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Need help with trip to Napa and San Francisco

e
ebsherrod Jul 23, 2009 05:27 PM

hello hounds! I am sorry in advance for the long post.
We are traveling to Napa and San Francisco for 1 week at the beginning of August and are desperately seeking suggestions- we love food, price is not an issue, we are just looking for good food. we will not have a car- we are planning on using taxis in Napa and public transit in San Francisco.
We are staying in Yountville Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night and in San Francisco on Thursday and Friday night, we will leave for the airport around 11:00.
These are our tentative plans ( I am very open to suggestions and changes!)

Monday: arrive in Napa at 1:45, check in to hotel
--Lunch @ Mustards or Oxbow Public Market
--9:00 dinner @ Bouchon

Tuesday:
--Breakfast @ Bouchon Bakery
-- Frank Family Vineyards visit
-- possibly 1 other vineyard visit
--Taylor's Refresher in St. Helena for lunch after/between vineyard visits
--8:30 dinner @ Meadowood (tasting menu, patio seating)

Wednesday:
- Breakfast?
-- vineyard visits?
--Lunch TBD depending on Location
--9:00 dinner @ Redd in Yountville

Thursday:
--Breakfast on the go
--Lunch in SF in the Mission - hunting for good tacos and burritos
- From what I have read on here, these are the ones we should try and hit: Taqueria Guadalajara, El Delfin, La Taqueria, Taqueria San Jose, Taqueria Cancun, Farolito Taqueria
--Drinks and Apps at Fifth Floor Lounge
-- Dinner at Coi
--10:30 reservation @ Bourbon & Branch

Friday:
-- Cable car to Fisherman's Wharf.
-- possible foccaccia breakfast at Liguria Bakery? Truffles and coffee at XOX?
-- Lunch at Yank Sing
-- Explore Haight/ Ashbury... Relax in Golden Gate Park
--9:00 @ Gary Danko

Saturday:
--Breakfast/munching all day at the Ferry Building
-- Leave

I am very open to suggestions- price is not an issue, we are looking for just GOOD food. I would love suggestions about places to stop while exploring different neighborhoods, ideas of things to do during the day. Anything outside would be great!
Thanks in advance!

  1. t
    Table of Six Jul 23, 2009 07:00 PM

    dont miss spruce in san fran

    1. e
      ed1066 Jul 23, 2009 07:19 PM

      Just my opinion, but if you're planning to do Taylor's Refresher, there's one right next to Oxbow that is better than the one in St. Helena, because you can sit outside and you're not right on a main road with cars whizzing (or crawling) past, depending on the time of day. Also inside Oxbow is a great Venezuelan place called Pica Pica.

      I'm not a wine snob, but a couple wineries I would suggest:
      Heitz
      Prager Port Works
      Peju
      Hall
      Mumm

      BTW, if you didn't already know, it can be really hot in Napa in August, especially up-valley (Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga). Bring a hat and sun protection.

      Most importantly - Enjoy your trip!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ed1066
        e
        ebsherrod Jul 23, 2009 08:51 PM

        thanks for the suggestions! what do you guys think about teatro zanzinni?
        what are the best neighborhoods to walk and explore? we want something romantic but fun

        1. re: ed1066
          maria lorraine Jul 23, 2009 10:17 PM

          Ed, I disagree with you about Taylor's in Napa vs. St. Helena. It's a take on an old-fashioned drive-in, and that is lost in the Napa location. It's kind this kind of Americana kitsch in St. Helena, not so in the city of Napa. Also, did you eat right out front (in St. Helena) rather than
          strolling and dining in the large green area out back?

          Not that Taylor's is absolutely high on my list in any case, but I think you've missed the charms of the St. Helena location.

          1. re: maria lorraine
            Junie D Jul 24, 2009 08:21 AM

            Definitely St. Helena Taylor's over Napa - St. Helena has grass, picnic tables, little kids flopping around.

            On the way up to Yountville, stop at Pica Pica in Oxbow for quick lunch. http://www.picapicakitchen.com/

        2. JasmineG Jul 23, 2009 09:01 PM

          I had a really great breakfast this weekend at Boon Fly Cafe in Napa this weekend, I would really recommend it. Everything was great, but I was jealous of my friend who ordered the green eggs and ham. Don't miss the mini doughnuts.

          1. maria lorraine Jul 23, 2009 10:18 PM

            Excuse me, but how are you going to get around in Napa Valley ? Almost no taxis to speak of here.

            12 Replies
            1. re: maria lorraine
              wolfe Jul 23, 2009 11:40 PM

              I wondered about that. I googled Yountville taxis. I had my doubts about whether those I found in City of Napa would be enthused about a 8 miles run to Yountville for Mustards 2 miles north or even a round trip Oxbow and empty 8 miles back, let alone the vineyard visits.
              Any wineries beside Domaine Chandon within walking distance? Has the OP inquired about transportation at their lodging?

              1. re: wolfe
                e
                ebsherrod Jul 24, 2009 07:18 AM

                we have not inquired ab transportation from the lodging.
                several of the wineries have expressed that they would be willing to come and pick us up, and we have also called several cab companies.
                they have all told us just to call the day before or that morning and give them a list of what times we need to be picked up and where...

                1. re: ebsherrod
                  wolfe Jul 24, 2009 07:47 AM

                  Do you think it's the economy?

                  1. re: wolfe
                    e
                    ebsherrod Jul 24, 2009 08:29 AM

                    we are also exploring the option of using the Vine public transportation system in Napa county for parts of the trip.. it can easily take us between yountville and st helena or calistoga and down to napa
                    http://www.nctpa.net/vine.cfm

                    1. re: ebsherrod
                      wolfe Jul 24, 2009 08:42 AM

                      Congratulations, you appear to be unusually well prepared. Enjoy.

