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Yet another long SF/Napa itinerary for you to critique

s
sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 06:29 AM

We are celebrating our second wedding anniversary by spending a week in SF/Napa Valley in August. This trip has been one of the more difficult ones I've researched. Here is what I have so far. Please steer me in the right direction.

Saturday: Flight arrives at 10am.
Check in to hotel near Civic Center around noon.
Check out Ferry Building/Farmers Market until 2pm.
Take BART to Oakland.
Beers at The Trappist.
Sight-see in downtown Oakland (Cathedral of Christ the Light, Lakeside Park)
Cocktails at Adesso.
Dinner at Commis. (7 or 8pm?)
If we're still hungry (which I highly doubt) a sundae at Fenton's Creamery.

Sunday (this is where I need help)
9:30 brunch at The Red Door Cafe
Maybe check out the beach after that?
Early dinner at The House (this place looks good, but not great. Recommendations for another spot to have dinner closeish to Pier 33?)
Alcatraz Night Tour leaves at 6:45 (lasts about 2.5 hours)
What to do afterwards? Drinks or dancing? Dessert?

Monday
Breakfast at Tartine Bakery
11am Anchor Brewery Tour (safe to walk from Tartine?)
Tour Mission district Murals
SUPER BURRITOS (best in the mission? Have sights on Espiga de Oro according to burritoeater.com)
Ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe or Bi-rite or doughnuts at Dynamo (will check twitter for flavors that day)
Head over to Golden Gate Park. Check out Haight Ashbury and the house from Full House (surprise #1 for my wife) on the way.
Walk Golden Gate Park (Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, Botanical Garden, Windmill?)
Shoot down to Wonderful Foods Co for Bubble Tea (wife really wants bubble tea, this seemed like the best time to fit it in)
Shoot up to Tommy's for Margaritas.
Should this day end there?

Tuesday
I also want to check out Lands End Trail and the Golden Gate Bridge. What should we try to fit into this day? Twin Peaks? MoMA? HELP.
I'm very very intrigued by both Naked Lunch for their foie gras duck proscuitto sandwich, but it's pretty out of the way. Ditto for HRD Coffee Shop, interesting looking lunch options but also out of the way. Or lunch at Zuni Cafe?
I was interested in doing Perbacco for dinner, but since we're regular visitors of NYC, which also has great Italian, should we look elsewhere? Where would you recommend our last dinner be? Canteen?

Wednesday
Very early check-out.
Walk over to Hertz to pick up rental car at 7am. Breakfast is a point of contention. We want to be in Muir Woods upon opening at 8am. Was thinking I could pick up something light from the Starbucks near Hertz and then eat at the Muir Woods Cafe when it opens at 9am (my wife is a HUGE grilled cheese nut). My other thought was keeping some Dynamo doughnuts in our hotel room. It doesn't bother me that they'd be a day or two old.
Hike Muir Woods. Leave at 1pm at the latest.
2:30pm cave tour at Gundlach Bundschu.
4pm Tour at Truchard
6pmish dinner at Grace's Table or Rotisserie & Wine or Bistro Sabor or... I'd be perfectly fine doing dinner at Gott's Roadside which would open up our Friday lunch spot. Thoughts?
Check in to Petit Logis in Yountville.

Thursday
Breakfast at Bouchon Bakery
10am tour at Schramsberg
noon lunch at Solbar
1pm Couples Mudslide and Massage (surprise #2 for my wife)
3pmish tasting at Chateau Montelena
430ish tasting at Vincent Arroyo
Head back to Yountville
8pm dinner at Redd (very excited about this place)

Friday
Balloon Ride with Napa Valley Balloons Inc (surprise #3 for my wife)
Breakfast at Bouchon Bakery
10:30am tour at Kuleto Estate Winery (the winery I'm looking forward to the most)
Noon shoot down to Napa to have a quick lunch at Gott's Roadside before our 2pm tour at Hendry Winery. Would we be better off hitting the Gott's in St Helena and then checking out some wineries near there instead? Which would you recommend?
5pmish head back to hotel to relax/freshen up
7pm dinner at Bouchon (this was the most difficult dinner to choose. Is Bouchon worthy of our last dinner before we leave?)

Saturday
Flight leaves at 1pm so the wife wants to be at the airport to turn the car in at 11am. According to google its about a 2 hour drive from Yountville to the airport so that means we'd have to be on the road by 9am. Suggestions for breakfast along the way?

That's it. I'm sorry if this seems a little insane. Feel free to tell me what I should change or suggest alternatives. Thank you!

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Bouchon Bakery
6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

Fenton's Creamery
4226 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

Wonderful Foods Co
2035 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

Japanese Tea Garden
7 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

Kuleto Estate Winery
2470 Sage Canyon Rd St, Helena, CA

HRD Coffee Shop
521 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Adesso
4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

Commis
3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

Bouchon
6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Bistro Sabor
1126 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

Hendry Winery
3104 Redwood Rd, Napa, CA 94558

Rotisserie & Wine
720 Main St, Napa, CA 94559

Grace's Table
1400 2nd St, Napa, CA 94559

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  1. wolfe RE: sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 07:13 AM

    Nearby Pier 33 Fog City Diner.

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    Fog City Diner
    1300 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

    1. grayelf RE: sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 10:06 AM

      Congrats on your second wedding anniversary! Good call to celebrate it in the Bay Area :-). Twice yearly visitor to SF from Vancouver here. We try to do what you're doing, pack in sights and great food. Overall comment: you are overprogrammed, man! I did this our first couple of trips to gnashing of teeth (and not in a good food way). Although things are pretty close together in SF proper, it can take longer than you think to get from one destination to the other, and this goes double for wine country methinks. For example, your Mission day (Tartine, Anchor, murals, burritos) is a fair bit of back and forth, and combined with GGPark in the afty sounds like too much. And BTW, I found that Dynamo Doughnuts DO NOT hold up to next day (sometimes even same day) noshing; they get stale really fast.

      Also, and this may be stating the obvious, even if you're both big eaters, consider splitting lots of things (especially the burrito) or you'll be too full. I've never had them at Espiga de Oro but if they are as good as the tamales...

      In your other post you said you were looking for a great sandwich. I don't know what constitutes that for you (though since you mention Naked Lunch maybe this won't) but you could try a torta while you're in the Mission (again, be sure to split it if you do). I love the ones from Los Picudos (carnitas!) which is very close to Espiga.

      I notice that the Red Door Cafe either has a bad link or has moved to Oakland from Nob Hill so you may want to check into that. If you're looking for a brunch spot that takes resos nearish your hotel, check out Canteen. I prefer it for dinner (huge fan) but the brunch is also very good, just avoid the coffee if you're into third-wave stuff. Also not the most salutary walk there from your hotel, FYI...

      Have a wonderful time!

      3 Replies
      1. re: grayelf
        wolfe RE: grayelf May 15, 2011 10:14 AM

        Too many Red Doors? Someone reported on this location only 6 days ago on yelp.
        Red Door Cafe
        1608 Bush St
        San Francisco

        1. re: wolfe
          Melanie Wong RE: wolfe May 15, 2011 10:26 AM

          Would you please edit the Place record to enter that info? The cafe moved from SF to Oakland and now back to SF. I'm on mobile only and edit function doesn't work. Thanks.

          1. re: wolfe
            grayelf RE: wolfe May 15, 2011 10:58 AM

            Thanks for the clarification. I'd never heard of it and don't use Yelp. May have to check it out sometime as it's so near our hotel but only with a reso (don't like the sound of those lines!) and if the OP likes it :-).

