So much happened in my trip to San Francisco I thought I would share it in two parts. First I shared some details about the actual conference in The W.H.O.L.E. Gang at BlogHer Food Conference 09 in San Francisco.
Now on to the vacation part of the trip. This is where I share my vacation photo slide show with you. Lucky for you that you’re not trapped on my couch so you can decide what to skip. But let me first warn you I’ll be sharing some great gluten free and dairy free places to eat in San Francisco. Grab yourself a nice glass of California wine, read on and enjoy the photos and videos of San Francisco!
Shirley Braden (Gluten Free Easily) and I traveled together via Virgin America (loved the new planes) from Virginia to San Francisco. As soon as we landed the adventure began. We started off with lunch at Crêpe O’Chocolate. This delightful little shop is owned and operated by Sylvie Krawec. We were very excited to find out it was full of gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options. Shirley had a great bacon quiche and I had a Quinoa and Millet Stuffed Portabello Mushroom with a Side Salad. They were both delicious.
After lunch we toured Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoyed riding the F-Line Street Cars. These are great old trains. They look amazing and are a lot of fun to ride. The first stop is the Ferry Building.
Fisherman’s Wharf was filled with shops, restaurants and crabs. Down on the docks and in the water around Pier 39, was full of Sea Lions. Way too many sea lions. This is a very small portion of how many there really were.
We walked past the wharf and down towards the Fisherman’s Grotto Restaurant. We were about to walk by the famous Boudin Bakery where sourdough bread has been made by this family since 1849. Steam from the bakery was being blasted out onto the sidewalk. Now if gluten has no effect on you, you might think yum, sourdough smell all over me. I thought STOP, a gluten facial and steam bath would have me sick for a week. We immediately stopped and walked around the back. I’m glad we did because we got to see the horse and carriage coming down the street.
There were tons of crab shops all around the Fisherman’s Grotto Restaurant. It was tempting to grab a Dungeness crab since we both love them, but we were trying to get ourselves on the west coast eating schedule. I wanted to go back another day but we just ran out of time.
To get back up to our hotel, we of course had to ride a San Francisco Cable Car. Here are two videos that show how they turn around at the end of Hyde Street and what it was like to sit up front and look and ride down the steep hill.
The first day ended with a spectacular dinner from Farallon Restaurant. It was so amazing I bought the cookbook. To read my review see Farallon Gluten Free Restaurant Review on the Gluten Free Food Critic blog.
We spent the next day touring and eating great meals. The Ferry Building was full of great shops and food. They had one shop that was totally mushrooms. If I lived here I would be down at this shop often. There were so many varieties of mushrooms. After shopping we had a great lunch at The Slanted Door. Please read The Slanted Door Gluten Free Restaurant Review for all of the details including the menu.
We took a tour in the afternoon of Muir Woods and Sausalito. Muir Woods to me is a sanctuary. It is beautiful and so peaceful. Well until the little kids start running around and their parents yell at them. But if you block that out, I swear you can hear these graceful old trees talk to you. If you are in the area you must visit. It’s really close to San Francisco and you don’t even need a car. We went on a tour bus.
The tour bus then took us to Sausalito after Muir Woods. We had a little time to tour the shops but we really wanted to get a bite to eat. That night we were going to the Mushroom Channel event but you never know if they are really going to have gluten free food as promised. We were lucky enough to grab a bite to eat at Scoma’s. This restaurant was started on Pier 47 in 1965 by two brothers. It started with a tiny six-stool coffee shop that served local fisherman breakfast and burgers. That six-stool shop is now a 350 seat restaurant serving 450,000 locals and visitors a year. They opened Scoma’s Sausalito in 1969.
Down by the waters edge you could look back to the city of San Francisco. Well sort of. You can see when they say fog in San Francisco they really mean a blanket you cannot see through. We could only see the tops of the tallest buildings in the city.
On Sunday, Shirley went to her first NFL game with me. Can you believe I took her to the Oakland Raiders. I hope she will post some of the great photos she took of the fans in full costume and makeup. I have to say I was a little cautious because they look like such intimidating fans. Here’s their dirty little secret, they are all really nice in person. Well if you’re not from the opposing team. We wore black and silver to play it safe. Thanks to my iphone, we navigated the ibart subway system to and from the game and our way around the city.
Sunday evening Shirley, Ali and I went back to Tropisueño Restaurant for our last dinner in town. I am still thinking about that meal. For all of the details please read Tropisueño Gluten Free Restaurant Review. It was hard to leave the city, but I did miss my family. Next time I’ll just need to bring them so I can stay longer.
So if you are traveling to San Francisco for the NFCA Gluten Free Cooking Spree on October 30th, check out my gluten free reviews and have a great time. Make sure if you are traveling there to give yourself some time to tour the city. You’ll be very happy you did.