Friday, February 21, 2014

Notes From The City - San Francisco Ferry Building and Farmers' Market

Here in Fort Collins we have a winter farmers' market. I went once a few years ago, and, while the setting was lovely inside our little Opera Galleria, with some local fiddle music playing, and a few creatively set up market booths, I refused to pay 5.00 for a dozen organic eggs. There was overpriced whipped honey, equally expensive emu oil, and, as I was to discover, dry, 7.99 a pound home-raised beef from Wyoming. But I digress.
Every Saturday in San Francisco there is a morning market at the Ferry Building by the Bay Bridge. A beautiful setting, you can get fresh produce and goodies outside, while inside the permanent residents offer kitchen goods, local cheeses, unique garden products, and much more. You can also sample some of the city's food offerings as some restaurants set up food booths and offer an inexpensive way to try their menu items. 

The side of the Ferry Building Marketplace

The back side facing the bay.

The inside with its shops and restaurants.

It is usually quite crowded on a Saturday, but that is when the food trucks are there and farmers' market is in full swing. Not as grand nor as crowded as Grand Central in New York, but it has a bit of that feel.

Remember the pork products from the last post? Yes, here is where you can get them.

All the food booths are in the back by the bay side, looking at the bridge.

You will wait for your food, but it's usually worth it and then you can find a spot with a view - on a nice day preferably - and relax and eat.

There was music with a background the last time we went.

I tried this tasty egg sando from Namu Street Food - a Korean American restaurant. It had a fried egg, swiss cheese, pickled daikon, aioli, dijon, and avacado on a sourdough brioche bun, with homestyle potatoes.

There were also these gamja fries with spicy hot kimchee relish and a few other toppings,

We sat up here where it was a little less populous, enjoying the view of the bay and Bay Bridge on one side,

And more of the city and Telegraph Hill on the other.

We took a short walk along the bay front

where there was a ferry boat coming in and Treasure Island in the background,

while the Embarcadero center and buildings are on the opposite side.

You can also see the Embarcadero, ferry terminals, and cruise up to Fisherman's Wharf for about 25 dollars in one of these.

This is art. You can Google it if you're so inclined.

Easiest way to cruise in and out of traffic along the Embarcadero is on the back of one of these, which I seem to be doing a lot of lately. 

Our destination after the Market was Fisherman's 
Wharf, which, if you have the time and inclination, is about a 2 mile walk along the piers on the waterfront.

There is a good amount to see and experience along the way - from the Exploratorium and Science Museum, to cruise ships

One happened to be docked when we were scooting by that day.

To historic information along the way, and Alcatraz landing

Some spots are more jam-packed than others

Such as the very touristy Pier 39. This was after Christmas as you can see the Christmas tree is still up.

An equally busy Wharf, but in my opinion more unique with the local flavor of San Francisco still present.

This was one of the places that was popular for our special Prom dinners back in the day.

We stopped here at Boudin's bakery and restaurant to enjoy a glass of wine while waiting for our reservation at another eatery.

Walking up the stairs to the bar you can watch the behind the scenes, albeit carnival-like atmosphere, of sourdough bread production.

And enjoy some crab or sourdough pizza from the extensive menu - or...

...You could wait an hour for a table in a Disneyland-ish-tropical forest-like-aquarium place like the Rainforest Cafe. Which is what we did. Long story, but it's become kind of a funny tradition that my daughter has grown up with and still likes to do. Ok, they have decent tropical drinks, I like their clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, and then there are the "rain storms" and "gorillas" grunting and fish swimming around in large aquariums, but please, don't come to San Francisco and go here. It is NOT unique to San Francisco and I'll deny it if you tell people I like it. Oh dang. This is in print isn't it. 

Moving on...

Happy Friday! I think happy hour today will include a bit of Opera and cocktails.

Here is a version of what I've been listening to lately...because oftentimes I just need a little Opera in my life

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