I spent this past weekend in San Francisco.
We went to the ferry building farmer's market. I think I spent all of Saturday eating...Chocolate/Cherry Rugelagh, Almond Croissants, Peaches, Summer Squash Tamales, Nutella Doughnuts, Spiced Sandwich Cookies, Fruit Crostata, Panna Cotta, Chocolates, Hummus, Cappucino...
It was a little too ambitious to buy produce and expect it to survive a 7 hour drive unscathed. My peaches and little strawberries rather died.
I didn't like San Francisco as much as I thought I would. Part of the problem is I stayed in Union Square- which wasn't suited to my personality at all. The city was busier than I expected it to be, and I encountered snooty, hurried service in many of the bakeries and restaurants I visited.
On a positive note, I did eat at some wonderful places. All the baked products I purchased tasted fresh, as opposed to many I bought in Manhattan. Here's the lowdown:
Delfina was recommended by Dave Lebovitz and the food was really fantastic. The buttermilk panna cotta and profiteroles were to die for, as well as one of the two table breads. The fruit budino was dissapointing (I could hardly eat it because in my head I kept thinking it had to be made from leftover bread...) We had grilled calamari, marinated sardines, some fantastic salt cod spread, steak, roast chicken, and salmon...all in all it was a great meal. The only problem was our service was -excruciatingly- slow. It was a busy night though.
Recchiuti Confections was very good, though I think I need to try more chocolates before I know how much I really like it. Of the five pieces I tried, my favorites were the burnt caramel and the sesame nougat.
Some people say Tartine is way overrated and the service is bad, but I found it really enjoyable! All of their cookies were fantastic, especially old favorites like shortbread and mexican wedding cookies. They had fantastic looking croissants too.
Citizen Cake had great service and a very streamlined design. Everything I sampled was good, and the brunch offerings looked AMAZING. Fresh doughnuts with butter and jam...mmm. Poached eggs over potatoes. I'd definitely go there again. They had interesting ice cream flavors too.
I was supposed to intern at Miette but I ended up finding a paid position. Everything at Miette was pretty, but not really to my taste. I did have a panna cotta/pot de creme that was fantastic though- worth ordering again.
Sears makes a damn good breakfast.
That was the notable eating. Everyone should read restaurant and bakery reviews with a certain amount of caution. Consider questions like "How much does atmosphere and clientele affect my enjoyment of a place?" "Will I enjoy my food if I feel very rushed, or if there isn't anywhere to sit down?" "How do I feel in crowded places where the staff doesn't have much time to be personable?" "Do I like restaurants that are trendy or homey?"
I think different cities are better suited to different personalities. It's really worth planning ahead to make your vacations enjoyable.