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San Francisco ’11 – Part 1

After a 1½-hour flight from Las Vegas, here we are on the second leg of this trip in historical San Francisco. Outside temperature at the time of arrival at our hotel was a chilly jacket ‘n coat requisite 50ºF, albeit calm and partly sunny.

Our hotel, which you’re looking at the view from our 32nd floor room, being the chic Grand Hyatt San Francisco, located adjacent to Union Square at the corner of Stockton and Sutter Street, which as you can kinda’ see, is just a few blocks up from scenic San Francisco Bay.

Here’s the rest of the pan of the city view from our room…

This one taken a little later as the sun began to set…

Our room…

Grand Hyatt complimentary appointments included a mini refrigerator, broadband internet and 40″ flat screen HDTV including an HBO movie package, which was nice.

We arrived in San Fran’ late Friday afternoon, where the next morning, our friends who recently moved there from Honolulu, invited us to join them for a walk around the famous Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Best to visit on Saturdays, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is located right smack on the pier between 1 & 2 on San Francisco bay in Embarcadero, anchored by the Ferry Building Marketplace (that building to the left in the photo above), which is yet another “foodie paradise” contained within itself to discover, as you’ll soon see.

Well whadaya’ know, serenading Ukulele players on the bay in San Fran’!…

As you see, this Farmers Market packs a pretty good crowd, including that group of Nihongin fellahz standing there, although it’s hard to say whether they were tourists or students.

I believe this here is a Heermann’s Gull, which are prevalent along the bay’s waterfront, hanging out for handouts…

Notice in the background, they changed the color of the Golden Gate Bridge from its famous “International Orange” to a more industrial and modern “Battleship Grey”. Nah, just kidding. That’s actually the OTHER bridge crossing San Francisco Bay, the equally impressive Oakland Bay Bridge.

This next photo was actually taken further down from the Farmers Market on pier 14, where this is called the “Raygun Gothic Rocket Ship“. Whatevahz. San Francisco can be kinda’ weird like that, with their whole “hippie” subculture thing. lol

Ain’t the weather GORGEOUS?! lol

O.K., let’s get on to what was available from the various vendors at the expanse and happening San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, followed at the tail end with a walk through the anchoring Ferry Building Marketplace

Note with the following thumbnail gallery, when you click on any one, it will enlarge the photo, where you can simply click on that photo to advance to the next photo, or click on the ‘previous’ button above to go back. If you want to view any particular photo at its full resolution, right click>view image. I didn’t include captions, but I’m sure for the most part you can figure out what you’re looking at.

Enjoy. :-)

The local farmers market is a great way to get a cross-section view of not only what’s produced locally, but also learn about the latest culinary trends in that area, as well as popular mainstays, and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market certainly provided in all regards there.

The wide variety of locally-produced dates, grapes, apples, chili peppers, mushrooms, squash, potatoes and string beans — many of which were certified as organic — certainly stood out from what you’ll find at say, the KCC Farmers Market here in Honolulu. Although I must say, the likes of Aloun Farms, Ma’o Farms and Dean Okimoto’s ‘Nalo Farms here on Oahu offer as much if not more diversity, not to forget what you can find at Honolulu’s very own Chinatown.

As for what I ate there after being temped with just about EVERYTHING, I went with the San Francisco Style Red Lox Sandwich (shown in gallery), which was absolutely DELISH’! So ono..err, em, make that Salmon. As in Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Capers and Red Onion on a crispy, supple ‘n fresh Acme Sourdough half-roll. What’s not to love about that! Especially when eaten right on the waterfront with all them negative ions surrounding you. O.K., now I’M sounding “hippie-ish”. lol Seriously though, that Red Lox Sandwich was da’ bomb diggity.

The Organic Greenthread Hopi Tea (also shown in gallery), hailing from the Hopi Indian Reservation, was an interesting drink to go along with my sandwich, having a mildly aromatic, somewhat medicinal quality to it. And rightly so, as it’s claimed to be beneficial for your kidneys, urinary tract and digestive system, while also being an effective blood purifyer and immune system booster. Hey, if they say so, I’m all for it.

