Sugar egg puffs – Shanghai Dumpling King

Sugar egg puffs - Shanghai Dumpling King
Wow, these egg puffs were awesome! They reminded me of a fried version of light, airy, eggy popovers. The interior was smooth and custardy, and SO delicious! I shook most of the sugar off because I’m not a huge sweet fan, but really these warm puffs didn’t even need the extra sugar to make them better. They’re perfect as is! 3 pieces $3.25
Shanghai Dumpling King, San Francisco

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

Vaillancourt Fountain
Vaillancourt Fountain, Justin Herman Plaza.

Sazerac – The Alembic

Sazerac - The Alembic
“In New Orleans, they like to do things their own way. Judging by this famous variation on the old-fashioned, that way may be the right way. Rittenhouse 100 rye whiskey, the Crescent City’s own Peychaud’s bitters, a bit of sugar – and a glass rinsed with a green bitter liquid that shall remain nameless.” $11
The Alembic, San Francisco CA

Mmm, I’ve grown to appreciate a well-made sazerac. The Alembic knows how to make proper cocktails so I’m a happy man!

Banana people street art

Banana people street art, The Mission.

Assorted malasadas – Leonard’s Bakery

Assorted malasadas - Leonard's Bakery
Original (white sugar), cinnamon, and Li Hing sugar. 1 dozen $11.31
Leonard’s Bakery, Honolulu HI

Malasadas are Portuguese donuts without holes! Leonard’s Bakery is famous for them so I had to try some while I was in Honolulu. Boy, was it worth it! The malasadas were fresh out of the fryer and newly coated with sugar. They were still warm when I tried my first one and it was heaven! The dough was soft and flavorful, with a bit of chewiness and a dense center. Nom nom noms! I even sent some to Seattle for my brother cause he was craving them!

Original malasada - Leonard's Bakery
Original white sugar malasada. You definitely have to try one fresh and warm!

Li Hing malasada - Leonard's Bakery
Li Hing (Chinese plum) sugar malasada with coffee.

Malasada box - Leonard's Bakery
Malasada box.

Leonard's Bakery storefront
Leonard’s Bakery storefront.

Kouign amann – Four Barrel Coffee

Kouign amann - Four Barrel Coffee
Breton cake with layers of butter and sugar. $4
Four Barrel Coffee, San Francisco CA

This was a delicious, buttery treat! I don’t think I would normally order this because it looks kinda boring in a display case, but it’s absolutely exquisite. This flaky pastry is surprisingly complex from the multiple layers and condensed form. Loved it!

Kouign amann - Four Barrel Coffee
7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2012

Coffee - Four Barrel Coffee

Coffee with cream and sugar. $2

Pink passion flower (Passiflora caerulea X rubra, Passifloraceae)
Pink passion flower (Passiflora caerulea X rubra, Passifloraceae), San Jose Avenue. This hardy perennial vine caught my eye as I was randomly walking down the street. I particularly loved the 2-toned filamentous anthers!

El Topo roll – SUSHISAMBA

El Topo roll - SUSHISAMBA
Salmon, jalapeno, shiso leaf, fresh melted mozzarella, crispy onion. $14

El Topo roll - SUSHISAMBA
This was a fun sushi roll with lots of textures. I’ve never had a roll with melted fresh mozzarella before so that was different. It was warm and creamy and the fried onions gave it more flavor and crunch. I think the sauce was sriracha based and spicy. Very good!

Soy sauce - SUSHISAMBA
Soy sauce.

Hakata cocktail – SUSHISAMBA

Hakata cocktail - SUSHISAMBA

A Samba signature cocktail – Svedka clementine vodka, yuzu juice, simple syrup, grenadine, sugared rim, lemon slice. $12

I liked the flavor of this cocktail and I thought that the chipped ice was fun, but there is WAY too much sugar on that rim! It made the drink way too sweet and difficult to taste anything else. Sweet lady bartender though!

