Where'd we leave off?
Oh right, Diana and I had eaten the meal of our lives at Chez Panisse, taken a cab there and back, and gotten to bed decidedly too late. Like, way too late. As in 12:30 a.m. California time which was 2:30 a.m. Chicago time, which is where my brain was.
A refreshing eight hours later, Diana and I awoke ready to explore the city! We had a few necessary errands to do first: coffee and the bank. We hopped on a Light Rail (a vintage bus-train mode of transportation) and headed down to Fisherman's Wharf.
When we hopped off, we were in a decidedly different place than home. The bay was glistening, gulls were caw-ing, and our stomachs were rumbling!
Golden Gate Bridge
There was a crowd near a spot on the pier, and we were thrilled to see a group of sea lions! I'd completely forgotten about the fact that they sun themselves in the harbor, and there was something so endearing and sweet about their faces.
We walked for what seemed like miles on our hungry stomachs, and ended up finally at Pier 41 home of the original Boudin bakery, crab stands, and the famous Fisherman's Wharf sign!
A quick check of Yelp led us to Nick's Lighthouse, a crab-stand-turned-restaurant on the wharf.
See, I'd had a few "must do" things on my list for San Francisco, and one of them was a crab sandwich. When I was 15, my family traveled to San Francisco and ate crab sandwiches on the curb of the street on Pier 41, and I've never forgotten it. A crab sandwich was on my list.
Since we had a day full of eating ahead of us, Diana and I opted to get cups of soup and share a sandwich. The cup of soup was a rich crab-filled chowder with a peppery bite to it served with oyster crackers.
Then the crab sandwich arrived, which our server was kind enough to split for us. The extremely sour sourdough bread, the slightly crunchy and very crabby crab salad, and the light touch of mayonnaise was exactly as I remembered it.
Mission: Crab Sandwich complete!
We decided to take a walk up 20 piers to TCHO Chocolate, a place that I'd had the pleasure of visiting last year. TCHO is one of the only chocolate companies that makes chocolate from the raw bean. There are 6 varieties, each one different from the next solely because of the type of cacao bean and its origin.
A quick jaunt back on the Light Rail and we were ready to check in to the FoodBuzz Festival and meet up with our remaining roommates, Melissa and Bobbi! I'd been looking forward to seeing them for MONTHS now! We went up to our room, relaxed a bit, and then got ready for the first night's dinner.
Upon arriving, I was greeted with hugs from so many familiar faces!
Not long after that, a glass of wine was thrust in my hand. I enjoyed a bit of the Sabra hummus buffet, but was really saving room for dinner.
I'd gotten news about a week ago that, thanks to my participation in the Electrolux Comfort Food campaign, one of my recipes was going to be cooked and featured on the first night's dinner buffet! I heard from a lot of people that they were looking forward to trying my meatloaf muffins with pecorino mashed potatoes.
Me and the mini meatloaf muffins
And the muffins themselves!
It was quite odd eating something that tastes like I'd made it but in fact, I hadn't touched a single ingredient! They did an excellent job with my recipe, and many people said it was their favorite bite of the night. I thoroughly enjoyed Jenna's mac and cheese as well, and the Tuscan Beef stew was phenomenal. The broccoli soup was definitely something I'd make for Adam and I, and I was sad I only got a few bites of it!
Dessert was an extravagant spread which I enjoyed perusing with Jessica…who truly is just as freaking fantastic as she seems on her blog.
Macarons, chocolates, and an adorable parfait certainly killed that sweet tooth I've had for a while now!
We all collapsed into bed after the bus ride back to the hotel, and before we knew it, morning had broken and we were again visiting the local Starbucks!
The final installment will come tomorrow…