Le Pain Quotidien is the first Organic food franchise worldwide. Created in 1990 by chef Alain Coumont in Brussels as a bakery, it has evolved into a cafe restaurant with over 151 Locations in 17 countries.
The interiors all have a rustic coziness with communal and individual tables equipped with organic olive oils, sea salt, beautiful preserves as well as everyone’s favorites hazelnut and chocolate spreads.
The granola is made in house, while the menu expands with egg salads, cheese and tapenade plates, special seasonal soups, lovely tartines of fresh breads with different toppings from cheese antipastos, smoked salmon and cold meats. Rich Salads, comforting quiches, giant cappuccinos and of course the desserts! A wide variety of tarts, waffles, cookies, pastries and viennoiseries are available to tempt you always!
So use your smartphone, do a quick search and know that there is always an option for organic and tasty!
Nopalito, the smaller offshoot of Nopa, presents local and organic Mexican cuisine with authenticity. There are plenty of vegetarian options and the meals are exquisitely tasty without being heavy and greasy. The ultimate test is passed by the house hot sauce provided with each dish; peppers are peeled then charred, giving a delicious and gentle smoky flavor.
The service was friendly and fairly attentive. We loved the fact that they took our cell number so we could wander the neighborhood while we waited for our table. This is so simple I’m amazed I come across it so rarely. I poked my head into Nopa (about 2 blocks away) and it looked like the large upscale eatery that it is- next trip to San Francisco!
The dish that surprised us the most was the Sandia con Chile y Limón. Which is slices of sweet crimson watermelon, chile de arbol, chile guajillo and lime. This is one of those combinations that I never would have thought of, but makes oh so much culinary sense.
The Tamal de Queso Estilo Corunda (Housemade masa, queso cotija, grazzini squash, poblanos, tomatoes, manzanos chiles and crema) was another soft delight. The masa really contains a quality that speaks for dedication.
The dish that we ordered twice was the Quesadilla Azul de Hongos (Blue corn tortilla, mushrooms, corn, poblanos, jack cheese, queso fresco and salsa de molcajete). The mushrooms were deep and flavorful – and this combined with the smoked hot sauce was stunning.
Mexican cooking is on the west coast is an entire step above that on the east. We really enjoyed the variety and effort that was put into bringing this wonderfully diverse deliciousness to our plates. Nopalito a true taste of contemporary culinary artistry!
8:00 am – 8:30 pm Monday – Saturday
10:00 am – 9:00 pm Sunday
Headed into town with friends we were invited to join them at The Ferry Building. As we approached, we stifled an inward groan. From outward appearances, we were expecting another corporate infused feeding trough, where the most exotic thing to be found would be a Pizzera Uno or Boston Market- similar to South Street Seaport in NYC or Fanual Hall in Boston.
Well, we were WRONG! The Ferry Building is a magnificent piece of localvore culture, brimming with excellent shops and eatieries. We over ate, but it was all worth it and one of the excellent excellent stops was Il Cane Rosso.
Il Cane Rosso is a casual, rotisserie and sandwich shop fronted by beautiful antipasti and headed by a rustic menu. Kudos to Chefs Lauren Kiino and Daniel Patterson- who have created the perfect “mall” restaurant. Quick and homey, and very reasonably priced- would all food court restaurants achieve such an admirable combination.
Funny thing – here in NYC there are hundreds of great restaurants, but none that cater to the masses (expect maybe Le Pain Quotidian chain). This excellent eatery, Il Cane Rosso, and the entire ferry building is a testament to the food culture that pervades the city of San Francisco.
If I was a commuter, taking a ferry in and across the bay daily, Il Cane Rosso would be one of the places I walked by each trip to check the days menu! Their website and twitter account also broadcast the days menu and specials.
Once again – this Ferry Building is where the city of San Francisco really catches my interest. Perhaps it is the access to the best ingredients in the world, or the general expectations of the populace or maybe it is some excellent city planning? This really is a foodies’ town.
Some of the dishes we experienced:
MARIQUITA FARM ROASTED PEPPER AND HARICOT VERT SALAD
These peppers really stood out; excellent smokey flavor, with sliced garlic and tomato vinaigrette
GRISTMILL POLENTA WITH PARMIGIANO AND SAGE BROWN BUTTER
This dish made us come back for seconds 🙂
ROTISSERIE HERB-RUBBED SOUL FOOD FARM CHICKEN
HERB AND GARLIC ROASTED MARIQUITA FARM POTATOES
Delicate and aromatic with excellent presentation.
MARIQUITA FARM EARLY GIRL TOMATO PANZANELLA
These were some of the best tomatoes we’ve ever had; served with cucumbers,
red onion, arugula and red wine vinaigrette to create a really really tasty salad.
WARM SOUL FOOD FARM EGG SALAD
A lovely open faced sandwich with bagna cauda butter and aged provolone
HEIRLOOM ORGANICS CARROT SOUP
Deep carrot flavor in a lighter then expected soup, served with dill goat cheese.