Overall, San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a FANTASTIC venue that’s highly recommended if you’re in the bay area on a Tuesday, Thursday, or especially Saturday. Free to get in, lots of cool foodie booths to check out, great vibe, great peeps, great products ‘n great eats at great prices, right on the bay waterfront. Can’t get better than that!

In part 2 of “Mission SF”, we actually LEAVE the bay area and head out to Calistoga in Napa County for wine tasting at Chateau Montenela and Envy Wines. Reader Ryan will like that one!


9 thoughts on “San Francisco ’11 – Part 1

  • December 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Great photos!… still get that Pavlovian response at that Roli Roti truck (I asked my Mrs for that truck for Christmas). We also were fortunate enough several yrs ago to actually cook the great produce and meats (and Far West Fungi) at a wine/pupu event.

  • December 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Pomai, you didn’t see that guy at farmer market that sell ramein. He from Hawaii and is doing well there.

  • December 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    The lines for the yummy porchetta sandwiches are always so long (‘slurp’ – drooling). And it always seems to be raining when I visit the FB farmer’s market – the cold weather off the bay makes the coffee from the Blue Bottle stand (another long line) taste and smell irresistable! The FB farmer’s market is truly the Cadillac of farmer’s market, and our beloved KCC market pales in comparison. Thanks for fearturing one of my favorite SF locations!

  • December 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Ryan, you can have the Roli Roti truck if I get to empty the all the potatoes from the drip pan, first! (And maybe take one of the porchetta roasts …)

    Gorgeous photos!

  • December 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Mmmmmm, sour dough bread. Brrrr still cold there at the wharf.

  • December 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    bruddah pomai, you are one kine san francisco bay area local!!!!! i have always driven by, but have *never* stopped by the ferry building to sample the goods. i do have another farmers market that i go to, and that’s the ‘alemany farmer’s market’ http://sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=1058 ….it might be harder to get to if you’re only visiting, but the big draw is that there’s actually free parking (if somewhat crowded sometimes). one things fo’ sure cuz, farmers markets around the SF bay area are always brimming with local & tasty goodies. gonna look thru the rest of your LV postings! and wonderful write up + pics as always :)

  • December 17, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Raph’, I’d certainly consider San Fran’ as an alternative place to live, but probably not full-time. There’s definitely a “scene” there to keep you entertained.

    Maui Ohana, I have a future post in this series that will cover some of the ono kine’ grindz on the warf!

    Debbie-chan, I don’t what it was, but for some reason the whole time I was in San Fran’, I craved seafood. That bay’s negative ions must have an effect.

    Lois, I didn’t see the Blue Bottle stand, but then again, I’m not a coffee enthusiast, so probably just walked past it without noticing.

    IMHO, I wouldn’t say KCC Farmers Market “pales in comparison”, as of course they offer many, many food items that can’t be found at the Ferry Building Farmers Market, and vice versa. Size-wise, I actually believe KCC Farmers Market actually has more vendor booths, and spread out over a larger area. I don’t have the exact numbers, but that’s my estimation based purely on observation.

    Glad you enjoyed the coverage of FBFM. I really enjoyed being there experiencing it!

    Amy, no I didn’t notice anyone selling ramen there. I would have DEFINITELY eaten that if I seen it! Especially considering that chilly weather! There was one ramen shop in the town near the California Academy of Sciences where we visited (future post coverage coming next), but we ended up at a Bagel Shop instead.

    Ryan, surely you must have had made some dishes using Hawaii’s own Hamakua Mushrooms. Good stuff. Marukai Ward once had these mushrooms imported from Japan (I forget which variety) that were like $100/pound, with the total sticker price being something like $30. Seriously!!! Oddly, they had it just sitting out along with all the other produce as if they were no big deal, save for a sign explaining what they were.

  • December 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    FYI.. I live in SF and spend a lot of time in HNL…I love both markets but the difference is that there are way more local farmers selling their organic produce at Ferry Plaza and at KCC there are more food vendors (probably catering more to Japanese tourist wanting to just eat local good grinzs) I LOVE both!!!! Of course, nothing can beat fresh pineapples, mangoes, papayas, rambutan, jackfruit, strawberries all year round. One could be so spoiled by both

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