise downed their famous tea leaf salad with two thumbs up and the vegetable lovers among us swooned over the fried brussels sprouts.  If your momma boiled brussels, you’ve got to give this veg one more try at Burma Superstar.  It’s a come to Jesus moment.  Wash everything down with a delicious Lychee Iced tea.  Tell them MM tours sent you.  It’ll get you a confused look at least.

For Sunday brunch, we exploited our resident dim sum expert, Stephanie, while dining at Yank Sing.  Not only did she know what was hidden in the buns and dumplings, she could stand toe to toe with the cart pushers asking them for more of the good stuff and passing on the fillers.  Having a reliable guide made experiencing a new food not only enjoyable, but hearing Stephanie’s stories of her grandmother preparing certain dishes made the experience more round and full in the context of culture.  It was a touch on the expensive side (just over $30 per person ), but the taste was authentic, the service timely and the floors clean.  If you prefer cheaper dim sum and dirty floors, you’ll have to look across town.

Dim sum!

Peking Duck

Stephanie, Dim Sum expert

Stay tuned for Part II of our taste bud focused tour of San Francisco where we explore the Disneyland of workplaces, the mind behind Disneyland and then find our own Treasure Island!