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SF Underground Market And Free Art Show Wine

Since I was in SF, I decided to check out the SF Underground Farmers Market. But more on that later. First, on my way there, I stopped at Electric Works for an art opening. They were giving out some excellent white wine by Bear Flag. They’re a CA winery out of Modesto, and they only do blended wines. The artwork on the bottles is also adorable and heck, the wine rocks. Now I want to buy some!

The reason I stopped in was to check out Toasty Melts, one of the bazillion cart food vendors in the bay area. What is a toasty melt? I’m not sure if it’s a regional name, but as you can see, it’s grilled cheese. I guess toasty melt sounds a bit more exotic than grilled cheese. The Toasty Melt version is made with vienna bread. I got the 3 cheese one and it was delicious! It was warm, the cheese was all gooey and melted, and I just loved it. It’s a good size too as the bread pieces are quite large, and they cut it in half before they put it in the cute little paper for you.
Ok, back to the SF Underground Farmers Market… What is it? It’s a monthly event where various people sell food that is being produced in backyards and home kitchens in the Bay Area. It is held in a different location each month and features all types of random vendors. There is also live music, and sometimes workshops, and is held at night. When I got here, I had no idea there would be a line. A long line. Imagine going to amusement parks when you were a child. Yeah, those kinds of lines. I had no idea. Ugh. Held at the SOMArts Cultural Center, the wait was really ridiculous. I mean, this really is no way to spend an evening, standing outside in the San Francisco cold. But I couldn’t give up. At a certain point, some of the vendors came outside and started hawking to us starving and cold ding dongs outside.

Eventually, I made it inside, after what it seemed like forever. Seriously, it was a long time. I don’t want to say exactly how long because I don’t want to detract others from checking it out in the future. Basically, it was a big open room with tons of little tables set up for the vendors. And they were selling food. There were plenty of sweets, including chocolates, cupcakes, more cupcakes, and macarons. It makes sense, as apparently, macarons are the new cupcakes!

Probably after the sweets, the next most prevalent type of vendors were those with jams and preserves of all kinds. Most of the vendors have some samples you can taste.

Of course there were breads. These homemade focaccias looked awesome. And in addition to macarons, there were even macaroons!

One of the coolest vendors was for someone making her own spicy spices. There were tons of different chili powders and lots of spices for indian food.

Being in SF, asian food was well represented. We had some musubi. There was even someone selling organic kimchi. I mean seriously, kimchi samples? It was crazy. I was compelled to actually buy one thing… a pork belly sausage with peanut sauce, slopped on top of rice noodles and papaya salad. Oh yes, it was as delicious as it sounds and looks! Although annoyed by the wait, it was quite an interesting experience. If you’re in SF during the next one, stop by. Entrance is free. Just show up early to avoid the wait. The wait was extremely unpleasant, especially when you get stuck standing in front of two vapid girls who work at google that just seemed to be the most annoying people in the entire freakin frackin world.

Boogaloos Brunch

I’m not exactly a brunch person, but when I’m visiting somewhere, I happily become one. After trying several times on previous visits to get brunch at Boogaloos on a weekend, I decided that the weekday was the way to go. So on a Friday during prime lunch time, we gave it a shot. Well, there was still a wait, but it was really nice and short. Finally, success!

The inside is just absolutely crazy. There’s odd art on the walls, truly odd. But you don’t go there for the decor. J got the Zydeco Breakfast, which was 2 eggs served with spicy andouille sausage, black beans, fresh salsa, sour cream, cabbage salad, and a corn muffin. He substituted the chicken apple sausage for the andouille.
I went with the Polenta-n-eggs. Like its name suggests, it is two sizeable hunks of grilled polenta with a salsa ranchero, served with 2 eggs, black beans, sour cream, and cabbage salad. Everything on both of these dishes was fantastic! And the food came out amazingly fast! I loved my beans and the zesty cabbage salad. The salsa ranchero was warm and went with everything, including the eggs and the polenta. If you love polenta in general, you will especially enjoy this version. The chicken-apple sausage was also great, and really, it doesn’t taste chicken-y or apple-y, it just tastes like straight up breakfast sausage, but is theoretically better for you. And we both loved the corn muffin. This one had some extra stuff in it, like jalapenos and other spices, and wasn’t really spicy at all, just good. Now I can see why this place is so popular. Once you get in, you get tons of tasty food really quickly. And the prices are quite reasonable.
Boogaloos on Urbanspoon

Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack

For my last dinner in SF and for dinner with A and E, we wanted something different and interesting. J had told J about this spaghetti shack place that had amazing spaghetti with amazing meatballs. We were all intrigued. So we headed over to Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack in Bernal Heights to try some of this illustrious spaghetti. I read that there would be a wait, but I was optimistic. First problem was trying to find a parking spot. That took awhile. When we finally got there, there weren’t other people waiting. We thought we’d get to eat right away! Wrong! There was actually a huge table ahead of us, so we had to wait. We walked around a bit looking for other alternatives, then just decided to have some drinks at the bar. Eventually, we were seated.
Some complimentary bread while we looked over this simple menu. Although they do have a few other options, we were here for the spaghetti and meatballs.
A and E ordered the grilled polenta with sauteed mushrooms and mascarpone drizzled with truffle honey. Yum. I love me some polenta! J had never had polenta before. Or he didn’t know if he had ever had polenta before. He officially likes polenta now!
J and I ordered the arugula, pear, and crispy speck salad with blue cheese crostini and caramelized shallots. We didn’t know what crispy speck was. It’s bacon! This salad was practically perfect, as long as you avoided the blue cheese. :-)
Ok, so the spaghetti! We all got the spaghetti with meatballs. You get three ginormous meatballs. The sauce is a bit on the spicy side, which surprised all of us. One would think Emmy’s would want the diner to control the level of spiciness, but instead, Emmy’s just makes the sauce spicy. I like spice so I didn’t mind it. J would have preferred it to not be spicy, but he liked it anyway. These meatballs were quite good, but they were not the typical meatballs you would have expected in spaghetti. Normally, italian meatballs tend to be more juicy and made with egg and breadcrumbs and things like that. The thing that was unexpected about these were that when you would take a hunk off of the meatball, the whole thing would sort start falling apart. And you would see the ground meat marks in the meatball. As if it was just a plain wad of meat that was formed into a ball, instead of it having been combined with spices and breadcrumbs and egg and mixed well before being formed into a ball. It was just strange, but still tasty.

So the service… oh the service. Where do I start? Ok, so our server was nice, but he was a terrible waiter. He made two huge mistakes. First, he took our drink orders and completely forgot about it. We waited and waited and waited. And then we had to ask him about it. Then it dawned on him that he’d completely forgotten about it. Oops number one. Then next, he completely forgot to put in E’s spaghetti order. So J and I had our plate, A had her plate, but E was spaghetti-less. And we were all starving so we started eating, while he had nothing to eat. And again, our waiter was totally clueless that he had forgotten about it. So then awhile later he came over, apologized, and said he would take care of E’s drink. Remember, the drink that was part of all the drinks that he’d forgotten about? ~Sigh~ Eventually, E’s spaghetti came out. This was after the rest of us were pretty much done our meals. We’ll definitely remember this meal. Not necessarily for the food, but for the awful waiter!
Emmy's Spaghetti Shack on Urbanspoon

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