I feel like I’m reminiscing a holiday romance. Heart longing, stomach rumbling. Recalling that first bite…first thrilling taste that got my heart beating faster..rendered me a little breathless. I find myself doing the …head to on side…. goon smile, as I pour over slide-shows of entrees I’ve set on ‘continuous’.. I jealously wonder who is enjoying you now? SAN FRANCISCO. Five weeks were not long enough……so many VEGAN options…so little time..
How do I whittle it all down?… WRITE A LIST!?
This is by no means an extensive list of ALL the vegan places or vegan friendly joints in SF, that would take a lifetime. Though I would be very happy to make it my life’s work! Here is my ‘buffet’ list. Mostly from eateries in the Mission District…
BEST SALAD…Persimmon with chipotle vinaigrette from Gracias Madre. So amazing, the flavours and textures are fresh…triumphant almost. Like a party where everyone gets on well.
BEST FRENCH FRY………..Pica Pica. Garlicky, salty, with a happy crunch and a little oozie oiliness.
|Garlicky yucca fries and crispy, salty plantains…Oh sweet Jesus these were DELIGHTFUL|
BEST TAMALE – (I obsessively, sampled a few)…One in the Sunshine Cafe, the Tamales de los dias served up at Gracias Madre, Amy’s Kitchen (frozen but not to be sniffed at), I’d made a promise to sample one in Sugarlump, a retro cafe in the Mission…this was not to be. They were good, but all them were beaten hands down, by a fling with a perfectly spiced and spongy, sweet bean tamale, handmade, organic and delivered STEAMING to your door by La Guera Tamalera. I know, I know, it is not from San Francisco but Silverlake, Los Angeles. But I’d moved on..I needed a hit…It isn’t cheating!
|PICA PICA –|
|Yes…I ate the WHOLE LOT! The arepas were stuffed with deep fried plantains, avocado, perfectly seasoned black beans and a warm tomato salsa|
BEST VENEZUELAN – Pica Pica Maize Kitchen. Pica, meaning a little bit of this..a little bit of that…Their menu is gluten free and VEGAN friendly. Their arepas are corn flour cakes. Soft on the inside but crispy on the outside.
BEST MEXICAN – Gracia’s Madre
|VEGAN FROZEN DINNER! WOW!|
BEST ‘GRAB IT FROM THE FREEZER’ ENTREE….Joint first listing goes to…
|GRAB IT FROM THE FREEZER|
|Oh so moreish…they make chocolate flavour too….One for my ‘to try’ list..|
BEST SNACK – KALE CHIPS! Blue Mountain Organics. AN EXPENSIVE ADDICTION! But SO blooming good!
BEST RAW – Lydia’s Kitchen. The Varta Plate . I enjoyed this TASTE SENSATIONAL raw entree at a Green Fayre in the Bay and the drove all the way to Fairfax..across the Bridge, to have Varta, The sequel.
|Not very photogenic but filling and DELICIOUS. Vegan sourcream, nacho cheese, creamy avocados and curried cashew cheese.|
MOST INNOVATIVE VEGAN CREATORS – Gracias Madre. Hands down…Their quesos blancos, nachos cheese and guac, partnered with their home-grown, heirloom corn is nothing short of hands in the air, praise be, gorgeousness.