Monday, October 15, 2007

San Francisco Treats

Lots of treats!! I met John out in San Francisco this past weekend, he had been there all week on business. Here's the scoop (literally, check out the last photo!)
Although my flight was four hours late leaving Houston, we still managed to grab dinner at one of John's favorites from back in the day when he lived out here, Cafe Sport. Not very vegan friendly, but I was too tired to notice while I gobbled up my penne pasta with tomato sauce (it was after midnight Houston time when we ate). We stayed in North Beach at the Washington Square Inn, cute place but pretty pricey. But it was nice to be within walking distance of so many places. Both mornings we had breakfast at Cafe Sapore, which had clearly marked vegan choices. I had peanut butter on a bagel one morning and oatmeal with soymilk, bananas, strawberries, and raisins the next. I loved all of the cafes everywhere, reminds me of Europe. The other two food pics below are from our last meal in the city, at Calzones (veggie pizza and arugula salad with oven roasted tomatoes, artichokes, and chickpeas). The VegSF restaurant guide was helpful for finding places in the North Beach area...


Another find from the vegsf guide, vegan truffles from XOX Truffles!! These little babies were so rich and chocolatey, I still have some in my fridge (but not for much longer!). I tried the dark chocolate, orange, and hazelnut truffles, which were all vegan. Thankfully, you can order them online....
After breakfast, buying truffles, and wandering around North Beach, we walked down to Fisherman's Wharf. Cliche, I know, but I'd never been and you have to at least go once, right? Isn't our little sourdough turtle the cutest?


After the wharf we walked to Chinatown. John was on the prowl for canned fake meats. We found several options (though not as many as we were hoping for), but didn't end up buying any, there's always Chinatown in Houston. There were a lot of things in Chinatown that screamed NOT VEGAN, but for lunch we went to Lucky Creation Vegetarian, which is actually all vegan. We ordered the mixed vegetables and the Curry "Chicken". Although I liked the curry, the mixed vegetables I wasn't a fan of. It should have been called mixed weird mushrooms instead. Now I like mushrooms, but the textures of these was just too much for me. Luckily John was a fan so we weren't wasteful :-) Aren't the little star-shaped carrots cute?

We spent the afternoon walking along Baker beach (didn't know there was a nude section...), trying to burn off enough calories to justify our big dinner at Millennium! Now, I have their cookbook and all, but have never attempted a recipe, I guess they just seem too complicated. Plus, it's best to let the experts handle this. For appetizers, I had a delicious salad with roasted pear, pecans (or was it walnuts?), and dried cherries. John had a raw butternut squash ravioli, different, but still good (just not what we thought it would be). Sorry, no photos, I hadn't had enough wine at that point to overcome my shyness for using a flash in a fancy restaurant. For dinner, John had a seitan roulade served over black beluga lentils with some amazing garlicky greens. I had grilled portobellos served over rice with butternut squash, cumin-glazed tofu, and pickled cabbage on the side. Both dishes were excellent, too difficult to pick a favorite. Why can't we have a place like this in Houston (whines)?

Update: Forgot to give you this piece of trivia. We asked our waitress about what percentage of Millennium's customers are vegan. Her guess was only 30%. This gives me hope that a place like this could open up in Houston. All they would have to do is drench everything in barbeque sauce and brand it with the outline of the Lone Star state.


But of course, the best part had to be dessert. I decidedly chose the chocolatiest dessert on the menu, Chocolate Almond Midnight (I think that was the name, maybe I'm just making it up...guess it was the wine). An almond-based crust with a chocolate mousse, topped with white chocolate mousse. These are the kinds of desserts I thought I had left far behind since going vegan. Too amazing. They even sent us home with a box of their cookies and truffles to celebrate our three week anniversary!

Here are some of our scenic photos.... the Golden Gate bridge in the fog, the Transamerica building (thanks Bazu!), Coit Tower, and of course, the crookedest street (Lombard).

On our way out of town, heading towards the airport, we made one final stop. Maggie Mudd's for vegan ice cream!! We tried the pumpkin (coconut milk based) and the tarmack (soymilk based, chocolate with peanut butter). This was the best ice cream I've had in my life (sorry mom, I know you love Blue Bell). We scarfed it down. Thanks to both Melisser and Jess for the great recommendation, and also thanks to Jess for the coupon!! Too bad these guys don't take online orders.

A little sad to be back in Houston now. We both love San Francisco, John especially. We even spent a few moments looking at real estate... need to start buying lottery tickets :-)

23 comments:

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Maggie Mudd has an ice cream line called Muddslingers! You can buy them in places like Whole Foods here, hopefully they'll go national soon!

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

looks and sounds like you had a blast in San Francisco. i would love to go back there as a vegan. the desserts look especially delicious.

bazu said...