        2. CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 10:19 AM

          GREAT itinerary!

          First off, I would avoid Red Door for breakfast. I have friend that loves the place and considering they don't have a real kitchen (working out of toaster ovens and what not), the stuff they are creating for breakfast is a tragedy. Consider Dottie's True Blue, Canteen, or Brenda's Soul Food instead.

          For your Wednesday night in Napa, anyone of your choices looks great, although I think you might find Bistro Sabor as the least impressive of the three.

          After your Kuleto tour, you are closer to the St. Helena Gotts than the Napa one; you might also enjoy wandering downtown St. Helena and consider Dean & Deluca for great picnic items or Cook, an understated, locals favorite which is great for lunch.

          Lastly, for Saturday morning drive back, you won't need two hours. I drive into the city from Napa at least once a month on Saturday mornings and from downtown Napa, I can be in the city in exactly an hour so from Yountville, considering you are less familiar with the route, and getting to the airport, an hour-and-a-half will be sufficient. For breakfast that day, consider stopping in downtown Napa at either ABC or Sweetie Pies; I think their pastries and breakfast offerings are a great rival to Bouchon's bakery (which you are doing twice).

          -----
          Dottie's True Blue Cafe
          522 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          Kuleto's
          221 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94102

          Sweetie Pies
          520 Main St, Napa, CA 94559

          Red Door Cafe
          1608 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108

          Bouchon
          6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

          Bistro Sabor
          1126 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

          5 Replies
          1. re: CarrieWas218
            s
            sixteenbiticon RE: CarrieWas218 May 15, 2011 10:35 AM

            You have a friend that loves Red Door, but their breakfast is a tragedy? I'm confused. While I haven't been able to find a menu, the pictures of the food on their yelp page look amazing. My other brunch considerations were Canteen, Brenda's, and Foreign Cinema.

            I'm liking the look of Cook a lot. I've been considering doing dinner on Wednesday at Gott's in Napa (because I want to splurge and get a milkshake with my meal) which would free up lunch Friday. This would cause us to miss the Hendry winery tour so I would need some recommendations for a few wineries in the St Helena area we could check out instead.

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            Foreign Cinema
            2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

            1. re: sixteenbiticon
              CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 11:21 AM

              My friend loves the Red Door because they put skewers in the food to make these silly decorations, garnish with potato chips (on omelets) and use too many and disparate pre-bought sauces trying to create bizarre flavor combinations. Personally, I don't need an umbrella with a strawberry and sprig of basil stuck into my French Toast - it adds nothing but whimsy and gets in the way.

              One of the omelets I had -- which I am trying to remember -- was supposed to be filled with spinach and mushrooms, was then topped with pesto (fine) but a drizzle of some red hot sauce that completely conflicted with the pesto.

              The coffee is mediocre and tastes burnt and my friend likes it because his wife is trying to do her citizenship classes next door and it is a place for him to hang-out and all he ever eats is the French Toast.

              I don't think it is worth the wait when there is so much better food to be had in the city.

              -----
              Red Door Cafe
              1608 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108

              1. re: CarrieWas218
                s
                sixteenbiticon RE: CarrieWas218 May 16, 2011 05:05 AM

                Thank you for the enlightening firsthand information. I think you just single-handedly talked me out of the place. It seems like a lot of the buzz comes from the experience and the owner. I'm with you, I hate gussied up plates of food with unnecessary garnishes. I don't care how it looks, just as long as it tastes good.

                From what I've read, brunch is hugely popular in SF and I should expect hellacious lines anywhere that doesn't take reservations. WIth that in mind would you suggest we only look into res-friendly places?

                1. re: sixteenbiticon
                  CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon May 16, 2011 05:33 AM

                  Not at all -- the few places I mentioned previously don't take reservations and are well worth the wait: Dottie's True Blue, Canteen, and Brenda's Soul Food always have lines waiting.

                  The reason behind the lines at ALL these places, by the way, is due to their size. In each case, they can barely seat 20-some people at any given time which is why getting there early is important. I like to get up early so I rarely have a wait and considering the rest of your itinerary, you'll want a full day anyway.

                  Lastly, if you are a breakfast person and want something more than just pastries while in Napa, consider Boon Fly Cafe in the Carneros district for a fabulous and more substantial breakfast. Bouchon is great and all that, but you won't be getting a hot breakfast by any means.

                  -----
                  Boon Fly Cafe
                  4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559

                  Dottie's True Blue Cafe
                  522 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  Bouchon
                  6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                  1. re: CarrieWas218
                    JasmineG RE: CarrieWas218 May 16, 2011 02:07 PM

                    Seconding the suggestions of brunch at Canteen (the lines there are usually shorter than at the other two, and they do take brunch reservations, but only super early, and it's faster if you're willing to sit at the counter) and breakfast at Boon Fly Cafe.

                    -----
                    Boon Fly Cafe
                    4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559

          2. w
            Walkerlove RE: sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 11:02 AM

            Hi!
            San Fran:
            Best sandwich: The Sentinel. Tiny little walk in former cigar shop on New Montgomery street between mkt and mission. Guy who owns canteen. Roast beef smoked trout what have you. Maybe only open week days I go when working.
            Ferry bldg go to hog island for oysters and grilled cheese.
            Cantina for cocktails get Dugan's jalapeño drink maybe a mojito? Don't remember name. Awesome.
            Wine: press club. Gorgeous hidden wine bar under four seasons. Neat wine list.
            Napa St Helena winery: spring mountain winery. Beautiful place. Cabernet.
            That's it for now! Enjoy!

            5 Replies
            1. re: Walkerlove
              s
              sixteenbiticon RE: Walkerlove May 16, 2011 05:08 AM

              I'm very intrigued with The Sentinel. Thanks for the heads up!

              1. re: sixteenbiticon
                w
                Walkerlove RE: sixteenbiticon May 16, 2011 09:12 AM

                Here is a pic of their roast beef sandwich. Best ever. Soft rolls fresh from oven. Don't know how they do it!

                 
                1. re: Walkerlove
                  w
                  Walkerlove RE: Walkerlove May 16, 2011 09:14 AM

                  I have this picture b/c last time I got a sandwich there (which was way too long ago) it was a sunny day and it was this roast beef and it was such a gorgeous sandwich I had to take a picture. That should tell you how much I like, love, this place.

                  1. re: Walkerlove
                    s
                    sixteenbiticon RE: Walkerlove May 16, 2011 10:57 AM

                    When do they start serving sandwiches? I see they open at 7:30am...

              2. re: Walkerlove
                JasmineG RE: Walkerlove May 16, 2011 02:09 PM

                These are great suggestions -- definitely bring your wife to Hog Island for that great grilled cheese, and the sandwiches at The Sentinel are fantastic, I've never had one that I didn't rave about. I think that they start serving sandwiches at 11ish, but you could check with them.

              3. w
                Walkerlove RE: sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 11:08 AM

                Also perbacco is indeed awesome.
                Also I think tartine, while easily offering some of best bread to be had just about anywhere (people love the pastries too but I'm so so on them, has one if not the most annoying spaces is always ridiculously crowded no where to sit long lines down street I don't go anymore.
                The husband (Chad does the bread) wife teams restaurant in mission Bar Tartine is one of top in city for me. Really just lovely food and the bread is chad's.
                All my opinions of course take it for what its worth!

