Archive for ‘san francisco eats’

May 2, 2011

eating cupcakes, working with cupcakes?

This weekend was full of CUPCAKES. In more ways than I anticipated! I’m not complaining though – let me back up to Friday night.

A few friends and Jeff and I went to Off the Grid in San Francisco. Off the Grid is basically a CIRCLE of food trucks and gives you a huge variety of foods to choose from including Vietnamese street food, Korean tacos, empanadas, Bao buns, cupcakes, and tons more I was too overwhelmed to look at. In the middle of the circle they have live music, a beer stand, and a place to just hang out!



We got there fairly early (around 6:30pm) so the lines were considerably short at the time (it got crazy crowded later). I immediately got into line at the Cupcake truck – Cupkates – because I heard they run out of flavors throughout the night. (The amazing cupcake I ate from this day was from Cupkates!)



I got 4 flavors – (I didn’t eat them at Off the Grid – saved them for later!)

From top left, clockwise: Tiramisu (yummm), Double Vanilla (double yummm), Red Velvet (Jeff ate that one), and Salted Caramel (Jeff ate most of that one because it was a chocolate cake base).



Tiramisu was sooo absolutely delicious. From Cupkates menu: A ladyfinger crust, espresso soaked cake, topped with mascarpone frosting and chocolate shavings.



Jeff really enjoyed the Salted Caramel. From Cupkates menu: A moist chocolate cake topped with caramel buttercream and sprinkled with flaked sea salt.



and of course the cupcake that made me fall in love with Cupkates – Double Vanilla.



This is me just before purchasing the Cupkates – a HAPPY (cupcake-greedy) girl!



At Off the Grid, the most popular truck was the Korean truck – the line went pretty much across the whole Off the Grid area. My favorite thing from Off the Grid was from here – the KORITO (A korean burrito, filled with Spicy rice, bulgogi (marinated beef) and other goods. Thankfully, when we got there the line wasn’t too long!



The Korito – SO GOOD.



Among all of us, the other foods we got included Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich), Vietnamese Garlic Noodles, Empanadas, Creme Brulee from the Creme Brulee Truck, Chicken Tikka Masala burrito, and Korean tacos. There were some misses (The Banh Mi and Garlic noodles), some okays (Empanadas and Creme Brulee), some greats (Korean tacos and Chicken Tikka Masala burrito – though my friends liked this burrito more than I did), and some AWESOMES (Cupkates and the Korito).

We will surely be back again! I plan to get the Korito and also want to try the Bao Bun truck.



Anyway, Off the Grid wasn’t the end of my cupcake-filled weekend. Far from it!

About a month ago, I applied for a Cupcake Decorator position at an amazing cupcake “shop.” It’s not your typical cupcake shop where you just go in and buy a cupcake – you order and pick up! And they do custom designs so a lot of their orders include making a ton of cupcakes for baby showers, weddings, birthdays, congratulatory parties, etc! And of course they get tons of orders from people who simply love their cupcakes!

So when people come to pick up their orders, they basically walk into a cupcake kitchen with people making and decorating cupcakes instead of a typical shop with a display full of cupcakes. A lot of customers come towards closing time though, when they sell their extra cupcakes!



Here are a couple photos of their cupcakes taken from their yelp page:

Aren’t they super cute?? They have nearly 500 reviews on yelp and a 4 1/2 star status! My heart BURNED to decorate cupcakes for them! So I applied.



After sending them my resume, cover letter, and link to this blog, I just went on with my life. I really didn’t expect anything from it, especially since I didn’t have any “professional” experience with cupcakes. But WEEKS later (this past Friday) I got a phone call from them asking me to come in for an interview the next day! I was ecstatic.

I think the interview went well on Saturday because they asked me to come in for a stauge (a working interview) the next day (Sunday – yesterday!). And they gave me some cupcakes to take home after the interview!

From the top left, clockwise: Strawberry (their April month flavor), Buttercup (their Vanilla flavor), Red Velvet, and Lemon Drop. I shared them immediately with my friends – which they LOVED!



