Sunday, July 1, 2012

San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace

While I have been told that San Francisco is often foggy and cold in summer due to the "June gloom", for the three days that I was there on vacation recently, the weather was sunny, and on two of those days, it was quite warm.  This allowed me to see San Francisco at its brightest and best, and I was seduced by its charms.

As a food blogger, I was lucky to visit the Ferry Building Marketplace.  That was not due to my tour director, who didn't mention it, but rather to Patty of Patty's Food.  I contacted Patty before I went on leave, and she kindly agreed to meet with me when I reached San Francisco - which thankfully was on a weekend, making it easy to arrange.  (I had also contacted Elaine of California Living, and we had a wonderful telephone conversation while I was in the States, but we could not meet because my bus was in her home town for a mere hour on a working day.) 

The Ferry Building contains a wonderful food marketplace, so is a food blogger's heaven:

There is also a famous farmers market there, but alas, I was not free on the Saturday morning to be able to visit:

I had fun wandering around the market finding lots of brand names that I had read about on other blogs.  For example, there was the Scharffenberger chocolate stall:

Nice chocolate, but rather pricey:

There was also the famed bakery, Miette:

Miette's stall is gorgeous and packed with all kinds of goodies to appeal to my girlie baker heart:

From their cupcake collection, I bought a gingerbread cupcake:

Patty also gave me a mini guided tour of the marketplace, and introduced me to Far West Fungi:

I have never seen so many different types of mushrooms:

She also showed me the Recchuiti Confections stall, which stocks many gorgeous and unique chocolate creations:

Wouldn't you like to try some?

There were many other stalls at the marketplace, including Acme Bread:

and the San Francisco Fish Company:

Patty took me to lunch at Ferry Plaza Seafood, which overlooks the San Francisco Bay:

I had expressed an interest in having seafood, as it would be crazy to be in the Bay area and not try some of its fabulous local produce.  Here is there menu - if you like seafood, you'll have a hard time choosing:

We started with a half dozen oysters, served with a variety of dipping sauces:

For my main course, I chose this Seared Ahi Tuna Salad: 

Isn't it gorgeous?  I have never had anything like it before, and it tasted as good as it looks.

Afterwards, Patty and I went on a shopping trip to the Ferry Building branch of my new favourite homewares store, Sur La Table. I bought some lovely things there, including some napkin rings in the shape of bicycles - adorable.

It was wonderful to meet Patty and to have her show me around the marketplace from a local's perspective.  Thanks to Patty for her hospitality - this day was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.  Also, thanks to Elaine for trying so hard to catch up with me it was much appreciated.  
If you are ever in San Francisco, I highly recommend dropping into the Ferry Building for some food shopping and a bite to eat - it's a fun way to spend a couple of hours.