Churrasquitos – Punto de Vista Restaurant

3 Argentinean steak soft tacos, lettuce, tomato, cheese and a raspberry chipotle sauce with arroz mamposteao (blended rice). Sweet and zesty! $11
Punto de Vista Restaurant, Old San Juan, PUERTO RICO

This was ok. It wasn’t what I was expecting. This was more of a steak wrap than a soft taco in my opinion, but maybe that’s just a regional difference. It was flavorful enough especially with the sauce, but it was cold so I was bit turned off.

Morro Castle
Wall around the grounds of Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Morro Castle was designed to protect the entrance to San Juan Bay. It’s located at the western tip of Old San Juan and is a great place for walking around and flying kites.

Mojitos – Punto de Vista Restaurant

Mojitos Punto de Vista Restaurant

White rum, lime, sugar, soda, mint. Buy 1 get 1 free $4
Punto de Vista Restaurant, Old San Juan, PUERTO RICO

Mojitos Punto de Vista Restaurant
Omg, loved this place in Old San Juan! They had the best drink specials and it seemed like the specials ran all day. They actually made their drinks with alcohol unlike most of the other restaurants that served super watered-down drinks.

La Rogativa statue

La Rogativa, Lindsay Daen 1971. Old San Juan has a lot of random statues beautifying the streets. This one is located at the end of Caleta de las Monjas along the old city walls.

Cocktails – Restaurante Raices

Mojito Enamora'o Restaurante Raices
Mojito Enamora’o. A Puertorican classic prepared with Bacardi rum, mint, lemon, sugar, and Bacardi Limon. $8

Sangria Nostalgia Boricua Restaurante Raices
Sangria Nostalgia Boricua. Red wine cocktail. $6
Restaurante Raices, Old San Juan, PUERTO RICO

These were sad excuses for cocktails, which makes it even more sad because this was the first meal of our Caribbean vacation. The cheap, sheet metal cups were the size of thimbles. I want to say that that is a good thing because you don’t have to force down much of these sugar-water abominations, but because it takes forever to order and even longer to receive them, I wanted more volume to tide me over before we could order replacements. If you’re ever in Old San Juan, DO NOT go to this restaurant unless you want horrible drinks and even worse food. I left feeling like a sucker.

Puerto Rico mural

This mural painted on a garage door in the middle of Old San Juan caught my eye.

Irish coffee – The Buena Vista

Irish coffee The Buena Vista

Whiskey, coffee, sugar, whipping cream. $7.50
The Buena Vista, San Francisco

This place claims that the Irish coffee was first introduced to the United States at this very spot by Stanton Delaplane. I like to think that this is true because stuff like that is kinda fun. The place is SO touristy, but has a cheesy quirky charm that I can appreciate.

The Irish coffee was very good! I can’t say that I have them often, but the combination of whiskey and coffee with the topping of cream has a soothing quality about it. The bartender was a no-nonsense and efficient older gentleman. The place was surprisingly calming despite the hordes of tourists!

This is what is inscribed on one of their displays next to the bar counter:

How To Make The Perfect Buena Vista Irish Coffee

1. Preheat 6 oz glass with hot water and empty
2. Drop in two sugar cubes
3. Pour hot coffee into hot glass until it is about three quarters full. Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved
4. Add full jigger of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
5. Top with a collar of lightly whipped whipping cream by pouring gently over a spoon. Enjoy while piping hot!

Irish coffee The Buena Vista

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

Bostock – Four Barrel Coffee

Bostock Four Barrel Coffee

Citrus, hazelnut and almond flavors all in one amazing pastry!  I didn’t even know what this what when I bought it (they didn’t have the labels up yet that morning), but it sure tasted great.  I later learned that it’s called  a “bostock” on a return visit.  Upon researching this delicious treat, I found out that it’s traditionally made from a day-old brioche that’s soaked in an almond and orange simple syrup and topped with almond cream and sliced almonds.  After it’s baked, the edges become crisp and get an amazing caramelly flavor.  The center stays moist and buttery and the almondy top gets beautifully toasted.  The version at Four Barrel has hazelnuts instead of sliced almonds and they sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar.  NOMS!
Four Barrel Coffee, San Francisco

Bostock Four Barrel Coffee

The beautiful, moist interior.

Four Barrel Coffee

Pastries always taste better with coffee!