Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hotel Drisco

2901 Pacific Ave (between Baker St & Broderick St)

If you want to feel like a local during your stay, I'd say that this hotel is your place. Located in the fabulous neighborhood of Pacific Heights, you'll probably feel more as though you're in your own apartment. I recently had friends stay here and they loved it. If you don't mind being out of the way, this is a place I highly recommend considering. As someone who grew up in this neighborhood, I have to say that I think you'll quite enjoy "living" here for a few days.

Sam Wo

So simply put, you get what you pay for: bad food, poor service and poor atmosphere. Yeah, this place has been around forever. This is a place I'd avoid. I certainly don't need a place to be expensive for me to enjoy it, far from it, but there is just nothing worth while about it. Although, if you've heard about the "world's rudest waiter", this is the place that made him famous. And it seems as though there are plenty who work there waiting to fill his shoes...

To make people love you

I love to cook and I don't get to do it nearly as often as I'd like. This weekend, we had a little get together and I prepared this along with mashed potatoes as a main course and it went over unbelievably well. Add to that my spanakopita appetizers and lemon gelato for dessert, I bribed people to love me. I am really not a red meat eater in general and even I thought this was incredibly tasty. It was a fun weekend. And so, I leave you with my recipe. If you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as my guests did.

Horseradish-Crusted Roast Beef

6 lb. prime rib, top round, sirloin, or your preferred roast
½ c. prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons kosher salt (I cut this in half)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 overflowing tablespoon sherry vinegar

Preheat oven to 375. Set a rack in a large roasting pan.

In a small bowl, mix together all of your ingredients then slather the paste all over the top, bottom and sides of the meat. Place roast on the rack in pan and place in oven. Roast for approximately 2 hours for medium rare more if you like your meat well done. I did 2.5 hours for a 2.5 lb roast and it was well done, but not over cooked.

Slice and serve with mashed potatoes and horseradish cream sauce (combine prepared horseradish with a tub of crème fraiche to make sauce.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sometimes, I wish I were invisible...

I seem to be one of those people who seems to attract people who like to talk to me. I don't know what it is about me that makes me appear as though I want to listen to them. Chatty tourists on my commute home. Some stupid, stupid woman who works in my office. Chatty car service/taxi drivers. You name it, they tell me far more than I wish to know. SO. I need this.

I suggest that my blog readers take up a collection to purchase me one. lol
In all seriousness, I thought this was hysterical. :) One of my friends showed it to me and I got a great kick out of it. I hope you got a laugh too.

The South Park Cafe

108 South Park St

Yet another great local spot with very reasonable prices. You can get a 3 course dinner here (an appetizer, entree and dessert) for under $40 which is pretty much a steal for SF. Yes, this is another out of the way spot so keep that in mind. As far as the food, I really think this is just as good as some of the more basic places along the tourist paths. They had mussels that were pretty to die for on my last visit.

The Butler & The Chef Bistro

155A South Park Street

This is a good neighborhood spot. Now, you really have no reason to be in this area as it is more residential and surrounded by luxury high rise developments so do keep that in mind. That said, it is charming, reasonably priced and has a good neighborhood feel. While this may not be gourmet or a great foodie place, if you want more of a local, out of the way feel, make it a point to come here. The French toast is utterly amazing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


ExecuCar is a car service company. If you're coming in from the airport, overall, I recommend them. If you're planning to take a cab, I personally would shell out the extra money for car service. Drivers are less crazy, you don't wonder what is still left on the seats or the floor. I will say that the last driver I had was less than I'd come to expect from them (too chatty, not as professional as others) but over all, for like $60, I'm happy enough. There are other companies I admittedly like more, but the cost is also quite a bit more.

Seconds To Go

2252 Fillmore St (between Clay St & Sacramento St)

Given this economy (lol - I hate that phrase) it seems like many are looking for a deal. This is a pretty good consignment shop if that is your thing. You should be able to find plenty of designer cast offs that are very gently used. I keep coming in looking for a vintage bag I'm dying to have but I've not had any luck yet. I thought I'd pass it along in case someone is interested. All proceeds benefit the Schools of the Sacred Heart.

Sunday Streets

This is kind of a cool experience and a good way to enjoy and explore some neighborhoods here in SF. You get to be outdoors, be active... depending on how much time you have, I think this is something very much worth checking out.

What do you want to know?

