Monday, June 18, 2012

SF Eats : Rocky Mountain, Ghirardelli at Ghirardelli Square

I have a sweet tooth and I'm a sucker for American candy. Anything with milk chocolate and caramel (marshmallows too) I will eat. That's why when my friend told me about the caramel apples in Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory, I just had to check it out.

So many choices, so little time (and tummy space)!

Cheesecake caramel apple is Rocky Mountain's bestseller.

True enough, the cheesecake caramel apple was delicious! No wonder my friend got one each time we passed by their store.

View of Ghirardelli Square from Fisherman's Wharf

One of the few entrances to Ghiradelli Shop/Cafe

Ghirardelli's Milk Chocolate shake looks a lot like my Nob Hill Chill

Order the Nob Hill Chill for a large dose of chocolatey goodness (best to share, it's quite sweet)

One sip and I was full - I intentionally did not ask how much calories my drink had.

We strolled around the Ghirardelli Square as we enjoyed (and tried to burn off the calories from our chocolate drinks) the cold San Francisco weather. There are quaint little shops in the area as well as seats that surround a bonfire.

I miss San Francisco already. I can't wait to go back next year.

Thanks to Mae and Kat for the photos.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SF Eats : Fisherman's Grotto


Walking along Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39, we had a hard time choosing where to eat (we forgot to research) so we just trusted our instincts and decided to go to the seafood restaurant that looked like a cross between The Little Mermaid and Pirates of the Caribbean - the Fisherman's Grotto.

Their Disney-like interiors had a family friendly ambiance, unlike the neighboring restaurants that were hardly inviting to the tourists around. They had great service and the wait staff was very polite and had a sense of humor.

Freshly baked sourdough bread

One of the best clam chowders I've ever had (I think it was better than Boudin's) - it was perfectly creamy. Scraping the inner walls of the sourdough bowl with leftover clam chowder was the best part.

They said the crab sandwich was their best seller - we thought it was just okay. And for those who don't eat as much - it's best to share. After the clam chowder, finishing my sandwich was an ordeal.

So when you get a chance, stop by the Fisherman's Grotto, asked to be seated outside (but watch out for any seagulls wanting a part of your meal!) so you can people watch while eating a generous serving of their clam chowder. When I come back next year, I'd definitely eat here again (minus the crab sandwich). 

Thank you Mae and Kat for the photos.


Monday, June 11, 2012

SF Eats : Miette Patisserie at the Ferry Building

The last time I was in San Francisco was in 1997 and I don't know why, for the life of me, haven't visited this loveable city during my past trips to California over the last decade. 

San Francisco was Disneyland for the food lover in me. Every corner there was something interesting and delicious to eat that took my taste buds on a roller coaster ride of yumminess.

Whether we ate fast food, fine dining or food truck cuisine, they were incredibly, well, I can't find the words to say. In SF, I hardly talked when I ate, which is rarely the case when I eat in Manila, and I think the food in our country is already delicious to begin with.

Miette Patisserie is one of San Francisco's most famous pastry shops. Located at the historic Ferry Building (they have a Farmer's market every Tuesdays and Thursdays here as well).

My friend Mae with her sister Jean choosing which ice cream sandwich to get 
- everything looked so good!

A look at Miette's quaint little shop


Various cookies and treats in the store front - I'd like to have one of these on my birthday!

My friend Katrina chose Miette's bestseller, the Old Fashioned cupcake. Their boiled marshmallow icing was perfectly executed and the chocolate cupcake was by itself already good.

Katrina's take on her cupcake of choice

Ice cream sandwiches for $5 (around 210 pesos)? Worth it? Absolutely!

Miette's Valrhona Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich was absolutely heavenly! 
It had just the right amount of sweetness.
The sweetness of the chocolate cookie and the bitterness of the ice cream was a perfect combination.

Mae's first bite and reaction on her ice cream sandwich

Miette, simply put, was the right kind of pastry goodness. It wasn't too sweet, unlike most pastries and baked goods we get in Manila, which makes each bite both satisfying and refreshing - and this was just at the beginning of our trip. I couldn't wait to taste more of these as we explored SF.

Thank you Mae, Kat and KS for the photos.


USA 2012

The United States is one of my favorite countries. I know, duh, right? But I go there not just because they have Disneyland and huge malls, but for the food (this is where the food part of the blog comes in), weather, scenery and of course, family (I don't know anyone who doesn't have relatives in the US).
My friends and I casually talked about wanting to go to the US til we found ourselves preparing for it, finding an apartment in San Francisco, booking our tickets and planning our itineraries. 

This is one of the best parts of being single. The traveling - the kind where we're away for a month and a half. Many people react violently when we say we'll be out for over a month and we're just thankful that we've been so blessed to have the means and the time to go on this trip. We figured then that it was now or never.

I organize my things on my bed before placing them inside my luggage. I'm an OC packer. I have a list for everything so I don't forget. I also have an Excel file of my outfits so that all my clothes match and so I don't have to over pack since the luggage allowance for PAL is only 2 pieces of luggage with a maximum weight of 25kg.

My Onitsuka Tiger walking shoes remind me of USPS (United States Postal Service). The guys from Onitsuka in Shangri-la told me they were walking shoes and I know some who do wear them on walking trips so I bought a pair. Honestly, I like my old Nike ballet flats better. They were more comfortable when hiking on those hilly San Francisco streets.

Travel-friendly bags to match my outfits

Coupons (trying to mimmick TLC's Extreme Couponing). True enough, I did save a whole lot shopping (especially in Target)!

Pretzel M&M's (my in-flight snack), check!

T-Mobile sim card, check!

Passport with US Visa, money (Philippine peso for the travel and airport tax and US Dollars), phones, ID, pen and wipes, check!

Just as I predicted - my luggage was full and still weighed less than 25kg (I had 2 check-in baggage). 

I really like my violet/lime green Delsey lightweight luggage. Only 3.6 kg!

The next time I saw my luggage, I was already in la-la-land! :)


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why I've Been M.I.A.

It's been almost 2 months since my last post and I think I should tell you it took that long before the next one.

Photo taken from French Essence

I was traveling with friends (and visiting family, of course) in California. The trip was meant for both work and play but mostly, play. It was a vacation after all.

After having crossed out "US trip with friends" off my bucket list, I realized how this trip was such a blessing from God. I will always be thankful because that trip was by far the best I've ever been in. I love being in a city and living like a tourist and a local at the same time. There's a sense of wonder and familiarity that only this trip could have given me.

I will most probably blog about it in the weeks to come as I share some travel adventures and food discoveries. 

I miss California but I am also happy to be home and working (need to save up for the next trip!). 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

T.G.I.F. : Thank God it's Funny (Friday)

It's Friday once again! And because I've skipped a few Fridays there, I'm doing another post on text mishaps and autocorrect fails.

Some are kinda mean, funny, some are, well, just wrong. Enjoy!