                1. l
                  lrealml RE: sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 02:28 PM

                  I agree with greyelf, your Monday itinerary is not just too much, but IMO, it is impossible... and this coming from someone who is often guilty of creating vacation itineraries where we walk 10+ miles overs 12 hour and come back to our hotel exhausted.
                  The way you currently have your Monday, you will get to Tommy's around midnight after having been on your feet all day. I suggest that you move much of Monday to Sunday or Tuesday. I love Golden gate park, it is huge (bigger than central park and far more beautiful) and takes a lot of time to visit. Here is my suggestion:

                  Sunday:
                  - Maybe pick up a snack and head early to the Japanese tea garden (hopefully it won't be too foggy). Have tea and cookies, see garden etc.
                  - Then you can wonder west through the park to ocean beach; Alternatively, you can go out of the park to Wonderful Foods (they do have the best bubble tea, not sure when they open) and maybe grab a great Bahn Mi sandwich at Irving Cafe and Deli and then take transit (or a long walk) to ocean beach). This could take you all day or until about 2pm at the earliest.
                  -You can then hit Tommy's if you wish before your Alcatraz tour (give yourself an hour to get to the tour).

                  Monday: Do the mission properly, this will take half a day not including your Brewery tour (you should be ok to walk; I have never felt unsafe anywhere in SF during the day). Tartine (don't miss the gougere or morning bun) can often have a very long line and the walk to Anchor Steam is long, so give yourself a lot of time. Head to Alamo Square/ Haight Ashbury around 3 pm and explore. There are so many great food options in these areas that you can just eat all day long. There are a ton of great dinner options in the Alamo square (aka Nopa) area (Rosamonde, Nopa, Nopalito, Little Star, and Bar Crudo just to name a few). If you still want more to do, head up to Japantown for more sight seeing.

                  Tuesday: I love hiking along the Presidio and under the Golden Gate Bridge. To me this is a must see. I love walking the batteries to bluffs trail the under the golden gate bridge to the bay trail and Chrissy field. Check out the trail maps:
                  http://sanfrancisco.about.com/gi/o.ht...

                  Other comments: I would recommend more Mexican, Asian or Cal fusion food over Italian for East Coasters. I recommend adding Aziza if you can.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lrealml
                    s
                    sixteenbiticon RE: lrealml May 16, 2011 08:39 AM

                    These are some great ideas. I especially like your Sunday. I think we'll reserve an 8am spot at Canteen for brunch Sunday and then follow your guideline. I'm thinking that would also be a perfect time to fit in Aziza, and then we could do the Alcatraz night tour Monday.

                    I'm also liking your Monday, I will just have to find a spot for an early dinner (Bar Crudo looks interesting) before heading off to Pier 33.

                    And finally, thanks for the map. This is exactly what we needed. We'll definitely be doing some hiking, gotta work off all this great food ;)

                    1. re: sixteenbiticon
                      s
                      sixteenbiticon RE: sixteenbiticon May 16, 2011 10:34 AM

                      Wait I replied before thinking. If we're getting super burritos and ice cream in the afternoon then I seriously doubt we'll be hungry before the tour. Maybe a bite or two afterwards, but I don't think dinner is in the cards that day. Which leaves only one more dinner to choose and that's Tuesday after hiking. I'm thinking lunch Tuesday will be sandwiches at Naked Lunch and The Sentinel if I can pull it off. Not sure if I should dedicate two meals to Dennis Leary though...

                  2. c
                    ciao.izzy RE: sixteenbiticon May 15, 2011 02:55 PM

                    Try Barbacco, it's also great Italian (I prefer it to Perbacco). Their ndjua (calabrian spreadable salami) is amazing. In Yountville after Vincent Arroyo (what a great guy and a lovely spot) try Redd's bar menu for fish tacos and skip dinner there - have the tacos, then get ready for dinner and have a later dinner. The bar menu is not at dinner though, maybe just from 2-5. Call to double check. Ad Hoc would be a good alternative, or Michael Chiarello's Bottega restaurant is beautiful and excellent.

                    -----
                    Perbacco
                    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                    Ad Hoc
                    6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                    Bottega
                    6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

                    Barbacco
                    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ciao.izzy
                      s
                      sixteenbiticon RE: ciao.izzy May 16, 2011 05:10 AM

                      I've read a ton of bad reviews of Bottega. I'm definitely not looking for more Italian if we do end up going to Perbacco. Ad Hoc is a possibility, I think it may be an alternative to Bouchon for our dinner on Friday. I do love me some fish tacos though, I'll check out their bar menu. Thanks!

                      -----
                      Perbacco
                      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      Ad Hoc
                      6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                      Bottega
                      6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

                      Bouchon
                      6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                      1. re: ciao.izzy
                        s
                        sixteenbiticon RE: ciao.izzy May 16, 2011 06:48 AM

                        I don't see a bar menu on their website. Any idea where I can grab it?

                      2. Robert Lauriston RE: sixteenbiticon May 16, 2011 09:59 AM

                        I wouldn't cross the street to eat at Gott's. I don't get the popularity at all.

                        I don't consider Tartine to Anchor to Espiga de Oro to Humphry Slocombe checking out murals along the way a particularly long walk, it's only 3-4 miles total. I'd need the walk to work up sufficient appetite. I recommend heading over Vermont St. to see the crookedest street in San Francisco. Pick up a Precita Eyes mural map ahead of time.

                        http://www.precitaeyes.org/artstore.html

                        Then you could jump on BART to Glen Park and catch the 44 bus to GG Park.

                        -----
                        Anchor Brewing Co
                        1705 Mariposa St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                        La Espiga de Oro Tamaleria
                        2916 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
                        2790 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        1. m
                          MeredithR RE: sixteenbiticon May 16, 2011 10:04 AM

                          I have a suggestion for your Wednesday morning: try Dipsea Cafe - it's on the way to Muir Woods in Mill Valley and it's delicious. And they open at 7am.

                          1. Robert Lauriston RE: sixteenbiticon May 16, 2011 03:10 PM

                            Fenton's sundaes are gross. Lush Gelato is closer.

                            -----
                            Lush Gelato
                            4184 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              Glencora RE: Robert Lauriston May 17, 2011 07:36 AM

                              I think you mean that they are messy because they deliberately fill the bowls too full so that the sauce and whipped cream run down the sides. Gross is a subjective word. If you're under age ten, the sundaes are delightful.

                              1. re: Glencora
                                Robert Lauriston RE: Glencora May 17, 2011 10:23 AM

                                We're talking about adult foodies who will have just finished a meal at Commis, not indiscriminate kids.

                                Fenton's overfill the dishes so that the hot fudge or hot caramel mostly overflows and immediately gets cold. They're ruining the dish for a visual effect. Also, the hot fudge is not very good.

                                -----
                                Commis
                                3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  m
                                  Mr_Happy RE: Robert Lauriston May 17, 2011 12:01 PM

                                  I like Fenton's. It's not "gourmet" ice cream but it is good, and their sundaes are fun. I don't see how fudge gets colder on a room temperature plate than on cold ice cream. I like Lush gelato nearby too but thats a whole different experience. Apples and oranges I think.

                                  1. re: Mr_Happy
                                    Robert Lauriston RE: Mr_Happy May 17, 2011 12:08 PM

                                    Hot fudge stays hot for a while when there's a big pocket of it in the dish. It cools off in seconds after it spills over onto the plate into a shallow puddle.

                                    Some of Fenton's ice cream is good. We were once served a spoiled crab sandwich that reeked so intensely of ammonia it was amazing that it made it out of the kitchen.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                      m
                                      Mr_Happy RE: Robert Lauriston May 17, 2011 12:42 PM

                                      I agree the food there is pretty bad.

                            2. h
                              hong_kong_foodie RE: sixteenbiticon May 16, 2011 04:30 PM

                              Skip Italian in SF - there's nothing here that compares to the really good stuff in NY.