At the stauge the next day I tried their Snickerdoodle flavor and Buttercup flavor (which are now my favorites!)

The stauge went really well. I love the environment – a kitchen with music playing, filled with friendly workers! They taught me how to make the frostings and icings, and also placing the cupcakes into boxes – which is NOT as easy as it sounds! You have to be really careful to not mess up the cupcakes. I made a couple fingerprints in a couple. =( I also zested and juiced a ton of oranges for the flavor of the month – Orangesicle!

They asked me to come in for another stauge tomorrow, which they said will be a little more weighty with me actually working with the cupcakes. I’m excited and I’m crossing my fingers that I get the position! I want to do something that I love.

Please cross your fingers for me as well! =)

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April 13, 2011

a birthday win

Yesterday, Jeff took me to a SF Giants vs. LA Dodgers game for my actual birthday. We didn’t want to go out to a nice dinner since we’d done that on Saturday, but we still wanted to do something fun and special.

So we got all decked out in our Giants gear…

And went to the game at AT&T Park.

It was perfect! It was a good game to go to because the Giants and Dodgers are huge rivals, the awesome Timmy Lincecum was pitching, we got 2nd row seats, aaand the Giants won!

I used to hate baseball and thought it was super boring. I went to the games only for the garlic fries – once the fries were gone, I wondered how much longer the game was going to go on for. But now, I actually pay attention to what’s going on and ENJOY it!

The garlic fries are still a major reason to go to the games though.

Gahhh so good. Garlic makes everything better.

I also got a Louisina Hot Link Dog.

I am obsessed with hot links. Yummy. Complete with ketchup, deli mustard, onions, and saurkraut!

The only con was that it was freeeeeeeeeeezing. I wished I had brought my gloves, scarf, and boots. Jeff went to go buy a Giants blanket right before the game started but it was sold out EVERYWHERE!

Before the game, we just meandered around the city.

While we were walking around, I got a HUGE HANKERING for a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. I just HAD to have a vanilla cupcake. Maybe it’s because it was my birthday and I thought I should eat cake, or because I had the most awesome and amazing vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting just a few days earlier and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

That cupcake I had a few days ago was so good I scraped the cupcake liner clean. The cupcake was even a day old!

This vanilla cupcake was a cupcake that my friend picked up from a cupcake truck called Cupkates. I don’t know how their other flavors are, but this vanilla cupcake was so good. I’ve never really had a strong opinion about cupcakes – whether its from Sprinkles, Kara’s, Crumbs, etc – and this is the first time I’ve been enamored with a cupcake.

Anyway, so to fulfill this vanilla cupcake craving, Jeff and I went to the Ferry Building’s Miette bakery.

Unfortunately, the only cupcakes they had were chocolate, carrot cake, and gingerbread. I needed vanilla.

So with a quick yelp search we found ourselves a half mile away at Cupcake Cove.

Their sprinkles were cute…

But unfortunately their cupcakes were no match to Cupkates.

Jeff got the coffee flavor and we both agreed that the cupcakes were a little too dry and the frosting was a little too sweet.

Oh well, that just means I gotta hunt down the Cupkate truck! :)

Where is your favorite place to get cupcakes?

PS: Look at these vulturing seagulls after the baseball game ended! I had to wonder if the clean-up crew somewhat appreciates the birds because they eat up all the food, leaving less to clean up. Ugh, gross though!

April 12, 2011

heaven in a cup

I have been wanting to go to Ruth’s Chris for a while now. For the steak, yes, of course, but mainly…for their dessert.

On Saturday night my friends were kind enough to treat me to a birthday dinner at this restaurant with amazing food and just-as-amazing-as-their-food service. I loved our waiter.

We ordered some wine for the table…

…which the waiter brought down from $85 to $65! This was so smooth and delicious.

 

And then it was time to look at the menu, which is where I became conflicted and distraught.

