In September I found myself back in the Bay Area for my best friend’s wedding, mit meinem Mann in tow. Trying to channel my inner German, I attempted to include some non-food related activities on the itinerary, so that no one could accuse me of being a gluttonous fat ass and only going to fancy restaurants the whole time, as is my MO.
Since our time in San Francisco proper was so limited we really had to prioritize regarding which food establishments we visited. We tried to strike a balance between old favorites from my time in SF and things you can’t really find in Berlin. We ended up only trying two new places – Ichi in the deep Mission (which made me feel insecure about my Berlin startup salary due to the exorbitant price-to-portion ratio) and Rich Table in Hayes Valley (which I found to be wonderful).
We of course had to make a stop at It’s Top’s Coffee Shop, our favorite greasy spoon diner in SF, which is conveniently located on the border of the Mission and Hayes Valley. We go there for the bacon-filled waffles and the super spicy hot links.
Mexican food naturally also had a place on that list. I was a bit worried that my old standby, Taqueria Cancun, would be slammed due to the recent national hype but was pleasantly surprised to find the line to be no longer than usual.
Since we rented a car to drive between Lake Tahoe and SF, we were actually able to visit In-N-Out on two separate occasions. Gönnerhaft.
One thing that I really miss about SF and the States in general is brunch culture – the kind that entails poached eggs, big ass mimosas and kale side salads. To my devastating disappointment, we were not able to secure a brunch reservation at Nopa :((((((. We did however make it to Mission Beach Cafe and Brenda’s. Going to brunch while most people are working is one of the most satisfying experiences a former SF resident can experience as a tourist in SF.
The wedding took place at Dawn Ranch Lodge in Guerneville, about an hour north of SF. Pretty much all my SF homies were there, and it was basically the best weekend ever.
After the wedding we met up with my parents in wine country for a few days of wining, dining and exploring.
The canoe trip along the Russian River was much more exhausting than I remembered. I guess the watermelon beer didn’t help..
We also crossed the Restaurant at Meadowood off our bucket list.
We squeezed in a hike at the Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, which features some really tall and really old trees.
During the time I was living in Bay Area, I didn’t really take advantage of the abundance of beautiful nature within short driving distance from the city. It was really eye-opening to experience some of it for the first time on this trip. I now have a newfound appreciation for the nature in California. It provides a nice balance to all the face-stuffing.
The nature in South Lake Tahoe is breathtakingly beautiful, even by German standards. (Or so I’m told.)