Mission Neighborhood Food Tour- Maureen Kaprosch

Posted on January 24, 2014

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This past Friday I went on a food tour through the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. Before I begin to describe the endless fulfilling tastes I was introduced to, I want to say I was blown away and very much intrigued by the food we got to sample. The neighborhood in the Mission in which we became familiar with as we walked along the the streets for three hours gave us a glimpse into how diverse and culturally the Mission was. The Mission has always been a primarily Hispanic neighborhood but has continued to grow to accept people of all different nationalities and has built strong connections with one another. The first stop on our tour was a place called Mission Minis. Mission minis has been a local bakery which serves different types of mini cupcakes. As I walked in I scanned by eyes among the choices in front of me, it was overwhelming let me tell you. The options I had were Meyer Lemon Creme, Peanut Butter Kiss, Classic Vanilla, Double Chocolate, Ruby Red Velvet, and Cinnamon Horchata. I chose the classic red velvet cupcake. Taking my first bite of the cupcake, I felt my teeth sink into the top layer of cream cheese frosting. Finally tasting the red velvet batter with the cream cheese began to slowly melt onto my tongue. The red velvet cupcake was moist and fluffy until it dissolved away and I quickly put the second half of the mini cupcake into my mouth. There is now better way than starting off your morning with a little sugary kick. Image
Making our way through the neighborhood, our next location was a Jewish Delicatessen, called Wise Sons. Wise Sons is known for the freshly baked bread and signature pastrami sandwiches. They have endless options and favorites, but our group tour got to try there famous pastrami sandwich on rye bread. I personally have never been a huge pastrami fan, I am one of those people who stick there simple turkey sandwiches and very rarely venture out of the box. However, today was that exception. The server brought us out plates of steaming pastrami sandwiches. I could see the steam rising out of the sandwich from the hot pastrami in the cold air. Cold pickle slices accompanied the sandwiches as the waiters recommended they were a good blend together. I spread mustard on the top of the sandwich, which I felt was a key addition to the sandwich. The mustard was very tangy and added flavor to the salted pastrami. The rye bread added a calming sensation to the mixture and mellowed both taste overall. Together, all three flavors created a crafty blended sandwich.
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Across the street was a place called Local Mission Eatery. It was a very small hole in the wall place that gave me a homy feeling right when I walked in the door. They had beautifully lit chandeliers hanging above the tables in the room and along the walls they have black and white images printed on the tiles of people and places around the city. The images on the wall made me appreciate the people and places that sometimes go unnoticed when we walk around the city. The goal of the this eatery was that all there food was grown locally. Still warm and freshly prepared, we were served toasted sandwiches. Just from looking at it I could not tell what I was about to bite into. I took a bite and I could hear the crunchy toasted bread start to crinkle. My mouth was filled with a sweet, buttery, and bitter taste. I couldn’t put a finger on it about what was making it sweet but at the same time a little tangy. The waiter told us that the sandwich was made of ricotta, kale, pumpkin butter, and green apple slaw. These were all ingredients I would have never expected to put together and they were also ones I had never tried. I devoured the sandwich within seconds of my first bite.
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Before we hit the the fourth stop on our tour, we go to experience the beautiful art pieces and murals of Balmy Alley. Living in San Francisco all my life, I couldn’t believe I had never walking down Balmy Alley. Balmy Alley’s murals began in the mid-80’s. We were lucky enough to have a tour guide who told us the overall meanings of each mural. The murals began as an expression over human rights and political abuses. I recommend getting a tour for the murals, which we received one from Precita Eyes Mural Arts just down the street from Balmy Alley.After visiting Balmy Alley and the Precita Eyes Mural Arts store, we made our way to Pig and Pie. The aromas of the eatery were overwhelming me with anticipation of what we were going to eat. I sat down on a bar stool at a counter overlooking the kitchen. I watched as the chef delicately prepared each sausage with sauerkraut and mustard that would soon be served to us. Finally, a plate was placed down in front of me. The sausage was warm and salty, and the sauerkraut and beer mustard on top filled my mouth with all sorts of bitter and invigorating flavors which I still can wrap my head around in order to describe. The beer mustard I thought was exquisite. I kept adding more onto the sausage when I was running low because it added so much powerful flavoring to the concoction. My two friends and I saw a freshly baked batch of red velvet twinkles come out on the oven and heading toward the shelf. We could not resist leaving without trying one. Who wouldn’t want to try a red velvet twinkie. As we were about to leave, we decided to run up and buy one. The outside layering of red velvet reminded me of a sponge when I looked at it. The twinkie was so fluffy and light and the inner layering of cream cheese frosting filled my mouth with sweetness and delight.
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The food tour through the Mission Neighborhood gave me so much more appreciation for the city I have grown up in. It showed me how much more there is to find and learn about in my hometown. I learned I need to venture out more and take the time to experience more food and also the culture. There is so much to learn about in San Francisco and especially the diversity of the people and food in it.

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