Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fun in the City

I love San Francisco. In addition to being one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, it also has some of the best food. And believe it or not, I haven't even visited the city since I've been back in California for nearly nine months. I know, it's shameful.

I finally had a wonderful excuse to trek to the city- Zach, one of my dudes from college was in town. We made a plan, and it revolved around eating.

Dinner involved some amazing Vietnamese pork ribs and lamb chops:

I forgot lunch! Within 10 minutes of finding a parking space and my long lost college buddy, we were seated at Green Chili Kitchen. I ordered chili rellenos, but was undecided on green or red chili. Christmas, the perfect solution. That's how you order it when you want half and half.

Next came wandering the city. We looked in on an Israeli cultural rally at Yerba Buena, made a stop for the most amazing cup of coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee, then watched the new X-Men movie. (I'm not much of a summer blockbuster gal, but I highly recommend it- the Cold War setting gave the storyline a great structure.)

And now, dinner.

I don't go out to dinner much. I usually prefer to cook with friends at home. But this was just terrific. I had one of my first bowls of pho since being in Vietnam a couple years ago where I literally ate it at least twice a day. Le Colonial brought me back to those wonderful weeks of eating. We had caramelized green beans with almonds, duck rolls, pork ribs, glass noodles with peanuts, and wok seared asparagus glazed with oyster sauce. I'll stop before you hate me ...

... right after I show you a picture of the banana split, deconstructed with pinapple, caramel, strawberries and bruleed bananas ...

... which went perfectly with my Vietnamese coffee. Due to the influence of being colonized by the French, there are lots of European techniques and ingredients incorporated in the cuisine. One of my faves is the coffee, which is brewed strong and served with evaporated milk. It's not something I brought home with me, but I love it when I'm doing as the locals do.

And here's the adorable Zach, who will always be my friend and always be a hoot no matter how much time has passed between visits.

Don't be fooled. He only looks cranky when he's actually having a blast. Next CA visit, he'll get to experience Sonoma!

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