                              The most popular sandwich in SF is the porchetta at Roli Roti at the Ferry Building on Saturdays, but the line is absurdly long. Food at Boulette Larder can be good as well, but Roli Roti is really the star.

                              The Plow is a new but very good place for breakfast and brunch. Crispy potatoes are great, custard French toast is not bad either. Also expect a line.

                              Bouchon Bakery in Napa is ridiculously overrated, but I understand since there's nothing else up there. Tartine Bakery in SF is far better.

                              The House is a local favorite for Asian fusion but the food can be very greasy and umami-tastic.

                              If you're going to be having dinner at Commis, you should check out Scream Sorbet afterwards. Very intense and comparable to the good stuff you find in Europe, especially the nut flavors.

                              I personally think it's very important to find places that are not just good but also consistent. In the case where you're visiting for just a short period, consistency is paramount. And all these places I've mentioned are as consistent as they come.

                              -----
                              Tartine Bakery
                              600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                              Bouchon Bakery
                              6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

                              Scream Sorbet
                              5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                              Commis
                              3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                                JasmineG RE: hong_kong_foodie May 16, 2011 04:36 PM

                                Plow is good, but you'll wait forever to sit, and then forever again for your food. Definitely check out Scream after Commis if you're driving and if you get out of Commis in time to get there, but it would be annoying to do it carless.

                                -----
                                Commis
                                3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                                1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                                  moto RE: hong_kong_foodie May 17, 2011 12:51 PM

                                  Italian influenced places here are enjoyed on their own terms because this region's foods play a big role. We ate one of the best mushroom dishes we've had anywhere, the asparagus sformato at SPQR with medley of foraged mushrooms, and the appetizer of crispy pigs' ears with its garnish of fresh sweet and sour pickled veg's was utterly delicious in its simplicity. When we ate there last fall we had another memorable mushroom dish, taglietelle with fresh truffle from the Piemonte. We wouldn't hesitate to take visitors from anywhere there -- the couple next to us at the chef's counter was from Amsterdam.

                                  -----
                                  SPQR
                                  1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

                                2. s
                                  sixteenbiticon RE: sixteenbiticon May 17, 2011 05:43 AM

                                  I think the only days that aren't finalized are Tuesday and Friday.

                                  Tuesday:

                                  I'm thinking relaxing at the hotel for a bit (I'm sure the wife will love this as she's much more prone to sleeping in than I am) and then hitting both The Sentinel and Naked Lunch to get my sandwich fix.

                                  After that hopefully we can catch some sort of mass transit near NL over to the Presidio trails to work up an appetite. After our hike I thought this would be a great opportunity to show her the house from Full House. She expressed great interest in getting sushi in San Francisco so I thought this would also be convenient since we'll be close to Pacific Heights. She is a maki roll girl so I was looking at Ino Sushi as well as Zushi Puzzle. Other recommendations?

                                  Other than sushi could anyone throw out some recommendations for our last meal in SF? (keep in mind our other dinners will be at Commis and Aziza)

                                  Friday:

                                  The beginning of the day is perfect. Surprising my wife with a balloon ride over Napa Valley. I believe this concludes right around sunrise and they provide a light breakfast and champagne. We'll probably go back to the hotel and nap and get ready. Our first tour of the day is at Kuleto Estate which lasts until noon.

                                  Lunch I am really torn between Market, Cook, or Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. The duck burger and the Campfire Pie (we love smores) are the main draws at Cindy's. Cook and Market just both look like great local casual little spots.

                                  We might check out downtown St Helena after lunch. Depends on time. I think we'll schedule one tasting on the way back to Yountville. I've liked what I've read about Frog's Leap, PlumpJack, Hall Wines, Mumm, Cakebread... Among many others. Which would you recommend (preferrably on the cheaper end of the spectrum).

                                  Finally for our last dinner I think we'll do the usual ad hoc if the menu looks good, otherwise Bouchon. I'm not incredibly excited about either of these places, but aside from Redd, I struggled to find any decent dinner spot that had great consistent food without spending $100+pp. Thoughts there?

                                  Thanks for all of your help so far.

                                  -----
                                  Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
                                  1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

                                  Ino Sushi
                                  22 Peace Plz # 510, San Francisco, CA

                                  Zushi Puzzle
                                  1910 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                                  Commis
                                  3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                                  Bouchon
                                  6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                                  18 Replies
                                  1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                    CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon May 17, 2011 06:51 AM

                                    Avoid Ino Sushi and consider Sushi Aka Tambo. Ino has a reputation of using too much wasabi and not being very pleasant to those who aren't regulars. There is something to be said for wandering around Japantown as well; it is quite charming...

                                    For your Friday, after lunch (I'm the one who recommended Cook, but Cindy's won't disappoint either) I would leave it to whimsy! Wander St. Helena and -- yes, Cakebreak and Frog's Leap would be great choices -- just wandering the Silverado Trail and perhaps checking out Dutch Henry and other wineries "that just strike you" is not a bad plan. It is a beautiful drive along the Silverado.

                                    For dinner that night, ALL of the restaurants in Yountville provide consistent food - there is a reason they have been around for so long and you shouldn't have a problem keeping within $100 a person at Bouchon and that is drinking! I dine alone at the bar (heartily suggesting the saffron moules frittes) and a glass of wine, spending less than $60.

                                    You are going to have a great time!

                                    -----
                                    Ino Sushi
                                    22 Peace Plz # 510, San Francisco, CA

                                    Bouchon
                                    6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                                    Ino Restaurant
                                    25 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

                                    1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                      c
                                      ceekskat RE: sixteenbiticon May 17, 2011 08:35 AM

                                      Considering that Aziza & Commis are a bit far from the hotel, how about something a little closer for Tuesday? Even though you have great Italian in NYC, I wouldn't rule out Barbacco or Perbacco as someone had mentioned. The former is more casual & just plain fun! Perbacco, while more upscale, is excellent value. There's also Gitane in Union Square...small, sexy, & great drinks.

                                      Or something along the water like La Mar (Peruvian).

                                      Other hounds may have ideas for something closer (not a fan of Zuni - $90 lunch bill incl. tax & tip for two - food wasn't worth it imo).

                                      .

                                      1. re: ceekskat
                                        s
                                        sixteenbiticon RE: ceekskat May 17, 2011 09:15 AM

                                        Yeah, I'm really on the fence about it.

                                        Don't take this the wrong way, but I haven't really found a dinner spot in SF that really excites me. I'm very excited about Commis, Redd, Tartine Bakery, Humphrey Slocombe, and hell even Gott's (ahi burger), but I just haven't come across the same level of excitement when checking out dinner places in SF. The funny thing is I can't really put my finger on why, either.

                                        You guys keep recommending Barbacco so I'll look into it. Thanks!

                                        -----
                                        Tartine Bakery
                                        600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                        Commis
                                        3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                                        Barbacco
                                        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                        1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                          CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon May 17, 2011 10:44 AM

                                          Have you looked at Saison or Attelier Crenn? Blow out (albeit pricey) meals...

                                          I would also offer -- on the lower end, but still great -- the food at Gitane. Great scene and fabulous food.

                                          I can understand the ho-hum of Perbacco and all the Italian-like knock-offs. It is recommended ALL THE TIME and I just don't get it. The food is good, yes, but hardly innovative or memorable.

                                          -----
                                          Gitane Restaurant & Bar
                                          6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

                                          Saison
                                          2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                                          1. re: CarrieWas218
                                            Robert Lauriston RE: CarrieWas218 May 17, 2011 11:23 AM

                                            I'll take perfect angolotti dal plin over innovation any time.