                      1. re: wolfe
                        e
                        ebsherrod Jul 24, 2009 09:09 AM

                        Thanks! but I am still looking for some walking tour suggestions for San Francisco to fill our days with. Ones where we can explore the city, stop at cafes or other restaurants and taste deliciousness, and just enjoy ourselves. Any ideas for walking trips??

                        1. re: ebsherrod
                          wolfe Jul 24, 2009 09:23 AM

                          Here are 2 grayelf posts that should give you some idea of the diversity and vitality of the Mission District.
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/613350
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573869

                          1. re: ebsherrod
                            Ruth Lafler Jul 26, 2009 10:09 AM

                            Here's a recent thread on walking trips. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/636528
                            Also, you should check out cityguides -- they have lots of interesting *free* walking trips.

                            http://www.sfcityguides.org/

                    2. re: ebsherrod
                      maria lorraine Jul 24, 2009 11:44 AM

                      I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I do not know how it is possible to visit Napa Valley without a car. Please explore both the cost of the cabs and the bus situation to make an informed decision.

                      Cabs are extremely expensive and most wineries are not accessible by bus. The bus stops periodically along Highway 29 near some wineries, but there is some distance between bus stops.

                      1. re: maria lorraine
                        JasmineG Jul 24, 2009 01:10 PM

                        Yeah, I would listen to maria lorraine here -- either rent a car, or hire a limo to drive you around. I really can't imagine getting around Wine Country without a car. Also, how are you planning on getting from SF to Napa?

                        1. re: maria lorraine
                          e
                          ebsherrod Jul 24, 2009 02:59 PM

                          thank you for your concern... i was very worried myself, butmy boyfriend is in charge of how we are getting around napa. he says he has it all figured out and not to worry about it. he has gotten rates from taxi services and says that everything is taken care of.

                          1. re: ebsherrod
                            maria lorraine Jul 26, 2009 04:49 PM

                            I sincerely hope this is not over-confidence and wishful thinking on his part.

                  2. Robert Lauriston Jul 24, 2009 10:07 AM

                    Skip Oxbow. It (specifically Fatted Calf) is a great place to pick up stuff for a picnic if you're driving through Napa but not worth the cab fare.

                    You'd do best to skip the city of Napa entirely and spend your time in the Napa Valley wine country, which is to say, Yountville and points north.

                    The food at Fifth Floor's an unknown quantity given that the chef just left, but it's a very nice and quiet bar.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      maria lorraine Jul 24, 2009 04:41 PM

                      Agree with this all.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        p
                        PGB Jul 24, 2009 08:04 PM

                        And skip Bouchon. Disappointing. Suggest Redd and AdHoc as much better choices.

                      2. w
                        WCFoodie Jul 24, 2009 10:13 AM

                        Teatro Zinzanni: A fun show, food is nothing special.

                        Great street to stroll for food: Valencia in the Mission.

                        and if you really want to do Napa right, suck it up and get a limo! Pure Luxury Limousine Co. is the best, IMO.

                        1. c
                          cyberroo Jul 24, 2009 11:12 AM

                          I would agree that you might want to go with a limo, at least for Tuesday.

                          Personally, I'd do Ad Hoc rather than Bouchon, even on a Monday (which will most likely be either fried chicken or barbecue). For your mystery breakfast, you might want to look at Bardessono. For your Weds. lunch, put together a fantastic picnic from Dean & DeLuca, Sunshine Market, Oakville Grocery (or any of the other bjillion options - picnicking is huge in wine country), and schedule a picnic at one of the wineries you'll be visiting.

                          Your SF itinerary looks pretty good. I might swap Michael Mina's Clock Bar in for the Fifth Floor bar. On Friday, I might swap out lunch at Yank Sing and wander through some neighborhoods to get from North Beach to the park, depending on how active you are. It's a nice walk from North Beach down to Ghiradelli Square, over the hill in Aquatic Park, and then along Crissy Field/Chestnut Street to the 43 Masonic bus, which would take you over to Haight. There some good chow along the way and it gives you a nice overview of some of the neighborhoods, if you're up for a walk.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: cyberroo
                            g
                            greentomato Jul 24, 2009 02:41 PM

                            this itinerary sounds like fun, what i am looking for. have you already made reservations/ how far in advance do i need to for gary danko?

                            1. re: cyberroo
                              e
                              ebsherrod Jul 26, 2009 09:25 AM

                              we are from alabama and live in south carolina, both of which have very good southern style fried chicken and barbecue... are there any other suggestions to replace bouchon with? my boyfriend loves french food...

                              1. re: ebsherrod
                                Robert Lauriston Jul 26, 2009 10:46 AM

                                Jeanty's as French as they come.

                                -----
                                Bistro Jeanty
                                6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  oakjoan Jul 26, 2009 01:42 PM

                                  I agree about Jeanty except for the place itself. Although the surroundings remind me of places outside of Paris on the Seine, the restaurant itself looks like a place in Southern California - like Palos Verdes.

                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                    maria lorraine Jul 26, 2009 04:48 PM

                                    I've been lately and have found the patio especially charming with the flowers and window boxes, and I love the bistro interior with its Francophilia. I've had good meals there: the mussels with grilled bread, tomato soup, smoked trout salad, steak frites, cassoulet, tartare, etc. I don't understand the Southern California reference at all -- sorry.

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