Saturday, July 14, 2012

San Francisco, USA - Part 1

Californian Fun!

Lots of eating with a little bit of sightseeing in between!


Gaffa and I are on the last leg of our worldly travels, leaving the cold and gloomy England bound for Australia - home, but not straight away... We are enjoying a 3 month stop over in USA! I have loads of family (on my mums side) in the San Francisco area, so we decided to visit and get to know them a bit better- since I haven't spent much time in my life with my relatives since they live so far away :(

Welcome to San Francisco!

We arrived in the afternoon and went straight to my Auntie J and Uncle P's house in South San Francisco. They told us that all the cousins were coming over that night... Gaffa’s first encounter with my extended family and he gets to meet all my cousins in one night!! Pressure!!! We had a great time though, lots of yummy food, some red wine and getting to know my cousins better. They also arrived with some lovely gifts for us, so thoughtful! Loads of special San Franciscian foods for us to try. They obviously knew me well, or figured because I was part of the Lau family that I love any kind of food!!

The next day in the morning we went out for Yum Cha with my Auntie J, Uncle P and Auntie S. Gaffa and I have missed authentic Chinese food since leaving Australia, so we thoroughly enjoyed our usual yum cha eats of BBQ port buns, prawn dumplings, sticky rice, rice noodles, etc...

Fork for the white guy!

In the afternoon we drove down to see my Auntie A in a town about 2 hours south called Salinas. I remember coming here once when I was younger... We spent some time at her house then went out for an early dinner at a typical American diner, Elli's. Our first time eating out in America so we decided to have the typical clam chowder and red velvet cake cheesecake!! Yum!! Portion sizes were massive as you'd expect for America, but it didn’t stop us ordering entree, main and dessert!! We shared though! Gaffa even tried root beer, now he loves it. I'm not particularly fond of the cinnamon flavours though.

Clam Chowder
Red Velvet Cheesecake

The next day my cousin MJ and her boyfriend P took us to a baseball game. As soon as I walked into the stadium I saw a lady selling foam fingers. I gotta get myself one of those!! So yay I now have a bright orange San Francisco Giants foam finger!! I was told by my cousins that you go to baseball only for the hot dogs, oh and garlic fries. So first up we tried a hot dog with the lot! And it was damn good!! Juicy sausage with onions, sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup... I was kinda stuffed and we hadn't gotten to the fries yet!!

Hog Dog at the Baseball

The game started and we sat down in our seats with some beers. It was a beautiful sunny day and the game went into extra innings as the Giants were winning but in the last innings the brewers got a home run and the score was even. We had some garlic fries and chicken strips at half time. Very moreish but not good for garlic breath!! 

Garlic Fries and chicken at the Baseball
Finally the Giants came through and won the game!! Yay, I got to wave my foam finger around with pride!! Thanks MJ & P for taking us to the game!!

After the game they took us on a quick tour of Pier 39. 

P, MJ, me and Gaffa at Pier 39

That night we had dinner at Cooking Papa, a Chinese restaurant that one of my cousins P, partly owns. We had so much food that I thought I was going to burst!! Course after course, more food came spilling out onto the table... I though it would never end! Told you my family loves food!!! It was so good I kept eating it... Thought I was going to pop! Lol.

Lobster Salad, this was just the first course!
(The next week was spent in LA, but I'll do a separate post about this.)

When we got back from LA Gaffa and I went out for Yum Cha with my Auntie A, cousin T and his new wife K- they'd gotten married earlier in the year in Hawaii, the wedding photos looked amazing!! Afterwards we went for some bubble tea. Yummy pearls!! Another thing we'd missed since we left Australia. We did find some bubble tea places in Germany though, but it just wasn’t the same...

Me, Auntie A, Gaffa, T & K

For Mothers Day, my cousins J & MJ took us out with my auntie S, J's hubby A, their daughter Little B and boyfriend P on an eating tour around San Francisco. Yep more food. My family knew the way to our hearts, hehe. First up we went to the Ferry building. We waited for a table at Hog IslandOyster Company for some oysters and clam chowder. This clam chowder had fresh clams in it and was not creamy like other chowders I'd had. It was very nice but I prefer the creamy clam chowder. The oysters were nice with a squeeze of lemon. I can only have a few as the sliminess makes me feel a bit erk inside, but I do enjoy a few as long as they’re really fresh.