                                            1. re: CarrieWas218
                                              s
                                              sixteenbiticon RE: CarrieWas218 May 17, 2011 12:10 PM

                                              I've actually been thinking about switching my Oakland trip to Tuesday and doing the Presidio after the Farmers Market. So after the hike Saturday it would be sushi for dinner.

                                              Tuesday we would still sleep in then get lunch at either The Sentinel or Barbacco. Take the BART into Oakland. Hit Trappist. Then sightsee and maybe Scream Sorbet thanks to the recommendation here for an afternoon snack. Cocktails at Adesso and then dinner at Commis. I know that's some pretty adventurous eating/drinking, but I think after skipping breakfast and having a light(ish) lunch we could do it.

                                              -----
                                              Scream Sorbet
                                              5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                              Adesso
                                              4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                                              Commis
                                              3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                                              Barbacco
                                              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                              1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                m
                                                Mr_Happy RE: sixteenbiticon May 17, 2011 01:06 PM

                                                I think those are good choices for lunch.

                                                Barbacco has a really good porchetta sandwich, better than Roli Roti IMHO.

                                                FYI there will be a quite a bit of walking from BART to Scream and then to Piedmont Ave.

                                                -----
                                                Roli Roti
                                                , Hayward, CA

                                                Barbacco
                                                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                  JasmineG RE: sixteenbiticon May 17, 2011 03:28 PM

                                                  FYI, Commis is not open on Tuesdays.

                                                  -----
                                                  Commis
                                                  3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                                                  1. re: JasmineG
                                                    s
                                                    sixteenbiticon RE: JasmineG May 18, 2011 04:45 AM

                                                    Well doesn't that just beat all...

                                                    1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                      Robert Lauriston RE: sixteenbiticon May 18, 2011 09:47 AM

                                                      If you go to Commis on Sunday, you could hit the farmers market at Jack London Square. Fun place to graze for lunch. Beer Revolution, which opens at noon, has no food, so you could get a bunch of stuff for a breakfast picnic there. Oakland Chinatown is at its most hopping on Sundays. Trappist opens at 2. The ferry from Ferry Plaza to Jack London is fun.

                                                      -----
                                                      Jack London Square
                                                      70 Washington St # 207, Oakland, CA

                                                      Commis
                                                      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                                                      Beer Revolution
                                                      464 3rd St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                              2. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                Porthos RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 9, 2011 01:36 PM

                                                Don't take this the wrong way, but I haven't really found a dinner spot in SF that really excites me.
                                                ==================
                                                Commonwealth

                                            2. re: sixteenbiticon
                                              l
                                              lrealml RE: sixteenbiticon May 17, 2011 01:43 PM

                                              I think you are confused about the location of the full house houses...They are at Alamo square, not near Pacific Heights. They are a short walk from Haight-Ashbury, so you should try to see them when you are there. (edit, I thought you meant the houses from the opening credits, I was the one confused... the house is near Pacific Heights) Also, I glanced at your blog and saw a lot of beer, so you should definitely grab a local beer at Toronado while you are in the Haight. I also saw a lot of Mexican food, so you should try and squeeze in a taco or two somewhere... Mexican food out here is so different than on the east coast (mission burritos are not really Mexican food). Btw, Nopalito has the best carnitas anywhere (there seems to be a board consensus about this).

                                              On your hiking day, check the fog forecast on sfgate... sometimes it can roll in early and sometimes it can roll out late... you definitely want to try and and do the hiking when there is no fog so you can actually see the Golden Gate bridge (and dress warmly, it can be freezing with the wind).

                                              Dinner suggestions for your last night... I second the rec for Gitane - great food. Also, you might find Namu to your interest (although they are not near your hotel); their food is unique (the kimchee burger is amazing). Or you could do something ethnic/hole in the wall... SF has great authentic Burmese, Chinese, Peruvian, and Mexican food.

                                              (Also, I just have to say that Edward Norton is way way too old to play Eddie Dean.)

                                              1. re: lrealml
                                                Robert Lauriston RE: lrealml May 17, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                1709 Broderick is near the Presidio and Pacific Heights.

                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                  l
                                                  lrealml RE: Robert Lauriston May 17, 2011 02:07 PM

                                                  Oh, ok... I thought he was talking about the houses from the opening shot... That is what most of our visitors want to see... I don't know too much about Full House...

                                                  1. re: lrealml
                                                    s
                                                    sixteenbiticon RE: lrealml May 18, 2011 04:55 AM

                                                    Yeah, on my map it shows the house from the opening credits about 8.5 blocks from Sushi Aka Tombo.

                                                    Thanks for your suggestions. I haven't looked into the Haight so I will take a look at Toronado. And yes, I quite realize that a Mission burrito isn't Mexican food. I've been considering letting my wife have her burrito while I troll 24th for the real deal stuff, but it will probably be a gameday decision.

                                                    Tamales at Espiga de Oro, tacos at Gallo Giro and Vallarta, and maybe a torta from Los Picudos... Any other suggestions? My favorite Mexican dish by far is mole...

                                                    -----
                                                    Vallarta Restaurant
                                                    14366 E 14th St, San Leandro, CA 94578

                                                    Sushi Aka Tombo
                                                    1737 Buchanan St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                                                    1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                      j
                                                      jman1 RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 19, 2011 02:00 PM

                                                      Espiga de Oro is good for tamales and pupusas. But, you should know that it's a hole in the wall space (although recently spruced up a little). Counter order with limited English. I did take an out of town guest from NY there once and she enjoyed the pupusas (having never had one in NY). Very inexpensive. People there are friendly.

                                                      If you want a torta, I prefer La Torta Gorda (also on 24th). And, they serve other dishes as well. The owners are from the state of Puebla, so Mole Poblano is on the menu there. I've never ordered it, but do enjoy some of their other dishes from that region (huarache, tostadas de tinga, sometimes chiles en nogada). Also friendly and with pictures of the regional specialties. Located in an old dinner.

                                                      I'm not a fan of burritos, so can't comment. La Corneta on Mission serves good tacos. I've met a few Mexican people who recommend La Taqueria also on Mission. I find it a bit pricey.

                                                      -----
                                                      La Taqueria
                                                      2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                      La Torta Gorda
                                                      2833 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                      La Corneta
                                                      1147 San Carlos Ave, San Carlos, CA 94070

                                                2. re: lrealml
                                                  s
                                                  sixteenbiticon RE: lrealml Jun 10, 2011 04:46 AM

                                                  Would you recommend Namu over House?

                                                  -----
                                                  Namu
                                                  439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                                3. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                  j
                                                  jman1 RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 19, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                  Ino has a reputation as a "sushi nazi" type place. You mention maki, so, if I am understanding correctly, this would not be a good choice. Zushi Puzzle caters to more American tastes. I've actually been to neither, so take my comments with a grain of salt. However, I'm currently in search of a new regular sushi spot, so perhaps I will soon.

                                                  I've heard good things about Aka Tombo (note spelling) mentioned below. Mean's firefly. It's a newer Japanese run place.

                                                  What kind of sushi place are you looking for? Traditional? Creative rolls? Drinking spot?

                                                  BTW, Japantown is worth a visit, but be careful if you decide to dine there. While there are some good choices, quality in general has not been good in recent years.

