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What to take for friends in San Francisco

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  • parth Feb 29, 2012 02:11 PM
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Hey All - I am going to visit some friends in SF for a few days. I was thinking of takin something (food or related) from new york on a flight. The flight leaves in the evening and gets there at late night so whatever I take will probably be eaten next morning (at the earliest). Any suggestions?

I thought of pizza/bagels but pizza will not last (unless I get some frozen one but then what's the point) and bagels would be tough by morning. I couldn't think local artisanal (read Brooklyn :) ) goodies which wouldn't be available with equally good quality in San Francisco. I am left with pickles (Gus's or mclures or something) or some tea from McNulty's.

Any suggestions would be appreicated. The only constraint is that it doesn't spoil on the flight and it *doesn't have pork*.

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  1. I'd probably do a selection of items: pickles, chocolate babka, black and white cookies, honey, maple syrup, maybe some locally made candies/chocolates (assuming you are checking the liquids in your luggage and not carrying them on).

    Here is a list of items that I posted in another thread, with the perishable items removed. The babka will probably keep for a little bit, like the black and white cookies, but not for too long. Bagels will probably not last longer than the day of the flight. If you do bring them, put them into a ziploc bag, try to remove all the air, and freeze immediately upon arrival. And don't get the stinkier ones!

    - Green's babka (sold at Zabar's and at Russ & Daughters)

    - A jar of pickles from Brooklyn Brine Co., Rick's Picks, or McClure's Pickles - all available at Murray's Cheeses and other stores around town

    - Buttercrunch from Roni-Sue's

    - Salsa from the Brooklyn Salsa Company

    - A bar or two of chocolates from Mast Brothers - they have a shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    and are sold at Whole Foods as well as Murray's, I like the olive oil/sea salt ones as well as the black truffle (!) ones

    - Handmade candy bars from Liddabit

    - NYC honey from Andrew's Local Honey, which is grown on various rooftop hives throughout the city - available at various Greenmarkets

    - Also at the Greenmarket:

    Oak Grove for grains (and I think they have some interesting flours and pancake mix, as well as corn for popping)

    Catskill Merino for hand-dyed yarn

    3 Corner Field for wool, milk soap, hats, sweaters, sheepskins, etc.

    Jams from Berkshire Berries (he has unusual ones like garlic jam and pepper jam) or Beth's

    Deep Mountain's maple syrups

    Wines from Anthony Road, Buzzard Crest

    Hawthorne Valley Farm for granola.

    Some farmers may still have apple butter, and/or kimchi. Check GrowNYC for who'll be at the Union Square Greenmarket on what days. I like Fridays.

    - William J. Greenberg Black and White cookies

    - A bottle of Fox's U-Bet with instructions on how to make an egg cream

    - Some jams from Sarabeth's bakery

    - Hot chocolate mix from Jacques Torres or MarieBelle

    - A pound of coffee beans from Gimme! Coffee, Ninth Street Espresso, Abraco

    - Breuckelen Distilling Company's gin, Fire Island Beer Company or Brooklyn Brewery beer, or some local NY State or Long Island wines

    - Kings County Distillery bourbon

    - I think some of the vendors at the Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasburg have items that are prepackaged

    - A copy of Edible Manhattan, Brooklyn, and/or Queens

    -----
    Russ & Daughters
    179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

    Jacques Torres
    350 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

    Murray's Cheese
    254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Union Square Greenmarket
    Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

    Zabar's
    2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

    Roni-Sue's Chocolates
    120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

    Ninth Street Espresso
    700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

    Sarabeth's Bakery
    75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

    Abraco
    86 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003

    MarieBelle
    484 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

    William Greenberg Jr. Desserts
    1100 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10028

    Gimme! Coffee
    228 Mott St, New York, NY 10012

    Whole Foods
    95 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

    Liddabit Sweets
    New York, New York, NY 10001

    1. Many ítems listed by the poster and Kathryn are available in SF, including all the pickles mentioned and Sarabeth's, or are well-represented there. I myself am no stranger to taking "coal to Newcastle," having once taken to SF a salami from Zabar's that turned out to be made in SF. What cannot be found in SF is NY deli (including bagels) and the SF/East Bay Chowhound threads periodically discuss this. I also think if you have a favorite dish from a cuisine not available there your friends would like to try that. But as they say, it is the thought that counts.

      1. I live in SF. If you were visiting me I'd ask you to bring me a whole pastrami from Katz's.

        2 Replies
        1. re: virtualguthrie

          I used to live in the Bay Area, what every New Yorker I know who lived out there wants is NYC Bagels ( maybe from H&H), and definitely Pastrami or Corned Beef from Katz's. Katz;s knows how to wrap it , to keep it fresh for travel. They even ship all over.

          -----
          Katz's Delicatessen
          205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            the bagels may be tough the next AM by NYC standards but they'll still beat the shit out of any fresh found in SF. those and a care package of smoked whitefish and lox from Russ or Zabar's and the spare room or couch would be yours as long as you liked (or as long as they lasted) if I were the host.

        2. My SF friends usually bring home pastrami and Momofuku Milk Bar cookies.

          1. One stop shopping at Russ and Daughters. They will pack smoked fish with ice packs, I do it often for flights to LA. Bagels, bialys, and pletzels (try finding those in SF) will be fine the next morning (they use plastic bags). They also carry a great dark rye which stays fresh for several days, and is terrific with smoked salmon. Don't forget a babka. And the candy counter.

            -----
            Russ & Daughters
            179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chuck Lawrence

              I have a hunch (and I'm willing to lay money on it) that 9 out 10 people in SF don't know what bialy, pletzel or even knish are. don't get me wrong as when SF gets something right it goes out of the park, but there are a few things that are rare and hard (near impossible) to find.

            2. Bagels from Ess-A-Bagel and bialys from Kossars. As long as they are not hot you can put them in zip lok bags and freeze them when you get home. They freeze well. When I want a bagel in the morning I switch one from the freezer to the fridge so it will be defrosted in the AM. Sliced in half and very lightly toasted makes them almost as good as right out of the oven.

              -----
              Kossar's Bialys
              367 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

              Ess-a-Bagel
              359 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010

              Ess-a-Bagel
              831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022

              1. Wines from the Finger Lakes region, especially the natural (not cryo-extracted) ice wines. I live in SF and have almost never seen any NY State wines here.