If you have known me any length of time, you would know that I don't really love going to the big city. I was born and raised on a farm, the city freaks me out. But my friend Janna, who I haven't seen in ages, was attending a conference in San Francisco this past weekend and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to catch up with her and meet her lovely friends from Louisianna Tech.
So while Janna and her colleagues were busy with the conference, I headed down to the Ferry Building to explore. While I may not love San Franscisco, you know I love a Farmer's Market and it just so happened to be in full swing when I got there. After picking up some wax beans and tiny carrots, I wandered inside to check out the shops.
The variety of shops is incredible. I mean, how often to you find a whole store dedicated to mushrooms?!
This was a little soap/lotion store but I snapped this picture so I could remember to try to replicate the artwork myself.
And then the heavens opened, the waters parted... it was like the Mothership was calling me home. Cowgirl Creamery!! I have a love affair with cheese and it just so happens that Cowgirl Creamery is one of my most favorite. The fact that they are Northern CA locals makes it even sweeter.
I wasn't the only freak, there were plenty of other people taking pictures of the cheese counter.
You don't know how badly I wanted to buy all these cheeses and take them home with me. But I wasn't leaving til the next day and couldn't figure out how to keep them cold in my hotel room. Darn it!
Not only can you sample and purchase some of their cheeses at their mini-shop, you can order special menu items, tasty little (or big) bites featuring their delicious cheeses. I ordered a little snack of San Francisco sourdough and melted Cowgirl Creamery cheese and a Cowgirl Creamery vanilla kiefer. Kiefer is one of those weird things that unless you grew up with it you probably have never heard of it and won't like the taste of it. It's like a cross between milk and yogurt. It makes me smile.
"Tasty Salted Pig Parts" also put a smile on my face.
Again, I was not the only weirdo taking pictures of the meat case.
I also was not the only weirdo who bought a "cone of meat". It was like their version of a "sampler" served in a snow-cone-cup. Yummy salami, mortadella and ham. Tasty salted pig parts!!
I wandered into an olive oil store, sampled about 10 and came out with this basil oil. It was so.... unctuous... and buttery... and smooth. I can't wait to make some veggie pasta with it.
I swear, I didn't just eat! I bought some washi tape and some other decorative tape to use with my artwork and journals. I did also stop into a confectioner's shop and get this tiny french macaron. I think all macarons shouold be this size, it was the perfect 3 bites of sweet, creamy delight.
Here is something I did not eat... but only because the Ciao Bella store was closed for remodeling. You'll be happy to know that after feasting at the Ferry Building I walked all the way back to my hotel. Not because I wanted to... but because the cab company abandoned me. I did the "mad-walk" all the way up the hill in my flip-flops, but it did help burn off some of those calories.
This guy couldn't figure out that I don't share.
The next day we all went over to China Town, somewhere I had not been in so many years. We wandered in and out of some very interesting shops. And we felt like we were in a movie, waiting for the bad guys to come running out of some restaurant. You know that's always where the bad guys are hiding in China Town.
The whole trip we were determined to find some good cioppino because several of Janna's friends had never heard of it or yet tried it. Cioppino is very high on my list of favorite foods. I'm very picky about it. There is good cioppino and there is bad cioppino. We were on the hunt for the good cioppino. Just steps outside of China Town we wandered into Risorante Franchino because they had cioppino listed on their menu. Ohhhhh what a happy accident that turned out to be!
We were greeted by what I could only guess was the Mama. The Papa, dressed in a suit and fedora, seated us. They were so adorable I wanted to pinch their cheeks. We were seated at the end of the room. What you see is the entire restaurant. Tiny, tiny, tiny! I don't think you could fit more than 35 in the whole place.
Their cioppino was sooooooo scrumptious. It was light, it was chocked full of seafood, it had a tasty tomato broth... it was the good stuff!
Shortly after our dinner, I headed home. I got lost trying to get back on they highway and wound up on the other side of the ballpark, down by the "docks". That's when I swore it would be another 10 years before I ventured back to the big city, but I did have a yummy time!