                                                  -----
                                                  Zushi Puzzle
                                                  1910 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                                                  Ino Restaurant
                                                  25 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

                                                4. v
                                                  vday RE: sixteenbiticon May 17, 2011 02:23 PM

                                                  Just a couple of Napa comments . . . your Wed eve meal - Grace's Table has been consistently good when I have gone - their cassoulet is delicious. It's a casual, popular place with lots of locals. I strongly preferred it to a recent meal at Tyler Florence's place.
                                                  If you can swing drinks at Auberge some afternoon, you will enjoy the beautiful view from their elevated bar/deck area. Nice bar menu for snacks (but expensive).
                                                  When you leave for the airport - consider heading out through the Carneros and stopping at Fremont Diner for breakfast. That would take you back over the GGB - the prettiest way to get to back to SF, but a little slower.

                                                  -----
                                                  Tyler Florence Shop
                                                  59 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA

                                                  Fremont Diner
                                                  2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

                                                  Grace's Table
                                                  1400 2nd St, Napa, CA 94559

                                                  1. s
                                                    sixteenbiticon RE: sixteenbiticon May 25, 2011 05:22 AM

                                                    Alright so I think I've pretty much got my itinerary set, except for one last thing. I always try to end our trips on a high note and finding a suitable breakfast place on our way to the airport is proving to be quite difficult. I like the look of Fremont Diner, so that might be a consideration. I also like the look of Aunt Mary's Cafe after seeing it on DD&D, but it may be a tad out of the way. I was also intrigued by Yank Sing, especially since we've only had dim sum once, but read that it's pretty expensive, and we'd prefer to keep our breakfast on the cheaper side. Exceptions to that rule can also be made, if the food is truly something special.

                                                    Let me give you some criteria so you can better help me decide. Our flight leaves out of SFO at 1:30pm and we have to turn in our rental car there at noon. We will be leaving from Yountville and according to google maps its about 1.5 hours to the airport and a little over 2hrs with traffic. I don't mind leaving early to hit a particularly good breakfast joint, and I don't necessarily mind going out of our way, just as long as it doesn't put us in jeopardy of missing our flight. Pretty much anywhere semi-close to the highway between Yountville and the airport is fair game.

                                                    Parking will be an issue, so that is a huge plus if a place has parking or valet. We definitely want a sit down place although it doesn't have to be formal, and we definitely don't want a bakery since we'll be having breakfast at Bouchon Bakery throughout the week.

                                                    9 times out of 10 my wife orders something sweet (french toast or pancakes) and I usually opt for something sweet as well, but I also love eggs benedict and shrimp and grits. Neither of us ever order omelettes or scrambles.

                                                    Places with hugely expected waits are out. Unless there is some significant tip or hint you can provide on how to bypass the wait. I just don't want us to be stressed out thinking we'll miss our flight. I want to have a relaxing last morning in the Bay area before heading back to the East Coast.

                                                    Thank you for any suggestions you can provide!

                                                    -----
                                                    Bouchon Bakery
                                                    6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

                                                    Yank Sing
                                                    49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                                    Aunt Mary's Cafe
                                                    4307 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                                                    Fremont Diner
                                                    2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                      CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon May 25, 2011 06:02 AM

                                                      Since you have only had Dim Sum once, I would definitely leave Yountville early and head out for a memorable last meal!

                                                      You don't have to confine yourself to the expensive Yank Sing -- Koi Palace in Daly City is near enough to the airport and if you are there right when they open at 10:00, you can take your time and easily return the car by noon. This is a place that if you get there by 10:30, there could be a half-hour to hour wait (on weekends). I often arrive at 9:45 and can be seated, fed, and out within an hour with no problem! I also prefer Koi Palace over Yank Sing for their variety and price alone.

                                                      And for your wife's sweet tooth? No problem! There are lovely bites of egg custard, giant fluffy fried Chinese doughnuts, and more...

                                                      -----
                                                      Koi Palace Restaurant
                                                      365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

                                                      Yank Sing
                                                      49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                                      1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                        Robert Lauriston RE: sixteenbiticon May 25, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                        There's no traffic early on Saturdays unless there's a special event like Bay to Breakers. The Spear St. branch of Yank Sing has free parking in the basement garage on weekends. It's more expensive than other places, but it's also in a class by itself as far as quality. If you watch what you order, you can stuff yourselves for under $25 a head. Make a reservation to avoid the wait. Tips on Yank Sing:

                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7321...

                                                        If you want someplace cheaper, Hung To is four miles from the airport.

                                                        -----
                                                        Yank Sing Banquet & Catering
                                                        101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                                        Hung To Seafood
                                                        221 S Spruce Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080

                                                      2. s
                                                        sixteenbiticon RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 9, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                        I'm looking at my Thursday itinerary and wanted to try to squeeze in a visit to Russian River Brewing Company over in Santa Rosa. We have a tasting appointment at Vincent Arroyo at 4pm which will last about 30-45 minutes. According to the woman at the winery, it's about a 45 minute drive to Santa Rosa from there. That would put us at around 5:30, but I'll say 6pm. Say we spend 2 hours there so we're looking at 8pm. We have two options:

                                                        Our original plan was to dine at Bouchon around 8pm. We could switch it to 9pm, but do you feel that would be a little too ambitious? Another concern is I'm surprising her with a sunrise balloon ride over Napa valley the next morning, which means a very early wakeup call. If it came down to Bouchon or Russian River Brewing Co (their beers get very very good reviews on beeradvocate) which would you choose?

                                                        Otherwise we could skip Bouchon altogether and grab dinner in Santa Rosa or someplace on the way back to our hotel in Yountville. Any suggestions there? Nothing is really standing out to me, although the Fig Cafe & Wine Bar looked interesting. As did Sazon.

                                                        Thanks for your help.

                                                        -----
                                                        Russian River Brewing Co.
                                                        725 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

                                                        Bouchon
                                                        6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                                                        Sazon
                                                        1129 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                          CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 9, 2011 01:32 PM

                                                          Dump Russian River Brewing for Bouchon. Too much driving otherwise...

                                                          -----
                                                          Bouchon
                                                          6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                                                        2. w
                                                          walker RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 10, 2011 04:40 PM

                                                          My 2 cents: I would not eat anything other than chips & guac at Tommy's. I'll admit the margaritas are incredible but the place is so noisy (college students) conversation is impossible. You can also get great margaritas at Tres Agaves (Soma, near Giants ballpark), food is better than Tommy's but still, I'd skip their food.

                                                          I adore Yank Sing (101 Spear St). They take reservations and you start eating as soon as you sit down. Shrimp dumplings terrific. I think on Sunday they open at 10 am. You can probably even find free parking on the street at that time but on Sunday there is free validated parking in the garage. (You can fill up here and not feel sluggish and heavy. Count on about $25-$35 a piece, total, out the door. I rec sitting inside, not in the lobby -- food takes longer to reach you in the lobby.)

                                                          -----
                                                          Tres Agaves Restaurant
                                                          130 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                                          1. s
                                                            sixteenbiticon RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 15, 2011 11:30 AM

                                                            This is our final itinerary. Thank you everyone for all of your help and suggestions. While I'm not looking to trump our first anniversary trip, I definitely think this one'll be just as memorable.

                                                            Saturday:

                                                            Flight arrives at 10am.
                                                            Check in to hotel near Civic Center around noon.
                                                            Check out Ferry Building/Farmers Market until 2pm.
                                                            Take BART to Oakland.
                                                            Beers at Beer Revolution and/or The Trappist.
                                                            Sight-see in downtown Oakland (Cathedral of Christ the Light, Lakeside Park)
                                                            Cocktails at Adesso.
                                                            8pm Dinner at Commis

                                                            Sunday:

                                                            8:00 brunch at Canteen
                                                            Walk Golden Gate Park (Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden,)
                                                            Shoot down to Wonderful Foods Co for Bubble Tea and banh mi at Irving Cafe
                                                            Take transit to Ocean Beach
                                                            Walk north along beach
                                                            Shoot up to Tommy's for Margaritas or have cocktails at Aziza (which look great)
                                                            Dinner at Aziza.

