Thursday, April 19, 2018

San Francisco Food Re-cap: Pre and Post Run Eats In the Bay Area

What we choose to eat pre and post run/race plays a large part in how we perform, as well as recovery afterward. While I CAN do it, I don't go all out too often when it comes to preparing and cooking a large meal. Like most of us, my days are filled with work, training, and various other issues that don't leave me with a lot of leftover excitement for cooking. I have been reading cookbooks written for athletes by athletes, and have been learning lots of new ways to cook a meal that's simple, fast, and healthy. That being said, since I was on a trip this past weekend I didn't cook a lick! Nada. I did however try to keep it healthy...for the most part. 😎 San Francisco has SO many good places to eat. They really inspired me to try making some simpler versions at home. If you are ever in the Bay Area, and are looking for some good options, or just like to look at pictures of food (yes, please!)💗, keep reading.

The Stinking Rose

With locations in Beverly Hills and San Francisco, the Stinking Rose is ALL about garlic. Yep, you read this right. Located at 325 Columbus Ave. in San Francisco, The giant sign is what catches your eye first. Their mottos is "We season our garlic with food.", and I don't think anyone would disagree with that sentiment. When you walk in you are greeted by a friendly wait staff, giant hanging strings of garlic and a very obvious aroma.

The front entrance

Their specialty is California-Italian food and it's delicious. I had squid ink pasta with mussels, and Yuan had their famous plate, the 40 clove garlic chicken. Justyna had a shrimp pasta and James ordered the crab. We all liked everything, including the rolls with a garlic pesto sauce that came in anticipation of the meal. I did taste garlic for about two days afterward, so if you don't want to smell like garlic, I'd recommend saving this meal until after that big office meeting. 

James and Justyna 

After our meal was over, the waitress asked if we wanted some garlic ice cream. By that point we were garlic-ed out enough for the night so had to decline. No vampire would dare mess with us after this meal! 

Little Gem

The Little Gem, located at 400 Grove St., C1 in San Francisco was a quick stop for us as we walk around the city. Since it's located in a corner location, it was a good place to sit and see the sights while we ate and caught up. Cathy, Yuan and I ordered two items off the menu to share, more of a quick snack before we were on our way. We ordered the bipimbap, a traditionally Korean bowl made up of brown rice, vegetables, radishes, a fried egg, and...yep...chili garlic sauce (because we hadn't got our fill from the night before 😜). We added salmon tartare to our bowl, mixed it up and it was delicious!

The second item we tried were these little pork tacos (we had them add an extra taco so we each had one). It was so good, and the pork was seasoned to perfection! 

Bob's Donuts

Now here's where things get a bit unhealthy (but oh so sweet!). Cathy wanted to pick up a few donuts, so we stopped by Bob's Donuts on 1621 Polk St. to satisfy her sweet tooth. Maybe it was because I had way to many donuts as a kid, or maybe because our tastes change, but ever since I was 10 I have never been a fan of donuts. Bob's sells these HUGE donuts and they are a hit at parties, etc. However, if you're feeling a little extra competitive that day, Bob's will give you one for free if you can finish it in 3 minutes or less. Someone post marathon may be up to that haha!

Are you up to the giant donut challenge?

We grabbed a seat at the bar and I did try some of their apple fritter, which was freshly fried and so good! It tasted like an apple pie but only about 100 times better. They also have an entire wall of donut art for the donut aficionados out there! How cute is this??

Bob's Donut's is so cute and one of a kind, not to mention the staff working behind the counter and making the fritters and donuts were a blast to meet and talk to! Check this place out if you are in the Bay Area and have a hankering for something sweet.

I could come up with donut puns all day.


Nojo Ramen Tavern has been the BEST ramen I have ever eaten hands down. Located on 231 Franklin Street, we decided to meet up here for an early brunch or late breakfast, however you want to look at it. When we arrived a few minutes before opening, there was already 5-6 people standing at the door, a very good sign. We ordered a few different appetizers, including a Nojo Salad, Nikumaki Rice Balls and Chicken Nanban, served with a sriracha type sauce on it that if given the chance I would eat everyday. Nojo is known for it's Chicken Paitan Soy Sauce Ramen, which is to die for. I ordered the seasonal veggie ramen, and I am still dreaming about it today. It came in a curry broth with noodles, edemame, alfalfa sprouts, pumpkin, peppers, lotus, and veggie balls (I don't know what these are called). I also separately ordered a soft boiled egg to add. The flavors worked together to create something out of this world. I highly recommend Nojo, and will be visiting them again on my next trip to the city. If you know of any places this good in Houston I'd love to try them out! 

Nojo Salad

My veggie curry ramen

The Boba Guys

What is a trip anywhere without some Boba Tea?? After our Sunday visit to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, we walked a few blocks down to Boba Guys on 836 Divisadero St. Boba Guys has some really good boba tea, as well as different milk options to serve in the tea. I always avoid milk teas due to being lactose intolerant, but one of the milks they offer here is oat milk. I tried some oat milk in my matcha tea and it was so good! It was sweet and had an oaty taste, but mixed perfectly with the drink itself. Right after we got our teas the line got super long and was snaking out the door, so we happened to time our visit perfectly. Boba Guys also offers a small place for brunch. You walk down a hallway through the initial drink serving area and then it's a mystery. We didn't go in there. Maybe a new world of possibilities opens up, I wouldn't know. This place is on my list of re-visits though.

Cathy and the amazing tri-colored tea: matcha, oatmilk, and strawberry

New Village Café

My friends and I saw an interactive play titled Compton's Cafeteria Riot, presented by the Tenderloin Museum. It was in interactive historic play, recounting the events in the 1960's leading up to the famous LGBT riots that took place in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco. Dress was 60's attire, how fun! The acting was incredible, and since the play was put on at the New Village Café, dinner was provided as part of our ticket (they were all sold out by the way). We got to eat (we had the option of pancakes and sausage or veggies and potatoes, which is what I was simple, good, and hit the spot), watch a play and feel the historical significance of the area. The blocking of the play was really well done, as the actors performed to the sides of us, as well as in the aisle in front and behind the bar. They entered and exited through the front door and the kitchen area.
I absolutely loved dinner and a show with friends, and would love to see a production like this one day again. 

Our "second row" seating, looking at the bar patrons

Some of the actors making their way across the floor after the play to take their bows

Have you been to the bay area, and if so, what is your favorite pace to eat? I would love any suggestions in Texas as well. 😀

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