You know that universal appeal that pizza has for kids? I can say with some amount of confidence that I did not see it as a child. Amey, on the hand, is crazy about it, on all counts has been crazy about it even when all he had access to Smokin’ Joes in Bombay. For a guy who basically argues for a home-cooked meal over eating out every time, he is ready to compromise pretty quick if pizza is involved. Initially I was astounded by his ability to be this excited about it each time. But then, a few years ago, San Francisco started to outdo itself in the pizza department. Now I’m hooked.
There are some fantastic options for pizza in the city now. The following three are our favourites. We proclaim them the best pizza in the city. Based on what, you ask? Based on the fact that Amey can eat here several times in a row and it doesn’t cause death by pizza.
All three of these place feature great thin-crust pizzas. We aren’t fans of deep-dish pizza. What we also love about these three pizza joints is that they don’t load up that crust. They each have a superbly calibrated crust-to-toppings ratio. They are certainly worth your while if you are looking for a good pie.
Happy Thanksgiving, you guys!
The most glorious sunshine is falling over this beautiful city and this may be our warmest Thanksgiving here yet. Yet, there is a crispness to the air. I love autumn sun. It is golden and warm and spills out all slanted at an angle, totally keeping in line with the pumpkin-yellow-orange Thanksgiving theme. Each and every one of the white and beige buildings opposite ours are gilded and warm. Don’t you just love it when nature decides to get all colour-coordinated? We’re off to enjoy the day but before we do, we wanted to wish anyone who stopped by to visit here today. Also, to bring you three wonderful San Francisco creators of baked goods.
I am always incredibly excited about new bakeries, far more so than any new restaurant. Back home, the Irani restaurants with their bun maska and delicious mutton and vegetable pattices were cool and inviting, fascinating to the child I was. Here, I get that from bakeries. There is always an element of excitement walking into a bakery, perusing what is on offer and then making your choice. And if I’m in luck and the bakery knows what it is doing, what is on offer is wonderful. It can make my entire day.
There are some famous bakeries out here in the Bay area. But everywhere you look there are wonderful small ones that are nourishing bodies and satisfying souls in their neighbourhood. These three that I’m going to tell you about here are exceptional.
Today’s Thursday which means it’s time for the next installment of Thursday Three. Since spice has been a big part of this week’s focus, what with my first foray into making my own masalas, I thought I’d share my favourite three sources for spices with you today.
Your local Indian store is a powerhouse of a spice source. The usage of spices in Indian cooking is wide and varied. We’re talking about a country that boasts hundreds of different sorts of blends. This is logically the first place you should look. Your local Indian grocery store is where you can get reasonable amounts of spices without paying an arm and a leg for them. Since we love our spices and use them liberally, you can also be sure that they will be fresh on the shelf. There is however, a caveat. They will be fresh only if there is a flourishing Indian community where you live. It matters. I remember the local stores around my grad school. There were a lot of Indians around. They were all students. Everyone’s moms sent spice care packages. The spices in the shop? Can you say dust packets covered in dust bunnies? Trust me, you do not want two-year old cumin powder in your dal. I learned this the hard, miserable way.
The San Francisco Bay area is home to one of the largest Indian communities in the United States and pretty much anything Indian can be found here. It has been available outside the city of San Francisco for a long time. When I moved here ten years ago, this was useful but wasn’t helpful on a daily basis. We lived then, as we do now, in the city but most others lived in Silicon valley. As a result, there were only a couple of dusty shops up here which looked like they’d materialized straight out of a 60s movie, complete with grumpy men behind the counter with scary large mustaches.
We get our fair share of requests for recommendations of what to do, where to go, what to eat as we have lived in the city for a while now. There’s nothing more we love than spreading the knowledge around. This extends to other things beyond San Francisco. Other finds like that lovely bakery, this great cooking show, that awesome dim sum place, this fantastic cheese. There are many things we would like to share with you on this space which don’t seem to fit in any other posts, created or run by wonderful folk. So starting today, every Thursday we’ll share three spectacular finds in San Francisco, in the shops, on the Internet, on the Web or just simply anywhere we come across them. Hopefully through here, you’ll find your new favourite pastry shop, Chinese take-out or a fun evening hangout.
On todays I love SF to bits edition
Good things come in small sizes at Delise Dessert Cafe on Bay Street. This little cafe totally gets the concept of wanting to indulge without feeling like killing yourself right after. The desserts are sized just about right so you can get a couple to sample or four to share with prices to match the size of the pastry. They opened about a block away from where we lived just about six months before we moved. Yes folks, they made us really think about wanting that move.
The owners Dennis and Eloise are the most welcoming and enthusiastic people. They were pastry chefs working for prestigious other places in San Francisco before they opened up this little endeavour. They have lovely, not-too-heavy sandwiches on the menu. The cakes and cookies are baked fresh everyday. With wonderful flavours like Irish Dream, the cakes are a slam dunk. What I’m crazy about here are the brownies. The chewy little dark chocolate squares with little sprinkles of salt have a texture unlike any brownie you’ve eaten. I have gone crazy trying to figure out how they make it. One of these days I’m just going to have to beg them for the recipe. They also have a fabulous range of ice-creams which change seasonally. Quince Poppy seed and Buttermilk Ginger are the bomb! (Does anyone say the bomb anymore? Way to be uncool, me. Wait, isn’t uncool…? Oh, dagnabit.) They surprise you with sudden Asian twists in unexpected places.
Don’t be fooled by their proximity to Pier 39. This is the most non-touristy little food option you will find in a ten block radius. Come here for lunch, say hello to Dennis and Elise, (and if you’re lucky their adorable little Gabe) have a sandwich and a cupcake and sit on their bar stools and watch the world go by out the window. You will leave just full enough.