                                                            Monday:

                                                            Breakfast at Tartine Bakery
                                                            10am Anchor Brewery Tour
                                                            Tour Mission district Murals
                                                            Mexican food along 24th Street. Tamales at Espiga de Oro, tacos at Gallo Giro and Vallarta, and maybe a torta from Los Picudos…
                                                            Ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe or Bi-rite or doughnuts at Dynamo (check twitter for flavors)
                                                            Check out Haight Ashbury
                                                            Beers at Toronado
                                                            Pie shake at Chili Pies & Ice Cream
                                                            Alcatraz Night Tour boards at 6:15 leaves at 6:45 (lasts about 2.5 hours)

                                                            Tuesday:

                                                            Sleep in.
                                                            11:00ish Lunch at HRD Coffee Shop
                                                            Late lunch at Naked Lunch or The Sentinel
                                                            Walk Chinatown/FiDi and get an Irish Coffee at Buena Vista
                                                            Check out Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghiardelli Square
                                                            Walk Presidio and Lands End Trail
                                                            Dinner at The House 8pm

                                                            Wednesday:

                                                            6:30am check-out.
                                                            Walk over to Hertz to pick up rental car at 7am.
                                                            Pick up something light from the Starbucks near Hertz
                                                            Arrive at Muir Woods at 8am. Hike a lot.
                                                            Lunch at In-N-Out or Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine
                                                            Beers at Lagunitas in Petaluma
                                                            Beers at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa
                                                            Dinner at Gott’s Roadside in St Helena
                                                            Check-in at Petit Logis

                                                            Thursday:

                                                            Breakfast at Bouchon Bakery
                                                            10am tour at Schramsberg
                                                            11:30 lunch at Solbar
                                                            1pm Couples Mudslide and Massage
                                                            4pm tasting at Vincent Arroyo
                                                            Head back to Yountville
                                                            8pm dinner at Bouchon or Ad hoc

                                                            Friday:

                                                            Sunrise balloon ride with Napa Valley Balloons Inc
                                                            Breakfast at Bouchon Bakery
                                                            10:30am tour at Kuleto Estate Winery (lasts until about noon)
                                                            Lunch Auberge du Soleil bistro/bar menu
                                                            Frog’s Leap 3pm
                                                            Elizabeth Spencer tasting room (open until 6pm)
                                                            Get back to Yountville to freshen up
                                                            8pm dinner at Redd

                                                            Saturday:

                                                            Check out by 9am.
                                                            Fremont Diner in Sonoma or Yank Sing for Dim Sum
                                                            Turn in car at SFO by noon
                                                            Flight leaves at 1:30pm

                                                            -----
                                                            Tartine Bakery
                                                            600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                            Bouchon Bakery
                                                            6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

                                                            Yank Sing
                                                            49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                                            Buena Vista Cafe
                                                            2765 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                                            Wonderful Foods Co
                                                            2035 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                                                            Kuleto Estate Winery
                                                            2470 Sage Canyon Rd St, Helena, CA

                                                            HRD Coffee Shop
                                                            521 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                                            Adesso
                                                            4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                            Fremont Diner
                                                            2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

                                                            Commis
                                                            3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                                                            Bouchon
                                                            6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                                                            Beer Revolution
                                                            464 3rd St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                                            25 Replies
                                                            1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                              CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 15, 2011 02:58 PM

                                                              My only recommended change would be that reference to Starbucks...

                                                              When you check out of your hotel, you aren't far from the Blue Bottle on Mint Plaza which is INFINITELY superior to Starbucks.

                                                              -----
                                                              Blue Bottle Cafe
                                                              66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                              1. re: CarrieWas218
                                                                h
                                                                hong_kong_foodie RE: CarrieWas218 Jun 15, 2011 03:41 PM

                                                                +1 on Blue Bottle

                                                                -----
                                                                Blue Bottle Cafe
                                                                66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                                1. re: CarrieWas218
                                                                  s
                                                                  sixteenbiticon RE: CarrieWas218 Jun 16, 2011 05:27 AM

                                                                  Well, according to the Blue Bottle website that location doesn't start serving breakfast until 8am. Do they offer anything else (pastries, etc.) when they open at 7 or just coffee?

                                                                  I'd definitely much rather go there, (although when I went to their location in Brooklyn my espresso was seriously over-roasted) but we need something to eat and want to get to Muir Woods when they open at 8am. I've read some pretty bad horror stories of parking lots filling up early even on weekdays. I don't want to risk that happening.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Blue Bottle Cafe
                                                                  66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                                  1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                    CarrieWas218 RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 16, 2011 05:49 AM

                                                                    Blue Bottle won't offer anything beyond pastries (perhaps some savory ones), but what would you be getting at Starbucks that could be better???

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Blue Bottle Cafe
                                                                    66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                                    1. re: CarrieWas218
                                                                      s
                                                                      sixteenbiticon RE: CarrieWas218 Jun 16, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                      We just need food period. If Blue Bottle only served coffee at 7am, we'd have to go to Starbucks by default. We need something to fuel a long morning of trail hiking. Blue Bottle it is, pastries work for us.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Blue Bottle Cafe
                                                                      66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                                      1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                        JasmineG RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 16, 2011 01:15 PM

                                                                        I would call to check and make sure they'll have pastries that early before getting there and finding none.

                                                                        1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                          j
                                                                          jman1 RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 19, 2011 02:07 PM

                                                                          I've never been to Blue Bottle that early. But, will chime in that their food menu is always rather limited. Don't expect a lot of choice or a large quantity of food. Coffee is great, so maybe pick up coffee there and food elsewhere.

                                                                          Also, better than Starbucks would be Emporio Rulli Caffe located in the middle of Union Square. Website says that it opens at 7:30. They will have a lot of pastry options and good coffee. European feel (they seem to cater to European tourists at that location).

                                                                          BTW, which Hertz location? It's not clear where you will be picking up the car.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Emporio Rulli
                                                                          464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA

                                                                          Blue Bottle Cafe
                                                                          66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                                          Caffe Restaurant
                                                                          1854 Euclid Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                                          1. re: jman1
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                                                                            sixteenbiticon RE: jman1 Jun 20, 2011 11:53 AM

                                                                            The Hertz location is on 10th Street between Howard and Folsom. The plan is for me to bring down our luggage and walk over there while my wife finishes packing up. I assume we plan on getting cofffee/pastries/etc. after we pick up our car. Hopefully parking won't be that much of an issue that early in the morning. I have a feeling it's going to be a hectic morning.

                                                                            1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                              j
                                                                              jman1 RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 20, 2011 12:05 PM

                                                                              In that case, I a trip to Blue Bottle is a little drive in the wrong direction. Parking might not be bad at Blue Bottle at that early hour, but I don't know for sure. Even more out of the way for Union Sq.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Blue Bottle Cafe
                                                                              66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                                      2. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                        Windy RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 16, 2011 10:19 PM

                                                                        You won't have any trouble finding a parking spot at Muir Woods at 9 a.m., but have it your way.

                                                                        Stop to pick up breakfast in the Richmond district on your way to the bridge: John Campbell's Irish Bakery on Geary near 21st Avenue is open at 7 and has scones, brown bread, and their fabulous Belfast bap. I've only tried their tea which is Barry's. The produce store on the corner of California and 9th Avenue serves Blue Bottle and has other good provisions for hiking.

