Stuffed falafel – Old Jerusalem

Stuffed falafel - Old Jerusalem
Chickpea fritters stuffed with fried onions, roasted sumac and pine nuts. Each $1.25
Old Jerusalem, San Francisco CA

Wow, who knew stuffing a falafel would taste SO good?! I loved the filling they use – it has so much flavor and it keeps the inside nice and moist. These fried balls are pretty big so one was enough for me to snack on with my shawerma.

Stuffed falafel - Old Jerusalem
7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2013

Contemporary Jewish Museum
Contemporary Jewish Museum.


Starters and sides – Wayfare Tavern

Wayfare caesar - Wayfare Tavern
Wayfare Caesar: soft egg, boquerones, garlic confit, herbed breadcrumbs. $13
Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco CA

This was a very yummy deconstructed version of a caesar salad. I loved all the different components.

Steamed Prince Edward Island mussels - Wayfare Tavern
Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels: shaved Buddha’s hand, bay leaf, creme fraiche, uni butter. $15

The description of this dish sounded way better than what it was. The dish fell a little flat in my eyes and didn’t deliver all the flavor that the ingredients promised.

Baked macaroni and cheese - Wayfare Tavern
Baked Macaroni and Cheese: Vella dry jack, smoked olive oil. $9

Another ok dish. This wasn’t special or exciting.

Crispy brussels sprouts - Wayfare Tavern
Crispy Brussels Sprouts: garlic, pine nuts, parmesan. $8

These were delicious! I loved the texture of the brussels sprouts and they tasted amazing.

Lebanese kibbeh – La Mediterranee

Lebanese kibbeh - La Mediterranee
Local, grass-fed fresh ground lamb and cracked wheat, seasoned and baked with pine nuts. Served with green salad, fruit and cheese. $13.95
La Mediterranee, San Francisco CA

I had NO idea what I was ordering, and when it came out it was NOT what I was imagining, lol! But it was SO frickin’ good! It’s kind of like a very moist, flavorful lamb meatloaf. I really enjoyed it, and it was large enough that I took some home and enjoy it the next day. Heck yeah!

Complimentary cookies - Le Mediterranee
Complimentary cookies with the check.

Colorful painted van
Colorful painted van, 16th Street.

Beet and halumi cheese salad – Cafe Mystique

Beet and halumi cheese salad - Cafe Mystique
Mixed greens, pine nuts, black, olives, balsamic vinaigrette. $8
Cafe Mystique, San Francisco CA

Halumi (halloumi) is a goat/sheep cheese from Cyprus. It’s hard-ish and dry and it was fried before being added to this tasty salad. The halumi was on the salty side so it was great to have the beets to balance it out. The salad was over-dressed, however. 😦

Native American "street performer", Union Square
Native American “street performer” near Union Square. Like any other touristy city, San Francisco has its share of “street performers” who do nothing more than dress up in various costumes and expect money in return. Not impressed. My favorite part of this pic is the guy in the back with the snowman cardigan, hilarious!

Hummus – Cafe Mystique

Hummus - Cafe Mystique
Blended chick peas (garbanzo beans) with olive oil, pine nuts, parsley, pickled beets, and sprinkled with sumac spice. Happy hour $2.95
Cafe Mystique, San Francisco CA

Wow, less than three bucks and SO delicious! What a value! The hummus was light and creamy, and the toppings added even more texture and flavor. Noms!

Chinatown, Grant Avenue

Chinatown, Grant Avenue. I don’t make it out to Chinatown very often because it’s out of the way and can be a total tourist trap, but there are so many cool stores and restaurants there. It’s great to live in a city that is so diverse!

Georges Bank sea scallops “confit” – The French Laundry

Fava beans, piquillo peppers, braised pine nuts and serrano ham vinaigrette. Chef’s Tasting Menu $270
The French Laundry, Yountville CA

Hmm, compared to the rest of the meal this was probably one of my less(er) favorites. There was an unpleasant bitterness from the combination of pine nuts, scallop, and vinaigrette. It didn’t all taste bad, but it was too sharp on my palate. The scallop was super soft and tender though!

Homemade glutinous rice cakes – Benu

Project 365: Day 107

Yay, I’m back in San Francisco! And apparently, the weather has been frickin’ amazing. It’s the early evening and it’s still very warm outside. Ah, how I’ve missed you, my home! Whenever I get back from a trip, I always crave certain food. The first thing I did when I got back was order delivery from Mission Chinese Food. I needed something spicy and with punch-you-in-the-face flavor, and MCF always does it for me.

Honestly, I shouldn’t be eating again since I had a large and delicious brunch buffet at Wicked Spoon in The Cosmopolitan this morning. I was hungry again at the airport so I had a Whopper Jr. from Burger King. Argh, I can’t believe I did that!

Homemade glutinous rice cakes Benu

With pine nut, pumpkin, black truffle, garnished with flat leaf parsley. Pre fixe dinner $180
Benu, San Francisco

Wow, this dish was amazing! It was like a pumpkin gnocchi. The texture was different, but the flavors were warm, delicious, Italian. I loved that this wasn’t what I expected when I read the description. “Glutinous rice” doesn’t conjure up Italy in my mind, but I was pleasantly surprised. Everything work perfectly together and the flavors were absolutely spot on! Noms!

Homemade glutinous rice cakes Benu

Cecilia’s minced chicken – Betelnut Restaurant

Cecilia's minced chicken Betelnut Restaurant

With black mushrooms, lup cheong (Chinese sausage), green onions, pine nuts, and iceberg lettuce cups. $11.88
Betelnut Restaurant, San Francisco

This was pretty tasty but I expected it to be so much better. It didn’t come off as very special, but I did like the flavors and how the lettuce cups were trimmed and stacked.

Cecilia's minced chicken Betelnut Restaurant

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010, 2011

Eggplant caponatina – Beretta

Eggplant caponatina Beretta

Fried Japanese eggplants with cherry tomatoes, celery, basil, capers, Sicilian green olives, toasted pine nuts, white balsamic vinegar, and topped with a generous portion of burrata cheese. $9
Beretta, San Francisco

Wow, Beretta doesn’t skimp on the burrata cheese for this dish!  I personally love buratta.  The cream filled fresh mozzarella cheese acquires such a creamy, luscious texture.  It’s absolutely divine.  I’ve never had eggplant caponata before this, but I really enjoyed it.  The dish was very flavorful and the fresh vegetables, basil and pine nuts helped to brighten the fried eggplants.  There’s a lot going on here, but they all work.  The buratta is additional, but I highly recommend ordering it.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed this dish half as much sans the buratta!