Fresh Oysters! 
more chowder
Next we walked around the stores in the ferry building then stopped at our next stop: Gott’s Roadside, a gourmet burger joint. GAFFA and I shared the Wisconsin Sourdough burger, with grilled mushrooms, bacon, cheddar cheese, mayo, BBQ sauce on toasted sourdough rounds. It was very tasty but glad we shared!!

Sourdough burger
Finally we walked to the car and drove to the Golden Gate Bridge for some sightseeing to break up the eating. The bridge is actually painted an orange colour (that's why the Giants colours are orange and black) and it's called the Golden Gate because of the Golden Gate Strait which is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The Strait was named Golden Gate because of it’s similarities to the Golden Horn harbour in Istanbul.

Gaffa and I with Little B 

Next we drove up to Twin Peaks to enjoy a stunning view over San Francisco. We got to experience why they call San Francisco the windy city, because it was really windy up there. But the views were breathtaking.

By now our bellies were feeling a bit empty.. Lol.. We drove to Japantown for dinner. First we had a look in some shops. Little B tried some hair clips on and also asked Gaffa to try them on. He looked so beautiful!! We went into an art store and Little B drew some pictures for Gaffa - I think he made a new friend!! He then read some books to Little B while we were waiting for a table at the Japanese restaurant. Little B loves princesses! We found a great book for her, 5 min princess stories. A win-win, Little B gets princess stories read to her before bedtime, and her parents only need to read for 5 minutes!!

For dinner at Izumiya we ordered an array of Japanese food. Sushi, squid, noodles, chicken and rice, and you can't have Japanese without sake! Gaffa thought it was water and gulped it all down in one go. You can never go wrong with Japanese food, one of my favourite cuisines.

Then there was dessert! A crepe shop next door called Sophie’s Crepes. Gaffa and I shared a crepe with ice-cream, strawberries and nutella. It's making my mouth water as I'm writing and thinking bout it, that's how good it was!! Apparently the last bite is the best, since gravity wins every time, all the filling runs down to the bottom....

drool worthy....
After a great day of eating and sightseeing we went to bed happy and FAT :-) Thanks for a great day and for letting us share your Mother's Day with you all.

We'd heard a lot about this fast food joint called In and Out. My Uncle S apparently loves it! So for lunch one day my Auntie J and Uncle P took us there. This fast food place is different, they cook everything fresh so the food is not particularly fast, bit it's your typical burgers and fries. And they were good! Not squished up like the Maccas burgers. You could taste the freshness. The fries weren't as addictive as Maccas fries but they were still nice. I washed down the burger and fries with a vanilla milkshake!

double burger with the lot

One night my Auntie S invited us out for dinner to an all-you-can-eat buffet at Kome in Daly City. Sushi buffet, our eyes lit up at the sight of the sushi bar. It had more variety than some sushi train restaurants I’d been to. We were in sushi heaven, not to mention all the other types of foods that were there too, and dessert: different ice cream varieties!! I took it slow so I could try as many different things as I could fit in, obviously starting with the sushi. 2 plates later I moved onto the other Asian foods. Then 2 plates of dessert, and a plate of fruit to make me feel better… It was a great way to end the first part of our San Francisco trip. My Uncle P said he would take Gaffa there for his birthday, because he can eat for free! =D haha

first sushi plate
first dessert plate
one of four sides of the sushi section
shashimi :)

On May 16th we left for Central America for 2 months but we'll be back in SF for about 12 days before we head back to Sydney. Looking forward to our Napa trip for Gaffa's birthday, CAOS, Jelly Belly Factory tour and also Friday Night food trucks!! And whatever else my relatives have planned for us!! More food?!?!

1 comment:

  1. mouth watering blog... It made me feel hungry...


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