sausage

Brunch @ Nopa

IMG_8725

I think I’ve found the best brunch in San Francisco. I’ve been to Nopa for dinner, but brunch at the Divisadero Street restaurant is a whole different game.

A must order is the custard french toast — a magical construction of the most perfectly cooked, crusty on the outside but custardy on the inside piece of french toast you’ll ever have, topped with a dollop of housemade butter and caramelized orange slice. Pairs quite nicely with the sunshine fix cocktail (aperol, gin, lemon & angostura). The two savory dishes we tried were also stunning — butter-basted eggs with grilled bread, crispy artichokes, ham & pecorino and kielbasa with roasted carrots, sauerkraut & some tasty creamy sauce (the official name escapes me). This is brunch on another level. Highly recommend.

Nopa // 560 Divisadero St., San Francisco

Feature :: Vesta

I finally got  myself over to Vesta in Redwood City last night. I’ve been dying to try what I’ve heard is very, very good pizza. Its an amazing spot. Tried two starters – a kale salad with jalapeño, pickled raisins, breadcrumbs, pecorino & avocado green onion dressing and grilled carrots with cilantro, paprika, cumin, garlic and lemon yogurt – and loved both. The carrots had almost an Indian-tasting tilt, with the cumin. Would be a great dish to recreate at home. The kale salad didn’t wow me, but I enjoyed it.

The real star was the pizza: sausage and honey (tomato sauce, huge chunks of spicy Italian sausage, mascarpone, fresh parsley, honey and serrano chilis sprinkled about). Heaven on a pie. Probably the best pizza I’ve ever had – the dough was perfect and I’m a sucker for the savory/sweet flavor combo.

All in all, an excellent addition to downtown Redwood City and the Peninsula food scene.

Vesta // 2022 Broadway St., Redwood City

Feature :: The Fish Lady

IMG_5563

Welcome to The Fish Lady of Soquel, where you can find all-things fresh fish, meat, wine, beer, seasonings, etc. They also smoke their own fish — or yours for $3/lb. On Friday nights, it turns into a wine bar/BBQ spot, which sounds divine. Picked up some delicious ahi over the weekend to make ahi poke (see below).

The Fish Lady // 2510 S. Main St., Soquel

Feature :: Tramonti Pizza

Inspired by a newfound hankering for pizza and a San Francisco Chronicle article I saw months ago, I headed to Tramonti Pizza in Santa Cruz for dinner this weekend.

IMG_4998

As a newcomer to the world of pies, I consider myself both a novice and a sharp critic because as I only recently came around to liking the stuff, I have pretty high standards. Tramonti didn’t disappoint. I started with some really delicious prosecco:

IMG_4987

And then a salad with arugula, kale, radicchio, nuts, celery, shaved parmesan & some sort of other cheese amazingness:

IMG_4988

But onto the main event. The ‘za. We tried two. A classic homemade sausage with mozzarella and basil:

IMG_4993

And a tomato sauce-less but really great “noci” (mozzarella, gorgonzola, walnuts and sliced pears + our add-on of proscuitto):

IMG_4994

All in all, a successful pizza excursion. Next on my Santa Cruz Italian to-eat list is Bantam and Lillian’s. It ain’t over till it’s over.

Tramonti Pizza // 528 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz

Drewes Meats

IMG_4508

Every hood needs a good butcher. Noe Valley’s is definitely Drewes Meats on Church Street. They have endless local meat cuts, much of it from local farms, as well as Drewes’ own sausages, bacon and fish. It’s a totally old school San Francisco spot (the original store opened in 1889) with great service, reasonable prices and high-quality foods. I picked up a few sausages (chicken, garlic, basil; chicken apple; mini breakfast sausages) and some Wild King salmon the other day and was a happy camper. They also make sandwiches, which I’m dying to go back and try.

Drewes Meats // 1706 Church St., San Francisco

Feature :: Rosamunde Sausage Grill

IMG_4237

Rosamunde’s = great beer selection, high-quality sausages, dark lighting, big crowds, lots of hipsters. That pretty much sums it up. The dark lighting really put a damper on my picture-taking abilities. Still a great spot.