                                                                        Also if you want your last meal to be relaxing, have dim sum at Hong Kong Flower Lounge or Asian Pearl in Millbrae. Then you're 5 minutes to returning the car and can relax without having to account for traffic.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        John Campbell's Irish Bakery
                                                                        5625 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                                                                        Peninsula Asian Pearl
                                                                        1671 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

                                                                        1. re: Windy
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                                                                          sixteenbiticon RE: Windy Jun 20, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                                          Thanks for all three suggestions. Your comment about the parking situation definitely makes me feel a little better, but I still want to try to get up there as early as possible.

                                                                          I will look into both dim sum and the bakery. That bakery definitely sounds intriguing...

                                                                          1. re: sixteenbiticon
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                                                                            walker RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 20, 2011 12:40 PM

                                                                            I had dim sum at Asian Pearl and there was only one item I really liked. The rest was vastly inferior to Yank Sing.

                                                                            I have not been to HKFL for dim sum; dinner there was good quality, tho.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Yank Sing
                                                                            49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                                                            Asian Pearl
                                                                            3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

                                                                      3. re: CarrieWas218
                                                                        Robert Lauriston RE: CarrieWas218 Jul 14, 2011 10:13 AM

                                                                        Another alternative to Starbucks, Saigon Sandwich opens at 7am.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                                                        560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                                      4. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                        w
                                                                        walker RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 15, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                        You said "a long hike at Muir Woods."...There's a flat (not that long) walk the tourists do and some steep other hikes you might do. Tyler Florence likes the cafe there, they make their own fresh tomato soup and he also likes the grilled cheese -- I have not had a chance to try yet.

                                                                        After Muir Woods, it's great to drive to the very top of Mt. Tam and park and take the short loop around -- gorgeous views in all directions.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Tyler Florence Shop
                                                                        59 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA

                                                                        1. re: walker
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                                                                          sixteenbiticon RE: walker Jun 16, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                                          Yeah, my wife is a grilled cheese addict so she'll definitely get one while we're there. I might have a bite, but I'll most likely save my appetite for my double double animal style, or a cuban if we decide to go to Sol Food.

                                                                          Thanks for the Mt. Tam tip. I remember reading about it before, but dismissed it since we were pressed for time to get to our wine tasting at GunBun. Now that we're doing the breweries instead, I'll definitely put it on our itinerary. Thanks again for the tip.

                                                                          1. re: sixteenbiticon
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                                                                            feefee RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 16, 2011 12:43 PM

                                                                            I vote for Sol Food over In n Out. Not that I have anything again InO, but if you can make it to Sol Food, go there. Get the tostones and a limeade.

                                                                            1. re: feefee
                                                                              CarrieWas218 RE: feefee Jun 16, 2011 12:51 PM

                                                                              +1 Sol Food over In-n-Out (and I've eaten both).

                                                                              In-n-Out isn't bad, but Sol Food is outstanding.

                                                                            2. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                              Melanie Wong RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 16, 2011 01:23 PM

                                                                              For Cuban, Mikey's over Sol Food.
                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/753549

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Mikey's
                                                                              783 Andersen Dr, San Rafael, CA 94901

                                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                                                CarrieWas218 RE: Melanie Wong Jun 16, 2011 02:53 PM

                                                                                Technically, Sol Food is Puerta Rican - not Cuban....

                                                                                1. re: CarrieWas218
                                                                                  Windy RE: CarrieWas218 Jun 16, 2011 10:20 PM

                                                                                  Not just technically. I love Sol Food.

                                                                                  1. re: CarrieWas218
                                                                                    Melanie Wong RE: CarrieWas218 Jun 17, 2011 12:05 AM

                                                                                    Yes, that's true. However, in the post to which I replied says, ". I might have a bite, but I'll most likely save my appetite for my double double animal style, or a cuban if we decide to go to Sol Food." So I suggested Mikey's for a better Cuban (sandwich or cooking).

                                                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
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                                                                                      sixteenbiticon RE: Melanie Wong Jun 20, 2011 11:55 AM

                                                                                      Ah, I understand. There are a few other dishes that caught my eye too, not just the cuban. I was very intrigued by their spin on the arnold palmer, that sounded delicious.

                                                                                      Since my wife has already been to InO and I think I'm just setting myself up for disappointment (like I did with Shake Shack) I'm definitely leaning toward Sol Food. But, again, who knows what I'll be in the mood for when the time comes, so I'm keeping my options open.

                                                                                      Thanks for all the positive responses about Sol Food.

                                                                                      1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                                        Melanie Wong RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 20, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                        Sol Food will have a bit more varied menu (if you're ignoring the non-Cuban dishes at Mikey's), so if you're not sure what you want to order, it might be the better pick. But if you read the post linked above about Mikey's, note that all the folks who have tried both restaurants say the food at Mikey's is better. Mikey's is new and therefore under the radar, so not as many people have tried it to offer an opinion. Still a chowhound place.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine
                                                                                        732 4th St, San Rafael, CA 94901

                                                                            3. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                              s
                                                                              sixteenbiticon RE: sixteenbiticon Aug 16, 2011 07:37 AM

                                                                              I'm struggling to squeeze in a lunch/brunch stop at Nopalito somehwere into our itinerary. It would be a perfect fit for dinner on Monday, but their dinner menu isn't nearly as appealing as their lunch menu.

                                                                              Give Canteen the boot for brunch and do it at Nopalito instead? Or squeeze it into Tuesday after getting an early lunch at HRD Coffee Shop? It's definitely out of the way for Tuesday, but I think it's still doable. Or I could do it instead of the Ferry Building Farmer's Market on Saturday, but I don't think that's a valid tradeoff...

                                                                              For that matter, when does Nopalito stop serving lunch? I can't find it anywhere on their website.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              HRD Coffee Shop
                                                                              521 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                                                                              1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                                h
                                                                                hyperbowler RE: sixteenbiticon Aug 16, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                                                Dynamo Donuts tend to sell out pretty early--- sometimes the good flavors are gone by 10AM. I'd recommend picking up some doughnuts before you grab lunch, and then eat them for dessert afterwards.

                                                                                If you want ice cream, Humphrey Slocumbe is right there on 24th. They tend to have lots of flavors that sound crazy but taste great. Bi-Rite is about 1.5 miles from the 24th St. Mexican places you're going to, and could be on your way to the Haight. Their flavors sound good and are good. Personally, I prefer HS, but the long lines outside Bi-Rite on a weekend suggest otherwise.

                                                                              2. ktmoomau RE: sixteenbiticon Jun 16, 2011 05:03 PM

                                                                                Can I just add that reading through this thread, you are a really great husband for taking the time to make this so special for your wife. I hope you both have a great time and congrats. And thanks for providing a very helpful thread for others like me to steal suggestions from!

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: ktmoomau
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                                                                                  sixteenbiticon RE: ktmoomau Jun 20, 2011 11:59 AM

                                                                                  Thank you for your kind words. What can I say, aside from eating well, I like making people happy, my wife being the #1 person on that list. It's just natural to me to try to find unique ways to surprise her and make her feel special, and our experience memorable.

                                                                                  It's a small price to pay for the joys she brings to my life every single day.

                                                                                  1. re: sixteenbiticon
                                                                                    r
                                                                                    Rosedale RE: sixteenbiticon Jul 13, 2011 05:49 PM

                                                                                    I'm planning a similar anniversary trip in September and am eagerly awaiting your post-trip recap. Hope you have a wonderful time!

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