I knew I wanted to get the Prix Fix menu.

 

Appetizer? Hmm…I guess I’ll go with the classic Caesar Salad. No picture, because it was a little boring.

 

Meat? Cowboy Ribeye please! Difference between Cowboy Ribeye and plain Ribeye? Cowboy Ribeye = BONE-IN = YUM.

Unfortunately, my thoughts were bigger than my stomach because I could only get through 1/3 of this.

 

Side? Green beans with roasted garlic please!

Crunchy and the perfect accompaniment to the steak.

 

Dessert? This is where I became distraught and conflicted because the only option was something in the likes of “Chocolate cake with raspberry syrup.” Yuck and yuck. Together? Double yuck. So I kindly called our waiter and said,

Me: Excuse me, I have a question! Do you have a dessert with all sorts of berries with a cream like thing over it?

Waiter: Why yes, yes we do!

Me: Well, I’m looking at the prix fix menu with this fixed dessert and I’m wondering if I could switch it to this amazing sounding berries and cream dessert instead?

Waiter: It’s your birthday, we can do anything you want.

Me: I love you.

 

OK, I only thought the last line, but when this heavenly dessert came out, complete with a candle and a “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate, I was all smiles.

Best birthday “cake” ever. No, those aren’t finger swipes, what are you talking about??

 

We loved this so much that my friend and I recreated it at home the very next day! We used PW’s recipe, but didn’t follow it exactly. We used less egg yolks and less sugar.

It was purrrrrfect. We (and everyone else who tried it) thought it tasted pretty much like Ruth’s Chris’ except maybe a little sweeter. So next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll use even less sugar.

 

My dinner at Ruth’s Chris was wonderful.

Good food, good service, and most of all good friends.

 

Oh, and the Giants won just a couple miles away from us as we were about to bite into our steaks.

Err yeah…watching on the iPhone. Crazy fans.

April 11, 2011

weekend highlight: affogato

It’s been a long, packed weekend and all I wanted to do after work today was CLEAN. Cleaning rejuvenates me and just makes me feel so good (when it’s over). I even cleaned the toilet, which is the grossest chore ever but when it’s all said and done, makes me so happy!

Like I wanted to do, we went to the Ferry Building farmer’s market on Saturday!

There was good music…

Luscious fruit…

Cool people…

Good cheese…

And amazing, amazing coffee.

If you come to San Francisco, go to Blue Bottle Coffee. And order what Jeff ordered. The affogato.

What is affogato? It’s Humphry Slocombe ice cream (on Saturday they had honey ice cream, omg) and they pour the most perfect, rich, velvety espresso over the top.

It was freaking AMAZING. First they scoop the ice cream, and then when you pick up your order that’s when they pour the espresso over the top. When the barista poured the espresso, the (mile-long) line ooh-ed and ahh-ed. And even our friend who doesn’t drink coffee couldn’t stop stealing spoonfuls of this bowl of amazing-ness.

I was jealous of Jeff and totally would’ve gotten back in line to get an affogato for myself, but the line was just too long. My iced soy latte was still amazing too though.

It sort of kind of  blew Starbucks’ iced latte out of the water. I still love them though.

But I definitely had affogato envy, and I think our friends did too.

So to satiate our ice cream craving, we headed over to Bi-Rite Creamery.

I got my usual of Salted Caramel (darker ice cream on bottom) and Earl Grey (lighter ice cream on top).

So good, but I think if I’m ever having an ice cream craving while I’m in the city, Blue Bottle’s affogato is going to be getting my business from now on.

And THEN we headed to the Palace of Fine Arts.

It is so, so beautiful here. If you come here you’re bound to see multiple couples taking wedding photos or engagement photos.

Look how tiny Jeff looks!

As packed as the day was, dinnertime was just as packed. But because I need to go make dinner, and my computer’s fan is going bezerk because of all the photo’s I’m uploading to it, and this post is as filled as it is, I’ll save it for my next post.

Did you eat anything yummy this weekend?