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Trip Report from Toronto hound

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This Toronto hound finally made it back to SF after a 4 year hiatus for a 7 day visit. I was happy to find the eatin' is still mighty fine in your lovely city. I had a quick look at the threads before arriving and made a list from everyone's recs so a very big thank you to all for making this another wonderful eating experience. Our schedule had to be fluid so I didn't really plan an eating itinerary before arriving. We just picked from the list each day and here's where we ended up:

El Farolito - this was a regular stop for the SO when he used to live in SF so we were happy to find our mission burritos haven't changed. Loved my al pastor and still unable to finish the whole thing in one sitting. Good reintroduction to the american size portions ;-)

Liguria - the raisin, onion and rosemary & garlic focaccias were as good as ever. I wish I could eat this every day. So happy it's consistent and an SF staple.

Zuni - here for lunch on my own. The service was excellent. My burger was cooked perfectly. I really enjoyed those pickles. I found my shoestring potatoes a little too salty for my liking.

Bar Crudo - we loved the ahi tuna cubes, lobster beet salad, louisiana prawns (really nice kick to them) and the uni avocado toast. The frisee salad that came with the uni was boring and under-dressed. Service was very good. We were able to walk in without a reservation. This neighbourhood has changed so much since we were here last. Great to have this place as an option for a great night out.

Mandalay - the tea leaf salad was good as was the curry sauce that came with the balada. The balada itself was a bit too chewy. The green beans with seafood and the naked eggplant were average. Much prefer Burma Superstar's balance of spice over Mandalay's.

Bob's Donuts - loved the plain glazed & crumbled glazed donuts and the apple fritter. The sticky bun and the chocolate french cruller were solid. Zero atmosphere but super friendly service.

Nopalito - loved the taco de pescado al pastor (beautiful balance of flavours), carne asada con nopales y chorizo, carnitas and the chocolate-cinnamon popsicles. Loved the room and service was excellent. Really wanted to return before we left but couldn't fit it into our schedule unfortunately. Next time!

Kate's Kitchen - back for a bit of nostalgia and found the pancakes were still as good as before but the potatoes were overcooked and the sausage patty dry. The onions in the new england flannel hash could've been cooked more and the pumpkin flavour was missing from the pumpkin french toast.

TCHO - loved my chocolate tour and tasting. Our guide Ryan was very knowledgeable and gave great recommendations for pairings with each chocolate. I had the chocolate shot while I was waiting for the tour to begin, it was tasty but too diluted. The chocolate was very good though so I stocked up on several taster packs to bring home.

Roli Roti - found my porchetta a little under-seasoned. The grainy mustard was a nice addition. Not really worth the long wait but glad I tried it.

Brenda's French Soul Food - Was able to score a table without too long of a wait (7 mins) since there was a wedding reception going on in the other half of the restaurant! Loved the hushpuppies, the oyster po'boy, the fried chicken and the collard greens. The hot pepper jelly was really good. Found the gumbo and coleslaw boring. The chocolate beignet was the favourite of the trio. Service was excellent.

Dynamo Donuts - found the place by the line up outside ;-) I was able to get one of each flavour to go and conducted a tasting with my hostess. Our favourites were the strawberry earl grey, passionfruit milk chocolate and lemon thyme. Super yummy!

Ebisu - solid lunch option, nicely prepared fish, very fresh with good attentive service.

Thorough Bakery - both the almond croissant and olive fougasse were good. Nothing exceptional, just solid.

Poc Chuc - loved the fried plaintains, guacamole and the cochinita pibil. The poc chuc was under-seasoned and quite boring. Our waiter was fantastic. The bus staff were a bit too keen, at two different times they removed our friend's agua fresca before he had finished. It became a running joke about who was going to snatch it next!

Arizmendi - the nectarine blackberry coffee cake, artichoke hearts/mozzarella focaccia and the bialy were the highlights here.

Sebo - fish was very fresh, service was a bit slow but friendly. I was sad they were out of the saba. The ingen gomaae could've used a little less diluted dressing. I prefer my black sesame more paste-like.

Park Chow - We found some solid pancakes to soak up Canadian maple syrup to celebrate Canada Day with ;-)

Tartine Bakery - loved the fruit torte, found the double chocolate tea cake too dense and uninteresting as was the orange & currant oatmeal cookie. Service was surly but efficient.

Lers Ros - absolutely loved the yum koh moo yang, I thought it was the perfect balance of lime, spice and basil for the pork. The hoy lai pad prik pao was good, the clams a bit chewier than I prefer. The curry in kang dang pak was very fragrant. The rad nah was a little too boring so would definitely pass on that dish next time. Service was great, loved the room.

Smitten - salted caramel ice cream was a delight to watch being made and enjoyed ;-)

Nick's Crispy Tacos - solid fish & shrimp tacos, generic chips with salsa and guacamole. Friendly service in a very surreal space (a bit much for lunch ;-)

A second El Farolito al pastor burrito made for a great takeout dinner at the airport before our red-eye flight home. A perfect ending to a great week of eating. Can't wait to return. I've attached my pix of our eating excursion. Thanks again everyone!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/70078254...

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  1. Great report. I'm bookmarking this, and sending the link to my Bay Area friends. ;-)

    1. great, and love the pics! thanks for posting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mariacarmen

        Nice report and i really enjoyed the pics, Thank you(

      2. I don't know which impresses me more—your report and pix or the fact that you hit 22 Ess Eff faves in 7 days without a planned eating itinerary. Great job!

        1 Reply
        1. re: rebeccakinney

          Thanks! Can't wait to return and try the other places on my list that we didn't have time for. Next trip!

        2. Fellow Canadian here, and I'll be heading back to SFO in the next month. Appreciate the report and pictures!

          1. *** raises a bottle of La Fin du Monde in salute to an excellent TR ***