Saturday, December 28

Around and about San Francisco

If you want to spend your short vacation somewhere in the North America and feel like you're not there, want to be in a relatively small city that still has everything that a metropolis has, be in a place that accepts all diversities- cultural, ethnic and political and still has even more to give including sunshine, San Francisco is your place!

To see:
If you located in Downtown, like me, any direction you pick will eventually lead you to some incredible place. Transit system is good, although you need to be map wizard to understand how to get somewhere. Cable cars, I suggest, use only if you have loads of time to "kill". Don't think to use it to get somewhere on time, because you'll not.

To eat:

Anywhere you go around San Francisco, you'll find amazing places to eat, and up to anybodies taste, from simple and fast to more sophisticated. In one word, food is really good here and people care how and what they eat. Go for local cafe shops and bakeries for breakfast, little restaurants and bistros at Ferry Market building or Fisherman's Wharf or Pier 39 for an enjoyable lunch and for a diner be more smart and reserve your favourite place in advance, especially if you're planning to eat in Downtown area, otherwise, plan to spend few hours waiting and looking for a free spot.

Pier 39

Little Italy
Fisherman's Wharf

Famous Sourdough bakery
 This sourdough bakery is where the first sourdough bread was made. You can see the production of the dough, see creative breads, eat and enjoy the whole experience of authentic San Francisco bread.

Trieste café is where Francis Coppola created "The Godfather"

Fisherman's Wharf food experience 

Quite authentic food can be found around cities restaurants, like these tripe meal in Basque tapa place 

San Francisco is an artistic city, and every corner is worth viewing, so plan ahead. I loved Little Italy and Chinatown, and riding the cable cars was quite an experience. 
Sunny San Francisco is a really lovable city and I will be back, for sure!


Cioppino is a San Francisco originally made fish soup, created in1850s by Genoese immigrant Giuseppe Bazzuro.  Ciuppin—"little soup" in the Genoese dialect was originally a purée of cooked vegetables and leftover fish.
Later, trough the years, chefs of San Francisco Bay area converted the soup into a gourmet stew by adding local sea food specialties such as dungeness crab, local halibut etc..

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped
1⁄2 small fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
2  large cans crushed Italian tomatoes
few bay leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
2 pinches cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 lbs. halibut filet, cut into large pieces
½ lb sea scallops
½ lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1⁄2 lb. raw bay shrimp, if available, or smallest shrimp
   available, peeled
1–2 cups flour
½ lb fresh crabmeat, preferably dungeness, picked over
2 cups dry white wine
1 lb manila clams, scrubbed
1⁄2 bunch parsley, chopped

Heat the oil  in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Add carrot, celery, peppers, leeks, and fennel and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, 4 cups water, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, basil, and cayenne and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

Heat little bit of olive oil and cook garlic in a large, heavy skillet over high heat until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Working in 2 batches, bake halibut, scallops, and large and bay shrimp in flour, shaking off excess, turning seafood frequently, until golden, 1–2 minutes. Transfer seafood with a slotted spoon to pot with sauce, and add crabmeat, cover, and simmer for 10–15 minutes.

Add wine to same skillet over high heat, scraping browned bits stuck to bottom of skillet. Add clams, cover, and cook until shells open, about 5 minutes. (Discard any clams that don't open.) Add clams and broth to pot; adjust seasonings. Serve soup into large bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve with toasted sourdough bread, if you like.

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