November 28, 2009

San Francisco - a Last Few Favorites

In Spring 2005 I moved from Boston to San Francisco. During the past few years I have experienced a great deal of change – I attended graduate school, changed careers, met and married Jonathan, and became happy. Now my time in San Francisco is drawing to an end. In a few days Jonathan and I will be moving to Washington DC. While I am excited about living in a new city, here are a few of the places I will miss in San Francisco.

One of my favorite places to relax in San Francisco is Samovar Tea Lounge. With three welcoming locations in the city – Castro, Yerba Buena Gardens, and Hayes Valley – Samovar is a wonderful place to go for a snack, a healthy meal, to meet friends, or just enjoy a cup of tea. All locations offer an excellent menu, good service, and a calming atmosphere.

My last career – flying – brought me to Germany many times. During my visits I gained a great affection for German chocolate and food. San Francisco has some good German restaurants, but I think Walzwerk is particularly charming. This small and cozy cafe on South Van Ness in the Mission has good service and serves some great food. For me, the fare is comfort food – warm and hearty East German cuisine. My favorite thing to order is the Käsespätzle mit Gemischtem Salat (chesse spätzle with salad). One day we were there they had a black forest cake on the specials menu and it was fantastic.

Lastly, looking back through my past blog posts I realized I have never shared one of my all time favorite restaurants – Alegrias – with my readers. Located Lombard Street, this small family owned and operated Spanish restaurant is wonderful. The owners and staff at Alegrias are very welcoming and the service is exceptional. But, most importantly, the food is wonderful. They serve a very flavorful olive oil with the bread and all the tapas dishes are delicious. My favorite tapas are Cazuela de Queso de Cabra (oven cooked goat cheese with red sauce), Espinacas a la Catalana (sauteed spinach with garlic, raisins, apple, and pine nuts), and Setas al Ajillo (mushrooms sauteed with garlic and white wine). This is the perfect restaurant to go for special occasion or celebration!

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