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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Local Flavor: A Carb-and-Caffeine-Fueled Walk Across San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2009 at 5:08 PM

click to enlarge Victoria Pastry: Perfect for a brioche pit stop - SNEEDY VIA FLICKR
  • sneedy via Flickr
  • Victoria Pastry: Perfect for a brioche pit stop
One of the best ways to appreciate San Francisco is to cross it on foot, coast to coast, an ideal weekend activity. Of course an undertaking like this demands plenty of tasty vitamins and minerals, which are available in abundance no matter what trail you happen to take.

Last week we took the northern route from the Embarcadero to the Cliff House via Pacific Heights and the Richmond, and decided to kick things off with wonderfully chewy, savory asiago rolls from the Acme bakery in the Ferry Building.

By the time we got to North Beach it was time for a light-as-air brioche from Victoria Pastry (you can't have too many carbs on an outing like this), and after crossing Russian Hill at its most vertiginous we really needed a cup of joe from Peet's at Larkin and Vallejo.

click to enlarge Grilled prawns at PPQ Dungeness Island - <3:NESSA VIA FLICKR
  • <3:nessa via Flickr
  • Grilled prawns at PPQ Dungeness Island
All of those Pacific Heights mansions took our minds of food for several minutes, but by the time we got to PPQ Dungeness Island at foggy, windy 24th and Clement we were ready for big bowls of soul-satisfying pho, rice platters topped with grilled jumbo prawns, buttery noodles fragrant with garlic and a bottle or two of Tsing Tao beer.

The Cliff House was too crowded for the Ramos we'd been dreaming about since Battery and Pacific, but the Beach Chalet just down the coast was a cozy place to sip at the edges of a Fleishhacker Stout and congratulate ourselves on conquering the city's hilly breadth.

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Matthew Stafford


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