About SF that is. I have my favorites and I'm getting through them slowly but I'd love input on what you'd like to know more about. I'm sure I've got restaurants pretty much covered. ; )

Salt House

545 Mission Street

So I'm back after a bit of a break and have more to talk about. I can't believe I haven't blogged about Salt House before now. Okay, now while the restaurant can be kind of hit or miss in terms of service, there are a few things on the menu that I really enjoy... #1 being the baked oysters. They have bacon in them. I realize that this sounds a bit odd and possibly like the oysters may be overpowered by the bacon flavor, but this has never been the case. So yummy.

It is definitely kind of trendy and I think the service tends to go up and down because of it, but all in all, I've been generally happy with my meals.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Dining Room

The Dining Room is an amazing restaurant. The food has consistently been some of the best I've ever tasted. Don't let the fact that it is located in a hotel turn you off. As far as atmosphere goes, the Dining Room is more "stuffy" (I prefer "formal") than say, Gary Danko so if laid back is more your style, you may not love it quite as much. That said, the service and food is top notch. I highly recommend it especially for a special occasion.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Aquatic Park

Aquatic Park is still one of my favorite places. Granted, it definitely gets its share of tourists and it certainly isn't off the beaten path, but I love this place. You can people watch, swim, play in the sand... and basically just enjoy a nice day. When I lived up the street, I used to come here early in the morning often just to sit and think and relax. Chances are you'll stumble upon it if you're wandering Fisherman's Wharf but I had to mention it anyway. It isn't a large beach at all but I think it is just perfect. One touristy spot where you'll probably be able to find me.

Trish's Mini Donuts

So here is something else I came up with that is worth it if you're at Pier 39. Shocker, I know. These little donuts are fried up fresh (really! they aren't just saying that!) and just so delicious. I actually think they are a bit on the pricey side for donuts, but everything at Pier 39 is rather overpriced so why not splurge on something that is actually worth it?

Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop

1621 Polk Street

The apple fritters here are absolutely delicious. So are the glazed. I don't really care much for the old fashioned cake style donuts so I don't recommend those. All things are better when fresh so if you manage to stop by at that time, you're really in for a treat. Definitely stop by if you're craving something sweet!

Ghirardelli Square

Okay, so here is the thing: there is no longer a chocolate factory here. It seems like many tourists come expecting such and that just isn't the case. Basically, Ghirardelli Square is now full of retail shops. Come to buy the chocolate, come to enjoy a yummy ice cream sundae... just don't come expecting to see chocolate being made because you'll be extremely disappointed. Oh and if the pet boutique is still here, don't buy anything there. I used to live extremely close and came in one day and the prices were utterly outrageous. They wanted $40+ for a collar... and let me say, it was all fabric. Anyway, that was off track, but I thought I'd put it out there. Do stop by for the ice cream.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bella & Daisy's

1750 Union St (between Gough St & Octavia St)

Bella & Daisy's is a super cute dog (and cat!) boutique. I first wandered in here a few years back just because it caught my eye. It was well worth the trip. If you want to spoil your puppy or kitty with treats, specialty collars and of course, clothing, this is your place. Great place to browse or to buy if you're so inclined. If you're someone who is in to animals and loves cutesy boutiques, I recommend stopping by if you're shopping on Union!

I love to bake... here is what I did this weekend!

Mini Cheesecakes:

1 c. chocolate cookie or vanilla wafer crumbs
2 tbs. sugar
Pinch of sale
2 tbs. unsalted butter

16 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
¼ c. heavy cream
½ c. sugar
Pinch of salt

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat over to 350. Lightly coat cups of mini cheesecake pan with non stick cooking spray.

For the crusts, in a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs, sugar and salt. Add melted butter and stir to combine. Divide mixture evenly amongst the cups and use fingertips to press evenly in to the bottom. Bake until cups are set… my oven is about 5 minutes. Recipe says 10.

For the filling, in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with flat beater, beat the cream cheese on low until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Increase speed and add eggs one at a time. Add cream until smooth, then add sugar and salt until well incorporated.

Pour batter in to the crusts, dividing evenly among the cups. Bake until cheesecakes are set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, cool completely. Refrigerate for 2 hours before unmolding.


Add 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice and 1 ½ tsp fresh lemon zest to the batter along with heavy cream. I use more juice… I basically squeeze the lemon until I can’t get anymore out of it.

After beating in sugar and salt, add 1/3 c strawberry puree into the batter. Place a strawberry slice on top before serving.

