Our First Adventure: The Mission District, San Francisco – Anna Maria Carabini

Posted on January 15, 2013

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7 Different Restaurants and one eye opening, mouth watering tour of a famous San Franciscan neighborhood.

“The Mission” is colorful, bright, and full of culture. Instead of the common nuisance of graffiti that covers the walls of most cities, the walls of this district are covered in vibrant and artistic murals. Because of the Mission’s sunny climate and overflowing culture and history, there was never a moment of boredom walking through the streets of this neighborhood. Our class walked from one delicious food stop to the next for 3 hours. With every new stop there was a new delicious surprise! Although a large Latin flavor and influence in the Mission, it hosts fabulous and diverse restaurant population offering many different cuisines. From pop-up to eatery, ice cream shop to Jewish deli, this neighborhood never ceased to amaze or please my appetite. I have come to understand that a large part of this neighborhood’s culture is hospitality. It is a place where everyone is welcome: artists, cultures, restaurants, and most importantly foodies like me!

Local Mission Eatery

When deciding on a place to eat, rarely do you assume the restaurant considers their morality to be just as important as the food they plate. The Local Mission Eatery stays true to its name. It has very strong utilitarian values and uses local produce to embrace and showcase the different farmers, businesses, and culture of the neighborhood. On our visit, we enjoyed Chef Chad’s twist on the ever so famous Grilled Cheese sandwich.

As I closed my eyes and sunk my teeth into the sandwich, I immediately heard sounds of little grilled cheese angels singing in my ears. The grilled cheese gave the perfect crunch with every bite. As my teeth grabbed what was rightfully theirs, the gooey, milky center of melted cheese and caramelized onions filled my mouth. Trying to process my overwhelming emotions of happiness and yummy excitement, my first thought was what was making this grilled cheese so wonderful?? The ONIONS! No, no, no it’s the CHEESE! Nope, the BREAD’s aroma, texture, and flavor are what hold the sandwich together! Then the underlying nutty flavor from the almond butter came to mind. It was then that I realized that I wouldn’t be able to put my finger on the true hero of this life changing grilled cheese. I came to the conclusion that it was the accumulation of all the fresh and fabulous local produce that made this crunchy, moist, flavorful happiness in a bite.

Mission Mini’s

Brandon and the Mission Mini’s bakers were sent from cupcake heaven! Their itty-bitty cupcakes are so cute and delectable many of our class couldn’t help but grab a few extra for the road. The cuteness of these little cupcakes was surprisingly out shined by their flavor. I ordered theCinnamon Horchata. Horchata is a traditional Hispanic drink that is very sweet, milky, and has a very strong cinnamon taste. The cupcake matched the flavors of this traditional beverage to perfection. The thick creamy flavor of the cream cheese icing was instantly blended and matched flawlessly with the cinnamon flavors of the cake. Upon my first bite, I was instantly transported back to my hometown of San Juan Capistrano at my favorite local Mexican food restaurant and bakery Molino Del Oro. I closed my eyes once more and let the little cupcake absorb deeper into my palate and memory, I found myself sitting at my favorite table outside of Molino’s doors. Sitting down biting into a fresh-off-the-griddle, juicy, and extra spicy chorizo breakfast burrito which I always follow with a large gulp of freshly made Cinnamon Horchata. As I finished off my last bites of mini cupcake paradise, it was then that I said to myself I could die a happy, fulfilled, sweet tooth death.

Roxy’s Café

Chef Manny creates such a unique environment and dining experience in his multi-cultural pop-up restaurant. With very minimal cooking appliances, it is shocking to see what this Chef can create! His passion for food and his restaurant is exciting and inspiring. Chef Manny stretches the traditional boundaries of many dishes and cuisines. He infuses his own Venezuelan culture with the many different cuisines that he has cooked in his career.

We were served Gnocchi alle Bolognese with a Venezuelan twist! Chef Manny substitutes the traditional potato ingredient of the gnocchi with Yucca root. As a seasoned gnocchi eater, I was prepared to find flaws in not only the gnocchi but also the sauce. With one very large (un-ladylike) bite I was struck by a spoonful surprise of savory goodness. Gnocchi with such a deep meat sauce like the Bolognese is true comfort food to me. I have no better way to describe it other than it feels like a hug from the inside out. The yucca dumplings were smooth and buttery. The sauce was a wonderful combination of sweet and salty leaving a light flavor of garlic on the back of my tongue. Just one bite completely warmed my soul, making me want nothing more but to stay and daydream of my many memories of Italy. The Tuscan countryside, drinking a bold red wine, and the strong, intoxicating aroma of my cousin Libera’s cooking in the small mountain town of Rocca Di Mezzo. I left Roxy’s with a happy tummy, warmed heart, and huge smile.

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Shop

This is not your typical local ice cream shop. Three words that pop into my mind when trying to describe Humphry Slocombe’s are: funky, fun, and creative. They create a fun, funky environment not only with their store’s décor but more importantly in every scoop. Their fresh flavors and ingredients push the boundaries of your traditional expectations of ice cream (for example their Balsamic Salted Carmel flavor).

I ordered a scoop of Humphry Slocombe’s well-known Secret Breakfast, which is made with bourbon and cornflakes. The ice cream’s consistency was more icy than creamy which I was not expecting. The strong bourbon flavor completely enveloped my mouth, and the crunch and sweetness of the cornflakes gave fabulous texture and flavor mellowing the taste of bourbon. Secret Breakfast is a perfect interpretation of a college girl’s breakfast: a bowl of cereal with a splash (or sometimes a good pour) of alcohol.

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