|The San Francisco Ferry Building|
The last day of our whirlwind San Francisco summer vacation had me setting the alarm at 6:30 AM making sure everyone was up, dressed and on the road by 7:30 so that we hopefully would avoid a few lines at the breakfast booths. With two sleepy, hungry men grumbling all the way we found easy parking on the streets around the market along with an easy to reach parking garage on the corner of Clay and Davis made even better with market validation. A few minutes walk had us at the market in no time... ahead of the major crowds.
Before leaving home I had spent some time on Tripadvisor and other websites jotting down a few of the "must visit" booths mentioned in reviews of the market. The first one I recognized was the Blue Bottle Coffee Company to which my caffeine deprived husband made a beeline even before I pointed it out. With recommendations from home as well as online I was eager to try the freshly roasted, organic, shade grown coffee and promptly made my order for a Cappuccino to go as my husband chose his simple and black.
|Blue Bottle Coffee... Why didn't I buy some to bring home???|
|Best Cappuccino ever!|
Blue Bottle most definitely lived up to its reviews and I've crossed all my fingers hoping to see them in San Diego.
the market and scope out the most appealing breakfast venues. Closest to the coffee both was a booth with boxes of fresh veggies just waiting to be sauteed and a menu boasting of Egg Sandwiches with Applewood Smoked Bacon, Heirloom Tomato Scrambles with Stracchino Cheese and Prosciutto, and Pablo's Pancakes with Stone Fruit Compote and Orange Butter. Thinking I'd found "the" spot I headed back to the coffee line to inform my husband and that is when our wonderful day took a turn for even better.
Standing in front of my husband was a petite woman signified as a local with her foggy August garb of full jacket, scarf and hat. As I mentioned to him that I thought I had found "the" spot she turned around and said, "Well... Chatty Cathy here, and I just can't help piping in that yes, Roes's is the best place for breakfast in the market! What you want is the Heirloom Tomato Scramble or the Scrambled Eggs with Arugula and Crispy Proscuitto. I go there every week after I get my coffee". With a recommendation like that, how could we go elsewhere?
Rose Pistola, a restaurant on Columbus Avenue, has been "going to the market" since 2004 and from the rave reviews I read online as well as heard verbally from the many customers in line, it is "the" place to enjoy breakfast on Saturday Morning at the Market. Turns out Chatty Cathy was right there in line, just as she said she would be after we picked up our own coffees.
|Notice the Blue Bottle Coffee cup in the upper right!|
|Honey sized for airline travelers|
For the next 20 minutes we enjoyed tales of her adventures during her SFPD tenure, and she kindly gave my son advice on living life in a safe manner that will most likely stick with him forever. Cathy was a true gem, and she most certainly did as she had hoped in giving us a lasting, wonderful memory of San Francisco.
With more of Cathy's recommendations for the market in hand, we headed to the center of the market in search of Olive Oil, cheese and of course, bread. Stall after stall was filled with offerings from the exotic Lion Mane Mushrooms to the plain bunch of carrots to raw and vegan prepared offerings... all quickly having me wish I was closer to my home kitchen.
A purchase of Sciabica's Olive Oils had one of those "one for her, one for me" moments as I picked up a sampler for my mom as well as one for myself. Flavors of Meyer Lemon, Jalapeño, Basil and Garlic had me planning menus in my head as we chatted with the owner and chose our bottles.
In the main part of the Ferry Building a foodie meca of cheeses, bread, pastries and chocolates awaits as you make your way past the permanent vendors. Home to the famed Slanted Door, the Market Plaza also houses Cowgirl Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop where I found a most wonderful Humbolt Fog Cherve. With 8 hours of driving time in front of us keeping the cheese fresh was a concern, but the vendor promptly told me not to worry as he packaged up two bags of ice for my cooler and assured me we would be fine.
|Yes... it was that good!!|
Just next door, the Acme Bread Co. was wafting aromas of freshly baked bread into the aisles and drawing customers from all corners of the Plaza. I was lucky enough to be right behind a man in a chef uniform with his helper and I simply ordered what he did, a little French Bread, an Italian Loaf and of course, a crusty Sour Dough to bring home to mom.
|Acme Bread Co. - I followed the chef and simply got what he got!|
Cable Cars, Fog, Fisherman's Wharf, Billy Elliot at the Orpheum, the Exploratorium and Palace of Fine Arts, China Town, Lombard Street, Ghirardelli, shopping in Union Square, Alcatraz, the Farmer's Market and Chatty Cathy. I think you know where I've left my heart...
|Breakfast with a view... and also an audience!|