For Just One Day - I am Rachael Ray!
My favourite $40-A-Day Eats in San Francisco
For Dine & Dish Edition # 4.
I don't know how accurate this quote is that Farmgirl emailed me a while back. Allegedly Anthony Bourdain made this remark on The Late Show:
"Anybody can travel around and eat on $40 a day if they stiff the waiter..."
Disclaimer: No waiter was stiffed in the creation of this post. However cheap you are, please be fair with your tipping.
Last week, for the Rachael Ray Challenge, I revisted some of my favourite spots. Regular readers won't find any surprises. I've written about some of these places many times. The fact I keep returning is testament to how much I like them.
Breakfast $10.25 If a breakfast menu has some kind of variation of Eggs Benedict on it, chances are I won't be able to resist ordering it. Since living in the US I am no longer able to indulge in a a classic English Breakfast, so poached eggs and muffins have become my new favourite brunch alternative to a fry-up. On Saturday, after a visit to the Alemany Farmers Market with a couple of girlfriends, we descended on Cortland Avenue's Liberty Cafe because we think they serve one of the best versions in the City. All three of us had the scrumptious Eggs Florentine, with English muffins, spinach, poached eggs, hollandaise and potatoes $8.50. I had a small glass of freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice, too for $1.75. Liberty Cafe support local farms by buying produce directly from the farmers.
Lunch $12.00 After such a rich breakfast, a little bit of exercise wouldn't go a miss. Chances are, if you are a tourist, you are going to want to take a look at the Golden Gate Bridge anyway. If you are driving to the bridge, you may as well cross it and then take an energetic hike or just a little stroll on Mount Tam, just beyond the bridge in Marin, and burn off some of those breakfast calories. Not only will you witness some truly beautiful countryside, you'll also work up a little appetite for lunch. Nestled at the base of the mountain, in Larkspur, you'll find Tabla, my favourite place for a midday meal. On last week's visit I guess I was in a corny mood. I started with a delicious, creamy Corn and Mushroom Chowder, $5.00 and then moved on to one of the daily specials, a Sweetcorn Fritter, $7.00. Tabla are also strong supporters of shopping at the local Farmers markets and supporting sustainable agriculture.
Dinner $17.25. I gave Fred a choice of four places to go for our Rachael Ray dinner. Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Toronado, Chez Maman and The Slow Club were all rejected in favour the place I was secretly rooting for the most too - Ti Couz, our favourite creperie in the Mission District. Counting my pennies, I realised I had just enough money left for my favourite crepe and a cocktail. The Ti Couz 10, $7.00, was created to celebrate this popular restaurant's tenth birthday. It is made from Blackberry puree, fresh mint and lime juice and vodka all shaken straight up. When served, a splash of champagne is added. This drink is fruity, sour, refreshing and not too sweet. I love it. My current favourite crepe is the Mushroom, Cheese and Almond, $10.25. These buckwheat crepes are just perfect. A little crispy on the outside with a soft, gooey, cheesey, mushroom centre given some crunch by the addition of the toasted almonds. I am making myself hungry just writing about it. I didn't ask any questions about use of local products when I was at dinner, but Ti Couz owner Sylvie Le Mer was on a 1996 Draft Group creating a Sustainability Plan for San Francisco which suggests it is a subject she cares about. Organic options are available on the menu for an extra fee. It is interesting that she lets the consumer decide whether or not they want to pay the price of eating more healthily.
Total San Francisco Spend: $39.50 (not including tax or tip)
PS - A big thank you to Sarah for letting me host this, the fourth edition of Dine & Dish. Read all the other dozens of entries from people all over the world pretending to be Rachael Ray on $40 a day right here.