Aww, what a fantastic 3 week anniversary! I love all the S.F. pictures, it really takes me back to my childhood in the Bay Area. I hope to be able to visit Millenium (and Maggie Mudd) soon! Oh, and I so know what you mean about wanting to stay there forever and ever... sigh!

P.S. It's the Transamerica Building- and your photos are gorgeous!

aTxVegn said...

I'm so glad your trip was wonderful!

Had to laugh at your Blue Bell comment!

Celine said...

I wanna go there so bad! your pics are fantastic. meep about the plane being 4 hours late, though.

VeggieGirl said...

Yikes, after a 4-hour delay, I'm glad that you were finally able to get to SF for an incredible trip/time with your husband!

Although I was just recently in California (well, if recent means about 6 months ago, haha) I haven't been to the San Francisco area in YEARS!! And after seeing your photos of your food from Calzones, XOX Truffles (any carob? haha), Chinatown, your spectacular dinner at Millenium (that cake, especially, looks to-die-for), and your scrumptious ice cream from Maggie Mudd's, I need to get out to San Fran NOW!! Thank you for sharing all these lovely photos, and memories from your trip :0)

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

love, love, LOVE san francisco. and millenium will spoil you, won't it?

so glad you had a chance to go out and enjoy it!

The Veggie Cookster said...

Everything looks sooooooo GOOD! Great photos!! :)

Tamara said...

Maggie Mudd's is the BEST!!! And yes, you should move to SF, then I could meet you in person. :-) We live about 5 hours North of there but visit often (my brother lives there).

Jody from VegChic said...

What a cool trip! I'm so jealous that you got to try Millennium. Someday I will make it out there.

Unfortunately for me, I've only been to CA once for 1 day/1 night. My other trip was actually planned for 9/12. Then Sept 11 happened and my flight was canceled.

Anyway, the sourdough turtle, holy cuteness.

Pumpkin ice cream sounds awesome. I hear there will be some at the Boston Food Fest tomorrow. Here's hoping...

springsandwells said...

Oh fun,
You went to many of my favorite SF places. Isn't Millenium just amazing? My new goal in life is just to find excuses to drive up to SF and eat there. It's outrageous.

I also LOVE maggie Mudd. When I held that Vegan Ice Cream tasting a few months ago, Maggie Mudd's brand (Muddslingers) was the CLEAR winner. Oh, yeah, did I mention that we had huge tubs of it left over? Oh YEAH.

also, My favorite thing at Lucky Creation is actually something called "Taro Cakes with Sweetened Walnuts" or something like that. It's not necessarily full of green veggies or anything, but it's WAY good. Check it out next time.

:) Amey

Veganista said...

YUM, YUM, YUM. It all looks fabulous--but I am especially wanting those truffles and that incredible ice cream! I've never been to SF, but everything I've seen and heard (well, apart from property prices) has made it seem pretty appealing. Glad you got to visit!

the little one said...

I also asked some questions of the wait staff when I've been at Millennium. Apparently, most of the staff, including the chefs, aren't vegan. That shocked me. So glad you had such a wonderful trip! SF really is a vegan paradise.

Pink Theory said...

Wowie! It looks like you had a wonderful time in SF. Those truffles look so mouthwatering. I've only to been to SF a couple of times for work and never really got a chance to sample the vegan eateries. I'll have to check out these places next time I go. It really does look like a vegan mecca!

stonielove said...

what a beautiful post! now i can't wait to visit san francisco again :) i love what you've done with the photos... that's an awesome way to share lots of photos in one!

Johanna3 said...

what a great post, i feel like i trave to there with your photos !!

Kumudha said...

San francisco looks like a vegan paradise!
Mouthwatering dishes and desserts.

Sarah C. said...

Sure, there might not be a Millenium in TX, but you can always come up here and visit us in Fort Worth - it's not as fancy as the Millenium sounds, but it's an awesome vegan restaurant right here in TX! (and VegNews' restaurant of the year! How cool is that? A vegan restaurant in Texas as VegNews' #1!!).

Looks like a great trip, and great ice cream - glad you had fun!

Sarah C. said...

Hmm... I meant to say "Spiral Diner" here in FW.

veggie barbie girl said...

Those Ice Creams look absolutely fantastic! I like some vegan ice-creams but I'm sorta picky too... My mom would love the pumpkin, it's her favorite kind and she can't find any vegan ones.

Emilie said...

oh jealous!! you hit many of my sf highlights. chocolate almond midnight is a thing of my dreams. oh, i love it! even just seeing the picture is enough to make me smile.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

holy crap, I wish I had gone to Millenium!!

Glad you liked the ice cream!

Almost Vegetarian said...

I'm sitting here, reading this, quite hungry, and thinking, with every new item, oh yes this, THIS is what I want now.

I have mentally ingested everything you had on your holiday in, oh, 5 minutes. And it was delicious!

Cheers!