After sugar and salt, add 1/3 c. of pureed raspberries in to batter. Place 1 whole raspberry on top before serving.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Nest Maternity

1839 Divisadero St (between Bush St & Pine St)

So... full disclosure: I've never been pregnant. Don't really want to be, at least not in the foreseeable future. One thing I like to think I do know, is style/fashion. This place has some pretty cute stuff as far as Maternity-wear goes. I've never purchased anything either but I thought I'd mention it anyway. No one can accuse me of being non-inclusive. Oh... and chances are, you found this blog via one of my posts on another board on a certain website. I thought the name was a fun coincidence. Or something. ; )

Muni Stories Part I

Guy beating it in the back of the bus? Check. People ready to kill other people? Check. Sometimes live animals from Chinatown? Yep. You get the idea. After bitching about Muni to a friend, we got on the bus. I was totally expecting the typical experience and then... nothing happened. We even got to keep our seats at the very front of the bus the entire ride. WTF?! They made a liar out of me. : o

Then again, after leaving friend at the BART station, I got on another bus and witnessed and fight between Crazy Guy and Pissed Off Guy. Crazy Guy apparently touched Pissed Off Guy who just flipped out and threatened to be the crap out of him. All of us on the bus just watched with looks on our faces that simply said, "Ah, Muni..." People always miss the good stuff.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Great Homes

So I thought I'd pick up where I left off and add another famous home. This one is located at 2080 Washington Street. The Spreckels Mansion was build by Alma Spreckels and her husband, Adolph in the early 1900s but is now home to one of your favorite trashy romance novelists. The home is truly breathtaking.

Oh and if you guessed Danielle Steele, you're correct. One day, I'll blog more about that.

Dear old Dad

If you don't already know, I come from a "Big Fat Greek family." My Big Fat Greek Wedding is pretty much dead on... well, minus the whole Windex thing. My dad is basically the dad in the movie. Only his accent comes and goes for no apparent reason. The more passionate he gets about something, the stronger it becomes.

So my dad bought an iPhone. He calls me on his new iPhone to brag about it. He knows I want one. After a bit, the conversation turned in to something that I think you'll appreciate.

Dad: So... eh... you know... theh Grrrrrecks invented iPhone-eh techOlogee.

Me: Um. Dad? No they didn't.

Dad: Eeees true. I know. You thin-k I don't know? I know!

Me: Uh. Whatever. Okay Dad. The Greeks invented the iPhone.

If only I'd thought up the idea for a movie first. Damn!

Just Me

So, I created this blog originally to post about the things that I love in/about SF. That is all well and good and I've received compliments on that part, however, I realize that many may not know much about me. Admittedly, I am a fairly private person. That said, I thought I would attempt to post a few things about my life, some of my random musings and things like that in hopes that you'll get to know a little piece of the person behind the recs. Hopefully you'll still read. I do plan to mainly keep this up as a San Francisco blog, but stay tuned if you want to get to know the (wo)man behind the mask. lol I've always wanted to say that.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Everybody wants to be... closer to free

It's back! Well. Not exactly. I wish. But you too can now revisit your favorite 90s tv memories with your favorite group of dysfunctional sibs. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, chances are you don't want to visit anyway. ; )

2311 Broadway

Friday, May 1, 2009

GLBT Historical Society

499 Castro St (between 17th St & 18th St)

While obviously this is something that those who may be GLBT may like, I would also invite others to experience the history here. There is a little museum here that is truly a gem. If you saw, and enjoyed, Milk, I really think you will appreciate this as well. Explore the history of how the neighborhood turned from a very Irish-Catholic neighbhorhood to what it is today. You can see so much memoribilia, including the buttons from the Coors boycott as well as the suit Harvey Milk wore when he was assasinated. It is truly touching and haunting all at the same time. I feel very strongly about this place. Admission is only a few dollars and it is well worth the stop.

Also, since you'll be in the area, Harvey's old store, Castro Camera is just a little ways up. Castro Camera is defunct, but if you want to see the building, it is still there.

Castro Theatre

429 Castro Street (between 17th St & 18th St)

Even if you aren't familiar with SF, chances are, you've at least seen a picture of the Castro Theatre. This place is truly an SF icon. I came here to see the movie, Milk, and it was amazing. Truly something out of a different era. Even if you don't want to see a movie, it is worth the photo op.

Benkyodo Co.

1747 Buchanan Street (between Post St & Sutter St)

I don't think I've blogged this one yet which is surprising as I love mochi. Do you love mochi? How can you not? They have all kinds of mochi here... even peanut butter. I highly recommend that one. Ditto strawberry. This isn't my favorite, but there is even chocolate/marshmallow. Definitely check this place out. Bring cash.